NHL fans know that NESN’s Jack Edwards loves the Boston Bruins. bleeds Black and Goal on every play. Well this season, NESN installed a camera in the TD Garden broadcast booth to show fans how animated Jack gets when he calls goals. He certainly got very excited when Patrice Bergeron scored the game winning goal in overtime to cap off a comeback for the ages.
Here’s how it looked on NESN on Monday night.
OK, you heard how Jack was excited during the goal. How about seeing how excited he became? So got so excited, he got a little stabby. Check out the video.
Notice analyst Andy Brickley giving a wry smile. He’s been through this with Jack many times. Certainly another in a long line of truly unique Jack Edwards moments.
I don’t know when NESN installed a camera in its TD Garden broadcast booth, but this is genius. Tonight was a perfect opportunity for NESN to unveil the Jack Edwards Cam during a Boston Bruins battle against the New York Rangers. While the Blue Shirts won in a shootout, it reached an extra session and shootout after the Bruins ferociously came back after being down 3-0 in the third period.
So after the B’s tied the game in the final minute, Jack Edwards went crazy. Viewers didn’t see Jack jumping up and down until after the overtime period when NESN put together a highlight package. What was next was pure television gold.
Classic stuff. Jack Edwards continues to provide internet magic.
Nobody won. Really, nobody. The fans lost because they were left hanging and lost a half-season including the Winter Classic at the Big House in Michigan. NBC Sports Network whose ratings fell into abyss with no NHL games from October through now has been “The Biggest Loser” through all this.
Regional sports networks across the country, dependent on NHL games for live programming, have been stuck trying to fill large holes with repeats of past sporting events or in some extreme cases, movies.
So now that the NHL is coming back as early as January 15 and no later than January 19, let’s go over the winners and losers from the NHL Lockout.
No one. Nobody won. Fans. Players. Owners. Sponsors. TV partners. The League. All lost.
NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman: The NHL has lost 10% of the games in his disastrous tenure due to lockout. No league has lost more games due to labor disputes during the time he’s been in office. And the NHL is the lone league of the major four leagues to have canceled an entire season.
NBC Sports Network: It didn’t have live NHL games for four months and its ratings suffered. With Michelle Beadle’s new show premiering this month and a new NFL documentary about to begin, the network needs that consistent live programming to promote them. The NHL will help in that process.
Regional Sports Networks: Local rightsholders such as NESN, Sun Sports, Comcast SportsNet and Fox Sports Net all depend on the NHL for as many as 80 live games per season. Without live games, they had to scramble for other programming. NESN kept airing the Boston Bruins 2011 Stanley Cup run, but that only goes so far. The RSN’s are happy to see the NHL returning.
Sponsors: Based on the momentum the NHL had built over the last few years including a new long-term TV contract with NBC that began last season, sponsors had begun to drift to the league. As the lockout progressed, sponsors put pressure on the league to get back on the ice.
Local businesses and Employees:Restaurants, bars and shops that depend on hockey crowds for business at night lost four months to the lockout and that’s money that they’ll never get back. Buffalo, Nashville and other hockey-only markets are happy to see the NHL knowing that they’ll have 24-25 dates. But will the fans be back? And if you want to see how losing hockey can affect local businesses, here’s a flashback from WFSB’s Dennis House on how the Hartford Whalers’ departure affected Connecticut and one particular restaurant.
NHL Network: Bad job by the NHL Network for not even bringing back its studio shows to update fans on the lockout. As the news of the lockout was being settled, NHL Network remained in taped programming. They didn’t even simulcast TSN from Canada. Disservice to the fans. NFL Network and NBA TV both covered the ends of their lockouts in 2011, yet NHL Network can’t even provide lip service other than a crawl? C’mon, man! C’mon, NHL Network!
So where do we go from here? There are several things the NHL can do to get back in the fans’ good graces. One, make the Center Ice pay out-of-market package free for the entire season. Also, GameCenter which is the online version of Center Ice should be greatly discounted or made free for the season as well.
When the season opens, whether it’s on January 15 or January 19, NBC Sports Group should be given an opening night doubleheader which should include the banner raising ceremony for the defending Stanley Cup Champion Los Angeles Kings.
If the NHL opens on January 19 which falls on a Saturday, NBC should be given an afternoon doubleheader at noon and 3 p.m. ET while NBC Sports Network should be given games at night.
As far as the Canadian TV partners, expect CBC to given the Opening Night doubleheader no matter what day the NHL will open the season. TSN should get plenty of games for opening week as well.
And we’ll keep an eye on the ratings for any residual effects from the lockout. Both the NFL and NBA did not suffer any collateral damage from the lockout seeing record ratings. We’ll see if the NHL is warmly welcomed back or given the cold shoulder by fans.
To prepare you for the NHL, I’ll provide you this compilation of NESN’s Jack Edwards calling Boston Bruins action over the years.
And for Western New York, here’s the Best of Buffalo Sabres legendary voice Rick Jeanneret.
One more for good measure. TSN provides the Top Ten calls for legendary Pittsburgh Penguins voice Mike Lange. I wish we had “And you can scratch my back with a hacksaw!”
That is all.
Let’s do some Friday megalinks. Haven’t done any in a couple of weeks.
The Weekend Viewing Picks have all of your sports and entertainment TV needs.
Time for the linkage.
Michael Hiestand of USA Today notes the rising rights fees for the college football postseason.
Michael writes about Today show Executive Producer Jim Bell coming home to NBC Sports to oversee all Olympic broadcasts.
Chris Chase from USA Today has 60 Minutes responding to Green Bay Packers QB Aaron Rodgers’ complaints about a recent profile.
Mike Reynolds of Multichannel News says the Outdoor and Sportsman Channels plan to merge.
Will Leitch at Sports on Earth says the Rick Reilly experiment at ESPN has not worked.
Bryan Curtis of Grantland notes that last night’s Celtics-Nets game was the first game that Brooklyn native Marv Albert got to call in the borough.
Alex Weprin of TV Newser reports that Keith Olbermann will be back on sports television next week by doing a guest stint on a league-owned network.
Matt Yoder of Awful Announcing feels ESPN has lost its viewers trust.
The Big Lead speculates whether Sports Illustrated’s Peter King will remain with the magazine or leave when his contract expires.
Sports Media Watch says despite a fight, ESPN’s ratings for the next-to-last Sprint Cup race of the season finished down from last year.
East and Mid-Atlantic
Chad Finn of the Boston Globe talks with CBS’ Jim Nantz who’s back on the Patriots beat this week.
Chad has five questions with Nantz.
Boston Sports Media Watch Fearless Leader Bruce Allen speculates in SB Nation on who might become the Flash Boy or Girl for WEEI’s Dennis & Callahan show.
Bill Doyle of the Worcester Telegram & Gazette has NESN’s Jack Edwards becoming increasingly skeptical about playing hockey this season.
The New York Times’ Richard Sandomir notes that a new Broadway play will delve into the history of the Yankees.
Amy Chozick and Michael Cieply of the Times write about Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp. buying a stake into the YES Network.
Newsday’s Neil Best talks about Mike Emrick calling college hockey tonight.
The New York Post’s Phil Mushnick conducts a character assassination on ESPN’s Dick Vitale.
The Post’s Justin Terranova has five questions for New York Knicks radio voice Spero Dedes.
Pete Dougherty of the Albany Times Union talks with Dottie Pepper who’s leaving NBC Sports for a position with the PGA of America.
Ken McMillen of the Middletown (NY) Times Herald-Record has Darrelle Revis’ comments to NFL Network’s Andrea Kremer about his season-ending injury for the New York Jets.
Dave Hughes of DCRTV.com writes in Press Box that the ratings increases for the Baltimore Orioles and Washington Nationals reflect their successes on the field.
In the Washington Post’s DC Sports Bog, Dan Steinberg has some thoughts on the NFL Network’s documentary on John Riggins.
Jim Williams of the Washington Examiner talks with ESPN’s NASCAR voice Allen Bestwick about the last race of the season.
David Barron of the Houston Chronicle notes that most CBS stations across the country and even in Texas have chosen to air the Dallas Cowboys over the Texans.
David has a few viewing picks for the weekend.
Bob Wolfley of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel doesn’t agree with Aaron Rodgers’ complaints about 60 Minutes.
Paul M. Banks at Chicago Sports Media Watch notes that the NCAA has removed one-third of the media’s courtside seats at the Final Four™.
Dan Caesar at the St. Louis Post-Dispatch writes about a local sports radio host who lost his job after making remarks about African Americans.
Jim Carlisle of the Ventura County Star has his Weekend Viewing Picks.
Tom Hoffarth of the Los Angeles Daily News looks at a new documentary on the UCLA-USC rivalry.
Tom wonders why it took so long for DirecTV and Time Warner Cable SportsNet to make an agreement.
Tom has stuff that didn’t make it into today’s sports column.
And that’s going to do it.
We have press releases from three regional sports networks on their plans for the NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs so I’ll post them one at a time.
Beginning with the New England Sports Network or NESN, it will carry as many as five games of the Eastern Conference Quarterfinal series between the Boston Bruins and Washington Capitals. Fans in the designated Boston Bruins viewing area will be able to watch NESN’s coverage of the game while NBC Sports Network will be blacked out locally.
Jack Edwards, Andy Brickley and Naoko Funayama will be the game crew at TD Garden and the Verizon Center in downtown DC.
Dale Arnold will be the studio host and he’ll be joined by rotating analysts Gord Kluzak, Barry Pedersen and Mark Mowers throughout the series.
NBC is scheduled to air two games of the series.
Here’s the NESN press release.
April 10, 2012 – NESN, New England’s most watched sports network, will deliver regionally exclusive coverage of up to five games during the Bruins first round playoff series against the Washington Capitals that begins Thursday, April 12. NESN will also expand Bruins pre-game coverage to include at least one hour of coverage before every game as well as complete post-game coverage after every game.
NESN’s popular duo of Jack Edwards and Andy Brickley will call every NESN televised playoff game with Naoko Funayama serving as rink-side reporter. Dale Arnold will host NESN’s studio programs with Gord Kluzak, Barry Pederson and Mark Mowers providing analysis. NESN’s pre and post-game coverage for Bruins home games will originate from the network’s TD Garden studio with coverage of the games in Washington coming from NESN’s studios in Watertown, MA.
NESN’s 2012 Bruins Playoff Coverage Schedule
Thursday, April 12
6:00pm — The Instigators LIVE
6:30pm — Big Bad Bruins LIVE
7:00pm — Bruins Face-Off LIVE
7:30pm — Capitals at Bruins, Game 1
10:00pm — Bruins Overtime LIVE
Saturday, April 14
2:00pm — Bruins Face-Off LIVE
5:30pm — Bruins Overtime LIVE (NESNplus)
Monday, April 16
6:30pm — Big Bad Bruins LIVE
7:00pm — Bruins Face-Off LIVE
7:30pm — Bruins at Washington, Game 3
10:00pm — Bruins Overtime LIVE
Thursday, April 19
6:30pm — Bruins Face-Off LIVE
7:30pm — Bruins at Washington, Game 4
10:00pm — Bruins Overtime LIVE
Saturday, April 21*
2:00pm — Bruins Face-Off LIVE
5:30pm — Bruins Overtime LIVE
Sunday, April 22*
Wednesday, April 25*
* = If Necessary
Comcast SportsNet Mid-Atlantic’s press release on the same series is coming up next.
I’m not going to go too wild on this. Other sites are doing similar posts as well.
I’ll provide what I feel are the best calls in Sports Broadcasting this year. The only way to do this is to post videos and that’s what I’ll do. I know I said Best and Worst earlier, but the search is taking too long. We’ll provide the best calls in 2011.
