Broken last night by USA Today’s Michael Hiestand and made official today, Lindsay Czarniak, a fast-rising star at ESPN, has been named as host of the Indianapolis 500. She replaces Brent Musburger.
Czarniak is no stranger to motorsports. She was a pit reporter and host on NASCAR on TNT between 2007 and 2011. She’s also hosted an occasional episode of NASCAR Now on ESPN2.
She becomes the first female host for the race following in the footsteps of Jim McKay and Musburger.
Czarniak is the co-anchor of the 6 p.m. SportsCenter with John Anderson.
Prior to joining ESPN, Czarniak was a sports anchor on WRC-TV in Washington and appeared on the George Michael Sports Machine which was produced at WRC.
Here’s the ESPN press release.
Lindsay Czarniak to Host ABC’s Indianapolis 500 Telecast
ESPN SportsCenter anchor Lindsay Czarniak has been named host for the telecast of the Indianapolis 500 on ABC on Sunday, May 26. ABC will be televising the “Greatest Spectacle in Racing” for the 49th consecutive year, extending one of the longest-running relationships between a sporting event and a TV network, and Czarniak will be the first woman ever to host the telecast.
Czarniak, who co-anchors the 6 p.m. SportsCenter with John Anderson, joined ESPN in 2011. She has a background in motorsports, having served as a pit and feature reporter and host for TNT’s telecasts of NASCAR Sprint Cup races and a pit reporter for NBC Sports prior to moving to ESPN. She also has hosted ESPN’s NASCAR Now program.
She was as sports anchor and reporter at WRC-TV (NBC4) in Washington, D.C., from 2005-2011. During that time, she also worked for NBC covering the 2006 Winter and 2008 Summer Olympic Games as well as NASCAR.
Czarniak will be positioned on Indianapolis Motor Speedway’s iconic Pagoda during ABC’s one-hour Indianapolis 500 pre-race show at 11 a.m. on May 26. She also will contribute to the race telecast
The ESPN Family of Networks received 43 Sports Emmy nominations. Some of the major nods include Mike Breen for Play-by-Play, Jon Gruden for Event Sports Analyst, College GameDay for Weekly Studio Show, Pardon the Interruption in Daily Studio Show, the Indy 500 for Live Sports Special, Monday Night Football in Live Sports Series, 30 for 30 in Edited Sports Series/Anthology, E:60 for Sports Journalism and even Grantland got three nominations giving Bill Simmons another ego blast.
Here’s what ESPN is saying about their Sports Emmy nominations.
Outside the Lines, E:60 Lead the Way; First Three Nominations for Grantland.com
ESPN, Inc. received 41 Sports Emmy Award nominations for 2012 across its platforms (ESPN, ESPN2, ESPN 3D, ABC, ESPNU, ESPNEWS and Grantland.com), it was announced today by the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences. The winners will be announced Monday, May 6, in New York.
The company’s initiatives in enterprise journalism and storytelling led the way – five nods for E:60, four for Outside the Lines, ESPN Films earned four nominations including two for 30 for 30 documentaries, and three for Grantland.com, the site’s first nominations. OTL has won 14 Sports Emmy Awards in history, including three last year. Grantland.com gained two nominations in New Approaches – Sports Programming with “The Arnold Palmer” and “Royce White Battles Anxiety on Draft Day” as well as one in New Approaches – Short Format for “Story Time with Jalen Rose.”
Monday Night Football, the most-watched series in cable television, was nominated in Live Series and its analyst Jon Gruden was nominated for the fourth consecutive year and reporter Lisa Salters received her first-ever nod. In technical categories, ESPN 3D garnered a pair of nominations, including in Technical Team Remote for the Winter X Games for which the network won in 2012. Also, last summer’s UEFA Euro 2012 month-long tournament received nominations in Technical Team Studio and in Graphic Design.
Overall, ESPN has won 148 Sports Emmy Awards in 25 years of eligibility. ABC Sports won 160 from 1980 – 2008.
ESPN’s nominations by category (all are ESPN, except as noted):
Live Special Indianapolis 500 (ABC)
Live Series Monday Night Football
Edited Special Outside the Lines – Believe
Sports Documentary 26 Years: The Dewey Bozella Story (ESPN2)
Edited Series 30 for 30
Studio Show/weekly College GameDay
Studio Show/daily NFL Live (ESPN2)
Pardon the Interruption
Journalism E:60 – Beitar Jerusalem (ESPN2)
E:60 – Busted Coverage (ESPN2)
Short Feature College GameDay – Fist Bump: A Brotherly Bond
E:60 – Perfect (ESPN2)
SportsCenter – Kick of Hope
SportsCenter – Run with Me
Long Feature E:60 – Mike Powell: In Relentless Pursuit (ESPN2)
New Approaches – Unite (ESPNU)
Sports Programming Royce White Battles Anxiety on Draft Day (Grantland.com)
The Arnold Palmer (Grantland.com)
New Approaches – Short Format ESPNU Unite Social Highlight (ESPNU)
Story Time with Jalen Rose (Grantland.com)
Numbers Never Lie Whiteboard (ESPN2)
Play by Play Mike Breen (ABC)
Event Analyst Jon Gruden
Reporter Lisa Salters
Technical Team Remote The Masters (ESPN 3D with CBS)
Winter X Games (ESPN 3D)
Technical Team Studio UEFA Euro 2012
Camerawork E:60 – Remember Bluffton (ESPN2)
Outside the Lines – Breaking the Silence
Editing Grand Slam Tennis (ESPN2
Outside the Lines – Breaking the Silence
Writing The Open Championship – Old
The Open Championship – Essays
30 for 30 – Ghosts of Ole Miss
Graphic Design UEFA Euro 2012
Sport Science (ESPN-ESPN2-ESPNEWS)
Prod.Design/Art Direction Outside the Lines – Defiance: The Story of FC Start
Promo – Institutional “It’s not crazy, it’s sports.”
“Nothing Beats First Place”
That’s going to do it.
Back to work for many of you after the Memorial Day holiday. Because of my crazy schedule, I didn’t get to enjoy it, but you don’t care about that. Let’s do links.
John Ourand of Sports Business Journal reports that Cox Communications has dropped the New Orleans Hornets allowing Fox Sports to swoop up the rights.
Mike Reynolds from Multichannel News takes a look at the US TV coverage of the French Open.
Georg Szalai of the Hollywood Reporter writes that UK’s Channel 4 plans extensive coverage of the 2012 London Paralympics which will be held two weeks after the Summer Olympics.
Tim Nudd of Adweek reviews the latest WatchESPN spot.
Alex Weprin of TVNewser reports that HBO’s Real Sports host Bryant Gumbel will co-host Live with Kelly next week.
Evan Weiner at Examiner.com explains how NBC’s huge rights fee effectively ended Qatar’s bid for the 2020 Olympics.
Ed Sherman from The Sherman Report interviews legendary sportswriter Frank Deford.
Ed writes that USA Today’s Sports section is changing its reporting strategy.
Media Rantz remembers the Marv Albert arrest 15 years later. Disclosure: I’m quoted in this very well-researched article.
Will Brinson at CBSSports.com writes that Showtime/NFL Films has quietly dumped Warren Sapp from “Inside the NFL”, however, he remains on NFL Network.
Evan Sporer of SportsGrid has the great video of a soldier home from Afghanistan surprising his daughters at Sunday’s Minnesota Twins game. It has nothing to do with sports media. I’m just a huge sucker for reunion videos.
Chadd Scott at ChuckOliver.net explores how TV money has led to the “Wal-Martization” of college football.
Joe Lucia at Awful Announcing notes that former ESPN college football crackpot Craig James is running below “Undecided” in the Texas U.S. Senate Republican primary. Always a good place to be when trying to run a successful campaign.
Bob’s Blitz says former Miami sports radio talker Sid Rosenberg has a new gig.
The New York Post’s Phil Mushnick actually heaps praise this morning. And he does it to Hall of Fame hockey voice Mike Emrick.
Ken Schott from the Schenectady Gazette says Time Warner Cable will air some local high school lacrosse playoff games.
Pete Dougherty of the Albany Times Union notes that the NBA Draft Lottery will air from New York’s Times Square for the first time ever.
Ken McMillan at the Middletown (NY) Times Herald-Record writes that apparently NFL Network will no longer air CFL games.
Ken adds that there’s no New York City radio home of the 2012 Olympics as of yet.
Ken provides the Compass Media college football schedule for the 2012 season.
And Ken has the Sports USA college football schedule as well.
Tom Jones from the Tampa Bay Times looks back at the weekend that was in sports television.
Barry Jackson of the Miami Herald notes that embattled South Florida sports radio talk show Sid Rosenberg is about to start a new gig.
David Barron from the Houston Chronicle says a local sports radio station is about to acquire a rival FM station.
Jerry Garcia from the San Antonio Express-News says TNT’s Shaquille O’Neal spent some time talking to a local TV station and defending his co-hort Charles Barkley.
Roy Bragg of the Express-News says the Chuckster was glad to meet the peeps in San Antonio on Monday.
Paul M. Banks at Chicago Sports Media Watch has some linkage of his own to provide.
Scott D. Pierce at the Salt Lake Tribune talks with Utah Jazz TV voice Craig Bolerjack.
Dusty Saunders of the Denver Post looks at the mtn.: The Final Days.
Tom Hoffarth of the Los Angeles Daily News notes that a hockey primer from 1993 still holds true today.
Steve Ladurantaye from the Toronto Globe and Mail writes that Rogers and TSN are smelling blood and plan to bid for CBC’s Hockey Night in Canada package.
Bruce Dowbiggin of the Globe and Mail says Rogers Sportsnet has snatched IndyCar rights away from TSN.
The Canadian Sports Media blog looks at the silly PR hockey wars being conducted by Rogers Sportsnet and TSN.
Sports Media Watch gives us the overnight ratings for the Indianapolis 500 on ABC.
Steve Lepore at SB Nation’s Puck The Media predicts the ratings for this year’s Stanley Cup Final.
Joe Favorito says things are looking good at NBC Sports.
Jordan Golson at MacRumors talks with ESPN’s NASCAR pit reporter Dave Burns about using an iPad for his reports.
That’s going to do it for now.
This Sunday, ESPN will produce the annual Indianapolis 500 race on ABC. It marks the 48th time the race will be on the network. Coverage will begin at 11 a.m. with a prerace show. Then at noon, the coverage starts. Brent Musburger will host. Marty Reid calls the race while Scott Goodyear and Eddie Cheever will be the analysts.
There will be plenty of innovation as ESPN says. You can check everything below.
ABC will televise the Indianapolis 500 for the 48th consecutive year on Sunday, May 27, and is bringing innovation and new technology to its coverage of one of the world’s historic and iconic sporting events.
A one-hour preview show airs from Indianapolis Motor Speedway at 11 a.m. ET, with the race telecast at noon. The green flag is at 12:12 p.m. “The Greatest Spectacle in Racing” has aired on ABC every year since 1965.
ESPN’s production will utilize more than 80 cameras to televise the premier event of the IndyCar Series, including four onboard cameras per car in at least nine of the 33 cars competing in the race. ESPN will make use of dual-path technology for the first time in an IndyCar Series telecast, permitting views from two onboard cameras on the same car at the same time.
Also for the first time, viewers of the ABC telecast will be able to enhance their experience with a choice of live streaming video from the onboard cameras on ESPN3, ESPN’s multi-screen live sports network. ESPN3 will carry the feeds exclusively through WatchESPN and on Indycar.com to fans who receive their Internet or video subscription from an affiliated provider. Viewers will be able to choose which driver’s onboard cameras they want to watch from among the available cars. ESPN3 also will have replays of the ABC telecast following the event. ESPN3 is available online at WatchESPN.com, on smartphones and tablets via the WatchESPN app and through ESPN on Xbox LIVE to Gold level members.
ESPN will continue its Indianapolis use of “Batcam,” a camera that provides unique views running on a cable over pit road and the frontstretch and can move at more than 80 mph. Views and replays will be enhanced by the first Indianapolis 500 use of Ultra Hi Motion cameras located in the short chutes at each end of the 2.5-mile track as well as at the fourth turn exit.
Marty Reid will call the race with analysis by former IndyCar driver Scott Goodyear and 1998 Indy 500 winner Eddie Cheever. Brent Musburger will host the telecast while pit reporters will be Rick DeBruhl, Jamie Little, Dr. Jerry Punch and Vince Welch.
ESPN’s Indianapolis 500 coverage will be produced under the oversight of ESPN vice president, motorsports, Rich Feinberg. James Shiftan will produce the race telecast and Bruce Watson will direct, while Jeff Ingalls will produce the pre-race show with Chip Dean directing.
The opening tease looks at the event through the eyes of the driver in a first-person experience with Helio Castroneves, Dario Franchitti, Will Power and JR Hildebrand. The piece shows a driver’s life as a sensory overload with the noises of the cars, radios and fans and follows the cadence as drivers strive to shut it all out and see only the finish line with total focus.
Among the special features that are planned for the pre-race show or in SportsCenter’s Indianapolis 500 coverage:
- Dan Wheldon: A Champion’s Story — interviews with drivers, owners and family members celebrating the life and championships of the 2011 Indianapolis 500 winner who died in a racing accident in October.
- JR Hildebrand: 799 Correct Turns and 1 Wrong Turn – A first-person feature about the heartbreaking finish of the 2011 Indy 500 for Hildebrand, who crashed with the checkered flag in site.
- James Hinchcliffe – The driver who has captured IndyCar fans with his sense of humor as well as his ability behind the wheel does a parody of the Danica Patrick/GoDaddy.com commercials.
- Dario Franchitti Museum Tour – The multi-time IZOD IndyCar Series champion takes a private tour of the Indianapolis Motor Speedway Museum, exploring the history of the race and his desire to win his third.
- Charlie Kimball: Inspiring Others — Kimball, the first diabetic driver to finish the Indy 500, has inspired a 12-year-old girl from Kansas to believe she can do anything, despite living with diabetes.
- ESPN Sport Science takes a detailed look at the new DW12 IndyCar chassis that debuted this year and details the changes from previous chassis.
- Memorial Day — The story of a mother who sacrificed a great deal when her son Ben lost his life fighting for his country. She visits Arlington National Cemetery to tell her story.
Other ESPN Platforms
In addition to the live telecast on ABC, the Indianapolis 500 will receive ESPN multiplatform coverage on the following outlets:
ESPN International’s network and joint ventures’ reach is more than 212 million homes in 136 countries and territories. Add to that syndication (46 countries and 53.3 million homes), ABC’s U.S. reach of 114,700,000 and television distribution exceeds 380.5 million homes in 182 countries worldwide. In addition, U.S. troops serving overseas and on Navy vessels around the world will watch live via a broadcast agreement between ESPN and the American Forces Network, bringing the total to 213 countries and territories around the world.
