Men’s Schedule Courtesy of Matt’s College Sports
Saturday, December 15
Brooklyn Hoops Winter Festival, Brooklyn, NY
Fordham vs. Princeton — YES, 2:30 p.m.
St. John’s vs. St. Francis — YES, 5 p.m.
Michigan vs. West Virginia — ESPN, 8 p.m.
Crossroads Classic, Indianapolis, IN
Butler vs. Indiana — CBS, 2 p.m.
Notre Dame vs. Purdue — ESPN2, 4:30 p.m.
Western Carolina at Georgetown — Big East Network
North Carolina-Asheville at Ohio State — Big Ten Network
East Carolina at North Carolina — ESPNU
Akron at Detroit — Fox Sports Detroit/Fox College Sports Atlantic
Lipscomb at Kentucky — Fox Sports Net-regional (Arizona/Midwest/North/San Diego/South/Southwest/Prime Ticket/Wisconsin)
Savannah State at Marquette — Big East Network
Cincinnati vs. Marshall at Charleston, WV — CBS Sports Network
SMU at URI — Cox Sports RI
Oklahoma vs. Texas A&M at Oklahoma City, OK — ESPNU
Big Four Classic, Des Moines, IA: Iowa vs. Northern Iowa — Big Ten Network
Louisville at Memphis — Fox Sports Net-national/Fox College Sports Pacific
Dartmouth at Arizona State — Pac-12 Network
Alabama at VCU — CBS Sports Network
Nebraska at Oregon — Fox Sports Net-national/Fox College Sports Pacific
Iona at Georgia — CSS/Comcast SportsNet (Chicago/New England/Northwest)/SNY
Cal-Davis at Stanford — Pac-12 Network
New Mexico State at New Mexico — CBS Sports Network
Canisius at Syracuse — Big East Network
Belmont at Kansas — ESPNU
Cal-Riverside at USC — Pac-12 Network (Arizona/Bay Area/Los Angeles)
Jackson State at Washington — Pac-12 Network (Mountain/Oregon/Washington)
Texas State at Texas — Longhorn Network
BYU at Weber State — BYU TV
Kansas State vs. Gonzaga at Seattle, WA — ESPN2
Tuskegee at Michigan State — ESPNU
Utah State at Utah Valley — Fox College Sports Pacific
Prairie View A&M at UCLA — Pac-12 Network
Florida at Arizona — ESPN
Creighton at Cal — Pac-12 Network
Sunday, December 16
North Carolina A&T at Seton Hall — Big East Network
New Hampshire at Boston College — Fox Sports Net-regional (Arizona Plus/North Plus/San Diego/South/Southwest Plus/Prime Ticket)/Comcast SportsNet Mid-Atlantic Plus/NESN
Women’s: Lipscomb at Georgia — CSS/Comcast SportsNet (California/New England)
Women’s: Tennessee at Texas — Fox Sports Net-national
Women’s: Vanderbilt at Oklahoma — Fox Sports Oklahoma Plus/Fox Sports South Plus
Delaware at Villanova — ESPNU
Central Arkansas at Oklahoma — Fox Sports Arizona/Fox Sports Southwest/Fox College Sports Pacific
Eastern Kentucky at Illinois — ESPNU
McNeese State at Texas Tech — Fox Sports Arizona/Fox Sports Southwest/Fox College Sports Central
Chicago State at Oregon State — Pac-12 Network
It was announced back in February. This weekend, it becomes reality. ESPN360.com whose name really didn’t make any sense becomes the more sensible ESPN3.com on Sunday. The mission statement will remain the same, plenty of live streaming events and archived material on the site, but it also becomes more interactive with integration with Twitter and Facebook plus some new features which allow for true HD and Adobe Flash technology. Here’s the press release.
ESPN360.com Officially Becomes ESPN3.com on Sunday, April 4ESPN360.com, ESPN’s 24/7 broadband sports network, will officially become ESPN3.com on Sunday, April 4. At launch, visitors to the network will notice an enhanced viewing experience with optimal video quality via Adobe’s Flash Player 10. Visitors to ESPN3.com will also be able to interact with live event programming on the network through a variety of new features and functionality, including:· New Viewing Modes – Multiple options to watch live events, including picture-in-picture and split screens;· New Scoreboard Module – Up-to-the-minute scores from hundreds of sports leagues from around the world;· Stats – In-depth event stats that allow fans to track the event they’re watching;· Chat – Interact with other fans watching the game;· Enhanced Schedule – Users will be able to find a specific event via improved navigation;· Social Networking Tools –Update your Facebook and Twitter status.Later this month, ESPN3.com will debut a download for additional enhancements, including:· More HD-quality streaming with the NBA Playoffs followed by the 2010 FIFA World Cup and 2010 US Open tennis;· DVR functionality where fans will be able to pause, rewind and fast forward through live programming;· A Key Plays feature where users will be able to jump to key scoring plays and pivotal moments at any time during the game.On Sunday, ESPN3.com will feature a line up of events from around the globe, including soccer matches from Dutch Eredivisie and Spain’s La Liga leagues, college baseball, the NCAA Women’s Final Four games and the return of baseball season featuring the Opening Day match up between the 2009 World Series Champions New York Yankees against their biggest rival, the Boston Red Sox, at Fenway Park (subject to local blackout).As part of the name change, ESPN3.com this week launched its marketing campaign that focuses on the significance of the number three in sports — whether it be a memorable three-point shot, a triple play or the number of stumps in a cricket wicket. Two versions of the song “Three is a Magic Number” — including the original “Schoolhouse Rock” version — provide the soundtrack for the television commercials, which will air throughout the month of April across all of the ESPN networks and ESPN’s YouTube channel. The ’3′ campaign also includes print, digital and radio executions.The network is available at no cost to fans who receive their high-speed Internet connection from an affiliated service provider and is currently in 50 million households – a majority of US broadband homes. It is accessible via dozens of Internet Service Providers nationwide, including AT&T, Verizon, Cox Communications, Comcast, RCN, Insight, Frontier, Cavalier, Charter, Mediacom, Conway, Grande Communications and more.
Friday megalinks coming up.
ESPNU and ESPN360 will have coverage of the NCAA Men’s Hockey Tournament starting on Friday. Plenty of games for college hockey fans and it will lead to the Frozen Four in April. It all begins with the regional semifinals and we check out the schedule for this weekend.
|Fri, Mar 26||3 p.m.||East Regional Semifinal #1 (Albany): Denver vs. Rochester Institute of Technology||ESPNU HD|
|5:30 p.m.||West Regional Semifinal #1 (Saint Paul): St. Cloud State vs. Northern Michigan||ESPN360.com – Live / ESPNU HD – Tape delay, 11:30 p.m.|
|6:30 p.m.||East Regional Semifinal #2: No. 2 Cornell vs. No. 3 New Hampshire||ESPNU HD|
|9 p.m.||West Regional Semifinal #2: Vermont vs. Wisconsin||ESPNU HD|
|Sat, Mar 27||1:30 p.m.||Northeast Regional Semifinal #1 (Worcester): Alaska vs. Boston College||ESPN360.com – Live / ESPNU – Tape delay, Sun., 9:30 a.m.|
|4 p.m.||Midwest Regional Semifinal #1 (Fort Wayne): Miami vs. Ala.-Huntsville||ESPNU HD|
|5 p.m.||Northeast Regional Semifinal #2: North Dakota vs. Yale||ESPN360.com – Live / ESPNU – Tape delay, Sun., noon|
|6:30 p.m.||East Final||ESPNU HD|
|7:30 p.m.||Midwest Regional Semifinal #2: Michigan at Bemidji State||ESPN360.com – Live / ESPNU – Tape delay, 11:30 p.m.|
|9 p.m.||West Final||ESPNU HD|
|Sun, Mar 28||5:30 p.m.||Northeast Final||ESPNU|
|8 p.m.||Midwest Final||ESPNU|
I have more on ESPN’s coverage coming up after the jump.
Commentators include play-by-play announcer John Buccigross and analyst Barry Melrose (NHL) at the East Regional in Albany, N.Y.; Matvick and Jim Paradise (Colorado College) at the West Regional in Saint Paul, Minn.; Dan Parkhurst and Damian DiGiulian (Hamilton College) at the Northeast Regional in Worcester, Mass.; and Ben Holden and Ritchlin (Michigan) at the Midwest Regional in Fort Wayne, Ind., while the ESPNU studio will be anchored by Lowell Galindo and Bob Norton (Rutgers).
And this is what ESPN is talking about regarding its coverage in general.
NCAA Div. I Men’s Ice Hockey Championship, Frozen Four to Receive Extensive Live Coverage on ESPNU, ESPN2, ESPN and ESPN360.com
ESPNU, ESPN, ESPN2 and ESPN360.com will combine to present all 15 games live from the 2010 NCAA Division I Men’s Ice Hockey Championship, Friday, March 26-Saturday, April 10. ESPNU will telecast eight regional games exclusively, while ESPN360.com, ESPN’s broadband sports network, will supplement the coverage by offering seven games live, including the Frozen Four. Select regional games on ESPN360.com may also be available via local syndication.
The Frozen Four, live from Ford Field in Detroit, will be presented in high definition on ESPN HD and ESPN2 HD, as well as ESPN360.com.
ESPN HD, ESPN2 HD and ESPN360.com will showcase the Frozen Four live from Detroit, with the first national semifinal Thursday, April 8, at 5 p.m. on ESPN2 HD and ESPN360.com and the second national semifinal at 8:30 p.m. on ESPN2 HD, ESPN360.com and ESPN Mobile. The national championship will air Saturday, April 10, at 7 p.m. on ESPN HD, ESPN360.com and ESPN Mobile.
Frozen Four telecasts will feature Gary Thorne (play-by-play), Barry Melrose (analyst), Clay Matvick (ice-level reporter) calling all the action from Detroit. At regional semifinals and finals, commentators include play-by-play announcer John Buccigross and analyst Barry Melrose (NHL) at the East Regional in Albany, N.Y.; Matvick and Jim Paradise (Colorado College) at the West Regional in Saint Paul, Minn.; Dan Parkhurst and Damian DiGiulian (Hamilton College) at the Northeast Regional in Worcester, Mass.; and Ben Holden and Ritchlin (Michigan) at the Midwest Regional in Fort Wayne, Ind. Also during coverage of the regional rounds, the ESPNU studio will be anchored by Lowell Galindo and Bob Norton (Rutgers).
Frozen Four, Ford Field, Detroit
Date Time (ET) Event Network Thu, Apr 8 5 p.m. National Semifinal #1 ESPN2 HD / ESPN360.com 8:30 p.m. National Semifinal #2 ESPN2 HD / ESPN360.com / ESPN Mobile Fri, Apr 9 7 p.m. Hobey Baker Award ESPNU HD Sat, Apr 10 7 p.m. National Championship ESPN HD / ESPN360.com / ESPN Mobile
And that does it for us tonight.
We have two announcements for you on this Monday. One involving the nation’s most popular sports league and the other from the nation’s largest sports network. Both announcements involve online content.
The NFL says it will put exclusive content on Hulu.com which is co-owned by Fox and NBC.
HULU TO OFFER NFL CONTENTEmmy Award Winning NFL Films Produced Shows Now Available On HuluThe NFL and Hulu have partnered to offer football fans a new way to find and enjoy NFL action this offseason with access to award winning shows containing historical game footage online at www.hulu.com/nfl. Hulu is an online video service that offers hit TV shows, movies and clips at Hulu.com and other online destination sites.The NFL Network section on Hulu launches with nine different NFL programs featuring videos from all 32 teams.The partnership allows fans to access more than 600 videos and more than 400 hours of NFL content online, much of which previously only existed on film.“We’re really excited to partner with the NFL to bring their popular shows, classic games and highlights from the NFL Films vault online for the first time,” said ANDY FORSSELL, SVP of Content Acquisition and Distribution at Hulu. “The NFL Team has done such amazing work over the years in beautifully portraying the drama and excitement that occurs every Sunday in the NFL, and we are proud to be able to help more people find and enjoy this great content. As our relationship continues to grow, we look forward to adding more great NFL Films videos to the Hulu service.”“We’re excited to make all of this great historical content from NFL Films and NFL Network available on Hulu,” said HANS SCHROEDER, vice president of media strategy and development for the NFL. “This is a continuation of our efforts to give NFL fans access to more content in more places throughout the year.”The nine programs that currently are on Hulu are:
- AMERICA’S GAME: THE SUPER BOWL CHAMPIONS: The Emmy award winning America’s Game series tells the stories behind the story of Super Bowl champions. Each episode is a 60-minute documentary featuring key members of the winning team telling behind-the-scenes accounts from their championship season. With classic NFL Films action combined with news clips and photos, highlights from team radio broadcasts, footage from inside team meeting rooms, sideline audio and other exclusive features, America’s Game provides an epic and intimate portrait of 42 distinct championship teams, in one groundbreaking series.
- GAME OF THE WEEK: Current and classic NFL games are featured in Game of the Week, a 60-minute condensed version of a full game. The series takes fans inside an NFL game highlighting outstanding performances and crucial plays. NFL Network Game of the Week will review the game quarter-by-quarter, showing fans how 4th-quarter plays are set up by what happened earlier in the game. Game of the Week uses NFL Films signature slow-motion cinematography and sideline sound to give fans a unique and in-depth perspective of how the game was won.
- GREATEST GAMES: NFL Films Greatest Games series explores in-depth the most memorable games in NFL history. Relive all the drama of classic NFL match ups on these 90-minute shows as NFL Films reconstructs the games using archival footage and original radio calls.
- HARD KNOCKS: Hard Knocks presents viewers with an inside look at NFL training camps. From the top coaches to the rookies trying to make the team, Hard Knocks will showcase what it takes to be in the NFL. Currently, fans can watch the seasons featuring the 2001 Baltimore Ravens; 2002 Dallas Cowboys; 2003 Jacksonville Jaguars; 2007 Kansas City Chiefs; and the 2008 Dallas Cowboys.
- LIVE WIRE: Live Wire showcases the best sounds from the weekend’s NFL game action. The Live Wire series delivers exclusive sound captured from microphones worn by players and coaches during the game.
- SEASON IN REVIEW: The story of each NFL season from 1993 – 2005 as told by NFL Films.
- SOUNDS OF THE GAME: This highlight show recaps the best press conference moments of the past week, along with game footage and sound to illustrate coaches’ and players’ comments.
- SUPER BOWL HIGHLIGHTS: NFL Films tells the story of the biggest sporting event of the year – the Super Bowl. A special re-telling of the story of the first 43 Super Bowls with the inside look that only NFL Films can provide. Slow motion cinematic shots, sideline sounds, and players and coaches wired-for-sound bring the excitement of the NFL’s premier game to life.
- TEAM HIGHLIGHTS: Every year, each football team has the chance to climb the NFL mountain. NFL Films looks back at the story of each team’s season – the biggest wins, hardest losses, and the players that perform every Sunday.
And ESPN is going to tap MLB Advanced Media to run its rebranded ESPN3 broadband service.
ESPN360.com Taps MLB Advanced Media for ESPN3.comNetwork Name Change in April to coincide with new technology infrastructure and operations support powered by MLBAM
ESPN360.com, ESPN’s 24/7 broadband sports network, today announced that it will collaborate with MLB Advanced Media (MLBAM) for its technology infrastructure and operations support when the network’s name changes to ESPN3.com on April 4th.
The move will enhance the viewing experience for sports fans and provide optimal video quality. As part of the deal, the network will use Adobe’s Flash Media Server (FMS) as its core technology. New features and enhancements include customizable widgets with scores, chats, schedules and more. ESPN3.com will also offer more HD streaming of live events and additional viewing options via picture-in-picture and split screens.
“ESPN360.com carries a wide variety of more than 3,500 live sporting events online, and continually improving that experience is our top priority,” said John Kosner, senior vice president and general manager, ESPN Digital Media. “This new agreement with MLBAM, which deepens our seven-year relationship, brings two leaders in sports video streaming together on the same platform. We will continue to deliver a high quality network to fans as it transitions to ESPN3.com in April.”
“Our long-term collaboration with ESPN has been defined by a common thread to serve fans first and supporting the new ESPN3.com with our live streaming technology underscores our continued commitment to this goal,” said Bob Bowman, president and chief executive officer, MLBAM.
Programming on ESPN3.com will remain the same, with access to replay, HD-quality streaming and milestone markers for select events, geo-targeted ads and more. The network is available at no cost to fans who receive their high-speed Internet connection from an affiliated service provider. It is currently in 50 million households — a majority of U.S. broadband homes — and accessible via dozens of Internet Service Providers nationwide, including AT&T, Verizon, Cox Communications, Comcast, RCN, Insight, Frontier, Cavalier, Charter, Mediacom, Conway, Grande Communications and more.
So you have two announcements from the two of the largest sports entities in the US.
Well, I purposely didn’t do links on Thursday and on Friday, an unexpected joy fell into my lap as my Twitter Trophy Wife, Amanda Rykoff, a.k.a The OCD Chick, came up from New York for a conference, so we hung out Friday night. And while there, I caught up with baseball superwriter, Jonah Kieri and a regular contributor to the Indiana University National Sports Journalism Center, Jason Fry.
