Ok, let’s get this done. Lots of linkage from yesterday and today. I need to catch up. Let’s go.
Check out your Weekend Viewing Picks for the sports and entertainment programming for Saturday and Sunday.
Mike McCarthy of USA Today wonders if there’s a glass ceiling for women in sports television.
Former Comcast SportsNet New England anchor Jackie Pepper has her take about being a woman in sports television.
Back to USA Today, Michael Hiestand looks at the casting call for the new Broadway play focusing on the Magic Johnson-Larry Bird rivalry and friendship, produced by the same people who did Lombardi on Broadway.
Hiestand writes that Fox Sports will be using some of its own talent for its UFC debut next week.
Paul Thomasch of Reuters talks with CBS head honcho Les Moonves about the network’s SEC deal.
Emma Bazilian at Adweek notes that DirecTV’s NFL Sunday Ticket promotion over the summer paid off in droves in the third quarter of this year.
Phil Swann of TV Predictions has his take on DirecTV’s subscriber spike.
The talk of the sports blogosphere the last couple of days has been the Deadspin story by A.J. Daulerio on a former ESPN executive who’s filed a lawsuit against an employee denying several displays of odd behavior including masturbating in Erin Andrews’ presence.
Congratulations to former ESPN reporter Amy K. Nelson who leaves the Alleged Worldwide Leader for SBNation. Deadspin has that story as well.
Aaron Kuniloff and David Mildenberg from Bloomberg Businessweek co-author a story on ESPN’s Longhorn Network and its ramifications on college sports.
Rick Horrow and Karla Swatek of Businessweek talk about the alternatives to the NBA and how the league’s TV partners have lost money airing the games.
Rick Chandler of NBC’s Off the Bench explains how an ESPN.com story mushroomed into the Occupy Tebow movement.
At ESPN Front Row, network spokesman Mike Soltys notes that the Alleged Worldwide Leader has new policy on employees writing books, something that got Bruce Feldman into trouble earlier this year.
Jason Dachman from Sports Video Group looks at a new MSG Network mobile app that brings live high school sports to your cell phone.
Ariel Sandler at the Business Insider Sports Page has video of two Canadian news anchors going crazy when their sports anchor is named the winner of a $2.5 million lottery on live TV.
CNBC’s Darren Rovell reviews the results of having two In-N-Out Burgers shipped frozen across country.
Sports Media Watch says TNT’s replacement programming for the NBA’s canceled games on what would have been Opening Night of the season failed miserably in the ratings.
Joe Favorito wonders if the Bellator Fighting Championships can co-exist with UFC in Mixed Martial Arts.
Ben Koo of Awful Announcing says Brent Musburger got the job done in his cameo on an ABC sitcom.
Dave Kohl at The Broadcast Booth says it’s the subject matter, not the personalities that drive ratings for sports radio stations.
SportsbyBrooks notes that ESPN Radio hack Colin Cowherd sat with the beautiful people at last week’s Stanford-USC game.
Marisa Ingemi of In Lax We Trust reports that the National Lacrosse League has a deal in place with CBS Sports Network to air games in 2012-13.
East and Mid-Atlantic
Chad Finn from the Boston Globe speaks with former ESPN MMA Live host Jon Anik who will work straight for UFC now.
The Worcester Telegram & Gazette’s Bill Doyle talks with Comcast SportsNet New England Celtics analyst Tommy Heinsohn who’s cooling his heels during the NBA lockout.
Newsday’s Neil Best notes that WFAN’s Boomer & Carton show has really taken off in the ratings.
Neil has more with Boomer and Carton that he could not provide in his feature story.
Scott Shifrel and Bill Hutchinson of the New York Daily News write that former ESPN executive Keith Clinkscales is claiming that he is the victim of a smear campaign.
Phil Mushnick of the New York Post wonders where’s the outrage on the Detroit Lions for what he feels was mocking Tim Tebow’s religion.
Justin Terranova of the Post has five questions for Cleveland Browns franchise assassin and ESPN analyst Eric Mangini. No, I’m not bitter about his tenure as Browns coach.
Justin previews MLB Network’s special on the 1986 Postseason.
Pete Dougherty in the Albany Times Union hears from SEC on CBS analyst Gary Danielson on LSU-Alabama.
Keith Groller of the Allentown (PA) Morning Call also has quotes from Danielson regarding this year’s Game of the Century.
In the Washington Post’s DC Sports Bog, Dan Steinberg looks at a failed lobbyist’s efforts to get DC NFL team owner Dan Snyder to change the brand name.
And Dan has Joe Theismann’s thoughts on the whole John Beck/Rex Grossman QB controversy in Washington.
Monica Hesse of the Post says some of the items from the now-defunct ESPN Zone in DC are being sold at auction.
Jim Williams of the Washington Examiner finds out ESPN’s plans for this weekend’s Breeders’ Cup.
Sean Cartell of SEC.com has Verne Lundquist’s thoughts on LSU-Alabama.
Brian Reynolds in the Tuscaloosa News says ESPN is giving LSU-Alabama the Super Bowl treatment.
David Barron from the Houston Chronicle says both CBS and ESPN are pulling out all of the stops for LSU-Alabama.
John Kiesewetter in the Cincinnati Enquirer notes that former Bengals QB Carson Palmer will be profiled on Sunday’s edition of The NFL Today.
Michael Zuidema of the Grand Rapids (MI) Press says ratings for the World Series were good, but the games showed that instant replay was greatly needed.
Bob Wolfley of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel notes that former Brewers radio voice Corey Provus now has a new gig with the Twins.
Ed Sherman in Crain’s Chicago Business has his winners and losers in sports business and media.
Ted Gruber in Chicago Now feels ESPN gets a big fail in covering Mixed Martial Arts.
Joe Christensen of the Minneapolis Star Tribune says Corey Provus takes over for former Minnesota Twins voice John Gordon who retired this year.
Paul Christian in the Rochester (MN) Post-Bulletin talks about Provus’ hiring by the Twins.
Dan Caesar from the St. Louis Post-Dispatch feels the national media undersold Albert Pujols’ achievement in Game 3 of the World Series.
Jeff Call of the Deseret (UT) News says ESPN’s partnership with BYU has been beneficial for both parties.
John Maffei in the North County Times notes how CBS obtained LSU-Alabama for primetime.
Jim Carlisle of the Ventura County Star says it’s rare to get a #1 vs. #2 matchup in the regular season.
Jim says Brad Nessler is ready for primetime when Thursday Night Football begins next week.
Jim has his weekend viewing picks.
Tom Hoffarth of the Los Angeles Daily News says we’re in a Golden Age of sports documentaries.