ESPN.com will provide surround coverage of the Indy 500 with senior motorsports writers Ed Hinton and Terry Blount, IndyCar correspondent John Oreovicz and motorsports editor K. Lee Davis for the 96th running of “The Greatest Spectacle in Racing.” The site has already been previewing and preparing for the event. ESPN.com staff will cap off the coverage on race day with Racing Live! Indianapolis 500 on ESPN.com as the writers, editors and fans interact on every aspect of the race. In addition, anchor Marty Reid and analysts Scott Goodyear and Eddie Cheever will provide exclusive digital coverage leading up to and after the race.
On television, extensive reports, interviews and highlights will air on SportsCenter and ESPNEWS.
ESPN Classic will present a week-long tribute in honor of the 96th running of the Indianapolis 500. All week long beginning Monday, May 21, ESPN Classic will air classic Indy 500 races and SportsCentury programming. The special programming continues after the May 27 running with A.J. Foyt tributes on May 29 and 31 and a Gordon Johncock tribute on May 30.
ESPN Radio’s Saturday RaceDay starts its engines at 6 a.m. with an hour of news, previews and analysis. ESPN Radio also provides auto racing fans the comprehensive Sunday RaceDay (6-7 a.m. Sundays), which covers the auto racing world.
ESPN Deportes, ESPN’s Spanish-language television, radio and Internet in the U.S., will cover the Indy 500 via SportsCenter, the network’s flagship news and information program. The network’s motorsports expert Andres Agulla and former professional driver Alex Pombo, will provide special reports and interviews with the racers directly from Indianapolis. In addition, ESPNdeportes.com will provide comprehensive coverage with previews, qualifying, photo galleries, videos and live chats with Agulla and Pombo. ESPN Deportes also will provide the SAP for the ABC telecast of the race, with Agulla and Pombo providing the commentary.
More coming up. Keep it here.
Before the day is through, let’s do some linkage for you.
Steve Berkowitz from USA Today looks at the Pac-12′s TV contract which is the richest in college sports (for now).
Speaking of USA Today, Ed Sherman of The Sherman Report says the newspaper is restructuring its sports department and about a dozen staffers have been laid off. That includes Friend of Fang’s Bites Mike McCarthy and Game On! blogger Tom Weir. Very sad to see this. I met Mike a few years ago when we covered an event at ESPN. Good reporter and writer. I hope to be linking to him again soon.
Ed also writes about ESPN holding onto the Nathan’s Hot Dog Eating Contest.
ESPN Ombudsman Jason Fry of the Poynter Institute watches ESPN’s interviewing guru critique the questioning style of some of its reporters.
Marisa Guthrie at the Hollywood Reporter looks at NBCUniversal’s plans to offer some 5,500 hours of coverage on the Olympics.
John Eggerton of Broadcasting & Cable says Golf Channel will have live coverage of U.S. Open qualifying on June 4.
Tim Baysinger at B&C recaps last night’s Sports Business Journal/Sports Business Daily’s Sports Business Awards.
Rich Thomaselli from Advertising Age says the NHL’s social media and traditional ad campaigns have helped bring casual fans to the Stanley Cup Playoffs.
After being disrespected by its own local media last week, the Los Angeles Kings made this infographic giving a brief history on its logo, names of players and number of times the team has been in the postseason. This season, the Kings have stepped its social media campaign and website to provide fans with a very humorous, but also informative experience. Keep it up, Kings. You guys rock!
Eric Deggans of the Tampa Bay Times, writing in the Indiana University National Sports Journalism Center, notes the difficultly for women to find a proper role in sports television.
CNBC’s Darren Rovell says Texas Rangers outfielder Josh Hamilton’s past is preventing collectors from lining up at his doorstep.
Congratulations to Steve Lepore of Puck The Media who has become SB Nation’s NHL Media writer. Steve is a hard worker who has created a very good niche for himself. And his first column for SB Nation is about the ratings for the NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs Western Conference Final clincher.
Steve also writes about the controversy over NHL on NBC charlatan Pierre McGuire’s withholding of information over an incident between the benches during Game 4 of the Eastern Conference Final.
Jerry Barmash of Fishbowl NY says MSG Network will air two specials on the upcoming Belmont Stakes in which I’ll Have Another will go for horse racing’s Triple Crown.
Ken Schott from the Schenectady Gazette says in addition, MSG Plus will air some horse races this summer.
Pete Dougherty at the Albany Times Union writes that ESPN has expanded its 3-D coverage of Wimbledon.
Ken McMillan from the Middletown (NY) Times Herald-Record says Al Jazeera will be launching two soccer channels this summer.
Keith Groller at the Allentown (PA) Morning Call looks at ESPN on ABC’s plans for Sunday’s Indianapolis 500.
Dan Steinberg of the Washington Post’s DC Sports Bog says former ESPN’er Dave Feldman is leaving the local market to go home to his native Northern California.
Dan says former DC NFL Team running back and sports radio host John Riggins will be hosting an outdoors show next year.
Jim Williams from the Washington Examiner says a deadline is fast approaching in which the Nationals will find out how much MASN will be paying them for TV rights.
Mark Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times says the Rays are paying tribute to Fox Sports MLB reporter Ken Rosenthal by wearing bow ties.
Tom Jones of the Times says MLB Network analyst Mitch Williams ripped Tropicana Field.
David Barron from the Houston Chronicle looks at the proposed uses for the abandoned Astrodome.
John Kiesewetter in the Cincinnati Enquirer says Fox Sports is on the Reds’ bandwagon.
Bob Wolfley of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel writes that MLB Walking, Talking Conflict of Interest Bud Selig is holding firm to his retirement date.
Paul M. Banks at Chicago Sports Media Watch says the Big Ten Network has helped to expand the league and in part, raise Northwestern’s profile.
Gordon Monson of the Salt Lake Tribune says even though the Utah Jazz bought the sports radio station where he works, he’ll remain an independent voice.
Chris Jenkins from the San Diego Union-Tribune says Fox Sports San Diego’s Mark Sweeney is a natural fit as Padres analyst.
Tim Sullivan of the Union-Tribune says he enjoys listening to the Padres on the radio.
The Los Angeles Daily News’ Tom Hoffarth can’t believe he’s seeing a farmers dating service ad on NBC Sports Network.
Laura Stone of the Toronto Star writes that a new feature by CBC for the NHL Stanley Cup Final has some hardcore female sports fans hopping mad.
Timothy Burke at Deadspin looks at the Twitter police for college sports programs.
Sports Media Watch notes the increased ratings for the series-clinching game of the NHL Stanley Cup Western Conference Final on NBC Sports Network.
Joe Favorito examines the right way and the wrong way to attract Twitter followers.
Dave Kohl at The Broadcast Booth marvels at the LA media for getting the Kings logo and players wrong during local newscasts.
And I’ll end the linkage there for now. Enjoy the rest of your day.
The Indianapolis 500 and the NASCAR Nationwide Race in Charlotte, NC headline ESPN/ABC’s motorsports coverage this week.
Indianapolis 500 Airing for 48th Year on ABC
ABC will air the 96th running of the Indianapolis 500 from Indianapolis Motor Speedway on Sunday, May 27, continuing one of the longest-running relationships between a sporting event and a TV network with the race on ABC for the 48th straight year. A one-hour pre-race show airs at 11 a.m. ET with the race’s green flag at 12:12 p.m. For the first time, viewers will be able to watch streaming views from onboard cameras on ESPN3, ESPN’s multi-screen, live sports event network.
Booth: Lap-by-lap announcer Marty Reid; analysts Scott Goodyear, Eddie Cheever.
Host: Brent Musburger
Pit reporters: Rick DeBruhl, Jamie Little, Dr. Jerry Punch, Vince Welch
NASCAR Nationwide Series at Charlotte on ABC
The NASCAR Nationwide Series races this weekend at Charlotte Motor Speedway and the History 300 airs live on ABC on Saturday, May 26. NASCAR Countdown airs at 2:30 p.m. ET with the race’s green flag at 3:01 p.m. Also from Charlotte, ESPN2 airs NASCAR Nationwide Series qualifying on Saturday at 11 a.m.
Booth: Lap-by-Lap announcer Allen Bestwick; analysts Rusty Wallace, Andy Petree.
Pit reporters: Dave Burns, Mike Massaro, Shannon Spake.
NASCAR Now Schedule
The one-hour weekend edition of ESPN2’s daily NASCAR news and information program NASCAR Now will air on Sunday, May 27, at 10 a.m. ET with a preview of that night’s NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at Charlotte Motor Speedway. Michael Yam will host, joined by analyst Ricky Craven with reporters Mike Massaro and Ryan McGee at the track. NASCAR Now will review the race at 3 p.m. on Monday, May 28.
Date Time Show Host Network Tue., May 22 3 p.m. NASCAR Now Jonathan Coachman ESPN2, WatchESPN Wed., May 23 3 p.m. NASCAR Now Jonathan Coachman ESPN2, WatchESPN Fri., May 25 3 p.m. NASCAR Now Michael Yam ESPN2, WatchESPN Sun., May 27 10 a.m. NASCAR Now Michael Yam ESPN2, WatchESPN Mon., May 21 3 p.m. NASCAR Now Allen Bestwick ESPN2, WatchESPN
Global Rallycross Charlotte Action Airs on ESPN2
The high-octane world of Global Rallycross, which mixes the energy of motorsports with the attitude of action sports, is kicking off its 2012 season with an event at Charlotte Motor Speedway during the famous track’s NASCAR weekend. The event, which will be contested on a 0.750-mile Rallycross course built along the frontstretch and pit road of the 1.5-mile superspeedway, will air on ESPN2 on Saturday, May 26, at 8 p.m. ET.
In addition, the event will air on ESPN3, ESPN’s multi-screen live sports network, starting at 7 p.m.
NHRA Lucas Oil Drag Racing Series on ESPN2
The NHRA Full Throttle Drag Racing Series has the weekend off, but NHRA fans can watch action from the NHRA Lucas Oil Drag Racing Series on Saturday, May 26, at 12:30 p.m. ET on ESPN2. The telecast will feature highlights from the recent event in Topeka, Kansas.
Motorsports on Other ESPN Platforms
ESPN.com — RacingLive! on ESPN.com is a live blog where fans can engage in debate and discussion with ESPN.com writers and editors during the NASCAR Sprint Cup races. On Sunday, May 27, RacingLive! Charlotte will coincide with the NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Charlotte Motor Speedway. Fans can join ESPN.com’s NASCAR experts in dissecting every aspect of the race live at http://espn.go.com/racing/nascar/. ESPN.com motorsports writer David Newton will be on hand at Charlotte.
ESPN Radio — Each weekend morning, ESPN Radio’s RaceDay starts its engines at 6 a.m. ET with host Pat Patterson anchored from the site of that weekend’s NASCAR Sprint Cup race. On both Saturday and Sunday mornings, ESPN Radio’s RaceDay listeners get an hour of news, previews and analysis, as well as profiles and interviews with NASCAR’s biggest names and newsmakers and the involvement of listeners via calls and e-mails.
This weekend and next Friday, NBC Sports Network will offer 17½ hours of live coverage of the Indianapolis 500 Qualifying. Saturday and Sunday, racers will be vying to get the coveted pole position for the race which will be run Sunday, May 27 and aired on ABC.
But this weekend, NBC Sports Network will be at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway airing the drivers going around the oval in hopes of getting the fastest time at the track.
Bob Jenkins will be calling the qualifying and he’ll be joined by Jon Beekhuis and Wally Dallenbach in the booth.
NBC Sports Network will be on twice on Saturday surrounding its Preakness Stakes coverage and then it will be live with 6½ hours of coverage on Sunday. We have the preview from NBC Sports Network.
NBC SPORTS NETWORK SURROUNDS INDY 500 QUALIFYING WITH OVER 17.5 HOURS OF EXCLUSIVE COVERAGE
“Qualifying for the Indy 500 is the most stressful two days in racing.” – Wally Dallenbach
IndyCar 36 to profile J.R. Hildebrand on Saturday, May 26 at 6:30 p.m. ET
Firestone Indy Lights from Indianapolis Airs Friday, May 25 at Noon
NEW YORK—May 16, 2012— The NBC Sports Network will surround qualifying for the Indy 500 with 12 hours of live coverage on May 19-20, plus a five– hour show on Carb Day, Friday, May 25, which features Indy 500 practice, the Freedom 100 Indy Lights race, and the Pit Stop Competition. Motorsports viewers will also see a new episode of the all-access series, IndyCar 36, featuring J.R. Hildebrand, on Saturday, May 25 at 6:30 p.m. ET.
WALLY DALLENBACH ON INDY 500 QUALIFYING: “Qualifying for the Indy 500 is the most stressful two days in racing. These guys get torn up more about qualifying than they do for the actual race. There is no margin for error and you are pushing the envelope. The emotions for qualifying are the biggest in any motorsport that I know…the most important thing is to be in the race.”
NBC SPORTS NETWORK’S INDY 500 QUALIFYING COVERAGE (subject to change, all times ET):
Saturday, May 19 – IndyCar Qualifying 11-2:30 p.m., 4:30 p.m. – 6:30 p.m.
Sunday, May 20 – IndyCar Qualifying 12-6:30 p.m.
Friday, May 25 – Carb Day 11 a.m. – 4 p.m./Freedom 100 Indy Lights 12 p.m.
Saturday, May 26 – IndyCar 36: J.R. Hildebrand 6:30 p.m. ET
COMMENTATORS: Bob Jenkins (lead race announcer), Jon Beekhuis (analyst) and Wally Dallenbach (analyst) will call all the qualifying coverage.
REPORTERS: Kevin Lee and Derek Daly will serve as pit reporters along with current IndyCar driver Townsend Bell. Bell will also enter this year’s Indy 500 and will give his unique prospective as a participant and insider right up until race day. Robin Miller is the NBC Sports Network’s IndyCar reporter.
INDYCAR 36: The NBC Sports Network will extend its all-access 36 series to IndyCar with IndyCar 36, on Saturday, May 26 at 6:30 p.m. ET. The driver profiled for this week’s episode will be J.R. Hildebrand, who made his IZOD IndyCar Series in 2010 and now races for Panther Racing. Hildebrand was the rookie driver who was leading last year’s Indy 500 when he crashed in turn four on the final lap, only to be passed by Dan Wheldon, who won the race.
The all-new NBC Sports Network original series is produced by IMS Productions and gives viewers an all-access pass into the life of a world-class driver in the middle of race season. The cameras will follow a driver for 36 hours during a race weekend providing a behind-the-scenes look at the on- and off-track activities of the stars of the IndyCar Series.