We’ll go sport-by-sport and you can either agree or disagree.
Dan Shulman, ESPN Radio — Game 6, World Series, David Freese Walk-off home run
Gary Thorne, MLB International — Same as above. Two great calls of the same moment.
Larry Merchant vs. Floyd Mayweather, HBO Pay Per View — Floyd cursed out Larry and then Larry had the comeback of the year.
Gus Johnson, CBS Sports — Pac-10 Championship, Isiah Thomas hits the game-winning shot. “COLD BLOODED!”
Joe Tessitore, ESPN — “TOUCHDOWN! THEY DID IT!!” Iowa State upsets Oklahoma State knocking the Cowboys out of the BCS.
Joe Tessitore, ESPN on ABC — “Iowa State, USC and Baylor just made a mess of the BCS.” Baylor upsets Oklahoma less than 24 hours later and Joe Tessitore was there.
Dan Hicks, Johnny Miller and the Golf Channel on NBC crew — The 72nd hole for Rory McIlroy as he wins the US Open at Congressional. Great job by Dan and Johnny as they describe Rory McIlroy winning his first major championship.
Larry Collmus, NBC — The 137th Kentucky Derby. It marked Larry’s first race for NBC as he replaced Tom Durkin who left in 2010. And he got a huge upset as Animal Kingdom won the race.
Jack Edwards Calls of the Year
Living in New England and having access to NESN and Jack Edwards is the gift that keeps on giving. He was in rare form in 2011. We begin with Jack mocking Chad LaRose of the Carolina Hurricanes with a “Yapping, yapping, yapping all the way to the box.” Classic Jack.
“GET UP!” In Game 3 of the Eastern Conference Quarterfinals, Roman Hamrlik of the Montreal Canadiens went down and Jack decided to yell at him.
In Game 7, Hamrlik went down again, but the Bruins went on to score and Jack decided to rub it in.
And after the B’s closed out the Habs, Jack decided to make some puzzling final comments about royalty and having fun. Eight months later, I’m still trying to figure them out.
Mike Emrick, Versus — Tim Thomas makes a tremendous save in the Eastern Conference Finals.
Women’s World Cup
Ian Darke, ESPN — “ABBY WAMBACH HAS SAVED THE USA’S LIFE IN THIS WOMEN’S WORLD CUP!” Ian Darke had a tremendous call of the goal that tied Brazil in extra time in the quarterfinals.
And that will do it for us.
Was out of the office again earlier today so I’m getting to these rather late. Let’s look at what we have today.
USA Today’s Michael Hiestand says the new CBS Sports/Showtime documentary on this year’s Army-Navy football game will have touches of reality TV.
Mike McCarthy of USA Today notes that TNT’s Shaquille O’Neal and ESPN bloviator Skippy Bayless are throwing insults at each other.
At the Hollywood Reporter, Carolyn Giardina and Adrian Pennington report that at least 10 Olympic venues in London are expected to get the 3-D TV treatment. About 16 people in the US will be able to watch that.
George Winslow of Broadcasting & Cable says ESPN will make its news feeds available to the Pulse mobile app.
Gregg Rosenthal at Pro Football Talk cites a Phil Mushnick report that the man who helped ruin the Cleveland Browns, Eric
Manmoron Mangini will be an ESPN NFL analyst this season.
At the Indiana University National Sports Journalism Center, Eric Deggan of the St. Petersburg Times previews the ESPN Films documentary on the real-life Rocky Balboa who got his shot at the championship.
Lauren Indvik of Mashable looks at how Sports Illustrated is on top of digital technology by publishing a tablet edition of its magazine.
In SportsNewser, Marcus Vanderberg talks with Bomani Jones about the end of his morning show at The Score on Sirius Satellite Radio in Canada.
Cam Martin at SportsNewser tells us to get ready for the NASCAR-themed drama “Tits in the Pits”. You can’t make this shit up.
Dan Fogarty at SportsGrid notes that ESPN’s Merril Hoge took to Twitter to say that Tim Tebow isn’t going to be a good NFL quarterback.
Former Boston Sports Media Watch blogger David Scott writes in ESPN’s Front Row about the Alleged Worldwide Leader breaking ground on a new building and pledging to create an additional 200-800 new jobs in Connecticut over the next five years.
Kristi Dosh, the SportsBizMiss, of the Business of College Sports tries to predict the future and creates four potential BCS “Superconferences” out of the remains of the Big 12 and the Big East.
CNBC’s Darren Rovell notes that video game manufacturer EA Sports could stand to lose one billion dollars if a lawsuit by college athletes goes against it.
Darren talks with Pac-12 Commissioner Larry Scott about the league’s upcoming regional sports networks.
And Darren looks at a new venture that could bring fans closer to their favorite athletes by consolidating social media and personal websites into one site.
John Talty of the International Business Times writes that the NBA lockout won’t be much of a drain on the economy, only to the league’s fans.
Kevin McNamara of the Providence Journal writes about the Big East Conference looking forward to a potential huge media rights payday in two years.
Kevin says Big East Commissioner John Marinatto is denying reports that the conference may have to drop a few schools in order to get big TV money.
Jeff Jacobs of the Hartford Courant says the next TV negotiations for the Big East will be the league’s most important in its history.
Mara Lee of the Courant talks about ESPN’s planned expansion in Connecticut.
JC Reindl of the Day of New London (CT) writes that Connecticut came up with plenty of tax breaks so ESPN could expand its Bristol headquarters.
Pete Thamel of the New York Times writes that despite conventional wisdom, the Big East is a big player in college sports.
Lenn Robbins of the New York Post says a lucrative TV contract will ensure the Big East’s success in the long term.
Sean Daly of the Post says NBC is really going after ESPN with its rebranding of Versus.
Newsday’s Neil Best notes that the winner of SNY’s Kidcaster contest got to call a Mets home run last night.
Neil says ESPN’s Kirk Herbstreit is now downplaying reports that overzealous Ohio State fans forced him to move from his native Columbus to Tennessee.
Neil writes that there appears to be a cease fire between WFAN’s Mike Francesa and the New York Jets.
Ken McMillan of the Middletown (NY) Times Herald-Record says two local radio stations will pick up Compass Media’s NFL schedule this fall.
Ken says this month’s US Open tennis coverage will be divided among three networks again.
And Ken has the preliminary Westwood One Radio NFL schedule for the first six weeks of the season.
In the New Jersey Newsroom, Evan Weiner says the NFL and the league’s Players Association may not be done negotiating yet.
To the Washington Post’s DC Sports Bog where Dan Steinberg notes previews from Sports Illustrated’s Peter King and ESPN Radio Hack Colin Cowherd on the DC NFL Team.
Bridget Cary of the Miami Herald says ESPN Deportes Radio is changing stations to get a better signal in South Florida.
Mel Bracht of the Daily Oklahoman looks at the local ratings from the weekend.
Berry Tramel of the Oklahoman says the Longhorn Network has made Texas untouchable to other BCS conferences.
Jim Thomas of the Canton (OH) Repository profiles local native Dan Dierdorf on his second career as an NFL analyst.
Shane Hoover of the Repository notes that the NFL continues to find new fans via social and new media.
Steve Ballard of the Indianapolis Star notes that Sunday’s Brickyard 400 scored for ESPN.
David Brauer of MinnPost says the Twin Cities’ ESPN Radio affiliate is pulling Colin Cowherd and inserting a local talk show in his place.
Bruce Dowbiggin of the Toronto Globe and Mail says it’s not known if the NHL’s marriage to Versus will pay off in the long run.
To the Biz of Baseball and Maury Brown who reports that one section of Ohio that was hit with blackouts of the Cleveland Indians and the Pittsburgh Pirates won’t be blacked out anymore.
Larry Brown Sports has former Texas Tech coach Mike Leach sticking up for suspended ESPN.com writer Bruce Feldman on Fox Sports Radio last night.
Kissing Suzy Kolber notes that ESPN’s sponsored segments are getting a bit out of hand.
Melina Travis of Pro Sports Communications talks about the power of sports documentaries.
Ty Duffy at The Big Lead wonders if the Big East has any juice with fans.
Awful Announcing kicks around some ideas for the next batch of ESPN Films documentaries.
We have a lot of links today. That’s good for you. I’ll be back later tonight.
In yet another bizarre rant, Jack Edwards went on WEEI’s Big Show with Glenn Ordway and Michael Holley to discuss the bite of the Boston Bruins’ Patrice Bergeron’s finger by Vancouver’s Alex Burrows. It happened just as the first period of Game 1 was ending and it was caught by NBC’s cameras as clear as day. If you didn’t see it, here it is.
Well, WEEI has asked NESN’s Bruins voice Jack Edwards to give yet his thoughts on the Stanley Cup Final and we get this analogy of Jack comparing Burrows’ bite to his 11 month old daughter biting his wife’s boob during breastfeeding. When I heard this, I almost stopped dead in the middle of the highway in shock. I really think Jack needs to increase his medication.
There you have it. I am without speech because I cannot speak. Unbelievable.
When I found I had the opportunity to book Jack Edwards for the Sports Media Weekly podcast, I jumped at it. Before I tell you what we discussed, let me say that Southern New England media mogul Keith Thibault and I had our News segment.
We led with the changes with NFL Network Thursday Night Football booth with Brad Nessler and Mike Mayock coming into announce the late regular season package. Then we moved to Gus Johnson leaving CBS and moving over to Fox Sports to become its main college football announcer. We also debated whether Gus is more contrived than Jim Nantz. Then Keith and I exchanged our thoughts on Mary Carillo joining Tennis Channel in time for the French Open and U.S. Open. We opined on the Kentucky Derby ratings which were down from last year. And we finished with how the NBA and NHL could have low-rated finals if things don’t work out with big market teams.
Our guest this week is NESN Boston Bruins voice Jack Edwards. With Jack, we talked about the Boston-Philadelphia series and how it meant for the B’s to win this in a sweep after last year’s choke in 7. We also discussed how Jack will not be able to call the NHL Eastern Conference Final with Versus/NBC taking the games for the rest of the way. We also discussed Jack’s yelling at Roman Hamrlik in the Bruins-Montreal first round series as well as his comments at the end of the series and previewed the upcoming Bruins-Tampa Bay series. In addition, we went over his days at ESPN and what led him to calling the Bruins for NESN.
A fun interview and a good podcast. I say that every time, but I truly believe that. Find us on iTunes by searching for “Sports Media Journal” or
Just in from NESN, Bruins play-by-play Jack Edwards will remain at the regional sports network for the foreseeable future. He’s signed a multi-year extension of his current agreement. There’s no middle with Jack, either you like him or you don’t. I’ll admit I like him and I’m amused by him. Is he a homer? Yes, but there are worse homers in the NHL and certainly, Jack can rile up the Bruins fan base. We have this press release from NESN.
BOSTON, MA – NESN, New England’s most watched sports network, announced today that Bruins play-by-play announcer Jack Edwards has agreed to a multi-year contract extension with the network. Edwards has teamed up with Bruins color analyst Andy Brickley in the NESN booth since 2005 and is also a regular contributor to NESN’s popular weekly hockey debate and discussion program called The Instigators with Mike Milbury.
“For the past six years, Jack has been an energetic and important part of NESN’s Bruins hockey coverage,” said Sean McGrail, NESN President and CEO. “We are very happy to extend his contract, and look forward to his passionate presence in the broadcast booth for years to come.”