All were attending the MIT Sloan Sports Analytics Conference today at the Boston Convention Center. If you want to follow what’s going from the conference on Twitter, just search for the hastag, “ssac” and you can read the Tweets. Some heavy hitters are speaking. I didn’t know about this, but hopefully, I can attend next year.
Anyway, I’ll give you some of the linkage from today. First, Friend of Fang’s Bites Victor Rojas explains why he’s leaving MLB Network after one year to take the Anaheim Angels play-by-play position.
Ed Baig of USA Today looks at some improvements in this year’s CBS March Madness on Demand iPhone app.
Martin Peers of the Wall Street Journal looks into the Cablevision/ABC dispute and notes that sports is behind the whole fray.
Dave Kindred, writing for the Indiana University National Sports Journalism Center, says giving your story the proper hook is a great way to lure readers.
The Hollywood Reporter picks up an Associated Press story which talks about a dispute in Hong Kong that could leave viewers in the dark for the World Cup.
Mike Reynolds from Multichannel News writes that the ESPN360 broadband service will show Winter X Games Europe in the US.
Mike says MSG Network will air a 10 part series on the best baseball players in New York.
Mike Shields of Mediaweek tells us that Yahoo! drew more visitors to its site over the Olympics than ESPN and NBC, but NBCOlympics can claim a victory of sorts.
CNBC’s Darren Rovell looks at CTV’s I Believe Olympic theme song making some money for the network. I watched a lot of CTV’s coverage and I along with millions of Canadians heard it constantly throughout the games.
Richard Sandomir of the New York Times looks at the New Jersey Nets using Newark as a stopover until its Brooklyn home is ready in two years.
Pete Dougherty of the Albany Times Union says it’s time for DirecTV and Versus to settle their differences.
Alan Pergament of the Buffalo News says don’t expect a post-Olympics ratings bump for the NHL.
Jim Williams from the Washington Examiner writes that DirecTV and Fox are seeking to find the fans’ thoughts on best NASCAR driver.
Jim writes that this is a big day for lacrosse fans.
Jim also has a couple of clips previewing tonight’s HBO Magic & Bird documentary.
Maryland alum Tim Lemke condemns the unruly behavior at the University of Maryland campus after the Terps’ win over Duke earlier this week.
The Orlando Sentinel’s Andrea Adelson wonders if 3D will actually change the way we watch sports television.
Andrea says watching an event in 3D is rather impressive.
Andrea also explains what you’ll need to watch sports in 3D.
And Andrea looks at some of the most important dates in the development of sports television.
The Dallas Morning News’ Barry Horn speaks with ESPN college basketball analyst Fran Fraschilla.
John Kiesewetter of the Cincinnati Enquirer says the Olympics actually hurt the local NBC affiliate in the local ratings and gave the CBS affiliate the win in February.
Diane Pucin of the Los Angeles Times says the local ESPN Radio affiliate is making a lineup change.
From The Press-Enterprise (CA), we learn that someone who is under criminal investigation on corruption made an appearance during John Daly’s Golf Channel reality show.
SportsbyBrooks learns that ESPN’s local New York site made a big hire.
The Big Lead notes that MSNBC’s Keith Olbermann lashed out at the Blowhard known as Bill Simmons.
The Sports Media Watch notes that ESPN was late again in reporting another on another Ben Roethlisberger sexual assault story.
SMW has some various ratings news and notes.
To the Major League Programs blog which looks at a new rights deal between the Miami Dolphins and a Southwest Florida radio station.
Those are your links for now. Coming up this afternoon, a review of the Magic & Bird documentary.
On this really snowy day in Southern Rhode Island, I’m at home, warm, toasty, trying to find a DirecTV channel that isn’t blocked by the snow. While parts up north hardly received any snow, we’re getting walloped here in southern Rhode Island. No fun.
I’ll do links while I can.
Eric Fisher of the Sports Business Journal reports that former Washington Times baseball reporter Mark Zuckerman got donations from readers so he could cover Nationals Spring Training.
USA Today’s Michael Hiestand writes that NBC has mostly familiar faces covering the Winter Olympics in Vancouver.
Glen Dickson of Broadcasting & Cable writes how ESPN is rebranding its ESPN360 web service.
Multichannel News looks at how Fox will take the UEFA Champions League final for itself instead of being aired on FX.
Anthony Crupi from Mediaweek says great college and pro football ratings helped ESPN to power parent Disney to a rise in revenues.
Boston.com (owned by the New York Times) reports that the Times is moving ahead with the sale of its 17.5% stake of the Boston Red Sox.
Why is this not a surprise? The New York Post says Tiger Woods “Mistress No. 1″ Rachel Uchitel has gotten a gig with Extra.
Ken Schott from the Schenectady Gazette says the AHL’s Albany River Rats will be heard on the FM dial starting tonight.
From the Washington Examiner, Jim Williams tells us to get ready for plenty of Danica Patrick on your TV this week.
Dennis Finley from the Virginian-Pilot apologizes to readers for messing up Monday’s sports edition which had the wrong Super Bowl score not once, but twice!
Sarah Talalay from the South Florida Sun-Sentinel wraps up the Super Bowl from the local perspective.
Mel Bracht in the Daily Oklahoman has NBA TV quotage from last night’s Oklahoma City-Portland game.
Ed Sherman of Crain’s Chicago Business has a quick sports business and sports media roundup.
Ed talks with veteran Chicago Tribune Olympics reporter Philip Hersh about his 30 years of covering the Games.
Bob Wolfley of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel has an Olympic viewing primer.
Baxter Holmes from the Los Angeles Times writes that the Pac 10 Conference is considering expansion and launching a new cable TV network.
Bruce Dowbiggin of the Toronto Globe and Mail says showing Olympic athletes in swimsuits proves that sex sells in sports.
At Puck The Media, Steve Lepore notes that Versus is doing an all-out push for the NHL after the Olympic break.
Richard Ginn at Real Clear Sports says Speed had great ratings for Danica Patrick’s closed wheel debut.
That’s going to do it for us now.
Yes, we all laughed when the movie “Dodgeball” had an “ESPN: The Ocho”. Well, maybe the movie wasn’t that far off. Today, we received this announcement that ESPN will rebrand its broadband service from ESPN360.com to ESPN3.com. And with the already existing ESPN and ESPN2 channels, we are just five channels away from seeing The Ocho. Anyway, here’s the press release.
ESPN360.com to Become ESPN3.com in April
Enhancements to User Interface will Accompany Rename
Bristol, CT – On April 4, ESPN360.com, ESPN’s 24/7 broadband sports network, will become ESPN3.com. At that time the network will also introduce new features and functionality that will enhance the viewing experience. Details of these enhancements will be released closer to the launch in the spring.
“The name ESPN3.com more closely aligns with the existing naming convention for our networks,” said Sean Bratches, executive vice president, sales and marketing. “We have approached this as a network for years, and as users have become more accustomed to engaging with content across various screens, it made sense to make adjustments that reflect both the product’s and the industry’s evolution.”
Added Damon Phillips, vice president, ESPN3.com, “The network will continue to offer the same great content that sports fans have come to expect, with more than 3,500 live events annually. We look forward to rolling out new enhancements to offer the best viewing experience possible in the months ahead.”
ESPN3.com will continue to give consumers control over their broadband sports viewing experience with the ability to pause and rewind live events. Fans will continue to be able to toggle between up to 20 events in a main viewing window, and with a single click, jump to another event. Video can be viewed in widescreen (16:9) and normal (4:3) views and can be expanded to full screen or reduced to a compact size. Recently completed events will continue to be archived and available for on-demand replay.
The site will feature the same live online sports coverage that users are accustomed to on ESPN360.com. Events include, but are not limited to:
- Basketball: NBA, Men’s and Women’s college basketball, Euroleague, FIBA, WNBA;
- Football: College Football (including the BCS Bowl games beginning next season)
- Soccer: FIFA World Cup events and global qualifiers, Football League (UK), Carling Cup (UK), La Liga (Spain), Italian Serie A, Portuguese Liga Sagres, MLS, US National team, international “friendlies” and more;
- Baseball: MLB, College World Series, Little League World Series;
- Tennis: Hundreds of hours of multi-court coverage of all four “grand slam” events as well as select other events;
- Golf: extensive coverage of the US Open, The Masters, The Open Championship and more;
- Lacrosse: Major League Lacrosse, NCAA College Lacrosse;
- Misc. Sports: X Games and Winter X Games, NCAA Hockey and Softball, Open-wheel Racing, Professional Racquetball, International Polo and more.
The network is available at no cost to fans who receive their high-speed Internet connection from an affiliated service provider and is currently in 50 million households – a majority of US broadband homes. It is accessible via dozens of Internet Service Providers nationwide, including AT&T, Verizon, Cox Communications, Comcast, RCN, Insight, Frontier, Cavalier, Charter, Mediacom, Conway, Grande Communications and more.
I do admit ESPN360, soon-to-be ESPN3 is useful in the office when I need to see an event.
Let’s give you links on this very cold morning on the East Coast. I’m cold as the boiler in my house is malfunctioning again, but hopefully, it’ll get warm later.
Brad Adgate of Advertising Age says the ratings for the NFL defy the problems currently surrounding network TV.
Also from Ad Age, Brian Steinberg writes that NBC Universal is expanding its viewer research for the Winter Olympics.
One more from Advertising Age, Jeremy Mullman says it appears that the Clydesdales will make an appearance in the Super Bowl after all.
CNBC’s Darren Rovell writes that a Super Bowl advertiser found some spots at a bargain price.
Richard Sandomir of the New York Times says a new Nike ad is bringing the NBA handgun issue to the forefront again.
Alan Pergament from the Buffalo News says Bills running back Marshawn Lynch will take part in ESPN’s Sport Science special next week.
From the Wilmington (DE) News Journal, we learn of the passing of former Philadelphia Eagles defensive back and CBS NFL analyst Tom Brookshier. Before Pat Summerall and John Madden became the “A” broadcasting team for CBS, Brookie and Summerall were the most popular broadcasting duo in the late 1970′s. Brookie was the comedian and Pat was the straightman. Both were very good friends and Brookie was there for Summerall when Pat was sent to rehab for alcohol abuse. Brookie was also a morning host on Philadelphia sports radio station, WIP.
In Press Box, Larry Harris discusses the passing of a Pro Football Hall of Fame sportswriter who covered the Baltimore Colts in their heyday.
Jim Williams in the Washington Examiner looks forward to seeing the Australian Open men’s final on ESPN2 early Sunday morning.
Writing in the Daily Caller, Jim says the Super Bowl hype machine is about to begin.
Tom Jones of the St. Petersburg Times talks with Jon Gruden about his first season on Monday Night Football.
Tim Lemke says ESPN360 is hoping for big growth this year.
In his Saturday column in the Dallas Morning News, Barry Horn talks with Michael Irvin about his local sports radio show.
Tom Hoffarth of the Los Angeles Daily News looks back at the week in blogging. And thanks to Tom for the two links to Fang’s Bites!
William Houston of Truth & Rumours wishes Hockey Day in Canada would tackle some serious hockey issues instead of being all syrupy.
The Sports Media Watch has some ratings news for us.
First, the NHL on NBC saw a ratings uptick last Sunday.
Figure skating drew solid ratings for NBC last weekend.
College basketball did well for CBS.
People tuned out the ESPN gimmick of Dick Vitale calling an NBA game.
And we have some ratings news and notes from the SMW.
Chris Byrne of the Eye on Sports Media looks at CBS’ rejection of a gay-themed Super Bowl ad.
Joe Favorito looks at how the New Jersey Nets try to get fans in the arena while undergoing a huge losing season.
We’ll end it for now. Back later.
Let’s give you some links right now.
Starting with the Sports Business Journal, we have a few links today.
John Ourand writes that sports TV industry insiders wonder if there will ever be a challenger to sports behemoth ESPN.
Jon Show reports that in 2010, the U.S. Open will return to a primetime finish as it did in 2008 when it garnered monster ratings.
Eric Fisher and John Ourand combine for a story on the in-market online streaming buys for New York Yankees games this past season.
The great Richard Deitsch of Sports Illustrated has his Media Power Rankings for October.
Moving now to USA Today, Michael Hiestand says this weekend, both ESPN and Fox took their pregame shows to military settings.
In the Sporting News, Dan Levy of On The DL reviews the Fox NFL Sunday pregame show from Afghanistan and asks when a blogger is not a blogger?
Jason Fry writing for the Indiana University National Sports Journalism Center wonders who should actually cover the World Series?
Phil Mushnick of the New York Post tries to compare the unfortunate comments by the late Jimmy the Greek to Jay-Z. Phil’s stretching here.
From the Albany Times-Union, Pete Dougherty has the NFL TV schedule for Week 10 including the season debut of Thursday Night Football.
Laura Nachman writes that Comcast SportsNet Philadelphia has apologized for a “F” bomb that leaked out at the end of the Delaware-Villanova game on Saturday.
Laura reports that Sunday night’s Cowboys-Eagles game received the second highest overnight ratings of the season for NBC.
Jim Williams of the Washington Examiner writes that viewers were touched by Fox NFL Sunday traveling to Afghanistan.
Tom Jones of the St. Petersburg Times reviews Fox’s broadcast of the Green Bay-Tampa Bay game from Sunday.
Barry Horn of the Dallas Morning News notes that the Cowboys alone on Sunday night outrated the combined ratings of three other NFL games and the NASCAR race.
David Barron of the Houston Chronicle shares some thoughts on the SEC and radio play-by-play homers.
Up to Cincinnati and John Kiesewetter of the Enquirer who writes that the Bengals gave the local CBS affiliate excellent ratings on Sunday.
Ed Sherman in Crain’s Chicago Business says two Sun-Times veterans are making their mark on local sports radio.
Bob Wolfley of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel writes that the so-called NFL TV experts felt Green Bay had a walk in the park against Tampa Bay yesterday.
Dusty Saunders of the Denver Post talks with Monday Night Football Director of Information and noted Elias Sports Bureau executive Steve Hirdt.
Tom Hoffarth in the Los Angeles Daily News provides the sports calendar for SoCal this week.
Bruce Dowbiggin of the Toronto Globe and Mail feels CBC’s Mike Milbury was being hard headed about head shots in the NHL.
Chris Zelkovich of the Toronto Star says Don Cherry was actually the most level headed in the weekend debate on head shots.
In Truth & Rumours, William Houston isn’t a fan of Don Cherry’s anti-European players rant.
The Sports Media Watch notes today being a big day in NBC Sports’ history.
Chris Byrne of the Eye on Sports Media has some advice for ESPN in promoting live events on ESPN360.
Joe Favorito says the Andre Agassi brand should not be hurt, but enhanced by his reinventing of himself after his drug use.
In Puck the Media, Steve Lepore has the official press release from the NHL Network on its plans to simulcast another NHL Radio talk show.
Steve feels tonight’s Hockey Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony should be on Versus and not on NHL Network.
Maury Brown writes in his SportsBash site that Liberty Media, owner of the Atlanta Braves, three FSN regional networks and DirecTV (among other holdings), might be looking to back out of an agreement to purchase a website that’s been linked to steroids.
And we end with The Five as presented by Kristine Leahy at WEEI.com.
Those are the links. See you later on.
It feels like last week since I last did linkage. And well, it’s true. The last time I did links for you was on Thursday. My apologies. Time to do some now.
From the Nation’s Newspaper, Michael Hiestand of USA Today says Michael Vick’s return to the football field hardly generated controversy.
In Sports Business Journal, Tripp Mickle writes that Pittsburgh Penguins will become the first sports franchise to get their own dedicated 24/7 HD radio station.
The SBJ talked with several business marketers on the changes they’ve had to make and will have to make to get returns on their sports sponsorships.
Richard Deitsch of Sports Illustrated says despite a TV blackout in Detroit, Lions fans listened to the team’s first win since the Bush Administration.
Tom Van Riper of Forbes.com calls the 2009 NFL season, the Year of the Blackout.
Anthony Crupi of Mediaweek says with the Yankees back in the MLB postseason, advertising dollars are coming in for Fox and TBS for their coverage of the playoffs.
Elsa Keslassy of Variety says San Antonio Spurs star Tony Parker is developing a French cartoon series using his likeness.
Todd Spangler of Multichannel News writes that Cox Communications is picking up ESPN360 as of Wednesday.
Amanda Bruno from the Batter-up with Bruno blog notes that Boston.com is losing a key employee to ESPN Boston.
Neil Keefe of NESN.com says the Boston Bruins will honor former TV and radio voice Fred Cusick posthumously next week.
Juliet Macur of the New York Times reports that President Obama will make an appearance at the International Olympic Committee vote for the 2016 Summer Olympics next month.
Newsday’s Neil Best says the baseball tradition of champagne locker room celebrations is now an anachronism.
Phil Mushnick of the New York Post is incredulous that the Rev. Al Sharpton is appearing on WWE Raw tonight. Lighten up, Phil.
The Albany Times Union’s Pete Dougherty looks forward to a matchup of 3-0 teams on Sunday.