That does it for this post.
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.
Any time I put “Quick” in the title, it appears I find more linkage than I set out to. Nothing wrong with that. Again, I ended up being outside of the office for an extended time and it looks like that will happen again tomorrow. Don’t know work is so crazy all of a sudden. I hope the weekend won’t be too busy, but you never know until it gets here. So I won’t put “Quick” in the title today.
In the meantime, I’ll do as many links as I can.
Mike McCarthy of USA Today writes that ESPN has actually dropped two NFL studio analysts to help make room for five new guys coming to the network.
Michael Hiestand at USA Today explains why Jerry Rice chose to become a TV analyst now.
In Sports Business Daily, John Ourand has the story on how NBC Sports Group signed a new multiyear contract with MLS.
Sports Illustrated’s Richard Deitsch writes that the NBC Sports deal might be the boost that MLS has been seeking.
Jack Bell of the New York Times looks at the particulars of the deal.
Joe Flint of the Los Angeles Times’ Company Town blog says NBC Sports Group grabbing the MLS is a big blow to Fox Soccer which previously had this portion of the contract.
Daniel Feuerstein from MLS Talk also reviews this new MLS contract.
Now to other links.
Mike Reynolds at Multichannel News says Cablevision and Tennis Channel may spar again when its contract with a cable collaborative expires. Again, this could affect viewership of the U.S. Open in New York.
Autoweek talks about ESPN renewing its deal to air the Indianapolis 500 on ABC for the long-term.
Marcus Vanderberg of SportsNewser notes that a longtime Baltimore Sun writer is leaving to join the WWE.
Cam Martin of SportsNewser tells us that age was a factor in having CNBC’s Darren Rovell replace John Feinstein on the ESPN Radio affiliate in Washington DC. It’s never good to admit that publicly.
Ben Axelrod from SportsGrid says U.S. Women’s Soccer team goalie Hope Solo will be posing nude for ESPN The Magazine’s Body issue.
Major League Baseball has announced its postseason schedule and it starts early and would end well before Halloween.
Over to the aforementioned Darren Rovell who provides us with his annual College Football All-Name Team.
Dan Steinberg of the Washington Post’s DC Sports Bog looks at Darren joining a DC sports radio station for a weekly guest spot.
Dan writes that a DC TV station will air Baltimore Ravens preseason games for the first time.
Bert Pfankuch of the Sarasota Herald-Tribune is changing cable companies and tearfully says goodbye to Golf Channel.
Angela Woolen in the Macon (GA) Telegraph says ESPN is in town to air the Little League Baseball World Series Southeast Regional this week.
Ben Flanagan from the Huntsville (AL) Times recaps comments from South Carolina coach Steve Spurrier to Dan Patrick in which he stated that he felt ESPN gave Alabama preferential treatment.
Bob Wolfley at the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel says former Packers running back Ahman Green joins Big Ten Network for selected games this college football season.
Bob talks about former NFL coach Bill Parcells rejoining ESPN for this season.
Scott D. Pierce of the Salt Lake Tribune writes that NBC Sports plans to put one or two Notre Dame games on the NBC Sports Network starting next season.
Tom Hoffarth of the Los Angeles Daily finds an angry message to Dodgers owner Frank McCourt inside Dodger Stadium.
Ferd Lewis at the Honolulu Star-Advertiser says an announcement to tout a new University of Hawaii sports channel has been delayed again.
Bruce Dowbiggin in the Toronto Globe and Mail goes over caddie Steve Williams’ bitter remarks to CBS shortly after Adam Scott won the WGC-Bridgestone Invitational.
Kristen Douglas of the Campbell River (Canada) Mirror says NBC Sports was in the local area to shoot a segment for an adventure show.
Sports Media Watch advises us to keep on an eye on the battle between ESPN and the NBC Sports Group.
Awful Announcing’s Matt Yoder goes over Jerry Rice’s hiring at ESPN.
And AA talks with soccer announcer extraordinaire Ian Darke.
The Biz of Baseball’s Maury Brown says MLB’s attendance numbers are quite deceptive.
The Football Girl blog looks at the ESPN/NFL Network analyst wars plus the NFL on Fox announcing lineup.
And that is going to conclude the linkage for today.
Inklings of ESPN’s extension to carry the Indianapolis 500 on ABC started this morning as Tripp Mickle of Sports Business Daily reported that a six year extension was agreed to between the network and IndyCar keeping five races on the network. As a result of the contract, ABC will be the exclusive broadcast partner of the IndyCar series. It puts a roadblock on the NBC Sports Group from putting any IndyCar races on NBC. Versus is currently the cable home of the series.
Tripp says the rights fee from ESPN/ABC will increase for the five races. It also keeps the Indy 500 on ABC. Thus far, ABC has aired the race for 47 consecutive years and it means the American Broadcasting Company will air its 50th race under the new contract. It will also air the 100th version of the Indy 500 in 2016.
Here’s the press release.
ABC To Be Exclusive Broadcast Network Partner for IndyCar Series
A Memorial Day weekend television tradition will continue with a new, six-year rights agreement that will keep the Indianapolis 500 on ABC through 2018, extending one of the longest-running relationships between a sporting event and a television network past the half-century mark.
ESPN on ABC will broadcast the 500 Mile Race for the 48th consecutive year on May 27, 2012, and, with the new agreement taking effect in 2013, also will televise the 100th running of “The Greatest Spectacle in Racing” in 2016.
As part of the new agreement, ABC will be the exclusive broadcast network partner for the IndyCar Series from 2013-2018 and will continue to televise four races each year in addition to the Indianapolis 500. The worldwide presence of the Indianapolis 500 and the series on television will continue as ESPN also has international syndication rights for all IndyCar Series races.
“The Indianapolis 500 and ABC have been together since 1965 and we are very proud to extend the relationship with this new agreement,” said George Bodenheimer, president of ESPN and ABC Sports. “The 500 is a uniquely American event and a Memorial Day tradition, and we especially look forward to televising the 100th edition of the race in 2016.”
The Indianapolis 500 aired as part of ABC’s “Wide World of Sports” from 1965 until 1971, when it was broadcast for the first time as a same-day, stand-alone, tape-delayed telecast in prime time. It was shown on a delayed basis until the first live telecast in 1986. This past May, ESPN’s production of the Indianapolis 500 telecast used 64 high definition cameras, a satellite-activated effects system and more of the most modern television technology available.
Beginning in 2012, ABC’s coverage of the Indianapolis 500 and the IndyCar Series will be expanded to include live streaming of ABC’s onboard cameras on ESPN3.com, ESPN’s signature broadband sports network. The streaming of the onboard cameras also will be available to ESPN3 subscribers via www.indycar.com.
“We value our partnership with ABC and ESPN and are pleased that the relationship will continue into the future,” said Jeff Belskus, Indianapolis Motor Speedway Corporation president and CEO. “Along with a vast understanding of the Indianapolis 500 and the sport of IndyCar racing, ESPN’s production team continues to seek out innovative ways to televise our sport. As broadcast technology advances and opportunities arise to implement new technology, we can count on ESPN to bring the best quality production to our viewers.”
ABC has televised IndyCar Series races every year since the formation of the series in 1996 and has aired five races each year under the current agreement, which began in 2009 and runs through the 2012 season.
“INDYCAR is very excited about our continued relationship with ABC,” said Randy Bernard, CEO, INDYCAR. “This allows the series long-term growth on the network. This new contract also helps us expand our presence around the world with ESPN representing our international rights. I want to thank ABC for their strong confidence and commitment in our brand and series. This deal will help our series, team owners, sponsors and fans for the long term with a much more solid foundation.”
ESPN also has highlight rights for the ABC races across all ESPN platforms. The next IndyCar Series race airing on ABC will be at New Hampshire Motor Speedway in Loudon, N.H., on Sunday, Aug. 14, at 3:30 p.m. ET.
And that will do it.
Didn’t have time to do megalinks during the day as I was trying to get some end of the month/beginning of the month stuff done at the office. Time to get linkage in while I can.
The Weekend Viewing Picks are chockful of sports action and some primetime programming. Now to the linkage.
Jessica E. Vascellaro and Matthew Futterman combine for a Wall Street Journal story on the US TV bidding for the Olympics. Bids are due next week.
The Around The Rings Olympic blog notes that the US Olympic Committee will be on hand to monitor the US TV bidding as well.
Dorothy Pomerantz of Forbes handicaps the Olympic bidding.
Back to the Wall Street Journal, Tim Marchman reviews the ESPN book.
David Goetzl of MediaPost says DirecTV announcing that it won’t be charging customers for the NFL Sunday Ticket package during the lockout really should not be news.
Sean Leahy of USA Today writes about DirecTV’s announcement.
Michael Hiestand of USA Today has Fox Sports’ NASCAR analyst Daryl Waltrip complaining that the sport forgot its roots while trying to promote the cars over its personalities.
Marcus Vanderberg of SportsNewser notes that ESPN NHL analyst Matthew Barnaby has been slapped with two orders of protection stemming from the domestic disturbance he was arrested for last month.
Mohammed Rahman from SportsGrid writes that UFC personality Joe Rogan called noted and respected MMA writer Maggie Hendricks “cunty”. What is up with the UFC people?
Jason Dachman at Sports Video Group looks at some TV tennis news.
Sports Media Watch writes that last Saturday’s MLB on Fox primetime presentation saw its second straight ratings increase.
SMW notes that the Indy 500 saw its highest ratings in three years.
SMW says Game 2 of the NBA Finals had increased ratings, but lower viewership.
Steve Lepore at Puck The Media has CBC’s opening from Game 1 of the Stanley Cup Final and it reminds us how well the network covers hockey. Some nice use of Adele in the opening.
Awful Announcing has a podcast interview with ESPN book co-author James Andrew Miller.
AA also did a Q&A session with ESPN NBA voice Mike Breen to discuss the Finals and Bill from White Plains.
The Major League Programs blog has its usual review of sports media.
East and Mid-Atlantic
Chad Finn from the Boston Globe can’t believe one local TV station did not send anyone to Vancouver to cover the Stanley Cup Final.
Chad also reviews the ESPN book.
Newsday’s Neil Best has the best of his blog in his latest column.
Nina Mandell of the New York Daily News says ESPN would love to have Shaquille O’Neal on its air.
The New York Post’s Phil Mushnick remembers the late NFL Hall of Famer Andy Robustelli.
Justin Terranova from the Post has five questions for Red Sox voice Dave O’Brien.
Pete Dougherty of the Albany Times Union says Jimmer Fredette now has his own YouTube channel.
Ken McMillan of the Middletown (NY) Times Herald-Record says there will be plenty of coverage of the USA Track & Field Championships.
Evan Weiner of the New Jersey Newsroom goes over how Time Warner ruined sports in Atlanta.
Keith Groller at the Allentown (PA) Morning Call says NBC is happy to have an Original Six team in the NHL Stanley Cup Final.
Rich Hofman at the Philadelphia Daily News is annoyed at how ESPN continually ignores the NHL.
Laura Nachman notes Philadelphia native John Kincaid will lose a gig now that the Atlanta Thrashers have left town.
Dan Steinberg of the Washington Post’s DC Sports Bog says DC NFL team owner Dan Snyder’s lawsuit against the Washington City Paper is now the subject of Federal legislation.
Steven V. Roberts reviews the ESPN book in the Washington Post.
Jim Williams of the Washington Examiner says the NBA Finals won primetime on Thursday.
Tom Jones of the St. Petersburg Times says the Tampa Bay Lightning’s playoff run drew viewers in the local market.
Chuck Carlton of the Dallas Morning News reports that the Big 12 has changed its TV revenue distribution formula for all members. In essence, every school gets more money.
Barry Horn of the Morning News says ESPN/ABC seems to spend more time obsessing over the Miami Heat rather than the Dallas Mavericks.
David Barron of the Houston Chronicle recaps his visit to the Baseball Hall of Fame which included browsing through the broadcasters and writers wings.
Michael Zuidema of the Grand Rapids (MI) Press reviews HBO’s documentary on the John McEnroe-Bjorn Borg rivalry.
Bob Wolfley at the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel goes over some of his favorite quotes from the ESPN book.
Crain’s Chicago Business’ Ed Sherman goes over his winners and losers this week.
Teddy Greenstein of the Chicago Tribune talks with ESPN/ABC’s Mike Tirico about the Big Ten Football Championship.
Kyle Ringo of the Boulder Daily Camera reports that Colorado University is looking to sell local TV rights to some of its football games as it officially joins the Pac-12 Conference next month.
John Maffei at the North County Times says this round of Olympic TV bidding is very wide open.
Jim Carlisle of the Ventura County Star writes that people love to hate the Miami Heat as evidenced by the TV ratings.
Rhiannon Potkey of the Star talks with ESPN Women’s College World Series analyst Jessica Mendoza.
Joe Flint of the Los Angeles Times profiles the new Chairman of the NBC Sports Group, Mark Lazarus who leads the network’s Olympic bid next week.
And Joe says Lazarus is not a stranger to making big bids on sports properties.
Flint is impressed with former ESPN and now NFL Network executive Steve Bornstein’s candor in the ESPN book.
Tom Hoffarth of the Los Angeles Daily News says someone needs to investigate this whole Vin Scully Star Hollywood Walk of Fame mess.
Tom notes that Hollywood seems to be back on board with a new movie on the late Jackie Robinson.
Bruce Dowbiggin of the Toronto Globe and Mail notes that the opening game of the Stanley Cup Final was a ratings hit in both Canada and the US.
The Toronto Sports Media Blog speculates on whether a local sports radio talk show host has a new contract.
The Canadian Sports Media Blog finds a noteworthy feature in CTV’s plans for the 2012 Summer Olympics in London.
And that is going to do it. Took longer than I thought.
Time for some linkage on this very warm Thursday. I hope you all take a moment and say a prayer for the people of Western Massachusetts who head to deal with tornadoes yesterday. Four people are confirmed dead. It was quite devastating to see last night. Let’s hope the area can recover quickly.
To your links.
Michael Hiestand of USA Today says Shaquille O’Neal, who retired from the NBA after 19 seasons, would be a logical choice to become an NBA television analyst.
The Sporting News notes that ESPN is looking to hire O’Neal.
The great Richard Deitsch of Sports Illustrated has a profile on NBC’s NHL voice Mike “Doc” Emrick.
Toni Fitzgerald of Media Life says thanks to the NBA Playoffs, TNT had the best ratings month in cable TV history.
Andrea Morabito of Broadcasting & Cable says CBS News will not apologize and stands by its 60 Minutes report on cyclist Lance Armstrong.
Michael Malone of B&C says the NBC Sports Group will be all over rugby this weekend.
Mike Reynolds from Multichannel News writes that ESPN3D plans to air The Championship Wimbledon in the third dimension.