Jack Edwards said, “Who has more fun than us? To work with Brick, Naoko, and our NESN production crew is to live the dream. We feed off the energy and passion of Bruins fans across New England and hockey fans all over the world. We love our work and we love working together. To be part of that, to share the space with people who pour so much of their time and effort into covering this team and this sport, is the pinnacle of my career.”
A New Hampshire native with over 30 years of sports broadcasting experience, Edwards joined NESN in 2005. Best known for his role as a SportsCenter anchor and NHL play-by-play announcer at ESPN, Edwards has also served as a local sports anchor and as a reporter for ABC’s Wide World of Sports and Winter Olympics coverage. In addition to his work with NESN, Edwards is also a senior partner and executive producer for Fountainhead Production, an independent film and TV production company specializing in HD productions.
It wasn’t as insane as his comments to close out this year’s Bruins-Canadiens series or as nutty as giving a lesson about the Revolutionary War, but Jack Edwards in his final game of the 2010-11 season decided to hearken back to 1992, the last time the Bruins played in the NHL Eastern Conference Finals. As the Bruins closed out the Philadelphia Flyers in four games in the NHL Eastern Conference Semifinals, Jack recalled Bill Clinton, gas prices, the old Boston Garden and just about everything in between. Through it all, you get this moment.
Only Jack. He will be missed as Versus and NBC take the NHL Playoffs for the rest of the way from the Conference Finals into the Stanley Cup Final.
Finally getting to some linkage. Had some work to do first and of course, that takes precedence. Lots of stuff to get to.
First from John Ourand of the Sports Business Journal/Sports Business Daily, he reports that Monday Night Football reporter Michele Tafoya is leaving ESPN and most likely heading to NBC in an unspecified capacity.
Mike McCarthy of USA Today reports that ESPN.com has announced the name and roster for Captain Blowhard’s new sports and pop culture website. Kill me mow.
Lesley Goldberg of the Hollywood Reporter says Fox has tapped a new man to lead Fuel TV.
At Multichannel News, Mike Reynolds says the NBA Playoffs on TNT are scoring in the ratings and with affluent viewers as well.
R. Thomas Umstead of Multichannel notes that Comcast SportsNet Philadelphia scored record ratings for Game 7 of the Buffalo-Flyers series.
Anthony Crupi of Adweek writes that TNT’s highest ratings in the playoffs are for teams from the two biggest markets.
Toni Fitzgerald at Media Life tells us that both the NBA and NHL are seeing red hot ratings for their postseasons.
Jason Gay of the Wall Street Journal wonders what if ESPN covered the Royal Wedding.
Sheldon Spencer at ESPN Front Row talks with members of ESPN’s NFL blogging network on their approach to covering this year’s NFL Draft.
Greg Wyshynski at Yahoo’s Puck Daddy goes over what ESPN was offering the NHL before NBC/Versus came and topped it.
We have the transcript of CNBC’s Darren Rovell interviewing embattled Los Angeles Dodgers owner Frank McCourt about Major League Baseball taking operation of the team.
Andy Fixmer and Beth Jinks of Bloomberg recap McCourt’s appearance on Bloomberg Television.
At the Biz of Baseball, the great Maury Brown has McCourt blasting MLB for meddling after Fox agreed to give him a $30 million advance as part of a 20 year media rights deal.
Back to Bloomberg, Laurel Brubaker Calkins writes that Golf Channel officials are denying any knowledge of a Ponzi scheme run by an indicted financier who paid money to the network for sponsorships.
Cam Martin of Sports Newser writes that a new play on the late Detroit Tigers announcer Ernie Harwell, authored by Mitch Albom, will premiere tonight in the Motor City.
Cork Gaines of the Business Insider’s Sports Page reviews two nights of ESPN SportsCenter and breaks down how it covers sports news.
Emerson College Journalism Professor Mark Luccese writing in Boston.com discusses the surplus of sports coverage in Beantown.
98.5 The Sports Hub in Boston had an interview with NESN’s Jack Edwards in which he discusses the Canadiens, diving and a few other things.
Kirk Minihane of WEEI.com is not a fan of Jack Edwards.
Richard Sandomir from the New York Times says Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum now has a new name.
Newsday’s Neil Best says New York Yankees shortstop Derek Jeter isn’t too happy over a new book written about him.
Jerry Bossert of the New York Daily News looks at the new voice of the Triple Crown on NBC.
Pete Dougherty at the Albany Times Union has the TV schedule for the 2nd round of the NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs.
Pete also has the NBA Playoff schedule through this weekend.
Bob Rossi of the Pittsburgh Post-Tribune says the Pittsburgh Penguins have signed a new deal with Root Sports keeping the team on the network for at least 18 more season.
John Feinstein takes out his computer keyboard and proceeds to hit DC NFL Team owner Daniel Snyder over his head with it.
Jim Williams of the Washington Examiner says the NBA’s ratings winning streak continues into the postsesaon.
Jim says NFL Draft coverage has turned into a marathon.
Ed Sherman at Crain’s Chicago Business says Comcast SportsNet ended its NBA and NHL postseason coverage with a bang.
Derrick Gold from the St. Louis Post-Dispatch says Cardinals outfielder Lance Berkman refuted statements made by Houston Astros radio announcer Milo Hamilton.
Mike Sunnucks of the Phoenix Business Journal says extended NBA and NFL lockouts would have adverse effects on the local economy and advertising market.
Diane Pucin of the Los Angeles Times talks with NFL Network’s Rich Eisen about this week’s Draft coverage.
Fight Hype says ESPN.com boxing reporter Dan Rafael could be moving to HBO in a much different capacity.
Joe Favorito says US sports teams need to get on the ball with social media in a way that their European counterparts have totally embraced.
Dave Kohl at Major League Programs has a look at various local sports radio ratings.
And we’ll end it there for today.
NESN gave Jack Edwards the opportunity to make a final comment after the Boston Bruins win in overtime over the Montreal Canadiens to take the NHL Eastern Conference Quarterfinal series in seven games. Yet, I’m still trying to figure out what he’s saying. Jack not only looks nuts, but he’s mincing his metaphors comparing the Bruins win to the Boston Tea Party. At least I think he’s comparing the win to that. This is not the first time he’s compared a Bruins win to the American Revolution.
Anyway, you watch and try to figure this out.
And now we have the complete transcript of his nutty comments.
“As I was driving from the former seat of all NHL power, Montreal, through the free and independent states of Vermont, New Hampshire, and Massachusetts today, it struck me what an odd thing royalty is.
“Royalty in modern times is something that is perpetuated by those who didn’t actually make those great conquering achievements that established their reigns, but rather those who find themselves, because of a certain location in history and an accident of birth, to be in a position to ‘carry on a tradition.’
“Yet, those ‘royals’ sit there on their shiny thrones and primp in their hand mirrors and try to dictate morality according to them, about how you can dive, or how you should play, or how you shouldn’t run a player into the center glass.
“And the rest of us, those poor filthy masses, are just supposed to take it.
“Well, a couple of hundred years ago, a bunch of rowdy radicals charged out of some Boston bars, went down to the dock, and dumped the King’s tea into the salty sea.
“And in doing that, it struck a chord that rings true even today, that when confronted when imperious conceit, fighting the good fight is not only the right thing to do, it can be a heck of a lot of fun.
“And who has more fun than us?”
In Game 7 of the Montreal Canadiens-Boston Bruins series at the TD Garden, NESN’s Jack Edwards was in rare form once again as he yelled at Roman Hamrlik as he was checked and fell down. You may remember during Game 3 in Montreal, Edwards felt that Hamrlik took a dive and yelled at him to “GET UP!” This isn’t as classic as that, but it’s still another Jack Edwards gem.
Let’s provide the links on this very Spring-like Thursday. The sun is out in Southern New England after the April showers of this week. Nice to see the skies bright instead of being gray and drab as like the last few days.
We begin with Kelly McBride of the Poynter Institute writing in her role as ESPN Ombudsman. She says the new ESPN guidelines on endorsements are a good start, but still don’t go far enough.
Sofia M. Fernandez from the Hollywood Reporter says despite a $30 million loan from Fox and hopes of a 20 year contract with Fox Sports Net to solve money troubles, Major League Baseball still stepped in and took over control of the Los Angeles Dodgers.
TMZ reports that Fox is not interested in repurchasing the Dodgers.
CNBC’s Darren Rovell says despite MLB taking over the Dodgers, we haven’t heard the last from owner Frank McCourt.
Darren wonders if Major League Baseball is having an attendance problem.
Darren finds in what sports Americans like to participate.
Mike Reynolds of Multichannel News says World Fishing Network has struck a deal with the National Cable TV Cooperative.
David Kiefaber of Adweek looks at a new outdoor ad campaign featuring Mike Tyson. Yes, Mike Tyson.
Carolyn Braff of Sports Video Group says Comcast SportsNet Philadelphia was kept on its toes last Saturday as it had to scramble through weather issues to cover four teams.
Marcus Vanderberg at SportsNewser has the latest addition to the ESPN.com/Captain Blowhard project.
At ESPN Front Row, Kevin Ota explains how ESPN wants to make the digital media experience more personal for users.
Michael S. Schmidt and Richard Sandomir of the New York Times take a look at MLB taking control of the Dodgers.
Bob Fernandez of the Philadelphia Inquirer explores Comcast SportsNet Bay Area’s move to produce live sportscasts for NBC’s KNTV and if it could happen in Philly.
Frank Seravalli of the Inquirer says the NHL and NBC could very well choose the Flyers for the Winter Classic on January 2, 2012.
From the Washington Post’s DC Sports Bog, Dan Steinberg has the radio call of last night’s game winning goal in the 2nd overtime of Game 4 of Caps-Rangers.
The Naples (FL) Daily News says a minor league baseball team will have selected games on the local ESPN Radio affiliate.
Mel Bracht from the Daily Oklahoman has quotes from ESPN’s Jon Gruden about the NFL Draft and yes, there are several “this guy” references.
John Kiesewetter of the Cincinnati Enquirer notes that today’s Arizona-Reds game will be aired on MLB Network, but there’s one interesting caveat.
Bob Wolfley of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel also has some thoughts from Gruden about a Wisconsin draft prospect.
Ed Sherman from Crain’s Chicago Business says tonight is going to be a big night for the local Comcast SportsNet affiliate.
The Reno (NV) Gazette Journal notes that ESPN2′s Friday Night Boxing series is coming to town.
In the Tucson (AZ) Citizen, Victor Rodriguez talks with NBC’s Andrea Kremer about covering the NFL in the locker room.
Bill Plaschke of the Los Angeles Times couldn’t be happier to see MLB step in and take control of the Dodgers away from Frank McCourt.
Bill Shakin of the Times writes that the Dodgers could be in legal limbo for the foreseeable future.
The Los Angeles Daily News has a timeline of the tumultuous McCourt ownership of the Dodgers.
Alan Brettman of The Oregonian says unlike ESPN, other TV networks are not publishing a list of endorsement deals by their announcers.
Ferd Lewis at the Honolulu Advertiser says ESPN’s networks will air three Hawaii football games this fall.
Ferd says Hawaiians don’t understand why they’re being blacked out of San Francisco Giants games.
Julie DiCaro from Aerys Sports says MLB continues to drop the ball when it comes to catering to female fans.
Terrence Henderson from the T Dog Media Blog looks at the NBC Sports Group deal with the NHL.
Sports Media Watch says MLB on Fox’s ratings are up for the first two weeks of the season.
SMW says NASCAR on Fox’s ratings for the last two races are a mixed bag.
Steve Lepore of Puck The Media says last night in the NHL was made for the new NBC/Versus deal, but we won’t see it until next year.
Steve also has five suggestions to make the Black Friday NHL game on NBC into a special event.