Tom has more in his blog.
Bruce Dowbiggin of the Toronto Globe and Mail says Hazel Mae is officially back with Rogers Sportsnet.
The Canadian Sports Media Blog which broke the news of Hazel’s return discusses what her duties will be.
That’s going to do it for the megalinks today.
I appreciate you still visiting Fang’s Bites as I’ve been trying to keep the site updated for you. Linkage has been scarce since Sunday. Been busy helping my sister with her son and then I was out for most of the morning.
Time to provide you with some linkage.
Michael Hiestand of USA Today says Fox Sports will be using infra-red technology during the World Series.
The Nielsen Wire blog notes the MLB teams that topped their local markets in the TV ratings.
Kurt Helin of Pro Basketball Talk looks at Bryant Gumbel’s controversial commentary about NBA Commissioner David Stern.
Matt Yoder of Awful Announcing says while Gumbel’s “plantation overseer” comment is what’s driving controversy, it’s Stern himself who’s stirring the pot.
Robert Littal at Black Sports Online is uncomfortable with Gumbel’s commentary.
Lauren Schutte of the Hollywood Reporter has a look at Stephen Colbert’s mock ad on the NBA lockout.
George Winslow from Broadcasting & Cable says the Big 12 Conference has chosen a company to help develop mobile apps for the iPhone and Android platforms.
Mike Reynolds at Multichannel News writes that ESPN scored a key demographic win for Monday Night Football.
Anthony Crupi of Adweek says low ratings for the MLB League Championship Series isn’t providing much hope for the World Series.
Anthony also looks at the breakdown of talks between the NFL and Time Warner Cable for the NFL Network.
Glenn Davis of SportsGrid says while people are talking about Bryant Gumbel’s comments about NBA Commissioner David Stern, there’s another unflattering analogy about him floating around the internet today.
Joe Gisondi of the Indiana University National Sports Journalism Center has some suggestions on how to write a proper lead and how to avoid writing clichés.
Brandon Costa from Sports Video Group says Fox Sports Midwest is trying to set itself apart among the outlets covering this year’s World Series.
CNBC’s Darren Rovell looks at the two Lone Star State businessmen behind the Texas Rangers.
To Pro Hockey Talk and Mike Halford who says the Winnipeg Jets are blown away by the local media coverage particularly today in Toronto as compared to when they were the Atlanta Thrashers.
Pete Dougherty of the Albany Times Union says the byes in NFL Week 7 are leaving Fox with scraps.
Keith Groller of the Allentown (PA) Morning Call writes that Fox’s Joe Buck doesn’t care if you think he’s biased for one team or another.
From the Washington Post’s DC Sports Bog, Dan Steinberg notes that former DC NFL Team quarterback Joe Theismann isn’t in favor of John Beck starting this week over train wreck Rex Grossman. This is why Joe was such a bad analyst.
Jim Williams of the Washington Examiner says ESPN on ABC correctly covered Dan Wheldon’s death and subsequent tribute on Sunday.
To the Houston Chronicle where Anna-Megan Raley shows us how Texans tight end Joel Dreessen took down an NFL Network analyst.
Mel Bracht of the Daily Oklahoman says the Fox Sports crew is looking forward to airing its 14th World Series.
Mel notes that college football topped the local ratings.
John Kiesewetter of the Cincinnati Enquirer says the local CBS affiliate won’t carry Carson Palmer’s Oakland Raiders debut on Sunday.
Ed Sherman of Crain’s Chicago Business has some sports TV notes including the World Series ratings expectations.
Ed also compares the fates and fortunes of the Cubs and Cardinals as the World Series begins tonight.
Dan Caesar of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch notes that both Joe Buck and Tim McCarver are almost back at full strength after separate physical ailments.
Tom Hoffarth of the Los Angeles Daily News writes that Fox won’t be displaying a live strike zone graphic as TBS did during its MLB Postseason coverage.
Bruce Dowbiggin at the Toronto Globe and Mail says like it or not, Don Cherry’s influence on Canadian hockey cannot be measured.
Sports Media Watch notes that CBS finally broke out of its NFL ratings losing streak in Week 5.
SMW says in NFL Week 5, Fox saw a ratings downtick.
Steve Lepore at Puck The Media notes that Versus/NBC Sports Network will begin airing Notre Dame hockey games this season.
And that will do it for links today.
Let’s do some links for you now.
First, Sports Business Journal’s editorial team talked with ESPN and NFL executives on the decision to remove Hank Williams, Jr.’s open from Monday Night Football.
Michael Hiestand of USA Today looks at the ratings from the weekend in sports television.
Mike Lopresti of USA Today writes about Turner Sports’ Ernie Johnson’s tough month.
Mike McCarthy of USA Today notes that Hank Williams, Jr.’s new song rips ESPN, Fox News and everyone else in his path.
Greg Wyshynski of Yahoo’s Puck Daddy notes that several ex-NHL fighters plan a response to CBC’s Don Cherry who called them out last week.
Sports Illustrated’s Richard Deitsch says former Red Sox manager Terry Francona got the job done for Fox in Games 1 & 2 of the American League Championship Series.
Lindsay Powers of the Hollywood Reporter says ESPN’s Monday Night Football game between Chicago and Detroit is the network’s 2nd highest rated game of the year.
Mike Reynolds from Multichannel News writes that the NBA’s national and local TV partners are now scrambling to find other programming in the wake of the cancellation of the 1st two weeks of the regular season.
Todd Spangler of Multichannel News says YES Network is not happy over Cablevision’s live iPad app.
Adweek’s Anthony Crupi writes that ESPN/ABC and TNT will have to find a way to replace almost a billion dollars in ad revenue if the entire 2011-12 NBA season is lost.
Andrew McMains from Adweek looks at Phoenix Suns star Steve Nash spending the NBA lockout as a pitchman.
Media Life Magazine’s Toni Fitzgerald says the ALCS and NLCS helped to take a chunk out of the network ratings on Monday.
Gary Parrish of CBS Sports says the Big East feels ESPN definitely had a hand in its current inner turmoil.
Glenn Davis of SportsGrid notes a sign in Detroit that made fun of an ESPN NFL analyst on ESPN’s Monday Night Football.
Jason Dachman from Sports Video Group both broadcasters and production companies know they’re going to take a hit with the NBA lockout.
CNBC’s Darren Rovell gets Twitter reaction from real people about the impact of the NBA lockout on their lives.
Richard Goldstein of the New York Times remembers the late ABC, CBS and Fox Sports director Joe Aceti who worked many of sports’ biggest events.
Newsday’s Neil Best feels Joe Buck’s voice is coming back.