And Pete has your college football TV schedule for this week.
Ken Schott from the Schenectady Gazette notes that the AHL’s Albany River Rats have a new radio home.
Tom Jones of the St. Petersburg Times reviews the weekend of sports on television.
David Zurawik of the Baltimore Sun feels the NFL Sunday pregame shows glossed over Michael Vick’s dogfighting past.
Barry Horn of the Dallas Morning News writes that Cowboys voice Brad Sham has a very busy day today.
Barry says there will be plenty of pregame programming before a local station’s simulcast of tonight’s ESPN production of the Panthers-Cowboys game.
Bob Wolfley from the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel has some highs and lows from yesterday’s Fox production of the Packers-Rams game.
Aaron Barnhart of the Kansas City Star gets on MLB Network for not providing live cut-ins on Sunday afternoon.
Dusty Saunders from the Denver Post writes that Colorado Rockies radio voice Jeff Kingery is leaving at the end of this season.
Tom Hoffarth of the Los Angeles Daily News has your planning guide for sports on TV this week.
Diane Pucin of the Los Angeles Times is a fan of NFL Network’s RedZone.
Bruce Dowbiggin of the Toronto Globe and Mail says much of Canada’s media gave Wayne Gretzky a pass for resigning from the Phoenix Coyotes last week.
Chris Zelkovich from the Toronto Star feels some sportscasters are too dependent on the yucks.
From the Biz of Football, Maury Brown says Verizon FiOS will offer a free preview of NFL Network’s RedZone on Sunday.
Comcast will also offer a free preview this Sunday as well.
Christopher Byrne of the Eye on Sports Media blog has a guest column from former NBC Sports and Raycom Sports analyst Dave Rowe.
Chris noticed that Brent Musburger was quoting Blue Oyster Cult songs during Saturday’s Iowa-Penn State game.
The Sports Media Watch has its usual weekend ratings predictions.
Steve Lepore from Puck The Media says the NHL has finally taken a stand in the DirecTV/Versus dispute.
Steve has your North American NHL TV schedule for October.
Steve notes that NHL Network won’t be carrying the full compliment of CBC’s Hockey Night in Canada games, but tells us it’s for the good.
That’s going to do it for today.
Thursday is a big day for college football fans. It’s the official start of the season with plenty of games and you know ESPN will be all over it. I have a bunch of college football press releases so let’s bunch them together in this post.
Check out ESPN is saying about Thursday’s start of the season. Announcing assignments are included.
ESPN will kick off the 2009 college football season with the second annual Kickoff Week (Thursday, Sept. 3 to Monday, Sept. 7), featuring extensive studio programming and 28 games over Labor Day weekend, including Labor Day, across ABC, ESPN, ESPN2, ESPNU, ESPN360.com, ESPNEWS, ESPN.com, ESPN Radio, ESPN Classic, ESPN Mobile TV, ESPN International, ESPN The Magazine and SportsCenter.
The first week of game coverage will feature 28 telecasts in five days across ABC, ESPN, ESPN2, ESPNU, ESPN360.com, ESPN Classic, ESPN Radio and ESPN Mobile TV. In addition to #5 Alabama vs. #7 Virginia Tech, highlights include:
- ESPN will televise the first college football game from Dallas’ new Cowboys Stadium pitting #20 BYU against #3 Oklahoma on Saturday, Sept. 5, at 7 p.m. BYU won the only meeting between the perennial powers 31-6 in the 1994 Copper Bowl.
- An ABC telecast Saturday, Sept. 5, at 3:30 p.m. will feature a #13 Georgia at #9 Oklahoma State. Georgia, 34-3 against non-conference opponents with head coach Mark Richt, will open against a top-10 ranked team for the first time since 1967. Oklahoma State has won 15 straight non-conference games at Boone Pickens Stadium.
- The fifth annual The MEAC/SWAC Challenge from Orlando will pit MEAC defending champion South Carolina State against 2008 SWAC title winner Grambling State for the first time since 1994 on Sunday, Sept. 6, at 2 p.m. on ESPN2.
- A special Monday night college football telecast (one week before ESPN’s Monday Night Football kickoff) will feature Miami at #18 Florida State on Sept. 7 at 8 p.m. on ESPN. It will mark the first time the intrastate ACC rivals have played on Labor Day since 2006, which was ESPN’s most-viewed college football game ever – regular and postseason – with 6,330,000 households (based on a 6.9 rating).
- Other ranked teams in action include:
- #6 Ohio State against Navy Saturday, Sept. 5, at noon on ESPN;
- #8 Mississippi at Memphis Sunday, Sept. 6, at 3:30 p.m. on ESPN;
- #11 LSU at Washington Saturday, Sept. 5, at 10:30 p.m. on ESPN;
- #12 California against Maryland Saturday, Sept. 5, at 10 p.m. on ESPN2;
- #15 Georgia Tech against Jacksonville State Saturday, Sept. 5, at 1 p.m. on ESPN360.com;
- #21 North Carolina against The Citadel Saturday, Sept. 5, at 6 p.m. on ESPN360.com.
Game / Commentators
Thu, Sep 3
South Carolina at N.C. State
Sean McDonough, Craig James, Jesse Palmer and Erin Andrews
ESPN/ESPN360.com/ESPN Mobile TV
North Texas at Ball State
Charlie Neal and Jay Walker
#16 Oregon at #14 Boise State
Mark Jones, Bob Davie and Heather Cox
ESPN/ESPN360.com/ESPN Mobile TV
Fri, Sep 4
Tulsa at Tulane
Joe Tessitore and Rod Gilmore
ESPN/ESPN360.com/ESPN Mobile TV
Sat, Sep 5
Navy at #6 Ohio State
Dave Pasch, Chris Spielman and Bob Griese
ESPN/ESPN360.com/ESPN Mobile TV
Minnesota at Syracuse
Pam Ward and Ray Bentley
Kentucky vs. Miami (Ohio) [From Cincinnati]
Clay Matvick and David Diaz-Infante
Jacksonville State at #15 Georgia Tech
Frank Giardina and Doug Chapman
Northeastern at Boston College
Dave Popkin and Jon Ritchie
#13 Georgia at #9 Oklahoma State *
Sean McDonough, Matt Millen and Holly Rowe
Western Michigan at Michigan *
Mike Patrick, Craig James and Quint Kessenich
Baylor at Wake Forest
Dave Lamont and JC Pearson
Reverse Mirror of ABC *
Jackson State at Mississippi State
Todd Harris and Charles Arbuckle
Missouri vs. Illinois
Ron Franklin and Ed Cunningham
ESPN/ESPN360.com/ESPN Mobile TV
Middle Tennessee at Clemson
Ryan Rose and Danny Kanell
William & Mary at Virginia
Jim Barbar and Sonny Randle
The Citadel at #21 North Carolina
Bob Picozzi and Paul Maguire
Cowboys Classic : #20 BYU vs. #3 Oklahoma (From Cowboys Stadium)
Brad Nessler, Todd Blackledge and Heather Cox
ESPN/ESPN360.com/ESPN Radio/ESPN Mobile TV
Louisiana Tech at Auburn
Eric Collins, Brock Huard and Beth Mowins
Connecticut at Ohio
Michael Reghi and Jerod Cherry
Kickoff Game: #5 Alabama vs. #7 Virginia Tech (from Atlanta)
Brent Musburger, Kirk Herbstreit and Lisa Salters
Maryland at #12 California
Terry Gannon and David Norrie
#11 LSU at Washington
Mark Jones and Bob Davie
ESPN/ESPN360.com/ESPN Mobile TV
Prairie View A&M at Texas Southern
Carter Blackburn and Eddie Robinson, Jr.
Sun, Sep 6
Grambling State vs. South Carolina St. (from Orlando, The MEAC•SWAC Challenge)
Charlie Neal and Jay Walker
#8 Mississippi at Memphis
Joe Tessitore and Rod Gilmore
ESPN/ESPN360.com/ESPN Mobile TV
Mon, Sep 7
Cincinnati at Rutgers
Bob Wischusen and Brian Griese
ESPN/ESPN360.com/ESPN Mobile TV
Miami at #18 Florida State
Brad Nessler, Todd Blackledge and Erin Andrews
ESPN/ESPN360.com/ESPN Mobile TV
* Reverse mirror in which ESPN or ESPN2 will regionalize two games on ABC to markets no receiving the telecast
^ Same-day delay
ESPN’s syndication arm, ESPN Regional Television, kicks off its SEC season with a new studio show on the SEC Network.
ESPN Regional Television Kicks off College Football Season with New SEC Network Studio Show
ESPN Regional Television, the new over-the-air syndication home for Southeastern Conference programming, will debut its weekly live show from the SEC Network Studio on Saturday, Sept. 5, at noon ET, before the Western Kentucky at Tennessee matchup, as part of the SEC Network regionally syndicated college sports package that will air in more than 75 television markets and 66 million households (58 percent of the U.S.) – a result of the landmark 15-year agreement between ESPN, Inc., and the SEC.
In the noon to 3:30 p.m. ET Saturday window, the SEC Network will be ESPN’s third-largest network, behind only ESPN and ESPN2. The live pregame show from the SEC Network Studio, with host Rob Stone and analyst Matt Stinchcomb, is produced by ESPN Regional Television at its headquarters in Charlotte, N.C., also the home of ESPNU.
“The studio show is something this package has not had in the past,” said Mike Moore, ESPN Regional Television senior coordinating producer. “We’ll have a completely separate production team working on content that is more about the SEC overall. The guys here will talk about what else is going on around the league, and once the game starts they’ll bring highlights and scores from other SEC games and national games, during the game and at halftime.”
Along with analysis of the SEC East and SEC West and a look at the three new coaches in the conference, Stone and Stinchcomb will discuss the following on the premiere from the SEC Network Studio:
* Can anyone knock off top-ranked Florida?
* Head coach Lane Kiffin’s impact at Tennessee
* Is Mississippi’s Jevan Snead the best QB in the SEC? The country?
* Who has the “craziest” fans in the SEC?
Also, ESPN analyst and former Heisman Trophy winner Andre Ware will join Stinchcomb for “Quick Hits,” a discussion of the hottest topics of the day.
The show will also feature student reporters, all seniors, from Kentucky (Nick Stacy), Vanderbilt (Jacquie Berger), Arkansas (John Gossett), Auburn (Kristen Keller) and Mississippi State (Lace Stewart).
The SEC Network features an SEC football Game of the Week regionally for 13 consecutive Saturdays. Telecasts will kick off at noon ET/11 a.m. CT with the live show from the SEC Network Studio, followed by the matchup, generally determined 12 to six days in advance.
SEC Network coverage will feature extensive football, men’s basketball and women’s basketball telecasts, produced by ESPN Regional Television.
Within the nine-state SEC footprint, the SEC Network will be delivered in markets by the local over-the-air carrier of SEC events. In markets outside the SEC footprint, the syndicated programming will air on either local, over-the-air television stations or regional sports cable networks.
About Rob Stone
Stone joined ESPN in 1997 as the host of ESPN2’s Worldwide Soccer, and has since covered a variety of events. He is a sideline reporter for select MLS and U.S. Soccer telecasts, and has covered the last three FIFA World Cups and hosted the last 11 MLS Cups. He has been a college football sideline reporter since 1999. Rob’s complete bio, here.
About Matt Stinchcomb
Stinchcomb started his television career in 2007 with Comcast Sports Southeast as an analyst and host. He has been a commentator and college football expert on SportsNite and is a color announcer for the Georgia Bulldogs. He also is a host and analyst for SEC College Football Today on Atlanta radio AM 680 The Fan. Matt’s complete bio, here.
NBC is hoping to go nowhere but up after last season’s horrible Notre Dame showing. With 8 home games this season, NBC is feeling a Notre Dame ratings resurgence.
NOTRE DAME OPENS ITS SEASON AGAINST NEVADA SATURDAY ON NBC
"Better, more talented, more confident" - NBC's Haden on Notre Dame
NEW YORK - Sept. 2, 2009 - Notre Dame opens its 2009 season hosting Nevada, the first-ever meeting between the two schools, Saturday, 3:30 p.m. ET on NBC Sports. Tom Hammond (play-by-play) and Pat Haden (analyst) and Alex Flanagan (sideline reporter) call the action.
"I anticipate this to be a much different Irish team than we have seen the past two years -- better, more talented, more confident," said Haden. "The Irish have not had the depth that they possess this year in any year I have covered them for NBC.
"While this is a veteran team with 18 starters returning, some freshmen will make their mark early. Linebacker Manti Te'o is the most talked about freshman, as he should be, but receiver Shaquelle Evans will have an immediate impact on offense. With Clausen at QB and two very talented returning receivers in Michael Floyd and Golden Tate, ND should find the end zone a lot through the air. But to be a BCS team they will have to run the ball much better than they have the past two seasons."
Nevada returns 15 starters from a team that went 7-6 last season and played in a bowl game for the fourth consecutive year.
NOTRE DAME FACTS & FIGURES: This game will mark the start of the 121st football season at the University of Notre Dame dating back to 1887 (the Irish did not field teams in 1890 or 1891). Notre Dame enters the 2009 season with an all-time record of 831-284-42 (.736 winning percentage) and return 18 starters from last year's squad. The Irish are 70-8-3 (.883) in season openers inside Notre Dame Stadium.
NOTRE DAME ON NBCSPORTS.COM: To complement NBC's broadcast coverage, NBCSports.com will offer a live post-game webcast, which will originate from Notre Dame Stadium and extend the NBC television broadcasts by providing an unprecedented depth of Notre Dame coverage including live coverage of Coach Charlie Weis' press conference.
NOTRE DAME ON NBC: In June of 2008, the University of Notre Dame and NBC Sports announced a new five-year agreement under which NBC will televise Irish home football games through 2015, which will mark the 25th year of the partnership. The extension provides NBC rights to eight Notre Dame home games from 2011-15, seven games at Notre Dame Stadium and an additional eighth off-site home game airing in primetime each year. The landmark relationship began in 1991.
NOTRE DAME ON NBC SCHEDULE (ALL GAMES BROADCAST IN HD):
Sept. 5 - Nevada, 3:30 p.m. ET
Sept. 19 - Michigan State, 3:30 p.m. ET
Oct. 3 - Washington, 3:30 p.m. ET
Oct. 17 - USC, 3:30 p.m. ET
Oct. 24 - Boston College, 3:30 p.m. ET
Oct. 31 - Washington State*, 7:30 p.m. ET
Nov. 7 - Navy, 2:30 p.m. ET
Nov. 21 - Connecticut, 2:30 p.m. ET
*From the Alamodome in San Antonio, Texas
And I save the best for last. The Big Ten Network premieres a new show this Friday with Fang’s Bites all-time fave, Charissa Thompson!!!!
‘Big Ten’s Best’ to Spotlight Conference’s Legends, Tradition
Series debuts Friday with ‘Dynamic Football Duo’s of 80’s and 90’s’
– As the oldest Division I athletic conference, the Big Ten Conference has long been known for its excellent players, coaches, teams, tradition and history. The Big Ten Network will honor the conference’s outstanding legacy with the new series, “The Big Ten’s Best.” CHICAGO
Hosted by Charissa Thompson, the series premieres at 8 PM ET on Friday, with “Best Dynamic Football Duos of the 80’s and 90’s.” New episodes will air at 8 PM ET each Friday.
“One of the things that makes the Big Ten special is its unique sense of history and tradition. ‘Big Ten’s Best’ will spotlight the players, coaches and teams that have made the conference what it is today,” said
Mark Hulsey, Big Ten Network Executive Producer and VP, Production. “These shows will undoubtedly spark some debates between fan bases, whose rivalries help characterize the conference.”
Each program will rank the conference’s top 10 performers or performances in a particular category and include interviews with players, coaches and media.
Upcoming shows this fall will include “Best Big Ten Running Backs of the 90’s,” “Best Big Ten Quarterbacks of the 80’s,” “Best Football Finishes of the 80’s,” “Best Football Finishes of the 90’s,” “Best Big Ten Basketball Players of the 80’s,” “Best Big Ten Basketball Players of the 90’s,” “Best Dynamic Duos in Big Ten Basketball,” “Best Basketball Finishes of the 80’s,” and “Best Basketball Finishes of the 90’s.”
And I’ll pass along this tidbit from MovieTickets.com listing the Top Five College Football movies of all-time among respondents. I vehemently disagree with the top choice.
With the kickoff to College Football set for this Thursday, MovieTickets.com asked moviegoers to pick the greatest college football movie of all-time. Of the almost 25,000 moviegoers polled, more than half backed “Rudy.” Feel free to use in any upcoming blog posts or stories.
MovieTickets.com Poll: What is the best college football movie of all-time?
1. Rudy (54%)
2. We Are Marshall (24%)
3. Other (13%)
4. The Program (6%)
5. Knute Rockne: All-American (3%)
Total votes at MovieTickets.com: 24,566
After spending most of yesterday and this morning at the home office, I’m now at my regular place of work and can give you some links. It always throws me off when I’m at the home office and have to behave.
