Last year, Fox Soccer gave soccer fans a true smorgasbord of English Premier League coverage on the final Sunday of the regular season. Utilizing Fox Soccer, Fox Soccer Plus, Fox Sports Net, Speed, FX, FoxSoccer.com, FoxSoccer2Go as well as ESPN2, fans had access to all of the games as teams positioned for European honors, cash and avoidance of relegation.
This season as Fox Soccer and ESPN end their relationship with the English Premier League at least for the next three years, games will be seen on Fox Soccer, Fox Soccer Plus, FoxSoccer.com, FoxSoccer2Go and ESPN. Most of the ten games on Sunday will be streamed online. Four of the games will be seen on TV.
In addition, we say goodbye to the excellent Goals on Sunday which really ramped up when Rob Stone joined Fox Soccer.
We have the schedule of games below.
Last-Minute Drama Expected as Chelsea, Tottenham & Arsenal Battle for European Honors Features Include David Beckham Interview & Martin Tyler Essay
Los Angeles – Every year on the final day of the English Premier League season, the 20 teams from the world’s top domestic soccer competition play each other in a frantic 10-match race for financial reward, hardware and European honors.
This year, FOX Soccer, FOX Sports Net and FOX Soccer Plus, together with digital platforms FOXSoccer.com and FOX Soccer 2Go, carry nine of the day’s 10 matches live, on Sunday, May 19 at 11:00 AM ET. Pre-match coverage begins at 10:30 AM ET on FOX Soccer, followed by coverage of Tottenham vs. Sunderland. The Spurs’ season comes down to this: a must-win match at White Hart Lane, plus help from other match results, in order to give them the fourth-place finish and a coveted Champions League berth. Simultaneously, FOX Soccer Plus carries UEFA Europa League champions Chelsea against Everton, who is still without a manager after former manager David Moyes replaced the retired Sir Alex Ferguson at Manchester United.
The final day of the Barclays Premier League season has drama and passion for all fans and teams involved. While Manchester United revels in glory as the League’s newly crowned champion, and the bottom three teams, Wigan Athletic, Reading and Queens Park Rangers, lament their relegation to the lower division, the battle for European qualification spots lives until the last whistle on Sunday.
The top four clubs in the Barclays Premier League earn UEFA Champions League qualification, receiving a potential reward of $75 million and the right to play in the world’s most prestigious club tournament. Pending the results of other domestic competitions, the fifth, sixth and seventh places in the Premier League also hold much significance. Once Sunday’s results are in, the holders of those spots qualify for the UEFA Europa League, a continent-wide knockout tournament with more than 40 years of history and tradition. Beginning this fall, 2013-2014 Europa League and Champions League contests air live on FOX Sports 1, America’s new sports network, launching August 17.
After the matches, the series finale of Goals on Sunday airs at 1:30 PM ET on FOX Soccer, with a feature on Manchester United’s Ryan Giggs, one of the best players to ever play in the Premier League, as well as an interview with David Beckham following his announcement to retire at the end of the season. The show also takes a look back at the English Premier League on FOX Soccer and includes a Martin Tyler essay highlighting his favorite memories.
MAY 19 MATCHES
Tottenham v Sunderland
FOX Soccer/10:30 AM ET
Chelsea v Everton
FOX Soccer Plus/10:30 AM ET
West Brom v Manchester Utd.
FOX Sports Net/10:30 AM ET
Liverpool v Queens Park Rangers
FOXSoccer.com/11:00 AM ET
Manchester City v Norwich City
FOXSoccer.com/11:00 AM ET
Southampton v Stoke City
FOXSoccer2Go/11:00 AM ET
Swansea City v Fulham
FOXSoccer2Go/11:00 AM ET
West Ham v Reading
FOXSoccer2Go/11:00 AM ET
Wigan v Aston Villa
FOXSoccer2Go/11:00 AM ET
Newcastle v Arsenal
ESPN/11:00 AM ET
That will do it.
Just received this from the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences, the full press release of the nominations for the 34th Annual Sports Emmy Awards.
NBC Sports Group received the most nominations with 58 followed by ESPN with 43 and Turner in third with 27.
Bob Costas was nominated yet again for Outstanding Studio Host along with Dan Patrick, James Brown, Ernie Johnson and Rich Eisen.
There were only four nominees for Outstanding Play-by-play, Mike Breen, Mike Emrick, Al Michaels and Jim Nantz.
Cris Collinsworth received another nomination for Outstanding Event Analyst. He’s joined by Ato Boldon of NBC Olympics, Jon Gruden, Jim Kaat and Mike Mayock.
Studio Analyst was full with Charles Barkley of TNT, Tony Dungy of NBC’s Football Night in America, CBS’ Boomer Esiason, MLB Network’s Harold Reynolds, Bill Ripken also from MLB Network and Kurt Warner of NFL Network.
Let us take a look at the full list. We need a jump break in here as well. Let’s go. Lots of things to read through. Get ready to scroll.
THE NATIONAL ACADEMY OF TELEVISION ARTS & SCIENCES ANNOUNCES THE NOMINEES FOR THE 34th ANNUAL SPORTS EMMY® AWARDS
Winners to be Honored During the May 7th Ceremony At Frederick P. Rose Hall, Home of Jazz at Lincoln Center
New York, NY – March 20, 2013 – The National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences (NATAS) today announced the nominees for the 34th Annual Sports Emmy® Awards.
More than 170 nominees were announced in 34 categories including Outstanding Live Sports Special, Live Series, Sports Documentary, Studio Show, Promotional Announcements, Play-by-Play Personality and Studio Analyst. The Awards will be given out at the prestigious Frederick P. Rose Hall, Home of Jazz at Lincoln Center located in the Time Warner Center on Tuesday, May 7th, 2013 in New York City.
“What a world we live in,” said Malachy Wienges, Chair, NATAS. “The Olympics, NASCAR, the Super Bowl, the Final Four, the World Series, The Stanley Cup, The NBA, the US Open, the Masters…it just goes on and on! This is another outstanding year for the sports community and for The National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences. The entries received in this year’s Sports Emmy Awards illustrate the high-water mark of quality each of us gets to enjoy every time we turn on our favorite program. With so much talent vying for the prestigious Emmy Award and with many of the today’s leading sports broadcasters, personalities, and television professionals in attendance, it promises to be an exciting evening.”
The networks of NBC Sports Group (NBC, NBC Sports Network, Golf Channel nbcolympics.com, Bravo, CNBC, MSNBC, nbcsports.com, & Telemundo) lead the nomination totals with 58, ESPN (ESPN, ESPN2, grantland.com, ABC, ESPN3D, ESPNU & ESPNews), garnered 43, and Turner Sports (TNT, TBS, NBA TV, NCAA.com & truTV) garnered 27. A complete list of all Networks and individual show nominations follows below.
A complete list of all nominees is attached and also available at www.emmyonline.tv/sports
34th Annual Sports Emmy Award Nominations by Network Group
Network or Network Group Nominations
NBC Sports Group (NBC, NBC Sports Network, Golf Channel, nbcolympics.com, Bravo, CNBC, MSNBC, nbcsports.com, Telemundo) — 58
ESPN (ESPN, ESPN 2, grantland.com, ABC, ESPN 3D, ESPNU, ESPNews) — 43
Turner Sports (TNT, TBS, NBA TV, truTV, NCAA.com) — 27
FOX Sports Media Group (FOX, SPEED, FOX Soccer Channel) — 17
HBO Sports — 17
NFL Network (NFL Network, NFL Media, NFL.com) — 16
CBS (CBS, Showtime, CBS Sports Network) — 15
MLB Network — 9
DIRECTV — 1
YouTube — 1
34th Annual Sports Emmy Award Nominations by Network
NETWORK — NOMINATIONS
NBC — 36
ESPN — 23
HBO Sports — 17
FOX — 13
NFL Network — 13
TNT — 13
CBS — 10
ESPN2 — 10
MLB Network — 9
NBC Sports Network — 9
TBS — 5
NBA TV — 4
Showtime — 4
truTV — 4
grantland.com — 3
NBCOlympics.com — 3
Speed — 3
ABC — 2
Bravo — 2
ESPN3D — 2
ESPNU — 2
Golf Channel — 2
MSNBC — 2
NFL Media — 2
Telemundo — 2
CBS Sports Network — 1
CNBC — 1
DIRECTV — 1
ESPNews — 1
FOX Soccer Channel — 1
nbcsports.com — 1
NCAA.com — 1
NFL.com — 1
YouTube — 1
BREAKDOWN OF MULTIPLE PROGRAM — SERIES NOMINATIONS
Games of the XXX Olympiad (NBC/Bravo/CNBC/MSNBC/NBC SportsNetwork/NBCOlympics.com/Telemundo) — 14
NBA on TNT (TNT) — 6
Real Sports with Bryant Gumbel (TNT) — 6
E:60 (ESPN2) — 5
24/7 (HBO) — 4
Hard Knocks: Training Camp with the Miami Dolphins (HBO) — 4
MLB on FOX (FOX) — 4
Outside the Lines (ESPN) — 4
Sunday Night Football (NBC) — 4
NASCAR on FOX (FOX) — 3
NFL Films Presents (NFL Network) — 3
30 for 30 (ESPN) — 2
A Football Life (NFL Network) — 2
College Gameday (ESPN) — 2
The Dream Team (NBA TV) — 2
Inside the NBA (NBA TV) — 2
Inside the NFL (Showtime) –2
MLB Network Division Series (MLB Network) — 2
MLB Tonight (MLB Network) — 2
Namath (HBO) — 2
NCAA March Madness (TBS) — 2
NFL on FOX (FOX) — 2
SportsCenter (ESPN) — 2
Sport Science (ESPN/ESPN2/ESPNews) — 2
UEFA Euro 2012 (ESPN) — 2
The nominations are coming after a jump break.
During the event that introduced US version of Fox Sports 1 to the world (let’s not forget the original Fox Sports 1 in Australia), we learned that the network has been built upon what Fox is calling “7 Sports Pillars,” College Basketball, College Football, MLB, NASCAR, NFL, Soccer and UFC fights.
Let’s go over what each pillar will bring to Fox Sports 1.
While it was not formally announced on Tuesday, we can expect Fox Sports 1 to be the official cable home of the new Big East, those “Catholic 7″ basketball-only schools to be joined by Butler and Xavier from the A-10 and maybe even Creighton from the Missouri Valley. The new Big East will join the Big 12, Conference USA and Pac-12 on Fox Sports 1. Expect to see basketball games in the winter on Monday, Thursday, Saturday and Sunday.
Games from C-USA, the Big 12 and Pac-12 will be on Thursday nights as well as triple and quadrupleheaders on Saturdays. In addition, Erin Andrews will host a Saturday morning pregame show on FS1. The Fox Mothership will continue to air college football games on Saturday nights. The 2013 schedule for Fox includes Notre Dame at Stanford as well as the Big Ten Championship and the Cotton Bowl.
In 2014, Fox’s new contract with Major League Baseball kicks in. Fox Sports 1 will air a full schedule of 26 regular season games which will include games from its Fox Sports Net affiliates. Expect to see plenty of the New York Yankees from YES, the Anaheim Angels from Fox Sports West and the Texas Rangers from Fox Sports Southwest. In addition, Fox Sports 1 will carry two League Division Series and a number of League Championship Series. The LCS was the latest development. Fox’s broadcast schedule will reduce from 24 regular season games this year to 12 in 2014. Fox will still carry the All-Star Game, most of the LCS and the entire World Series.
As Speed converts to Fox Sports 1, its NASCAR coverage will carryover to FS1. This will include the entire Camping World Truck Series and the familiar NASCAR RaceDay and NASCAR Victory Lane programs from Speed. In 2015, selected Sprint Cup races will move to Fox Sports 1 as will the All-Star race. The Daytona 500 Speedweeks festivities which include the Twin 125′s and the Duel will be aired on FS 1.
While Fox Sports 1 doesn’t have the rights to show games, it will have a daily program, Fox Football Daily which will include the cast of Fox NFL Sunday. The show will air daily at 6 p.m. ET. Terry Bradshaw, Howie Long, Jay Glazer, Gus Johnson, Erin Andrews and Mike Pereira are listed as participants, but as the show evolves, this falls under the category “subject to change.” This show will premiere when Fox Sports 1 launches in August.
It’s expected that Fox will do away with Fox Soccer and convert it to FX2, an all-entertainment channel. With the loss of the English Premier League to NBC, Fox will move the UEFA Champions League, Europa League, FA Cup and CONCACAF events to Fox Sports 1. UEFA Champions League and Europa League will be aired on Tuesday through Thursday afternoons. And when Fox’s contract with FIFA begins in 2015, Fox Sports 1 will air Women’s World Cup games that year and in 2019 and the men in 2018 and 2022. Other soccer leagues that were part of Fox Soccer Plus can be expected to be dispersed to Fox Sports 2 when that channel launches at a later date.
On Fox Sports 1′s launch date in August, a UFC card will be aired. Also, Fox Sports 1 will be the home to UFC programming on Wednesday nights. During Super Bowl XLVIII week, Fox Sports 1 is expected to have a card the night before the Big Game. Super Bowl Saturday normally has a UFC pay per view, but it’s expected to be aired on FS1 in 2014.
The news about Regis Philbin was confirmed on Monday during his appearance on of all places, “The View.” Regis will be host of “Rush Hour” which will have a panel of guests from the media, sports and fandom. This will air at 5 p.m. ET and lead into Fox Football Daily.
At 11 p.m. ET, Fox Sports 1 will air Fox Sports Live, the challenger to ESPN’s venerable SportsCenter. According to the Fox Sports executives, the network will invest heavily into a newsgathering operation that will produce a nightly program that will review the day’s events. A morning edition of Fox Sports Live will begin airing in January.
The Fox Sports Net affiliates and local Fox TV stations will be encouraged to contribute reports to Fox Sports Live.
It’s been seen on the Cotton Bowl and on the Daytona 500, the double box that will air commercials and also show live action so viewers don’t miss anything. Reviews on this has been mixed thus far, but I expect this to win fans over during NASCAR coverage.
Fox Sports Go will be an mobile and tablet app that will stream live events from Fox Sports, Fox Sports 1 and the Fox Sports Net affiliates. Subscribers to participating cable and satellite providers will have to authenticate in order to watch the events on their mobile device.
And there in a nutshell is what you’ll see on Fox Sports 1 when it launches on August 17.
My apologies for not posting the Weekend Viewing Picks and other stuff. My power went out thanks to the Blizzard of 2013 and I also had to deal with two downed trees, one lying across my driveway, so you can imagine me going stir crazy over blocked access, no heat, no power, NO WIFI and a full driving ban in Rhode Island. Luckily, a very gracious neighbor with a chain saw cut me out and the driving ban was lifted enabling me to escape from a heatless house and go to a relative’s house where I’m writing this post.