Neil says Terry Francona shows potential if he wants to be a full-time TV analyst.
Pete Dougherty at the Albany Times Union has the Week 7 college football TV schedule.
From the Washington Post, the DC Sports Bog’s Dan Steinberg has an old picture of Tim Brant and former DC NFL team QB Joe Theismann from a 1980 media guide.
David Teel from the Newport News (VA) Daily Press has Virginia and Virginia Tech athletic officials refuting what Boston College’s athletic director said about ESPN influencing the ACC’s decision to add Pittsburgh and Syracuse.
David Barron from the Houston Chronicle has some local football TV ratings.
John Kiesewette of the Cincinnati Enquirer says the Bengals hit their season ratings low on Sunday.
John says Fox Sports Ohio will pick up a good number of Xavier basketball games this season.
Eric Lacy of the Detroit News says preliminary ratings show both the Tigers and Lions pulled big numbers on Monday.
Jo-Ann Barnas of the Detroit Free Press goes behind the scenes with ESPN’s Monday Night Football at Ford Field.
The Free Press has three questions for Fox Sports Detroit MLB analyst Rod Allen.
Bob Wolfley at the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel says NBA broadcasters are officially on lockout watch.
Bob looks at the national numbers for the Green Bay-Atlanta Sunday Night Football game.
Ed Sherman at Crain’s Chicago Business hopes to have the NBA back by Christmas. Good luck.
Joe Flint of the Los Angeles Times’ Company Town blog says NBA labor strife doesn’t help its local and national TV partners.
The Los Angeles Times notes that the USC Trojans have announced their basketball TV schedule.
The Canadian Sports Media Blog asks if Don Cherry went too far.
Sports Media Watch notes that Game 1 of the National League Championship Series hit its lowest ratings ever.
SMW has some various overnight ratings.
Steve Lepore of Puck The Media has the final numbers for the NHL opening night on Versus.
Steve also has last Friday’s ratings for the NHL’s Europe game on Versus.
Matt Yoder at Awful Announcing has the video of Joe Buck’s call of Texas’ walkoff win against Detroit in Game 2 of the ALCS on Monday.
And that’s where we’ll end things for today.
Today, I was all over the place going in between two offices, heading to see a client and running through Northern Rhode Island for no good reason. But I’m trying to do some megalinkage after not being able to do them last week so let’s not delay any further. Check out the Weekend Viewing Picks for sports and primetime recommendations.
Now to the linkage.
USA Today’s Mike McCarthy says ESPN’s Michelle Beadle has quickly become one of the network’s most popular personalities.
With this being the one year anniversary of the abortion known as “The Decision”, ESPN Ombudsman Kelly McBride of the Poynter Institute wonders if the network has learned anything after running the program.
Mike Reynolds from Multichannel News notes that the new Time Warner Sports regional sports network has made two important hires.
Guest blogging for the Indiana University National Sports Journalism Center, Joe Gisondi tells aspiring writers that going for the offbeat can sometimes lead to some of the best stories.
Jason Dachman of Sports Video Group writes that ESPN continues to use the MLB Home Run Derby as a guinea pig for new innovations.
CNBC’s Darren Rovell notes that a year after “The Decision”, LeBron James still remains a pariah among sports fans.
David Goetzl of MediaPost says ESPN is still dealing with the fallout from “The Decision.”
The Business Insider’s Sports Page provides the best and worst of the first 30 days of Captain Blowhard’s Grantland site.
Sports Media Watch tells us that the ratings for the Women’s World Cup are up significantly from the previous event from four years ago.
SMW also has some ratings news and notes.
Joe Favorito says Victor Martinez may not have been selected for the last American League All-Star Game roster spot, but it wasn’t due to his creative campaigning.
East and Mid-Atlantic
Chad Finn from the Boston Globe compares and contrasts the Hub’s two regional sports networks, NESN and Comcast SportsNet New England.
At SB Nation Boston, Bruce Allen of Boston Sports Media Watch looks at the fill-ins on local sports radio and he remembers the late Boston Herald columnist and celebrated boxing writer, George Kimball.
Bill Doyle of the Worcester Telegram talks with Fox Sports MLB analyst Eric Karros about the All-Star Game.
Richard Sandomir of the New York Times says the new season of HBO’s Curb Your Enthusiasm broaches some painful baseball memories.
Phil Mushnick of the New York Post lectures everyone who thinks the Roger Clemens perjury trial is a waste of time.
Justin Terranova of the Post writes about Bob Costas and Al Michaels calling tonight’s Mets-Giants game on MLB Network and SNY.
I hope this next story goes viral. From the Washington Post’s DC Sports Bog, Dan Steinberg writes former quarterback Joe Theismann telling a local radio station how he got hoof and mouth disease playing in the CFL. Why does that seem appropriate for Theismann?
Jim Williams talks about Al Michaels and Bob Costas teaming up for MLB Network.
Barry Jackson in the Miami Herald has former Hurricane quarterback Gino Torretta calling out Ohio State fans for forcing ESPN’s Kirk Herbstreit to move out of his native Columbus.
David Barron of the Houston Chronicle discusses the Longhorn Network making some on-air hires.
Mel Bracht of the Daily Oklahoman notes that Tulsa native Dari Nowkhah will be the main host on ESPNU for the upcoming college sports season.
Mel has his sports media news and notes.
Jason Lloyd of the Akron Beacon Journal looks at “The Decision” one year later and where it leaves native LeBron James.
Michael Zuidema of the Grand Rapids (MI) Press has Joe Buck raving about the Detroit Tigers.
In the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, Bob Wolfley has Fox’s Tim McCarver discussing the Brewers’ All-Star first baseman Prince Fielder.
Crain’s Chicago Business’ Ed Sherman has his winners and losers in sports business.
Dan Caesar of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch talks with Fox’s Tim McCarver who will be at the mic for his record 20th All-Star Game on Tuesday.
John Maffei at the North County Times looks at the HBO Curt Flood documentary that airs the night after the All-Star Game.
Jim Carlisle of the Ventura County Star writes about Al Michaels accepting Bob Costas’ invitation to call a game on MLB Network.
In his notebook, Jim writes that the Home Run Derby is watched by the MLB All-Stars as well.
Tom Hoffarth of the Los Angeles Daily News talks with Fox’s Joe Buck.
Tom has Joe willing to step aside to have Vin Scully call the World Series one more time.
Tom has his news and notes.
Bruce Dowbiggin of the Toronto Globe and Mail says the doctor with a connection to Tiger Woods and pleaded guilty to drug smuggling charges raised the ire of ESPN Radio hack Colin Cowherd.