A couple to tell you in the interim. I almost was a guest on Fox News yesterday as Shepard Smith was covering the whole Rick Pitino abortion mess that finally broke on Tuesday. FNC was looking for New England reaction. Unfortunately, just as I about to accept their invitation, Fox News booked another guest. Perhaps down the road, I’ll have another chance to go on. If I do, you’ll be the first to know.
I’m also trying to listen to the on-air stream for Boston’s new sports radio station, WBZ-FM, 98.5 The Sports Hub. As scheduled, the stream went on just before 1 p.m. today, but because so many people are trying to listen to the debut, the server crashed and I missed the first minutes of Michael Felger & Tony Massarotti’s debut. Around ten minutes in, the stream came back, but it cut in and out. I’m not a fan of Michael Felger, but perhaps this can be a good alternative to the 800 lb. sports radio gorilla, WEEI. We shall soon see.
Now, let’s give you some links.
Tripp Mickle of the Sports Business Daily talks about NBC extending its rights deal with USA Gymnastics.
CNBC’s Darren Rovell says LeBron James has not been worth the money Nike paid him.
Darren points out that the backboard at which Michael Jordan shot his last shot with the Chicago Bulls is now up for auction.
Darren looks at the creative way the New Jersey Nets are marketing opposing players.
Last thing from Darren. In this video, Darren looks at the sign of the economic times, a local NFL game blackout in San Diego due to slow ticket sales.
Newsday’s Neil Best talks about YES expanding its in-market streaming of live games to Verizon Fios. Yankees games were first streamed on Cablevision systems.
Neil says Mike Francesa and Chris Russo have completed one full year without the other.
Thomas Grillo of the Boston Herald looks at the beginning of WBZ-FM.
Johnny Diaz of the Boston Globe writes about today’s debut of 98.5 The Sports Hub.
Ben Collins of the Globe talks about one of the bigger stories in New England to happen last night, the return of Jerry Remy, albeit a short one, to Fenway Park and the NESN booth.
Sean McAdam of the Boston Herald says one of the battles for Remy this season has been with depression following his cancer surgery.
Ian Browne of MLB.com says Jerry still plans on returning to NESN this season, but is not sure exactly when.
The Sports Media Journal’s Keith Thibeault has another interview in his series of talks with NFL play-by-play men. The latest installment is with Buffalo Bills playcaller John Murphy.
Laura Nachman gives us the Eagles Television Network announcing crew.
A few articles from new Friend of Fang’s Bites, Jim Williams of the Washington Examiner.
He says the TNT and PGA.com will be all over the PGA Championship this week.
Jim says Ravens fans will be able to watch tonight’s game against the Redskins on MASN2 and WBAL.
And Jim writes that Redskins fans will also have two outlets to watch the game tonight.
Joey Johnston of the Tampa Tribune talks about former Buccaneers coach Jon Grudin making his ESPN debut tonight.
John Kiesewetter of the Cincinnati Enquirer enjoyed watching Hard Knocks.
Ed Sherman of Crain’s Chicago Business explores the consolidation of the Tribune Company’s sports departments in Chicago and Los Angeles.
Ed says Chicago Comcast subscribers now have access to ESPN360 online.
Tom Hoffarth of the Los Angeles Daily News writes that the USFL is actually attempting a comeback.
Chris Dufrense of the Los Angeles Times says the Pac 10 Conference is close to an agreement with the Alamo Bowl.
Chris Zelkovich of the Toronto Star tells Canadians that English Premier League games can still be seen on Setanta Sports Canada.
Christopher Byrne of the Eye on Sports Media talks with an associate commissioner at the SEC about its new media and ticket holder policy.
Christy Hammond of the Sports PR Blog says it appears the SEC will tweak the media policy after some backlash.
The Sports Media Watch notes that the T.O. Show saw another increase in viewing last week.
SMW says Tiger Woods helped the Bridgestone Invitational’s ratings on Sunday.
And the SMW has some idle news and notes.
Maury Brown of the Biz of Baseball says now that baseball won’t be in the Olympics in 2016, MLB is now focusing on the World Baseball Classic.
The lovely Kristine Leahy has The Five on WEEI.com.
Ok, you’ve missed the links long enough. I’m done for now.
Ok, after our two themed press release posts, let’s move on and finish what we started tonight. This is the last press release post for Monday and next, I’ll do some links before going to bed.
First, Comcast announces that ESPN360 becomes part of its system today.
COMCAST INCREASES MULTIPLATFORM SPORTS LINEUP TO 5,000+ LIVE SPORTING EVENTS
DELIVERS NFL, NBA, NHL, MLB, ESPNU NETWORKS AND ESPN360
TO MILLIONS OF CUSTOMERS AT NO ADDITIONAL COST
PHILADELPHIA – August 10, 2009 – Comcast Corporation has boosted its sports lineup both online and on TV, delivering even more sporting events and programming from all of the major professional sports leagues and the best of college sports to millions more customers at no additional cost. The company also is offering an extensive online sports package through the launch of ESPN360 on Comcast.net to complement its in-depth international, national and local On Demand sports content. This extensive sports offering gives Comcast customers thousands of live sporting events on multiple platforms through TV, On Demand and online.
“For no additional charge, we’re giving compelling sports networks to millions of digital video customers and a fantastic online sports experience to all of our high-speed customers,” said Derek Harrar, General Manager and Senior Vice President of Video Services for Comcast. “This change marks a major product enhancement by offering the best sports entertainment to customers on their terms whether on TV, On Demand or online.”
Sports fans today demand more – they want to surround themselves with their favorite teams’ games, news and stats, which has greatly expanded beyond game day in the living room on the big-screen. Comcast continues to offer fans more of the experience they want across all platforms.
Immersive Sports from Three Angles
1) WATCH LIVE ON TV
By broadening sports coverage to include NFL Network, NBA TV, NHL Network and ESPNU on its Digital Preferred package, these major sports outlets join Comcast’s current line-up of live sports programming that includes in-market games through local affiliates and national sports networks like MLB Network, ESPN, ESPN2, TNT, TBS, Golf Channel, Speed and Versus.
Additionally, Comcast SportsNets deliver live sporting events annually in 10 key
markets with the most comprehensive local sports news, analysis and debates. Comcast also will continue to offer its Sports Entertainment package to customers with networks including Fox Soccer, Fox College Sports, Tennis Channel, Gol TV, ESPN Classic and more. U.S.
2) WATCH WITH A CLICK OF A MOUSE
With ESPN360.com, Comcast high-speed Internet customers will have access to live online sports coverage from thousands of international events throughout the year including everything from soccer events such as FIFA World Cup to the Cricket World Cup, lacrosse, football, basketball, baseball and more. ESPN360, through www.comcast.net, gives Comcast high-speed customers control over their broadband sports viewing experience – providing reliable, high-quality video and the ability to pause, rewind and fast-forward up to 15 simultaneous live events. Recently completed events are archived and available for on-demand replay.
3) WATCH ON YOUR TERMS ON DEMAND
In addition to live sports, programming and commentary, Comcast digital customers can get a sports fix any time through On Demand including special programming, player and team information, game recaps, interviews and more from the following sports sources:
- NFL Network
- NBA TV
- NHL Network
- Golf Channel
- Big Ten Network
- Speed Channel
- NBC Action Sports
- Havoc TV
- Gol TV
- Exercise TV
- Special events including the Olympics, March Madness, Super Bowl, and Championship Golf events
On Demand Local Coverage – Comcast also provides extensive and in-depth local sports coverage with top sports teams around the country including Denver Broncos, Boston Red Sox, Philadelphia Eagles, Pittsburgh Steelers, Detroit Tigers, Seattle Seahawks, Notre Dame and Penn State.
Comcast’s expanded sports offering is part of Project Infinity, the company’s commitment to give consumers the best and most content they will find anywhere.
For good measure, this is ESPN’s announcement:
ESPN and Comcast Launch ESPN360.com Today via www.comcast.net
ESPN and Comcast are now providing ESPN360.com, ESPN’s signature live sports broadband network, to Comcast’s more than 17 million high-speed Internet customers nationwide.Available at Comcast.net/espn360, the addition of ESPN360.com to Comcast’s high-speed service gives fans access to more than 3,500 live, global sports events annually.
“ESPN360.com gives fans with Comcast high-speed Internet service the best and broadest lineup of live sports online,” said Damon Phillips, vice president, ESPN360.com. “This launch speaks to the strong momentum that ESPN360.com has seen in the past year, and our continued dedication to work with partners like Comcast to serve sports fans.Starting today, fans will be able to see thousands of events – from college football and basketball to top global soccer, MLB and NBA, extensive coverage of major tennis and golf events as well as passion sports like rugby, and more.”
And Tennis magazine has declared Roger Federer as the Greatest Tennis Player of All-Time.
TENNIS MAGAZINE PROCLAIMS
ROGER FEDERER AS THE GREATEST OF ALL TIME
Following French Open and
WimbledonVictories Magazine States the Case
NEW YORK, NY – August 10, 2009 – The question has been lobbed back and forth without resolve for many months, but on the heels of his stunning victories at Roland Garros and Wimbledon, in it’s September 2009 issue with Roger Federer gracing the cover, the editors of TENNIS Magazine are in agreement — Roger Federer is the greatest tennis player of all time.
TENNIS Magazine states the case for Federer over the likes of Rod Laver, Don Budge, Bjorn Borg, Pete Sampras and Rafael Nadal by debunking the four main myths often held against Federer.
1. Federer never won a calendar-year Grand Slam – He came close twice but fell to one of the greatest clay court players ever. Also Laver won his Grand Slam’s without beating any Hall of Famers who were banned during those years.
2. Laver would have won more Grand Slams if he were allowed to play in them from 1963-’67 – Hard to argue with, but the bottom line is that no one knows what would have happened to Laver in the 20 majors he missed. What If can’t be imported into the greatest-ever debate, where the only thing we have to go on are the statistics in front of us.
3. Grand Slam titles alone should note decide the greatest ever – Federer’s other accomplishments stack up with anyone who ever played. He has reached the finals in 10 straight Grand Slam events. And, his 2006 season with a 92-5 record, reaching the finals in 16 of 17 events and winning 12 titles is historic.
4. Federer can’t be the greatest with a 7-13 record against Nadal – The numbers do not tell the whole story. Federer is actually penalized for his success at Roland Garros where he lost to Nadal in the finals three times. In contrast Nadal has never played Federer in the finals at the US Open. The argument for Nadal as the greatest can begin in a few years if he continues to win Grand Slams.
“We will not tip toe around this issue like others or play the game of splitting players into pre-Open era and Open era,” said James Martin, Editor of TENNIS Magazine and Tennis.com. “We’re not hedging our bets. We are firm in our belief that Roger Federer is the greatest tennis player ever. Period.”
This next release is from DirecTV and I had to go to the website to find it (I’m going to ask for the releases again, DirecTV and remember, I’m a subscriber!). This is about DirecTV’s plans for expanded coverage of the PGA Championship starting on Thursday.
DIRECTV Completes Golf’s ‘Grand Slam’ With Expanded 2009 PGA Championship Coverage
DIRECTV’s Exclusive Mix Channel Features TNT and CBS Broadcasts in HD Along with Interactive Services For a More In-depth Viewing Experience
EL SEGUNDO, Calif., Aug 10, 2009 (BUSINESS WIRE) — DIRECTV will complete its exclusive Mix Channel/interactive coverage of all four of professional golf’s majors with its broadcast of the 2009 PGA Championship Aug. 13-16, the last major of the year.
Supplementing broadcast feeds from TNT and CBS, as well as online content from PGA.com, DIRECTV will be the only TV provider to offer expanded, four-channel coverage of the 91st PGA Championship at the Hazeltine National Golf Club in Chaska, Minn. for all four days of the Championship. Golf fans will have the opportunity to watch the drama unfold live on three extra channels in addition to the main network feed, only on DIRECTV.
DIRECTV’s expanded coverage, available free to customers, will include channels dedicated to following a marquee group of players, the play on the course’s four challenging Par 3 holes and “Players in Depth,” featuring highlights and interviews with the leaderboard’s top players. All four channels (702-705) will be in HD and displayed on DIRECTV’s Mix Channel (701) with each tuneable to full screen. For more details visit directv.com/pga.
The feature channels, along with live network coverage, will be available throughout each network’s broadcast hours, Thursday and Friday from TNT (2-8 p.m. ET) and on Saturday and Sunday from TNT (11 a.m. – 2 p.m. ET ) and CBS (2-7 p.m. ET). Complimentary online coverage will also be available all four days from PGA.com.
“The 2009 PGA Championship is golfers’ last shot at glory this year and for golf fans their final opportunity to see golf the way it was meant to be seen, on multiple screens, in HD with instant access to scorecards and leaderboard information,” said Eric Shanks, executive vice president, DIRECTV Entertainment. “With our broadcast partners we’ve been able to take the golf viewing experience on TV to an entirely new level, infusing that happy marriage between technology and sports with an exciting blend of vivid imagery and information that is vital for any red-blooded sports fan.”
In addition to the Mix Channel, DIRECTV will offer on each full-screen HD channel, a menu of features instantly accessible via remote:
There you have it. Some late night links are next.
The TV networks public relations departments want to get out early so they keep churning out the releases just before they close for the 4th of July weekend. So I’ll give you these and I think they should close out the releases for the week. You won’t see any tomorrow unless something major happens.
Starting with ESPN, Mike Greenberg, Mike Golic and Steve Young will call the “nightcap” of the opening Monday Night Football doubleheader on September 14. And ESPN announces that Mike & Mike will do the Monday 6 p.m. SportsCenters during football season.
Greenberg, Golic and Young to Call Chargers-Raiders Monday Night Football Doubleheader Game on Sept. 14
Mike & Mike to Co-Host SportsCenter on Mondays at 6 p.m. During NFL Season
Mike Greenberg and Mike Golic, co-hosts of ESPN Radio’s popular Mike & Mike in the Morning, will team with ESPN studio analyst and Hall of Fame quarterback Steve Young to call the San Diego Chargers-Oakland Raiders game as part of ESPN’s season-opening Monday Night Football doubleheader on September 14 at 10:15 p.m. ET. The game will follow the Buffalo Bills- New England Patriots telecast (7 p.m.) when ESPN’s main commentator team of Mike Tirico and analysts Jon Gruden and Ron Jaworski makes its regular season debut.
Greenberg and Golic will also expand their roles on Mondays during the NFL season as co-hosts of the 6 p.m. edition of SportsCenter. The duo will recap all of Sunday’s NFL games and other weekend sports news, and look ahead to each week’s Monday Night Football matchup, by bookending their Mondays from 6-10 a.m. on ESPN Radio (simulcast on ESPN2) and hosting the one-hour SportsCenter from the ESPN studios in Bristol, Conn., beginning Sept. 21.
The Chargers-Raiders telecast marks the third straight season Greenberg (play-by-play) and Golic (analyst) are calling the MNF doubleheader. They worked alongside Mike Ditka the last two seasons — Arizona Cardinals vs. San Francisco 49ers (2007) and Denver Broncos vs. Raiders (2008). Young, who is calling a MNF game for the first time, made a pair of guest appearances in the MNF booth during the 2006 season in addition to his weekly Monday Night Countdown studio role.
“As we kick off the 40th season of Monday Night Football, we are excited to have the familiar faces and voices of Mike and Mike back on the doubleheader game this year alongside Steve, a Hall of Famer, who will offer the kinds of insightful opinions that have made him one of our top NFL analysts all these years,” said Norby Williamson, executive vice president, production, ESPN. “We are equally pleased to create yet another new role for Mike and Mike on the 6 p.m. SportsCenter in the latest evolution of our season-long ‘game around the game’ coverage of Monday Night Football.”
Greenberg joined ESPN in September 1996 as an anchor for ESPNEWS, and today he regularly anchors SportsCenter. He and Golic were named co-hosts of Mike & Mike in the Morning on ESPN Radio on December 30, 1999. The popular program is now heard by more than 12 million people weekly, airing on more than 350 affiliates nationwide. They have also co-hosted ESPN Radio’s NFL Draft coverage and called Arena Football League games together.
Golic, a nine-year NFL veteran (1986-93) who played defensive tackle for the Houston Oilers, Philadelphia Eagles and Miami Dolphins, joined ESPN in 1995 as an NFL reporter/analyst for Sunday NFL Countdown. In addition to co-hosting Mike & Mike in the Morning, he has worked as a game and studio analyst for AFL and college games, and contributed to ESPN’s NFL Live and NFL Draft coverage. Golic served as an analyst for ESPN’s NFL preseason telecast of the Colts-Falcons game in Tokyo in 2005, and he worked as an analyst for Jacksonville Jaguars preseason games (1995-98).
Young, the San Francisco 49ers Hall of Fame quarterback, retired in 1999 as the highest-rated quarterback in NFL history. The three-time Super Bowl champion was the MVP of Super Bowl XXIX and a two-time league MVP (1992 and 1994). He remains the only quarterback in league history to win four consecutive passing titles and post six consecutive 300-yard passing games. Young has been with ESPN since 2000 as an NFL studio analyst, appearing on a variety of programs, including Sunday NFL Countdown and Monday Night Countdown, as well as annual Super Bowl and NFL Draft coverage.