You deserve some sports media thoughts so it’s fine time you get them now. As always, they come in bullet form.
- I know the soccer community is up in arms over Gus Johnson being named as Fox’s international soccer voice. Yes, Fox can tap Martin Tyler from its UK brother, Sky Sports, but Fox chose to go with an American voice. Now, I was with the soccer community back in 2006 when ESPN chose a heavily miscast Dave O’Brien to be its main voice for the FIFA World Cup in Germany. I can remember listening to World Soccer Daily during the month-long event killing O’Brien. A lot of it was deserved and stinging from the criticism, ESPN chose UK announcers like Tyler, Ian Darke, Adrian Healy and Derek Rae. And while they all did a very good job, long-time ESPN soccer voice JP Dellacamera was jettisoned to radio to call many games off a monitor.
While I understand many in the soccer community who feel the Fox move with Johnson is destined to fail, I’m keeping an open mind here. Gus has called a share of San Jose Earthquakes MLS games over the last two years, plus he has traveled to Europe to learn the nuances of international soccer, spending time with Martin Tyler, something ESPN did not do with O’Brien, allowing him to be thrown to the wolves.
Gus will call his first international soccer contest this week on Fox Soccer. He won’t win over fans when he does Real Madrid vs. Manchester United in the UEFA Champions League, but he does have time to buy some credibility before he does his first World Cup game. Let’s hope he does.
- We now know Fox’s cable sports strategy coming later this year. Sometime in August, Speed becomes Fox Sports 1 airing college basketball, college football, MLB, NASCAR, soccer and UFC. Fuel will transition to Fox Sports 2 airing overflow events plus some extreme sports. Fox Soccer will rebrand to FX2 and will be completely out of the sports business. Got it? Good.
Fox has done this quietly and without fanfare. We’ve found out about Fox Sports 1 and 2 through the reporting by John Ourand of Sports Business Journal. Fox Sports officials aren’t confirming things, but they aren’t denying them either. You’ve seen some of the things they plan on doing on FX with college football/MMA doubleheaders, UEFA Champions League games and other action. All that moves to FS 1 & 2 in August and FX and FX2 will solely be entertainment channels.
Fox is positioning itself quite well and if it is able to obtain the rights to the breakout “Catholic 7,” the basketball-only schools from the Big East that plan on formulating in 2014, then Fox Sports 1 & 2 will be in very good shape for years to come.
- Speaking of the Big East, the same story I linked to above mentions that NBC Sports Network is offering the conference $20-23 million annually over six years. ESPN can match that offer, but will it? Knowing how much the Big East has been poached over the years, plus knowing the “Catholic 7″ will bolt in 2014, is the league still attractive? But ESPN could match to ensure NBCSN is shut out from the major conferences, if the Big East is still considered a major conference.
- I don’t know her name, but I enjoy the give-and-take, back-and-forth rivalry I have the Twitter account known as Har Journalist. She’s in Vancouver and has a blog devoted to sports with a slant towards the MLS’ Whitecaps. It’s a very good site and one that will keep you up to date on the Whitecaps. But I warn you, criticize her Canucks at your own risk. I criticize the Canucks to rile Har Journalist and she always replies in kind. It’s all in good fun.
Those are your sports media thoughts.
This coming into the Fang’s Bites inbox and a little bit of a surprise. First, we began hearing that Gus Johnson was calling MLS games over the past couple of years. And Deadspin has video of one of his games from last year. Privately, I was thinking that Fox could utilize Gus on the World Cup. Then today, Sports Illustrated’s Richard Deitsch reports that Fox is grooming Johnson to not only call World Cup games, but be THE Voice of the World Cup.
In fact, Gus’ first international soccer assignment will be next Wednesday in a UEFA Champions League Round of 16 match between Real Madrid and Manchester United on Fox Soccer. This will be the first case of Fox utilizing its own talent instead of relying on the Sky Sports or the International feed for the Champions League.
In addition to the Champions League, Fox will utilize Gus on the English Premier League in this last year of its contract and also on the FA Cup.
For the Champions League game, Fox will team Gus with studio analyst Warren Barton.
For the 2006 World Cup in Germany, ESPN utilized the miscast Dave O’Brien as the main voice and both the network and O’Brien were criticized for his lack of knowledge. Since 2006, ESPN has gone the European route for international soccer and NBC Sports tapped Brit Arlo White for MLS. We’ll see how the soccer community which can be very militant about announcers, embraces Johnson.
Here’s the press release.
Accomplished, Veteran Sportscaster Puts 18-Months of Study into Practice on Feb. 13 Calling Real Madrid-Manchester United
Los Angeles – One of America’s most distinctive and dynamic sportscasters calls his first-ever match for FOX Soccer on Wednesday, Feb. 13 when FOX Sports renowned play-by-play announcer Gus Johnson calls the highly anticipated UEFA Champions League Round of 16 match between Real Madrid and Manchester United, live from Madrid’s Estadio Santiago Bernabéu at 2:00 PM ET. The assignment is the first in a series of Barclays Premier League, FA Cup and UEFA Champions League matches Johnson is expected to call, including the FA Cup and UEFA Champions League Finals, May 11 and 25, respectively, on FOX.
Johnson, who has become a household name among sports fans for his memorable calls and signature catchphrases, has spent most of his career covering professional and collegiate sports, including football, basketball, baseball and boxing, among others. Calling soccer, however, is a relatively new undertaking.
“Over the past 20 years Gus has cemented himself as an iconic American sports broadcaster, and we’re thrilled to welcome his style to the world soccer stage,” said David Nathanson, Executive Vice President and General Manager of FOX Soccer. “Gus has spent the last year-and-a-half getting ready to call what is a new sport for him, and I applaud the work, study and time he’s devoted to his preparation. He respects how passionate and knowledgeable the soccer fan is, and while his education continues, he’s ready to lend his classic American voice to the world’s biggest sport.”
Since accepting this new challenge, Johnson has tapped several resources in his effort to learn as much as possible in such a short period of time. He called over a dozen MLS games on radio, mostly those of the San Jose Earthquakes; he has played pick-up soccer games in a park near his Manhattan home; spent several weeks in Europe last season attending games and conversing at length with Sky Sports executives and world-class football play-by-play announcer Martin Tyler. In Madrid, Johnson is partnering with FOX Soccer analyst Warren Barton, who in his playing days appeared in more than 300 Premier League matches. Barton, along with former players Eric Wynalda and Cobi Jones have aided Johnson tremendously in his soccer broadcasting education, collaborating with him on numerous practice telecasts under the tutelage of FOX Soccer Executive Producer Jonty Whitehead.
“No doubt that the followers of this sport are among the most passionate, knowledgeable fans in the world, and I’m a newcomer,” said Johnson. “The effort to learn the sport and absorb its nuance has been a humbling experience. While I’ve put a lot of time into my preparation thus far, it’s definitely going to take a lot of reps before I’ve mastered soccer’s rhythm and pace, but I am determined to do so, and with all the support I’m receiving I have no doubt that I will.”
In addition to Johnson’s Feb. 13 assignment in Madrid, he’s scheduled to call another UEFA Champions League match, this one between Arsenal and Bayern Munich, on Feb. 19 with analyst Ray Clemence and a Barclays Premier League game featuring Manchester City and Chelsea on Feb. 24 with Lee Dixon as analyst.
Since joining FOX Sports in 2011 Johnson has been a staple of the network’s college football (Big Ten, Pac-12, Big 12, and Conference USA) and NFL productions. This past year, he has been on the call for memorable moments such as Texas A&M’s 41-13 trouncing of Oklahoma in the 77th Cotton Bowl Classic, USC’s high-scoring 62-51 loss to Oregon last November, and Nebraska quarterback Taylor Martinez’s 76-yard touchdown run in the 2012 Big Ten Championship game.
Let’s see how this works. I hope it will be successful. I know Gus has his detractors, but let’s see how he does next week before rushing to judgment.
I keep getting bogged down with family stuff. I’m going to try and provide some linkage now.
Deadspin’s Timothy Burke and Jack Dickey have the story of the day exposing the inspirational Manti Te’o's girlfriend story as one huge hoax.
Matt Yoder at Awful Announcing has Twitter reaction to the Te’o girlfriend hoax.
Michael Hiestand talks with ESPN’s Stuart Scott about his cancer recurrence.
Michael asks who has to more to gain from this week’s interview, Lance Armstrong or
Scott M. Gleeson at USA Today’s Game On blog notes that Brent Musburger’s favorite Miss Alabama, Katherine Webb, will cover Super Bowl XLVII for Inside Edition.
Speaking of Brent, TMZ caught up with him as he was at an airport to talk about ESPN’s apology over his comments on Ms. Webb.
George Winslow of Broadcasting & Cable notes that ESPN Deportes is venturing into social media.
Todd Spangler from Multichannel News says Google says Time Warner Cable is withholding its Metro Sports network from Google’s TV service in Kansas City.
David Gianatasio of Adweek writes that Nike’s new ad featuring Rory McIlroy and Tiger Woods taps a familiar theme.
Simon Dumenco from Advertising Age facetiously speculates on what Lance Armstrong revealed to Oprah Winfrey.
Brandon Costa at Sports Video Group says NBC and local regional sports networks are scrambling to hire crews and production trucks for a hastily scheduled National Hockey League season.
ESPN.com’s Kristi Dosh, the Sports Biz Miss, says NHL teams are offering perks to lure fans back to the arena.
Newsday’s Neil Best says the TV networks are glad to see the National Hockey League back.
Jerry Barmash of FishbowlNY writes that MSG Network is ramping up for the 2013 NHL season.
Ken Schott from the Schenectady Daily Gazette says thanks to the scheduling, there will be no New York Rangers blackouts in the Capital Region this season.
Pete Dougherty of the Albany Times Union has compiled the 2013 NHL TV schedule for the Capital Region.
David Zurawik of the Baltimore Sun notes that this weekend’s Ravens-Patriots AFC Championship Game will get Super Bowl treatment from CBS.
In the Washington Post, Dan Steinberg in the DC Sports Bog has the transcript of WaPo columnist Sally Jenkins sitdown with PBS’ Charlie Rose about Lance Armstrong.
For her part, Jenkins says she’s not mad at Armstrong.
The Washington Examiner’s Jim Williams has ESPN’s Chris Evert being bullish on Serena Williams’ chances to sweep the Grand Slams this year.
David Barron of the Houston Chronicle says a long-time local sportscaster ends his TV tenure tomorrow.
Mel Bracht of The Oklahoman says the AFC Divisional Playoffs topped the local ratings.
Bob Wolfley at the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel has a local sportscaster leaving for Chicago.
Danny Ecker of Crain’s Chicago Business writes that the Chicago NHL Team has renewed its radio deal with WGN.
Joe Flint from the Los Angeles Times reports that Fox may convert Fox Soccer into an entertainment channel.
And that’s going to do it for now.
Time for some long overdue sports media thoughts. They’re all in bullet form. And the thoughts have to do with NBC Sports/NBC Sports Network.
- NBC Sports Network will finally get its man on Monday when it picks up the TV portion of the Dan Patrick Show and its accompanying show, The Box Score. Since the summer, NBC had been negotiating with DirecTV to become the national cable distributor of the show. Fox Sports Net had been the cable partner from 2010 until this month when negotiations to remain the home of the show broke off.
NBC Sports Network is desperately trying to become a legitimate competitor to ESPN, but with the NHL lockout plus losing out on Major League Baseball, it appeared that things were looking bleak. But some developments this week are giving NBCSN some hope to take the power back.
The first part is getting an established brand name like Dan Patrick to the network. The formal announcement will be made on Sunday Night Football during halftime of New Orleans-Denver.. Then the show starts the following day. The move has been long rumored, but it will finally come reality next week. For NBC Sports Network, the climb has to start somewhere. It has to start somehow. What better place than next week?
- The news broken by Sports Business Daily’s John Ourand on Friday that NBC appears to be the leader in the clubhouse for the US rights for the English Premier League has to feel like a bullet in the head to incumbents Fox Soccer and ESPN. When the bidding for the rights began this month, it appeared the current rightsholders, Fox/ESPN would continue for another three years beginning with the 2013-14 season. However, news broke today that the English Premier League had informed Fox/ESPN that it would no longer require its services. Ourand reported that NBC’s bid would triple Fox’s current fee of $23 million per year. An announcement is expected next week.
Of course, the Al Jazeera-owned beIN Sport which launched in the US in August has expressed its interest in the US rights, but it’s not known if it actually bid.
Let’s say for argument’s sake that NBC wins the rights, it would be huge. NBC Sports Network could conceivably air EPL games on Saturday and Sunday mornings plus air Monday afternoon games. Matches could be sublicensed to another network or placed on another NBCUniversal property like the Comcast SportsNet affiliates.
The English Premier League makes a nice compliment to the Major League Soccer games that air on both NBC and NBCSN. And if the EPL bid is successful, it suddenly gives the Peacock some street cred with soccer fans.
Plus, this is a huge blow to Fox Soccer which has heavily depended on the English Premier League for programming. And ESPN which already lost the World Cup and now 80 EPL games finds itself with just MLS once the 2014 World Cup concludes.
- Brett McMurphy at ESPN.com reports that the Big East conference is letting its exclusive 60 day negotiating window with ESPN lapse and will now start talks with Fox and NBC Sports.
While the Big East can still sign with ESPN, the conference is taking a gamble that it can get a megadeal similar to what other major college leagues have received. The Big East left big money on the table when it rejected a long-term deal from ESPN last year choosing to shop around. Now with its exclusive window with the alleged Worldwide Leader coming to an end, the Big East will get courted especially by NBC.
Over the last year, NBC Sports Network has picked up rights to the A-10, CAA, Ivy League and the Mountain West conferences, but it would be a huge win to get the Big East, a league that has been with ESPN since its inception.
Fox might be in just to drive up the bidding, but now with losing the EPL and Formula 1, it needs some inventory for its soon-to-be-launched Fox Sports 1 channel. If the Big East can convince either Fox or NBC or perhaps even both to pony up, the conference might be in line to see fees on par with the ACC. It will be interesting to see how it all plays out.
Suddenly, NBC Sports Network’s future looks a bit brighter than it did earlier this month. And if it gets a piece of the NASCAR schedule next year, then NBCSN’s programming with the NHL (if it ever returns), English Premier League, MLS, Big East, Formula 1 and the other aforementioned properties makes the channel a decent challenger. Don’t forget the NBA contract bidding in 2014 also is looming.
That’s going to end the thoughts for now.
Once again, the extremely connected John Ourand of Sports Business Journal has broken yet another story involving the sports television bidding process.
He breaks news that the current rightsholders for the US rights for the English Premier League, Fox and ESPN have dropped out of the bidding for the upcoming three year contract that would begin in the 2013-14 season. Ourand first tweeted that the Fox/ESPN entity was dropping out and that NBC has emerged as the frontrunner to the rights.