Cam Martin of SportsNewser says NBC Sports gets an EPIC FAIL for airing a promo stating the Tampa Bay Lightning are in the Stanley Cup Final.
Noah Davis of The Business Insider Sports Page notes the national debut of a Wall Street Journal sports columnist.
Noah has the complete roster of writers who will staff Captain Blowhard’s Grantland.
Dan Fogarty in SportsGrid says Captain Blowhard has finally set an official launch date for the pretentiously-titled Grantland site.
Brandon Costa at Sports Video Group talks about 3-D TV stepping up at The Masters.
Ted Miller of ESPN.com says the Pac-12 has made announcements on seven nationally televised games.
Bill Hofhemier at ESPN’s Front Row discusses how ESPN’s award-winning World Cup production team is back together again for the Women’s World Cup.
CNBC’s Darren Rovell notes that Shaquille O’Neal was one of the first athletes to embrace social media.
Darren says Shaq’s retirement video gave an internet start-up a huge boost in more ways than one.
Darren talks with the men who marketed Shaquille O’Neal.
Martin Pave of the Boston Globe profiles the the Emmy Award-winning director of ESPN’s “Fab Five” documentary who has local ties.
Jessica Van Sack of the Boston Herald says fans don’t have to watch TV to follow the NHL.
The New York Times’ Richard Sandomir feels NBC needs a better way to air the French Open men’s semifinals.
Newsday’s Neil Best notes that WFAN’s Mike Francesa is not just doing well without partner Chris Russo, he’s flourishing.
Neil has his entire interview with Francesa in his blog.
Neil talks with ESPN Radio New York’s Michael Kay who one day hopes to beat Francesa in the ratings.
Neil also has the ratings breakdown between WFAN and ESPN Radio New York for afternoon drive.
Pete Dougherty of the Albany Times Union says tennis great Chris Evert is returning to TV as an analyst for ESPN2′s Wimbledon coverage.
Frank Fitzpatrick of the Philadelphia Inquirer says Rugby 7′s will get network TV exposure this weekend.
John George in the Philadelphia Business Journal says Comcast SportsNet will air a local bike race in HD.
Dan Steinberg of the Washington Post’s DC Sports Bog notes that the UEFA Champions League Final outrated Game 1 of the Stanley Cup Final in DC.
Dan finds out why ESPN Radio DC slapped a 24 hour waiting period on publishing podcasts.
Jim Williams of the Washington Examiner explains that DC had the highest ratings for the Champions League finale.
Jim says NBC received the best NHL Stanley Cup Final Game 1 overnight ratings in a dozen years.
Barry Jackson in the Miami Herald says the NBA Finals are drawing viewers both nationally and locally.
Josh Robbins of the Orlando Sentinel says Magic star Gilbert Arenas has returned to Twitter with often humorous results.
Chuck Goldberg of the Alabama Newspapers notes that Auburn will get early starts for its first three football games of the season.
Barry Horn of the Dallas Morning News notes that Miami outrated Dallas for Game 1 of the NBA Finals.
Mel Bracht of the Daily Oklahoman talks with two-time Olympic softball player Michele Smith about the Women’s College World Series which begins on ESPN2 tonight.
Mike Wells of the Indianapolis Star reports that Fox Sports Indiana and the Pacers have dropped pregame show host Stacy Paetz effective immediately.
Kevin Kane of the Southside (IN) Times wonders when organizers will lift the local blackout on the Indianapolis 500.
Bob Wolfeley at the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel says Suds City topped all markets watching the Indianapolis 500.
At the Iowa City Gazette, Scott Dochterman writes that Fox plans to give the inaugural Big Ten Football Championship Game the Big Event treatment.
Tom Hoffarth of the Los Angeles Daily News gets the nitty gritty on why Vin Scully’s Star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame was covered and mistreated.
Dian Pucin of the Los Angeles Times instructs West Coast viewers on how to watch tomorrow’s French Open men’s semifinal live.
Bruce Dowbiggin of the Toronto Globe and Mail explores the media’s handling of the Atlanta Thrashers moving to Winnipeg story.
At Deadspin, A.J. Daulerio chronicles how ESPN.com’s Grantland site pursued and then later had misgivings about hiring site writer Tommy Craggs.
Matt Yoder of Awful Announcing tries to make sense of the whole thing.
Sports Media Watch says ABC had the most watched NBA Finals game since 2004.
And that will end the links for today.
If you’ve been visiting the blog throughout the morning, you may have noticed a couple of theme changes and then the return of the current theme. I’ve been trying to make a few cosmetic changes, but I screwed them up so I had to delete the theme and then reinstall it. If you were visiting and saw a different look and got confused, I apologize. Just trying to make the blog look as best as possible. I can assure you I’m done with the cosmetic changes for a while.
Let’s do some links on this Wednesday.
Sean Leahy of USA Today notes that NBC’s Cris Collinsworth is so fearful that the NFL will lose half a season that he took a non-paying high school football coaching position for the fall.
Michael Hiestand looks at the ratings for the Indy 500, primetime baseball and the UEFA Champions League Final.
Lindsay Powers at the Hollywood Reporter writes that Lance Armstrong lawyers are demanding an apology from CBS News’ 60 Minutes stating that the program did shoddy journalism in a segment on his alleged steroid use.
Philiana Ng of the Reporter says NBC has selected its blockbuster hit, “The Voice” to air after Super Bowl XLVI next February.
George Winslow from Broadcasting & Cable says the NBA has launched a Windows phone app.
Mike Reynolds at Multichannel News reports that ESPN and Tennis Channel have extended their multimedia alliance for the French and Australian Opens starting next year.
Louisa Ada Seltzer of Media Life Magazine writes that having a Canadian team in the NHL Stanley Cup Final won’t help NBC’s ratings.
Last night, ESPN’s Chris Berman called the San Francisco Giants-St. Louis Cardinals game for the Alleged Worldwide Leader and as expected, it turned out to be a disaster. Berman can’t call play-by-play to save his life. Two examples of this EPIC FAIL.
Matt Yoder at Awful Announcing has the video from Bubbaprog/Mocksession of Berman not getting the concept of a walk off win.
Then Glenn Davis at SportsGrid has video of Berman trying to be edgy or most likely, not having a clue about “Tossed Salad”.
Alex Weprin of SportsNewser visited the MLB
Man Fan Cave.
Joe Favorito says the NCAA College World Series is a missed opportunity for college baseball.
My Twitter Trophy Wife Amanda Rykoff has compiled a hockey glossary at espnW just in time for the Stanley Cup Final.
From the upcoming New York Times Sunday Magazine, Jonathan Mahler profiles Captain Blowhard who’s already complaining about Grantland and the site hasn’t officially launched yet. The profile is long so get ready to scroll.
Richard Sandomir of the Times reports that former Montreal Expos and New York Mets Hall of Fame catcher Gary Carter has an inoperable brain tumor.
Mike Madden of the Washington City Paper notes that DC NFL team owner and bully Daniel Snyder is taking the next step in his lawsuit against the publication by subpoenaing Washington Post blogger Dan Steinberg for just linking to the City Paper column that led him to sue in court.
Jim Williams at the Washington Examiner reports that ABC received the best NBA Finals overnight rating since 2004.
Jim says the NBC Sports Group gets to keep the Stanley Cup Final all to itself for the next two and a half weeks.
Mike Bianchi of the Orlando Sentinel writes that a local reporter may have jumped the gun when he reported on an alleged contract extension for the Magic’s Dwight Howard.
Mel Bracht in the Daily Oklahoman says Game 5 of the Dallas-Oklahoma City NBA Western Conference Finals did very well in the local ratings.
Bob Wolfley of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel says the ESPN book has some Wisconsin ties.
Ed Sherman at Crain’s Chicago Business wonders if the Windy City will tune into the Stanley Cup Final.
Scott Dochterman of the Iowa City Gazette notes the rebranding of Big Ten Network.
Chris Foster from the Los Angeles Times speaks with “How I Met Your Mother Star” Cobie Smulders who like her character Robin Scherbatsky is a big Vancouver Canucks fan.
Brad Ziemer of the Vancouver Sun says CBC’s Jim Hughson and Canucks voice John Shorthouse are happy to be calling their native Canucks in the Stanley Cup Final.
Sports Media Watch notes that ESPN2′s coverage of the French Open will be all live starting next year.
Steve Lepore of Puck The Media predicts how the Stanley Cup Final will fare on NBC/Versus this year.
That will do it for now.
If you’re out and about today and want your Indy 500 fix plus you’re a Sirius XM subscriber, then you’re in luck as the race will be aired on the satellite radio provider today. Here are the details.
On the 100th Anniversary of “The Greatest Spectacle in Racing,” listeners nationwide get live race broadcast plus extensive pre- and post-race coverage
NEW YORK – May 26, 2011 – Sirius XM Radio (NASDAQ: SIRI), the Official Satellite Radio Partner of INDYCAR, the sanctioning body for the IZOD IndyCar® Series and Firestone Indy Lights, announced today that it will celebrate the 100th anniversary of the world-renowned Indianapolis 500 with comprehensive coverage of the race and the events leading up to it.
SiriusXM listeners will have access to the live call of “The Greatest Spectacle in Racing” from Indianapolis Motor Speedway this Sunday, May 29, on channel 94 on XM and channel 212 on Sirius Premier (formerly known as “The Best of XM”). Motorsports fans will hear pre-race programming, including expert commentary and analysis, interviews with drivers and live coverage of driver introductions. When the green flag drops at 12:00 pm ET, SiriusXM listeners will hear the race live in its entirety, followed by a post-race recap and interviews.
SiriusXM’s motor racing coverage on Sunday, May 29, will also include the Coca-Cola 600 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race from Charlotte Motor Speedway, 6:00 pm ET on channel 90 on Sirius and XM Premier (formerly known at “The Best of Sirius”), as well as the Formula One™ Grand Prix of Monaco, 8:00 am ET on channel 94 on Sirius and channel 208 on XM.
For more information, please visit http://www.siriusxm.com.
I have the opportunity to do some linkage on this Saturday so let’s take advantage of this.
Mike Reynolds from Multichannel News says Fox has to be happy to have a dream matchup in today’s UEFA Champions League Final.
Sofia M. Fernandez of the Hollywood Reporter writes that the Indianapolis 500 has plenty of celebrity star power this weekend.
Brad Biggs in the National Football Post reports that a non-profit sports fan organization is appealing to the FCC to end all sports blackouts including NFL games.
The Big Lead notes that Captain Blowhard has poached a New York Times writer for his ESPN-backed Grantland site.
Sean Leahy at Yahoo’s Puck Daddy notes that popular Canadian chain Boston Pizza is changing its name for the duration of the Stanley Cup Final.
Bucky Gleason of the Buffalo News says Sabres fans are lucky to still have voice Rick Jenneret around for next season.
In the Washington Post’s DC Sports Bog, Dan Steinberg notes that frequent Gilbert Arenas critic Tony Kornheiser is quite similar to him in one very particular way.
Jim Williams of the Washington Examiner says like them or not, the Miami Heat are jacking up the NBA’s TV ratings.
Barry Horn of the Dallas Morning News says Mavericks owner Mark Cuban has confided to ESPN Radio’s Dr. Jack Ramsey that he feels Rick Carlisle is outcoaching opponents.
Philip Hersh of the Chicago Tribune says a last minute deal placed the NCAA Women’s Lacrosse Championship on Big Ten Network.
Kristena Hansen in the Arizona Republic notes that a Fox Sports Grill in Scottsdale is changing its name citing poor business.
The Toronto Sports Media Blog wonders if the city could support an all-sports daily newspaper.
The Canadian Sports Media Blog notes that TSN has signed a new six year deal to air the French Open in the Great White North.
Sports Media Watch looks at the ratings for the NBA Conference Finals dating back to 2002.
SMW says NBA TV and TNT analyst Kevin McHale is apparently heading back to coaching.
Steve Lepore at Puck The Media says the NHL Western Conference Final averaged less than a million viewers for the entire series.
Joe Favorito notes that lacrosse is seeing increased interest, but it will still take some time to grow the game.
Bike World News says Fox Sports Net will air the Tour of Utah cycling road race in August.
And that’s where I’ll end it today. I could do some press release posts later.
Time for some megalink action. This is turning out to be a busy day, but let me try to give you as many as I can. This being Memorial Day weekend, there’s plenty of sports action. Primetime viewing is kind of slim, but you can check out my Weekend Viewing Picks for the action.
Let’s get to the links. I’ll do as many as I can. I do have to leave early.
From yesterday’s Sports Business Daily, John Ourand speaks with outgoing NBC Sports President Ken Schanzer who is retiring at the end of the summer.
Mike Reynolds from Multichannel News and Broadcasting & Cable also writes about Ken Schanzer’s retirement from NBC Sports.
Multichannel notes that Time Warner Cable will have a presence to promote the Speed 2 channel at the Coca-Cola 600 NASCAR race in Charlotte this weekend.
USA Today’s Mike McCarthy and Michael Hiestand debate whether LeBron James as a villain is good for the NBA.
Mike McCarthy writes that former Chicago Bull Scottie Pippen caused an uproar on ESPN Radio this morning by saying LeBron James could be better than Michael Jordan.
Eric Deggans of the St. Petersburg Times writing for the Indiana University National Sports Journalism Center delves into the ESPN book.
Fox Sports notes that this week, Ken Rosenthal’s bowtie will honor our troops during this Memorial Day Weekend.
The Big Lead interviews New York Times NFL beat writer Judy Battista and talks about how she covers the lockout.
Dan Fogarty at SportsGrid notes that Nike tried to put the screws on TNT’s Charles Barkley to be nicer to LeBron James.
SportsbyBrooks says ESPN management told its hosts what to ask James Andrew Miller about the book he co-authored on the Alleged Worldwide Leader.
Matt Yoder of Awful Announcing has a review of “Those Guys Have All The Fun: Inside the World of ESPN”.
Alyson Shontell of the Business Insider Sports Page says former Versus host Jenn Sterger is now working for an internet TV startup company.
Sports Media Watch says the NHL on Versus saw a ratings high for Boston-Tampa Bay on Wednesday.
SMW notes that the NBA Finals gets its earliest start in 25 years.
And SMW says the NHL Stanley Cup Final avoided conflicting with the NBA Finals.
Dave Kohl at Major League Programs has some complaints on broadcasters not providing the starting lineups when they’re supposed to.
Len Berman has his Top 5 stories of the day.
East and Mid-Atlantic
Mark Blaudshun of the Boston Globe reports that the Big East Conference has rejected ESPN’s “Best offer” to continue their 32 year relationship.
Chad Finn of the Globe says Bruins fans are finally getting the media coverage they’ve been yearning for.