Friend of Fang’s Bites Jason Clinkscales of A Sports Scribe talks about starting up a new podcast and another Friend of Fang’s Bites will be his guest.
Matt Yoder of Awful Announcing lists the Top 13 Craziest calls by NESN’s Jack Edwards.
And we’re done for today with the links.
When I posted the video of NESN’s Jack Edwards yelling at Montreal’s Roman Hamrlik to “GET UP!” after what he felt was a dive, never in my wildest dreams would I expect the whole thing to become the single most visited post in the history of this blog.. Thanks to several national sites and Google searches, the clip has gone viral.
Normally I would not link to sites that link back here, but it’s interesting to see how this got picked up. I will say I did e-mail the link to three sites, two of which used it, the other had video of its own and is in better quality than mine. But overall, it was interesting to see where the traffic was coming from.
Most of the traffic for the clip has come from Sports Illustrated’s Hot Clicks and I thank Jimmy Traina for picking it up.
Kate Shapiro at Deadspin was amused by Jack’s yelling.
Cam Martin of SportsNewser provides his take on the video.
Glenn Davis from SportsGrid feels Jack went overboard.
Brady Green of Awful Announcing was very amused by Jack’s yelling.
Jeff Gordon from the St. Louis Post-Dispatch adds the video to his links in the “Mysteries of the Universe” section.
Tauntr mixes “GET UP” in several historic sports dives. Classic.
And let’s finally get Jack Edwards in his own voice explaining why he hates players who dive not just in hockey, but in life in general. This is 3 minutes of one of the greatest rants I have ever seen.
Jack needs not only to get his own show, but his own channel. I may have to give him his own page here.
And thanks to all who have visited here over the last day to view the Jack Edwards clip.
I need to get these up quickly as the NBC/NHL conference call will occur at 1 p.m. today. I won’t be able to monitor it, but I do hope to provide details as they become available. Lots of links to get to.
The major news of the day thus far is NBC’s renewal of its agreement with the NHL. It means NBC and Versus will keep the rights to the league and it’s for 10 years/$200 million. Greg Wyshynski of Yahoo’s Puck Daddy tells us what it all means.
Sports Business Journal’s John Ourand who has been tremendous in reporting this story has the full details of the new agreement between NBC/Comcast and the NHL.
Anthony Crupi says NBC/Comcast has won its first battle in what should be many against Disney/ESPN.
Barry Pachesky of Deadspin puts the NBC/Comcast contract with the NHL into perspective.
Keara Dowd of Aerys Sports says ESPN really wanted to get the NHL back.
Bruce Dowbiggin of the Toronto Globe and Mail says NBC/Comcast will have increased rights to the NHL with the new 10 year deal.
And in a related note, PBS’ Nightly Business Report had a segment on Comcast’s purchase of NBC and wanting to gain a big foothold in sports.
Back to Wyshynski, he gives us the best of NESN’s Jack Edwards from last night’s Game 3 of the Boston Bruins-Montreal Canadiens series. Jack was more over the top than usual.
Michael Hiestand of USA Today says for Generation Y, sports is about getting together, not necessarily competing against each other.
Also from USA Today, Sean Leahy notes that despite the lockout, the NFL is pressing ahead with plans to release its 2011 regular season schedule tonight.
Sean speculates on some of the NFL’s marquee games for this season.
Sean says Joe Theismann has tweeted (since removed) that he is indeed out of the NFL Network Thursday Night Football booth.
Back to the Sports Business Journal and Terry Lefton who notes that the NFL continues with its Draft even as the lockout continues.
John Ourand and David Broughton of Sports Business Journal report that San Antonio reigns over the local TV ratings for the league.
Over at Multichannel News, Mike Reynolds says the NBA on TNT’s opening Sunday NBA Playoff tripleheader drew 36% more viewers than the year before.
Anthony Crupi from Adweek says the big TV ratings for the opening weekend of the NBA Playoffs means more revenue for ESPN and Turner Sports.
Toni Fitzgerald of Media Life writes that the NBA’s postseason ratings could set a record.
CNBC’s Darren Rovell talks with someone in the know about the Feds’ crackdown on offshore poker websites.
Sports Business Daily looks at ESPN’s decision to drop all poker advisertising.
Cam Martin from SportsNewser says ESPN is going to be dropping all poker advertising and related programming for the foreseeable future.
Ben Koo of Awful Announcing tells us what ESPN’s decision on poker advertising and programming means to the niche sport.
Russell Scibetti from the Business of Sports shares his thoughts on the Feds’ crackdown on poker websites and what it means for the networks that air poker.
Emmett Jones of Sports Business Digest notes that Pittsburgh is on top of the local NHL TV ratings heap.
The great Maury Brown from the Biz of Baseball says MLB’s TV partners are bullish about ad revenue for this season.
The New York Times’ Richard Sandomir writes about ESPN posting the endorsement deals made its announcers and analysts.
ESPN has announced that the extremely insufferable Mike Lupica of the New York Daily News will host a one hour daily show for ESPN Radio in New York. I refuse to link to any stories about this. You’ll thank me later.
Pete Dougherty of the Albany Times Union notes the early postseason ratings for both the NBA and NHL.
Dejan Kovacevic at the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette talks about the Penguins being number one in the local NHL TV ratings.
John Steigerwald of the Washington (PA) Observer-Reporter who wrote the incendiary column last week about Giants fan Bryan Stow who is still in a coma after being beat up by two Los Angeles Dodgers fans, tries to explain himself this week and claims everyone across the country is to blame for misunderstanding his original incendiary column.
To Jim Williams of the Washington Examiner who says the NBC Sports Group outdueled three other networks for the NHL.
Jerry Ratcliffe of the Charlottesville (VA) Daily Progress writes about the bond between Fox NFL Sunday co-horts and odd couple Terry Bradshaw and Howie Long.
Rick Bozich from the Louisville Courier-Journal feels ESPN owes the University of Kentucky an apology.
Ryan Clark of the Cincinnati Enquirer notes that ESPN’s Bob Knight should be fired for remarks he made about the Kentucky basketball program.
Mel Bracht of the Daily Oklahoman previews one segment on tonight’s HBO Real Sports program.
Mark Dawidziak of the Cleveland Plain-Dealer says a local man will get a shot at his dream to work for ESPN.
Diane Pucin from the Los Angeles Times looks at the new NBC/NHL deal.
TV Sports Jobs looks at 10 Worst Acting Performances in sports movies.
The great Bob’s Blitz blog has the ratings for WFAN and ESPN Radio New York for last month.
Pressdog notes the ratings for ESPN2′s airing of last weekend’s NASCAR Nationwide race.
The Canadian Sports Media blog feels CBC’s curling coverage ain’t what it used to be.
Sports Media Watch says TNT is off to its best start ever for an NBA postseason.
SMW says ESPN had good numbers for its NBA Playoffs opening tripleheader.
And SMW notes ABC had really good numbers for its opening two games of the NBA Playoffs.
Another post from Russell Scibetti, this time in the Business Insider Sports Page, where he noticed that MLB.com has stopped its free streaming of a game a night on Facebook.
Joe Favorito says in addition to promoting team pride, NBA and NHL Playoff teams might want to attach a worthy cause as well. I like this idea.
OK, lots of links and lots of stories. I think we’ll end it there.
Jack Edwards was in rare form tonight during Game 3 of the Boston Bruins-Montreal Canadiens series on NESN. Not only was he in his best homer announcing style, but he was yelling and screaming at Les Habitants at every opportunity. The best moment was late in the third period as the Bruins were trying to clear their own zone, Roman Hamrlik of the Habs drove Michael Ryder down to the ice and Jack took the opportunity to yell at Hamrik. What comes next is pure classic gold. I shot this myself so the quality isn’t that great, but just listen to the audio and you’ll laugh. It’s great stuff and adds to the legend of Jack Edwards. Enjoy.
I’m still laughing and probably will be for the rest of the night.
Just received this from the New England Sports Network, a.k.a. NESN. The entire Montreal Canadiens-Boston Bruins series will be aired locally on NESN while Versus’ coverage will be blacked out in the New England area. It means all of the games will be called by extreme homer Jack Edwards and very good analyst Andy Brickley.
NESN will also expand its pregame coverage to an hour plus provide plenty of Bruins programming while the series is underway.
In addition, NESN notes its Bruins coverage this season set a ratings record, reaching a 3.1 average for the 2010-11 year. That’s 41% higher than last year. We have the press release.
3.1 Average Household Rating Improves 41% from 2009-10
BOSTON, MA – NESN, New England’s most watched sports network, set a new regular season ratings record by garnering a 3.1 average household rating – a 41% increase from the 2009/10 season. NESN’s previous best was a 2.5 household rating in both the 2008/09 and 1995/96 seasons.
Just as impressive as the network’s increase in household ratings was NESN’s performance in many key demographic categories, including Adults 18-34 (2.1, up 99%), Adults 25-54 (2.9, up 54%) and Men 25-54 (4.3, up 55%).
Bruins Fans Watch More Than Just Games
All of NESN’s Bruins-related studio programs experienced double digit ratings gains over last season, including Bruins FaceOff LIVE (+16%), Bruins Overtime LIVE (+68%), The Big Bad Bruins Show with Kathryn Tappen (+18%), and The Instigators with Mike Milbury (+122%).
“Bruins fans are some of the most passionate hockey fans in the NHL, and they have shown that this season on NESN with record game ratings and significant increases in all of our NHL shows,” said Sean McGrail, NESN President and CEO. “The region is really buzzing with excitement for the Bruins as the team gets ready for the playoffs.”
Expanded Playoff Pre-Game Coverage
NESN will deliver regionally exclusive coverage of every game during the Bruins first round playoff series against the Montreal Canadiens. Each game night will begin with Bruins Face-Off LIVE, which will expand from 30 minutes to one hour for every first round game. Host Kathryn Tappen will be joined by analysts Gord Kluzak and Barry Pederson, with Naoko Funayama reporting from ice level. NESN’s pre-game coverage for Bruins home games will continue to originate from the network’s TD Garden set location.
Bruins post-season coverage on NESN gets started early this week with special editions of The Bricks and The Instigators. NESN’s Andy Brickley will host The Bricks: 2011 Post-Season Special on Tuesday, April 12 at 5:30 PM and preview the Bruins first round matchup against long-time rival Montreal. On Wednesday, April 13 at 5:30 PM, The Instigators with Mike Milbury will feature Jack Edwards and Andy Brickley as they discuss and debate the NHL’s best in 2010/11 and make their Stanley Cup predictions.
Bruins vs. Canadiens Conference Quarterfinals on NESN
Thursday April 14 Game #1 at TD Garden 7:00 PM Saturday April 16 Game #2 at TD Garden 7:00 PM Monday April 18 Game #3 at Montreal 7:30 PM Thursday April 21 Game #4 at Montreal 7:00 PM Saturday April 23 Game #5 at TD Garden 7:00 PM* Tuesday April 26 Game #6 at Montreal TBD * Wednesday April 27 Game #7 at TD Garden TBD *
* = If Necessary
And that will do it.
Time for the links. Lots of stuff to get to.
From Sports Business Daily, we learn that the Sporting News has officially taken over Fanhouse. A sad day really as the Fanhouse site was very good and had many good writers on staff (Jay Mariotti excepting). Many writers have lost their jobs while others have decided not to move to the new site. I’ll have more on this later in the day.
Sports Business Daily also notes the increased ratings for the just-completed PGA Tour’s West Coast Swing.
At Sports Business Journal, John Ourand and Terry Lefton tell us that the NHL now has two more suitors for its US cable contract in addition to Versus.