SBD: Fox and ESPN have dropped out of the EPL bidding process. NBCU is the clear front runner. BeIN the big question mark. Link coming.
— John Ourand (@Ourand_SBJ) October 26, 2012
It’s a bit of a surprise because earlier this month when NBC won the rights to Formula 1 races beating out Fox, it was thought that the Peacock would not have room for English Premier League games.
Now this has seemingly all changed with today’s developments with Fox/ESPN dropping out of the bidding. Ourand reports that NBC tripled Fox/ESPN’s bid for the rights.
The dark horse in the room is the Al Jazeera-owned beIN Sport which has deep pockets and has the rights to Italy’s Serie A, Spain’s La Liga and France’s Ligue 1. What role will it have, if any, in the upcoming EPL contract?
Fox issued a statement which notes its disappointment in losing the EPL.
Fox: We were disappointed to learn today that EPL has elected to move forward with a different media partner despite FOx’s aggressive bid
— John Ourand (@Ourand_SBJ) October 26, 2012
Fox had used English Premier League games as a launching pad for programming and depends solidly on the games for the bulk of its schedule. This leaves Fox Soccer with the UEFA Champions League, CONCACAF Champions League, Scottish Premier League, the World Cup from 2014-2022, but the loss of the English Premier League leaves huge holes in the schedule.
EPL Talk notes
that Fox Soccer and its previous incarnations had aired the English Premier League for 15 years and while an official announcement has yet to be made by the league, Fox/ESPN will continue to air games until the end of this season.
We’ll continue to monitor the developments in this story.
As we speed into the last quarter of 2012 and prepare for what’s ahead in 2013, there is one thing that is on the horizon for US sports fans and that is the expected appearance of a new all-sports cable channel. No, it’s not NBC Sports Network, although its trials and tribulations this fall will be the subject of a sports media thoughts post this week.
Sometime over the next two years, Fox Sports will announce that the sometimes all-motorsports, sometimes reality channel SPEED will be converted to an all-sports channel that will air MLB, Big 12 and Pac-12 sports, MMA, some NASCAR and anything else it can its hands on. You’re seeing a little bit of this through Fox’s increased sports programming on FX. Two Saturdays ago, FX had a college football doubleheader followed by a UFC on FX Fight Night.
Imagine that next year on the new SPEED which will in all likelihood be rebranded as Fox Sports 1. Why Fox Sports 1? Because it will be part of a company rebranding of Fox’s other sports channels, Fox Soccer and Fuel as Fox Sports 2 and Fox Sports 3, respectively. And there is precedence for this. Fox’s Australian channels are called Fox Sports 1, 2 and 3. Each channel serves to carry certain sports and big events like the Olympics or the Australian Open.
For American sports fans, expect the sports properties to line up as follows once the rebranding takes shape:
FOX SPORTS 1 (FORMERLY SPEED)
- College Basketball (Big 12 & Pac-12)
- College Football (Big 12 & Pac-12)
- English Premier League (Survival Sunday)
- Mixed Martial Arts (UFC)
- UEFA Champions League
- World Cup Soccer
FOX SPORTS 2/FOX SPORTS 2 PLUS (FORMERLY FOX SOCCER/FOX SOCCER PLUS)
- English Premier League
- Scottish Premier League
- UEFA Champions League
- UEFA Europa League
- Australian Rules Football
FOX SPORTS 3 (FORMERLY FUEL)
- Extreme Sports
- Australian Rules Football
- Mixed Martial Arts (UFC)
Fox has already signed for 40 MLB games on Fox Sports 1, taking 14 games away from its over the air package and another 13 away from TBS to form the new slate of games on cable. In addition, the new cable channel will air some League Division Series games starting in 2014.
Fox is about to announce a renewal of its NASCAR rights and expect part of its current schedule of 13 races in the early portion of the Sprint Cup calendar to migrate to Fox Sports 1. If Fox keeps the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series, the races could be split among Fox Sports 1 and 3.
And if Fox manages to hold off Al Jazeera’s expected bid for the US rights to English Premier League games, perhaps Fox Sports 1 could gain a package of early Saturday or Sunday morning matches with the rest going to Fox Sports 2.
There are a lot of possibilities for the Fox Sports channels. It could also be in very good position to gain NBA games when the new set of packages go to bid in 2014. And let us not forget about a potential 8 game Thursday Night NFL package that could cover the first half of the regular beginning in 2014 that Fox would certainly be interested in.
It was thought that NBC was positioning itself to challenge ESPN’s supremacy, but with its acquiring of MLB, NASCAR and college sports plus the World Cup in 2015, Fox just might have leap frogged ahead of the Peacock as ESPN’s main opponent.
I’m going to make a concerted effort to do linkage regularly again. It’s the reason why I started Fang’s Bites back in 2007 and I was able to do the links daily, even on weekends. But lately, my schedule has been so busy that the site has become a press release dump and I want that to stop.
So I hope to do the links every day for you this week unless I have to be off-site, but I’m going to do my best to bring you the linkage.
So without further delay, here’s the linkage.
USA Today’s Michael Hiestand talks about the drama that was the Ryder Cup at Medinah.
In Sports Business Journal, John Ourand notes that NBC Sports Network’s ratings have really fallen after getting big ratings for the 2012 London Olympics.
John reports that Fox Sports is about to renew its deal with NASCAR.
Over to the ESPN Front Row PR blog where ESPN PR maven Bill Hofheimer tells us that tonight’s Monday Night Football game between Chicago and Dallas will be Mike Tirico’s 100th contest. Congrats, Mike!
Jared Diamond of the Wall Street Journal delves into which MLB announcer is the most biased and the results will probably confirm your suspicions.
Bloomberg’s John Helyar, Scott Church and Scott Soshnick report on MLB’s secret TV deal with the Los Angeles Dodgers.
Ed Sherman at The Sherman Report says the European post-Ryder Cup press conference was an embarrassment to golf.
Ed explains how the Ryder Cup become a coveted property for NBC Sports after it was originally a sleepy event.
And Ed talks with NBC’s Roger Maltbie about his first job in television.
Mike Barnes of the Hollywood Reporter remembers former ABC and CBS motorsports voice Chris Economaki who died last week at the age of 91.
R. Thomas Umstead of Multichannel News says the Pro Bowlers Tour is back on ESPN.
As part of a special section, Advertising Age’s Brian Steinberg notes that NBC’s Seth Winter is one of the publications Media Mavens.
Karen Hogan of Sports Video Group writes about the launch of Comcast SportsNet Houston which kicks off on participating cable and satellite systems (not DirecTV though) today.
Mike McCarthy at Sports Biz USA talks about how track athletes are attempting to unionize to combat the International Olympic Committee’s Rule 40 which prevents them from being in non-Olympic sponsor ads during the Games.
At the New York Post, Phil Mushnick wants NBC’s announcers to kick Tiger Woods to the curb.
Newsday’s Neil Best says Fox’s Michael Strahan and co-host of “Live with Kelly and Michael” says he got good practice for his latest gig by talking with reporters when he was a New York Football Giant.
Pete Dougherty from the Albany Times Union talks with NFL Network’s Rich Eisen.
Jim Williams of the Washington Examiner talks with MLB Network Radio co-host Jim Duquette about the Nationals.
David Barron from the Houston Chronicle tells us about today’s launch of the latest Comcast SportsNet regional sports network.
Bob Wolfley of the Milwaukee Journal and Sentinel says the Green Bay Packers got screwed by the replacement and the real NFL referees.
Chicagoland Radio and Media says WGN in Chicago, not WGN America, will air tonight’s Bears-Cowboys Monday Night Football game plus a locally produced pregame show.
Paul M. Banks of Chicago Sports Media Watch says former Comcast SportsNet reporter Sarah Kustok received an honor last week.
Dusty Saunders at the Denver Post notes that CBS’ Jim Nantz and Phil Simms will have called three consecutive Broncos games after next Sunday.
Tom Hoffarth of the Los Angeles Daily News has the SoCal sports calendar for this week.
Tom has five things he learned from the weekend.
Bruce Dowbiggin from the Toronto Globe and Mail says drunk tweets from an NHL player made the lockout hit home.
Raju Mudhar of the Toronto Star previews this week’s Blogs with Balls 5 event which takes place in Canada for the first time.
At SB Nation’s Puck The Media, Steve Lepore notes that four sports networks will combine for 50 college hockey regular season games, none of them named “ESPN”.
Steve DelVecchio at Larry Brown Sports says comedian Norm MacDonald actually predicted the European Ryder Cup comeback on Twitter the night before Sunday’s matches.
EPL Talk says Fox Soccer needs its own English Premier League highlight show similar to what BBC has in its venerable “Match of the Day.”
Sports Media Watch says ESPN will shuffle an IndyCar race in primetime to ABC next year.
Matt Yoder at Awful Announcing has ten minutes of bloopers from New York Yankees radio voice John Sterling.
Matt notes that NBC inserted salsa music for Giants wide receiver Victor Cruz after scoring a touchdown for the second time in as many seasons.
And that’s going to wrap up the links for today.
Keith Thibault of Sports Media Journal are back with another edition of our podcast.
In the news segment, Keith and I talked about the passing of NFL Films President Steve Sabol and his impact on the popularity of National Football League.
We moved to the story from Sports Business Daily that MLB will stay on course and keep both Fox and Turner Sports as TV partners with a few changes in the postseason.
We also talked about the NFL staying with Dial Global as its national radio partner, broached the horrible NHL lockout and NFL replacement refs.
Fox Soccer’s Rob Stone, host of the UEFA Champions League as well as Goals on Sunday, is our guest. We talked about the growing popularity of the UEFA Champions League in the US.
Rob discussed how the West Coast is embracing MLS faster than the East Coast.
We then moved onto the English Premier League and Rob’s hosting of Survival Sunday last May. And Rob also talked about how my Chelsea team is doing in the young season.
Overall, a very good podcast. You can listen to it
Let’s do some linkage now. Fifth straight day! This is a record!
Michael Florek at USA Today’s Game On blog notes that Time Magazine will have six separate covers in four regions for its Olympic preview issue. For the U.S., guys will have Lolo Jones to gawk at, women get Ryan Lochte. Gymnast Gabby Douglas also adorns a cover.
To Tripp Mickle of Sports Business Journal who profiles NBC Olympics Executive Producer Jim Bell who is not only following in his mentor, Dick Ebersol’s footsteps, but still has to do his regular job of overseeing the Today show as well.
Sports Business Daily says a nightly Olympic light show in London will display colors based on the overall mood of Tweets during the Games. I kid you not.
Nick Zaccardi and Richard Deitsch at Sports Illustrated provide you with fifty Twitter feeds you should follow during the Olympics.
Speaking of SI, Ed Sherman at The Sherman Report delves into the staff cuts made this week at the fabled magazine.
Brian Steinberg of Advertising Age looks at where SI made its staff cuts.
Tim Baysinger of Broadcasting & Cable notes a new NFL analyst hire for ESPN.
Noreen O’Leary at Adweek writes that Cadillac has launched a new short film to target consumers just before the Olympics.
Jenny Tsao at Arbitron notes that sports radio on FM is drawing a higher and younger audience than AM.
Matt Hayes from the Sporting News reports that the college football four team playoff system could get a huge rights fee and that ESPN is a big favorite to get the whole kit and caboodle.
John Koblin of Deadspin finds more evidence of ESPN.com writer Lynn Hoppes lifting material.
Tom Ley at Deadspin had a funny battle with a horse dressage site this week. And thanks to Deadspin’s readers, the dressage site’s editor had to humbly apologize. The comments in both stories are just plain hilarious.
And Issac Rauch of Deadspin has video that has become a worldwide sensation, Australian hurdler Michelle Jenneke’s pre-race dance before her heat at the IAAF World Junior Athletics Championships.
Richard Sandomir of the New York Times writes about Sports Illustrated’s staff cuts.
Jerry Barmash at Fishbowl NY says the MLB All-Star Game drew well in New York.
Ken Schott of the Schenectady Gazette says the local ESPN Radio affiliate will have a weekly show devoted to the Saratoga horse racing season starting tonight.
Adam Sichko of the Albany Business Review says a local TV studio will assist NBC in producing its summer horse racing series at Saratoga.
Pete Dougherty of the Albany Times Union writes that a local radio station will pick up the Buffalo Bills this season.
Ken McMillan at the Middletown (NY) Times Herald-Record says Fox Soccer will air over 20 college soccer gamesin the fall.
In Press Box, Tim Richardson reports that a decision is close on the MASN/Washington Natonals rights fee dispute.
Dan Steinberg of the Washington Post’s DC Sports Bog writes that DC NFL Team linebacker Ryan Kerrigan guest anchored on Comcast SportsNet Mid-Atlantic this week.
Rich Tandler of CSNWashington.com talks with Kerrigan about his experiences on the TV side.
John Kiesewetter of the Cincinnati Enquirer notes that two sports radio hosts with local ties made Talkers Magazine’s Heavy 100 list.
Paul M. Banks at Chicago Sports Media Watch talks with ESPN Chicago NBA beat writer Nick Friedell.
Jack Denker of the Fremont (NE) Tribune profiles a native who’s working behind-the-scenes at ESPN.
Scott D. Pierce of the Salt Lake Tribune says NBC is hoping for big numbers from the London Olympics.
Dave Paresh of the San Francisco Chronicle says NBC and Adobe have teamed up to create two Olympic mobile apps.
David P. Greisman at Boxing Scene says NBC is seeking to increase the time in-between rounds so it can squeeze in more commercials.
Joe Favorito says the Houston Rockets should be taking a page from the Brooklyn Nets’ playbook and start reaching out the community.
We are done.
So weird to have the 4th of July in the middle of the week. You get the holiday after two work days and then have two work days afterwards. Some of you have the entire week off which is good, but for me, there’s no such thing as a vacation. In fact, I haven’t had a vacation since August 2001. That’s true. Anyway, you don’t care about that. Let’s get to the links.
Michael Hiestand of USA Today lists which sports media personality has donated money to which politician.
Michael says ESPN NASCAR pit reporter Jamie Little will work her last race for a few months this weekend.
The BBC reports that a single yellow cable that will carry the Olympics from London to Europe was almost cut in Belgium.
Trefis Team at Forbes says ESPN contributes heavily to Disney’s stock price, but that could be reduced over time.
Keach Hagey of the Wall Street Journal looks at the new NBC Sports/Sports Illustrated partnership.
Mike Barnes of the Hollywood Reporter says former mustachioed Oakland Raiders defensive lineman turned pitchman Ben Davidson has died at the age of 72.
Mike Reynolds at Multichannel News writes that ESPN set a viewership record for the EURO 2012 final.
Bill Cromwell of Media Life reports that NBC is close to selling out its Olympic ad inventory.
The Associated Press says the ACC has signed a 12 year deal with the Orange Bowl.
