Sunday is going to be a big motorsports day and three broadcast networks will air three of the biggest races of the year. NBC will start it all off with the Grand Prix of Monaco to be aired live for the first time on network television (but aired for the first time on network television as NBC has been stating as ABC and Fox have aired it before). Fox ends the day with the Coca Cola 600. In between the Formula 1/NASCAR sandwich is the Indianapolis 500 live from the Indianapolis Motor Speedway.
ABC hits the air at 11 a.m. ET with the cars starting their engines at 12:15 p.m. Lindsay Czarniak makes history as she becomes the first woman to host the Indy 500 on national television. Then the usual ESPN’s Marty Reid will do the lap-by-lap call and he’ll be joined by Scott Goodyear and Eddie Cheever. In the pits will be Dr. Jerry Punch, Jamie Little, Rick DeBruhl and Vince Welch.
Here’s the press release from ESPN.
ABC will televise the Indianapolis 500 for the 49th consecutive year on Sunday, May 26, continuing a Memorial Day tradition that began in 1965.
A one-hour preview show airs from Indianapolis Motor Speedway at 11 a.m. ET, with the race telecast, presented by Go Daddy, at noon. The green flag for one of the world’s iconic and most historic sporting events is at 12:15 p.m.
Indianapolis native Ed Carpenter, who broke through to win the pole position for an event he grew up wanting to compete in, provided drama as he paced last weekend’s time trials while driving for his own small race team against a field of international drivers and mega racing organizations. Carpenter will lead the field of 33 drivers to the green in the traditional three-abreast starting formation.
ESPN’s production of the Indianapolis 500 on ABC will utilize 84 cameras to televise the premier event of the IndyCar Series, including three onboard cameras per car in 12 of the 33 cars competing in the race.
Among the cameras will be the newly-enhanced “Batcam,” a camera that provides unique and dramatic views running on a cable over pit road and the frontstretch and has been utilized by ESPN at Indy for several years. But with new technology, “Batcam” can now move faster than ever, reaching speeds of 95 mph.
Views and replays also will be enhanced with expanded usage of four Ultra Hi Motion cameras. As was the case last year when the cameras were used for the first time, they will be located in the short chutes at each end of the 2.5-mile track as well as at the fourth turn exit, with a fourth robotic camera added this year to provide a low shot entering the first turn. The cameras can shoot at speeds of up to 1,200 frames per second. ESPN also will have Super Slo Motion cameras positioned in each turn.
Carpenter will be one of the 12 drivers carrying onboard cameras as will defending race winner Dario Franchitti and defending IndyCar Series champion Ryan Hunter-Reay. Others will be Charlie Kimball, JR Hildebrand, James Hinchcliffe, Townsend Bell, Will Power, Helio Castroneves, Marco Andretti, Graham Rahal and Tristan Vautier
Viewers of the ABC telecast will have the option of a second screen experience through a choice of live streaming video from the onboard cameras on ESPN3, ESPN’s multi-screen live sports network. ESPN3 will carry the feeds exclusively through WatchESPN and on Indycar.com to fans who receive their Internet or video subscription from an affiliated provider. Viewers will be able to choose which driver’s onboard cameras they want to watch from among the available cars and this year, for the first time, all of the feeds also will include ESPN’s live scoring ticker. ESPN3 also will have replays of the ABC telecast following the event. ESPN3 is available online at WatchESPN.com, on smartphones and tablets via the WatchESPN app and through ESPN on Xbox LIVE.
Marty Reid will call the race with analysis by former IndyCar driver Scott Goodyear and 1998 Indy 500 winner Eddie Cheever. ESPN SportsCenter anchor Lindsay Czarniak will host the telecast while pit reporters will be Rick DeBruhl, Jamie Little, Dr. Jerry Punch and Vince Welch.
ESPN’s Indianapolis 500 coverage will be produced under the oversight of ESPN vice president, motorsports, Rich Feinberg. Shawn Murphy will produce the race telecast and Bruce Watson will direct, while Jeff Ingalls will produce the pre-race show with Chip Dean directing.
The telecast’s opening tease focuses on the life of Carl G. Fisher, the entrepreneur and founder of Indianapolis Motor Speedway. The tease opens on a farm, where Fisher’s dream to build the greatest automobile racetrack in the world began. Combining live action elements and CGI, the tease celebrates record-setting speeds, innovation and classic Indy 500 moments as Fisher reflects on his realized vision and looks ahead to the future.
Among the special features that are planned for the pre-race show or in SportsCenter’s Indianapolis 500 coverage:
- Andretti Curse — The Andretti name is synonymous with the Indianapolis 500, yet in the family’s long history they have claimed the Borg Warner trophy just once. Is it a curse or is it just bad luck? ESPN’s Jeremy Schaap narrates and asks what will the Andretti’s lasting legacy be at the greatest spectacle in motor sports?
- Dario’s Go Kart — As Dario Franchitti prepared to go for his fourth Indy 500 win, the vehicle that started it all was quietly being rebuilt by his father. George Franchitti was a race car driver and his son, as he turned 40, re-received the gift of a go kart that was given to him 35 years ago. ESPN’s Tom Rinaldi narrates.
- James Hinchcliffe: Beyond Hinchtown – A man of many ideas, James Hinchcliffe markets himself in ways his peers have not. This profile of Hinchcliffe explores his magnetic personality, his success on the track and how his Canadian roots factor in.
- Helio and Tony – IndyCar drivers and childhood friends, Helio Castroneves and Tony Kanaan, reflect on their relationship, their lifelong rivalry and their success and struggles at the Indianapolis 500
- A.J. and Takuma — Outwardly, the race team of Takuma Sato and A.J. Foyt could not be more different. Far East meets Wild West. This piece will explore their differences but ultimately, will show that the heart of a racer is the heart of a racer, and this fundamental quality is what binds Sato and Foyt
- Speed and Danger — A high energy, frenetic and unnerving look at the high speeds and danger associated with IndyCar racing and the Indianapolis 500.
- America Made the 500 — Iconic still images bring to life the legendary history and tradition of the Indianapolis 500, an event made by America, for America, in a stirring tribute to the origins of the race and its Midwestern home.
- Memorial Day — Every year, in a single afternoon, 1,700 members of the Old Guard take to the hills of Arlington National Cemetery and place American flags at the headstones of the fallen. More than 200,000 graves are marked with the red, white and blue, and it is done in just a few hours. These soldiers are shown as they honor those who have made the ultimate sacrifice for their country.
There you have it.
Deadspin which broke the ESPN layoffs story today continues to break news. From sources e-mailing information to John Koblin, we learn that the ESPNU late night show, UNITE will end its run in July. The show began with an hour show with a lot of fanfare last August.
Over the last month, the show was chopped to a half-hour while still airing at midnight ET. We learn through Koblin’s post that UNITE staffers either have been told or are anticipating to be informed that the show will be canceled. Many of the show’s employees were hired nine to ten months ago and may not be absorbed into other ESPN programs.
The show was meant to be a snarky late night sports show. ESPN was hoping it would catch on with younger viewers, but apparently to meet Disney’s bottom line, the show will not even meet its year anniversary.
We’ll have more on the layoffs when they become available.
This story broke this morning when Deadspin tweeted that layoffs, probably in the range of 300-400, will take place. Since then, the story was picked up by ESPN tome author Jim Andrew Miller and Sports Business Journal’s John Ourand.
ESPN has now confirmed the layoffs, but won’t say exactly how many people were let go. Deadspin says some will come in the technology group. Miller says some cuts won’t be filled while some open positions will remain so, however, the network will continue hiring.
Here’s the official ESPN statement.
“We are implementing changes across the company to enhance our continued growth while smartly managing costs. While difficult, we are confident that it will make us more competitive, innovative and productive.”
More details as they become available.
Dottie Pepper has joined ESPN for its golf coverage. She was part of NBC/Golf Channel’s team since 2004 and left last year.
Pepper will join ESPN in time for its US Open coverage next month and also be on the network’s Open Championship team in July when it travels to Muirfield in Scotland.
Pepper left NBC/Golf Channel citing a desire to cut back on her schedule plus she took a position with the PGA of America.
In addition, she has written two golf-themed children’s books.
Here’s the ESPN announcement.
Dottie Pepper, a major championship-winning golfer as well as a respected television commentator and author, has joined ESPN’s golf coverage team and will make her on-air debut at next month’s U.S. Open.
Pepper, a 17-time winner on the LPGA Tour during her career, will serve multiple roles on ESPN’s multiplatform golf coverage including analyst, on-course reporter and anchor during live play. She also will be an analyst on ESPN’s signature news and information program SportsCenter and will write for ESPN.com.
“Joining the ESPN golf team offers me the chance to cover the greatest golf events in the world,” said Pepper. “It’s a team of passionate and proven winners, dedicated to making the events they cover the best in the game.”
Pepper, who retired from the LPGA in 2004, worked for the past eight years as a golf commentator for NBC Sports and The Golf Channel and also was a contributing columnist for Sports Illustrated. She announced at the end of the 2012 season that she would be joining the PGA of America Board of Directors to work on developing junior golf in the United States.
ESPN’s championship golf schedule for 2013 includes the Masters, U.S. Open and The Open Championship; the U.S. Women’s Open and Women’s British Open; and the U.S. Senior Open and Senior Open Championship.
“ESPN’s golf schedule is perfect for me,” said Pepper. “I love working in television and this schedule allows me to do that but also gives me time to continue my work with the PGA of America and junior golf. It’s an ideal situation.”
A three-time NCAA All-American golfer at Furman University, Pepper turned pro in 1987 and her 17 victories on the LPGA Tour included two of women’s golf’s major championships. She was LPGA Player of the Year in 1992, a six-time Solheim Cup team member and won more than $6.8 million during her career.
In addition to her work on television, Pepper also is co-author of the Bogey Tees Off and Bogey Ballton’s Night Before Christmas children’s books.
“We’re very pleased to have the opportunity for Dottie to join our team,” said Mike McQuade, ESPN vice president, production. “Her knowledge, experience and professionalism will bring another layer of strength to our golf coverage.”
ESPN will televise the first two rounds of the second men’s major championship of the season, the U.S. Open from Merion Golf Club in Ardmore, Pa., June 13-14. Coverage also will include six days of SportsCenter specials from the event beginning Tuesday, June 11.
Last year, Fox Soccer gave soccer fans a true smorgasbord of English Premier League coverage on the final Sunday of the regular season. Utilizing Fox Soccer, Fox Soccer Plus, Fox Sports Net, Speed, FX, FoxSoccer.com, FoxSoccer2Go as well as ESPN2, fans had access to all of the games as teams positioned for European honors, cash and avoidance of relegation.