Senior coordinating producer Tim Corrigan, who has overseen ESPN’s season-opening MNF doubleheader games the past three seasons, and director Mike Schwab, will oversee production of the Chargers-Raiders telecast. The matchup of longtime AFC West rivals and original American Football League franchises will be one of the Legacy Games that is part of the NFL’s celebration of the 50th anniversary season of the AFL.
Next, ESPN and ESPN360.com will show the Nathan’s Hot Dog Eating Contest on July 4th.
Finally, here’s what’s happening on Golf Channel next week.
COMING UP ON GOLF CHANNEL… July 6 – 12, 2009
Fairway to Heaven on Golf in
Original Programming Premieres
(All times eastern)
Time: Tuesday 10 – 10:30 p.m.
Host: Anthony Anderson
The third episode of the 10-week series will feature:
· Scott and Dale Parlin, “Fairway to Heaven.” – Three years ago, 35-year-old Scott Parlin endured a tragedy like no other. Scott’s father, Dale, a marshal at a golf course outside of
, took a break from his job to watch his son tee-off on the 15th hole. Scott’s drive ricocheted off a tree and hit his father in the neck. He passed away an hour later due to a cerebral hemorrhage. GOLF CHANNEL’s Scott Walker will visit with Scott, who will share the tragic story and how he is keeping his father’s spirit alive in the community. Dallas
· Dawn Patrol – Over 40 weeks a year, the “Dawn Patrol” gathers at Torrey Pines Golf Course on Saturday afternoons with the goal to be the first in line for a tee-time on Sunday morning. GOLF CHANNEL’s Tom Abbott will follow some “Dawn Patrollers” as they arrive to the course Saturday afternoon to wait in line all night for that prestigious 5:30 a.m. Sunday tee-time.
· Bob Grober, Sonic Golf – Grober, a physics professor from
, will explain his theory of improving a golf swing by turning motion into sound with a unique training aid 15 years in the making. Yale University
Golf in America takes viewers coast-to-coast to discover never-before-told stories, larger-than-life characters and inspirational people in capturing the spirit of the game of golf. The series, hosted by film and television actor Anthony Anderson, chronicles stories in stunning HD from celebrities, such as Justin Timberlake and Donald Trump, to everyday people across the country that are unified by the sport.
Playing Lessons from the Pros
Time: Monday 10 – 10:30 p.m.
Country music star Steve Azar joins PGA TOUR winner Kenny Perry for a round of golf at The Club at Old Stone in
Perry and his coach Matt Killen will provide tips around the greens, while Azar will provide insight into the music business. Bowling Green, Ky.
Top 10: Greg Norman Highs and Lows
Time: Tuesday 9 – 9:30 p.m.
Host: Lauren Thompson
As charismatic as he was cursed, no player in history can rival the star-crossed career of Greg Norman. With insight from Norman, Fuzzy Zoeller, Raymond Floyd, Hale Irwin, Bernhard Langer, Nick Faldo and Larry Mize and commentary from noted sports journalists, the show will count down Norman’s top 10 highs and lows in his professional career. Notable moments include his “Saturday Slam” in 1986, where he led all four major championships after 54 holes; his final round 64 to win the 1993 Open Championship and his final round collapse in the 1996 Masters.
Quest for the Card
Time: Wednesday 7:30 – 8 p.m.
Host: Jerry Foltz
Quest for the Card chronicles the year-long journey on the Nationwide Tour for players competing to earn their PGA TOUR card for 2010. The show will feature player profiles and air highlights from the 2009 Nationwide Tour Players Cup.
PGA TOUR Primetime
Time: Thursday 8:30 – 11:30 p.m.
Friday 8:30 – 11:30 p.m.
GOLF CHANNEL’s coverage of the first two rounds of the John Deere Classic re-airs on PGA TOUR Primetime.
News and Talk Show Programming Highlights
Live Airings: Mon – Wed 6 – 6:30 p.m.
Thursday 6 – 6:30 p.m. / 11:30 p.m. – Midnight
Friday 6 – 6:30 p.m. / 11:30 p.m. – Midnight
Saturday 6 – 6:30 p.m. / 11:30 p.m. – Midnight
Sunday 6 – 7 p.m. / 11:30 p.m. – Midnight
Golf Central will deliver the latest golf news from the John Deere Classic and all of the major golf tours.
Golf Central Pre Game
Live Airings: Saturday 12:15 – 1 p.m.
Sunday 12:30 – 1 p.m.
GOLF CHANNEL’s Golf Central team will preview the weekend action on the various tours with interviews and analysis.
The Golf Fix
Time: Monday 8 – 8:30 p.m.
Host: Michael Breed
GOLF CHANNEL’s fast-paced interactive instructional show will feature live call-ins and emails from viewers.
The Approach with Callaway Golf
Time: Tuesday 8 – 8:30 p.m.
Hosts: Kraig Kann/Analysts Andrew Magee and Alex Miceli
Highlighting the top storylines in golf from different perspectives, analysts from The Approach with Callaway Golf will preview the John Deere Classic and review the AT&T National in an entertaining and informative manner.
Grey Goose 19th Hole
Time: Wednesday 8 – 8:30 p.m.
Host: Inga Hammond/Analysts Jeff Rude and Mark Cannizzaro
Grey Goose 19th Hole, the network’s fast-paced half-hour talk show, features debates on the hot topics in golf. New York Post golf writer Mark Cannizzaro will make his return as an analyst on Grey Goose 19th Hole, filling in for John Hawkins on Wednesday.
And we are done with the releases.
And we are done with the releases.
Now that I’ve finished my work for the day and walked five laps around my office building, I’ll do the links. I’ve found that I’m more productive in my new office than the last building. Perhaps it’s the setting, perhaps it’s the honeymoon I have with the new landlord, perhaps I just have found this new place to feel like home, whatever it is, I’m doing more work here than I ever did. And I’m finding the time to blog here as well. I hope I can keep up this production.
Anyway, here’s your links for today.
USA Today’s Michael McCarthy writes about ESPN The Magazine now doing ESPN The Nude Issue meaning athletes will be posed “tastefully” in the buff. Whatever.
The lovely Christine Brennan of USA Today appeals for viewers for the NHL Stanley Cup Finals.
Chris Littman of the Sporting News says Kevin Garnett and Stephon Marbury actually foresaw ESPN The Nude Issue 13 years ago.
BBC News reports that ESPN is saying it has no plans to buy the cash-strapped Setanta Sports.
Ainsley Thompson of the Dow Jones News Service writes that ESPN does not ruling out buying Setanta’s rights to the English Premier League, however.
Newsday’s Neil Best notes that the Mets are discounting tickets for this week’s key series against the Phillies. Neil says the New Jersey Nets still plan to break ground for their proposed arena in Brooklyn. Neil writes that NBC Sports is gearing up for Game 7 of the Stanley Cup Finals.
Pete Dougherty of the Albany Times Union writes that local viewers will be able to see John Smoltz do a rehab start for the Pawtucket Red Sox later this afternoon.
Laura Nachman will miss listening to Philadelphia’s Channel 6 on the FM dial due to the digital TV conversion.
Chico Harlan of the Washington Post’s Nationals Journal blog says fans tuning to MASN2 on certain Comcast systems had trouble watching last night’s Reds-Nats game.
Dan Steinberg of the Post’s DC Sports Bog chronicles what exactly happened as the game was suddenly pulled off Comcast.
Paul Farhi of the Post talks about CBS Radio’s plans to challenge Redskins owner Dan Snyder’s Red Zebra group of sports radio stations.
John Kiesewetter of the Cincinnati Enquirer writes that the local ABC affiliate will delay its digital conversion until after Game 4 of the NBA Finals is complete.
Mark Gonzales of the Chicago Tribune writes about Frank Thomas talking with his former White Sox teammates for Comcast SportsNet Chicago.
Bob Wolfley from the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel says a former Packer is taking part in the NFL Broadcast Boot Camp.
The St. Louis Post-Dispatch says former Rams coach Mike Martz will be on NFL Network today and tomorrow.
Barry Horn from the Dallas Morning News feels the Phoenix Suns’ Steve Nash is doing a great job as an NBA Finals reporter for David Letterman.
Lisa Dillman of the Los Angeles Times says it’s a taste of TNT’s Inside the NBA on NBA TV.
Tom Hoffarth of the Los Angeles Daily News wonders what Mark Jackson’s next move will be after calling this year’s NBA Finals on ABC.
John Ryan from the San Jose Mercury News likes one NFL Network Top 10 program with one exception.
As a follow up, Jerod Morris of the MSB has what he hopes are his final thoughts on the whole thing.
The CBC says Hockey Night in Canada analyst Marc Crawford goes back to coaching next season with the Dallas Stars.
Toni Fitzgerald of Media Life Magazine writes that an advertiser actually got its message across by unfurling a huge banner at a Brazilian soccer game.
Ryan Berenz of Channel Guide Magazine talks with Joe Buck in advance of his new HBO show which premieres on Monday.
Chris Byrne’s Eye on Sports Media says the Boxing Writers Association of America will webcast their annual awards on Friday. Chris says CBS’ Tim Brando will be honored by college Sports Information Directors. And Chris feels the NCAA’s new rules on social network go beyond any logic or common sense.
Maury Brown from the Biz of Baseball says MLB.com has delayed the wait for archived games by double the time as requested by its TV partners.
Some good video from Sox & Dawgs, two of which I forgot to post yesterday. First, there’s a video of a woman slapping her ass during NESN’s Red Sox montage from Tuesday’s Red Sox-Yankees game. Also from Tuesday’s game, NESN analyst Dennis Eckersley admits he’s clueless. One of the reasons why Eck is so refreshing in the booth. And here’s a screengrab from last night’s Yankees-Red Sox game showing a woman laughing at Nick Swisher for failing to make a catch.
Dave Kohl of the Major League Programs blog looks into the Celtics possibly streaming their games online.
Tim Conneally of BetaNews.com says a group of smaller cable providers is asking Congress to
limit ESPN’s cost for its broadband 360 site.
CBSSports.com has an excerpt of Jim Nantz’s book, “Always By My Side”.
Plenty of links. I have a press release post coming up.
And I have some ESPN releases. Crazy day today. It all started around 9:25 this morning when Comcast and NFL Network announced an agreement and it hasn’t stopped since. I may have to work through lunch break. Insane.
Three ESPN-centric releases and let’s go over the first one. This one deals with Mike Tirico leaving his radio show and leaving it solely in the hands of Scott Van Pelt. Plus, one hour of the show will be simulcast on ESPN2. Why not have the entire ESPN Radio schedule be simulcast on ESPN2?
New Expanded TV and Radio Role for Mike Tirico
Scott Van Pelt Show to be Simulcast on ESPN2 in July, adds Russillo
Accomplished ESPN personality Mike Tirico will expand his ESPN responsibilities with a variety of high-profile TV and radio assignments, including a new weekly pro and college football radio show. In addition to his continuing play-by-play efforts for Monday Night Football and the NBA, and hosting duties on the Masters, NFL Draft and other top events, Tirico will play a prominent role in ESPN’s upcoming TV coverage of U.S. Open tennis, World Cup soccer, BCS games and more.
On the radio side, ESPN Radio’s Tirico & Van Pelt show (2-4 p.m. ET M-F) will become The Scott Van Pelt Show on July 6 when Van Pelt will be joined by Ryen Russillo with the final hour of their show simulcast for the first time on ESPN2.
Tirico’s new radio role will include hosting a weekly two-hour football program (22 weeks of the year) devoted to college and pro football Fridays from 7-9 p.m. He will be joined by a variety of ESPN college and pro football analysts and football newsmakers. Additionally, Tirico will host on-site ESPN Radio shows Super Bowl week, long-form podcasts featuring commentaries and interviews with top newsmakers, and SportsBeat afternoon drive-time commentaries throughout the year. He will also handle radio play-by-play for the NBA Finals, 2010 Rose Bowl and 2010 BCS Championship Game.
“Mike Tirico is one of the industry’s best and a trusted voice for fans,” said Norby Williamson, ESPN executive vice president, production. “A great thing about ESPN is the many existing and new opportunities available for his talents across TV, radio and beyond. On top of that, Scott Van Pelt has become a major radio presence and will continue to provide listeners with his informed perspective and entertaining flair.”
Tirico added, “These two years on the radio show have been awesome. Working with Scott and the rest of our show crew has made it fun to do every day. I look forward to the new television opportunities and the privilege of working two of the world’s most prestigious sporting events. While the schedule will not permit me to do the daily radio grind, I am very excited to continue my long association with ESPN Radio and will be a loyal listener at 2 p.m. Eastern every weekday.”
Russillo, who will join Van Pelt, is a veteran of the Boston radio and TV scene, and knows his way around ESPN Radio’s Bristol, Conn. studios, having hosted several shows and filled in on others in recent years.
“Clearly the show will miss Mike, and I am indebted to him for including me initially,” Van Pelt said. “That said, I am really fired up to get the chance to work with Ryen. He knows as much as anyone in the building about sports and we also have a lot in common aside from our love of sports which I am sure we will explore on air.”
Expanding ESPN Radio on TV
The Scott Van Pelt Show’s simulcast is the latest telecast of ESPN Radio programming which began with Mike & Mike in the Morning on ESPNEWS (April 2004) then ESPN2 (January 2006). The Herd with Colin Cowherd (10 a.m.-2 p.m. M-F) is currently simulcast on ESPNU.
Cowherd will also co-host his own show on ESPN2 starting July 6 when he will be joined by Michelle Beadle on the new daily studio show SportsNation (4-5 p.m. M-F). Radio personalities hosting television shows is not unprecedented, as Mike Greenberg and Mike Golic took their morning show to prime time for an August 2004 special.
This just in and related to the Scott Van Pelt release, ESPN2 will offer a new show co-hosted by ESPN Radio blowhard Colin Cowherd and new ESPN’er Michelle Beadle. Take a look.
ESPN2 Introduces Fan-Interactive Studio Show: SportsNation with Colin Cowherd, Michelle Beadle
SportsNation, The Scott Van Pelt Show Set to Debut Back-to-Back July 6 on ESPN2
SportsNation on ESPN.com to Relaunch May 27
ESPN2 will introduce a new daily studio show, SportsNation, hosted by ESPN Radio personality Colin Cowherd and Michelle Beadle. Taking a cue from ESPN.com’s SportsNation, where fans interact with athletes, coaches, sportswriters, commentators and each other in real time, SportsNation is a live sports television show born from the Internet, fueled by fan interaction and focused on fun. The one-hour weekday show starts Monday, July 6, at 4 p.m. ET on ESPN2, immediately following the television debut of ESPN Radio’s The Scott Van Pelt Show at 3 p.m.
“The fans will have unprecedented input in the show’s daily rundown,” said SportsNation coordinating producer Jamie Horowitz. “Our goal is to bring the fan into our production meetings. The fans choose the topics, provide the angles, and decide how much Brett Favre talk is really needed.”
The show will include discussion of the smaller stories that generate buzz on the Internet but often aren’t seen on television.
“SportsNation will focus on topics that dominate fans’ email exchanges and blogs,” added Horowitz. “The show will be a conversation between people who love sports but don’t take every story so seriously. The funny Web stories everyone forwards to their friends will find a home on SportsNation.”
Feeding off the producers’ theory that if two heads are better than one, 100,000 heads are better than two, SportsNation will engage hundreds of thousands of sports fans across the country via ESPN.com’s SportsNation. Fans will be able to interact with the hosts before, during and after the show by e-mail, text, Twitter or just making a phone call.
“SportsNation will really have three hosts – Colin, Michelle and the fans,” Horowitz said. “We are counting on the fans’ commentary and feedback to make the show unique. I’d like to rely on Colin, but he doesn’t listen to anything we tell him.”
Said Cowherd, “I’m stunned management let me do a TV show. I know what the producers and I find interesting and funny – and it leads me to conclude that we probably won’t be on the air very long.”
Michelle Beadle is also the host of People.com’s popular feature, What You Missed Over the Weekend. She recently joined 1050 ESPN New York as the
SportsCenter anchor for The Michael Kay Show. Michelle does broadcast work at the YES Network as the New Jersey Nets pre, post-game and sideline reporter and as a co-host for SportsLife NYC, and she was previously the host of the Emmy Award-winning program Ultimate Road Trip. She has worked as a correspondent for NFL Films’ Under the Helmet and as a host for MLB Productions’ Cathedrals of the Game. Michelle has done broadcast work in the past with College Sports Television, CBS Sports, Discovery Channel, Animal Planet, Travel Channel and TNN, and also previously worked as a freelance reporter for ESPN’s Titan Games. New York
“My excitement for the show is twofold,” said Beadle. “I am looking forward to seeing the world through my newly-acquired Colin Cowherd glasses and riding his coattails straight to the middle. I know Colin is great at talking. I’m really excited to teach him to listen.”
Added Cowherd, “It will be a great opportunity for Michelle for obvious reasons: She gets to work with me. It’ll be a high wire act. It’ll be dangerous, it’ll be funny. She’ll poke me in the ribs and I’ll fire back. We want to make it as if we’re just goofing off while there happens to be a camera in the room.”