The Canadian Sports Media blog notes that IndyCar makes two stops this summer in the Great White North and TSN will take Versus’ coverage of both events.
And with that and it being early Saturday morning, I’ll end the megalinks here.
The upheaval in the NFL Network Thursday Night Football booth has been well documented. Now that Brad Nessler and Mike Mayock are officially the new announcing team, we look at the people NFL Network have assembled over the years. Let’s hope that this team can remain in place through the end of the current NFL TV contract.
2006 – Bryant Gumbel/Cris Collinsworth
2007 – Bryant Gumbel/Cris Collinsworth
2008 – Bob Papa/Cris Collinsworth
2009 – Bob Papa/Matt Millen
2010 – Bob Papa/Matt Millen/Joe Theismann/Alex Flanagan
2011 – Brad Nessler/Mike Mayock/Alex Flanagan (I’ll say Alex returns this year)
So you can see there has been hardly any consistency in the booth with changes coming practically every year but 2006-07. Here’s hoping that this year’s version of Thursday Night Football will work for NFL Network. I’m rooting for Brad and Mike.
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.
I got up early this morning (not that you care) and it now enables me to do some links for you. Some good stuff out today.
First USA Today’s Mike McCarthy, we learn that Joe Theismann claims he has not been told about any changes to the NFL Network Thursday Night Football booth. Earlier this week, Sports Illustrated’s Richard Deitsch reported earlier this week that Mike Mayock is replacing Theismann and Matt Millen. Thanks to Marcus Vanderberg at SportsNewser for the link.
Back to Marcus at SportsNewser, he tells us that the Los Angeles Times is explaining why it chose to print the homophobic slur Kobe Bryant used against a referee in an NBA game this week.
CNBC’s Brian Beers has three cities to where the Sacramento Kings should relocate and they don’t include Los Angeles.
Kathleen E. McLaughlin of Global Post says an economic summit in Communist China led officials to ban several TV channels including Golf Channel.
There’s a controversy brewing in Philadelphia over a she said/she said story that was originally posted in the Naked Philadelphian blog where Sarah Madson, the wife of Phillies pitcher Ryan Madson was quoted as saying she hates Phillies fans and they’re rude and she won’t live in the city in the offseason. Deadspin picked up the story and the story boomeranged from there.
But Kyle Scott from the Crossing Broad blog did some investigating and found that the writer of the post, Laura Goldman has a rather checkered past. While Mrs. Madson has not denied the quote, the Phillies issued a statement that Goldman never identified herself as a reporter, nor did she record the conversation with Madson. For her part, Goldman said she did identify herself not just once but several times.
Kyle has written a post for CBS Philadelphia on the whole matter and again, he questions Goldman’s credibility. The whole question on bloggers and ethics is coming up again. I’m not sure about Goldman’s actual credentials based on her rather shady past, but there is a standard to uphold on approaching a potential interviewee. If she did identify herself as a reporter, that’s one thing, but according to people who attended the event, there was no notebook or tape recorder and there is a claim that Goldman cornered Madson and would not let her go. This story is apparently not going away any time soon.
Mike Reynolds from Multichannel News says the NBA’s TV partners are looking forward to high ratings for the postseason.
Mike says Comcast SportsNet Chicago saw record ratings for the Bulls during the regular season.
Mike writes that the NHL on Versus saw increased viewership for the first night of the postseason.
Thomas Umstead of Multichannel writes that NBA.com is going to provide increased coverage for the NBA Playoffs.
Chris Tribbey of Home Media magazine says 3-D TV’s future depends on sports programming.
At SB Nation Boston, Bruce Allen of Boston Sports Media Watch takes a look at the Bruins and Celtics playoff TV coverage.
Richard Sandomir of the New York Times takes a look at MSG Network Knicks analyst Walt Frazier’s extensive wardrobe.
Phil Mushnick of the New York Post reports that Bob Papa and Gus Johnson are “neck-and-neck” for the NFL Network Thursday Night Football gig.
The Gaston (NC) Gazette reports that the local Fox Sports Radio affiliate has picked up the rights to the Charlotte 49ers basketball and football broadcasts.
Chris Bahn of Arkansas Sports 360 notes that the University of Arkansas is reaping the benefits of ESPN choosing its spring football game to air today.
Barry Horn of the Dallas Morning News writes that the Fox/Big 12 deal could look frugal down the road and Barry also talks with CBS’ Bill Macatee about his infamous Tiger Woods interview at The Masters last week.
Speaking of that interview, the Golf Channel’s Bradel Chamblee takes Tiger to task for being smug with Macatee.
Nathan Olivarez-Giles of the Los Angeles Times writes extensively on the success of NBA.com’s video streams and how it looks to make a mark in social media.
Nathaniel Popper of the Times reports on the Fed’s crackdown on three online poker websites on Friday.
Ben Koo of Awful Announcing says while ESPN reported on the FBI’s shutdown of the poker betting websites, it did not mention the money it took in from each site for advertising.
The Hawaii Reporter says the NBC Sports Group will be covering a rowing and canoeing event at the islands next month.
Sports Media Watch notes the NBA on TNT wrapped up its most viewed regular season.
SMW says the same goes for the NBA on ESPN.
SMW says ABC had its highest-rated and most viewed season for the NBA as well.
Joe Favorito says Vancouver has untapped potential for the NHL and MLS.
And we are now done for the day. If there’s any breaking news, I’ll be here to cover it.
Last week, I could not do the megalinks as I was traveling in between two offices. Yesterday, I seemed to get that out of the way so it appears that I’m free to do the megalinks today. I hope I can give you a full set.
As usual, there’s a full set of Weekend Viewing Picks for sports and primetime programming. You can take them or leave them. Choose wisely.
Now to the linkage.
The St. Petersburg Times’ Eric Deggans writing for the Indiana University National Sports Journalism Center applauds the new ESPN policy.
Jessica E. Vascellaro and Matthew Futterman of the Wall Street Journal report that Comcast wants to become a bigger player in cable sports through its NBC division.
Emma Bazilian of Adweek says NBC Universal’s new CEO wants to make Versus a true challenger to ESPN.
Austin Karp of the Sports Business Journal notes that the NHL’s ratings on Versus are making gains as the playoffs begin.
A story from Richard Deitsch of Sports Illustrated grabbed a lot of buzz yesterday. Richard reports that NFL Network’s Draft guru Mike Mayock would replace analysts Joe Theismann and Matt Millen in the Thursday Night Football booth and Gus Johnson might replace play-by-play man Bob Papa.
Mike Reynolds of Multichannel News says having both the Knicks and Rangers in the postseason should raise the profile of MSG Network this Spring.
ESPN’s Front Row blog looks at the network’s preparation for the NBA Playoffs.