This season as Fox Soccer and ESPN end their relationship with the English Premier League at least for the next three years, games will be seen on Fox Soccer, Fox Soccer Plus, FoxSoccer.com, FoxSoccer2Go and ESPN. Most of the ten games on Sunday will be streamed online. Four of the games will be seen on TV.
In addition, we say goodbye to the excellent Goals on Sunday which really ramped up when Rob Stone joined Fox Soccer.
We have the schedule of games below.
Last-Minute Drama Expected as Chelsea, Tottenham & Arsenal Battle for European Honors Features Include David Beckham Interview & Martin Tyler Essay
Los Angeles – Every year on the final day of the English Premier League season, the 20 teams from the world’s top domestic soccer competition play each other in a frantic 10-match race for financial reward, hardware and European honors.
This year, FOX Soccer, FOX Sports Net and FOX Soccer Plus, together with digital platforms FOXSoccer.com and FOX Soccer 2Go, carry nine of the day’s 10 matches live, on Sunday, May 19 at 11:00 AM ET. Pre-match coverage begins at 10:30 AM ET on FOX Soccer, followed by coverage of Tottenham vs. Sunderland. The Spurs’ season comes down to this: a must-win match at White Hart Lane, plus help from other match results, in order to give them the fourth-place finish and a coveted Champions League berth. Simultaneously, FOX Soccer Plus carries UEFA Europa League champions Chelsea against Everton, who is still without a manager after former manager David Moyes replaced the retired Sir Alex Ferguson at Manchester United.
The final day of the Barclays Premier League season has drama and passion for all fans and teams involved. While Manchester United revels in glory as the League’s newly crowned champion, and the bottom three teams, Wigan Athletic, Reading and Queens Park Rangers, lament their relegation to the lower division, the battle for European qualification spots lives until the last whistle on Sunday.
The top four clubs in the Barclays Premier League earn UEFA Champions League qualification, receiving a potential reward of $75 million and the right to play in the world’s most prestigious club tournament. Pending the results of other domestic competitions, the fifth, sixth and seventh places in the Premier League also hold much significance. Once Sunday’s results are in, the holders of those spots qualify for the UEFA Europa League, a continent-wide knockout tournament with more than 40 years of history and tradition. Beginning this fall, 2013-2014 Europa League and Champions League contests air live on FOX Sports 1, America’s new sports network, launching August 17.
After the matches, the series finale of Goals on Sunday airs at 1:30 PM ET on FOX Soccer, with a feature on Manchester United’s Ryan Giggs, one of the best players to ever play in the Premier League, as well as an interview with David Beckham following his announcement to retire at the end of the season. The show also takes a look back at the English Premier League on FOX Soccer and includes a Martin Tyler essay highlighting his favorite memories.
MAY 19 MATCHES
Tottenham v Sunderland
FOX Soccer/10:30 AM ET
Chelsea v Everton
FOX Soccer Plus/10:30 AM ET
West Brom v Manchester Utd.
FOX Sports Net/10:30 AM ET
Liverpool v Queens Park Rangers
FOXSoccer.com/11:00 AM ET
Manchester City v Norwich City
FOXSoccer.com/11:00 AM ET
Southampton v Stoke City
FOXSoccer2Go/11:00 AM ET
Swansea City v Fulham
FOXSoccer2Go/11:00 AM ET
West Ham v Reading
FOXSoccer2Go/11:00 AM ET
Wigan v Aston Villa
FOXSoccer2Go/11:00 AM ET
Newcastle v Arsenal
ESPN/11:00 AM ET
That will do it.
ESPN has made another sporting event into an all-cable affair. Starting in 2015, the U.S. Open which has been on ESPN2 since 2009 will now be seen on the Alleged Worldwide Leader from start to finish. CBS which has been the home of the Open since 1968 will end its association with the event in 2014.
ESPN’s coverage will now include Labor Day Weekend which had been part of CBS’ coverage. The women’s semifinals which had been on the second Friday afternoon of the U.S. Open will now move to the second Thursday night and the men’s semifinals from Super Saturday to Friday. The women’s final will remain on the second Saturday and the men’s final on the second Sunday. This gives a day of rest for both the women’s and men’s finals.
Having the U.S. Open, ESPN now has three of the four tennis Grand Slam finals on its air along with the Australian Open and Wimbledon. The French Open is the only Grand Slam tournament in which ESPN is not a main rightsholder as Tennis Channel and NBC are.
In addition, ESPN will make available all matches on all 17 courts on ESPN3.
Here’s the ESPN/USTA press release.
Adds Labor Day Weekend, the New Semis/Finals Format, plus Expanded Digital, International Rights in 11-Year Deal
ESPN will be the exclusive home in North and South America of the US Open from first ball through the women’s and men’s championships each summer from New York beginning in 2015, in a landmark agreement with the United States Tennis Association (USTA) announced today. With this 11-year agreement, ESPN now will air the championship in three of the four tennis majors.
ESPN has televised approximately100 hours of live US Open matches annually since 2009, and now will air 130+ hours with the addition of day-long coverage of the “middle weekend” – Saturday, Sunday and Labor Day Monday – plus both the men’s and women’s semifinals and finals. The new US Open schedule – previously announced to start in 2015 – places the women’s final on Saturday and the men’s on Sunday. This creates new prime-time telecasts of the women’s semifinals on the second Thursday and the men’s semifinals the following day, giving a day of rest to the two players before each final.
“Certain sporting events become synonymous with when they are held, and there is no better – or bigger – way to celebrate the end of summer than at the US Open in New York,” said John Skipper, ESPN president. “We look forward to capturing every match, every star, every championship and all the drama on this grand stage.”
Dave Haggerty, USTA Chairman of the Board and President, said, “This wide-ranging and broad relationship with ESPN positions tennis at the forefront of American sports. By teaming with the world-wide leader in sports, the USTA will continue to ensure that tennis at every level thrives in the United States.”
In addition to ESPN and ESPN2, all telecasts will be available on WatchESPN. In an expansion of offerings, over the term of the agreement ESPN will make every match on all 17 tournament courts available on ESPN3. Presently, six of the 17 courts have coverage. Also, ESPN3 will begin each day’s coverage the first Monday – Friday morning with two hours at 11 a.m. ET while SportsCenter on ESPN will have the right to do live cut-ins. ESPN3 is available via WatchESPN for fans who receive ESPN’s linear networks as part of their video subscription via Time Warner Cable, Bright House Networks, Verizon FiOS TV, Comcast Xfinity TV, Midcontinent Communications, Cablevision, Cox, Charter or AT&T U-verse.
ESPN will continue to be the home of the entire US Open in Latin America and the Caribbean and in Canada on TSN, as it has since 2002. The new agreement brings expanded rights and increased programming hours, as in the U.S. – both on the multiple linear TV channels throughout these regions and on digital platforms.
ESPN also will become the exclusive home to the US Open Series with 72 hours of action in the five-week summer series leading to the US Open. In addition, ESPN will now present Arthur Ashe Kids’ Day, the music and tennis festival geared to families that serves as the unofficial kick off of the two-week tournament, on the weekend prior to the main draw tournament’s Monday start.
There you have it.
Sports Business Journal’s John Ourand reports that ESPN will announce a new 11 year deal to air the U.S. Open.
Ourand reported about the potential of this deal earlier this week
CBS has aired the event since 1968 and will end its current contract with the United States Tennis Association in 2014. ESPN will take over in 2015
I’ll post the official announcement when it becomes available later today.
Unveiled at the ESPN Upfronts in New York City is a new daily soccer-centric show. Titled ESPN FC after the website of the same name, the show will air Sunday through Friday, mostly on ESPN2. It will premiere on August 11.
Even though ESPN will no longer air the English Premier League, the show will report on the latest information regarding the world’s most popular sport as well as offer analysis and discussion on late breaking news.
It marks the first daily show devoted to the beautiful game on the network. No word on a host as of yet, but Max Bretos and Adrian Healey would be leading candidates.
Here’s the ESPN press release.
30-minute News and Highlights Show Debuts August 11 as Extension of ESPN FC
ESPN will extend the company’s ESPNFC.com global soccer news and information digital brand with its first highlights-driven soccer studio show airing in the United States this summer. ESPN FC on TV will air year round (Sunday through Friday, primarily on ESPN2) beginning August 11, it was announced today at the company’s Upfront presentation in New York City.
The ESPN FC program will integrate several elements of the digital platform’s content via social media, the industry-leading ESPN Stats & Information Group’s data visualization analysis, and more. Digital versions of the program will be available on ESPNFC.com.
“Soccer’s popularity is at an all-time high in the United States as fans are now more familiar with the world’s top players, marquee clubs and national teams. ESPN FC on TV continues our leadership role in coverage of the sport across all media,” said Scott Guglielmino, ESPN senior vice president for programming.
Planned ESPN FC TV highlights:
- A daily destination show that will offer U.S. fans “need-to-know” soccer news and information from across the globe;
- Employ ESPN FC’s global reporters, columnists and team bloggers for breaking news, rumors and player-transfer news, focusing primarily on the English Premier League, UEFA Champions League, Spain’s La Liga, Major League Soccer, U.S. Men’s National Soccer Team and the Mexican National Team;
- In-depth analysis and opinion-based discussion of topical issues in soccer featuring a rotation of seasoned pundits with diverse perspectives;
- Interviews with newsmakers, and timely features and profiles of key personalities in the sport;
- Previews of key matches throughout the soccer calendar year (eg. El Clásico, Manchester Derby, top-tier UEFA Champions League matchups, select FIFA World Cup qualifying matchups such as USA vs. Mexico, and more).
“ESPN FC will inform, entertain and provide hard-hitting insight on the global sport of soccer,” added Guglielmino. “It will become ESPN’s signature program for soccer, bringing tremendous value to the company, our affiliates and the ad sales community looking to reach core and casual soccer fans in the United States.”
Sunday editions of ESPN FC will be a one-hour program – wrapping up the best highlights from the weekend’s soccer action while looking ahead to what the results mean to the teams and their respective leagues. Monday through Friday, the program will air for 30 minutes each day. ESPN FC on TV will replace the ESPN FC Press Pass, the global soccer discussion program on ESPNEWS, in the United States.
There you have it.
Announced at the ESPN Upfronts in New York today, the network will unveil a new NFL studio show in August, “NFL Insiders” to be hosted by Suzy Kolber. ESPN’s NFL insiders, Adam Schefter and Chris Mortensen will be part of the show. Former NFL general manager Bill Polian will also take part. Other ESPN’ers who will be seen will be John Clayton and Ed Werder. Draftnik Mel Kiper, Jr. and all-around charlatan Todd McShay will appear in the offseason leading up to the NFL Draft.