Ed Sherman at The Sherman Report talks with Chris “Mad Dog” Russo about his two decade long partnership with WFAN’s Mike Francesa.
Joe Lucia at Awful Announcing writes that ESPN’s Chris Fowler gave John McEnroe a lesson about Twitter parody accounts at Wimbledon this week.
Joe tells us about reporter-on-reporter Twitter crime between ESPN’s Buster Olney and CBS’ Jon Heyman.
Melissa Jacobs at the Football Girl agrees with Erin Andrews’ assessment that sideline reporters are a necessity when used correctly.
Speaking of Erin, she speaks with Adam Silverstein of the Only Gators blog about moving to Fox.
Dave Nagle in ESPN’s Front Row public relations blog notes the network’s new broadcast position at Wimbledon.
Richard Sandomir of the New York Times says Barclays’ recent troubles are trickling down to the Brooklyn Nets as they prepare to occupy their new home.
Claire Atkinson of the New York Post reports that The Whistle, a sports media company geared towards kids, will have a programming block on NBC Sports Network starting in September.
Dan Steinberg in the Washington Post’s DC Sports Bog notes that DC NFL Team radio analyst Sam Huff will work a reduced schedule this season.
Mel Bracht at The Oklahoman says the U.S. Olympic Trials topped the local ratings this past weekend.
Bob Wolfley of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel writes that Annika Sorenstam joins the NBC golf team this weekend at the U.S. Women’s Open.
Paul M. Banks at Chicago Sports Media Watch urges the White Sox to calm down in asking people to do last-minute voting for the All-Star Game.
Scott D. Pierce of the Salt Lake Tribune says the Pac-12 Network will be a success in Utah knowing the failings of the mtn.
Bill Mooney of the Thoroughbred Times says Fox Sports Net will air the West Virginia Derby next month.
Media Rantz notes that the NBC President who was responsible for the “Heidi Game” and forever changed how sports was aired on TV has passed away.
The Canadian Sports Media Blog says CTV will bring back a few features for this year’s Olympics that were used in 2010 for Vancouver.
EPL Talk has a partial list of English Premier League games that will be aired in the States on ESPN2 and Fox Soccer.
Sports Media Watch says TNT took a ratings hit for last Saturday’s NASCAR Sprint Cup race.
Emmett Jones at Sports Business Digest notes that the US Olympic Committee will pass on bidding for the 2022 Games dashing hopes for a couple of cities. It means the earliest an Olympics will be held in the United States will be 2024.
And those are the links that I could manage to squeeze out of the internet today.
Time for some sports media thoughts. These have been percolating in my head all day Monday. It’s fine time to pour them out and have you peruse through them. As always, they’re in bullet form.
- Monday’s announcement from NFL Network regarding its new morning show could be a game changer for sports television. If “NFL AM” is successful, it could lead other sports networks to follow NFL Network’s lead. But if the show fails to catch on, then it will be back to the status quo with repeats of the previous night’s highlights program. With “NFL AM” set to launch on July 30 from 6-10 a.m. ET, one wonders if there will be enough content to fill the time, but as a director once told me when I was working at a Providence TV station, “Have no fear. We’ll find a way to fill the show. I’ve never had a half-hour of black,” meaning he never had to show a blank screen. That will have to be the philosophy of NFL Network for “NFL AM”. Plus with people going to work and school, not everyone will see the entire four hours.
If the show works, I can see other league-owned channels attempting similar ventures. MLB Network’s Quick Pitch airs on a loop on most days from 1 a.m. – noon ET. That’s too long. An MLB Network morning show could work as would a morning NBA program.
But before we get to the point of multiple live morning sports programs, “NFL AM” has to get off the ground successfully. By this time next year, we’ll have an idea whether NFL Network’s “NFL AM” is a success or a failure.
- When I began this site five years ago, Erin Andrews was the darling of the sports blogosphere. Any picture or even a slight mention of her would increase a site’s traffic. There was a reason why she was nicknamed “Erin Pageviews”. Before she re-signed with ESPN in 2010, Erin seemed to be in demand. Her star never shone brighter and it appeared that she could have the pick of any job.
Now cut to 2012 and it appears Erin is no longer the darling of sports bloggers. Others like Michelle Beadle, Jenn Brown, Charissa Thompson and Molly Qerim et.al. have become favorites as well. This isn’t to say that the Internet is ignoring her, TMZ still pays attention even speculating that she had a boob job. And she was referenced twice in the premiere of the new HBO series, “The Newsroom”.
Deadspin which once championed her (and was the first to link to the infamous hotel room video in 2009) came out with an article this month pointing out that Ms. Andrews seemingly has no place to go other than ESPN.
Deadspin reported that Erin is no longer working for Good Morning America and she’s removed the reference to GMA from her Twitter bio.
Does this necessarily mean that Erin has no other place to go than ESPN? If you believe the speculation from Deadspin and The Big Lead, the answer is yes. But does it mean that she hasn’t had any other offers or couldn’t get work if she decided to walk away from Bristol, CT?
She can still attract viewers and page views. The NHL thought Erin had enough star power to invite her to its annual awards show last week and present two trophies. Could a league-owned channel like NHL Network find room for Erin? I’m sure it could if the opportunity was presented. But we have not heard of any offers asides from her present employer.
Overall, I still think Erin can move the meter on the Internet and she’ll continue to so for a while. Just for how long she’ll be at ESPN is anyone’s guess.
- Without any EURO 2012 action until Wednesday’s semifinal game between Spain and Portugal, I went into soccer withdrawals. International soccer is a sport that ESPN continues to excel. Understated coverage with Bob Ley heading the studio and Ian Darke the main play-by-play man, I can easily say this is a Golden Age for soccer on American television. Couple this with having Martin Tyler calling English Premier League games on Fox Soccer and fans have been hearing some of the best announcing of the sport.
Granted, we get hiccups like Fox’s silly dumbing down of the Champions League Final last year, but overall, the coverage on ESPN, Fox Soccer and Gol TV has been good.
With ESPN having just the FIFA World Cup in Brazil left to broadcast, it is setting the bar very high. Fox will have a long ways to go to match ESPN’s coverage and while this year’s Champions League Final was an improvement over 2010, the network will have a big hill to climb to equal or surpass the Alleged Worldwide Leader on soccer.
- Count me as one who loved the premiere of “The Newsroom” on Sunday. I enjoyed Jeff Daniels as the erascible anchor Will McAvoy and Emily Mortimer as his idealistic Executive Producer MacKenzie McHale. Yes, in typical Aaron Sorkin fashion, some of the dialogue was overwritten, but I enjoyed the show and I hope it has a long life on HBO. As long as Sorkin doesn’t go overboard on preaching, I think the show will do just fine.
I went longer than I expected on the thoughts. That’s to your benefit.
As we continue with the guest columns this week, we have this one from reader Matt Lichtenstadter. In this post, Matt writes about the possibility of Al Jazeera’s new US soccer channel making in-roads through obtaining the rights to the English Premier League. It’s a fascinating scenario and one that could change the landscape of sports in the US if Al Jazeera is successful.
Matt looks at Al Jazeera’s attempts to obtain programming and start a war with ESPN and Fox.
It’s no secret now that soccer is becoming more and more popular in the U.S, especially the club variety. The English Premier League is quickly becoming a rights commodity for FOX and ESPN alike, and it’s almost time to negotiate TV rights for the 3 seasons starting in 2013. These negotiations worldwide will net the Premier League over $1.5 billion (for comparison, the new NFL deals in total netted around $3 billion for 8 years). While the British rights are often the most interesting to follow, the US rights may be more interesting than that. Not only will FOX and ESPN duke it out, there will be a new player in the mix that may cause quite a stir.
Al Jazeera is often thought of as the network for the Middle East, and it is one of the largest media networks in the world. They have a large sports division that covers sports for the Middle East as well. Now, with money backed up by the Qatari royal family, they have started a sports network called beINSport USA, which next year will cover La Liga from Spain, Serie A from Italy, and Ligue 1 from France. They have already poached the famous duo of Phil Schoen and Ray Hudson from GolTV most likely, and the Premier League will very likely be their next rights target. They have tons of money to play with, as seen with some of the club teams that Qatari’s own, but will that be enough to sway the pendulum away from the status quo?
Al Jazeera English, the news arm of the network broadcast in English, is only carried by Dish Network right now, and it’s assumed that they will also carry the new sports network. But aside from that, they have no other apparent carriage deals in the hopper. It’s very likely that most of the country will be shut out from watching 3 of Europe’s biggest club soccer leagues this year because of carriage issues. If Al Jazeera wants to grab Premier League rights, they’ll have to expand their footprint on American carriers, fast. ESPN obviously has an incredibly wide distribution, and FOX Soccer has a good network as well. FOX and ESPN have a lot to play for in these rights negotiations, especially considering these networks are the home of the World Cup up until 2022. FOX wants to keep its soccer profile high leading up to the World Cup in 2018, and since John Skipper is a major proponent of soccer at ESPN, you know he’ll be very interested in getting the major package for his network in order to keep their soccer profile high after they lose FIFA events after the next World Cup.
It’s no doubt that Al Jazeera has plans for their brand new sports network, and the Premier League could be at the top of their wish list. They have the money to make it happen, but can they compete with the likes of FOX and ESPN, especially considering what they have at stake with their soccer broadcasts? Time will tell, but if you want to see how well Al Jazeera is doing, check on their carriage rights deals and see how many they have by December, when the rights will most likely be sealed. There’s a new player on the US soccer scene, and everyone better take them seriously.
Bio: Matt Lichtenstadter has his own sports blog, Matt’s Sports Musings, which you can find at http://www.mattssportsmusings.com/. He’s also written a few pieces like this for other blogs as well. He wants more work. Help his pour blogging soul. He’s also on twitter @JagsFan93.
The guest columns continue through tomorrow. Thanks to those who have provided the guest columns this week and I’ll be back Monday.
Tomorrow, Fox Sports airs the UEFA Champions League Final live from Munich, Germany. For the first time in CL history, a finalist gets to play in its home stadium as is the case with Bayern Munich.
Both teams got to the final after beating various clubs from leagues all over Europe. Bayern Munich coming over from the powerful Bundesliga in Germany and Chelsea from the English Premier League.
An interesting storyline for tomorrow. Chelsea finished 6th in the EPL this year and normally would not be able to return as the first four teams in the league go to the Champions League the following year. However, if Chelsea can win tomorrow, it will be able to defend its title and the fourth place team, in the EPL, Tottenham Hotspur would not be eligible, so in effect, Tottenham is rooting for Bayern Munich.
Fox will staff the game with Curt Menefee as the event host. Rob Stone will also be on hand as the studio host and he’ll be joined by Fox Soccer analyst Eric Wynalda and current Tottenham goaltender Brad Friedel.
Fox begins its coverage at 2 p.m. ET with the pregame. Then the game hits the air at 2:30 p.m. with various ceremonies. Fox Soccer will have a pregame show as well starting at 1 p.m. and we’ll expect to see analyst Warren Barton to take part in that program.
Calling the match will be Martin Tyler and Gary Neville. Here’s the Fox press release.
Complete Analysis of Bayern Munich & Chelsea FC’s Battle for European Supremacy Begins Saturday at 2:00 PM ET on FOX
FOX Soccer & FOX Deportes Blanket Coverage Leading Up to Kick-Off
Host Rob Stone Sits Down For Exclusive Interview with UEFA President Michel Platini
Stone & Analysts Wynalda, Friedel and Barton Visit Troops in Germany for Pre-Match Feature
New York, NY – Elite European soccer again takes center stage Saturday as FOX Sports presents exclusive live coverage of the UEFA Champions League Final from Munich, Germany. The culmination of Europe’s most prestigious annual club soccer competition features German club Bayern Munich, the first team to play a UEFA Champions League Final in its home stadium, taking on England’s Chelsea FC looking to capture its first European Cup.
FOX Sports’ comprehensive coverage kicks off Saturday, May 19 at 2:00 PM ET. Curt Menefee, FOX Sports’ go-to studio host, is on hand in Germany to welcome viewers to Fussball Arena in Munich before handing-off to FOX Soccer lead studio host Rob Stone. Stone is joined at the pre-match desk by American National Soccer Hall of Famer and out-spoken FOX Soccer analyst Eric Wynalda and current Tottenham Hotspur and former US National Team goalkeeper Brad Friedel. The trio offers complete analysis of the Bayern Munich-Chelsea matchup, what to watch for, each team’s strengths and weaknesses and pick which team they think will take home the trophy. FOX Soccer analyst Warren Barton along with match announcers Martin Tyler and Gary Neville also contribute to pre-match analysis.
The atmosphere in Munich is expected to be electric. Menefee looks to capture that energy in a feature on Munich’s love affair with the beautiful game airing during pre-match coverage. Pre-match coverage also highlights Chelsea’s bumpy road to the UEFA Champions League Final which included firing manager Andre Villas-Boas after only eight months on the job.
FOX Soccer has additional features planned during its UEFA CHAMPIONS LEAGUE PREVIEW SHOW Friday, May 18 (8:00-9:00 PM ET) and UEFA CHAMPIONS LEAGUE PRE-GAME SHOW Saturday, May 19 (1:00-2:00 PM ET), including Stone siting down for an exclusive interview with UEFA President Michel Platini. FOX Soccer also airs a post-match show following FOX Sports’ coverage. All shows are hosted by Stone alongside analysts Wynalda, Friedel and Barton.
One of the highlights of FOX’s trip to Germany includes a visit to Joint Multinational Readiness Center in Hohenfels to spend the day with troops and their families. Stone, Wynalda, Friedel and Barton take an LUH-72 Lakota helicopter to tour the training area and go on a demo ride in a Mine Resistant Ambush Protected (MRAP) vehicle. They also join soldiers in an exhibition soccer game and host a clinic with the boys and girls high school soccer teams.
FOX Deportes, the nation’s leading Spanish-language sports cable network, adds to the comprehensive coverage with a week-long lead-up of programming that includes carrying the Bayern Munich v. Chelsea FC match. Coverage on Saturday, May 19 begins with the UEFA CHAMPIONS LEAGUE FINAL PREVIEW live from Munich at 1:00 PM ET. Match coverage begins at 2:30 PM ET, followed by the post-match celebration at 5:00 PM ET on Lo Mejor de la UCL. At 5:30 PM ET, FOX Deportes airs La Ultima Palabra, a special one-hour postgame show live followed later on by an encore match presentation at 10:30 PM ET. Manning FOX Deportes’ Los Angeles studio are Mauricio Cardenas and Bruno Vain. John Laguna, Christian Bozzo and Daniel Brailovsky are on-site in Munich with reporters Nelson Vignolles and Alejandro Blanco.
That is all.
I’ll do some more linkage for you this evening. You’re owed it. Why not?