The Scott Van Pelt Show
ESPN Radio’s Tirico & Van Pelt show (2-4 p.m. M-F) will become The Scott Van Pelt Show on July 6 when Tirico will focus on a variety of other network opportunities. Van Pelt will be joined by Ryen Russillo, a veteran of the
radio and TV scene, for the final hour of the show, which will be simulcast on ESPN2. Boston
“I look forward to bringing the art work that adorns the wall behind me to the set and I will be leaving hideous messes that Mike and Mike can deal with in the morning,” said Van Pelt.
Van Pelt joins the ranks of already successful televised ESPN Radio shows such as Mike & Mike in the Morning on ESPN2 and Cowherd’s own The Herd with Colin Cowherd on ESPNU, and together with SportsNation adds a fresh punch to the summer lineup on ESPN2.
Van Pelt, who joined ESPN in 2001 as a lead golf reporter and went on to become a top SportsCenter anchor, shares two hours of radio time on weekdays – 2-4 p.m. – with fellow ESPN personality Mike Tirico during ESPN Radio’s Tirico & Van Pelt.
SportsNation on ESPN.com Relaunch
In advance of the television debut, SportsNation on ESPN.com will relaunch with a new design, a more blog-style chronological layout, new live chat index, enhanced features and direct tie-ins to SportsNation on ESPN2.
Each month, SportsNation averages nearly a million unique visitors, and in March 2009 visitors were up 18 percent compared to a year ago. Since its launch on ESPN.com in fall 2003, SportsNation on ESPN.com has hosted more than 4,000 chats annually and more than 10,000 polls – collectively generating and average of more than 100 million fan votes – annually. In 2008, fans logged 154 million votes in SportsNation polls.
And ESPN announces an expansion of a digital rights agreement with Wimbledon.
And ESPN announces an expansion of a digital rights agreement with Wimbledon.
ESPN, All England Club Expand Wimbledon Digital Rights AgreementNearly 650 Hours of Live ESPN360.com Coverage Across All Courts
More Live Mobile Streaming and Expanded Highlights on ESPN.com
ESPN and the The All England Lawn Tennis & Croquet Club today announced that they have expanded their Wimbledon digital rights agreement in the Americas (U.S., Mexico, Central and South America* and the Caribbean). Under the expanded agreement, starting Monday June 22 ESPN will deliver nearly double the hours of live broadband coverage on ESPN360.com this year, expand its live mobile streaming on ESPN Mobile TV by nearly 60 percent and adds additional highlights on ESPN.com and ESPNdeportes.com.“Wimbledon is one of the great ‘sports holidays’ on the calendar for fans each year,” said John Skipper, executive vice president, content, ESPN. “Through ESPN’s platforms, the competition, pageantry and personalities of Wimbledon will be available to fans at their desk, in their pocket and on their television like never before.”ESPN360.com, the company’s signature live sports broadband network, will deliver live coverage of all courts (up to nine, depending on schedule of play) throughout the early rounds, and a total of nearly 650 hours of live coverage between opening day and the semi-finals – nearly doubling the total hours delivered last year.
ESPN360.com will also simulcast ESPN2′s nearly 100 hours of coverage and will have the Wimbledon Finals events on-demand the morning following competition.In the U.S. in 2009, ESPN360.com will become the first broadband network to deliver live online coverage of all four Grand Slam tennis events – delivering nearly 1300 total hours of combined coverage this year. ESPN360.com’s Wimbledon coverage adds to more than 275 hours of live French Open coverage in May, at least 260 hours of US Open coverage in August and more than 100 hours of Australian Open coverage each year to cement ESPN360.com as the home for live broadband coverage of Grand Slam tennis.ESPN360 in Mexico and Chile will also deliver all the live coverage delivered in the United States.In addition, ESPN’s agreement with The All England Club includes:
- ESPN.com & ESPNdeportes.com: The leading sports site will deliver expanded highlights of Wimbledon at ESPN.com/tennis and ESPN.com/video, as well as Spanish-language highlights on ESPNdeportes.com.
- ESPN Mobile TV: ESPN’s 24/7 mobile video network will expand its live mobile streaming coverage, delivering more than 80 hours throughout the tournament.
- Wimbledon Central: ESPN.com will again feature Wimbledon Central, a dynamic content application that will feature the official live scoring for all matches throughout the tournament. Additionally, Wimbledon Central will be available for the first time on the ESPN Mobile Web site.
- ESPN Mobile Web and ESPN MVP: Fans will again be able to follow all the action throughout the championship via ESPN’s industry leading mobile Web site and through the signature ESPN MVP application on Verizon wireless.
- Interactive Television: for the second year, ESPN will offer U.S. tennis fans a six-screen mosaic presentation that can be seen in 18 million homes served by DIRECTV, now extending through the first Saturday of play.
- Wimbledon Archives: in the days leading up to Wimbledon past Wimbledon matches (full and condensed) will be available on-demand through ESPN.com and ESPN360.com.* Includes all of Central and South America, except Brazil.
Two pieces of news for ESPNU. First, Comcast which seems to be picking up sports networks left and right this week, is adding ESPNU and broadband carrier ESPN360. ESPNU will be added to Comcast’s Southern systems in time for college football season and the beginning of the SEC package. Here’s the release:
“ESPNU and ESPN360.com have been growing in popularity due to the dynamic live-event programming we’ve been adding to them, and we are thrilled Comcast will offer them to their huge fan base,” said David C. Preschlack, executive vice president, Disney and ESPN Media Networks. “This agreement is a tremendous step forward in serving fans – both on television and online — while growing our collective multi-platform businesses.”
“Comcast continues to be the place for sports fans to turn to for all the college, professional and high school sports action they want – on television, online and on demand,” said Matt Bond, executive vice president, content acquisition for Comcast Cable. “ESPNU and ESPN360.com will add to the thousands of live sports events that fans already watch on Comcast today.”
ESPNU provides college sports fans with more than 550 live events annually and televises some of the top Division I conferences in the nation, including: the ACC, Big East, Big Ten, Big 12, MAC, SEC, Sun Belt and WAC. The network also has a wide-ranging, long-term agreement with the NCAA that includes extensive coverage of 22 NCAA Championships, including sports from each of the three collegiate seasons.
DIRECTV TO OFFER ESPNU IN ITS CHOICE™ PACKAGE
ESPNU’s Distribution More Than 46 Million Subscribers
Disney and ESPN Media Networks and DIRECTV, Inc., today announced an agreement to widen its distribution of ESPNU to DIRECTV’s CHOICE™ programming package beginning July 1. ESPNU will now be available to more than 46 million college sports fans across the country. As part of the agreement, DIRECTV will also launch ESPNU HD by the end of the first quarter 2010. Additionally, ESPN Classic will be repackaged into the DIRECTV SPORTS PACK.ESPNU provides college sports fans with more than 550 live events annually and televises some of the top Division I conferences in the nation, including: the ACC, Big East, Big Ten, Big 12, MAC, SEC, Sun Belt and WAC. The network also has a wide-ranging, long-term agreement with the NCAA that includes extensive coverage of 22 NCAA Championships, including sports from each of the three collegiate seasons.“ESPNU is committed to college sports programming 365 days a year, and this move to DIRECTV’s CHOICE package allows better access for college sports fans — nationwide — to all of the quality content provided on the network,” said David C. Preschlack, executive vice president, Disney and ESPN Media Networks.“DIRECTV continues to offer the best sports programming to its customers,” said Derek Chang, executive vice president, Content Strategy and Development, DIRECTV, Inc. “By expanding the distribution of ESPNU, we take that commitment to another level for all college sports fans across the country.”
As I look at my Review of Real Sports for 12/23/08, I realize I may have gone too long on that post and instead of cutting and pasting, maybe I should have linked to each segment, but then it would I actually like having the original reviews. It’s something I should think about for next year, but anyway, it’s done and it’s going to remain as it is.
Let’s do some linkage tonight. Some interesting stories have surfaced since I last did links earlier today.
Newsday’s Neil Best reports that SNY is considering Chris Carlin as the Mets pre and post game host. Neil says the NFL is going to suspend its silly, archaic and prehistoric blackout rules for one week and allow all markets to have double doubleheaders on Sunday.
Kyle Stack of Newsday sister publication, amNew York, writes about the launch of the MLB Network on January 1.
T.J. Donegan asks in the Sports Media Journal why can’t NFL studio shows be like NBC’s old NFL Live of the 1990′s.
CNBC’s Darren Rovell explains why the New York Yankees can commit to $423.5 million in guaranteed money during this offseason.
Joe Favorito has a good post on the lack of Return of Investment for schools participting in non-BCS bowls.
Laura Nachman says a former Philadelphia TV meteorologist was mentioned during ESPN’s Monday Night Football cablecast.
The Washington Post’s Leonard Shapiro has former Redskins quarterback Sonny Jurgensen remembering an interview he conducted with the late Sammy Baugh.
Roger van der Horst of the Raleigh News & Observer says former Duke guard Jason Williams is working with ESPN again this season. Roger says Time Warner Cable is taking exception to a description of ESPNU as “ESPN Unavailable”.
Radio Ink Online says Atlanta gets its second ESPN Radio affiliate.
Barry Horn of the Dallas Morning News gets Cowboys voice Brad Sham to clarify why he chose to communicate directly to Barry’s readers.
Dan McGrath of the Chicago Tribune says Tony Kornheiser feels he’s finally settling in with Monday Night Football.
The Chicago Daily Herald says Comcast SportsNet has made a new hire.
Comcast and the NFL Network have made an agreement that would allow Twin Cities viewers to watch the Insight Bowl featuring the University of Minnesota. Judd Zulgad of the Minneapolis Star Tribune has more on the story.
Dan Caesar of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch says the newest sports station in town is not broadcasting yet, but has already made a splash by obtaining the rights to the Rams starting next season.
Tom Hoffarth of the Los Angeles Daily News has the timeline of the whole Rob Parker/Rod Marinelli story. Tom notes that December 23, 1951 was the date of the very first coast-to-coast televised NFL title game.
The always lovely Lisa Guerrero writing in the Los Angeles Times’ Fabulous Forum blog has her list of Naughty and Nice sports figures for 2008. I agree particularly about her sentiments about the abortion that came out of the mouths of the Jonas Brothers at Texas Stadium Thanksgiving Day.
Some links from the Sports Media Watch. First, CBS was the big winner, coming out with a rare regional singleheader win for NFL Week 16. Second, the SMW has the overnight weekend ratings. Third, Monday Night Football finished the season on an up note for ESPN. But fourth and last, the NFL Network had some disconcerting news for its third season as a game rightsholder.
Gina Keating of Reuters reports that ESPN plans to launch three interactive features for its channels in 2009.
From the Interactive TV Today blog, we find that ESPN has launched an update for its ESPN360 live streaming player.
Steve McClelland of Adweek says NBC has rejected the idea of a shared 30 second Super Bowl spot.
There you have it for now.
I’ve received enough press releases on this Monday to warrant a full post. Sometimes, one press release can stand alone, but in this case, I’ll be more than happy to string a few together.
First, HBO will provide its exclusive replay of the Joe Calzaghe win over Roy Jones, Jr. this Saturday on World Championship Boxing.
HBO SPORTS PRESENTS THE EXCLUSIVE REPLAY
JOE CALZAGHE VS. ROY JONES JR.
SATURDAY, NOV. 15 ON HBO
It’s a special edition of WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP BOXING when HBO Sports presents JOE CALZAGHE VS. ROY JONES JR., the exclusive replay of their highly anticipated light heavyweight showdown, this SATURDAY, NOV. 15 at 10:15 p.m. ET/ 7;15 P.M. PT on HBO. The HBO Sports team, which was ringside for the live event at
Madison Square Gardenin , will call all the action. The replay will be available in HDTV. New York
Carried live on HBO Pay-Per-View, the Nov. 8 fight featured the long awaited ring battle between two future Hall of Famers. Calzaghe turned in a stellar performance, winning a unanimous decision victory. The Calzaghe-Jones fight will be paired with the live HBO telecast of super middleweights as Jermain Taylor and Jeff Lacy meet in
on Saturday night. Nashville
Next, CNN’s John King visits NBA TV tomorrow to demonstrate the Magic Wall technology to Ahmad Rashad. This has disaster written all over it.
CNN’s John King Visits NBA TV Studio on Tuesday for ‘TouchPass’ Demo
CNN correspondent John King to assist NBA TV host Ahmad Rashad with the basics of the touch-screen
CNN’s chief national correspondent John King, fresh off the campaign trail of the 2008 presidential election, will visit the NBA TV studio on Tues., Nov. 11, with a special assignment – teach NBA TV host Ahmad Rashad how to work the NBA TV TouchPass video screen. King, a distinguished journalist who has traveled the world covering both domestic and international stories including six presidential elections, is well known for his mastery of the CNN Multi-Touch wall which he used throughout the 2008 election season. On Tuesday, King will endeavor to impart his knowledge of touch-screen technology to Rashad who has struggled to learn the nuances of NBA TV’s TouchPass high-tech video screen. TouchPass is new to the NBA TV studio and provides a map for announcers to illustrate match-ups and storylines taking place throughout the county with a touch of the screen.
Also on Tuesday, NBA TV’s signature Fan Night, King and Rashad will also be joined by analysts Chris Webber and Gary Payton for NBA GameTime beginning at 7 p.m. ET, followed by the Pregame Show at 8 p.m. ET. The Fan Night matchup begins at 8:30 p.m. ET featuring the second Fan Night selection of the
L.A.Lakers @ Mavericks. Rashad, Webber and Payton will provide studio commentary during halftime and the Postgame Show. Dallas
I mentioned this in the Monday links today, but ESPN has unveiled the Beta version of the new ESPN 360 player.
Sports Broadband TV Network Tips of Hoops Season with NBA, Euroleague and College Basketball
ESPN360.com, the signature broadband sports television network from ESPN, will launch a beta of the 2.0 version of its video player and homepage today. The updated player will feature a cleaner, simpler interface, updated video viewing modes and a number of new features, including: ESPN Conversations that allow fans watching a game to chat with others watching the same game; synchronized live statistics and data (only for select games/sports at first); more complete, sortable and accessible scheduling information; and remote access for fans who receive ESPN360.com via their home Internet service.
** will initially roll out for college football games only, with additional sports/events in weeks ahead.
Signing Day Special airs next Wednesday: The next class of Big Ten men’s basketball stars will be revealed on the Big Ten Network at 6 PM ET on Wednesday, Nov. 12, during Big Ten Tonight: Signing Day Special. Dave Revsine and Jim Jackson will discuss the incoming players and break down which university’s recruiting class will make the biggest impact in 2009-10. The two will be joined for the hour-long show by recruiting expert Dave Telep of Scout.com.
There you have it.
As we get back to work, then prepare for a holiday tomorrow, I’ll give you some links.
USA Today’s Michael Hiestand says a year after being let go by ESPN, Joe Theismann is still waiting for an NFL TV gig.
John Daly of the Daly Planet TV motorsports blog looks at ESPN/ABC’s production of the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race in Phoenix.
Newsday’s Neil Best is back from vacation. Nice to have him back. He notes that NASCAR viewers in the Eastern and Central time zones saw that ABC cut off the end of the race just before the network’s primetime programming lineup began and had to switch to ESPN2 to watch the rest of the show.
Bruce Martin of Sports Illustrated feels ESPN/ABC treated NASCAR like a bastard stepchild.
Matt Humphrey of the Orlando Sentinel’s NASCAR Nuts & Bolts blog says the move to push NASCAR to ESPN2 was bush league.
Dustin Long of the Virginian-Pilot says NASCAR is not going to win a primetime ratings battle thus the reason for the switch.
Barry Horn of the Dallas Morning News says ABC switching to “America’s Funniest Videos” is what hurts NASCAR fans the most.
Jaynelle Ramon in the Arizona Daily Star looks at the ESPN/ABC production of the NASCAR race from inside the truck.
I could go over to various NASCAR blogs, but you can imagine the venom spewing against ABC and it would be the same thing as what you’ve read in the links listed above. There’s a lot of anger out there. NASCAR fans are very passionate about the sport. I’ve mentioned in the past that I don’t get the Chi of NASCAR, but I respect the fans for their love of the sport.
Pete Dougherty of the Albany Times Union looks at Week 11 in the National Football League.
Phil Mushnick of the New York Post is angry over PSL prices and some other subjects.
Bob Wolfley from the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel feels Fox’s Joe Buck and Troy Aikman were a bit off during yesterday’s Packers-Vikings game.
Jeffrey Flanagan in the Kansas City Star reviews the TV and radio commentary from the Chiefs-Chargers game.
Back to Barry Horn, he writes that the NFL pregame shows mentioned the Cowboys even though the team had a bye week.
And back to Neil Best, he says Verizon Fios will carry the MLB Network and MLB Extra Innings package.
Kyle Veazey of the Jackson (MS) Clarion-Ledger the Mississippi State-Alabama game will be seen on ESPN in primetime this Saturday.