The show will make its debut on August 5 and replace the horrible NFL32 on that date.
Here’s the ESPN announcement.
Suzy Kolber to Host New Daily, Weekday Show, Beginning Aug. 5
ESPN will debut NFL Insiders, a new one-hour weekday pro football-themed show, in time for the 2013 season. The year-round program will focus on the biggest NFL news stories and information each day, including front office decisions, coaching moves, trades, free agency, the NFL Draft, and more.
NFL Insiders will examine the league from the perspectives of people who make decisions and from those who are first to report the news. Scheduled to debut Monday, Aug. 5 – the day after the Pro Football Hall of Fame game – the new show will replace NFL32.
Chris Mortensen and Adam Schefter, two of the most respected reporters in the NFL, will be featured prominently on NFL Insiders and will have an even greater platform for breaking league news. Fans will also gain an inside look into how teams operate from six-time NFL Executive of the Year Bill Polian, who has more than a quarter century of front office experience. Veteran host/anchor Suzy Kolber will host the show from ESPN’s Bristol, Conn., headquarters.
“There is nothing more stimulating for a reporter than when you know you’re about to tell somebody something they haven’t heard until that very moment,” said Mortensen. “This is the essence of what Adam and I and this great team of contributors will bring each day to NFL Insiders, and we’re excited to get started.”
ESPN.com senior writer John Clayton and NFL insider Ed Werder will also have key roles, along with NFL Draft experts Mel Kiper Jr. and Todd McShay, who will appear regularly in the offseason during the lead-up to the NFL Draft.
“Whether it’s in season or out of season, fans crave NFL news and that’s exactly what NFL Insiders will have every day with a smart presentation and some of the most connected people in the league,” said Seth Markman, senior coordinating producer, who oversees ESPN’s NFL studio shows.
In addition to ESPN’s popular television personalities, the daily four-person NFL Insiders panel will draw from a roster of accomplished journalists, former front office executives and other league experts as regular contributors, including:
- Former Cleveland Browns general manager Phil Savage;
- Former St. Louis Rams general manager Billy Devaney;
- USA Today Sports NFL columnist Jarrett Bell;
- Sirius/XM radio host Adam Caplan;
- ESPN.com senior NFL writer Ashley Fox;
- ESPN.com NFC East blogger Dan Graziano; and
- ESPN Insider and ESPN Boston writer Field Yates.
NFL Insiders is the newest addition to ESPN’s comprehensive year-round NFL programming lineup. Other popular NFL-branded studio shows include Sunday NFL Countdown, Monday Night Countdown, NFL Live, NFL PrimeTime, NFL Kickoff, NFL Matchup and Mike and Mike’s Best of the NFL. ESPN is also home to sports television’s longest running series Monday Night Football, entering its 44thseason this fall.
One more ESPN announcement is coming up.
From Sports Business Daily’s John Ourand, we learn that ESPN is close to taking another Grand Slam tennis tournament away from network television. In 2011, ESPN wrested Wimbledon away from NBC after the network had broadcast the event dating back to 1968. The entire tournament became an all-cable event last year.
Now, ESPN appears to have convinced the United States Tennis Association to make the U.S. Open all-cable as well. CBS has broadcast the U.S. Open since 1968. In the 1980′s, USA Network signed to air the preliminary matches. In 2009, ESPN2 and Tennis Channel took over USA’s portion of the event while CBS continued to air weekend coverage and the semifinals and finals.
Ourand reports that CBS’ exclusive negotiation window with the USTA ended earlier this year allowing ESPN to make a pitch to make the U.S. Open all-cable. Under the ESPN proposal, the network would air the tournament similar to how it produces Wimbledon with ESPN and ESPN2 simultaneously airing matches during the second week. And even though ESPN and ESPN2 have college football commitments in the first week of September, ESPN has promised to air both the men’s and women’s semifinals and finals.
Over the last four years, rain delays have forced the men’s final to a Monday afternoon finish. While CBS picked up the final under its contract with the USTA, its affiliates have often moved the event to secondary channels causing ratings to drop.
Another part of ESPN’s commitment to the US Open would be TV Everywhere rights which would stream the entire tournament to authenticated cable and satellite subscribers.
CBS still is negotiating with the USTA to keep a portion of the tournament, but it appears ESPN has one foot in the door. It’s not known if Tennis Channel will continue to be part of the U.S. Open.
ESPN has rights to all four Grand Slam Tournaments and air start-to-finish coverage of the Australian Open and Wimbledon. It is the lead cable rightsholder to the U.S. Open. However, for the French, ESPN is the secondary cable rightsholder for the French Open as Tennis Channel is the lead there.
If ESPN is successful in gaining the U.S. Open, the French Open would remain as the only Grand Slam tennis tournament left on broadcast television.
ESPN announces that college basketball inside Andy Katz has extended his contract with the alleged Worldwide Leader. In addition, the contract will expire in 2016 meaning he’ll be with ESPN for over 20 years.
He’s happy. ESPN’s happy. Here’s the official announcement.
ESPN has reached a contract extension with college basketball reporter Andy Katz to continue his multi-platform role for ESPN.com and ESPN networks. The multi-year agreement will see Katz to a more than 20-year career at ESPN.
Katz, who joined ESPN in 1999, will continue his daily written and video contributions as senior college basketball writer for ESPN.com, in addition to contributions for ESPN the Magazine. After the debut of his weekly show, Katz Korner, and hosting The Experts on ESPNU, his role on ESPN networks will continue to expand in both a reporting and hosting capacity for Outside the Lines on ESPN. His reporting role will also continue courtside, as well as in studio, during college basketball games.
Katz is set to continue his ESPN Audio initiatives, collaborating with college basketball analyst Seth Greenberg in a podcast series that re-airs on ESPN Radio Saturday mornings.
“Across every ESPN platform, Andy continues to be an invaluable asset to our coverage of NCAA basketball and the NBA Draft,” said Patrick Stiegman, Vice President and Editor-in-Chief, ESPN.com. “No one works harder than Andy, and that shows in his work for ESPN.”
Added Katz, “This is home for me and my family now. I put tremendous value on the people I work for and with at ESPN. This new contract gives me the chance to explore even more opportunities that simply are not possible at other places. I feel fortunate to work with so many pros from editors to producers to cameramen and everyone else involved in a show or story. The first 14 years here have been rewarding and challenging and I expect the next few years to be similar, with even more room for growth.”
Let’s go over the entire list of those who won hardware in the 34th Annual Sports Emmy Awards. The awards were handed out at Frederick P. Rose Hall at Lincoln Center in New York.
Overall, NBC Sports Group has reason to crow with 23 Emmys, the most of any sports media group. Turner Sports was next with 7 followed by HBO with 6. The ESPN Family of Networks received five awards and MLB Network had three. The CBS consortium, Fox Sports Media Group and NFL Network won two and YouTube got one Emmy.
The entire list is below. It’s a long list so I give a jump break on the main page. Get ready to scroll for a while.
ESPN took home five Sports Emmy Awards during Tuesday’s ceremonies. The Alleged Worldwide Leader won for E:60, Outside the Lines and one for ESPN 3D as well.
We take a look at what ESPN is saying about its awards.
ESPN won five Sports Emmy Awards, presented for the 34th year by the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences tonight in New York. ESPN was honored for journalism, technical and creative excellence and marketing.
The prime-time magazine show E:60 received the Sports Emmy in the Journalism category for a story on the Beitar Jerusalem soccer team and its infamous fans. Reporter Jeremy Schaap and a crew travelled to Israel to document the rabid and racist nature of the team’s fan base and its behavior at games. It was the show’s fifth Sports Emmy in four years.
Outside the Lines won in the area of Camerawork for “Breaking the Silence,” the 15th Sports Emmy in the show’s history. Host Bob Ley and reporter Tom Rinaldi told the story of Monika Korra of Norway who was raped by three men while a member of the SMU cross-country team. She went on to help find and convict the three. She also returned to the team and speaks publicly against violence.
ESPN’s “It’s not crazy, it’s sports” promotional campaign took the Sports Emmy for best Promo-Institutional. One of the spots included in the submission told the humorous tale of a man in Chicago named Michael Jordan. (He is not a former basketball player.)
ESPN 3D – the only all-sports 3D network – defended its Sports Emmy of a year ago by again winning in the Technical Team Remote category for the Winter X Games.
In the New Approaches – Short Format category, Sport Science won its third Sports Emmy in as many years.
ESPN has now won 153 Sports Emmy Awards in 26 years of eligibility.
ESPN’s Sports Emmy Awards:
(all are ESPN, except as noted)
Journalism — E:60 – Beitar Jerusalem (ESPN2)
Technical Team Remote — Winter X Games (ESPN 3D)
New Approaches – Short Format Sport Science
Camerawork — Outside the Lines – Breaking the Silence
Promo – Institutional — “It’s not crazy, it’s sports.”
And I’ll post more Sports Emmy Award press releases if more arrive in the Fang’s Bites inbox.
The 34th Annual Sports Emmy Awards were handed out tonight in New York at Frederick P. Rose Hall at the Time Warner Center.
Thanks to Josh Krulewitz, ESPN public relations maven, I can list the individual winners. I’ll have a full list from the National Academy of Television Arts & Sciences tomorrow and I’ll post it when it becomes available.
First, no surprises in the talent categories. The usual suspects won, Costas, Collinsworth, Barkley and Al Michaels is back for play-by-play, his sixth Emmy.
If you want to see the nominations in full, you can go here.
I’ll go in the order the awards were handed out.