John Ourand and Michael Smith report that ESPN is really looking into the machinations behind Conference USA’s deal with Fox.
Interesting story that’s been developing since the end of last month’s Daytona 500. Apparently, one journalist, a freelancer for SI.com, got caught up with Trevor Bayne winning the race and started clapping in the press box which is a no-no. It got him fired and now, Thomas Bowles writing in Frontstretch tries to justify his actions. Thanks to The Big Lead for the link.
And Dave Kindred at the Indiana University National Sports Journalism Center tells you why reporters should not be cheering in the press box.
Southeastern New England Media Mogul Keith Thibault returns to Sports Media Journal with a post on what is right and wrong with sportswriters today.
To Yahoo’s Puck Daddy and Greg Wyshynski who writes that some of the fake NHL trades tweeted during Deadline Day were more entertaining than the ones being made.
Brian Lowry of Fox Sports notes that the Charlie Sheen Career Suicide Press Tour began on the Dan Patrick Show.
Marcus Vanderberg of SportsNewser bids adieu to Fanhouse.
John Eggerton of Broadcasting & Cable writes that as of Friday, Dish Network is ready to drop local TV stations in 17 markets including Albuquerque, NM; Green Bay, WI; Indianapolis, IN; Providence, RI and Springfield, MA, all of which are part of the LIN TV group. That would affect March Madness in several markets.
Mike Reynolds at Multichannel News says MSG Network continues to see ratings spikes for New York Knicks games since the Carmelo Anthony trade.
CNBC’s Darren Rovell tracks down former tennis superstar Andre Agassi.
Darren likes a minor league baseball concession offering of a whole big heap of hot dog toppings.
And Darren really likes an inventive marketing ploy by Jack in the Box at a recent Lakers game.
At espnW, my Twitter trophy wife, Amanda Rykoff, recognizes three women sports executives.
Robin Berger of TV Technology looks at CBS/Turner’s plans for the NCAA Tournament, which include online streaming.
Dashiell Bennett of the Business Insider’s Sports Page says the NHL is suddenly a hot property.
NESN has a slideshow of the preparation Bruins TV voice Jack Edwards goes through just for one game.
At the Springfield (MA) Republican, Fred Contrada writes that the attorney for ESPN.com writer Howard Bryant is using the race card in his arrest on domestic assault charges.
Jessica Heslam of the Boston Herald also writes about the Howard Bryant incident.
Jessica talks with new WEEI midday show co-host Lou Merloni about taking over the timeslot from mainstay Dale Arnold.
Pete Dougherty at the Albany Times Union talks about ESPN’s assignments for the MAAC and America East Championship Games.
The Washington Post’s Dan Steinberg in the DC Sports Bog says ESPN finally took note of George Mason’s basketball team members’ vow not to cut their hair until their 15 game winning streak ends.
To the Washington Examiner where Jim Williams writes about the Nationals’ new flagship radio station’s spring training schedule.
The Petersburg (VA) Progress-Index says the Tri-Cities area gets its own local sports radio network.
Ileana Limon of the Orlando Sentinel writes that ESPN is threatening to sue Conference USA over what it says was right of first refusal over the league’s new contract with Fox Sports.
Laken Litman of the Dallas Morning News says ESPN’s College GameDay will be in the Lone Star State on Saturday.
Mike Chappelle of the Indianapolis Star speaks with NFL Network’s Mike Mayock about the best of this year’s NFL Scouting Combine.
Bob Wolfley at the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel says NASCAR was tops in the local weekend ratings.
Bob has details of the new Green Bay Packers Super Bowl XLV DVD that arrives on shelves next week.
Bob Goldsborough of the Chicago Tribune writes that the radio voice of the Bulls could not stand to leave his local neighborhood despite selling his house last year.
The Arizona Diamondbacks will be aired exclusively on Fox Sports Arizona this season.
In the Toronto Sun, Terry Koshan writes that Twitter played a big role on NHL Trade Deadline Day.
Dan Ilika of the Sun grades the TV coverage of the Trading Deadline.
Lenny Shulman of Bloodhorse.com says the Triple Crown is back together on one network as it should have been all along.
Sports Media Watch has some NBA ratings news and notes.
To Puck The Media where Steve Lepore explores whether the NHL has made a true inroad into the mainstream.
Steve says Jeremy Roenick will be reunited with a former coach and a former teammate this week on Versus.
Steve also has the most watched and least watched NHL games on Versus for February.
The Big Lead wonders how ESPN will handle the delicate Howard Bryant situation.
Dave Kohl at Major League Programs says college basketball owes a debt of gratitude to a television executive.
And that’s going to do it for us today.
NESN and Fox Soccer Channel To Air Exhibition Soccer At Fenway Park and To Be Called By Jack Edwards!!!
For soccer fans, this is a flashback to the 2002 World Cup in South Korea and Japan. It’s not necessarily a good flashback either, but we’ll get to that in a minute. First, the Red Sox announced in June that it would bring soccer to Fenway Park with an exhibition game between Celtic of the Scottish Premier League and Sporting from the Portuguesa Liga on July 21.
It’s also been announced that NESN will air the game in New England and Fox Soccer Channel will have the game nationally. But calling the game will be NESN’s own Jack Edwards who has experience in doing soccer play-by-play doing Major League Soccer, the Chicago Fire and the aforementioned 2002 World Cup which was criticized extensively by fans.
But Jack will have a nationwide audience and this should be quite interesting. Here’s the press release from NESN.
‘FOOTBALL AT FENWAY’ TO AIR LIVE ON NEW ENGLAND SPORTS NETWORK (NESN), FOX SOCCER CHANNEL, AND FOX SPORTS EN ESPAÑOL
BOSTON, MA – Football at Fenway, the Wednesday, July 21 soccer match between perennial Scottish Premier League contender Celtic F.C. and the storied Portuguese futbol club Sporting Clube de Portugal, will air live on the New England Sports Network (NESN) to viewers throughout New England, nationally through Fox Soccer Channel, and Fox Sports en Español, and internationally on Fox Sports in Latin America and Fox Sports World Canada as the first soccer match to take place at Fenway Park in over 40 years.
“We are grateful to our partners at NESN for once again stepping up to produce and broadcast yet another high profile event from Fenway Park and to the Fox family of networks for giving this anticipated match international, multi-lingual exposure,” said Sam Kennedy, Fenway Sports Group President and Boston Red Sox EVP/COO. “NESN’s world class production capabilities will allow fans around the world to enjoy this special event in High Definition. Earlier this year NESN’s versatility allowed us to distribute ‘Frozen Fenway,’ the first ever outdoor college hockey double-header at Fenway Park, around the country. Now, thanks to them, millions of soccer fans around the globe will be able to watch the Beautiful Game from America’s Most Beloved Ballpark.”
NESN will begin its live soccer coverage immediately following the broadcast of the Boston Red Sox-Oakland Athletics match up. A half-hour pre-game show hosted by Tom Caron will start at 7:30 pm ET from Yawkey Way outside Fenway Park, with kickoff at 8 p.m. The halftime programming will also originate from Yawkey Way. Former World Cup commentator and NESN analyst Jack Edwards will do the broadcast play-by-play, to be simulcast on Fox Soccer Channel (match only). Additional members of the broadcast team will be announced at a later date.
“The fan frenzy over the World Cup proves that this is the ideal time to bring soccer to Fenway Park,” said Joel Feld, NESN Executive Producer. “NESN has the best sports fans in the country and this will be a special event for us.”
The first ever Fenway Football Challenge is being made possible by Mayor Thomas M. Menino and the City of Boston, Celtic F.C., Sporting C.P., the Boston Red Sox, and Fenway Sports Group. Tickets for the July 21 match can be purchased online www.tickets.com/footballatfenway.
“We are proud to partner with Fenway Sports Group and NESN to showcase this anticipated match, live to soccer fans across America,” said David Nathanson, General Manager of Fox Soccer Channel. “As the premier year-round soccer destination in the U.S., the Celtic-Sporting showdown will be a tantalizing addition to our lineup of top-class international competitions, staged in a unique, historic venue.”
The July 21, 2010 match will mark the 19th soccer game played on the grounds of Fenway Park. The last time soccer was played at the ballpark was on July 9, 1968 when the Boston Beacons faced Santos F.C. from Brazil and their star player, the soccer legend Pele.
Now that the NHL season is over, time for the 2nd version of the NHL TV Awards. We did our first last year and got attacked by readers when it was posted over at Puck Daddy on Yahoo, but you can’t please everybody. This not only includes the 2009-10 season, but also the Olympic hockey tournament. Both the American and Canadian national partners are eligible as well as various local regional sports networks. Without further delay, let’s get to the awards.
The Dan Kelly Award for Best Play by Play: Mike “Doc” Emrick – NBC/Versus. He won it last year and there’s no reason to give it to anyone else. Doc was tremendous during the Olympics. Got down the pronunciation of players from each country that participated in the tournament and also expertly called the women’s games. I went into my reasons why he won last year and they can apply again this year. Doc knows the game very well. Best hockey play-by-play man of his generation without a doubt.
A very close second is Chris Cuthbert of CTV/TSN. His call of Sidney Crosby’s winning score in the gold medal game at the Olympics was perfect, “It’s the golden goal!” Unceremoniously dropped by CBC in 2005, Cuthbert landed at TSN and quickly became one of the network’s best announcers doing the CFL Grey Cup and the NHL. He deservedly received the plum assignment of calling hockey at the Olympics and the gold medal game in Vancouver. CBC’s loss was TSN’s gain.
Conference Finals: Jim Hughson and Bob Cole, CBC
Honorable Mentions: Pat Foley, Comcast SportsNet Chicago and Sam Rosen, MSG Network
The John Davidson Award for Best Game Analyst: Eddie “Edzo” Olcyzk, NBC/Versus. I put Olcyzk in the Conference Finals category last year and I’m wondering why. He did a fantastic job during the Olympic hockey tournament. He’s always on top of trends. He also can predict how a review will go. Does a tremendous job on Blackhawks games for Comcast SportsNet Chicago as well. He’s not quite at J.D. level, but he’s getting there. His excellent work in the Olympics and during the Stanley Cup Final solidified this award.
Conference Finals: Daryl Reaugh, Fox Sports Southwest and Ray Ferraro, TSN
Honorable Mentions: Craig Simpson, CBC and Andy Brickley, NESN
Best Studio Show: NHL On The Fly, NHL Network. This has taken the concept of the old NHL2Night on ESPN2 and gone three steps better. It has the ability to do live cut ins to games. The one hour wrap up that’s seen throughout the mornings is so thorough, that there’s no need to read recaps on sports news websites. Brian Duff does a tremendous job in doing the highlights and introducing live action. Gary Green, Dennis Potvin, Kevin Weekes or whomever sits in the analyst chair does a bang up job. Just has MLB Tonight on MLB Network has become the destination for baseball news and highlights, the same can be said for NHL On The Fly.
Conference Finals: Scotiabank Hockey Tonight, CBC
Best Studio Host: Bill Patrick, NBC Olympics and Versus. Despite the fact that he’s stuck on the most boring studio show ever to be produced, Bill Patrick shines. He also did a bang up job for NBC during the Olympics as hockey intermission host. He does a very good nuts and bolts job at the Versus desk and he does so having to carry weak studio analysts Keith Jones and Brian Engblom. Versus has greatly improved its game presentation, the next thing is to improve the studio.