Marcus Vanderberg of SportsNewser notes that ESPN NBA analyst Jalen Rose returns from his suspension this Saturday.
CNBC’s Tom Rotunno says interest in the New York Knicks in the NBA Playoffs is driving the secondary ticket market.
All Access notes that a San Francisco country station has flipped to FM sports talk.
Alan Bastable of Golf Magazine talks with CBS’ Jim Nantz and Nick Faldo about last Sunday’s exciting final round of The Masters®.
To the Biz of Baseball where the great Maury Brown says MLB’s revenues have grown significantly from 1995 through 2010.
Bob’s Blitz has the video of Comcast SportsNet New England’s Joe Haggerty pushing a Canadiens fan out of camera range during a live shot after last night’s Habs-Bruins game.
The Crossing Broad blog isn’t a fan of Comcast SportsNet Philadelphia superimposing ads behind the goal during the Sabres-Flyers series. I noticed Comcast SportsNet Mid-Atlantic doing this too during the Rangers-Caps game on Wednesday.
The great Steve Lepore from Puck The Media likes NHL Network’s pregame efforts for the playoffs, but notes they could do better.
Sports Media Watch says Versus had good ratings for the opening night of the NHL Playoffs.
SMW tells us that Versus hit an all-time viewing high for the 2010-11 NHL regular season.
SMW says NBC had a mixed bag for its NHL regular season viewership.
SMW writes that ESPN will update its graphics and opening theme for the NBA playoffs.
Joe Favorito explains why he’s no longer writing for The Huffington Post. I’ve been hearing strange dealings going on there since it started a relationship with AOL earlier this year.
Brian Packey at Awful Announcing says the voices of the Sacramento Kings gave a tearful goodbye as they signed off following what could be their last game in California’s capital.
Dave Kohl at Major League Programs talks about MLB celebrating Jackie Robinson Day today.
East and Mid-Atlantic
Chad Finn of the Boston Globe writes on how 98.5 The Sports Hub’s Toucher & Rich scored a big coup by getting Charlie Sheen on their station after his Boston show earlier this week.
Bill Doyle from the Worcester Telegram & Gazette talks with Boston Bruins radio voice Dave Goucher.
Richard Sandomir from the New York Times discusses the new endorsement guidelines for ESPN personalities.
Stuart Elliot from the Times says ESPN and MasterCard are teaming up to produce a series on soccer that will be show in Latin America.
Phil Mushnick of the New York Post continues his vitriol against everybody and everything in sports television.
The Post’s Justin Terranova has five questions for MSG New York Rangers analyst Joe Micheletti.
Pete Dougherty of the Albany Times Union talks with MSG Rangers voice Sam Rosen.
Pete says the Rangers’ playoff opener on Wednesday scored well for MSG Plus.
Ken McMillan from the Middletown (NY) Times Herald-Record notes that Versus and NHL Network will air the IIHF World Hockey Championships.
Laura Nachman notes that a local sports radio personality will jumping on board with Comcast SportsNet Philadelphia for a midday gig.
Peter Van Allen of the Philadelphia Business Journal writes that Saturday is going to be a big day for the Delaware Valley sports fan.
Dan Steinberg of the Washington Post’s DC Sports Bog notes that the Capitals got big ratings in their playoff opener.
Jim Williams of the Washington Examiner also talks about the record ratings for the Caps.
Jim says with higher expectations for the Nationals, MASN’s ratings for the DC MLB team should rise with them.
Tom Jones of the St. Petersburg Times rightfully criticizes Pittsburgh personality John Steigerwald for his horrific column on Bryan Stow, the San Francisco Giants fan who was beaten into a coma by two Los Angeles Dodgers fans earlier this month.
Barry Jackson from the Miami Herald says by ESPN/ABC choosing the 76ers-Heat series over Knicks-Celtics proves the drawing power of LeBron James & Co.
In the South Florida Sun-Sentinel, ESPN’s Rachel Nichols pays tribute to a former boss.
Steve Gorten from the Sun-Sentinel says ESPNU will air three videos produced by the Miami Hurricanes’ website.
Nate Allen from the Helena (AR) Daily World says ESPN is in town for the Arkansas spring football game.
David Barron of the Houston Chronicle writes that Hall of Fame Astros broadcaster Milo Hamilton will be speaking about his colorful career at Texas A&M.
Mel Bracht of the Daily Oklahoman says a new era in Oklahoma Sooners broadcasting begins on Saturday.
Nice to have George M. Thomas of the Akron Beacon Journal in the megalinks again. He says fans without a rooting interest will have plenty of choices to watch in the NBA Playoffs starting tomorrow.
John Kiesewetter of the Cincinnati Enquirer discusses a new book on the 1961 pennant-winning Cincinnati Reds.
John says several well-known Cincinnati and national personalities were on hand last night to roast a local restaurant legend.
And John writes that from here on end, the Reds will be seen in high definition on Fox Sports Ohio.
Michael Zuidema from the Grand Rapids (MI) Press notes that a local lawyer by day also serves as minor league baseball team’s radio analyst by night.
The Indianapolis Star notes that last Sunday’s IndyCar race on Versus barely registered in the ratings opposite The Masters®.
Ed Sherman at Crain’s Chicago Business has some Windy City broadcast news and notes.
Ed says Notre Dame and Northwestern plan to meet on the gridiron again.
And Ed has this week’s winners and losers in sports business and media.
Will Buss of the Belleville (IL) News-Democrat says Fox Sports Midwest and AT&T U-Verse are haggling over 17 St. Louis Cardinals games.
Dan Caesar from the St. Louis Post-Dispatch says despite not making the playoffs, the St. Louis Blues still set a ratings record for Fox Sports Midwest.
Sam Mellinger at the Kansas City Star says with a new rights deal in hand, the Big 12 became a big money player.
John Maffei of the North County Times writes that San Diego State University is concerned that the Mountain West Conference is falling behind in national TV exposure.
Jim Carlisle of the Ventura County Star says the national NBA television analysts like the Lakers’ chances to repeat as champs this year.
In his notebook, Jim says The Masters® drew in the viewers.
Tom Hoffarth of the Los Angeles Daily News looks at how quickly Kobe Bryant’s homophobic slur transcended sports.
Jon Wilner from the San Jose Mercury News looks at the bidders for the Pac 12 TV rights.
George Schroeder with the Eugene (OR) Register-Guard says the Pac 12 is going to get rich very quickly thanks to some TV network.
Bruce Dowbiggin of the Toronto Globe and Mail says a throwaway radio comment had Winnipeg laying down the welcome mat for the Phoenix Coyotes.
And we will end the megalinks there.