The George Wensel Technical Achievement Award – Games of the XXX Olympiad: The Multi-Screen Olympics, NBC/Bravo/CNBC/MSNBC/NBC Sports Network/NBCOlympics.com/Telemundo
Outstanding Live Event Audio/Sound – NASCAR on Fox, Fox
Outstanding Production Design/Art Direction – NCAA March Madness: Brackets Everywhere, truTV
Outstanding Studio Show Weekly – Inside the NFL, Showtime/CBS Sports/NFL Films
Outstanding Long Feature – Real Sports with Bryant Gumbel: Steve Gleason: Tragic Hero, HBO
Outstanding Editing – 24/7: Pacquaio-Marquez 4, HBO
Outstanding Sports Promotional Announcement, Episodic – A Football Live: Life Story, NFL Network/NFL Films
Outstanding Sports Personality, Sports Reporter – (TIE) Pierre McGuire, NBC (why?) and Tom Verducci, MLB Network/TBS
Outstanding Graphic Design – MLB Network Division Series: The Scrapbook, MLB Network
Outstanding Sports Documentary – Namath, HBO
Outstanding Technical Team Studio – Games of the XXX Olympiad, NBC/Bravo/MSNBC/NBC Sports Network/Telemundo
Outstanding New Approaches Sports Programming Short Format – Sport Science, ESPN/Base Productions
Outstanding Playoff Coverage – (TIE) National League Championship Series: Cardinals vs. Giants, Fox and NBA Playoffs, TNT
Outstanding Camera Work – Outside the Lines: Breaking the Silence, ESPN
Outstanding Edited Sports Special – One Heartbeat, CBS Sports Network/CBS Sports
Outstanding Music Composition/Direction/Lyrics – Namath, HBO/NFL Films
Outstanding Sports Promotional Announcement, Institutional – (TIE) It’s Not Crazy, It’s Sports: Shake On It, The Name, Born Into It — ESPN/Wieden & Kennedy and NCAA March Madness: Brackets Everywhere, TBS/CBS/TNT/truTV
Outstanding Sports Personality, Play-by-Play – Al Michaels, NBC
Outstanding New Approaches Sports Event Coverage – Red Bull Stratos: Space Jump, YouTube/Red Bull Media House
Outstanding Open/Tease – NBA on TNT: All-Star Game Tease, TNT
Outstanding Post Produced Audio/Sound – Hard Knocks: Training Camp with the Miami Dolphins, HBO/NFL Films
Outstanding Sports Personality, Sports Event Analyst – Cris Collinsworth, NBC
The Dick Schaap Writing Award – Games of the XXX Olympiad: Measure & Motion, NBC
Outstanding New Approaches Sports Programming – Games of the XXX Olympiad: Countdown to London, NBCOlympics.com
Outstanding Edited Sports Series/Anthology – Real Sports with Bryant Gumbel, HBO
Outstanding Sports Personality, Studio Analyst – Charles Barkley, TNT
Outstanding Sports Journalism – E:60: Beitar Jerusalem, ESPN2
Outstanding Technical Team Remote – Winter X Games 2012, ESPN 3D
Outstanding Short Feature – NFL GameDay Morning: Immaculate Remembrance, NFL Network
Outstanding Live Sports Series – Sunday Night Football, NBC
Outstanding Studio Show, Daily – MLB Tonight, MLB Network
Outstanding Live Event Turnaround – Games of the XXX Olympiad, NBC
Outstanding Live Sports Special – Super Bowl XLVI, NBC
Outstanding Sports Personality, Studio Host – Bob Costas (who else?), NBC/NBC Sports Network
The network press releases crowing about their Sports Emmy wins are trickling in. I’ll post them in order of their arrival into the Fang’s Bites inbox.
With the SEC Network now official and ready to premiere in August 2014, ESPN and the SEC has put together this preview trailer of what to expect when the network launches. It’s quite good.
It all comes to fruition in August 2014 on a participating cable and satellite provider.
Thanks to six series in the NBA Playoffs extending to six games, there’s the potential for some of them heading to the full seven games. But before that happens, ESPN and ESPN2 have a rare harmonic convergence of airing four of the NBA Conference Quarterfinals series on Friday night. Both networks will have games at 7 p.m. ET and 9:30 p.m. ET.
ESPN will carry New York at Boston then Oklahoma City at Houston.
ESPN2 will air Indiana at Atlanta and Los Angeles Clippers at Memphis.
Below, we have the schedules and the announcing assignments for the four games. Paulsen at Sports Media Watch tweets that this is the first time there have been four Games 6 in one night since 2003 when TBS/TNT had four game telecasts between them.
ESPN/ESPN2 will have four Game 6s on Friday night. Last time that happened was 2003 on TNT/TBS.
— Paulsen (@paulsen_smw) May 2, 2013
Here’s the ESPN press release.
ABC to Broadcast Two Games Sunday
The NBA Playoffs will continue on ESPN and ESPN2 this Friday, May 3, with four quarterfinal round Game 6 telecasts. ESPN will televise a doubleheader, beginning with the Boston Celtics hosting the New York Knicks at 7 p.m. ET, with Mike Breen, analyst Jeff Van Gundy and reporter Heather Cox providing commentary. At 9:30 p.m., the Oklahoma City Thunder will visit the Houston Rockets with Mike Tirico, analyst Hubie Brown and reporter Holly Rowe calling the action.
ESPN2 will televise a doubleheader simultaneously, beginning with the Atlanta Hawks hosting the Indiana Pacers at 7 p.m. with Mark Jones, analyst Doris Burke and reporter Chris Broussard providing commentary. At 9:30 p.m. the Los Angeles Clippers will visit the Memphis Grizzlies with commentary from Dave Pasch and analyst Jon Barry.
Additionally, ABC will broadcast two games on Sunday, May 5, at 1 p.m. and 3:30 p.m. The games will be a combination of quarterfinal Games 7 and/or semifinal Games 1. NBA Countdown will tip off Sunday’s coverage at 12:30 p.m. with Basketball Hall of Famer Earvin “Magic” Johnson, Jalen Rose, Bill Simmons and Michael Wilbon previewing the doubleheader.
NBA Playoffs on ESPN, ESPN2 – Friday, May 3
Time (ET) Game 6 Commentators Network(s) 7 p.m. New York Knicks at Boston Celtics Mike Breen, Jeff Van Gundy, Heather Cox ESPN, WatchESPN 7 p.m. Indiana Pacers at Atlanta Hawks Mark Jones, Doris Burke, Chris Broussard ESPN2, WatchESPN 9:30 p.m. Oklahoma City Thunder at Houston Rockets Mike Tirico, Hubie Brown, Holly Rowe ESPN, WatchESPN 9:30 p.m. Los Angeles Clippers at Memphis Grizzlies Dave Pasch, Jon Barry ESPN2, WatchESPN
NBA Playoffs on ABC – Sunday, May 5
Time (ET) Game Commentators 12:30 p.m. NBA Countdown Earvin “Magic” Johnson, Jalen Rose, Bill Simmons, Michael Wilbon 1 p.m. TBD TBD 3:30 p.m. TBD TBD
This from ESPN and the Southeastern Conference. The two entities have partnered to form the cable-based SEC Network which will begin operation in August 2014.
The new SEC Network will air more than 1,000 conference events including 45 football games, 100 men’s and 60 women’s college basketball games, 75 baseball, as well as softball and various Olympic sports like gymnastics, track & field and other events.
All 14 member schools will be showcased on the new network. At the outset, AT&T U-Verse has signed up to carry the SEC Network. Other cable and satellite carriage agreements will be announced later.
The SEC Network will be based out of the ESPN Regional Television offices in Charlotte, NC.
ESPN will operate the SEC Network for 20 years and as a result, the Alleged Worldwide Leader’s rights agreement with the SEC will extend to 2034. So ESPN will be associated with the SEC well into the 21st Century.
We have the press release below.
20-Year Agreement and Rights Extension through 2034; AT&T U-verse Will Distribute the Network at Launch
The Southeastern Conference and ESPN have signed a 20-year agreement through 2034 to create and operate a multiplatform network, which will launch in August 2014, it was announced today by SEC Commissioner Mike Slive and ESPN President John Skipper. The new network and its accompanying digital platform will air SEC content 24/7 including more than 1,000 events in its first year.
The network will televise approximately 45 SEC football games, more than 100 men’s basketball games, 60 women’s basketball games, 75 baseball games, and events from across the SEC’s 21 sports annually. Programming will also include studio shows, original content such as SEC Storied, spring football games, signing day and pro days coverage. Hundreds of additional live events from various sports will be offered exclusively on the digital platform. The network and its digital extensions will connect with each SEC institution and create opportunities for each school to produce and develop content.
“The SEC Network will provide an unparalleled fan experience of top quality SEC content presented across the television network and its accompanying digital platforms,” stated Slive. “We will increase exposure of SEC athletics programs at all 14 member institutions, as we showcase the incredible student-athletes in our league. The agreement for a network streamlines and completes an overall media rights package that will continue the SEC’s leadership for the foreseeable future.”
Each weekend throughout the season, the new network will air multiple top-tier matchups from the strongest conference in college football. Since 2006, the SEC has claimed seven consecutive football national championships. In 2011-12, SEC teams won eight national championships: football (Alabama), men’s basketball (Kentucky), gymnastics (Alabama), men’s indoor track and field (Florida), women’s tennis (Florida), women’s golf (Alabama), men’s outdoor track and field (Florida), and softball (Alabama). Since 1990, the SEC has won 149 national team championships for an average of more than six per year.
Skipper said, “The SEC is unmatched in its success on the field and its popularity with fans nationwide. The new network’s top-quality SEC matchups across a range of sports will serve all sports enthusiasts including the most passionate, die-hard SEC fans. Also, it will serve the needs of our multichannel distributors and advertisers by providing extremely attractive programming options across all platforms.”
As part of the agreement, ESPN will now oversee the SEC’s official Corporate Sponsor Program. In addition, ESPN and the SEC also agreed to extend their existing media rights agreement through 2034. ESPN has televised the SEC since 1982. ESPN’s existing networks present more than 1,600 hours of SEC action each year. The new network will focus exclusively on the SEC and add another outlet to deliver sports fans more SEC content than ever.
AT&T U-verse® has been secured as the network’s first national distributor. AT&T U-verse is the fastest growing TV provider in the U.S. and their subscribers will have access to an unprecedented amount of SEC content across all platforms. Subscribers receiving the live linear network via a multichannel subscription will also have access to the network on PCs, tablets, smartphones and select gaming devices like Xbox. Additional games and coverage will be available through an authenticated digital offering. Fans looking to learn more about how to get the SEC Network can visit GetSECNetwork.com for more information.
“We are pleased to be involved with the SEC and ESPN at the very beginning of this great alliance,” said Jeff Weber, President of Content and Advertising Sales, AT&T. “As the fastest growing and most advanced pay TV service, we want to bring our customers the highest value and most compelling product that we possibly can. Access to the SEC Network, across multiple platforms, will only increase the demand for U-verse.”
ESPN’s Justin Connolly, formerly senior vice president, ESPN affiliate sales and marketing, will oversee the network’s day-to-day operations. The network will originate from ESPN’s Charlotte, N.C., offices with additional staff located at the company’s Bristol, Conn., headquarters. Staff announcements and additional details will be made in the coming months.
There it is for you.
Monday was quite the day in the sports world. As people were getting up and preparing to go to work on the East Coast, little would they know how things were going to develop. Let’s review what happened as events occurred. All times listed below are Eastern.