Conference Finals: Ron MacLean, CBC and Brian Duff, NHL Network
Honorable Mentions: Kathryn Tappen, NESN and James Duthie, TSN
Best Studio Analyst: Mike Milbury, NBC/CBC/NESN. Controversial pick. Yes, he’s said some head scratching things (i.e., pansification), but if you look beyond that, Milbury is not just a Don Cherry-wannabe, he actually makes sense. During the Olympics, he and Jeremy Roenick made for some very good TV. On CBC, he bullies Pierre LeBrun too much for my taste, but when you go beyond the head scratching, headline-making comments, he can be an actual analyst who can break down plays and look for upcoming trends. Does he go out of his way to make controversial comments? In my mind yes, but he’s also being genuine and not trying to be outrageous.
Conference Finals: Kelly Hrudey, CBC and Gary Green, NHL Network
Honorable Mentions: Gord Kluzak, NESN and Darren Pang, TSN
Best Rinkside Reporter: Elliote Friedman, CBC. The man is constantly working hard for scoops and uses Twitter to provide background information on stories. He’s a very good listen during games. Plus, he’s never intrusive.
Conference Finals: Charissa Thompson, Versus and Scott Oake, CBC
Honorable Mention: Bob Harwood, Versus
Best Game Coverage: TSN. I give this to TSN which has jumped over CBC this year. And while CBC usually gives you no-nonsense coverage without silly cutaways, the presentation looked old to me this season. TSN’s pictures were clearer, sharper and the production was usually spot on. Listening to Pierre McGuire aside, TSN’s games were done very well.
Conference Finals: NBC and Versus
Honorable Mentions: CBC and NESN
Most Improved Game Coverage: Giving this to Versus. Much better this year. Replays were crisper and from the right angle. Versus did a very good job improving the production of its games. And it leads us to:
Most Valuable Network: Versus. It started the season poorly getting into a dispute with DirecTV causing it to lose access to millions of potential viewers. But after six months of not having access, the two parties got together and finally, fans of the NHL were able to see the games. It also lead to higher ratings which continued throughout the playoffs and set records for both the network and the league. In addition, the NHL was happy with the treatment it was receiving from Versus. And with the momentum, Versus seems to finally have developed its signature show with The Daily Line.
Rookie of the Year: Jeremy Roenick, NBC. Started his work during the Olympics, JR has the potential to be an excellent analyst. After Game 6, JR broke down, getting emotional knowing what the Blackhawks win meant to the city of Chicago. He also loved saying, “VIKINGSTAD” during the Olympics despite mispronouncing it. My hope is that NBC makes Mike Milbury and Jeremy Roenick a regular occurrence during NHL games next season.
Conference Finals: Kevin Weekes, CBC and Charissa Thompson, Versus
Worst Play by Play: I’m giving Jack Edwards of NESN a break this year and giving this to Joe Beninati of Comcast SportsNet Mid-Atlantic. I’m not doing this based on my opinion, this is based on the number of complaints from fans whenever he appears on Versus. Bruins fans don’t like him. Flyers fans don’t like him. Rangers fans don’t like him. The fans who like him are Capitals and Alex Ovechkin fans. I personally don’t have a problem with him, but I’ve received comments like, “I hate when Joe Buttafuoco is on Versus.” “I can’t stand him especially when he praises Ovechkin (he calls Ovechkin’s games, he’s going to praise him).” “Beninati is a screamer.” They really don’t hold up for me, I think Joe is fine, but based on the high number of fan complaints, I put him here this year.
Worst Host/Analyst/Rinkside Reporter: Pierre McGuire, NBC/TSN. This man is on too much for my tastes. He adds nothing. He says nothing. He does nothing. All McGuire does is take up space. Very rarely does he add insight from ice level. Instead, he’ll say something like, “No goal, Edzo” to which Olcyzk will reply, “We know, Pierre.” That’s stellar analysis. And when he does on-ice interviews, the subjects whether it be a coach or player will not give anything we don’t already know. McGuire needs to be removed from broadcasts next season. Maybe that elusive GM job will pop up and we the viewers will be spared from his claptrap.
Worst Studio Show: Hockey Central, Versus. Despite having an excellent host in Bill Patrick, the show is dragged down by the worst format and extremely boring analysts in Keith Jones and Brian Engblom. There have been times when Versus brings in guest analysts, but they fall victim to the same format that causes viewers to change the channel to soft core pornography to wake up. I give Versus credit for doing Hockey Central throughout the Stanley Cup Final, but the coverage has to improve. The show is killing viewers.
Most Bizarre Moment: Jack Edwards’ speech when the Boston Bruins clinched a playoff spot. This season, Jack did not cackle like a vampire or compare a Bruins win to the Revolutionary War, but there were times when Jack made you scratch your head like this moment when the Bruins finally solidified a postseason berth during a game against the Carolina Hurricanes. It was classic Jack.
Jack waxed poetic after a Bruins playoff win by quoting “The Wreck of The Edmund Fitzgerald“, but I don’t have video so I can’t post it. Needless to say, only Jack Edwards would attempt and actually get away with it.
And that concludes our 2nd Annual NHL TV Awards.
Let’s do linkage today. Trying to get links done earlier so you may have noticed the Primetime and Late Night Viewing Picks up at around 8 a.m. I try to do them before I go to bed and schedule them to publish at 8 a.m. so that leaves me free to the links in the morning and other work in the afternoon. So far, so good. Let’s do the links now.
From USA Today, Michael McCarthy writes that the NFL is going to charge fans to gain access to the Super Bowl field after the game. And it’s not going to come cheap.
Michael Hiestand of the Nation’s Newspaper says this year’s Sugar Bowl didn’t rate as well as last year’s game, but there are reasons for that.
Mike Reynolds of Multichannel News reports that Tennis Channel is filing an FCC carriage complaint against Comcast.
Brian Stelter and Brad Stone of the New York Times write about TV’s push into 3-D and that includes ESPN.
Joe Flint of the Los Angeles Times wonders if consumers will be as enthusiastic about 3-D as TV programmers are.
In lieu of not having The Five from WEEI.com anymore (I’ve been told the feature has been canceled), we’ll move to getting Len Berman’s Top Five from That’s Sports. We’ll link to this every day, but unlike Kristine Leahy’s feature, there’s no video.
Brent Cunningham of the Columbia Journalism Review talks with the New York Times’ Alan Schwarz about his uncovering about the impact of concussions in the NFL.
Ken McMillan of the Hudson Valley Times Herald-Record writes that the New York Knicks and Rangers will both appear on free TV twice this month.
Laura Nachman says an upcoming Philadelphia media luncheon will have a sports theme.
Dan Steinberg of the Washington Post’s DC Sports Bog has video of new DC NFL team coach Mike Shanahan being quite fascinated with TV sports reporter Lindsay Czarniak.
Jim Williams of the Washington Examiner says the media circus has already begun as Shananan is ready to take over the reins of the DC NFL team.
Jim looks at Peter Gammons’ debut on MLB Network today.
Tim Lemke gets some background on ESPN 3D.
Tim looks at the marketability of Washington Wizards star Gilbert Arenas in the wake of his locker room gun incident.
Sarah Talalay in the South Florida Sun-Sentinel looks at the Florida Marlins new road uniforms.
Barry Horn of the Dallas Morning News has Rodney Harrison picking the Eagles over the Cowboys this weekend.
Barry discusses Peter Gammons’ debut on MLB Network today.
David Barron has some news and notes.
Ed Sherman from Crain’s Chicago Business isn’t enthusiastic about ESPN 3D.
Phil Rosenthal in the Chicago Tribune says ESPN and Discovery are trying to sell viewers on 3-D.
Tom Hoffarth of the Los Angeles Daily News pokes fun at ESPN 3D.
Tom writes an obituary for the late Angels TV voice Rory Markas who died yesterday.
Tom remembers the late Rory Markas in his blog.
Tom also has Vin Scully remembering Markas.
Tom says Peter Gammons and Bob Costas team up for the Baseball Hall of Fame announcements today on MLB Network.
Mike DiGiovanna of the Los Angeles Times has the obituary for Markas.
Diane Pucin of the Times says the Angels have a tough decision to make in the wake of Markas’ passing.
Jim Carlisle of the Ventura County Star also writes about Markas’ passing.
Lyle Spencer of MLB.com also has a story on Markas.
William Houston of Truth & Rumours reviews TSN’s production of last night’s World Jr. Hockey Championships gold medal game.
Chris Byrne of the Eye on Sports Media has a profile of Fox Sports director Artie Kempner who will be on loan to NBC Sports this weekend.
The Big Lead looks at the feud between the snowboarding community and USA Today Olympics writer Christine Brennan.
Joe Favorito says the Baseball and Pro Football Halls of Fame may have to extend invitations to broadcasters, bloggers and possibly fans to vote for future elections as newspapers dwindle.
In honor of Team USA winning the gold medal at the IIHF World Junior Hockey Championships last night, Puck The Media’s Steve Lepore dusts off a classic Jack Edwards moment from last year’s Bruins-Canadiens game in Montreal.
One last link and this has nothing to do with sports. If you’re new to Twitter or thinking of whom to follow, Vanessa Grigoriadis of Vanity Fair has some of the “Tweethearts” who have carved their own niches on the site. I particularly follow Julia Roy, whom I met at Blogs with Balls, and Felicia Day who is part of the beloved “Whedonverse“.
That’s it for the links. Off to do some work now.
Let’s do linkage for today. I’m debating on whether to cover the UFL game between Florida and New York at Hartford, CT. I have a press credential, but I’m thinking I have so much to do right now. Not sure right now. I’ll know more later.
In any event, let’s bring you some links.
John Ourand and Tripp Mickle of the Sports Business Journal report that ESPN has won South American media rights for the 2010 and 2012 Olympics. Harbinger of things to come perhaps?
Jim Romenesko at the Poynter Institute says Steven A. Smith is returning to the Philadelphia Inquirer as a columnist.
Writing for the Indiana University National Sports Journalism Center, Dave Kindred tells us his approach on writing a sports column.
Christina S.N. Lewis of the Wall Street Journal looks at the auction of the old Pontiac Silverdome.
Darren likes the stock plan being offered to Boise State fans.
The New York Times’ Richard Sandomir says the New Jersey Nets are trying to find their fans in the most unorthodox places.
Pete Dougherty of the Albany Times Union writes that Time Warner Cable is going to produce live pre and postgame shows for Siena basketball.
Pete has the NFL TV schedule for Week 10 in New York’s Capital Region.
Pete updates the college football TV schedule.
Pete likes the fact that Sean McDonough and Bill Raftery are being assigned to the Northeastern-Siena game next week.
The Washington Examiner’s Jim Williams talks with Matt Millen about making his NFL Network debut tonight.
Sarah Talalay of the South Florida Sun-Sentinel writes that Miami is making a pitch to host the World Cup in either 2018 or 2022.
Barry Horn in the Dallas Morning News says the Cowboys employee who was paralyzed in the team’s training facility bubble collapse earlier this year will speak out for the first time on local TV tonight.
Mel Bracht of the Daily Oklahoman isn’t thrilled about Versus giving Chad Ochocinco a weekly platform.
Crain’s Chicago Business’ Ed Sherman writes that the NFL has moved the Bears-Vikings game in Week 11 to the national doubleheader slot.
Ed adds that tonight’s Bears-49ers game is still not widely accessible.
William Houston in Truth & Rumours writes that figure skating in Canada gets a new website.
And William reviews Wednesday’s Rogers Sportsnet’s interview of Mike Danton, the former St. Louis Blues player, who was jailed for trying to hire someone to kill his agent.
The Big Lead has the video of the woman who was in the center of the Steve Phillips affair speaking to Good Morning America.
The Big Lead also has the first known picture of Jim Nantz’s girlfriend.
Chris Byrne of the Eye on Sports Media notes that ESPN has helped the University of Georgia set a very unique record this football season.