2006 – Bryant Gumbel/Cris Collinsworth
2007 – Bryant Gumbel/Cris Collinsworth
2008 – Bob Papa/Cris Collinsworth
2009 – Bob Papa/Matt Millen
2010 – Bob Papa/Matt Millen/Joe Theismann/Alex Flanagan
2011 – Gus Johnson/Mike Mayock (speculated, not confirmed)
You can see there hasn’t been much consistency for NFL Network and even its production crew has turned over a couple of times in the process. To say NFL Network’s Thursday Night Football has been a work in progress would be an understatement, but it needs some consistency and a team that can be its signature as Al Michaels and Cris Collinsworth have been for NBC’s Sunday Night Football in the last two seasons.
This is what happens when I’m out of the office, news breaks and I need someone to point me in the right direction. Coming from the great Richard Deitsch at Sports Illustrated, NFL Network has apparently decided to do away with the Joe Theismann/Matt Millen analyst combo and chucked them in favor of one of the best analysts in football, Mike Mayock. I asked NFL Network’s PR department for confirmation, but was given an “NFL Network declines comment” response.
In the meantime, this would be most excellent news if this is true. Mayock has been with NFL Network from its inception as its Draft guru. He has surpassed Mel Kiper, Jr. and Todd McShay as the go-to guy for draft information.
And last year, Mayock received good notice for his work on NBC’s Notre Dame football broadcasts forming a very good team with Tom Hammond. In addition, the two worked one of NBC’s NFL Wild Card playoff games in January and again, Mayock received mostly positive reviews for his work.
If this is true, it would mean the end of a failed experiment in using two analysts on Thursday Night Football, a booth that has been retooled, reshaped and reworked since NFL Network got the package in 2006.
And Richard reports that NFL Network is also considering NFL on CBS voice Gus Johnson to replace Bob Papa. Now there was nothing wrong with Papa’s work on Thursday Night Football. He was always prepared and he meshed well with Cris Collinsworth in his first season on TNF, but then was saddled with Matt Millen in 2009 and then Theismann and Millen in 2010. Papa is a very good play-by-play man and deserves another network shot if indeed, NFL Network goes in another direction. I would have liked to have heard Papa and Mayock work together in 2011, but that appears not to be the case.
We’ll continue to monitor what has become a very interesting story.
With another regular season over, it’s time to hand out my awards for the best and worst in NFL TV. Lots of hardware to hand out. If you want to see past awards, you can check the inaugural, 2nd and 3rd annual awards.
Best Play by Play: I’m going to go Against the Grain this year. I could be obvious and go with Al Michaels again or even Jim Nantz, but I’m going to choose Gus Johnson, CBS. The man can rise to the occasion. He should be calling better games instead of the “E” game. But, he’s always assured of calling a game every week, but I hope CBS promotes him. As it has been pointed out, the Law of Gus Johnson means he’ll have something crazy happen like a Hail Mary or the famous Brandon Stokley play from last year. We’ll have an example coming up of the Law of Gus Johnson taking effect, but because of it, it means that he’ll have an exciting game and it means that there will be a scream, a “Ha! Ha!” or a moment that will be etched in our memories. Gus never disappoints. He gets Best Play by Play this season.
Best Game Analyst: Cris Collinsworth, NBC. I know many of you don’t like Collinsworth, but teamed with Al Michaels, he’s stepped up big time. Are there times when Collinsworth makes head scratching statements? Yes, absolutely, but he picks up trends, is right on top of plays and with Michaels, can tell how a replay review is going to come out. When Collinsworth was teamed with Joe Buck and Troy Aikman, he often had to play the contrarian, but with Al, he can concentrate on talking football and Cris does a very good job.
Best Studio Show: The Original Red Zone Channel, DirecTV. This is the best and only way to watch football. Just completed its 6th year and 102 shows, the Red Zone Channel bounces from game to game and quite effortlessly with host Andrew Siciliano. Red Zone Channel spawned its own knockoff, NFL RedZone, but the original is still the best and when there’s a dead moment, Andrew goes to highlights or discusses fantasy stats. The show is produced extremely well and nothing comes close.
Best Studio Host: Andrew Siciliano, DirecTV. Yes, Andrew is the best studio host. He knows just about every player who comes on the screen. He can do play-by-play when he has to and he weaves us from game to game with humor and funny one-liners. He’s done it for 6 seasons now. I just wish DirecTV produced a pregame show for the playoffs because it’s right about now where I miss having Red Zone Channel.
Best Studio Analyst: Steve Mariucci, NFL Network. Mooch has grown into a very good analyst and using his coach’s knowledge, can break down plays with the best of them. He’s also learned to come in quickly during highlights and get out. He’s very good on NFL Network’s GameDay Morning, NFL GameDay Highlights, NFL GameDay Final and Thursday Night Kickoff.
Most Valuable Network: NBC. Sunday Night Football won the primetime ratings every week it was on. It averaged 21.8 million viewers. When Dick Ebersol got NBC back into the NFL in 2006, this is what he envisioned, the number one primetime series and high viewership. He got it in spades this season. All NBC needs is a cable package and it very well could get that when Comcast takes over and the network is combined with Versus sometime this year.
The Gus Johnson Call of the Year: Considering the Law of Gus Johnson, I am now instituting this new award. Let’s go to Week 10, Houston and Jacksonville tied at 24 with 3 seconds left and the Jags have one more play. It’s a Hail Mary and you know what happens next. We even get a “HA! HA!” Classic Gus.
Best NFL Insider: Jay Glazer, Fox. He’s back after a one year absence. Sure, he has huge conflicts of interest training certain NFL players for mixed martial arts, then reporting on them, but he gets the scoops. The tapes he obtained showing teams knocking down gunners on the sidelines were just amazing. Great stuff.
Best Announcing Team: Jim Nantz and Phil Simms, CBS. They may not make headlines and Nantz isn’t someone to make controversy or make political statements like Al Michaels, but he’s a solid play-by-play man. Simms can see trends and isn’t afraid to go out on a limb, and he’s not afraid to admit he’s wrong when he makes a mistake. Nantz and Simms mesh well and you know they’re going to call a good game.
Most Improved Presentation: Football Night in America, NBC. Last year, I gave FNIA the Worst Studio Show Award. This year, it’s much better. Keith Olbermann is gone leaving Dan Patrick to do the highlights and that works out very well. Tony Dungy and Rodney Harrison have grown comfortable in their roles as studio analysts. I can do with one interview instead of the normal two from the game sites so I can watch more highlights. I’ve grown tired of Bob Costas’ act, but he’s still better than most of the broadcasters on TV and radio. The show is much better than last year.