7:53 a.m. — Reports trickle out of New York Jets camp that backup quarterback Tim Tebow was going to be released.
9:00 a.m. — ESPN’s Morning SportsCenter signs on with all-out coverage of Tim Tebow being released by the Jets.
In addition, ESPN.com puts Tebow on its front page throughout the morning.
11:02 a.m. — Sports Illustrated releases the first-person account from NBA center Jason Collins declaring that he’s gay. News organizations across the country and around the globe pick up the story of the first athlete from a U.S. professional sports league to come out.
11:04 a.m. — Dan Patrick interviews Sports Illustrated’s Jon Wertheim about the Collins story.
John Koblin of Deadspin notes while other outlets are covering the Collins story, ESPN and ESPN.com continue in Tebow DEFCON 2 mode. While ESPN and ESPN.com were not reporting the Collins story, Colin Cowherd was talking about it on his ESPN Radio show which was also simulcast on ESPNU.
Noon — Awful Announcing discovers that the 12 p.m. edition of SportsCenter mentions Tebow 25 times before moving to the Jason Collins story.
After 1 p.m. — Scott Van Pelt on the SVP & Russillo Show on ESPN Radio plays Ombudsman and calls out the Morning SportsCenter for going overboard on Tebow coverage.
On WFAN, Mike Francesa downplays the Collins story as “a dramatic attempt to sell magazines.” Francesa says, “I don’t get it” as to why Collins chose to come out.
3 p.m. – ESPN’s Outside the Lines covers the Collins story and has ESPN.com openly gay columnist LZ Granderson and ESPN NBA beat reporter Chris Broussard to discuss the topic. Broussard declares homosexuality is a sin and it’s “walking in rebellion with God..”
6:20 p.m. — CBS’ Tim Brando creates a firestorm by tweeting that Collins is not a hero for coming out and making history. Then Brandi tweets something about a sex tape. Holy frijoles.
10:50 p.m. — ESPN issues a terse statement on Chris Broussard’s comments.
12:05 a.m. — Broussard issues an apology.
It’s been a long day. Very bizarre to say the least.
Here’s our last ESPN-centric post for now. The Alleged Worldwide Leader says it will cover all of the 16 sites comprising the NCAA Division I Baseball Championship Regionals. This will occur between May 31 through June 3. This marks the first time that the entire first round of the college baseball tournament will be covered either through television or online.
In addition, ESPN will launch Bases Loaded, a Red Zone Channel-type platform that will launch on Friday, May 31 and last through Monday, June 3. ESPN3 will carry all four days of Bases Loaded in its entirety. ESPN2 or ESPNU will simulcast the new service in between games or during rain delays.
This will all lead to the Super Regionals and then the College World Series in Omaha, NE in June. Let’s take a look at the ESPN announcement.
Bases Loaded Platform to Provide Day & Night Whip-Around Coverage
ESPN will continue to increase its commitment to college baseball by covering all 16 sites of the NCAA Division I Baseball Championship from Friday, May 31 to Monday, June 3. It will mark the first time every first-round game of the event – up to 7 games from each of the 16 locations for a total of a possible 112 matchups over four days – will be available to fans live on a national platform. ESPN provided coverage of six sites in 2012, four in 2011 and two the previous six years.
ESPN will also launch Bases Loaded, a four-day platform to update fans throughout the action. Similar to ESPN’s Goal Line and Buzzer Beater networks, Bases Loaded will provide unlimited live cut-ins and highlights from numerous games, plus up-to-the-minute commentary from ESPN analysts and experts each day of the Regionals. Bases Loaded will be available Friday, May 31, and Saturday, June 1, from 2 p.m. ET to midnight; Sunday, June 2, from 2 p.m. to 1 a.m.; and Monday, June 3, from 6 p.m. to midnight. ESPN3 will carry the network in its entirety while ESPNU and ESPN2 will simulcast at select times, including between games and rain delays when time permits. Every game will also be available on WatchESPN.
ESPN offered a network record 272 regular-season and conference championship games – 160 exclusively – across ESPNU, ESPN3, ESPN2 and ESPN in the 2013 campaign. This season’s lineup marks an increase of 50 exclusive games over the 110 regular-season and conference championship matchups on ESPN platforms in 2012.
In addition to the expanded Regionals schedule, ESPN will continue to cover every Super Regional site (up to 24 games from eight sites) and all possible 17 games of the College World Series.
The 2013 NCAA Division I Baseball Championship field of 64 teams will be announced on May 27 at Noon on ESPNU.
And I have a couple of more posts for you, but they won’t involve ESPN.
ESPN has announced that six Big Ten football games will be played in primetime on Saturday nights either on ABC, ESPN or ESPN2 this fall. Three games will have Ohio State, two games involve Michigan and Northwestern and Wisconsin get one each. Of course, independent Notre Dame is involved in two of those games, one against Michigan on September 7 (expect that to be an ABC game) and again in the following week against Purdue. The final game of the ABC/ESPN/ESPN2 Big Ten primetime schedule will be on October 26 when Penn State takes on Ohio State at the Horseshoe in Columbus at 8 p.m. ET.
Take a look at what the Alleged Worldwide Leader is saying about this.
ESPN announced six Big Ten Conference college football games for Saturday prime-time telecasts on ABC, ESPN or ESPN2 during the 2013 season. Each game includes at least one team ranked in an early ESPN.com preseason top 25 poll for 2013: No. 1 Ohio State three times, No. 9 Michigan twice, and No. 24 Northwestern and No. 25 Wisconsin once each. Two of the telecasts will involve a Big Ten member hosting independent Notre Dame, which is ranked No. 10 in the ESPN.com poll. Additional games will be announced in the coming months. Highlights:
- An ESPN platform will televise a Big Ten matchup in prime time five of six straight Saturdays from September 7 to October 12.
- Ohio State, the only Football Bowl Subdivision team to finish the 2012 campaign undefeated at 12-0, will play three night games: against defending Conference champion Wisconsin (September 28), at Northwestern (October 5) and against Penn State (October 26).
- ABC, ESPN or ESPN2 will televise Notre Dame at Michigan in prime time on September 7, marking only the second night game at the Big House since its opening in 1927. The first, a 35-31 victory over Notre Dame in 2011, was ESPN’s most-viewed and highest-rated regular-season college football game that season, averaging 7,541,000 viewers and a 4.5 U.S. rating (5.2 ESPN coverage rating). In addition, Purdue will host Notre Dame the following Saturday, September 14.
- Penn State will host Michigan on October 12 and visit Ohio State on October 26.
2013 Big Ten Schedule as of April 29 (additional selections will be announced):
Date Time (ET) Game Network Sat, Sep 7 8 p.m. No. 10 Notre Dame at No. 9 Michigan * ABC, ESPN or ESPN2 Sat, Sep 14 8 p.m. No. 10 Notre Dame at Purdue ABC, ESPN or ESPN2 Sat, Sep 28 8 p.m. No. 25 Wisconsin at No. 1 Ohio State ABC, ESPN or ESPN2 Sat, Oct 5 8 p.m. No. 1 Ohio State at No. 24 Northwestern ABC, ESPN or ESPN2 Sat, Oct 12 5 p.m. No. 9 Michigan at Penn State ESPN or ESPN2 Sat, Oct 26 8 p.m. Penn State at No. 1 Ohio State ABC, ESPN or ESPN2
* Previously announced
One more ESPN-centric post coming up.
This is the first of three ESPN-centric posts. This one deals with the NFL Draft which concluded on Saturday. ESPN says it averaged a 2.1 rating for the three days of coverage which is up 3% from last year. In addition, ESPN saw an average viewership of 3.035 million viewers for that period and that is up 4% from 2012′s coverage.
Breaking it down day-by-day, ESPN had a very good 4.2 US rating for its primetime airing of the first round on Thursday averaging an amazing 6.2 million viewers. For Friday, ESPN averaged a 1.9 rating for coverage that aired on both ESPN and ESPN2 for the 2nd and 3rd rounds. And on Saturday for the final round, the 7½ hours on the Mothership and the Deuce brought in a 1.1 rating.
The top five markets for the Draft on ESPN were New Orleans, Birmingham, Kansas City, Buffalo and Dayton.
Here’s your official announcement from the Mothership.
NFL Content on ESPN Digital Platforms Also Posts Gains
ESPN’s three-day telecast of the 2013 NFL Draft (April 25-27) – including the first two nights in prime time – saw increases in both ratings and viewership over the 2012 event. This weekend, the 15-plus hours on ESPN and ESPN2 delivered a 2.1 US rating, a three percent gain from 2012 (2.0) and a six percent increase from 2011 (1.9). The average viewership of 3,035,000 viewers is a four percent gain over both 2012 (2,924,000) and 2011 (2,918,000).The top-10 metered markets for ESPN’s three days of NFL Draft coverage were New Orleans (4.7 rating), Birmingham, Ala. (4.5), Kansas City (4.4), Buffalo (4.3), Dayton, Ohio (4.1), Jacksonville (3.6), Pittsburgh (3.5), Milwaukee (3.5), Cincinnati (3.4) and Nashville (3.4).Rounds 4-7 / Day 3 (Saturday)ESPN’s 7.5 hours of coverage (12-7:30 p.m. ET) on ESPN and ESPN2 delivered a 1.1 US rating, an eight percent increase over last year’s coverage (1.0 US), while viewership averaged 1,610,000, pacing 12 percent ahead of 2012 (1,437,000).Rounds 2-3 / Day 2 (Friday)ESPN’s 1.5 hours of coverage (6:30-8 p.m. ET) delivered a 2.2 US rating and 3,167,000 viewers, based on fast nationals, while ESPN2′s remaining 2.5 hours (8-10:30 p.m.) delivered a 1.7 US rating and 2,463,000 viewers. Together, the two networks averaged a 1.9 US rating and 2,727,000 viewers, up slightly from last year’s second and third rounds on ESPN (1.9 US rating and 2,679,000 viewers) and a double-digit increase from 2011 coverage (1.6 US rating and 2,386,000).Round 1 / Day 1 (Thursday)ESPN’s first round coverage of the NFL Draft posted a 4.1 US rating and drew 6.2 million viewers.ESPN DigitalAcross digital platforms, through ESPN’s three days of coverage of the NFL Draft (Apr. 25-27), the average minute audience to the NFL section on ESPN.com and the ESPN mobile Web was up 13 percent and seven percent, respectively, compared to last year. Additionally, average minute audience, visits and daily unique visitors to NFL content on the ScoreCenter app were up 200 percent, 102 percent and 49 percent. Total minutes to live coverage of the NFL Draft on WatchESPN were also up 562 percent from last year. On Twitter, there were over 3.1 million tweets related to the NFL Draft coverage on ESPN, up 82 percent from last year. The event on ESPN also accounted for over a third (35 percent) of all TV-related tweets on Twitter throughout the three days.