Bill Doyle of the Worcester Telegram & Gazette notes that the local minor league baseball team gets a new media distribution to fans and it’s not what you might think.
Fred Contrada at the Springfield (MA) Republican reports that ESPN.com writer Howard Bryant has been sentenced to probation stemming from a domestic assault case back in February.
New York Magazine talks with YES analyst David Cone about his use of advanced statistics on Yankees games.
Phil Mushnick from the New York Post wants to know what Mets owner Fred Wilpon knew about Ponzi scheme scumbag Bernie Madoff and when did he know it.
The Post has five questions for Fox Soccer Channel analyst Eric Wynalda about Saturday’s UEFA Champions League Final.
Pete Dougherty of the Albany Times Union says soccer continues to try to gain a foothold in the American psyche.
DCRTV’s Dave Hughes has his latest Baltimore-DC media roundup in Press Box.
In the Washington Post’s DC Sports Bog, Dan Steinberg finds an interesting Tony Kornheiser-John Feinstein tidbit from the ESPN tome.
Dan also recaps a couple of interviews DC NFL team owner Daniel Snyder conducted on Thursday.
Jim Williams of the Washington Examiner talks about the retirement of NBC Sports President Ken Schanzer a week after his boss, Dick Ebersol resigned.
Jim speaks with Fox Sports’ Curt Menefee about hosting the UEFA Champions League Final on Saturday.
The Miami Herald’s Barry Jackson goes over some of the more interesting tidbits from the ESPN book.
Greg Augman of the St. Petersburg Times writes about ESPN’s Desmond Howard blasting black college athletes for a sense of entitlement.
Mike Bianchi of the Orlando Sentinel laments the probable end of the long-term relationship between Florida State University and Sun Sports.
Jeff Wilson of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram says Texas Rangers TV voice John Rhadigan was replaced Thursday and will return to hosting the pregame show on Fox Sports Southwest.
David Barron from the Houston Chronicle has his take on the ESPN book that has had the sports media talking.
In the Daily Oklahoman, Mel Bracht talks with ousted Rangers voice John Rhadigan.
Mel notes the local ratings for the series-clinching Game 5 of the NBA Western Conference Finals.
Mel despite losing the series, the Thunder’s Russell Westbrook impressed ESPN’s Jeff Van Gundy.
Cincinnati Enquirer media writer John Kiesewetter says local sports talk show host Andy Furman is on the fast track for a possible new national gig.
John has a few more things on Furman in his blog.
The Waiting For Next Year blog loves Cleveland Browns voice Jim Donovan as do I.
Michael Zuidema at the Grand Rapids (MI) Press says ESPN/ABC is hoping some extra pomp and circumstance at the Centennial Indy 500 will draw viewers this year.
Bob Wolfley at the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel writes that the Indianapolis 500 just ain’t what it used to be.
Ed Sherman in Crain’s Chicago Business has his usual winners and losers today.
Ed explains what Tiger Woods’ agent split from powerful IMG means for Tiger.
Dan Caesar from the St. Louis Post-Dispatch writes that ESPN/ABC is hopeful that the Indy 500 can finally beat NASCAR outright for the first time in over five years.
Jim Carlisle in the Ventura County Star talks with ESPN/ABC IndyCar analyst Scott Goodyear about Danica Patrick’s impact on this year’s Indy 500.
Jim reflects on Dick Ebersol’s tenure as Chairman of NBC Sports.
Tom Hoffarth of the Los Angeles Daily News says Jim Rome’s hiring in inaugural days of ESPN2 almost caused one network exec to quit.
Tom explains how ESPN/ABC will attempt to keep the Indianapolis 500 relevant with viewers.
Bruce Dowbiggin of the Toronto Globe and Mail looks at how Gary Bettman decided to buck ESPN.
That’s going to do it. Finished it all in one shot!
Coming on Sunday, ESPN will produce the 100th Anniversary running of the Indianapolis 500 for ABC. It will mark the 47th consecutive year that the race will be seen on the network. Marty Reid, ESPN’s NASCAR voice will call the race along with Scott Goodyear and Eddie Cheever. Brent Musburger will host. Coverage will begin at 11 a.m. Eastern and the green flag will fly just about an hour later. There will be plenty of prerace features including one on Danica Patrick as one can expect. So let’s take a look at what you’ll see on ABC this Sunday.
The 100th anniversary edition of the Indianapolis 500 will continue a Memorial Day weekend TV tradition that has been part of America since 1965 when the “Greatest Spectacle in Racing” airs on ABC for the 47th consecutive year on Sunday, May 29. ESPN on ABC’s coverage from Indianapolis Motor Speedway begins at 11 a.m. ET with The Indianapolis 500 – A Centennial Celebration. The race telecast begins at noon, with the race’s green flag at 12:12 p.m.
What began as highlights on ABC’s Wide World of Sports in 1965 moved to a same-day, prime time program in 1971 and finally became a live telecast (except in Indianapolis) in 1986.
“It is an honor for us to televise the Indianapolis 500 every year,” said Jed Drake, ESPN senior vice president and executive producer. “It’s with great pride that we carry on the stewardship of ABC’s history with this marquee event in the world of sports and look forward to bringing it to our viewers around the world.”
ESPN’s production will use 64 cameras to televise the premier race of the IZOD IndyCar Series, including a 360-degree rotating onboard camera mounted behind the driver on multiple cars. Unique views will be provided by Batcam, a high definition camera running on a cable over pit road and the frontstretch that can move at more than 80 mph. All 33 cars will carry GPS boxes for the Sportvision RaceFX system to provide telemetry and pointers to help identify the cars for viewers. ESPN will use a radio replay system that can record, play back and edit radios from any of the 33 drivers and viewers will learn more about the technical aspects of the sport with segments from the Emmy-winning ESPN Craftsman Tech Garage.
Marty Reid will call the race with analysis by former IndyCar Series star Scott Goodyear and 1998 Indy 500 winner Eddie Cheever. Reporting from the pits will be Rick DeBruhl, Jamie Little, Dr. Jerry Punch and Vince Welch while Brent Musburger will host. ESPN’s Indianapolis 500 coverage will be produced under the oversight of ESPN vice president, motorsports, Rich Feinberg. James Shiftan will produce the race telecast and Bruce Watson will direct.
The one-hour pre-race show will include interviews with many of the 33 starting drivers. Some of the special features that are scheduled to air in either pre-race or in SportsCenter’s Indy 500 coverage include:
- Viewers will take a journey through time of the last 100 years in American and Indianapolis 500 history. The feature will tell the story of the history of America and the Indianapolis 500 in chronological order, from 1911 to now. It will be driven by quotes from the American Presidents who served during the period. The quotes will either be spoken by the corresponding president or written graphically on the screen. The previous presidents have elicited countless words of wisdom that translate into American and Indianapolis 500 history.
- Dario Franchitti is a two-time Indy 500 winner and a three-time IndyCar champion. In a juxtaposition of the chaos of his racing profession, viewers find out he is just a guy from a small town in Scotland close to Edinburgh. In a piece that is part all-access and part bio, Franchitti takes ESPN’s Chris Connelly around to some special locations of his youth in Scotland (kart track where he learned to drive, boyhood home, lunch with his best friends) to gain a deeper understand and appreciation for the defending Indy 500 champion. His wife, actress Ashley Judd, discusses their relationship in an exclusive interview.
- Alex Tagliani and his car owner, Sam Schmidt, speak at the famed “Yard of Bricks” at Indianapolis about the individual journeys that brought them together to be on the coveted pole for the 100th anniversary Indy 500..
- An ensemble cast of race car drivers explain why lifting off the throttle at the Indy 500 isn’t just about letting off the gas. They explain how they determine risk vs. reward. When facing great danger is the only way to put your face on the Borg Warner Trophy, they “Don’t’ Lift”.
- Simona De Silvestro discusses the odds she had to overcome in qualifying for the Centennial Indianapolis 500 after a frightening practice crash left her with second degree burns on one of her hands.
- Collin Allen is 11 years old. And in 2005, his father died while serving in Iraq. Collin will write a letter describing his own father and explaining what Memorial Day means to him. At the end of the journey viewers will see photos of other children whose parents have made the ultimate sacrifice for their country.
- On the last lap of last year’s Indianapolis 500, driver Mike Conway was involved in a terrifying crash. He was badly injured, but he survived and is back behind the wheel this season because of safety features that have been added to both cars and tracks over the years. ESPN Sport Science will analyze what happens to both car and driver in a crash like Conway’s, and examine how modifications and innovations continue to improve the safety of the sport.
- In his own words, Helio Castroneves describes what it’s like chasing a milestone and record that only few have been able to attain. Just three drivers have been crowned winner of the Indianapolis 500 four times: A.J. Foyt, Al Unser and Rick Mears. Castroneves talks about the improbability of ever winning the prestigious race and now with three victories under his belt what it’s like to be on the verge of joining such an elite fraternity of legendary drivers.
- Charlie Kimball is the first licensed IndyCar driver with diabetes to race in competitive open wheel racing. ESPN will explore the dynamics of driving more than 230 mile per hour while keeping tabs on the drivers’ blood sugar, including the unique technology that his doctors and team monitor during the race.
- Danica Patrick appears from the outside to be a complex woman. Viewers have seen her in so many different lights over the years. She was a rookie darling in the lead at Indy in 2005. She is a sex symbol as the GoDaddy Girl. She is not afraid of the drivers in NASCAR. But one thing that stays consistent is that she is a race car driver who wants to win. In an ode to a well-known commercial with Charlize Theron, a glamorized Patrick unmasks herself and, in the process, reveals her many sides.
- Great drivers and other figures from Indy 500 history reveal their special Indy 500 moment, including Foyt, Mears, Sullivan, the Unsers, Fittipaldi, Jackie Stewart and more.
- Hockey has the Stanley Cup. There’s the Green Jacket at Augusta, the Kentucky Derby’s Blanket of Roses. And then there’s the Bottle of Milk that goes to the winner of the Indianapolis 500. To honor the history of this classic Indy 500 tradition, viewers will see the actual milk delivery process in a fun and informational way. From the cow farms in Indiana, to the police escorted milk men carrying the milk jugs into the track.
The opening segment will celebrate the 100th Anniversary of the first Indianapolis 500 with motion picture actor William Fichtner walking a lap around the track to remember the greatest moments and fantastic drivers throughout history. As Fichtner, who appeared in Black Hawk Down, Armageddon, Crash and The Dark Knight, walks the track, these great moments come alive around him. In the last scene, he is joined by three of the race’s biggest stars: Dario Franchitti, Helio Castroneves and Danica Patrick.
After the race, ABC will televise Hot Wheels Fearless at the 500 at 3:30 p.m. Inside the Speedway, a stunt driver from Team Hot Wheels will try to set a world record for a distance jump in a four-wheel vehicle. The current record is 302 feet.
Other ESPN Platforms
In addition to the live telecast on ABC, the Indianapolis 500 will receive ESPN multiplatform coverage on the following outlets:
ESPN International’s network and joint ventures’ reach is over 207 million homes in 143 countries and territories. Add to that syndication (31 countries and 31.4 million homes), ABC’s U.S. reach of 115,900,000 and television distribution exceeds 354.3 million homes in 176 countries worldwide. In addition, U.S. troops serving overseas and on Navy vessels around the world will watch live via a broadcast agreement between ESPN and the American Forces Network, bringing the total to 213 countries and territories around the world.
ESPN.com will provide surround coverage of the Indy 500 with senior motorsports writers Ed Hinton and Terry Blount, IndyCar correspondent John Oreovicz, pit reporter Jamie Little and motorsports editors K. Lee Davis and Joe Breeze for the 100th anniversary running of “The Greatest Spectacle in Racing.” The staff has been busy in May running down the 100-year history of the race as well as naming the Field of the Century, the 33 drivers (and five additional pioneers) that best exemplify the spirit of the 500-mile race. ESPN.com staff will cap off the coverage on race day with Racing Live! Indianapolis 500 on ESPN.com as the writers, editors and fans interact on every aspect of the race. In addition, anchor Marty Reid and analysts Scott Goodyear and Eddie Cheever will provide exclusive digital coverage leading up to and after the race.
On television, extensive reports, interviews and highlights will air on SportsCenter and ESPNEWS.
SportsCenter has been celebrating the 100th anniversary of the Indianapolis 500 throughout the month of May with a series of Indianapolis 500 Centennial Moments. The video segments look back on some of the greatest moments and biggest heroes over the history of the race. There is a new segment each day and each runs a minimum of three times a day, included in the daytime, prime time and West Coast prime time programs. The moments also are available for viewing on ESPN.com.
ESPN Classic will present a week-long tribute in honor of the 100th anniversary of the Indianapolis 500. All week long beginning Monday, May 23, ESPN Classic will air classic Indy 500 races and SportsCentury programming. On the actual 100th anniversary, May 30, ESPN Classic will present a 22-hour marathon anchored by a re-air of the 2011 race.
ESPN Radio’s Saturday RaceDay starts its engines at 6 a.m. with an hour of news, previews and analysis. ESPN Radio also provides auto racing fans the comprehensive Sunday RaceDay (6-7 a.m. Sundays), which covers the auto racing world.
ESPN Deportes, ESPN’s Spanish-language television, radio and Internet in the U.S., will cover the Indy 500 via SportsCenter, the network’s flagship news and information program. The network’s motorsports expert Andres Agulla and former professional driver Alex Pombo, will provide special reports and interviews with the racers directly from Indianapolis. In addition, ESPNdeportes.com will provide comprehensive coverage with previews, qualifying, photo galleries, videos and live chats with Agulla and Pombo.
ESPN the Magazine’s “Busted” issue, which went on sale May 20, contains an in-depth feature with driver Marco Andretti. Andretti is an outsize name in racing. But Marco Andretti is beginning to like the way it fits. Award-winning ESPN the Magazine senior writer Ryan McGee profiles the third-generation driving star. Also included in the issue is a fun image of “The Five Widest and Tightest Gaps Between Indy 500 Winner and Runner-Up.”
That will do it for this post.
This weekend is a nice three day weekend. And on Sunday, we have the 100th Indianapolis 500 on ABC. In addition, ABC gets the NASCAR Nationwide Series race on Saturday so the network actually gets a double dose of live action. For the rest of the motorsports schedule on ESPN, here’s the press release.
One of the longest-running relationships between a sporting event and a network will continue on Sunday, May 29, when the Indianapolis 500 airs on ABC for the 47th consecutive year. ESPN on ABC’s coverage from Indianapolis Motor Speedway begins at 11 a.m. ET with The Indianapolis 500 – A Centennial Celebration presented by Honda. The race telecast begins at noon, with the race’s green flag at 12:12 p.m.