St. Clair Murraine of the Tallahassee (FL) Democrat writes that ESPN College Gameday will be at the Florida A&M-Hampton game this week.
Bob Heist of the Shreveport (LA) Times says Lee Corso got his Alabama-LSU prediction right.
Glen Dickson of Broadcasting & Cable writes that ESPN360′s broadband video player gets an upgrade.
Jeff Caplan of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram says Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban filmed an NBA commercial for ESPN.
That will do it for now. I should have an afternoon update later. Check back.
Taking a look at the SEC press release on its new 15 year contract with ESPN, it appears that the Alleged Worldwide Leader got the better of the deal than CBS. Some highlights, first football:
- ESPN gets the rights to all of the SEC home football games, except those aired by CBS.
- ESPN/ESPN2 will air at least 20 football games either on Thursday or Saturday nights.
- ESPNU which increases its reach into the Southeast under an impending deal with Comcast gets at least 13 games a season.
- ESPN Regional Television takes over the syndication contract for Raycom.
- ESPN/ESPN2 will expand SEC airings from one to three nights.
- ABC will air the semifinals and finals of the SEC Tournament, taking the rights away from CBS.
- ESPN Regional Television will syndicate 37 games throughout the region.
Those are just some of the benefits of the contract that ESPN takes away.
Christopher Byrne of the Eye on Sports Media blog says the big loser in all this is Raycom.
Tim Lemke of the Washington Times says ESPN is paying up big time to keep the SEC.
Brett Dawson of the Louisville Courier-Journal says all SEC programming will be branded by ESPN.
Alan Schmadtke of the Orlando Sentinel writes that the CBS and ESPN agreements with the SEC ends all speculation over an SEC Network and also ends Raycom’s relationship with the conference.
Ian R. Rapoport of the Birmingham News calls the cash ESPN is throwing at the SEC, crazy money.
In case you want to see it for yourself, here are the key details of the new agreement: Football ESPN has acquired rights to every SEC home football game (excluding those on the network broadcast package) and will serve as the exclusive national cable home and the syndication rightsholder for the conference. ESPN and ESPN2: The networks will increase coverage by combining to televise a minimum of 20 SEC games annually, including Saturday night and two primetime Thursday matchups. ESPNU: The 24-hour college sports network, which launched in March 2005, will present a package of SEC football for the first time, with a Saturday game-of-the-week (generally in primetime and a minimum of 13 games annually). ESPN Regional Television (ERT): The nation’s largest syndicator of collegiate sports programming, becomes the official over-the-air syndication home for the SEC and will feature a game-of-the-week package (generally at 12:30 p.m. ET), with a minimum of 13 games each season throughout the SEC footprint and beyond. In addition, ERT will produce and distribute a studio show. ESPN360.com: Simulcasts of SEC game telecasts will be offered on the broadband network. ESPN Mobile TV: Live games will be simulcast on mobile phones. ESPN International: The agreement includes global rights to present live games and encore presentations. ESPN Deportes: ESPN has acquired domestic Spanish-language rights for SEC football on the 24-hour, U.S.-based network. ESPN GamePlan: The out-of-market college football pay-per-view service, will offer SEC action. ESPN Classic: The network may telecast select SEC live games as well as historic and immediate encore presentations. ESPN.com: Extensive SEC content, including highlights, will be presented online. Men’s Basketball As the exclusive national cable home and syndication rightsholder, an ESPN outlet will offer every SEC intra-conference game (excluding those on the network broadcast package) and numerous inter-conference matchups. ESPN and ESPN2: The networks will triple the offerings by featuring SEC action three nights per week through a minimum of 24 intra-conference games plus an additional six inter-conference matchups involving the SEC each season. Highlighting the increased schedule will be the return of the SEC to ESPN’s Super Tuesday and the addition of SEC slots on Thursday and Saturday (ESPN or ESPN2). The SEC will also continue to participate in an annual inter-conference basketball challenge event (e.g. – SEC/Big East Challenge). ESPNU: The network will televise exclusively a minimum of seven intra-conference and five non-conference games. ESPN on ABC: A minimum of two regular-season games each season plus the addition of a national telecast of the SEC Tournament Semifinals and Championship Game, giving ABC its first entry into the annual Championship Week. ESPN Regional Television (ERT): Similar to football, ERT takes over the rights to SEC syndication and will produce and syndicate a minimum of 37 intra-conference games each season throughout SEC territories and beyond. Highlights will include weekly doubleheaders on Saturdays, Wednesday night games, a studio show and the first two rounds of the SEC Tournament. ESPN360.com: Simulcasts of SEC game telecasts will be offered on the broadband network. ESPN Mobile TV: Live games will be simulcast on mobile phones. ESPN International: The agreement includes global rights to present live games and encore presentations. ESPN Deportes: ESPN has acquired domestic Spanish-language rights for SEC basketball on the 24-hour, U.S.-based network. ESPN FULL COURT: The out-of-market college basketball pay-per-view service, will offer SEC action. ESPN Classic: The network may telecast select SEC live games as well as historic and immediate encore presentations. ESPN.com: Extensive SEC content, including highlights, will be presented online. Women’s Basketball ESPN and ESPN2: SEC teams will make a minimum of 16 appearances on ESPN or ESPN2 and one of the networks will also televise the conference tournament championship game. ESPNU: The network will also feature a minimum of 16 appearances by SEC teams, in addition to the women’s conference tournament semifinals. ESPN Regional Television: ERT will syndicate a game-of-the-week during the regular season as well as the early rounds of the women’s conference tournament. Olympic Sports ESPN and ESPN2: A minimum of three regular-season baseball or softball games will be offered on ESPN or ESPN2 as well as three regular-season gymnastics matches. In addition, the conference championships in gymnastics, softball and baseball will be televised. ESPNU: A minimum of 25 regular-season events annually will be televised, including baseball, softball, volleyball, gymnastics, soccer, swimming and diving, track and field and others. ESPNU will cover all SEC Conference events not on ESPN or ESPN2, including swimming and diving, indoor track and field, outdoor track and field and women’s soccer.
For good measure, here is the SEC press release announcing its 15 year pact with CBS from earlier this month. Thanks to the two deals, the SEC becomes one of the richer conferences in college sports.
ESPN has acquired rights to every SEC home football game (excluding those on the network broadcast package) and will serve as the exclusive national cable home and the syndication rightsholder for the conference.
ESPN and ESPN2: The networks will increase coverage by combining to televise a minimum of 20 SEC games annually, including Saturday night and two primetime Thursday matchups.
ESPNU: The 24-hour college sports network, which launched in March 2005, will present a package of SEC football for the first time, with a Saturday game-of-the-week (generally in primetime and a minimum of 13 games annually).
ESPN Regional Television (ERT): The nation’s largest syndicator of collegiate sports programming, becomes the official over-the-air syndication home for the SEC and will feature a game-of-the-week package (generally at 12:30 p.m. ET), with a minimum of 13 games each season throughout the SEC footprint and beyond. In addition, ERT will produce and distribute a studio show.
ESPN360.com: Simulcasts of SEC game telecasts will be offered on the broadband network.
ESPN Mobile TV: Live games will be simulcast on mobile phones.
ESPN International: The agreement includes global rights to present live games and encore presentations.
ESPN Deportes: ESPN has acquired domestic Spanish-language rights for SEC football on the 24-hour, U.S.-based network.
ESPN GamePlan: The out-of-market college football pay-per-view service, will offer SEC action.
ESPN Classic: The network may telecast select SEC live games as well as historic and immediate encore presentations.
ESPN.com: Extensive SEC content, including highlights, will be presented online.
As the exclusive national cable home and syndication rightsholder, an ESPN outlet will offer every SEC intra-conference game (excluding those on the network broadcast package) and numerous inter-conference matchups.
ESPN and ESPN2: The networks will triple the offerings by featuring SEC action three nights per week through a minimum of 24 intra-conference games plus an additional six inter-conference matchups involving the SEC each season. Highlighting the increased schedule will be the return of the SEC to ESPN’s Super Tuesday and the addition of SEC slots on Thursday and Saturday (ESPN or ESPN2). The SEC will also continue to participate in an annual inter-conference basketball challenge event (e.g. – SEC/Big East Challenge).
ESPNU: The network will televise exclusively a minimum of seven intra-conference and five non-conference games.
ESPN on ABC: A minimum of two regular-season games each season plus the addition of a national telecast of the SEC Tournament Semifinals and Championship Game, giving ABC its first entry into the annual Championship Week.
ESPN Regional Television (ERT): Similar to football, ERT takes over the rights to SEC syndication and will produce and syndicate a minimum of 37 intra-conference games each season throughout SEC territories and beyond. Highlights will include weekly doubleheaders on Saturdays, Wednesday night games, a studio show and the first two rounds of the SEC Tournament.
ESPN360.com: Simulcasts of SEC game telecasts will be offered on the broadband network.
ESPN Mobile TV: Live games will be simulcast on mobile phones.
ESPN Deportes: ESPN has acquired domestic Spanish-language rights for SEC basketball on the 24-hour, U.S.-based network.
ESPN FULL COURT: The out-of-market college basketball pay-per-view service, will offer SEC action.
ESPN.com: Extensive SEC content, including highlights, will be presented online.
ESPN and ESPN2: SEC teams will make a minimum of 16 appearances on ESPN or ESPN2 and one of the networks will also televise the conference tournament championship game.
ESPNU: The network will also feature a minimum of 16 appearances by SEC teams, in addition to the women’s conference tournament semifinals.
ESPN Regional Television: ERT will syndicate a game-of-the-week during the regular season as well as the early rounds of the women’s conference tournament.
ESPN and ESPN2: A minimum of three regular-season baseball or softball games will be offered on ESPN or ESPN2 as well as three regular-season gymnastics matches. In addition, the conference championships in gymnastics, softball and baseball will be televised.
ESPNU: A minimum of 25 regular-season events annually will be televised, including baseball, softball, volleyball, gymnastics, soccer, swimming and diving, track and field and others. ESPNU will cover all SEC Conference events not on ESPN or ESPN2, including swimming and diving, indoor track and field, outdoor track and field and women’s soccer.
Well, I was out of the office for most of the day and then I was in an office that had no wireless or high speed internet you got nothing today. I’ll do better tomorrow. Let’s do the links.
Michael McCarthy of USA Today tells us that ESPN has shuffled its NFL analyst lineup for its various studio shows.
Andrew Jacobs of the International Herald Tribune says the International Olympic Committee negotiated that Communist China could censor the internet during the Summer Games. But the Times of India is reporting that the IOC is denying any knowledge of Communist censorship. James Reynolds of BBC News tests out the internet censorship in a video you can see at YouTube or at the BBC’s website. The Canadian Press says the organization, Reporters without Borders, is offering a guide to working journalists how to skirt firewalls and censorship in Communist China. You can download the book calling for journalists to boycott the Olympics here.
Lisa Snedeker of Media Life Magazine reports that various negative issues are causes for concern for NBC’s broadcast of the Olympics.
Darren Rovell of CNBC catches up with Dan O’Brien and Dave Johnson, Dan & Dave, of the 1992 Reebok campaign for the Barcelona Olympics. And Darren looks inside the Nike decision to allow its swimmers to wear the cutting edge LZR swimsuit made by rival Speedo.
Jo-Ann Barnas from the Detroit Free Press says the enormous amount of Olympics coverage by NBC is a tremendous gamble.
William Houston of the Toronto Globe and Mail says CBC and NBC are taking different approaches to broadcasting the Olympics from Communist China.
The National Post of Canada says CBC will offer Olympic highlights in Mandarin Chinese.
Phil Swann of the TV Predictions website says Time Warner Cable and Cox will pick up NBC’s special Olympics channels and show them in HD.
Richard Sandomir of the New York Times says Madison Square Garden has shuffled its management lineup.
Newsday’s Neil Best tells us that Sirius Satellite Radio has made a sports hire, but it’s not who you think. And Neil says Yankees-Red Sox on Sunday was the highest rated baseball game on ESPN since, Red Sox-Yankees earlier this season.
Chris Pursell of TV Week writes in his Pressbox blog that the Chicago Cubs are driving the ratings for Comcast SportsNet.
The Sports Media Watch says the NASCAR race on ESPN last Sunday set a ratings record for the Alleged Worldwide Leader.
The New York Times’ George Vescey has a story on former ESPN anchor and current Good Morning America co-host Robin Roberts surviving cancer.
The Dubuque (IA) Telegraph Herald opines that now is the time for the Big Ten Network and Mediacom to get together on a deal.
Doug Smock of the Charleston (WV) Gazette says fans are scrambling to find a way to watch the Wisconsin-Marshall game as it’s on the Big Ten Network.
The Big Ten Network has announced a month-long tour of conference schools’ football practices in August.
Steve over at the Sox & Dawgs blog couldn’t be happier to see WEEI.com’s Michael Felger drinking tobacco juice by mistake.
Tim Lemke of the Washington Times reports that former Baltimore Sun Orioles beat reporter Ryan Kubatko has been hired to write for MASN’s website.
Leonard Shapiro of the Washington Post tells us that talk show host Phil Wood did not miss a beat after being let go by ESPN 980.
Andrew Harris of Bloomberg says boxing promoter Don King has lost a libel suit against ESPN and parent company, Disney for a SportsCentury installment.
Robert Marick of Broadcasting & Cable says ESPN led the way for Disney’s 3rd quarter profits.
Linda Moss of Multichannel News says two small cable operators debated big dog ESPN about its pricing for ESPN360.
That will do it for tonight.
After getting stuck trying to get some paperwork done (sometimes work gets in the way of blogging), I can provide you with some links. Once again, I’ve been enjoying Wimbledon online. Whether you watch from ESPN360 or Mediazone or various backdoor sites, it has been fun to watch. The big test will be in August when the Olympics start. Will any work get done while the events are taking place?
Heading to your linkage, I’ll start with USA Today’s Michael Hiestand who talks about Michael Strahan going to Fox and also looks at the weekend ratings.
The New York Daily News’ Bob Raissman feels interim Mets manager Jerry Manuel might help diffuse a media angry over the Willie Randolph days.
Newsday’s Neil Best joins Martin C. Evans on a story about Don Imus getting into hot water for another comment involving an African American athlete. In his blog, Neil gets comments from Imus cast member Warner Wolf about the whole incident. Neil has a short blurb about Michael Strahan joining Fox NFL Sunday. Neil also has Chris Russo shooting down speculation that he and Mike Francesa are splitting up. Lastly from Neil, he explains that he did not give a negative review to Russo’s first book.
Keith Groller of the Allentown (PA) Morning Call hopes Mike & the Mad Dog remain together.
Speaking about WFAN, Ken McMillan of the Times Herald-Record says the FAN’s Chris Carlin will pick up Rutgers basketball duties in addition to calling Rutgers football.
Here’s Fox Sports’ story on Strahan joining the network.
CNBC’s Darren Rovell asks the question, are sports retailers feeling the pinch during these difficult economic times?
Ken Schott of the Schectady Gazette writes that an interim weekend sports anchor gets the interim tag removed.
Adam Chapman of the Dallas Morning News gets negative reaction from Adam “Pacman” Jones who was the subject of Imus’ comments yesterday.
Bob Wolfley of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel talks with ESPN’s Jay Bilas about the NBA Draft and the prospects for Wisconsin player Brian Butch.
Ray Frager of the Baltimore Sun says Fox Sports’ Joe Buck had a good appearance on Letterman last night.
Wayne Friedman of Mediapost blogs that the Beijing air pollution is contrary to the message of a green Olympics on NBC.
A couple of things from the Washington Post or as people in DC like to call it, the WaPo. Staci D. Kramer of Paidcontent.org writes about ESPN360 carring live cricket, NBC’s plans to send Olympic content to Windows Vista users and content from the YES Network will now be available on the New York Times website.
Leonard Shapiro of the Post catches up with former DC Sportscaster Steve Bassett.
Rick Cleveland of the Jackson (MS) Clarion Ledger feels NBC is paying too much to air Notre Dame football games.
Sports Illustrated’s Stewart Mandel wonders now that the Big Ten Network has its agreement with Comcast, will the Southeastern Conference be next?
That’s going to do it for now.
Ok, so this is way after 9 p.m., but at least I’m here doing the links on a Friday night for you. As usual, we preview the weekend viewing.
Weekend Viewing Picks
This is one of those lazy weekends where there are a lot of events, but not a lot of buzz as we have baseball, boxing, the College World Series, motorsports, Olympic trials and soccer.
Interleague play continues as MLB heads into the first day of summer. WGN has the Crosstown Rivalry on Saturday between the White Sox and Cubs at 1 p.m. Fox will split the country Saturday between the Cardinals-Red Sox and Indians-Dodgers at 3:55 p.m. On Sunday, TBS covers the Cards-Red Sox at 1:30 p.m. and ESPN’s Sunday night game will be the White Sox-Cubs at 8 p.m.
The College World Series in Omaha, NE will have two games on Saturday and ESPN has both of them. Georgia and Stanford starts at 1 p.m. Then in primetime, Fresno State takes on North Carolina at 7 p.m.