That is all.
The ESPN family of networks will be back with seven NBA Playoff games starting this Friday through Sunday. In addition, several commentators will work multiple games during that three day stretch.
ESPN and ESPN2 will combine for three games on Friday, then ESPN has a Saturday night doubleheader to be followed with a Sunday afternoon double dip on ABC.
The announcing teams of Mike Breen, Jeff Van Gundy and Heather Cox along with Mike Tirico, Hubie Brown and Chris Broussard will work games on Friday and Saturday. Dave Pasch and Jon Barry will work on Friday and Saturday with Holly Rowe on Friday and Samantha Ponder on Saturday.
Here’s the schedule for the NBA on ESPN.
Three ESPN Commentator Teams to Call Multiple Games
The NBA Playoffs will continue on ABC and ESPN this weekend with seven games across the networks, beginning with three ESPN telecasts Friday and a concluding with a blockbuster ABC doubleheader Sunday. The updated commentator assignments for ABC, ESPN, ESPN Radio and ESPN Deportes – including three commentator teams calling multiple games – are listed below.
- Mike Breen, analyst Jeff Van Gundy and reporter Heather Cox to call both New York Knicks-Boston Celtics games.
- Mike Tirico, analyst Hubie Brown and reporter Chris Broussard to call San Antonio Spurs-Los Angeles Lakers Friday and Miami Heat-Milwaukee Bucks Sunday.
- Dave Pasch, analyst Jon Barry and reporter Holly Rowe will call two games in less than 24 hours – Denver Nuggets-Golden State Warriors Friday and Oklahoma City Thunder-Houston Rockets Saturday.
Date Time (ET) Game / Commentators Networks Fri, Apr 26 8 p.m. New York Knicks at Boston Celtics (Gm. 3)
ESPN: Mike Breen, Jeff Van Gundy, Heather Cox
ESPN Radio: Marc Kestecher, Dr. Jack Ramsay
ESPN, ESPN Radio, WatchESPN 10:30 p.m. San Antonio Spurs at Los Angeles Lakers (Gm. 3)
ESPN: Mike Tirico, Hubie Brown, Chris Broussard
ESPN Deportes: Alvaro Martin, Carlos Morales
ESPN, WatchESPN, ESPN Deportes 10:30 p.m. Denver Nuggets at Golden State Warriors (Gm. 3)
ESPN: Dave Pasch, Jon Barry, Holly Rowe
ESPN2, WatchESPN Sat, Apr 27 7 p.m. Indiana Pacers at Atlanta Hawks (Gm. 3)
ESPN: Mark Jones, Doris Burke, Holly Rowe
ESPN, WatchESPN 9:30 p.m. Oklahoma City Thunder at Houston Rockets (Gm. 3)
ESPN: Dave Pasch, Jon Barry, Samantha Ponder
ESPN Radio: Kevin Calabro, Chris Mullin
ESPN Deportes: Alvaro Martin, Carlos Morales
ESPN, ESPN Radio, WatchESPN, ESPN Deportes Sun, Apr 28 12:30 p.m. NBA Countdown
Magic Johnson, Bill Simmons, Jalen Rose, Michael Wilbon
ABC 1 p.m. New York Knicks at Boston Celtics (Gm. 4)
ESPN: Mike Breen, Jeff Van Gundy, Heather Cox
ESPN Radio: Marc Kestecher, Dr. Jack Ramsay
ABC, ESPN Radio 3:30 p.m. Miami Heat at Milwaukee Bucks (Gm. 4)
ESPN: Mike Tirico, Hubie Brown, Chris Broussard
ESPN Deportes: Alvaro Martin, Carlos Morales
ABC, ESPN Deportes
There you have it.
Broken last night by USA Today’s Michael Hiestand and made official today, Lindsay Czarniak, a fast-rising star at ESPN, has been named as host of the Indianapolis 500. She replaces Brent Musburger.
Czarniak is no stranger to motorsports. She was a pit reporter and host on NASCAR on TNT between 2007 and 2011. She’s also hosted an occasional episode of NASCAR Now on ESPN2.
She becomes the first female host for the race following in the footsteps of Jim McKay and Musburger.
Czarniak is the co-anchor of the 6 p.m. SportsCenter with John Anderson.
Prior to joining ESPN, Czarniak was a sports anchor on WRC-TV in Washington and appeared on the George Michael Sports Machine which was produced at WRC.
Here’s the ESPN press release.
Lindsay Czarniak to Host ABC’s Indianapolis 500 Telecast
ESPN SportsCenter anchor Lindsay Czarniak has been named host for the telecast of the Indianapolis 500 on ABC on Sunday, May 26. ABC will be televising the “Greatest Spectacle in Racing” for the 49th consecutive year, extending one of the longest-running relationships between a sporting event and a TV network, and Czarniak will be the first woman ever to host the telecast.
Czarniak, who co-anchors the 6 p.m. SportsCenter with John Anderson, joined ESPN in 2011. She has a background in motorsports, having served as a pit and feature reporter and host for TNT’s telecasts of NASCAR Sprint Cup races and a pit reporter for NBC Sports prior to moving to ESPN. She also has hosted ESPN’s NASCAR Now program.
She was as sports anchor and reporter at WRC-TV (NBC4) in Washington, D.C., from 2005-2011. During that time, she also worked for NBC covering the 2006 Winter and 2008 Summer Olympic Games as well as NASCAR.
Czarniak will be positioned on Indianapolis Motor Speedway’s iconic Pagoda during ABC’s one-hour Indianapolis 500 pre-race show at 11 a.m. on May 26. She also will contribute to the race telecast
I know. I haven’t done links in a very long time. Let me provide some for you. I won’t make promises about providing them regularly as every time I do, something happens to make me break that promise. But I hope to bring linkage to you more often.
I’ll begin with John Ourand of Sports Business Journal who talks with CBS’ Jim Nantz about the crazy moments that occurred in Super Bowl XLVII, the NCAA Tournament and The Masters.
Sports Illustrated’s Richard Deitsch informs us on NFL Draft coverage plans for both ESPN and NFL Network.
Mike McCarthy at Advertising Age says the National Football League plans to provide airline frequent flier-type perks to season ticket holders.
The ESPN Front Row PR blog announces that former New York Times writer Robert Lipsyte will become the network’s newest Ombudsman.
Louisa Ada Seltzer of Media Life Magazine previews tonight’s ESPN 30 for 30 documentary on the 1983 NFL Draft.
Ben Koo of Awful Announcing reviews the 30 for 30 doc.
Michael Bradley at the Indiana University National Sports Journalism Center says newspapers showed their value during the coverage of the Boston Marathon bombing.
Pete Dougherty of the Albany Times Union says the NBA is lifting the blackout in the Capital Region for Thursday night’s Game 2 of the Chicago-Brooklyn series.
From the Raleigh (NC) News & Observer, Andrew Carter writes about the ACC’s new media policy that will prevent further defections.
Jim Williams of the Washington Examiner interviews Friend of Fang’s Bites Amy Van Dyken about her Fox Sports Radio show.
Joe Flint of the Los Angeles Times discusses the potential suitor for Tennis Channel.
Also from the Times, Sam Farmer relives the 1983 NFL Draft through tonight’s 30 for 30 documentary.
I hope to provide you with regular linkage down the line.
The NFL Draft is set to begin this week. The three day affair starts Thursday in primetime at 8 p.m. ET and will continue through Saturday afternoon.
ESPN will be there will with a cast of thousands and a new anti-tweeting policy that won’t “spoil” the picks before Commissioner Roger Goodell announces them. For the first night, Chris Berman will host along with Jon Gruden, Mel Kiper, Adam Schefter and Chris Mortensen. Suzy Kolber will conduct interviews. Then on Friday and Saturday, Trey Wingo takes over with charlatan Todd McShay joining Kiper. Former Indianapolis Colts GM Bill Polian joins the set as well.
We have ESPN’s extensive plans for the NFL Draft below.
43 Hours of Original Programming; Two Nights in Prime Time
First Hour of Round 1 Presented with Limited Commercial Interruption
For the 34th consecutive year, ESPN will televise the NFL Draft (April 25-27) from Radio City Music Hall in New York. The first hour of Round 1 on Thursday, April 25 (8 p.m. ET), will be presented with limited commercial interruption for the second consecutive year. The three-day event will also be available via WatchESPN. Highlights:
- 43 hours of original NFL Draft-related programming, including 15.5 hours of live NFL Draft coverage and 13 hours of SportsCenter Special: on the Clock shows;
- 23 cameras covering the event at Radio City, including two RF steadicams and three jib cameras;
- 19 player live shots;
- Select war room cameras;
- HD Videoconferencing from all 32 team sites; and
- Draft-related content available across multiple ESPN platforms, including ESPN, ESPN2, ESPN HD, ESPN2 HD, ESPN Classic, ESPN International, ESPNEWS, ESPNU, ESPN Radio, espnW, ESPN.com, WatchESPN, ESPN the Magazine, ESPN VOD, ESPN Mobile Web, the SportsCenter Feed and the ScoreCenter app.
- 300+ player highlight packages;
ESPN NFL Draft Commentators:
- Thursday, April 25: Chris Berman will host Round 1 with Monday Night Football analyst Jon Gruden and NFL Draft analyst Mel Kiper Jr. NFL insiders Chris Mortensen and Adam Schefter will report from an additional set, and reporter Suzy Kolber will be on hand to interview draft prospects.
- Friday and Saturday, April 26-27: Trey Wingo will host Rounds 2-7, with analysts Trent Dilfer, Kiper and Todd McShay. NFL analyst Bill Polian, Mortensen and Schefter will also offer analysis from Radio City Music Hall.
- In addition to its commentator teams in New York, ESPN’s coverage of the NFL Draft includes SportsCenter and On the Clock Specials from its studios in Bristol, Conn., as well as updates from team sites with reporters Josina Anderson (St. Louis Rams), Colleen Dominguez (San Francisco 49ers), Jeannine Edwards (New York Jets), Bob Holtzman (Minnesota Vikings); Sal Paolantonio (Philadelphia Eagles) and Ed Werder (Kansas City Chiefs).
Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson, the 2012 third round pick who led Seattle to a NFC Divisional Playoff game as a rookie, will appear in and voice ESPN’s NFL Draft opening tease. The open will also feature multiplatinum recording artist 50 Cent and English rock band The Heavy performing the group’s hit “How You Like Me Now.” The music of both 50 Cent and The Heavy will also be paired with photos and video of more than 115 prospects — taken during the NFL Scouting Combine in March – throughout ESPN’s draft telecast.
ESPN International will offer coverage of the NFL Draft to more than 61 million households in 157 countries and territories throughout Africa, Brazil, Caribbean, Middle East, Israel, Australia, New Zealand, Pacific Islands, Europe (on ESPN America) and Canada (on TSN2).
ESPNU, ESPN’s 24-hour college sports network, will offer coverage of the draft through the lens of the college fan on April 25, 27 and 28. Dari Nowkhah will be joined by ESPN college football analysts for a nightly recap of each day – breaking down the former college players and discussing how their teams will adapt without them — in ESPNU Draft Recap. The shows will include in-depth player breakdowns and interviews with the drafted players and college coaches.
In addition, ESPNU will continue to air SportsCenter Special: Gruden’s QB Camp sessions and discuss NFL Draft prospects daily in CFB Daily: Spring Blitz, airing each weekday at 4:30 p.m. ET through April 26.
ESPNU’s Draft Coverage:
Date Time (ET) Program Thu, April 25 10:30 p.m. ESPNU Draft Recap: Day 1 Sat, April 27 Midnight ESPNU Draft Recap: Day 2 Sun, April 28 Midnight ESPNU Draft Recap: Day 3
E:60 and ESPN Films
The E:60 newsmagazine kicks off its spring season on Tuesday, April 23, at 7 p.m. ET on ESPN. Features will include: “The Art of Waiting” on what it’s really like for a player to wait for his name to be called on Draft Day; a profile of running back prospect Eddie Lacy (Alabama); and the television debut of “The Irrelevant Giant,” a new ESPN 30 for 30 short film featuring Bill Parcells on the life and times of former New York Giants player and Mr. Irrelevant of the 1983 NFL Draft, John Tuggle.
ESPN Films’ next installment in the critically-acclaimed 30 for 30 series will be Elway to Marino from director Ken Rodgers (NFL Films). Elway to Marino is narrated by Tom Selleck and debuts at 8 p.m. on Tuesday, April 23, on ESPN. The film is an in-depth portrayal of the 1983 NFL Draft, when six quarterbacks were selected in the first round – still the most ever. The film explores this landmark draft through the eyes of players, head coaches, general managers, team owners and agents. Trailer.
ESPN Classic will spotlight current NFL stars during their college days with more than 110 hours of Before They Were Pros. ESPN Classic will also air episodes of Gruden’s QB Camp and pay tribute to the 1983 quarterback class on April 22-23 (tied to the debut of ESPN Films’ Elway to Marino) with re-airs of college games featuring Todd Blackledge, Tony Eason, John Elway, Jim Kelly and Dan Marino.
ESPN Radio’s NFL Draft coverage begins Thursday, April 25, at 7 p.m. ET from Radio City Music Hall. Mike Hill and Mark Schlereth, co-hosts of Hill & Schlereth (M-F 7-10 p.m.), will interview draftees and team personnel. They will be joined by ESPN.com senior NFL writer John Clayton. Coverage continues Friday at 6 p.m. Draft news and updates will also be provided Saturday when the Draft resumes at noon.
ESPN Insider members will experience complete and premium access to the 2013 NFL Draft covered from every angle. Comprehensive coverage leading up to and throughout all three days of the draft will include complete analysis and insight from Insider analysts and experts Mel Kiper Jr., Todd McShay, Bill Polian, Ron Jaworski, Adam Schefter, Scouts Inc. and others. At the conclusion of the NFL Draft, Kiper will release his annual Draft Grades, a must read for any fan anticipating the prospects of their team’s newest additions on the field next season. McShay will also share his post-draft review and kick off the new draft season with his 2014 Mock Draft on Wednesday, May 1. New Insider-only features and tools include:
- Mel Kiper’s All-Time Draft Grades – new to ESPN Insider’s NFL Draft coverage this year, Kiper – in his 35th year of grading players – ranks every position based on where he had players heading into their respective draft;
- Insider Draft Guides – also new this year, ESPN Insider breaks down the needs, strategies and draft history for all 32 teams; and
- Mel Kiper Mock Draft Tool – an interactive experience that allows fans to change picks and simulate results.
Additionally, the 2013 NFL Draft section will feature all eight NFL division bloggers as part of ESPN.com’s real-time conversation from various team sites, including Dan Graziano (NFC East), Jamison Hensley (AFC North), Paul Kuharsky (AFC South), Mike Sando (NFC West), Kevin Seifert (NFC North), James Walker (AFC East), Bill Williamson (AFC West) and Pat Yasinskas (NFC South). ESPN.com senior writer John Clayton and NFL columnist Ashley Fox will both be at Radio City and will also offer columns and insights. Pre-draft highlights include:
- Sport Science segment on the “perfect combine” constructed by fans via social media with insight from all eight NFL division bloggers (Friday, April 12);
- Blogger mock drafts via Google+ Hangouts video and live on Twitter and Scribble (Tuesday, April 23);
- Reports on individual workouts and evaluations of each team’s draft needs and potential strategies;
- Hot Reads from ESPN.com writers Jeff Chadiha, Ryan McGee, Elizabeth Merrill and Fox; and
- Gruden’s QB Camp video profiles and scouting reports on prominent draft prospects, including Geno Smith, Tyler Wilson, Matt Barkley, Ryan Nassib, EJ Manuel, Zac Dysert, Mike Glennon, Landry Jones and Tyler Bray.
During the three-day draft, ESPN.com will provide:
- Scribble chats live from Radio City in New York City (Thurs.-Sat., April 25-27);
- DraftCast and NFL Draft Live, allowing users to interact with ESPN.com writers, bloggers and other draft experts;
- DraftTracker exclusively for ESPN Insider members complete with pick-by-pick data and analysis from McShay and Scouts Inc. on approximately 350 prospects in real time;
- Live blogging and team reviews from all eight NFL division bloggers;
- Video analysis of every first-round pick by McShay; and
- espnW contributor Jane McManus will provide pre-draft and in-draft coverage, including player features and blogs.
ESPN Mobile will give fans on-the-go access to Draft-related news and information including a Draft section on the ESPN mobile web complete with video, player profiles, analysis and breaking news. NFL Draft content will also be integrated into the ESPN ScoreCenter app including an NFL Draft card delivering news, video, tweets and live draft results. Fans will also be able to sign up for ESPN Alerts by round and by college or NFL team. Alerts are available in the ScoreCenter app and via SMS on most major carriers.
ESPN3 & WatchESPNESPN3 will deliver replays of NFL Pro Days featuring several of the top prospects, including Tyrann Mathieu from LSU Pro Day and Matt Barkley from USC Pro Day. Others Pro Days include Alabama, Oregon, Florida State, Georgia and Stanford. Additionally, live coverage of the NFL Draft on ESPN will be accessible via WatchESPN online at WatchESPN.com, on smartphones and tablets via the WatchESPN app and through ESPN on Xbox LIVE to Gold members.
ESPN The Magazine
ESPN The Magazine’s NFL Draft issue, on newsstands April 19, features former LSU Heisman finalist Tyrann “Honey Badger” Mathieu on the cover, highlighting his new substance-free image and how he is setting his sights on proving to NFL teams that he can take his skills to the next level. The Mag sets out to write the definitive Honey Badger story, and determine if he has come to terms with his substance abuse, the mother who abandoned him and the father who remains in prison for murder. Other highlights:
- A Marcus Lattimore feature entitled “The Adrian Peterson effect”;
- An Ezekiel Ansah profile: “Ansah, the year of the defensive end”;
- The investigative piece “Coming down” on Auburn University’s football program. Written by Shaun Assael in conjunction with ESPN’s news magazine E:60, the story details allegations of an illegal street drug, an armed robbery, and the worst collapse in college football;
- “Kings for a Day,” an annual project spotlighting mid-round draft prospects – Michael Mauti (Penn State/LB), Chase Thomas (Stanford/LB), Zeke Motta (Notre Dame/SS), Robert Lester (Alabama/SS) and Kenny Stills (Oklahoma/WR); and
- A mock draft with ESPN experts Todd McShay and Mel Kiper Jr. and a 1-32 ranking of NFL franchises by their drafting success (or failure) since the draft went to seven rounds in 1994.
ESPN The Magazine will host its 10th annual Pre-Draft Party on Wednesday, April 24, at The IAC Building in New York City. The event will feature DJ Ms. Nix. This private, invite-only event will host invited members of the 2013 Draft Class and other athlete and celebrity guests.
NFL Draft Programming Schedule:
Date Time (ET) Show Network Thu, April 25 3-4 p.m. SportsCenter Special: On the Clock ESPN 4-5 p.m. NFL Live ESPN 5-7:30 p.m. SportsCenter Special: On the Clock ESPN 7:30-8 p.m. SportsCenter Special: Draft Countdown ESPN 8-11:30 p.m. NFL Draft (Round 1) ESPN Fri, April 26 3-4 p.m. SportsCenter Special: On the Clock ESPN 4-5 p.m. NFL Live ESPN 5-5:30 p.m. SportsCenter Special: On the Clock 5:30-6:30 p.m. SportsCenter Special: Draft Countdown ESPN 6:30-10:30 p.m.* NFL Draft (Rounds 2-3) ESPN, ESPN2 Sat, April 27 10-11:30 a.m. SportsCenter Special: On the Clock ESPN 11:30 a.m.-12 p.m. SportsCenter Special: Draft Countdown ESPN 12-8 p.m.** NFL Draft (Rounds 4-7) ESPN, ESPN2 Sun, April 28 1-3 p.m. SportsCenter Special: NFL Draft Grades ESPN
*At 8 p.m. ET, NFL Draft coverage will switch from ESPN to ESPN2.
** At 7 p.m. ET, NFL Draft coverage will switch from ESPN to ESPN2.
That will do it.
Now that a bad chapter for Boston and America is over, it’s time to look at some of the media coverage. I’ll do it all in bullet form and try to do it all in one sitting.
- First, the good from the week. Local channels in Boston really got the job done. WBZ, WCVB, WHDH and WFXT all provided bang-up coverage and didn’t fall into the trap of pack journalism. They had reporters throughout the area and kept digging for information. Reporters like Kathy Curran and Jack Harper of WCVB, Adam Williams of WHDH, Jim Armstrong, Christina Hager and Joe Shortsleeve of WBZ all provided solid information and showed their experience of being in the local market. WBZ anchor Jack Williams wasn’t afraid to offer an opinion during the coverage calling those responsible for the bombings on Monday, “S.O.B’s” and said as he signed off after a long shift, “Boston will go on. And we’ll get ‘em.” In addition, the stations provided their coverage online to computers, mobiles and tablets, expanding their audience beyond the Boston market. The stations acquitted themselves very well.