Brent Musburger hosts the telecast, while Marty Reid will call the race with analysis by former IndyCar Series star Scott Goodyear and 1998 Indy 500 winner Eddie Cheever. Reporting from the pits will be Rick DeBruhl, Jamie Little, Dr. Jerry Punch and Vince Welch.
ESPN will use 62 cameras to televise the race fully in high definition, including a 360-degree rotating onboard camera mounted behind the driver on multiple cars. Unique views will be provided by Bat Cam, a high definition camera running on a cable over pit road and the frontstretch that can move at more than 80 mph. All 33 cars will carry GPS boxes for the Sportvision RaceFX system to provide telemetry and pointers to help identify the cars for viewers. ESPN will use a radio replay system that can record, play back and edit radios from any of the 33 drivers and viewers will learn more about the technical aspects of the sport with segments from the Emmy-winning ESPN Craftsman Tech Garage.
ESPN Classic Airing 100th Anniversary Indianapolis 500 Tribute
ESPN Classic will present a week-long tribute in honor of the 100th anniversary of the Indianapolis 500. The 2011 edition of the “Greatest Spectacle in Racing” airs Sunday, May 29, on ABC, with pre-race at 11 a.m. ET.
All week long beginning Monday, May 23, ESPN Classic will air classic Indy 500 races and SportsCentury programming. On the actual 100th anniversary, May 30, ESPN Classic will present a 22-hour marathon anchored by a re-air of the 2011 race.
NASCAR Nationwide Series Live from Charlotte on ABC
The NASCAR Nationwide Series races at Charlotte Motor Speedway this weekend and ABC will have a live telecast of the Top Gear 300 on Saturday, May 28. NASCAR Countdown airs at 2 p.m. ET with the race’s green flag at 2:46 p.m. Also from Charlotte, ESPN2 airs coverage of NASCAR Nationwide Series qualifying on Saturday at 10 a.m.
Allen Bestwick will call the action with analysis by Dale Jarrett, the 1999 NASCAR Sprint Cup champion, and two-time champion crew chief Andy Petree. Reports from two-time champion crew chief Tim Brewer will air from the ESPN Craftsman Tech Garage, while pit reporters will be Dave Burns, Mike Massaro and Shannon Spake.
NASCAR Countdown from the ESPN pit studio will be hosted by Nicole Briscoe with analysis by 1989 NASCAR Sprint Cup champion Rusty Wallace and former NASCAR Sprint Cup series race winner Ricky Craven. The studio team will interact with the booth during the telecast of the race.
Jarrett, Smith, McGee on NASCAR Now Roundtable
ESPN NASCAR analyst Dale Jarrett, NASCAR Now lead reporter Marty Smith and ESPN the Magazine’s Ryan McGee will be panelists on NASCAR Now’s weekly roundtable discussion program airing Monday, May 30, at 6:30 p.m. ET on ESPN2. Allen Bestwick will host the edition of ESPN2’s daily NASCAR news and information program.
Michelle Bonner hosts a half-hour episode of NASCAR Now airing at 7 p.m. on Tuesday of this week. The show will not air Wednesday through Friday due to ESPN2’s coverage of French Open tennis, but returns Saturday, May 28, at 11a.m. following ESPN2’s telecast of NASCAR Nationwide Series qualifying at Charlotte Motor Speedway. In addition to hosting the Saturday edition, Bonner also hosts NASCAR Now’s weekend edition airing Sunday, May 29, at 10 a.m. with a preview of that night’s NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Charlotte. ESPN analyst Ricky Craven, Smith and Mike Massaro will report from Charlotte.
NHRA Drag Racing Action Sunday
Highlights from the recent event for the NHRA Drag Racing Series event at Heratland Park Topeka will air in a one-hour format on Saturday, May 28, at 11:30 a.m. ET on ESPN2.
The NHRA Drag Racing Series will return to action over the weekend of June 4-5 in Englishtown, N.J., with coverage on ESPN2 and ESPN3.com.
ESPN.com Offers RacingLive! During NASCAR Charlotte Event
NASCAR fans looking for an online gathering during ESPN’s telecasts of the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series now have a place to go on ESPN.com.
RacingLive! on ESPN.com is a live blog where fans can engage in debate and discussion with ESPN.com writers and editors during the NASCAR Sprint Cup races. On Sunday, May 29, RacingLive! Charlotte will kick off to coincide with the NASCAR Sprint Cup All-Star race at Charlotte Motor Speedway. Fans can join ESPN.com’s NASCAR experts in dissecting every aspect of the race live at http://espn.go.com/racing/nascar/.
ESPN.com motorsports writer David Newton will be onsite at the race to report on the weekend’s action and news.
ESPN Radio Raceday Airs Saturday, Sunday
Each weekend morning, ESPN Radio’s RaceDay starts its engines at 6 a.m. ET with host Pat Patterson anchored from Daytona Beach, Fla. Patterson also originates the broadcast from several racetracks with key races during the season. On both Saturday and Sunday mornings, ESPN Radio’s RaceDay listeners get an hour of news, previews and analysis, as well as profiles and interviews with NASCAR’s biggest names and newsmakers and the involvement of listeners via calls and e-mails.
Additionally, many of ESPN’s NASCAR reporters and analysts contribute each week as ESPN networks televise the entire NASCAR Nationwide Series and the final 17 NASCAR Sprint Cup races, including the 10-race “Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup” championship. A list of ESPN Radio affiliates can be found at www.espnradio.com.
Over the next couple of days, Versus will air Indianapolis 500 qualifying sessions on Saturday and Sunday as drivers try to get the best possible position for the race. The Indy 500 was once the premier motorsports event on the calendar, but that has been surpassed by the Daytona 500. Let’s look at what Versus has in store for us.
NEW YORK, N.Y. (May 19, 2011)—VERSUS, the exclusive cable television home of INDYCAR, will air 16 hours of live Indianapolis 500 qualifying and practice coverage, beginning Saturday, May 21. The network will offer IZOD IndyCar Series fans extensive coverage of Pole Day, Bump Day and Carb Day, revealing the fastest 33 drivers who will compete in the 100th Anniversary of “The Greatest Spectacle in Racing”.
VERSUS begins the Indianapolis 500 qualifying sessions with Pole Day on Saturday, May 21, at 11 a.m. ET. The drivers will compete for the top 24 positions in the race based on a four-lap qualifying run. The fastest nine drivers will then participate in a ten-mile qualifying run to determine the pole position and the other two spots that make up the front row. On Sunday, May 22, at 12 p.m. ET, VERSUS will air six and a half hours of live coverage from Bump Day, where the final nine spots in the race will be awarded, completing the 33-car field for the 2011 Indy 500. Finally, the network will air Miller Lite Carb Day on Friday, May 27, at 11 a.m. ET, which includes a one-hour practice run for the Indianapolis 500 drivers, the annual Indy 500 Pit Stop Challenge and the 100 Indy Lights race.
Nine live IndyCar races remain on VERSUS’ 2011 schedule, including live Indy Lights races and coverage of pre-race qualifying. The network also airs extended pre- and post-race coverage which features qualification highlights and all of the relevant IndyCar Series stories of that weekend. Additionally, VERSUS’ schedule includes two-hour race re-caps on Mondays each race week.
That’s all for now.
With me not having to drive in between two offices, I’m able to provide you with the Friday megalinks during the day. And with things planned for me during the day for Saturday, it’s best to get these in now so it can tie you over while I’m gone.
The Weekend Viewing Picks provide your sports and entertainment programming for Mother’s Day and before.
To the links. Lots to get to today.
In USA Today, Michael Hiestand and Mike McCarthy debate whether Donald Trump should have pulled out of driving the pace car at this year’s Indianapolis 500.
Mike McCarthy broke news last night that Champion fired Pittsburgh Steelers running back Rashard Mendenhall over his tweets on Osama bin Laden’s death.
Sports Business Daily looks at the final sports TV ratings from this week.
At Sports Video Group, Carolyn Braff says the Pac-12 Network will take lessons from the Big 10 Network when it launches in 2012.
Cam Martin at SportsNewser notes a new website launch for the National Sportcasters and Sportswriters Association.
CNBC’s Darren Rovell has an extensive look at whether the newest marketing plan by Gatorade can bring the company to new heights.
Cork Gaines of the Business Insider’s Sports Page notes that the new Pac-12 rights deal will immediately pay dividends for two schools.
Ed DeRosa of the Thoroughbred Times profiles Larry Collmus who is the new Voice of the Triple Crown for NBC.
Steve Lepore at Puck The Media has the ratings for Night 22 of the NHL Playoffs.
At SportsGrid, Glenn Davis is keeping track of whether Gus Johnson will stay at CBS or go to Fox.
Matt Yoder of Awful Announcing also has an update on the Gus Johnson saga.
The Nielsen Wire blog has news that will make NBC really happy, the Kentucky Derby is growing in popularity.
Dave Kohl at Major League Programs looks at the college conference rights megadeals and other sports media news that occurred this week.
East and Mid-Atlantic
Pawtucket Red Sox announcer Steve Hyder is very proud of his radio partner Dan Hoard for getting the call to the Cincinnati Bengals.
Chad Finn of the Boston Globe says the NFL Network appears to have finally gotten its Thursday Night Football announcing booth down.
Dan Lamonthe of the Red Sox Monster blog in the Springfield Republican chuckles at the “so bad, it’s good” Sullivan Tire ad with second baseman Dustin Pedroia and pitcher Jon Lester.
Newsday’s Neil Best has New York Jets coach Rex Ryan realizing that he’s been doing too many interviews this week.
I’m not sure what Phil Mushnick is saying in today’s New York Post.
Justin Terranova of the Post has five questions for SNY analyst Ron Darling.
Pete Dougherty of the Albany Times Union writes that a local radio personality gets to take his passion for NASCAR to a national level.
Tom Luicci of the Newark (NJ) Star-Ledger speaks with Larry Collmus of Monmouth Park who will call the Kentucky Derby for NBC.
Evan Weiner in the New Jersey Newsroom says sports business seems to carry on despite the sluggish economy.
Laura Nachman says Phillies radio analyst Larry Andersen has won a reader’s poll.
Bob Smizik of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette says Root Sports has a decision to make on its Penguins announcing team.
Mark Madden of the Beaver County (PA) Times also looks at the Penguins announcing situation.
David Zurawik of the Baltimore Sun notes that MASN is seeing higher ratings for the Orioles especially among younger viewers.
Dave Hughes of DCRTV.com has a look at what’s going on in Baltimore and DC sports media in Press Box.
Steven Goff of the Washington Post says the MLS’ DC United and Comcast SportsNet Mid-Atlantic have forged a rights deal.
Jim Williams in the Washington Examiner likes how NBC and Versus are sharing coverage of the Kentucky Derby.
Barry Jackson of the Miami Herald is a fan of ESPN/ABC NBA analyst Jeff Van Gundy.
Jeff Shain from the Orlando Sentinel looks at Golf Channel’s documentary on the late Frank Chirkinian of CBS Sports. It is a good documentary and airs tonight at 8 and throughout the weekend on Golf Channel.
Joe Biddle of The Tennessean notes that the new NHL TV contract with NBC/Versus gives the league stability, but hurts the younger generation with late starting times.
Jon Solomon of the Birmingham (AL) News says Alabama native Rece Davis returns to report on the recent tornadoes for ESPN and how sports is helping the region to recover.
Retired NFL quarterback Brett Favre tells WDAM-TV of Hattiesburg, MS that coaching or TV is in his future. Stay away from my TV, Brett.
David Barron of the Houston Chronicle attempts to catch up with two weeks worth of sports media news in one column.
Peter Lim of the Chronicle says two local boxers get their national spotlight this weekend.
Mike Finger of the San Antonio Express-News takes a look at the control the University of Texas has over the ESPN-owned and operated Longhorn Network.
Mel Bracht in the Daily Oklahoman profiles ESPN basketball analyst Doris Burke of North Providence, RI.
Mel has various sports media tidbits in his weekly notebook.
George M. Thomas of the Akron Beacon Journal says it was the Big 10 Conference that paved the way for the Pac 10/12 to cash in on its media deals.
John Kiesewetter of the Cincinnati Enquirer looks into why the Bengals chose to change play-by-play announcers.
Mike Zuidema from the Grand Rapids (MI) Press has NBC’s Kentucky Derby crew talking the horses in advance of Saturday’s race.
Ed Sherman in Crain’s Chicago Business has his winners and losers this week.
Dan Caesar of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch says the Kentucky Derby has lost ties to the local area with the departure of race caller Tom Durkin.
Bill Husted of the Denver Post writes that ESPN’s Rick Reilly returned to his alma mater in Boulder, CO to give the final commencement address to its Journalism School.
Lya Wodraska of the Salt Lake Tribune says the Pac-12 Network has the potential to give Utah plenty of exposure.
Bruce Pascoe of the Arizona Daily Star gives us a peek at how the Pac-12 Network might look like when it launches next year.
John Maffei from the North County Times notes that the Pac 10/12 has hit Powerball.
Jim Carlisle of the Ventura County Star says keeping ownership of its own network is key for the Pac-12 Conference.
Jim talks about Michele Tafoya joining NBC’s Sunday Night Football.
Diane Pucin of the Los Angeles Times says Golf Channel will pay tribute to the late CBS golf producer Frank Chirkinian tonight.
Diane says the Pac-12 media deals show how valuable sports is to television executives.
Tom Hoffarth of the Los Angeles Daily News notes that the Pac-12 member schools are going to be very rich under the new rights deals.
Tom looks at the very busy week in sports media.
Tom FitzGerald of the San Francisco Chronicle says the Pac-12 contract means more options for viewers.
Bruce Dowbiggin of the Toronto Globe and Mail feels Rashard Mendenhall and other athletes should think before they tweet.
The Canadian Sports Media Blog has the ratings for CBC and TSN for the first games of the 2nd round of the NHL Playoffs.
The Toronto Sports Media blog has the April sports radio ratings for the local stations.
And that is going to conclude the Megalinks.
Got busy plus shuffling between two offices prevented me from doing linkage. I’ll do it now as I try to find a cool place in my house to blog. The humidity is killing me tonight.
Anyway, let’s get to the links.
Jason Fry at the Indiana University National Sports Journalism Center writes that the New York Yankees are missing out on reaching a truly local audience.
Michael Hiestand of USA Today notes that NBC’s audience for Game 2 of the Stanley Cup Final on Monday was quite good.
In his first column as FoxSports.com sports media critic, Variety’s Brian Lowry discusses how today’s NBA TV announcers don’t come close to matching the late Chick Hearn of the Los Angeles Lakers.
CNBC’s Darren Rovell gets on the NBA for having just eight champions over the last 30 years while other leagues have spread the wealth around.