Best Game Coverage: Sunday Night Football, NBC. The game production is one of the best and led by Fred Gaudelli and Drew Esocoff, I love how we just see football. There are no silly crowd cutaways and the games are done right for fans. Very rarely do we see mistakes during the production and NBC’s crew is one of the best. We see two teams on the field, but the one giving you the game is the third team that you don’t see. They’re working hard so you can enjoy the game.
Rookie of the Year: Mike Pereira, Fox. I don’t know why other networks haven’t done this before but Fox’s move to hire former NFL Director of Officiating Mike Pereira was a stroke of genius. Fox gave him similar resources to what he had in New York at the NFL offices and giving him the ability to cut in to discuss a controversial play. For a while, Pereira had predicted every replay review correctly. He did get one wrong, but that’s to be expected. Mike’s explanation of plays go so well that he’s a welcome addition to the games and he’ll be in the booth during the Super Bowl in Dallas for any replay reviews.
Most Touching Moment: Terry Bradshaw’s Tribute to Don Meredith, Fox. With someone else, this could have turned hokey and over the top, but with Terry Bradshaw, it turned out just right. Terry gave his heartfelt feelings on what Don Meredith’s passing meant to him along with some advice that Dandy Don gave to him just as he was about to go into television and he ended it by singing “Turn Out the Lights” and the lights did go out. Perfect.
Worst Play-by-Play: Joe Buck, Fox. I’ll get killed by my friends at Fox Sports PR for this, but Joe has really grated on me this season. He often takes the role of play-by-play man and analyst. He tries to make Troy Aikman agree with him and that is not his job. Throughout the season, he’s gotten worse and I really dread him calling Super Bowl XLV in February.
Worst Game Analyst: Joe Theismann, NFL Network. Here’s a guy who returned to the booth after two years in exile following his removal from Monday Night Football by ESPN. A disastrous guest stint for NBC in last year’s Wild Card playoff game should have been a clue as to what we would see this season. Joining last year’s Worst Game Analyst, Matt Millen and Bob Papa for Thursday Night Football, Theismann has tried to make up for two lost years by talking at every opportunity. He didn’t shut up. He talked too much and he interrupted both Millen and Papa quite often. He takes this award hands down. Theismann is awful. Bob Papa deserves hazard pay for having to endure Millen and especially, Theismann.
Worst Expression: “This Guy” by Jon Gruden, ESPN. I didn’t notice Gruden saying “this guy” when he first joined ESPN in 2009, but I’ve noticed it a hell of a lot this season. An example: “I’m telling you Jaws, this guy, Brett Favre is one hell of a player. This guy can play for me. This guy knows how to run this Minnesota Vikings offense. This guy can make things happen out there.” There were times he said, “This guy” twice in one sentence. He said it so often, I started a game on Twitter as to when in the first quarter he would make his first “this guy” reference. Most times, it would come in the first two minutes. And he said it so often, that partners Mike Tirico and Ron Jaworski picked up the habit. In fact, Cris Collinsworth has been known to sprinkle in a “this guy” of his own on Sunday Night Football as well. Here’s an example of Gruden saying “this guy.”
Worst Studio Host: Stuart Scott, ESPN. There’s no need for Stuart at the game site for Monday Night Football. Having two sets of studio crews for Monday Night Football is overkill. Just having Stuart at a game is complete overkill. I can’t watch him. Horrible.
Worst Studio Analyst: Michael Irvin, NFL Network. NFL GameDay Morning used to be entertaining, but this year, he made the show totally unwatchable. He yelled, he pounded the table, he made a very good analyst Marshall Faulk yell with him. Warren Sapp often had to yell to get his point across. The one week when Irvin wasn’t in the studio and Deion Sanders subbed for him, the show got back to its entertainment level. Someone has to tell Michael to tone it down.
Worst Studio Show: Monday Night Countdown, ESPN. Besides from C’mon, Man, I can’t watch this show. Two sets of studio crews are not necessary. Just have the crew originate from Bristol or from the game site, one or the other. There is no need for two. It’s too much talking.
Worst Game Coverage: Thursday Night Football, NFL Network. NFL Network brought in Artie Kempner, a Fox Sports director who did Super Bowl XLII to improve its game coverage. It still didn’t work. Just like last season, replays were late, they sometimes ran long causing us to miss the start of plays, and there were times when the audio sounded garbled. Maybe with Joe Theismann, that was a good thing, but you can’t have that. NFL Network does a great job with its studio shows, but for the game coverage, it’s terrible. I don’t understand it. I really can’t.
That will conclude our NFL TV Awards for this season.
I hope your holiday went well for you and Santa brought you the presents you desired.
We’re back with linkage today. Let’s get to it on this snowy Sunday.
On the USA Olympic site, noted Olympics writer Alan Abrahamson remembers great Olympics filmmaker Bud Greenspan who died yesterday.
The films of Bud Greenspan made me a huge Olympics fan. He was able find to stories that we didn’t see during television coverage. In addition, his films are the quintessential history of the Olympics on film. If you’re able to see his Olympic films on Showtime, do so. His films will give you so much inside the games.
Richard Sandomir of the New York Times writes about Greenspan’s life.
Mike Kupper of the Los Angeles Times has Greenspan’s obituary.
If I get motivated during this snowstorm, I’ll do some research on his films and post it here.
Milton Kent of Fanhouse looks at NBC’s plans in lieu of today’s postponement of the Minnesota-Philadelphia game.
Marcus Vanderberg of SportsNewser writes that former Cleveland Cavs coach Mike Brown becomes an ESPN analyst.
Bob Raissman from the New York Daily News says CBS’ Bill Cowher needs to address the coaching rumors on the NFL Today. He actually did today.
Newsday’s Neil Best recaps New York Islanders owner Charles Wang’s appearance on Sirius XM’s NHL Radio.
Bill Brink from the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette writes about the NHL Winter Classic and how the league, NBC and sponsors all got together to create a true alternative to college football on New Year’s Day.
Bob Cohn of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review says luck also plays a role in the NHL Winter Classic.
Dave Hughes of DCRTV.com writes in Press Box about MASN’s setback in North Carolina.
Dan Steinberg from the Washington Post’s DC Sports Bog says Thursday’s Penguins-Caps game did well on Thursday in DC.
Jim Williams of the Washington Examiner says look for broadband to take more of a foothold in sports in 2011.
Barry Horn of the Dallas Morning News talks with the extremely talkative Joe Theismann of NFL Network.
Pete Alfano of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram looks at ESPN’s plans for making the city its Super Bowl headquarters.