Thomas O’Toole from USA Today reports that Laurie Fine, the wife of ex-Syracuse assistant basketball coach Bernie Fine, is suing ESPN for libel saying a report ruined her reputation.
Barry Petchesky of Deadspin goes inside the lawsuit and notes that Fine is accusing ESPN of circling the wagons against her.
John Koblin from Deadspin says Fang’s Bites fave Charissa Thompson will replace the outgoing Michelle Beadle on ESPN2′s SportsNation.
Sports Illustrated’s Richard Deitsch speaks with ESPN’s Prince of Darkness John Skipper who fires some shots at NBC Sports Network.
Mike McCarthy of USA Today has NBC’s response to Skipper.
Tom Weir of USA Today says ESPN’s Adam Schefter threw a G*d D*mned reference at Mike and Mike in the Morning on ESPN Radio and ESPN2. That’s a lot of ESPN references in one sentence.
Mike Ozanian from Forbes says while sports TV advertising spending is up, the return of investment is not necessarily that good.
Andy Fixmer and Edmund Lee of Bloomberg Businessweek report that the networks are putting more sports programming in primetime to avoid DVR timeshifting.
Jon Lafayette of Broadcasting & Cable looks at NBCUniversal announcing Olympic coverage plans for three cable networks.
Mike Reynolds from Multichannel News reports that NBC Sports Network will air a cable TV record amount of Olympic coverage this summer.
Mike notes that ESPN is hoping to double its subscriber numbers for its WatchESPN app.
Meanwhile, Josh Lowensohn of CNET says hold the WatchESPN to Apple TV talk.
Billy Steele of Engadget reviews the new ESPN Radio iPad app.
Dan Fogarty at SportsGrid notes that Fox Sports West had an interesting “Key to the Game”.
Jim Williams of the Bleacher Report talks with Fox Soccer analysts on this Saturday’s Champions League Final.
Clare Atkinson from the New York Post reports that the networks are jacking up ad rates for the NFL including CBS for Super Bowl XLVII.
Ken Schott from the Schenectady Gazette notes that NBC Sports Network will cover the Indy 500 Time Trials this weekend.
Pete Dougherty of the Albany Times Union looks at the amount of Olympic coverage on three NBCUniversal cable networks.
Pete says NBC Sports golf reporter Dottie Pepper has co-authored a series of books bringing golf to kids.
Keith Groller at the Allentown (PA) Morning Call says a local cable TV sports reporter is fast becoming a regular on the high school scene.
Dan Steinberg from the Washington Post’s DC Sports Bog says a sports radio producer put Icy Hot on his manjunk.
Barry Jackson at the Miami Herald writes that TNT’s Charles Barkley is not a fan of Heat coach Erik Spoelstra.
Paul M. Banks at Chicago Sports Media Watch can’t believe Mike Francesa’s anti-Twitter stance.
Kent Youngblood at the Minneapolis Star Tribune says the new TV voice of the Minnesota Wild comes with some controversy.
Tom Hoffarth at the Los Angeles Daily News says the national media is beginning to take notice of the Kings’ playoff run.
Bud Withers of the Seattle Times writes that ESPN has moved the coaching debut of Mike Leach with Washington State to a Thursday night primetime game.
Jeff Morrow of the Tri-City (WA) Herald notes that ESPN Radio has returned to the local area.
Annie Fowler of the Herald says NHL Network will air the Memorial Cup in its entirety.
Ryan Yoder of Awful Announcing is still buzzing over Mike Francesa’s anti-Twitter rant from this week.
Sports Media Watch has some various ratings news and notes.
Steve Lepore at Puck The Media says the NHL on NBC could be moved on Saturday if Game 3 of the Eastern Conference Final goes into triple overtime.
Steve says the ratings Game 2 of the NHL Western Conference Final were down from last year.
Dave Kohl at the Broadcast Booth looks at various local radio ratings for baseball.
And that will be do it for tonight.
Combined with ESPN2, Fox Sports English and Spanish-language platforms, a total of 1.3 million people watched the final day of the English Premier League on Sunday.
According to Fox Sports, ESPN2 had the most viewers with 600,000 for the dramatic Manchester City-Queens Park Rangers game which saw ManCity eke out a win with two goals in stoppage time to win the EPL title.
On Fox Sports platforms which utilized Fox Soccer, Fox Soccer Plus, Fox Sports Net, Fuel, FX and Speed, the audience registered at 392,000 viewers. The most viewers were on FX which carried Sunderland-Manchester United (161,000).
For Fox Deportes, the channel saw 167,000 viewers while ESPN Deportes which also carried the ManCity-QPR match, it had 189,000.
Overall, the viewership was 72% from the games a year ago.
We have the Fox Sports statement on this.
SURVIVAL SUNDAY IS SMASHING SUCCESS
English & Spanish Language Viewership Tops 1.3 Million; Up 72% vs. 2011
New York — This Mother’s Day edition of Survival Sunday produced the mother of all days for the Barclays Premier League and world-class European soccer in the United States, as nine of the day’s ten games were carried by a FOX Sports Media Group network or platform, a first in U.S. television history.
Manchester City’s dramatic, come-from-behind victory on the season’s final day in extra-time had the feeling of a Hollywood script and delivered the team its first Premier League championship in 44 years. At the same time, their shocking win snatched what looked like a cinch 20th Premier League crown away from perennial powerhouse, Manchester United. The shift in emotion for team supporters was seismic.
Led by FX, FSMG networks SPEED, FSN, FUEL TV, FOX Soccer, FOX Soccer Plus and FOX Deportes, along with digital platforms FOXSoccer.com and FOX Soccer 2Go, carried nine matches live at 10:00 AM ET (5/13). The tenth game was televised by ESPN2 and ESPN Deportes.
According to audience figures compiled by Nielsen Media Research, the English language (FX, SPEED, FOX Soccer, FSN, FUEL TV & ESPN2) and Spanish language (FOX Deportes & ESPN Deportes) viewership in the United States for Survival Sunday came in at 1,348,000, up +72% over the combined viewing on FOX Soccer, FOX Deportes, ESPN2 and ESPN Deportes on Survival Sunday 2011 (728,000).
Here are additional highlights from Survival Sunday 2012:
- The English language audience on the FOX-outlets (392,000) and ESPN2 (600,000) combined for 992,000 viewers, up +80% over the combined viewing on ESPN2 and FOX Soccer a year ago (550,000).
- English-language viewership on FOX outlets (392,000) was +160% vs. 2011 (151,000). The breakdown is as follows: FX – 161,000; FOX Soccer – 77,000; SPEED – 53,000; FSN – 59,000; FUEL TV – 42,000.
- FOX Deportes recorded 167,000 viewers Sunday, +120% over a year ago (76,000); ESPN Deportes drew 189,000 viewers.
- *Unique visitors to FOXSoccer.com on Sunday were 420,000, +278% from last Survival Sunday (111,000) and +143% compared to the usual Sunday average during the Barclays Premier League season (173,000).
*Source: Unica NetInsight
- +FOXSoccer.com and FOX Soccer 2Go combined for 41,522 live video streams.
+Source: Omniture SiteCatalyst
Happy Mother’s Day.
It’s been quite the day in sports already. A few thoughts in bullet form.
- Fox promised us unprecedented coverage on the last day of the English Premier League season and it delivered. Using FX, Fox Sports Net, Fuel and Speed in addition to its Fox Soccer, Fox Soccer Plus on online platforms, it provided full coverage of the final day of the EPL season as teams were scrambling for the Title, Champions and Europa League spots and avoiding relegation. With ESPN2 allowed to air the Manchester City-Queens Park Rangers match, Fox focused on the other 9 games of the day. Using FX as its main hub, there were real time updates on the Fox Box as well as cut-ins by Rob Stone showing scores from other games.
If Fox retains the US rights for the English Premier League, I would love to see more of this coverage not only for what was dubbed “Survival Sunday” by Fox, but for the Opening Weekend of the season as well.
I admit I wasn’t a fan of Rob Stone when he was at ESPN, but he’s grown on me as host of the Premier and Champions League on Fox Soccer. And the way Fox utilized its platforms today was excellent. One could argue they should have been doing this all along.
If Fox is going to do this next year, then open up the pay platforms of Fox Soccer Plus, Foxsoccer.com and Fox Soccer2Go for the weekend. Those of us who don’t subscribe to those platforms were shutout today.
- One pet peeve I have about Fox is that it won’t allow online streaming of its sports properties. Whether it be MLB, NASCAR, college football or NFL, the network makes us watch its product on television. If we can’t be in front of a TV, then we’re pure out of luck. Some the online rights are locked with the league as with the case of MLB and the NFL, but ESPN, NBC and CBS have been diligent in getting online rights. Fox remains steadfast in not streaming its events. I hope that changes as the network goes forward with the NFL and any other sports properties it obtains from here on out.
- And Friday’s development that Michelle Beadle is leaving ESPN is not a surprise. While there has been no firm confirmation from neither ESPN, NBC where she’s reportedly heading nor from Michelle herself, she’s about good as gone.
I told you in the past that sports is not what Michelle wants to do full-time. By keeping a hand in special events like the Olympics and the Super Bowl should be enough for her. And by co-hosting Access Hollywood, it gives NBCUniversal a versatile personality.
She’ll do well for NBC.
That’s going to do it for now.
Let’s do some Friday megalinks. You’ve been owed some and I haven’t been able to do links for most of the week.
Of course, you have the Weekend Viewing Picks which provide plenty of college sports, soccer, baseball and the NBA and NHL postseason action.
Now let’s do your links.
Michael Hiestand of USA Today explores Jason La Canfora’s decision to leave NFL Network and bolt to CBS.
Media Rantz looks into the potential departure of Michelle Beadle from ESPN to NBC.
Sports Illustrated’s Richard Deitsch says E! will produce a special on New York Jets QB Tim Tebow.
Ed Sherman at The Sherman Report hears from a Fox Soccer executive on why the Fox Sports Media Group chose to air so many English Premier League games on the final day of the season.
Michael David Smith at Pro Football Talk writes that despite reports to the contrary, it appears that the New York Jets won’t make another appearance on HBO’s Hard Knocks this summer.
Eriq Gardner at the Hollywood Reporter says a group of fans have filed a class action lawsuit against MLB and its TV partners on the antiquated and silly blackout policy.
Yahoo’s Dan Wetzel says while the Minnesota Vikings will finally get their long-awaited stadium, one state legislator attempted to sneak a bill ending all local NFL blackouts. I think that was a great idea.
Mike Reynolds of Multichannel News/Broadcasting & Cable writes the long-anticipated Time Warner Cable Los Angeles Lakers-centric regional sports network will launch in October.
At Adweek, Anthony Crupi writes that Fox has sold out its ad inventory for the UEFA Champions League Final.
Thomas Pardee of Advertising Age says social media is changing the way we watch sports.
In the Indiana University National Sports Journalism Center, Eric Deggans of the Tampa Bay Times says there are times when the N-word should to be published in full.
Eric Goldschein at SportsGrid says CBC Hockey Night in Canada host Ron MacLean stretched his analogy too far in comparing the 9/11 First Responders to NHL players this week.
Jason Dachman of Sports Video Group looks at NBC/Golf Channel’s joint production of this week’s Players Championship.
Brandon Costa of SVG explores ESPN’s expanded multiplatform rights for NCAA Championships.
And SVG tells us about the Big East Conference’s in-house production of the league’s Baseball Tournament.
Kristi Dosh at ESPN.com looks into the dollars and cents of the major college sports TV rights contracts.
Patrick Rishe at Forbes says while the ACC signed a rich contract with ESPN, it still doesn’t compare to the Pac-12′s huge megadeal.
My Twitter Trophy Wife, Amanda Rykoff chronicles her day spent at the MLB Fan Cave for espnW.
Paulsen at Sports Media Watch crunches the numbers behind the ratings rise for the NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs and the lower for the NBA Playoffs.
Joe Lucia of Awful Announcing also looks into the ratings for the NBA and NHL Postseasons.
Jason McIntyre of The Big Lead notes the disturbing arrest of the PA Announcer for the Oklahoma City Thunder.
Dave Kohl at The Broadcast Booth looks at some of the sports media stories that are irking him this week.
East and Mid-Atlantic
I haven’t been able to address the death of Carl Beane, the Red Sox public address announcer. Carl was a radio reporter in Western Massachusetts and also free-lanced for ESPN Radio, CBS Radio, Fox Sports Radio to report on various NFL and college games. He died this week when he suffered a heart attack and crashed his car. He was 59. It seemed everyone in New England had some connection to Beane. I’ll give you some of the stories that have been written about him this week.
David Scott at ESPN’s Front Row PR blog gets reaction from people at the network who knew him.
Gordon Edes at ESPN Boston says Beane felt he was born to be the Fenway Park public address announcer.
WEEI’s Mike Petraglia writes about his personal connection to Beane.
Julian Benbow of the Boston Globe says the Red Sox paid tribute to Beane at last night’s game by not having anyone do the PA.
Amanda Bruno of the Springfield Republican writes that Beane was a role model and mentor to her.
To other stories now, heading back to the Globe, Chad Finn says the ACC got its huge deal and it will affect member school Boston College in many ways.
Chad says former Red Sox voice Jerry Trupiano is getting some familial help in trying to get the Houston Astros radio gig.
Desmond Connor of the Hartford Courant says the Big East’s interim commissioner is hopeful his conference can cash in on the recent big spending by ESPN and other networks.
The New York Times’ Richard Sandomir talks with the legendary Vin Scully.
Richard profiles the person behind a fake Walt Frazier Twitter account.
Jack Bell of the Times interviews Fox Sports President Eric Shanks about Sunday’s unprecedented English Premier League coverage.
Phil Mushnick of the New York Times rails over player unions defending their membership for the wrong reasons.
The Post’s Justin Terranova talks with NBC’s Pierre McGuire.
Justin has five questions for TNT’s Kenny Smith.
Jerry Barmash at Fishbowl NY says a former local sports reporter is returning to her roots with Time Warner Cable’s Southern California network.
Pete Dougherty at the Albany Times Union says technical difficulties plagued a local radio broadcast of the Yankees.
Pete says many of NBC/Golf Channel’s cameras will be focused squarely on one hole at the Players Championship this week.
Ken McMillan at the Middletown (NY) Times Herald-Record explores the new SNY deal to air UConn women’s basketball games.
At the New Jersey Newsroom, Evan Weiner asks if high school football is doomed.
Keith Groller of the Allentown (PA) Morning Call watched the train wreck of former NFL wide receiver Terrell Owens appearing on Dr. Phil this week and being confronted by his multiple baby mommas.
Dan Steinberg at the Washington Post says MLB Network compared the swings of the late Mickey Mantle and the Nationals’ Bryce Harper.
David Barron from the Houston Chronicle says a new local sports radio morning host comes with some baggage from his old job.
David says Comcast and ESPN cut a deal this week for subscribers to watch the network online.