Darren speaks with Sacramento Kings co-owner Joe Maloof about his ventures.
Darren says there won’t be an NBA free agent summit as had been promoted last week.
Todd Spangler from Multichannel News writes that FLO TV will provide all 64 of ESPN’s World Cup to AT&T Mobile TV subscribers.
Mike Reynolds of Multichannel says AT&T U-Verse subscribers will be able to get Univision’s World Cup coverage on demand and a multiview application.
Glen Dickson from Broadcasting & Cable reports that ESPN will be offering live multiplatform coverage of the World Cup.
Toni Fitzgerald of Media Life Magazine says Game 2 of the Stanley Cup Final led NBC to a younger demographics win on Monday.
Diego Vasquez of Media Life Magazine writes that a sponsor could have its message seen for as many as five days during the MLB All-Star Game festivities.
Channel Guide Magazine has an online World Cup Viewing Guide.
Sarah Mahoney from the Mediapost Raw blog says ESPN is the most powerful brand in New England outranking several traditional regional brands like Dunkin’ Donuts, Samuel Adams and Ben & Jerry’s.
The Boston Business Journal picks up a story from John Lombardo of sister publication, Sports Business Journal, that ad sales for the NBA Finals are outpacing last year’s.
Jack Bell of the New York Times says there are a bunch of World Cup iPhone/iPod Touch apps available at the iTunes store.
Richard Sandomir of the Times says The Big Lead has been purchased by Fantasy Sports Ventures for a figure in the “low seven figures.” A piece of disclosure: Fang’s Bites is part of the Fantasy Sports Ventures network. If The Big Lead is worth in the “low seven figures,” Fang’s Bites certainly must be worth somewhere in the “low single figures.” Seriously, congratulations to Jason McIntyre who has been running The Big Lead since 2006. Jason’s become a friend and I’m glad to see a fellow blogger hit it big.
In a mild upset, Phil Mushnick of the New York Post actually praises YES for using restraint after Cleveland Indians pitcher David Huff was hit in the head by a line drive by Alex Rodriguez.
Ken Schott of the Schenectady Gazette and suffering Philadelphia Flyers fan notes that the NHL Stanley Cup Final is doing well for NBC.
Keith Groller of the Allentown (PA) Morning Call writes that this is an exciting time to be a Philly sports fan.
Sarah Talalay of the South Florida Sun Sentinel says the Florida Marlins are selling unused tickets from Roy Halladay’s perfect game on Saturday for face value.
Randy Riggs from the Austin (TX) American-Statesman tells us that two early season Texas Longhorn games will be picked up by ABC.
In Crain’s Chicago Business, Ed Sherman writes that the Blackhawks’ ratings are drifting close to rarefied Bears territory.
Lewis Lazare of the Chicago Sun Times says NBC affiliate WMAQ could not be happier with the Blackhawks’ ratings.
Austin Meek of the Topeka (KS) Capital-Journal says the annual Kansas-Kansas State football game will be moved to a Thursday night to accommodate Fox Sports Net.
Tom Hoffarth of the Los Angeles Daily News has your June sports calendar.
Tom wonders how Larry King managed to get the first national interview with potential free agent LeBron James.
And Tom says Dodgers voice Vin Scully is immortalized in a new song.
William Houston of Truth & Rumours says his former newspaper, the Toronto Globe and Mail will be outsourcing its copy editing to an Australian-owned entity and he also looks at the Stanley Cup Final ratings in both the US and Canada.
The Sports Media Watch says the overnight ratings for the Indianapolis 500 fell to a record low for the second year in a row.
SMW says the NASCAR Coca-Cola 600 also hit its lowest overnight rating in a decade.
SMW notes that the NBA Western Conference Finals finished out on a down note.
SMW says the same thing happened with the NBA Eastern Conference Finals.
SMW has some various news and notes.
And SMW has various stuff on some sports media personalities.
Steve Lepore at Puck The Media has a comparison of Stanley Cup Final postgame coverage betweeen Versus and NHL Network.
Steve looks inside NBC’s tremendous overnight rating for Game 2 of the Stanley Cup Final.
Steve also has the media awards for this year’s inductions to the Hockey Hall of Fame.
Greg Wyshynski at Puck Daddy has the video of Don Cherry being the Phantom of the Opera before Game 2 of the Stanley Cup Final.
Maury Brown at the Biz of Baseball says the Washington Nationals are ratcheting up the marketing effort for Steven Strasburg when he finally makes his major league debut later this month.
EPL Talk has ESPN/ABC’s promo for the England vs. USA World Cup matchup.
That’s going to do it.
Let’s give you the Friday megalinks while I can. Not as many links as the usual Friday, but the Memorial Day weekend has a lot to do with that. I’ll give you what I can.
Getting ready for the three day weekend and you can find the sports and the entertainment viewing for Saturday and Sunday right here.
On to the links.
USA Today’s Michael Hiestand and Michael McCarthy debate the pros and cons of holding Super Bowl XLVIII in New Jersey.
William Cooper of Sports Business Daily says the first ad promoting the US World Cup bid for the 2018 or 2022 games will air Saturday.
Neil Hayes writing for NBC Sports.com says the Stanley Cup Finals could be a ratings boon for the NHL. Don’t forget NBC is a rightsholder for the NHL.
Michael Lombardi of the National Football Post announces that he’s leaving to join NFL Network and NFL.com full-time.
CNBC’s Darren Rovell writes that sports apparel brand Crons is entering the nutrition game.
Milton Kent of Fanhouse says Danica Patrick may have lost some fans in IndyCar.
The Sports Media Watch says Thursday’s thrilling Game 5 between the Lakers and Suns got its highest ratings of the NBA Western Conference Finals, but they’re still down from last year.
SMW also has news and notes on various sports TV personalities.
Steve Lepore at Puck The Media discovers that Dan Patrick will not host NBC’s coverage of the NHL Stanley Cup Finals from the beginning.
Steve also has NHL Network’s coverage plans for the Stanley Cup Finals.
Greg Wyshynski of Yahoo’s Puck Daddy tells NHL fans what they can do to help increase the ratings for the Stanley Cup Finals.
World Cup Buzz critiques ESPN’s practice run for the World Cup.
World Cup Buzz shows us ESPN’s World Cup murals.
Deadspin has the video of YES reporter Kimberly Jones having her pork chop eaten by an overzealous and extremely creepy Yankees fan in Minnesota.
Emmett Jones at Sports Business Digest asks if an outdoors cold weather Super Bowl makes sense.
East and Mid-Atlantic
Chad Finn of the Boston Globe profiles ESPN/ABC main NBA analyst Jeff Van Gundy.
Bob Raissman in the New York Daily News wants the New Jersey Super Bowl talk to stop now.
Phil Mushnick of the New York Post puts his vitriol aside for one day and remembers a former New York Football Giant who fought bravely for his country in Iwo Jima during World War II.
Pete Dougherty at the Albany Times Union wonders if ESPN/ABC should focus on Danica Patrick during this Sunday’s Indianapolis 500.
Peter Van Allen of the Philadelphia Business Journal says the Flyers have brought record ratings to the local Comcast SportsNet affiliate.
Jim Williams of the Washington Examiner says Nationals fans as well as baseball fans across the country will have their eyes focused on the Junior College World Series and potential 1st round draft pick Bryce Harper tonight.
Jim notes that it will be a hockey weekend on NBC.
Adam Fisher of the Naples (FL) Daily News says Dick Vitale was a big hit as the keynote speaker for a local event.
David Barron of the Houston Chronicle says all signs point to the Astros and Rockets leaving Fox Sports and signing with Comcast or another entity for their TV rights.
Michael Zuidema of the Grand Rapids (MI) Press writes that soccer games can draw ratings as the numbers show us.
Curt Cavin of the Indianapolis Star wonders when the local blackouts of the Indianapolis 500 will end.
Bob Wolfley of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel says Fox Sports is putting out an all points bulletin for younger male viewers for NASCAR.
Ed Sherman in Crain’s Chicago Business has CBC’s Don Cherry being bullish on the Flyers-Blackhawks Stanley Cup Finals.
Ed says the Blackhawks are the big winners in sports business this week.
Paul Christian of the Rochester Post-Bulletin looks at ESPN/ABC’s coverage of this Sunday’s Indianapolis 500.
Dan Caesar in the St. Louis Post-Dispatch says the Cardinals might be making changes to their TV and radio deals for next season.
Scott D. Pierce of the Deseret (UT) News writes that BYU fans will be able to watch the women’s softball team in action this weekend on the ESPN family of networks.
Jay Posner of the San Diego Union-Tribune tells Padres fans that Dick Enberg prefers to call games straight down the middle.
To John Maffei of the North County Times who tells us that the Padres, Cox 4 and a local sports radio station have agreed to pull a spot that depended on bathroom humor.
Jim Carlisle of the Ventura County Star writes that Danica Patrick may be losing her status as IndyCar sweetheart.
And Jim has some sports media news and notes today.
Tom Hoffarth of the Los Angeles Daily News speculates on where Erin Andrews may land after her ESPN contract expires later this year.
Tom also has his extensive media news and notes in his blog.
Bruce Dowbiggin of the Toronto Globe and Mail wonders if CBC will broach the subject of match fixing during the World Cup. Dowbiggin apparently thinks every soccer game is fixed based on this extremely biased column.
TSN announces that TSN2 will carry an early afternoon NFL game during the regular season.
As mentioned, not as many links on this Friday as many writers took the weekend off. Can’t say I blame them.
After a day in which I dealt with a flooded basement and buying filters for my wet vac, it’s time to bring back the linkage.
USA Today’s Game On blog looks at a new PBS documentary on legendary New Jersey high school basketball coach Bob Hurley.
Bob Velin of USA Today profiles an announcer who will call his 20,000th consecutive horse race over a span of almost 36 years.
Georg Szalai of the Hollywood Reporter says Univision will be airing all 64 World Cup games this summer over a variety of platforms.
Sports Business Daily compiles reaction to the MSG Network’s 3-D production.
Glen Dickson of Broadcasting & Cable says Cablevision and MSG executives are declaring last night’s 3-D production of the New York Rangers-New York Islanders game a success.
Mike Reynolds from Multichannel News says Versus received its highest NHL audience of the season on Monday.
Dan Lamothe of the Red Sox Monster blog at the Springfield (MA) Republican looks at recent NESN hire Jade McCarthy quickly becoming a favorite on the channel by taking over the anchoring duties on SportsDesk.
John Altavilla of the Hartford Courant says UConn’s women’s basketball coach Geno Auriemma will be profiled on ESPN’s Outside the Lines this weekend.
John Koblin of the New York Observer notes that the Wall Street Journal will launch its sports section next month.
Richard Sandomir of the New York Times reviews MSG Network’s first 3-D telecast.
Dan Martin of the New York Post says the 3-D production was popular with fans and players alike.
Peter Botte of the New York Daily News has a similar story on the fans who watched the Islanders-Rangers game in 3-D.
Ken Schott of the Schenectady Gazette has the NCAA Hockey Tournament TV schedule.
The Washington Examiner’s Jim Williams says CBS is back with the NCAA Tournament tonight.
John Boyette of the Augusta (GA) Chronicle says Tiger Woods will be talking to reporters at The Masters on April 5.
Noell Barnidge of the Savannah (GA) Morning News says ESPN’s Outside the Lines is in town to do a story regarding an incident at Savannah State University.
Barry Horn of the Dallas Morning News looks at one person who has a perfect NCAA Tournament bracket.
Stefan Stevenson of the Fort Worth Star Telegram says TCU has chosen a new flagship radio station for football and basketball.
General John McClain of the Houston Chronicle says the Texans and the New York Jets want to be the Thanksgiving Night game on NFL Network.
Mel Bracht in the Daily Oklahoman writes that TNT plans to go interactive tonight for the Miami-Chicago game.
Tyler James of the Columbus Dispatch says a local teenager tops ESPN.com’s NCAA Tournament bracket challenge.
Anthony Schoette at the Indianapolis Business Journal feels Bob Knight is mellowing in his old age.
Curt Cavin of the Indianapolis Star writes that Good Morning America co-host and former ESPN anchor Robin Roberts will be driving the Indianapolis 500 pace car on May 30. There’s no corporate synergy in that decision as ESPN/ABC airs the Indy 500 that day.
In Crain’s Chicago Business, Ed Sherman feels the NCAA should allow arena advertising during its games.
Jim O’Donnell of the Chicago Sun-Times laments the potential end for a long-running WGN-AM sports show.
Bob Wolfley in the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel has ESPN’s Orel Hershiser and Rick Sutcliffe talking about various MLB issues.
Bob Mayhall of the St. Louis Globe-Democrat talks with CBS’ Verne Lundquist who will be calling the NCAA Tournament’s Midwest Regional this weekend.
The Denver Post reports that the MLS’ Colorado Rapids are moving a majority of its games to free TV this season.
Joe Flint of the Los Angeles Times interviews Fox Sports El Jefe del Mundo David Hill about bidding for the Olympics, the MLB All-Star Game in 3-D and trying to get a younger halftime act for the Super Bowl.
Kevin Iole of Yahoo’s Cagewriter blog writes that an ESPN.com MMA show is moving to ESPN2.
The Sports Media Watch says MLB has eliminated the off day between Games 4 and 5 in the League Championship Series.
SMW has some various news and notes.
Steve Lepore at Puck The Media feels that last night’s Pittsburgh-Washington game should have been on Versus and not NHL Network. Agreed.
The great Maury Brown at the Biz of Baseball says the MLB At Bat iPhone/iPod Touch app finally has live streaming video of Spring Training games as of today.
Phillip Badger of EPL Talk gives us an update on the latest with Fox Soccer Plus and Fox Soccer Channel HD.
We’ll end it there for now.
Ok, I’m finally doing links for you. I was busy today. First, I was at the dentist’s office having a temporary crown placed on a back tooth. Then I got to the office around midday and immediately started working plus I’m still organizing a move. So I have that to deal with plus I’m trying to arrange new phone numbers, change of address and trying inform everyone of a new place. It’s very stressful and I still have to pack boxes, try to sell furniture and do everything by Sunday. Insane.
But you want linkage and I’m going to provide that now.
USA Today’s Michael Hiestand writes that the Indianapolis 500 can no longer be considered a strong ratings draw.
Bruce Allen of Boston Sports Media Watch reviews a new book on how the Red Sox failed to win the World Series for 86 years and a curse was not responsible.
Newsday’s Neil Best reports that the New York Jets and its flagship radio station have extended their relationship. Neil notes that a couple of real life Chicago Cubs made appearances on the My Boys season finale on Tuesday.
Ken Belson of the New York Times says it’s a bleak outlook for the Class of 2009 hoping to get jobs in the sports industry.