The Sports Media Watch notes that NFL viewership has hit its highest level in two decades.
SMW looks at NASCAR’s ratings this season.
Joe Favorito looks at former Olympian Jeremy Bloom forging a trail for social change.
Steve Lepore of Puck The Media has the CBC press release announcing the new Hockey Night in Canada iPhone app.
Cameron Frye is spearheading a campaign to get NESN’s Jack Edwards on Twitter. You go, girl!
And here’s Kristine Leahy of WEEI.com with today’s edition of The Five.
That’s all for now.
I can’t believe that I have not done an NHL TV Awards since I started this blog. I’ve done this for the NFL and College Football. An NHL TV Awards is long overdue. I’ll do this in the same format as the previous awards. This season, thanks to NHL Network, I was able to see CBC’s Hockey Night in Canada as well as TSN’s Wednesday Night NHL as well as NBC’s and Versus’ coverage so this will include the networks both in the US and in Canada. Let’s get started.
The Dan Kelly Award for Best Play-by-Play: Mike “Doc” Emrick, NBC/Versus. This award is named after one of the greatest all-time voices to call an NHL game. Google Dan Kelly to find out more. Doc is the best play-by-play man in the NHL, bar none. He was inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame this season and for good reason. Does he get overly excited at times? Yes, but that shows his enthusiasm for hockey. On off days, Doc will go see a minor league hockey game, he’s that dedicated to the sport. He’s right in his element calling the Stanley Cup Finals. It was a travesty during the ESPN/ABC years when Gary Thorne called the finals. While Thorne is good, he’s not in Doc’s league.
Conference Finals: Jim Hughson, CBC and Gord Miller, TSN
Honorable Mentions: Chris Cuthbert, TSN; Joe Beninati, Versus/Comcast SportsNet Mid-Atlantic; Mark Lee, CBC
The John Davidson Award for Best Game Analyst: Craig Simpson, CBC. The award named after J.D. for the great work for MSG Network, Fox, CBS and NBC. Simpson was on the main team with Jim Hughson this season for good reason. A former coach and player, Simpson was able to note trends before they happened a sign of any good analyst. He and Jim Hughson jelled this season quite well and CBC’s decision to put them on the Stanley Cup Finals this season replacing the legendary Bob Cole was totally justified.
Conference Finals: Marc Crawford, CBC and Ed Olcyzk, NBC/Versus
Honorable Mentions: Daryl Reaugh, Versus/Fox Sports Southwest; Ray Ferraro, TSN; Andy Brickley, Versus/NESN
Best Studio Show: Scotiabank Hockey Tonight, CBC. Hosted by Ron MacLean, this show is one of the better pregame shows in sports. There are features, interviews and plenty of debate. This is done quite well. I missed watching this show during the playoffs until I found a backdoor way to see the Stanley Cup Finals and was able to watch this throughout the series.
Best Studio Host: Ron MacLean, CBC. Ron has been the host of CBC’s Hockey Night in Canada since 1987 and is a very comfortable fit on hockey games. He has won numerous Gemini Awards in Canada, the equivalent to our Emmy Awards. Plus, he deserves hazard pay for standing next to Don Cherry for Coach’s Corner throughout his tenure on CBC. Ron is smooth and certainly knows his hockey. In addition to hosting the NHL for CBC, he’s also been a studio host for the network’s Olympic coverage. One of the better hosts in North America, period.
Conference Finals: James Duthie, TSN and Bill Patrick, Versus
Best Studio Analyst: Kelly Hrudey, CBC. When he does the analysis on the West Coast games for Hockey Night in Canada or does Behind the Mask when Coach’s Corner is off, Kelly provides excellent analysis. He also provides a different perspective than many other analysts. He can provide humor and be serious when necessary.
Conference Finals: Mike Milbury, NBC/CBC/NESN and Darren Pang, TSN/NBC
Honorable Mentions: Bill Clement, Rogers Sportsnet/NHL Network; Keith Jones, Versus
Best Rinkside Reporter: Elliotte Friedman, CBC. Has shown in just a few short years he can cull information with the best of them. Works hard to get his stories and has made some good connections.
Conference Finals: Lindsay Soto, Versus/Fox Sports West; Scott Oake, CBC
Honorable Mention: Chris Simpson, Versus
Best Game Coverage: CBC. It’s done this for years. Its game presentation is very good. It’s a no-nonsense approach that works. The production is well done. Replays are right on time and show the correct angle practically all of the time.
Conference Finals: TSN
Best Debuts (tie): The I-Desk, CBC/CBC and TSN game coverage picked up in the US by the NHL Network.
First the I-Desk. This was a very nice addition to CBC’s coverage. During the Conference Finals and Stanley Cup Finals, co-hosts Jeff Marek and Scott Morrison manned an online postgame show at CBC.ca giving us highlights, analysis, postgame interviews and live chats. And it was made available in the US which was extra nice.
The NHL Network increased its live game coverage by picking up the Hockey Night in Canada doubleheaders every Saturday as well as TSN’s Wednesday Night Hockey games. This was a joy to watch and allowed me to dump the NHL Center Ice package in favor of just watching games off NHL Network. Great pickups and I hope NHL Network continues this next season.
Worst Play-by-Play: If you know this blog, you’ll know how much I get on Jack Edwards’ case. I’ve had to watch him as a Bruins fan for the last few years. For the last two seasons, he’s been the lone voice of the Boston Bruins on NESN. For some strange reason, this past season, Jack has decided to go over the top. The most notorious call, his cackling like a vampire when Milan Lucic hit the Flyers’ Randy Jones in Philadelphia.
Yes, Jack bleeds black and gold, but there’s no need to cackle like a vampire. And two more, Jack criticizing the Montreal Canadiens jerseys during the Shawn Thornton-Alex Henry fight.
And he goes off on the jerseys at the end of the game. I just shake my head.
Jack was a very good reporter when he was at WJAR in Providence and for two channels in Boston as well as ESPN. What happened to him? No one else comes close in this category
Worst Studio Analyst: Brian Engblom, Versus. The man constantly says things that make no sense. How he has work over some of the better analysts like Darren Pang is a mystery to me. Versus could use Neil Smith or someone of Barry Melrose’s caliber, but unfortunately, Versus still has a ways to go on its studio show.
Conference Finals: P.J. Stock, CBC
Most Overrated Studio Host/Rinkside Reporter: Pierre McGuire, NBC/TSN. The Inside the Glass feature is actually pretty good. But Pierre seems to be on too much for my tastes. He is on to the point of overexposure. He’s a main analyst for TSN. I see him at the World Junior Hockey Championships for TSN. He’s at the NHL Winter Classic for NBC. He’s the intermission host for NBC during its Game of the Week coverage. He’s rinkside for both NBC and TSN. I need to get away from Pierre McGuire. Why do you think I went out of my way to find a backdoor site to watch CBC’s coverage of the Stanley Cup Finals? I had to avoid listening to Pierre. He’ll also be on for both NBC and CTV for the Olympic hockey tournament. This is not a good thing for hockey fans. I was rooting very hard for Pierre to get the Minnesota Wild GM job so I would no longer have him on my TV. Oh well.
Worst Game Coverage: Versus. This network has improved over its time with the NHL. However, replays are often the wrong angle. Sometimes replays are fuzzy and not clear. There’s no consistent announcer teams. Mike Emrick works only a limited schedule for Versus until the playoffs. The network mixes and matches its teams. Then during the Stanley Cup Finals, it actually delayed its postgame coverage so it could hype other programming. This is not how you treat your signature programming. Versus has a long ways to go to gain the trust of NHL fans. The ratings for the NHL on Versus are going up, but the trust has to be there and right now, fans don’t trust Versus yet.
Worst Move: CBC allowing its Hockey Night in Canada theme to be purchased by CTV. For 40 years, CBC used its great hockey theme, lovingly known up north as Canada’s second national anthem for Hockey Night in Canada. However, the network licensed the fee from its original owner, Dolores Claman. The parties got into a dispute over money and when CBC decided not to pay her asking price, CTV swooped in and reportedly paid over an estimated $1,000,000 for the rights in perpetuity, ensuring that CBC would never use it again. The theme was then incorporated into TSN’s coverage and CBC went ahead with a contest to develop a new theme for Hockey Night in Canada. Hockey fans across Canada were shocked to hear the news.
And those are your NHL TV Awards for the 2008-09 season.
Time to give you your Friday megalinks. Again, we begin with the Weekend Viewing Picks.
The Kentucky Derby is the prime event with tomorrow being the first Saturday in May. NBC has the actual race at 6:20 p.m. with coverage beginning at 4. ESPN has several races from the undercard starting at noon. If you want to get a head start on Kentucky Derby coverage, Bravo has the Kentucky Oaks at 5 p.m. today.
The NBA Playoffs finally finish the first round this weekend and also begin the Conference semifinals. Game 7 of the epic Celtics-Bull series is on Saturday night with TNT picking up coverage at 8. If there’s a game 7 of Atlanta-Miami, ABC will have it at 1 p.m. Sunday. ABC will definitely have Game 1 of Dallas-Denver at 3:30 p.m. Sunday.
The NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs are in the Conference semifinal round as well. On Saturday, NBC has Game 1 of Pittsburgh-Washington at 1 p.m. Versus takes Game 2 of Chicago-Vancouver, Saturday night at 9. Then on Sunday, NBC will air Game 2 of Anaheim-Detroit at 2 p.m. and then that night, Versus takes Game 2 of Carolina-Boston at 7:30.
Plenty of baseball on the national airwaves. Fox has regional coverage of three games including the Mets visiting the defending World Championship Philadelphia Phillies. The game start at 3:30 p.m., note the special start time. MLB Network will have Oakland at Seattle, Saturday night at 9. WGN picks up the White Sox at Texas, Saturday night at 8, then on Sunday, it will carry the Cubs hosting Florida at 2:20 p.m. TBS has Red Sox-Rays, Sunday at 1:30 p.m. and the ESPN Sunday night game will be White Sox-Texas at 8 p.m.
NASCAR races under the lights Saturday at Richmond. Fox has it at 7 p.m.
The PGA Tour with a top heavy field including Tiger Woods and Phil Mickelson has the Quail Hollow Championship. CBS and Golf Channel share coverage throughout the weekend starting at 1 p.m.
The full Weekend Viewing Picks can be seen here.
Now to the links.
USA Today’s Michael Hiestand talks with Tom Durkin who will call his 9th Kentucky Derby for NBC.
Chris Byrne of the Eye on Sports Media has some tips for watching this Saturday’s Derby.
CNBC’s Darren Rovell asked his readers to rename Jenny Craig’s entry for the Derby. Darren likes a new online ad featuring Novak Djokovic for a tennis racket. And Darren wonders if looks helped in the NFL Draft.
The Sports Media Watch feels that cable does not deserve to show Game 7 of the Celtics-Bulls series.
Maury Brown from The Biz of Baseball says Fox Sports Wisconsin has extended its rights deal to show Milwaukee Brewers games past the current 2012 deal.
Ben Grossman of Broadcasting & Cable says boxing needs good numbers for the Manny Pacquaio-Ricky Hatton PPV fight this Saturday.
Thomas Umstead of Multichannel News writes that NFL Network and Comcast are continuing to talk past a deadline that would removed the channel from the cable provider’s lineup.
East and Mid-Atlantic
Chad Finn of the Boston Globe talks with NESN Bruins announcer Jack Edwards who has become a favorite in the blogosphere for his extreme homer calls.
Michael S. Schmidt of the New York Times looks at Selena Roberts’ new book on Alex Rodriguez.