Mel Bracht of The Oklahoman notes that Fox Sports Oklahoma will air specials next week on the state’s two major college football programs.
John Kiesewetter of the Cincinnati Enquirer notes that the Reds TV and Radio ratings are up this season.
Paul M. Banks of Chicago Sports Media Watch explores the Cubs’ Kerry Wood blowing up at the local media this week.
Paul Christian at the Rochester (MN) Post Bulletin looks at NBC’s coverage of The Players Championship.
Dan Caesar of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch writes that a local sports anchor gets to talk news on the radio.
John Maffei of the North County Times says the local media plans to cover Junior Seau’s public memorial today.
Jim Carlisle at the Ventura County Star notes that outgoing flagship TV station KCAL gave another farewell to the Los Angeles Lakers this week.
Jim looks at the 17th hole at the TPC Sawgrass which will get plenty of attention on NBC/Golf Channel at the Players Championship.
Jim provides his weekend viewing picks.
Tom Hoffarth of the Los Angeles Daily News looks at Time Warner Cable’s new sports channels.
Tom tries to give Kings fans missing their local TV voices a silver lining.
Jon Wilner at the San Jose Mercury News goes over the latest developments at the Pac-12 Networks.
Bruce Dowbiggin at the Toronto Globe and Mail says CBC’s Ron MacLean had to clarify his 9/11 remarks before Game 6 of the New York Rangers-Washington Capitals series.
The Canadian Sports Media Blog has the announcing assignments for both CBC and TSN in the NHL Conference Final round.
And we are done. Enjoy your sports weekend.
Thursday turned out to be quite the crazy day for those of us who follow the sports media beat. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again. On any given day, you just don’t know when sports media news will break. We had two stories throw us for a loop. I’ll do the thoughts as always in bullet form.
- We knew the Michelle Beadle story was going to come to a head, we just didn’t know what direction it would take. Finally, we did hear about some movement. And it all moved around 4 p.m. ET on Thursday. Whether Michelle decides to leave ESPN and go to NBC as SportsbyBrooks tweeted on Thursday or remain at the Alleged Worldwide Leader (highly unlikely), she’s going to get paid. I do believe that she will leave, take the job at NBC and be featured on the Olympics this summer, either as a contributor on the Today show, or as a host on one of NBCUniversal’s cable networks, most likely NBC Sports Network.
I’ve said all along that Michelle’s future is not in sports and if SportsbyBrooks’ tweet is correct, then being a co-host on Access Hollywood with Billy Bush would be right up her alley. And Michelle could always return to sports every two years during the Olympics. But as Michelle herself once told me, the truth will come out soon.
- Now the other piece of sports media news from Thursday was the surprising move by Jason La Canfora to leave NFL Network and join CBS in July to become an NFL insider at its dot com site and on television. As Michael Hiestand of USA Today discovered for Friday’s edition, not only will La Canfora replace Charley Casserly on The NFL Today, he’ll also appear on CBS Sports Network which could have its own Sunday morning NFL pregame show plus other NFL-related programming.
I thought La Canfora did a good job on NFL Network especially in replacing Adam Schefter in 2009 after he bolted for ESPN. In regards to replacing Jason, NFL Network has recently hired a trio of on-air reporters who could conceivably take his place or it could fill the insider by committee. Whatever direction NFL Network goes in the Insider position, I’m sure it will be someone solid.
- I watched some of ESPNU’s coverage of the SEC Softball Tournament. Beth Mowins did a very good job on the play-by-play. She’s called college football, the Women’s World Cup in Germany in addition to the NCAA Women’s Basketball Tournament and she’s called each sport quite well.
- I’m looking forward to Sunday morning when Fox Sports goes all out for the final day of the English Premier League season. All ten games on Sunday will be aired on ESPN2 and nine Fox platforms including Fox Soccer, Fox Soccer Plus, Fox Sports Net, Fuel, FX, Speed, Fox Deportes as well as online. It’s going to be bedlam, but in a good way.
That’s going to conclude the thoughts for now.
With teams fighting to stave off relegation to the lower Football League, Sunday is going to be a very interesting day in the English Premier League. We already know that Blackburn and Wolverhampton are going to be out of the EPL next season. Queens Park Rangers and the Bolton Wanderers are fighting for that last spot to stay in.
In addition to relegation, there’s the final standings which determine which teams go to the UEFA Champions League for next season (top four places go) and which teams go to the UEFA Europa League (5th and 6th place teams). It’s all quite interesting and will be a day to behold.
With that said, Fox Sports Media Group is devoting nine of its platforms to nine of the ten games being played on this last day of the English Premier League season. FX, Fuel, Fox Sports Net, Fox Soccer, Fox Soccer Plus, Fox Deportes, Speed as well as Fox Soccer2Go and Fox Soccer.com will be utilized in this unprecedented day of soccer coverage in the United States.
The only game not covered by Fox will be Manchester City vs. Queens Park Rangers and that will be aired on ESPN2. All games will begin at 10 a.m. ET with pregame coverage a half-hour earlier.
We have the entire game and network lineups for Sunday. This will be a big day.
LOS ANGELES – Finally, the wait is over – Survival Sunday has arrived. For the first time in U.S. television history, nine live games from the most dramatic day in soccer are being carried on one family of outlets. On Sunday, May 13, the final day of action from the Barclays Premier League, FOX Sports Media Group (FSMG) presents the best in international soccer, as England’s top teams compete for financial survival, hardware and European honors.
Led by FX, FOX’s fully-distributed cable powerhouse, FSMG networks SPEED, FSN, FUEL TV, FOX Soccer, FOX Soccer Plus and FOX Deportes, along with digital platforms FOXSoccer.com and FOX Soccer 2Go, are carrying all nine matches live at 10:00 AM ET. Pre-match coverage begins at 9:30 AM ET on all networks with the exception of SPEED, with all outlets carrying post-match coverage of this hallmark event. FX anchors halftime coverage. Pre-match, halftime and post-match coverage (English) is hosted by Rob Stone, with analysis from Eric Wynalda, Warren Barton and Brian McBride. All FSMG outlets are showing the Barclays Premier League trophy presentation following the day’s events along with highlights from all 10 Survival Sunday games.
Today FSMG announced its full lineup for Survival Sunday, highlighted by Manchester United’s must-win match at Sunderland to keep its title hopes alive on FX and in Spanish on FOX Deportes. Arsenal, Tottenham and Newcastle United are currently behind Manchester City and Manchester United in the race for highly lucrative UEFA Champions League positions. All three clubs fight for their place among the elite on Survival Sunday, with Arsenal traveling to West Bromwich Albion on FSN, Tottenham hosting Fulham and American superstar Clint Dempsey on FOX Soccer, and Newcastle battling Everton carried by FOXSoccer.com.
Chelsea faces recently-relegated Blackburn Rovers on SPEED ahead of their 2012 UEFA Champions League Final clash with Bayern Munich (May 19/FOX Sports). Liverpool looks to rebound from FA Cup disappointment at Swansea City on FUEL TV, while Bolton must win at Stoke City to stay alive in the Barclays Premier League (FOX Soccer Plus).
Teams live and die with each goal on Survival Sunday, and fans can follow all of the action at once via FOXSoccer.com/SurvivalSunday with real-time standings updates after every change. Twitter conversations surrounding all games will be streamlined on FOXSoccer.com/SurvivalSunday, allowing fans to follow the day’s events simultaneously (hashtag #SurvivalSunday). There will be live play-by-play for all 10 Survival Sunday matches with FOX Soccer MatchTrax, along with exclusive video highlights from every game throughout the day.
WHAT: Survival Sunday – the final day of England’s Barclays Premier League, where all 20 teams face off at the same time (9:30 AM ET). The bottom three teams are relegated from the BPL (clubs 18-20), while the top four sides ensure passage to the world’s most prestigious (and lucrative) club tournament – the UEFA Champions League. Teams finishing in fifth and sixth place can qualify for the 2012-2013 UEFA Europa League.
WHEN: Sunday, May 13 – 9:30 AM ET (except SPEED, who will join at 10:00 AM ET).
Sunderland v Manchester United — FX & FOX Deportes
Sir Alex Ferguson’s Manchester United visits Sunderland needing a win to keep title hopes alive in the race against Manchester City.
Chelsea v Blackburn Rovers — SPEED
Chelsea’s midseason revival continues against recently doomed Blackburn. Rovers were relegated following Monday’s defeat to Wigan, and Chelsea needs to win in order to remain in the hunt for European qualification.
Swansea City v Liverpool — FUEL TV
Following FA Cup disappointment against Chelsea, English giant Liverpool and captain Steven Gerrard look to finish their season on a high note against upstart Swansea City.
West Bromwich Albion v Arsenal — FSN
In a vital match for Arsenal, the Gunners aim to secure their place in next season’s UEFA Champions League by winning at West Bromwich Albion.
Tottenham Hotspur v Fulham — FOX Soccer
Chasing an all-important UEFA Champions League position, Tottenham hosts Fulham and American superstar Clint Dempsey at North London’s White Hart Lane.
Stoke City v Bolton Wanderers — FOX Soccer Plus
At one of the most intimidating venues in English soccer, Stoke City hosts a Bolton team desperately seeking to avoid relegation at the Britannia Stadium. Sitting in the relegation zone in eighteenth place, Bolton must win to avoid dropping into the English second division.
Everton v Newcastle United — FOXSoccer.com
In one of the most important clashes on Survival Sunday, Newcastle looks to secure its place in next season’s UEFA Champions League, while Everton needs to win for a shot at UEFA Europa League qualification.
Norwich City v Aston Villa — FOX Soccer 2GO
In its first season since gaining promotion to the Barclays Premier League, Norwich City has impressed and looks to go out on a high against Aston Villa at Carrow Road.
Wigan Athletic v Wolverhampton Wanderers — FOX Soccer 2GO
Safe from relegation after defeating Blackburn Rovers on Monday, a resurgent Wigan team celebrates its Barclays Premier League survival at home against last place Wolverhampton.
Manchester City v Queens Park Rangers — ESPN2/MatchTrax
Manchester City seeks to capture its first Barclays Premier League title against a Queens Park Rangers team fighting to avoid relegation.
The English Premier League’s season is winding down and as teams fight to stay in the league in an attempt to stave off relegation to lower leagues (I love that concept and would wish MLB and the NHL could do such a thing with its minor leagues), Fox Sports Media Group will pull off an unprecedented multi-platform project.
On Sunday, May 13 as teams hope to gain enough points to remain in the EPL, Fox will utilize the networks in its cable sports empire as well as as online sites to air 9 games that day. ESPN2 will air one game as well.
The usual networks of Fox Soccer and Fox Soccer Plus will air games, but in addition, the networks of FX, Speed, Fuel, Fox Sports Net and Fox Deportes will have contests as well. Fox will also utilize FoxSoccer.com and FoxSoccer2Go as well.
For soccer fans and those who follow the EPL, it will be a day to remember and one to see if Fox attempts this with the first day of the league’s new season in August.
Here’s the Fox Sports press release.
FOX Sports Media Group Presents Nine Live English Premier League Matches Simultaneously on Season’s Final Day Unprecedented Media Event Maximizes FSMG’s Linear & Digital Assets
New York/Los Angeles – Every year, on the final day of England’s Premier League season, all 20 teams from the world’s top domestic soccer competition play each other in a frantic 10-match race for financial survival, hardware and European honors. This year, on May 13, for the first time in American television history, nine of those matches are being carried live simultaneously by one family of outlets.
Led by FX, Fox’s fully-distributed cable powerhouse, FOX Sports Media Group (FSMG) networks SPEED, FSN, FUEL TV, FOX Soccer, FOX Soccer Plus and FOX Deportes, along with digital platforms FOXSoccer.com and FOX Soccer 2Go, are carrying all nine matches live on Sunday, May 13 at 10:00 AM ET. Pre-match coverage begins at 9:30 AM ET on all networks with the exception of SPEED, with all outlets carrying post-match coverage of this hallmark event. Known to soccer fans as “relegation Sunday” and dubbed Survival Sunday by Fox, this unprecedented programming strategy reaffirms FSMG’s unparalleled commitment to provide the world’s best international soccer competition.
“With so much at stake, there’s nothing like the tension of the Premier League’s final Sunday, and we hope to capture every minute we can using the considerable resources available to the FOX Sports Media Group, including SPEED and FUEL TV, unconventional outlets for soccer,” said FSMG’s Eric Shanks, Co-President and COO. “Our plan is to provide cut-ins and updates from matches as often as necessary, while never taking the viewer away from the game they’re watching.”
FOX Sports Media Group’s commitment to the English Premier League is underlined by airing over 300 matches per season, including 180 live matches across FOX Soccer and FOX Soccer Plus. FOX Sports also aired three encore matches on NFL Sundays last fall and two live matches last winter. Highlights, commentary and analysis from England’s top division are at the center of FOX Soccer’s primary studio shows, Match Day and Goals on Sunday. Additionally, FOX Soccer carries round-by-round English Premier League preview and review shows, as well as a weekly magazine feature and Premier League Fan Zone.
FX, Fox’s flagship general entertainment basic cable network, carried two UEFA Champions League semifinal matches in 2011, and is doing the same this month. FSN, through its 20 owned-and-operated regional networks is the nation’s leading provider of local sports, producing over 5,000 live local events annually, but is no stranger to televising high-caliber soccer. It has aired a national Premier League game-of-the-week since 1998 and has aired UEFA Champions League matches on both a live and delayed basis. FSN also aired a national MLS game-of-the-week last season, Manchester United’s U.S. Summer Tour in 2003 and 2004, WPS matches nationally, a variety of college matches and ancillary programming. Finally, SPEED, the nation’s first and only cable television network dedicated to automotive and motorcycle racing, performance and lifestyle, and FUEL TV, FSMG’s dynamic sports network for men, offers soccer as a programming stunt for the first time.
Survival Sunday has serious implications for the teams involved. The centerpiece of this event is the relegation battle. While there can only be one league champion, the remaining 19 clubs jockey for position to determine qualification for European tournament play and Premiership survival. Wins and losses on May 13 carry heavy consequences, and a single point can be the difference between prosperity and financial ruin.
At the end of Survival Sunday, those teams occupying the eighteenth, nineteenth and twentieth positions are eliminated from the world’s best soccer league and three teams from the second division are promoted to the English Premier League for the 2012-2013 season. Relegated clubs stand to lose upwards of $40 million.
The top four clubs in the English Premier League earn UEFA Champions League qualification, receiving a potential reward of $75 million and the right to play in the world’s most prestigious club tournament. Pending the results of other domestic competitions, the fifth, sixth and seventh places in the Premier League table also carry significance. The holders of those spots at the end of Survival Sunday qualify for the UEFA Europa League, a continent-wide knockout tournament with more than 40 years of history and tradition. Beginning this fall, 2012-2013 Europa League contests are being carried by FOX Soccer and FOX Soccer Plus.