The Euro 2008 soccer tournament will have its last two semifinalists after this weekend. On Saturday, the Netherlands takes on Russia (ABC) and on Sunday, Spain and World Cup Champion Italy square off (ESPN). Both games will be on the air at 2:30 p.m.
The U.S. Olympic trials are underway and NBC will have coverage of Diving and Gymnastics this weekend. The Diving trials will be seen on both Saturday (3:30 p.m.) and Sunday (3 p.m.). And since NBC will show a heavy menu of Gymastics at the Olympics in Communist China, it will have extensive coverage of the men’s finals (Saturday at 4:30 p.m.) and the women’s finals (Sunday in primetime at 7 p.m.) which should include the 16 year old sensation Shawn Johnson.
The PGA Tour without Tiger Woods, limps into Cromwell, CT and the Travelers Championship. CBS has third and final round coverage at 3 p.m. both Saturday and Sunday.
Plenty of racing this weekend. The NASCAR Nationwide Series is in Milwaukee for something called the Camping World RV Rental 250. ESPN2 has it Saturday in primetime at 8:30. The NASCAR Sprint Cup Series heads to Infineon Raceway in California for the Toyota/Save Mart 350, Sunday afternoon at 5.
The Indy Car Racing League has the Iowa Corn Indy 250 (who comes up with these names?) which ABC will carry Sunday at 1:30 p.m.
Fox will have same day coverage of the Formula 1 French Grand Prix, Sunday at 1.
Now to your links.
We have some late breaking news. Sam Schechner, Matthew Futterman and Merissa Marr of the Wall Street Journal report that the NFL and ESPN are talking about a joint venture which would combine the NFL Network and ESPN Classic. Stay tuned.
Jon Lafayette of TV Week says the talks between the two parties are quite serious.
USA Today’s Michael Hiestand writes that NBC will have gymnastics legend Bela Karolyi with Bob Costas during this weekend’s U.S. Gymastics Olympics Trials.
East and Mid-Atlantic
David Scott of the Boston Sports Media Watch looks at the coverage of the Celtics celebration this week.
Nancy Marrapese-Burrell of the Boston Globe previews ESPN2′s coverage of Wimbledon which begins on Monday.
Newsday’s Neil Best writes in his Friday column that tennis has a chance to grab summer viewers now that Tiger Woods is not playing golf. From his blog, Neil expands on the Friday column and talks about ESPN2′s revamped tennis scoreboard that will debut at Wimbledon. Neil has the ESPN press release which outlines the new ESPN SportsCenter morning anchor lineup which begins in August. And Neil writes that NBC’s Johnny Miller has apologized for comments made about U.S. Open runner-up Rocco Mediate.
Richard Sandomir of the New York Times says NBC Sports is remaining loyal to Notre Dame despite poor ratings last season.
The New York Post’s Phil Mushnick feels SNY’s announcers looked the other way as former Mets manager Willie Randolph was enabling his team’s lazy play. Justin Terranova of the Post has five questions for SNY’s Darryl Strawberry. And Justin talks with ESPN2′s Patrick McEnroe about Wimbledon.
Ken McMillan of the Times Herald-Record says WCBS-AM sports anchor Kevin Connors is heading for the Worldwide Leader.
Laura Nachman writes that Philadelphia’s Fox 29 let go of its sports director shortly after he returned from a car accident.
Tim Lemke of the Washington Times says the real winners of the U.S. Open were NBC and Callaway Golf.
Doug Nye of The State says the U.S. Open 18 hole playoff on Monday gave viewers a moment to remember.
Barry Jackson in the Miami Herald says ESPN is revamping its lineup for the NBA Draft next week.
Dave Darling of the Orlando Sentinel says we’re truly in the Dog Days of Summer.
David Barron of the Houston Chronicle says Bela Karolyi is a natural for TV.
Mac Engel writes in the Fort Worth Star-Telegram that sportscasting legend Pat Summerall has been in the hospital this week.
Over to the Daily Oklahoman where Mel Bracht tells us that ESPN SportsCenter anchor Jon Anderson has a new gig for ABC. In his notebook, Mel talks about NBC extending its deal to televise Notre Dame football games through the 2015 season. And here are Mel’s weekend viewing picks.
Bob Wolfley of the Milwaukee Journal says local viewers did watch the NBA Finals.
Brian Vanochten of the Grand Rapids (MI) Press discusses the Big Ten Network-Comcast deal struck late Thursday afternoon.
The Chicago Tribune’s Teddy Greenstein also talks about the BTN-Comcast agreement. And Greenstein writes about the NBC Sports-Notre Dame five year contract extension. Teddy adds that Sun-Times columnist Jay Mariotti blasts his fellow newspaper colleagues and White Sox manager Ozzie Guillen in an interview that aired Friday night. And Teddy has his weekend viewing picks.
Judd Zulgad of the Minneapolis Star Tribune says a former local sports anchor has non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma. And Judd reports that Minnesota Vikings safety Darren Sharper is one of 20 current players who attended the NFL broadcasting boot camp.
Paul Christian writes in the Rochester (MN) Post-Bulletin that the pressure is on Charter Communications to come up with a deal with the Big Ten Network now that Comcast is in the fold.
Mark Alesia of the Indianapolis Star says Comcast viewers will be able to watch the Big Ten Network on expanded basic for eight months, but beyond that is anyone’s guess.
Scott D. Pierce of the Deseret (UT) Morning News says ABC’s cameras caught too much of the Celtics’ swearing on Tuesday night.
John Maffei from the North County Times says the U.S. Olympic Trials begin in earnest this weekend.
Jim Carlisle of the Ventura County Star feels the networks will be hurting with Tiger Woods’ absence.
Greg Johnson and Sam Farmer of the Los Angeles Times says the talks between ESPN and the NFL could finally resolve the league’s battle with the major cable operators. John Scheibe writes that NBC is joining forces with the online World Championship Sports Network to show more Olympic sports.
John Ryan of the San Jose Mercury News wonders if Notre Dame football is must see TV anymore.
William Houston of the Toronto Globe and Mail outlines CBC’s plans for its contest to replace Hockey Night in Canada’s theme which went to CTV last week.
The Canwest News Service says Canadians are being asked to put their best foot forward in the CBC contest.
CBC says the winner will receive $100,000.
Marija Dukic of Media in Canada says TSN is ready to pick up the entire CFL package that was once shared with CBC.
Paul J. Gough of the Hollywood Reporter discusses the ESPN early morning SportsCenter lineup.
Mike Reynolds of Multichannel News reports that Euro 2008 is pulling decent ratings for ESPN2 and its online service, ESPN360. Reynolds adds that Fox Sports Net will air a 13 part series on Baseball’s Golden Age.
CNBC’s Darren Rovell wonders if Michelle Wie will ever live up to her endorsements.
Awful Announcing has the network announcing assignments for baseball this weekend.
Joe Favorito says the Women’s Tennis Association is conducting a major rebranding campaign.
That’s going to do it for now. I have a lot of catching up to do. Later.
Today at the French Open, it’s going to be one of the more intriguing matchups. It may not be a close match as Maria Sharapova is expected to win, but it’s intriguing because of the fashion. You may remember back in September during the US Open where Bethanie Mattek was seen wearing some outrageous outfits including a leopard-skin outfit and then one which showed so much cleavage that a ballboy could not stop gazing at her.
The match is expected to be played at 2:15 p.m. ET weather permitting. It has been raining in Paris today and some matches may have been pushed back due to the weather.
But if you’re at work and need to see what I’m talking about, you can go to ESPN360 for live, streaming coverage or other backdoor sites.
For good measure, I give you the infamous cleavage shot.
UPDATE – Due to weather and darkness, the match between Maria and Bethanie was suspended with Sharapova ahead, 6-2, 2-3. The match will resume at 5 a.m. ET on the Tennis Channel and Tennis Channel.com.
Time for some links from the morning papers and blogs.
Michael Hiestand of USA Today looks at CBS’ broadcast of the Bowling Clash of Champions, the first network TV broadcast of bowling in nine years.
Richard Sandomir of the New York Times writes about the new Sports Museum that opened near the World Trade Center site.
Maury Brown of the Biz of Baseball says ESPN2 will air the MLB First Year Player Draft next month.
Doug Smith of the Toronto Star writes in his Raptors blog that play-by-play man Chuck Swirsky will be missed as he’s moving back to Chicago.
Ed Sherman from the Chicago Tribune has an updated story saying the Bulls’ moves to shake up the radio and TV broadcast teams came as a surprise.
And Sherman writes about the Blackhawks changing their TV voice from Dan Kelly back to the popular Pat Foley.
Cheryl Hall of the Dallas Morning News writes about a local firm that won a Sports Emmy.
Sox & Dawgs says Heidi Watney had a decent debut on NESN earlier this week. I’ll agree with that. She did well and was also quite smooth last night.
If you’re a lacrosse fan, ESPN360 will carry an entire slate of National Lacrosse League games this year.
That’s going to do it for now. I’ll have updates throughout the day. Keep your RSS feeds updated.
Let’s give some more links this afternoon.
We’re beginning to hear that the Big Ten Network is close to a deal with Comcast. John Ourand of the Sports Business Journal is reporting a deal is imminent. Mike Snyder of the Detroit Free Press tries to find out more. Don Walker of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel says in his Business of Sports blog that other major cable providers in the Midwest, Time Warner and Charter do not appear to be close to signing the Big Ten Network. Even if a deal comes about, it won’t be in time for the Big Ten Tournament this week, it will most likely ensure that BTN will be on Comcast systems in time for college football season in late August or early September. We’ll continue to monitor.
In a move that saddens me and other sports fans in Rhode Island, Citadel Broadcasting has pulled the plug on all-sports WSKO AM-FM today. It’s really too bad. I have a bunch of friends who work there and I hope to hear from them in the next day or two. Scott Cordischi, Andy Gresh and John Crowe are all good people and I hope they get jobs somewhere soon. Greshie has been doing work at ESPN Radio and I’m sure he’ll land on his feet, but as far as producers and the grunts who have lost their jobs, this is bad news.
D.K. Wilson of the Chicago Sports Review follows the evidence and finds a connection into Pennsylvannia Senator Arlen Specter’s “investigation” into Spygate. And Philadelphia Weekly also goes after Specter for this investigation.
The Sports Media Journal has started the SMJ Sports Radio Madness Best Host Tournament. You can see the 24 sports radio talk show hosts involved in the tournament here. It’s quite an interesting list. You can agree or disagree with the choices, but the tournament is certainly an interesting one.
Newsday’s Neil Best recaps Alex Rodriguez’ appearance on WFAN’s Mike & the Mad Dog this afternoon.
Sports Illustrated’s Richard Deitsch talks about ESPN’s Pedro Gomez being happy now that he’s no longer on the Barry Bonds beat.
Dusty Saunders of the Rocky Mountain News has high praise for ESPN’s documentary, Black Magic.
ESPN360 will offer a whole host of conference tournament and championship games this week.
Thomas Bonk of the Los Angeles Times has a profile of NBC Sports golf anchor Dan Hicks.
Paul Sen over at the Sports Media Watch is amazed that the much-hyped Pittsburgh-Washington NHL game didn’t do better on NBC on Sunday. But on the other hand, the Suns-Spurs NBA game on ABC did very well.
That’s it for now. If anything breaks on the Big Ten Network front, I’ll certainly let you know. And I hope to have a real time review of the latest Real Sports tonight.
I’m going to give you some links now and do an update later. I’ll be out for most of the day. And I hope you turned your clocks forward last night!
Neil Best of Newsday writes about a new ESPN documentary on the African American pioneers who coached and played college basketball. Former New York Knick Earl “The Pearl” Monroe produced the doc. In his blog, Neil has an update on a regular caller to New York’s WFAN who was injured in a car accident.
Sam Williams of the Montgomery (AL) Advertiser says there was a screening of the documentary in Alabama this past week. Mike Tankersley of the Advertiser says it’s still up in the air whether Braves fans in Alabama will have access to 45 Atlanta Braves games that will be aired on Peachtree TV (the former WTBS in Atlanta).
Bob Raissman of the New York Daily News joins the chorus in saying Brett Favre would be a natural for TV. I still can’t see him in a suit and tie, sorry.
I hope the people at HBO Sports are happy. Laura Nachman reports that NFL Films has had to lay off some staff because HBO canceled Inside the NFL.
The Sports Media Watch has its usual weekend ratings predictions.
Christopher Byrne’s Eye on Sports Media blog always has something interesting and today is no exception. He caught ESPN360 in a big gaffe last night. And Chris blames the NBA, not the officials for the 51.9 second replay between the Atlanta Hawks and Miami Heat that was conducted last night.
Bob Weeks of the Toronto Globe and Mail laments the end of the 62 year relationship between the CBC and Canadian men’s curling championships. TSN takes over next year.
The Hartford Courant runs some angry reader comments about the fact that ESPNU is picking up some games from the Big East women’s tournament leaving UConn fans in the dark since Comcast hasn’t picked up the channel.
Linda Moss of Multichannel News talks about NBC Universal’s plans for not only the 2008 Olympics in Communist China, but the 2010 Winter Games in Vancouver and the 2012 Summer Games in London.
Thta’s it for now. I’ll have an update later tonight. Keep your RSS feed updated.
Time for some Saturday links. Once again, thanks to Bruce Allen of Boston Sports Media Watch for bringing me into his site to do the Friday media links. You’ll always see them first here, but it’s a chance to bring the megalinks to a wider readership. For those of you coming over from BSMW, I hope you like what you see and bookmark this site. I always try to keep it updated as much as possible.
I’ve been trying to get this up on the blog, but for almost two hours, Blogger has been down, so I’m only able to publish this at 2 p.m. I was hoping to get this up around 12:30, but it’s up now.
So let’s get to the links.
First, the regular Saturday columns.
Barry Horn of the Dallas Morning News says Brett Favre would be a natural for TV, although as you read from yesterday, Bob Wolfley from the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel disagrees.
Jerry Garcia of the San Antonio Express-News writes that subscribers to AT&T U-Verse were unable to watch part of Thursday night’s Spurs-Pacers game because of a glitch at FSN Southwest.
Dan Caesar from the St. Louis Post-Dispatch says NBC affiliate KSDK has finally made arrangements with another station to pick up network sports programming when it has the Cardinals.
Teddy Greenstein of the Chicago Tribune wishes White Sox radio voice Ed Farmer would allow his new partner Steve Stone to talk.
William Houston of the Toronto Globe and Mail says curling has become a popular TV sport in Canada because viewers can hear everything on the ice.
Newsday’s Neil Best has a couple of things of note in his blog including a preview of HBO’s Real Sports interview with Rutgers coach C. Vivian Stringer a year after the Imus scandal. Neil also writes that ESPN360 will have 42 live events today.
Tom Hoffarth of the Los Angeles Daily News has a breakdown of what ESPN360 will show today in his Farther Off the Wall blog.
Jim Williams of the DC/Baltimore Examiner talks with Orioles broadcaster Jim Hunter who’s in his 12th year with the team.
Ken Schott of the Schenectady (NY) Gazette says this is a great time to be a college basketball fan.
Terry Massey of the Myrtle Beach Sun News talks with South Carolina native Wendi Nix of ESPN who was quite popular in Boston when she worked at WHDH-TV.
Joe Favorito’s Sports Marketing and PR blog talks about the All-America Football League postponing its debut by a year due to money problems.
That’s it for now.
It’s been a busy Tuesday.
People have been hired, fired and re-hired. I already talked about Sean Salisbury leaving ESPN. The blogosphere is abuzz about Salisbury.
However, there were other personnel moves today. Before Sean Salisbury became the personnel move of the day, ESPN announced it had hired Cris Carter, formerly of HBO, as a studio analyst. Did his hiring lead to Salisbury’s departure? I’m not sure, but at first, people including Newsday’s Neil Best were wondering if this would affect Emmit Smith (it did not). Justin Terranova of the New York Post says ESPN traded former Vikings. So Carter is in at the Worldwide Leader while Salisbury is out. Was this in direct correlation? You decide.
While ESPN was making multiple personnel moves, TNT was close to locking up its star studio analyst, Charles Barkley to a multi-year, seven figure contract. The Sports Media Watch links to a story from John Ourand of Sports Business Daily (who’s been breaking stories left and right this week) about Barkley who will also make appearances on the Turner Sports-operated NBA TV.
Paulsen of Sports Media Watch also has the final weekend ratings.
CNBC’s Darren Rovell looks at NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell’s salary.
Glenn Dickson of Broadcasting & Cable writes that ESPN has made a deal with The Masters to show its tournament coverage on multiple platforms including ESPN360.
Going back to the NFL Network vs. Comcast dispute, earlier today, the New York State Supreme Court overturned a lower court ruling allowing the cable provider to put the channel on a sports tier, lowering potential subscribers. John Ryan of the San Jose Mercury News says wake him up when this thing is over. Paritosh Bansal of Reuters says the dispute has now been sent back to court. Bob Fernandez of the Philadelphia Inquirer says this is a setback for Comcast.
The Sporting News picks up an Associated Press story which has Michigan State basketball coach Tom Izzo calling the Big Ten Network, “a PR nightmare.” That’s not good.
That’s it for tonight.