CNBC’s Darren Rovell looks at the man who sold his share of the Cleveland Cavaliers to a company from Communist China. Darren reviews a fascinating book on an unknown Mexican indigenous tribe and its obsession on ultramarathoning. Darren says Vitaminwater may have to update its NBA Finals spot. Darren wonders if sponsor outrage is over.
Richard Sandomir of the New York Times looks at U.S. Supreme Court justice nominee Sonia Sotomayor’s connection to baseball.
The Sports Media Journal’s Ray Frager is happy to see Monday’s Lakers-Nuggets game gaining more viewers than the season premiere of Jon & Kate Plus 8. SMJ mogul Keith Thibeault has a podcast previewing the big Blog with Balls conference in New York next month which this blogger hopes to attend.
Pete Dougherty of the Albany Times Union says a local radio station got caught having to air Game 4 of the Cavs-Magic game during a Yankees rain delay and never returned when the delay was over. Pete writes that a telethon is forcing this Sunday’s NASCAR race off the local Fox affiliate.
Laura Nachman suggests Comcast SportsNet Philadelphia think outside the box for its new 76ers analyst.
Paul Vigna of the Patriot-News says the lack of a sponsor the LPGA’s season ending Tour Championship has forced the tournament off of NBC later this year.
Ron Musselman of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette writes that a long-time announcer at the local ESPN Radio affiliate was let go this week.
Kevin Dunleavy of the Washington Examiner writes that CBS golf analyst Ian Baker-Finch is getting ready for his Champions Tour debut.
Also from the Examiner, Jim Williams says fans who have both Tennis Channel and ESPN2 are seeing more French Open coverage than in the past. Jim adds that the NBA is really crowing about its record ratings.
Kathy Bergen of the Chicago Tribune says NBA legend Michael Jordan is appearing in new TV ads backing the Windy City’s bid for the 2016 Olympics.
Mel Bracht of the Daily Oklahoman reports that ESPNU will show the NBA Draft Combine later this week.
Barry Horn of the Dallas Morning News has the ratings for the Dallas sports radio stations from April. Barry has a breakdown of the ratings hour by hour. Barry reviews the 2nd installment of 4th and Long. Barry writes that the NBA’s dream final appears to be slipping through its fingers. Barry says the ratings for last weekend’s Byron Nelson Championship were well under par.
Gabriel D. Brooks of the Longview (TX) News-Journal is not impressed with the state of sports broadcasting today.
Tom Hoffarth of the Los Angeles Daily News has some thoughts coming out of Memorial Day Weekend. Tom looks at a new HBO soccer documentary that debuted tonight. Tom says Lakers fans will have a rare opportunity to listen to a Spero Dedes-Stu Lantz teaming on Friday night as regular radio analyst Mychal Thompson has a prior commitment.
Randy Harvey of the Los Angeles Times notes that ESPN’s Rick Reilly is blatantly rooting for the Nuggets.
Diane Pucin of the Times praises ESPN for sticking to the epic Josselin Ouanna-Marat Safin match during the French Open today instead of switching to Venus Williams. Diane writes that TNT will have an interview with former NBA’er Rodney Rogers who is paralyzed from the neck down after a dirt bike accident last year.
Chris Zelkovich of the Toronto Star says hockey was very, very good to TSN this season.
Bruce Dowbiggin of the Toronto Globe and Mail has CBC Sports head Scott Moore discussing the NHL Stanley Cup Finals scheduling.
Spencer Hall of the Sporting News says ESPN’s Josh Elliott was needlessly hyping the UEFA Champions League Final today.
Anthony Crupi of Mediaweek says the NBA Playoffs are a big hit on TNT.
The Sports Media Watch says the NBA Eastern Conference Finals are doing very well on TNT. SMW feels the NBA Finals ratings will be fine even if the Lakers and Cavs don’t make it. This is something SMW webmaster Paulsen and I discussed this last night on Twitter. If you’re on Twitter, make sure you follow SMW there. And make sure you follow me as well. That way, you can follow Paulsen and I when we discuss various ratings issues or we just discuss other things as well.
Back to the Sports Media Watch links. Paulsen says Monday’s rain shortened Coca-Cola 600 could end up outrating the Indianapolis 500 on Sunday. And SMW notes that with the NHL Conference Finals finished, the Stanley Cup Finals begin on Saturday.
Steve Lepore of Puck The Media has the official Stanley Cup Finals TV schedule.
I will end it there. Another long day tomorrow.
ESPN/ABC gives us some background on its coverage of this year’s Indianapolis 500 and also some history of ABC’s broadcasts dating back 45 years. I’m kind of surprised ESPN actually embraced ABC’s history with the race.
500 Airing on ABC for 45th Consecutive Year Indianapolis
ESPN’s Production of Sunday’s Live Coverage Continues a TV Tradition Dating to 1965
500 aired on ABC for the first time, Lyndon Johnson was in the White House, the NFL Championship was almost two years away from becoming the Super Bowl, the Beatles and Beach Boys were at the top of the charts and Bewitched and Bonanza ruled the TV airwaves. Indianapolis
One of the longest-running relationships between a sporting event and a network continues on Sunday, May 24, when the
500 airs on ABC for the 45th consecutive year. ESPN on ABC’s live, high definition telecast from Indianapolis Motor Speedway begins at noon ET, with the green flag at 1 p.m. Indianapolis
Television coverage of the “Greatest Spectacle in Racing” has come a long way since highlights first appeared in black-and-white on ABC’s Wide World of Sports program following the 1965 edition of the race.
ESPN will use 59 cameras to televise the race fully in high definition, including a 360-degree rotating onboard camera mounted behind the driver on multiple cars. Unique views will be provided by Track Cam, a high definition camera running on a cable over pit road and the frontstretch that can move at more than 80 mph. All 33 cars will carry GPS boxes for the Sportvision RaceFX system to provide telemetry and pointers to help identify the cars for viewers. And ESPN will use a radio replay system that can record, play back and edit radios from any of the 33 drivers.
The one-hour pre-race show will include interviews with many of the starting drivers as well as four special features, including a look at the roller-coaster year of polesitter Helio Castroneves; the special relationship between Danica Patrick and her father; the “Super Team” of Scott Dixon and Dario Franchitti; and the Allure of Indy – why drivers will risk everything just to be able to compete in the Indy 500
ESPN’s veteran team returns for the
500 telecast. Marty Reid will call the race, with analysis by former IndyCar Series star Scott Goodyear and 1998 Indy 500 winner Eddie Cheever. Reporting from the pits will be Jack Arute, Jamie Little, Brienne Pedigo and Vince Welch while Brent Musburger hosts the telecast. Arute has covered the event for ABC every year since 1984. Indianapolis
Some of the most familiar names in sports television history have been a part of ABC’s
500 coverage over the years, including Jim McKay, Keith Jackson, Chris Schenkel, Bill Flemming, Al Michaels, Paul Page and current host Musburger. Indianapolis
Early in his television career,
native David Letterman worked as a pit reporter for ABC in 1971, and years later the late night talk show host would win the race as a car owner in 2004 with driver Buddy Rice. Indiana
Chris Economaki was a pit reporter and analyst on ABC’s Indy 500 coverage for years, while Jackie Stewart, Bobby Unser, Sam Posey, Rodger Ward and Rusty Wallace are among those who served as driver-analysts.
Charlie Brockman, a television personality in
at the time, was the commentator on ABC’s first coverage of the race in 1965. Brockman had previously been the lap-by-lap announcer for closed-circuit telecasts of the race that were the norm before ABC’s coverage began. The race remained part of Wide World of Sports until 1971, when it aired for the first time as a same-day, stand-alone, tape-delayed telecast in prime time. Indianapolis
Because Indianapolis Motor Speedway did not want the event to air live at the time, it was shown on a delayed basis until 1986. The race telecast is still blacked out in the
area, airing later that night. Indianapolis
“The stewardship of ABC’s storied history at the
500 is something we take very seriously,” said Jed Drake, ESPN senior vice president and executive producer. “The heritage of this event, and the pure excitement and spectacle of it, are what we look forward to bringing to our viewers every year.” Indianapolis
Other ESPN Platforms
In addition to the live telecast on ABC, the
500 will receive multiplatform coverage on other ESPN outlets: Indianapolis
ESPN International’s networks and syndication of Indy 500 will reach 213 countries and territories and more than 292 million households. In addition,
troops serving overseas and on Navy vessels around the world will watch via a broadcast agreement between ESPN and the American Forces Network. U.S.
ESPN.com will provide surround coverage of the Indy 500 with senior motorsports writer Terry Blount leading a team that includes IndyCar correspondent John Oreovicz and motorsports correspondent John Schwarb at the venerable speedway. In addition, anchor Marty Reid and analysts Scott Goodyear and Eddie Cheever will provide exclusive digital coverage of the “The Greatest Spectacle in Racing,” led by Cheever’s frequent ESPN.com contribution, “Leave It To Cheever.”
On television, extensive reports, interviews and highlights will air on SportsCenter and ESPNEWS.
ESPN Classic will re-live some great classic
500 races of the past in a marathon on Saturday, May 23, beginning at 1 p.m. ET. The marathon, presented by GoDaddy.com, features racing legends and former Indy 500 winners Al Unser Sr. and Jr. and Dario Franchitti. Franchitti, the 2007 winner, will provide exclusive commentary about his experiences during that race for ESPN Classic. The Indy 500 Marathon begins with SportsCentury: Al Unser Sr., followed by the 1987, 1992, 2005, 2007 and 2008 races. Indianapolis
ESPN Radio’s Saturday RaceDay starts its engines at 6 a.m. ET with an hour of news, previews and analysis. ESPN Radio also provides auto racing fans the comprehensive Sunday RaceDay (6-7 a.m. Sundays), which covers the auto racing world.
ESPN Deportes, ESPN’s Spanish-language television, radio and Internet in the
, will cover the Indy 500 via SportsCenter and RPM Semanal, the network’s first news and information program completely aired online on ESPNdeportes.com. Former professional driver Alex Pombo will be in Times Square to cover the 33-driver starting field’s U.S. visit on Tuesday of race week. His report will focus on interviews with the Hispanic drivers, including Ernesto Viso, Helio Castroneves and Milka Duno. RPM Semanal will be available on ESPNdeportes.com starting Wednesday, May 20, at 1 p.m. ET. The show will offer post analysis of Indy 500 during its Wednesday, May 27 edition. New York
Visit www.espnmediazone.com for ESPN’s latest releases, schedules and other news, plus photos, video and audio clips and more.
500 Historical Notes Indianapolis
The telecast of the 2009
500 by ESPN on ABC marks the 45th consecutive year that the “Greatest Spectacle in Racing” has been televised on ABC, one of the longest-running relationships ever between a sporting event and a TV network. Some important dates and milestones regarding the Indianapolis 500 on ABC: Indianapolis
1965 – The relationship between ABC and the
500 begins when highlights of the race are shown on the Wide World of Sports program. Charlie Brockman is the lap-by-lap announcer. Indianapolis
1966 – Chris Schenkel handles the lead announcer duties.
1967 – Jim McKay works the Indy 500 telecast for the first time as lap-by-lap announcer, with former race winner Rodger Ward in the new role of driver analyst on ABC’s coverage. Ward also works the 1968 and 1969 races for ABC. The race is shown in color for the first time after two years in black-and-white.
1971 – For the first time, ABC’s coverage of the
500 airs as a same-day, stand-alone, tape-delayed telecast in prime time rather than as part of the Wide World of Sports program. Chris Schenkel is host, with Jim McKay calling the action. Jackie Stewart makes his debut as driver analyst. Pit reporters include Chris Economaki, Bill Flemming, Keith Jackson and future Indy 500 winning team owner and late night talk show host David Letterman. The infamous crash of the pace car, in which Schenkel, astronaut John Glenn and speedway owner Tony Hulman were riding, into a photographer’s stand on the race start occurred this year. Indianapolis
1975 – Keith Jackson handles anchor duties for ABC as Jim McKay misses the race for the only time between 1967 and his final race in 1987.
1981 – Jackie Stewart works his final
500 as driver analyst. Sam Posey replaces him the following year. Indianapolis
1983 – Al Unser and Rick Mears carry onboard cameras, the first used in Indy 500 coverage.
1984 – Jack Arute works his first
500 for ABC as a pit reporter, a role that continues in 2009. Indianapolis
1986 – After many years of airing tape-delayed because Indianapolis Motor Speedway did not want a live telecast, the race is televised live for the first time. The race was still blacked out locally, a practice that continues to this day. Ironically, the race was rained out on both Sunday and Monday, so it was run the following Saturday and televised live on ABC. Jim Lampley makes his debut as lead announcer with Jim McKay in the host position.
1987 – Jim McKay, who serves as host, works his final
500 for ABC. Jim Lampley is lap-by-lap announcer, with driver analysts Bobby Unser and Sam Posey. Indianapolis
1988 – Paul Page becomes anchor for ABC’s coverage after serving as lead announcer on the IMS Radio Network for 10 years. Page is lead announcer from 1988-1998, then returns from 2002-2004.
1989 – Dr. Jerry Punch starts a 18-year run as a pit reporter on ABC’s
500 coverage. Indianapolis
1999 – Bob Jenkins is lead announcer for the first of three years, with Al Michaels as host of the telecast. Jenkins becomes host in 2002 when Paul Page returns to lead announcer slot.
2001 – Vince Welch works his first
500 as an ABC pit reporter. He had worked as a turn announcer and pit reporter for the IMS Radio Network since 1996. Indianapolis
2002 – Scott Goodyear makes his debut as driver analyst after retiring from driving following the 2001 Indy 500.
2004 – Several rain delays take the telecast to 8 l/2 hours, making for one of the longest single-event telecasts ever. A 180-degree rotating onboard camera was added to ABC’s coverage.
2005 – Brent Musburger becomes host of the telecast as Todd Harris fills the lead announcer role for one year. Jamie Little works her first
500 as a pit reporter. Indianapolis
2006 – Marty Reid makes his debut as lead announcer for the
500 with former NASCAR champion Rusty Wallace joining Scott Goodyear as driver analyst. ABC introduces the “side-by-side” format, allowing viewers to continue watching the action during national commercial breaks. Indianapolis
2007 – The race is televised in high definition for the first time. ESPN on ABC is the first network to use two women as pit reporters in coverage of the
500 as Brienne Pedigo joins Jamie Little in the pits. Indianapolis
2008 – Eddie Cheever Jr., the 1998 winner, makes his debut as driver analyst, joining Scott Goodyear. Coverage includes a 360-degree rotating onboard camera, the first of its kind in American motorsports.
To be honest, I haven’t watched an Indianapolis 500 for many years, but it’s always interesting to read about ABC’s history with the race.