Survival Sunday matchups are listed below. Specific networks and digital platforms will be determined at a later date. ESPN will select one match from the schedule. All games begin at 10:00 AM ET.
MAY 13 Matches Network
Chelsea v Blackburn Rovers TBA
Everton v Newcastle United TBA
Manchester City v Queens Park Rangers TBA
Sunderland v Manchester United TBA
Tottenham Hotspur v Fulham TBA
Norwich City v Aston Villa TBA
West Bromwich Albion v Arsenal TBA
Wigan Athletic v Wolverhampton Wanderers TBA
Stoke City v Bolton Wanderers TBA
Swansea City v Liverpool TBA
In addition to a full slate of matches on FOX Sports Media Group’s networks, fans can also view and follow real-time scorelines on FOXSoccer.com/SurvivalSunday, as well as FOX Soccer 2Go, FOX Soccer’s subscription-based digital platform available online and via mobile and tablet applications.
What a way to follow Survival Sunday and Fox is pulling off quite the effort to show its commitment to soccer. I also think this could be a preview of how Fox could handle the World Cup in 2018 utilizing the actual Fox network, FX and Fox Soccer.
Announced today, Fox Sports says former ESPN soccer announcer, sideline reporter and bowling play-by-play man Rob Stone comes over to host soccer on Fox Sports Media Group platforms.
Rob begins with the Fox mothership on January 22 when he hosts the English Premier League game between Arsenal and Manchester United live on the same day as the NFC Championship.
He will be main host for Fox Soccer’s Goals on Sunday show and Match Day. In addition, he’ll host Champions League games starting with the Round of 16.
Stone will replace Eric Wynalda who has been absolutely hideous as studio host. Wynalda will become primary studio analyst, a role for which he’s much better suited.
We can expect to see Rob when the World Cup matches comes to Fox in 2015. Good move for Rob as he has been a big soccer supporter.
Here’s the announcement from Fox Sports.
Seasoned Sportscaster Becomes Lead Host for FOX Soccer
& All Soccer Events on FSMG Outlets
New York — Seasoned sportscaster Rob Stone joins FOX Sports Media Group (FSMG) as the lead studio host for FOX Soccer and all soccer events on FSMG outlets, including FOX Sports and FX. The announcement was made today by FOX Soccer Executive Vice President & General Manager David Nathanson, and his appointment is effective immediately. Stone’s position is based in Los Angeles. National Soccer Hall of famer Eric Wynalda, the second-leading goal scorer in U.S. history, who has served FOX Soccer’s primary studio host, shifts to become lead studio analyst.
Upon joining FOX, Stone’s first assignment is to host FOX Sports’ coverage of Arsenal vs. Manchester United match prior to the NFC Championship Game, Sunday, Jan. 22 (10:30 AM-1:00 PM ET), the first-ever live Barclay’s Premier League match on U.S. broadcast television. He’ll also host FOX Soccer’s signature studio programs including GOALS ON SUNDAY which focuses on Premier League, Italy’s Serie A and UEFA Champions League action and MATCH DAY, two live studio shows bridging the network’s Saturday morning Premier League matches.
“To say we’re excited to have an on-air personality with the experience and depth of understanding for soccer that Rob has would be an understatement,” said Nathanson. “He’ll quickly become the face fans expect to see when tuning into one of the many major international soccer events FOX has scheduled this year and in the years to follow.”
“I’m massively grateful and humbled by this opportunity,” offered Stone. “When I first began playing the sport at age 5, I never imagined it would allow me to work four FIFA World Cups and make a living covering the world’s greatest game.”
In addition to his FOX Soccer studio work and his Premier League assignment for FOX Sports in January, Stone is also set to host FOX Sports’ studio coverage of “The Game Before the Game” featuring Chelsea versus Manchester United, live from Stamford Bridge on Super Bowl Sunday, Feb. 5 (10:30 AM-1:00 PM ET). He’ll also be lead anchor for FOX Soccer’s UEFA Champions League coverage beginning with the round of 16 on Feb. 14; FOX Soccer and FX coverage of the UEFA Champions League semi-finals and FOX Sports’ coverage of the UEFA Champions League Final this spring.
Stone comes to FOX directly from ESPN, an entity he joined in 1997 as a professional soccer commentator. Stone served as a host, play-by-play announcer and sideline reporter for select MLS and U.S. Soccer telecasts on ESPN, ESPN2 and ABC, worked the last four FIFA World Cups and hosted 12 MLS Cups. During World Cup ’98, he traveled throughout host country France, filing reports on offbeat and behind-the-scenes stories. At the 2002 World Cup in Korea/Japan, Stone served as host of World Cup 2Night on ESPN2 and during the pregame, halftime and postgame segments. He served as both a reporter and play-by-play announcer at the 2006 World Cup in Germany.
In addition to his vast soccer resume, Stone branched out over the years and became one of ESPN’s most valuable and versatile personalities, serving as a college football/basketball play-by-play announcer, show host, sideline reporter and general assignment reporter. In addition to college football and professional soccer, Stone’s contributions at ESPN include coverage of men’s and women’s college basketball; NCAA tennis; national spelling bee; boxing; skiing; darts; horse racing; the Nathan’s Hot Dog Eating Contest; Great Outdoor Games; college soccer; track & field; and the PBA.
Stone began his television career as an ESPN production assistant working on SportsCenter, Outside The Lines and College GameDay (1992-93). He then went to FOX affiliate WFXL-TV in Albany, Ga., as a weekend sports anchor/sports reporter (1993-94) and sports director (1994-95). From there, Stone moved to WTOG-TV in Tampa/St. Petersburg, where he served as weekend sports anchor and sports reporter (1995-97). During the 1996 and 1997 MLS seasons, Stone also was an analyst for Tampa Bay Mutiny matches on SportsChannel Florida, now FOX Sports Florida.
A 1991 graduate of Colgate with a bachelor’s degree in English, the Simsbury, Conn., native was an all-state and all-conference soccer player as a midfielder at Colgate, and captained the squad in his senior year.
That’s it for this post.
It’s the early evening on the East Coast, but I do have time to bring you some linkage. Lots of stuff to get to.
We’ll begin with John Ourand of Sports Business Journal who reviews ESPN’s new NFL studio shows which came as a result of its new Monday Night Football $2 billion rights fee.
Michael Hiestand of USA Today notes that the NFL has put the Detroit Lions in the Week 13 Sunday night window in place of the lowly Indianapolis Colts.
Michael talks with ESPN College GameDay’s Lee Corso who threw an “F” bomb on Saturday’s show.
Sports Illustrated’s Grand Wahl says ESPN is removing John Harkes as its main soccer analyst and also looks at the moves NBC and Fox Soccer will make for next year.
Michael O’Connor at the Hollywood Reporter notes that Sunday Night Football on NBC drew modest ratings over the American Music Awards on ABC.
Dan Hirschhorn of Advertising Age says Spike TV is looking to stay in the mixed martial arts arena despite losing UFC to Fox.
Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk writes that NFL Commish Roger Goodell is considering starting the Sunday Night flex earlier in the season.
Dave Scott from ESPN’s Front Row has a recap of the best tweets from the weekend regarding some ESPN broadcasts.
Barry Janoff at The Big Lead speaks with officials from NBC Sports and the NHL about the new Black Friday game that both companies hope will become a tradition like the NHL Winter Classic.
CNN’s Howard Kurtz speaks with Harrisburg (PA) Patriot-News reporter Sarah Ganim about breaking stories on the Penn State scandal.
Glenn Davis of SportsGrid has video of Cris Collinsworth saying what we were all thinking when a promo for the new edition of Fear Factor popped up during Sunday Night Football.
Sports Video Group looks at the numbers for NASCAR.com’s RaceBuddy feature for the Sprint Cup.
In SBNation Boston, Bruce Allen of Boston Sports Media Watch looks back at a busy week in local sports media.
Phil Mushnick of the New York Post wants ESPN to stop with the crowd cutaways on its college football broadcasts.
Keith Groller of the Allentown (PA) Morning Call notes that WFAN’s Mike Francesa wasn’t happy with Philadelphia Eagles’ running back Desean Jackson.
The Baltimore Sun’s David Zurawik could no longer stand listening to CBS’ Greg Gumbel and Dan Dierdorf and decided to listen to the Ravens Radio Network.
Dan Steinberg at the Washington Post’s DC Sports Bog has some amusing exchanges between DC NFL team radio announcers Larry Michael, Sam Huff and Sonny Jorgensen during yesterday’s Dallas-Washington game.
Pat Dooley of the Gainesville (FL) Sun has ESPN college football analyst Urban Meyer denying reports that he interviewed for the Ohio State coaching job.
Sad news from Georgia as legendary Georgia Bulldogs football announcer Larry Munson died Sunday at the age of 89. Munson had retired a couple of years ago after numerous health problems, but is still revered by UGA fans. Munson had began as Voice of the Bulldogs in 1966 and remained until 2008. To many, he typified the love for college football in the South. Some of his calls were homerish, but Munson truly bled Georgia football. Fans loved him for it. But he could be fair as well.
Munson not only called the Bulldogs football team, he called the Atlanta Braves, the Falcons, and the Georgia basketball program.
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution has an obituary written mainly by former staffer Tony Barnhart and Chip Towers.
Towers says Munson’s calls are forever linked with the players.
The AJC’s Mark Bradley says Munson will never be forgotten among Bulldog fans.
The AJC has reaction from fellow broadcasters to Munson’s passing.
Atlanta TV station WSB has a special section devoted to Munson.
In the Athens (GA) Banner-Herald, Marc Weiszer says Munson’s voice has finally been silenced.
The Banner-Herald’s Andrea Griffth conducted a video interview with Munson about his career.
And here are the raw unedited interviews between Ms. Griffith and Munson.
If you’re not from the South and don’t understand the love for college football, try to think about the love for your local team and multiply it by 1,000,000 and you’ll see the passion for the sport. Munson was part of that passion that remains today.
David Barron from the Houston Chronicle has some local overnight ratings from college football and the MLS Cup.
Bob Wolfley at the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel says ESPN’s Sunday NFL Countdown crew wondered if Green Bay could go perfect this season.
Bob notes that NBC’s Tony Dungy feels the Packers are vulnerable.
Dusty Saunders of the Denver Post talks about Bob Costas’ interview with Jerry Sandusky.
Rob Davis from the Voice of San Diego writes about some interesting changes coming to the San Diego Union-Tribune sports section.
Tom Hoffarth at the Los Angeles Daily News has the sports calendar for this week.
Bob’s Blitz has video of ESPN’s Erin Andrews getting the Gatorade bath after the Oklahoma-Baylor game and her reaction afterwards.
Tony Manfred at the Business Insider Sports Page has the programming ESPN is using to replace NBA games in December.
And that will do it for us.
Let’s provide some linkage on this NFL Sunday.
Dennis Dodd at CBSSports.com writes that the SEC plans to reopen its humungous media rights contract with ESPN soon after its admission of Missouri into the conference is made official.
Mike Reynolds of Multichannel News reports that the Sportsman Channel will provide an outdoor programming block for ESPN International in Africa, the ANZAC region and the Middle East.
Chris Greenburg of the Huffington Post has videos of some of the sports topics that the late Andy Rooney discussed on “60 Minutes”.
Dan Duggan of the Boston Herald says UFC’s Dana White couldn’t be happier to bring MMA to Fox.
The New York Post’s Phil Mushnick can’t stand football being played outside of Saturday or Sunday.
David Zurawik of the Baltimore Sun talks with NBC’s Bob Costas about hosting Sunday Night Football at the game sites.
Jim Williams of the Washington Examiner talks with Fox Soccer’s General Manager about bringing the World Cup into the Fox Sports Media Group.
Coley Harvey of the Orlando Sentinel tells us that this Saturday’s Miami-Florida State game will be an ESPN on ABC affair.
Mike Monroe of the San Antonio Express-News says the Spurs will be showing some classic games to fill time during the NBA Lockout.
Mike Brudenell of the Detroit Free Press writes about Red Wings analyst Mickey Redmond being honored by the Hockey Hall of Fame next week.
Bob Wolfley in the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel speaks with outgoing Brewers announcer Corey Provus about his new gig in Minnesota.
Bob also talks with new Thursday Night Football analyst Mike Mayock about the Green Bay Packers.
Harry Plumer of the Columbia Missourian talks with Fox Sports Net’s Jim Knox about the art of sideline reporting.
Jeff Call of the Deseret (UT) News writes about BYU using its resources and media relationships to ensure that its game against Oregon State would be televised.
Howard Stutz of the Las Vegas Review-Journal writes that ESPN is changing the way the World Series of Poker is seen and produced.
Bob Young of the Arizona Republic recounts some of the sports topics the late Andy Rooney explored on 60 Minutes and in other arenas.
Lindsay Schnell of The Oregonian writes that the Oregon Ducks will be part of an ESPN College GameDay telecast once again this season.
Brendan Kelly of the Montreal Gazette wonders if CBC will get shutout from the NHL in the next round of Canadian media bidding.
Raju Mudhar of the Toronto Star talks with former NESN and MLB Network host Hazel Mae about her return to Canada and her old Rogers Sportsnet stomping grounds.
Sports Media Watch says CBS hit a season ratings high for its NFL national window in Week 8.
SMW says Fox continues to see a rise in ratings for the NFL.
SMW says college football on ABC did very well last week.
SMW notes that the SEC on CBS did not do well last week.
SMW says Notre Dame football hit a ratings low last Saturday.
SMW has some various college and pro football ratings news and notes.
And SMW has World Series ratings dating back to 1972.
We are now complete with the links for today.
Let’s do some linkage on this Sunday morning. Some good stuff to get to.
TVbytheNumbers says World Series Game 3 easily won the primetime ratings last night over college football and repeats on NBC.
The Associated Press has an in-depth story on how Fox and Telemundo won the rights to the 2015-22 World Cups.
Marisa Guthrie and Georg Szalai of the Hollywood Reporter report on NBCUniversal’s all-in bid for Telemundo for the rights to FIFA’s World Cups from 2015 through 2022.
R. Thomas Umstead from Multichannel News writes on the winning bids by Fox and Telemundo for the US media rights to the World Cup.
Todd Spangler of Multichannel says a Cox Cable employee in Arizona has pleaded guilty to inserting a brief clip of a porno movie during the Super Bowl in 2009.
Also from Multichannel, Mike Reynolds writes that Golf Channel is adding five international tournaments to close out 2011.
Oh here we go again. There’s another silly carriage dispute and it involves Fox again. Remember last year’s Cablevision/Fox dispute that left the network off cable systems in New York and Philadelphia? Well, this time Fox is having a dispute with DirecTV and among the channels that could be pulled: FX, Fox Soccer & Fox Soccer Plus, Speed, Fuel and 19 Fox Sports Net regional channels. That’s just great. We get the latest from Alex Weprin from TV Newser.