- The Boston Globe opened their site from behind the dreaded paywall to all readers and brought forth excellent reporting and writing throughout the week. They did have one hiccup in reporting on Wednesday that a suspect had been arrested, but after that, it recovered and continued to provide tremendous coverage. For an institution that has been maligned over recent management decisions and almost closing a couple of years ago, the Globe stepped up to show that it can report with the best of them. Here’s hoping that the Globe learned a lesson in this new day and age and will adjust with the times. It will bring back the paywall next week, but it probably picked up a lot of new readers as a result.
- Also WBZ Radio, the only newsradio station in town did very well in its reporting. Having listened extensively during the week, the station should win awards for its coverage.
- On Marathon Monday, ESPN’s Bob Ley and Jeremy Schaap anchored the bombing coverage on SportsCenter. Tapping the resources of ABC News and dispatching Steve Levy to Boston, ESPN gave viewers some tremendous coverage. Whenever there’s news that affects the sports world, Bob Ley is the person you want to offer some perspective.
- For network television, CBS and NBC both had extensive coverage. Anchors Scott Pelley and Brian Williams led their networks to understated and restrained coverage throughout. Impressed with both men, Pelley and Williams did not go off-kilter as some network anchors have done in the past. They made appearances in Boston and asked the right questions of their correspondents. In addition, NBC’s Kerry Sanders gave some solid observations while he was in Watertown in the hours after a shootout early Friday morning to the arrest of the suspect later that evening.
- Now to the bad. The cable news stations seemed to be on a one day delay in their reporting. CNN led the charge in reporting a suspect had been arrested on Wednesday. Fox did as well. But it was Megyn Kelly of Fox who began to question whether that was correct and eased Fox News out of that quandary while CNN continued to stay on course. And when a former FBI director shot down John King’s report on CNN, the network then went to debate whether their sources hung them out to dry. It was some of the worst television since ESPN2 allowed Skip Bayless and Stephen A. Smith to debate full-time. Jon Stewart of Comedy Central’s The Daily Show who has been doing numerous takedowns of CNN over the last 12 months, did another one on Wednesday night calling the network, “The Human Centipede of News. “
- MSNBC seemed to be stuck in political debate and the implications of which side would benefit from an arrest. The network should just give up on reporting news and just stay with political debate.
- While social media has some bad sides, it seemed to be quicker on information than the cable networks. Some of it was wrong, but it was quickly corrected. Whether people were listening to the Boston Police Scanner or local reporters using it to offer information or Boston’s Mayor Tom Menino using it to declare the suspect was caught, Twitter was the medium of record. It’s true. The Boston Police Department’s Twitter feed offered up to date information on the Watertown situation to the one tweet declaring an arrest. Who knew a computer scroll would be “must see?”
Overall, the entire week was a lesson in journalism. And who would have thought that cable news, once the bastion of reporting would become the media dinosaur?
ESPN has announced that it will pick today’s Pregame ceremonies at Fenway Park in Boston. The ceremonies will begin at 12:30 p.m. ET. After the ceremonies are concluded, ESPN will continue its planned programming of the X Games from Brazil.
We have the ESPN Monday Night Football schedule for the 2013 season.
It begins on Monday, September 9 with its annual doubleheader, Philadelphia at Washington and Houston at San Diego.
Highlights of ESPN’s 17 game schedule include Pittsburgh at Cincinnati in Week 2, Indianapolis at San Diego in Week 6, Minnesota at the New York Football Giants in Week 7, Chicago at Green Bay in the NFL’s oldest rivalry in Week 9, San Francisco at Washington in Week 12 and Atlanta at San Francisco in ESPN’s final game of the season in Week 16.
Take a look at the ESPN MNF schedule.
Thursday, August 8, 8 p.m. — Cincinnati Bengals vs. Atlanta Falcons
Thursday, August 15, 8 p.m. — San Diego Chargers vs. Chicago Bears
Monday, August 19, 8 p.m. — Pittsburgh Steelers vs. Washington Redskins
Thursday, August 22, 8 p.m. — Carolina Panthers vs. Baltimore Ravens
Monday, September 9, 7 p.m. — Philadelphia Eagles vs. Washington Redskins
Monday, September 9, 10:15 p.m. — Houston Texans vs. San Diego Chargers
Monday, September 16, 8:30 p.m. — Pittsburgh Steelers vs. Cincinnati Bengals
Monday, September 23, 8:30 p.m.– Oakland Raiders vs. Denver Broncos
Monday, September 30, 8:30 p.m. — Miami Dolphins vs. New Orleans Saints
Monday, October 7, 8:30 p.m. — New York Jets vs. Atlanta Falcons
Monday, October 14, 8:30 p.m. — Indianapolis Colts vs. San Diego Chargers
Monday, October 21, 8:30 p.m. — Minnesota Vikings vs. New York Giants
Monday, October 28, 8:30 p.m. — Seattle Seahawks vs. St. Louis Rams
Monday, November 4, 8:30 p.m. — Chicago Bears vs. Green Bay Packers
Monday, November 11, 8:30 p.m. — Miami Dolphins vs. Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Monday, November 18, 8:30 p.m. — New England Patriots vs. Carolina Panthers
Monday, November 25, 8:30 p.m. — San Francisco 49ers vs. Washington Redskins
Monday, December 2, 8:30 p.m. — New Orleans Saints vs. Seattle Seahawks
Monday, December 9, 8:30 p.m. — Dallas Cowboys vs. Chicago Bears
Monday, December 16, 8:30 p.m. — Baltimore Ravens vs. Detroit Lions
Monday, December 23, 8:30 p.m. — Atlanta Falcons vs. San Francisco 49ers
And ESPN’s spin on its schedule comes after the break.
With the sad news of the passing of former NFL player and broadcaster Pat Summerall, I’ll provide you with a timeline of his broadcasting career. Summerall was one of the best NFL play-by-play announcers of all time. One of the few who did both play-by-play and analysis during his career, he also branched out to call both college and pro basketball, boxing, golf and tennis.
Summerall was also a host for NFL Films along with eventual partner Tom Brookshier. Together, they called three Super Bowls (X, XII, XIV). And he was teamed with John Madden with whom he called eight Super Bowls.
He began his career with CBS back in 1962 and remained with the Tiffany Network until 1994 when the network lost the rights to the NFL to Fox. Summerall then moved to Fox where he stayed through the 2002 season. He worked the Cotton Bowl for the network from 2007 until 2010.
Summerall also filled in on ESPN’s Sunday Night Football in 2004.
Here’s the timeline.
1962 — Summerall joins CBS Sports after retiring from the NFL. He’s teamed with Chris Schenkel on New York Giants games.
1965 — Summerall is moved to DC NFL Team games with Jim Gibbons.
1967 — Calls the first half of Super Bowl I with Ray Scott, then moves to the sidelines for the second half to make way for Jack Whitaker and Frank Gifford in the booth. (UPDATE: Classic Sports TV and Media says Summerall only worked the sidelines)
1968 — Begins calling The Masters and US Open Tennis on CBS. Also CBS abandons its practice of assigning announcing teams to one team. Summerall is shifted to the network’s number one team with Ray Scott. He and Scott call Super Bowl II.
1970 — Calls Super Bowl IV with Jack Buck and Frank Gifford.
1972 — Calls Super Bowl VI with Ray Scott.
1974 — Calls his last Super Bowl (VIII) as analyst with Ray Scott. Becomes the lead play-by-play man for the first season of the NBA on CBS through the finals between Boston and Milwaukee. CBS reassigns him to play-by-play on the NFL and teams him with Tom Brookshier, his partner on the NFL Films show, “This Week in Pro Football.”
1975 — Hosts the Pan American Games in Mexico.
1976 — Calls Super Bowl X with Brookshier.
1978 — Calls Super Bowl XII in New Orleans.
1980 — Calls Super Bowl XIV, his last with Brookshier.
1981 — Splits the first 8 weeks of the season between Hank Stram and John Madden. After Week 8, CBS decides to team Summerall and Madden permanently.
1982 — Summerall calls Super Bowl XVI with Madden.
1983 — Replaces Vin Scully on the 18th hole at The Masters and teams with Ken Venturi on the PGA on CBS for the rest of his time on the network.
1984 — Summerall and Madden team for Super Bowl XVIII.
1985 — Calls the NCAA Tournament with Larry Conley.
1987 — Summerall and Madden team for their third Super Bowl (XXI).
1990 — Summerall and Madden call Super Bowl XXIV.
1992 — Summerall and Madden call Super Bowl XXVI. Is admitted to the Betty Ford Clinic for treatment of alcoholism.
1994 — Summerall and Madden call their last NFL game for CBS, the NFC Championship between San Francisco and Dallas at Texas Stadium. Summerall calls his final Masters on CBS and is replaced on the 18th hole by Jim Nantz. Summerall and Madden join Fox Sports.
1997 — Summerall and Madden call their first Big Game in five years, Super Bowl XXXI on Fox.
1999 — Summerall and Madden pair for Super Bowl XXXIII.
2002 — Summerall and Madden call Super Bowl XXXVI, their final Big Game together. Madden leaves Fox to join Al Michaels on Monday Night Football. Summerall retires, then decides to return to Fox calling primarily Dallas Cowboys calls with Brian Baldinger. After the 2002 season, Summerall leaves Fox after the network would not guarantee he could work mostly Dallas games.
2004 — Substitutes for Mike Patrick on ESPN’s Sunday Night Football and partners with Joe Theismann and Paul Maguire on preseason and early season games until Patrick returns.
2007 — Returns to Fox to call the Cotton Bowl.
2010 — Calls his last Cotton Bowl for Fox.
2011 — Makes his final appearance on Fox on the Cotton Bowl pregame show.
A press conference to unveil the new SEC Network to the South and the nation has been postponed for now. ESPN and the Southeastern Conference have jointly decided to postpone the event in the wake of the Boston Marathon bombings today. The statement is as follows.
Joint statement from Southeastern Conference Commissioner Mike Slive and ESPN President John Skipper:
“In light of the tragedy in Boston today, we have decided to postpone Tuesday’s SEC/ESPN press conference in Atlanta. Our thoughts and prayers go out to all of those affected by these horrible events.”
When the press conference is rescheduled, I’ll certainly let you know.