Bob Raissman from the New York Daily News says Mets manager Jerry Manuel is a media manipulator.
From the New York Post, Phil Mushnick goes after the Yankees for spinning the empty seats at their new stadium.
Pete Dougherty of the Albany Times Union says David Wells has the potential to be a good MLB analyst.
Ken Schott of the Schenectady Gazette gives his Stanley Cup Conference Semifinal predictions.
The Philadelphia Inquirer says an ad taped by the late Harry Kalas before his death has been re-edited and will be shown on TV this weekend only. Peter Mucha of the Inquirer says Bruce Springsteen used Harry’s voice in a concert at the old Spectrum this week.
This week, the Baltimore Sun fired 61 staffers Ray Frager who was a regular link on the Friday megalinks. Ray bids farewell to his readers. In his blog, Ray mentioned he’ll still be writing about the sports media in another venue and we hope to continue linking to him here.
Jim Williams of the Washington Examiner says NASCAR fans have some Friday night action to watch. Jim writes there’s plenty of good baseball on TV this weekend. And Jim says ESPN will have pre-Kentucky Derby coverage starting at noon on Saturday.
I’ve been called away from the office so I’ll finish the megalinks later.
Because work was busy in both the home and regular office, I could not do links today. Plus, I worked until 4 a.m. today and got a late start out of the house so I felt behind the 8 ball until I got home.
Let’s do some links now and also catch up on some press releases later.
Newsday’s Neil Best who’s on a light blogging schedule this week says ESPN threw the West Coast a bone with its new 10 p.m. PT SportsCenter.
Diane Pucin of the Los Angeles Times looks at ESPN’s West Coast debut on Monday.
Richard Sandomir of the New York Times says CBS’ Clark Kellogg raised some good points during the Final Four, but needed to complete his thoughts.
Jack Bell of the Times is impressed with Fox Soccer Channel.
CNBC’s Darren Rovell says many DVR’s and TiVo’s missed recording “One Shining Moment” because of the NCAA Championship overrun. Darren says Debbie Phelps’ new book might not be a best seller. Darren gives us a preview of his new CNBC documentary, “As Seen on TV”. And Darren gets on EAS for an inaccurate ad.
Shannon Shelton of the Detroit Free Press has Big Ten Commissioner Jim Delany criticizing TV partners CBS and ESPN for anti-Big Ten bias. That’s a new one. Maybe the Commish wants to put all of the conference’s game on the Big Ten Network.
Tom Hoffarth of the Los Angeles Daily News tells us the name of the poem that former UCLA coach John Wooden was reading in the “G” spot that aired Monday night during the NCAA Championship.
Pete Dougherty of the Albany Times Union says the North Carolina blowout of Michigan State in the NCAA Championship cost CBS some viewers Monday night. Pete also has the schdule of Masters coverage on cable and network TV.
Barry Horn of the Dallas Morning News says the Metroplex did not greet the NCAA Men’s Championship with open arms. Barry writes the overnight rating for Monday’s Championship Game was the third lowest in history.
Mel Bracht of the Daily Oklahoman feels ESPN unfairly picked on Courtney Paris right after Oklahoma’s loss in the NCAA Women’s Final Four on Sunday.
The Sports Media Watch says NBC saw “The Tiger Effect” on Sunday even though Tiger Woods was not in the Houston Open. Paulsen has some ratings news and notes from the weekend. SMW has the weekend overnight ratings. And SMW says the NCAA Championship Game hit a record low for the fourth time in this decade.
Bob Raissman of the New York Daily News writes that Yankee officials need to do something about the net that obstructs the camera high above plate beore the new Stadium opener next week.
Ken McMillan in the Hudson Valley Times Herald-Record writes that the Yankee Stadium debut last weekend drove the ratings for YES.
In the Washington Times, Tim Lemke profiles new Washington Nationals TV analyst Rob Dibble. Tim likes the new MLB.TV Adobe Flash player for the most part.
Jim Williams in the Washington Examiner says baseball continues to be called by some great announcers across the country.
Roger van der Horst of the Raleigh News & Observer tells us that Time Warner continues to shut out most of their North Carolina customers from MASN.
How about some more cable TV-regional sports network disputes? Tom Jones in the St. Petersburg Times says Verizon Fios and Knology customers can’t see Tampa Bay Rays games on Sun Sports because both companies don’t want to pay Sun’s price.
Here’s another dispute. Patti Arnold from the Grand Junction (CO) Daily Sentinel says 24 Colorado Rockies games won’t be seen locally because the cable company won’t pay for them.
Bob Wolfley of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel writes that a former Brewer will join Fox Sports Wisconsin’s pre and postgame show.
Drew Olson of OnMilwaukee.com speaks with new Brewers radio announcer Cory Provus.
The Right Field Bleachers blog talks with new Fox Sports Wisconsin Brewers field reporter Telly Hughes who replaces Fang’s Bites fav Trenni Kusnierek.
Susan Slusser from the San Francisco Chronicle tries to decipher the Comcast SportsNet California conflicts between the Oakland A’s and Sacramento Kings.
Paul Smalera of The Big Money from Slate.com says MLB Network is a success because it learned from the NFL Network’s mistakes.
The 38Cliches blog describes listening to broadcasting hack Glenn Geffner and also thought MLB Network didn’t come through on Opening Day.
Robin Berger of TV Technology looks at the technological advances in televising baseball this season.
Maury Brown at the Biz of Baseball has an update on MLB’s silly and archaic blackout policy.
Del Milligan of The Ledger in Lakeland, FL tells us to sit back and enjoy The Masters this week.
Ed Sherman in Crain’s Chicago Business says Sergio Garcia might be doomed in The Masters.
Alan Pergament of the Buffalo News wonders what exactly Brian Engblom was talking about Monday night on Versus.
Chris Zelkovich of the Toronto Star says CBC is pining its hopes on Vancouver to boost its NHL playoff ratings with the Maple Leafs apparently out of the postseason.
Comcast Executive Vice President David Cohen replies to an Op-Ed piece by NFL Network El Jefe del Mundo Steve Bornstein in the Philadelphia Inquirer.
W. Scott Bailey of the San Antonio Business Journal writes that ESPN will move the Alamo Bowl from its traditional late December slot to January 2, 2010.
Ryan White from the Oregonian writes about the bidding for the Portland Trail Blazers’ over the air TV rights.
Percy Allen of the Seattle Times writes about the first day of the Emerald City’s sports radio war.
That’s going to do it for the Tuesday links.
Ok, I’m at the home office and I’ve been waiting to do a couple of things. I’ll try to sneak in a couple of links here.
I’m also going to sneak in two more links from the Sports Business Journal.
John Ourand writes about ESPN’s construction of their new Los Angeles headquarters.
And John joins Tripp Mickle to write a story about the US Olympic Committee’s continued attempts to get a devoted amateur sports channel on cable.
Steve Lepore at Puck The Media has part one of an excellent interview with NESN’s Jack Edwards. You may be surprised at what Jack has to say about ESPN. Steve mentions that the NHL on NBC fell below a 1.0 rating for the first time this season.
The fearless leader of Boston Sports Media Watch, the great Bruce Allen, has an update on the voting for Worst Boston Sports Column.
Adam Rose of the Los Angeles Times says several of the paper’s sportswriters were honored by the Associated Press.
CNBC’s Darren Rovell looks at the official sponsors for both the Yankees and Mets for stadium signage.
Ryan Saghir of the Orbitcast satellite radio blog explains why XM listeners will hear MLB games and why Sirius listeners will not.
Greg Sandoval of CNET talks with MLB Advanced Media CEO Bob Bowman on the reason why MLBAM dumped Microsoft’s Silverlight technology for online steaming of live games after just one season.
Sox & Dawgs has a clip of ESPN hot chick Amy K. Nelson talking with your 2008 American League MVP Dustin Pedroia.
Christopher Bryne of the Eye on Sports Media blog says Michigan State winning tonight’s NCAA Championship game against North Carolina is not going to make anyone who’s lost their job feel any better.
Laura Nachman says Philadelphia native Jayson Stark of ESPN is a best selling Amazon author.
That’s it for now. I’ll be back later with your grade of tonight’s 24 episode.
Ok, time to provide you with the Part 2 of the Friday megalinks after Part I was done this afternoon. Not only that, I can also provide you with updates from the links that I had provided earlier.
But let’s pick up where we left off.
Marc Katz of the Dayton Daily News talks with Dayton native Jon Seibel who’s holding his own on ESPN Radio.
Michael Zuidema from the Grand Rapids (MI) Press writes that Fox NFL analysts Brian Billick and Jimmy Johnson don’t think it’s unrealistic for the Detroit Lions to go 0-16 this season.
And Bob Wolfley of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel say Billick and Johnson still like the Packers’ chances this season.
Shannon Ryan has the weekend viewing recommendations for Chicagoans in the Tribune.
Ted Cox of the Chicago Daily Herald says ESPN.com’s Mayne Street is one of the reasons why the internet is ruining the world. That’s a bit harsh. Perhaps Ted needs to get away from his computer and go to the Mosquito Coast.
Dan Caesar of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch says there’s a battle over the radio rights to the St. Louis University Billikens men’s basketball team.
Scott D. Pierce of the Deseret (UT) News writes that fans can only watch BYU at Utah on the mtn. and nowhere else.
Jay Posner of the San Diego Union-Tribune says the world’s oldest goff tournament is breaking a new barrier, showing all four rounds on US cable TV. Jay also has the ratings from the San Diego market for last weekend.
John Maffei of the North County Times talks with CBS/CBS College Sports/Sports Radio USA college football/NFL analyst Dan Fouts about his multitasking this season.
Jim Carlisle in the Ventura County Star wonders if the BCS and the Rose Bowl could be cable exclusives come 2010.
The Los Angeles Times’ Diane Pucin says Anaheim Angels owner Arte Moreno is subtly using his own sports radio station to throw his team’s hat into the ring for free agent Manny Ramirez.
Over to the crosstown Los Angeles Daily News where Tom Hoffarth writes about LA Kings and Anaheim Ducks fans’ unhappiness over Fox Sports West’s excessive use of rinkside cameras during telecasts. Tom has extensive media notes including news about Hazel Mae joining the MLB Network. Tom says USC football voice Pete Arbogast managed to talk himself out of doing fill-in work for USC basketball. Good job, Pete. And Tom reviews the week in blogging.
John Ryan of the San Jose Mercury News says 49ers GM Scott McCloughan gave some cryptic answers when being interviewed this week.
Gary Washburn from the Seattle Post-Intelligencer writes that sports is getting less of a presence on local TV newscasts.
William Houston of the Toronto Globe and Mail writes that the internet is adding a huge wrinkle in the sports broadcasting business.
The Toronto Star’s Chris Zelkovich says much of Ontario province won’t be able to watch the Raptors this Sunday thanks to a conflict between TSN and Rogers Cable.
Now to some more links from the regions I already did in the first part of today’s megalinks.
A couple of things from The Big Lead. First, it reports that NBC Sports is expected to layoff employees at its website and the New York television office. And Yahoo! Sports has widened its lead over ESPN.com as far as hits and traffic are concerned.
Christopher Byrne of the Eye on Sports Media ran a semi-live blog from the Nashville Predators-Anaheim Ducks game.
Kevin Downey of Media Life Magazine says sports TV is no longer recession-proof.
Steve Lepore of Puck the Media has decided to make following Jack Edwards’ calls a regular feature and he has the video of Jack going over the top during Thursday’s Habs-Bruins game.
Daniel Frankel of Variety writes that the new Ski Channel launches on Christmas Day on two prominent services.
And that will do it.