John Ourand from Sports Business Daily also looks at the Fox/DirecTV dispute.
Phil Swann of TV Predictions has a suggestion on how to prevent these disputes in the future.
Richard Pagliaro of Tennis Magazine writes that ESPN has obtained the online rights of several women’s tennis tournaments.
Glenn Davis from SportsGrid has the video of Michigan State’s amazing Hail Mary pass to win last night’s game against Wisconsin.
At the Sox & Dawgs blog, good friend Ian Bethune has the full page ad former Boston Red Sox General Manager Theo Epstein placed thanking Red Sox fans.
Jeré Longman of the New York Times looks at Fox and Telemundo winning the World Cup bids.
Newsday’s Neil Best looks back at the 25th anniversary of Game 6 of the 1986 World Series from NBC’s point of view.
The great Bob Glauber of Newsday has a story on several NFL teams showing concern about being miked up for games and having their signals heard not only on TV, but by opposing teams.
The New York Post’s Phil Mushnick has the preposterous theory that the World Series is watered down.
Paul Tharp of the Post says the lure of tax breaks led NBC Sports to move its headquarters to Connecticut.
Harvey Zucker of the Jersey Journal reviews ESPN’s documentary on boxer Chuck Wepner, affectionately known as “The Bayonne Bleeder” and one who knocked down Muhammed Ali.
Tracee Hamilton of the Washington Post says the Nationals deserve a better TV deal.
Jim Williams of the Washington Examiner talks with Navy’s associate athletic director about allowing Showtime to film a year-long documentary on its rivalry with Army.
Mike Mooneyham from the Charleston (SC) Post & Courier looks at E:60′s profile of WWE wrestler Scott Hall.
Tom Jones of the St. Petersburg Times notes that Florida State and Tampa Bay Bucs radio voice Gene Deckerhoff is pulling off a unique double dip this weekend.
David Knox of the Birmingham (AL) News talks with ESPN college football analyst Ed Cunningham who is also an award-winning documentary filmmaker.
Doug Demmons of the News says ESPN is pleased with its NASCAR Non-Stop Coverage.
Mel Bracht of the Daily Oklahoman says ESPN’s Brad Nessler and Todd Blackledge got the job done during last night’s Texas Tech-Oklahoma game.
John Kiesewetter of the Cincinnati Enquirer says CBS has relented and the market will get today’s Oakland-KC game and Carson Palmer’s Raiders debut.
John notes that Joe Morgan’s syndicated radio show has changed from a nightly program to weekends-only.
Kathleen Lavey from the Lansing (MI) State Journal writes about the crowd that showed up for ESPN’s College GameDay on the Michigan State campus yesterday.
Bob Wolfley of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel talks with ESPN College GameDay’s Lee Corso about how elaborate his headgear picks have become.
Dan Caesar from the St. Louis Post-Dispatch talks with MLB Network host and Gateway City native Greg Amsinger.
Dan says Joe Buck’s voice rose to the occasion in last night’s World Series Game 3.
The Los Angeles Times’ Lisa Dillman says some soccer fans fear the Fox cross promotion for the World Cup.
Sports Media Watch says the SEC on CBS fell to near season-low ratings.
SMW says college football on ABC is way up this season.
Steve Lepore at Puck The Media says Versus is having an up-and-down start to the NHL season.
Joe Favorito says Dan Wheldon’s death should not halt IRL’s initiatives to be more transparent with the public.
And we’ll end it there for today. The Sunday NFL pregame quotage will be posted throughout the day.
On Sunday either before or after NFL coverage on Fox Sports, you’ll have the opportunity to see another English Premier League game. Again, it’ll be tape delayed. The Tottenham Hotspur-Arsenal game will be live on Fox Soccer at 11 a.m. Eastern then again on Fox either at 2 p.m. or 4:30 p.m.
We have the press release from Fox Soccer for you.
ON THE HEELS OF A RECORD-SETTING BROADCAST, FOX BRINGS BARCLAYS PREMIER LEAGUE BACK TO THE NETWORK ON SUNDAY
Actor, Former Premier League Player Vinnie Jones Re-Joins Eric Wynalda and Cobi Jones in the Studio for Tottenham vs. Arsenal
Los Angeles (September 29, 2011) – FOX Sports Media Group continues to break soccer programming trends Sunday, October 2, by pairing Barclays Premier League soccer alongside NFL on FOX. FOX Soccer, America’s premier soccer destination, brings live coverage of Tottenham Hotspur vs. Arsenal FC at 11:00 am ET with FOX Broadcast Network airing an encore presentation either before or following NFL on FOX, depending on market.
Nearly 2.5 million viewers tuned in to FOX, FOX Soccer and FOX Deportes for Manchester United – Chelsea, the first Premier League match to be shown on U.S. free-to-air network television. It was the largest audience ever to watch the Premier League in the U.S.
The record-setting tape-delayed Premier League match on FOX was second in total audience to this year’s live UEFA Champions League Final, also on FOX and FOX Deportes (4.2 million for FC Barcelona vs. Manchester United).
Sunday’s Tottenham-Arsenal match, a legendary rivalry of North London neighbors dating back to 1887, airs at either 2:00-4:00 PM ET or 4:30-6:30 PM ET depending on FOX’s NFL schedule. Please check local listings.
Sunday, October 2, 2011
Tottenham Hotspur vs. Arsenal FC
Live on FOX Soccer at 11:00 am ET
Encore on FOX at 2:00 – 4:00 PM ET (Pre-NFL) –or- 4:30 – 6:30 PM ET (Post NFL), depending on market; check local listings
That will do it. We have NBC’s preview for Sunday Night Football next.
Yesterday about 2 p.m., I got the power back at the Fang’s Bites abode and after walking around the neighborhood, I saw that I was quite lucky in not getting any tree limbs falling on my house or any leaks in the basement. So while Hurricane Irene was quite deadly and caused major damage up and down the East Coast, I consider myself very lucky in being able to get through the storm without any major interruptions and I thank National Grid for getting the power back to my house within a day after being knocked offline.
Let’s do some linkage. Already a couple of major sports media stories breaking today.
First, Bill Carter of the New York Times writes that NBC has tapped Today show Executive Producer Jim Bell and former NBC Sports Emperor Dick Ebersol protégé as the Executive Producer of the 2012 London Olympics.
Tim Malloy at The Wrap says NBC feels Bell is uniquely qualified to helm the Olympics for the network.
Georg Szalai of the Hollywood Reporter writes that Bell will continue to oversee the Today show while working on the Olympics.
The lovely Rachel Cohen of the Associated Press writes that NBC will show all Olympic events live in one platform or another.
Ken Schott of the Schenectady Gazette is happy to see NBC airing events live.
In a related note, Meredith Galante of the Business Insider notes that the aforementioned former Emperor is selling his Colorado home for a huge pricetag.
And maybe this is why Ebersol is selling his house, Bill Carter and Richard Sandomir of the New York Times reports that the former Emperor is returning to NBC Sports as a senior adviser. You can’t make these things up.
Our other big sports media story involves the University of Kentucky revoking the school newspaper’s media credential for playing by its rules.
Scott Sloan of the Lexington Herald-Leader looks into why this occurred.
And from the Kentucky Kernel, the school newspaper’s managing editor Becca Clemons gives the publication’s response. This now is becoming a First Amendment issue and had the school’s Sports Information Department had handled this differently, this would not have blown up. Instead, the SID reacted poorly and this is the result.
To other stories now.
USA Today notes that there are a few changes coming to NFL Network including the hiring of Andrew Siciliano full-time and the shuffling of anchors for NFL Total Access.
Anthony Crupi at Adweek says advertisers are flocking to Fox’s UFC package knowing they can reach large numbers of young males.
To the Indiana University National Sports Journalism Center and Jason Fry whose final column for the site provides sportswriters with the five changes in digital sports they need to look for in the very near future. Also, Jason has collected 19 of his National Sports Journalism Center columns into a eBook and it’s available for download at Amazon or at Smashwords. Jason has been a great resource here and I hope to let you know where he’ll be landing soon.
Cam Martin at SportsNewser says syndicated radio host Paul Finebaum will be writing a column for SI.com.
Glenn Davis in SportsGrid has the latest Alec Baldwin-John Krasinski Yankees-Red Sox rivalry New Era ad that premieres tonight. It’s very funny.
Brandon Costa of Sports Video Group looks at Big Ten Network’s programming schedule to reflect the new football season.
Brandon writes about the launch of Kansas State’s new KStateHD.TV.
Sports Illustrated’s Richard Deitsch takes to TwitLonger to ask why ESPN’s new social media policy is not being applied equally.
David Whitely of AOL Sporting News wonders if airing the Little League World Series on TV is too much pressure on the kids.
CNBC’s Darren Rovell says the addition of Texas A&M to the SEC won’t add much value to its TV contracts.
Claire Atkinson of the New York Post writes that the US Tennis Association is considering charging viewers for watching the U.S. Open online.
Pete Dougherty of the Albany Times Union wishes ESPN would lighten up.
David N. Dunkle of the Patriot-News (PA) writes a long-time Harrisville R&B radio station flips to ESPN Radio this week.
Mark Berman of the Roanoke (VA) Times says ESPN’s new contract with the ACC means more Virginia Tech sports on TV.
Dave Walker of the New Orleans Times-Picayune reports that former CNN/ESPN/YES/Fox Sports South host Fred Hickman has signed with a local TV station to become its sports director.
Susan Blaskovich of the Pegasus (TX) Times says Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban gets his chance to pick games on ESPN’s College GameDay on Saturday.
The Grand Rapids (MI) Press notes the passing of long-time Detroit Lions beat writer Tom “Killer” Kowalski.
The Ann Arbor News has reaction to Kowalski’s passing.
Bob Wolfley of the Milwaukee Sentinel looks at how WTMJ radio will handle conflicts between the Brewers, Green Bay Packers and Wisconsin Badgers.
Bob has some interesting tidbits from the NFL Films America’s Game documentary on the 2010 Packers that airs next week.
Ed Sherman in Crain’s Chicago Business feels the number of documentaries released now focusing on the Cubs is bad timing.
Mike Imrem of the Chicago Daily Herald says he might be part of the problem in ESPN’s airing of the Little League World Series.
Josie Becker of LA Galaxy Confidential suggests that NBC use the ESPN model for hiring announcers for MLS instead of the Fox Soccer way of doing things.
Maury Brown of the Biz of Baseball says the MLB At Bat for iPhone and iPod Touch underwent a nice upgrade in time for the pennant races.
And I think that will do it for the links today.
Let’s provide links while I can. Trying not to make this a week where links are scarce. Let’s get this done.
First, Jessica E. Vascellaro and Darren Everson of the Wall Street Journal look at how infusions of TV rights money has changed college sports not necessarily for the better.
John Ourand at Sports Business Daily notes that Longhorn Network has picked up its first major cable provider just ahead of Friday’s launch.
Tim Baysinger of Broadcasting & Cable also writes about Longhorn Network’s carriage deal.
Mike Reynolds from Multichannel News looks at Fox Soccer signing a multiyear deal for the UEFA Europa League.
Emma Bazilian of Adweek says the Bleacher Report has raised $22 million in capital for future expansion of the site.
Toni Fitzgerald of Media Life Magazine explores the rich naming rights deal involving MetLife and the New Meadowlands Stadium.
Dave Kindred at the Indiana University National Sports Journalism Center says there are not that many differences between “New School” and “Old School” writers.
Marcus Vanderberg of SportsNewser says the operator of an illegal sports video streaming site was arrested by the Feds yesterday.
CNBC’s Darren Rovell feels Danica Patrick’s popularity has hit the wall.
Dashiell Bennett of the Business Insider’s Sports Page notes that ESPN put up a controversial rendering (now since taken down) of Michael Vick as a white man.
Robert Littal of Black Sports Online has a problem with ESPN’s premise of making Vick a white man.
At ESPN Front Row, PR maven Mike Soltys informs us that the Alleged Worldwide Leader has revised its social networking policy.
Claire Atkinson of the New York Post says any talk of the NFL and Time Warner Cable being close on a deal for NFL Network is just that. Talk.
Pete Dougherty of the Albany Times Union notes that TBS has made a change for its Sunday MLB game due to Hurricane Irene.
Ken Schott says a local radio station will have a unique baseball-horse racing on-air schedule this Saturday.
Ken McMillan of the Middletown (NY) Times Herald-Record says the MSG Networks will be airing plenty of college football in the fall.
Ken adds that MSG Network will air a prospects hockey tournament next month.
Keith Groller of the Allentown (PA) Morning Call says an area native is doing overnight sports reports on WFAN.
Justin Fenton and Dan Connolly of the Baltimore Sun report that police have confirmed that former Orioles pitcher and broadcaster Mike Flanagan took his own life outside his home on Wednesday.
Peter Schmuck of the Sun says now is not the time to speculate why Flanagan chose to end his life.
The Sun’s Kevin Cowherd writes that Flanagan made people laugh as a player and as a broadcaster.
In Press Box, Dave Hughes says Flanagan’s death is still a mystery.
Matt Brooks in the Washington Post’s Early Lead blog says Flanagan’s death has hit the Orioles very hard.
Jim Williams of the Washington Examiner writes that Danica Patrick’s move to NASCAR makes the Baltimore Grand Prix one of her last IndyCar races of her career.
Ken Tysiac of the Charlotte (NC) Observer says thanks to its new ESPN contract, ACC basketball will get plenty of TV exposure.
Barry Horn of the Dallas Morning News has a primer on the Longhorn Network.
Jimmy Burch of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram has CBS Sports Chair Sean McManus feeling the SEC will be standing pat for the foreseeable future.
Jimmy says Verizon FiOS will be distributing the Longhorn Network across the country.
The Houston Chronicle says a local TV station will begin airing Thursday night high school football games.
David Barron of the Chronicle writes that the Longhorn Network is ready to launch, but won’t be seen widely in Houston.
Ed Sherman in Crain’s Chicago Business says Notre Dame has renewed a radio rights deal with WLS-AM.
Toni Ginnetti of the Chicago Sun-Times looks at a big reveal from ESPN Films’ documentary on the Steve Bartman 2003 NLCS inc
Tom Hoffarth of the Los Angeles Daily News has Sports Illustrated saying the beating of a San Francisco Giants fan in the Dodger Stadium parking lot earlier this year sealed the fate of the franchise.
Mason Kelly of the Seattle Times says a local high school gym got a facelift thanks to an ESPN program.
Only Deadspin. It has a spy inside ESPN’s State of the Union meeting with higher ups.
Sox & Dawgs looks at SNY’s UConn football coverage.
The Toronto Sports Media blog notes that long-time Maple Leafs voice Dennis Beyak is apparently heading to Winnipeg.
Sports Media Watch has some various football programming notes.
That is going to finish the links for today.