The Houston Chronicle’s David Barron looks at Laura “Seabiscuit” Hillenbrand’s new book, on former Olympian and World War II vet Louis Zamperini.
And David finds a CBS documentary on Zamperini that aired during the 1998 Olympics. It’s powerful viewing and I really recommend you watch it.
Joe Warmington of the Toronto Sun writes about CBC’s Don Cherry visiting Canadian troops stationed in Afghanistan.
Stephanie Wei at Wei Under Par notes that the PGA Tour and Sirius XM managed to eke out a deal before year’s end.
Sports Media Watch has its Holiday Weekend Ratings Predictions.
I’ll end it there. I have quotage to post.
Let’s do some Sunday links for you today. Good stuff to get to. Let’s get cranking.
Mike Reynolds from Multichannel News reports that DirecTV is rebranding FSN affiliates in Denver, Pittsburgh and Seattle.
Mike writes that NFL Network hit a season-low audience for Thursday Night Football, not reaching an average five million viewers for the first time in 2010.
Dan Fogarty of SportsGrid has Charles Barkley’s comments on Brett Favre’s alleged sexting of Jenn Sterger.
The Waterbury (CT) Republican-American says ESPN filmed a local Christmas display for Sunday NFL Countdown.
Neil Best of Newsday talks with actor Christian Bale who co-stars with Mark Wahlberg in the excellent movie, “The Fighter”.
Bob Raissman with the New York Daily News claims Jets coach Rex Ryan will become a media target if his team doesn’t beat the Pittsburgh Steelers today.
Once again, Dr. Doom and Gloom at the New York Post says everything in sports television is bad and all telecasts should go back to the old black and white days.
At the Washington Post’s DC Sports Bog, Joe Theismann discusses his role in “The Blind Side”.
To the Washington Examiner where Jim Williams talks with media lightning rod from earlier this year, Ms. Inez Sainz.
The Toledo (OH) Blade talks with ESPN’s Mike Tirico.
Bob Wolfley of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel says the Patriots are big favorites over the Packers according to one national NFL pundit.
Bob says the University of Wisconsin football team gets a big spread in ESPN the Magazine.
Tom Hoffarth of the Los Angeles Daily News wonders why Mark Cuban’s college football championship proposal is getting rejected.
Debbie Arrington of the Sacramento Bee writes that Sunday Night Football is the dominant NFL primetime package now.
John Daly at the Daly Planet says contrary to reports, Speed won’t be known as the NASCAR Network.
Sports Media Watch has its Weekend Ratings Predictions.
That will do it for today. Watch for the Sunday NFL pregame quotage throughout the day.
Since I’ll be away from any wireless technology this afternoon, I’m doing the megalinks now and will try to get as many as I can in before leaving the office for the day.
Let’s start now and I’ll provide some links I could not get to over the last couple of days.
USA Today’s Michael Hiestand has the ESPN announcing teams for the BCS games coming in January.
Mike McCarthy of USA Today notes that Versus will be rolling out a new daily NHL studio show to replace The Daily Line which went off the air last week.
Mike also talks with ESPN public relations executive Keri Potts who had to fight off a sexual assault while vacationing in Italy.
And Keri’s blog, A Fight Back Woman, which describes how she escaped is must reading not only for women, but for men as well.
Joe Posnanski of Sports Illustrated has some thoughts of Joe Morgan’s firing from ESPN.
Jon Lafayette of Broadcasting & Cable notes that lower revenues from ESPN caused parent company Disney’s fourth quarter-earnings to drop.
Fox Sports’ Brian Lowry is already fed up of seeing and hearing about the Miami Heat.
Marcus Vanderberg of SportsNewser speaks with Screamin’ Gus Johnson.
The Big Lead wonders if the upcoming ESPN book has already cost someone his job.
Sports Media Watch notes that ABC’s Saturday Night Football ratings tied a record low.
SMW has some news and notes.
CNBC’s Darren Rovell says Americans aren’t too enthralled about 3-D TV and to be honest, I’m not rushing out to buy a $5,000 TV set to wear glasses over my regular pair of glasses to watch an NFL game.
Darren notes that MLB now has an official cookie.
Joe Favorito says the New Jersey Devils’ work in the community off the ice is beginning to pay off for their brand.
Ben Koo at Awful Announcing notes that ESPN’s Lou Holtz has brought his quirky Dr. Lou character to a new Discover Card ad.
At Press Coverage, Dan Levy felt NFL Network’s Bob Papa deserved a medal for enduring a night with Joe Theismann and Matt Millen.
I also have a post on Joe Theismann’s pitiful performance on Thursday Night Football.
East and Mid-Atlantic
The always lovely Amalie Benjamin of the Boston Globe announced this week that she’ll no longer be covering the Red Sox for the newspaper, but remain with the Globe.
Chad Finn of the Globe says NESN has ended the Uri Berenguer experiment as co-host of NESN Daily.
At the Worcester Telegram & Gazette, Bill Doyle notes that WEEI’s morning team of John Dennis & Gerry Callahan are getting ready for their TV closeup starting on Tuesday.
Richard Sandomir of the New York Times wonders why it took so long for ESPN to jettison Joe Morgan from the Sunday Night Baseball booth.
Richard gets a rather terse statement from Morgan over ESPN dropping him.
Newsday’s Neil Best talks with Fox Sports’ Troy Aikman about the Cowboys’ new interim coach.
Dan Mangan of the New York Post notes that former Versus “Daily Line” co-host Jen Sterger finally met with the NFL regarding the Brett Favre sexting situation.
Phil Mushnick of the Post feels ESPN is wrong for trying to make us care about the Steelers’ James Harrison.
Justin Terranova of the Post speaks with ESPN’s Dick Vitale about St. John’s coach Steve Lavin.
Justin also has five questions for CBS’ NFL Today analyst Bill Cowher.
The New York Daily News’ Bob Raissman feels Jets coach Rex Ryan knows how to manipulate the media.
Pete Dougherty at the Albany Times Union has SNY’s college basketball schedule for this season.
Pete says Siena College has no qualms about putting its home basketball games on TV.
Ken McMillan of the Hudson Valley Times Herald-Record says SNY has made a couple of hires.
David Zurawik of the Baltimore Sun wasn’t a fan of Matt Millen and Joe Theismann in the NFL Network booth.
Dan Steinberg in the DC Sports Bog at the Washington Post notes that ESPN Radio hack Colon Cowherd did a character assassination on rookie Wizards guard John Wall.
Dan noticed that the NFL Network took on writer John Feinstein over the Donovan McNabb benching from two weeks ago?
I’ll end it here for now as I have to leave the office for a bit. I wanted to bring these to you now. I’ll have more coming later. Hopefully.
NFL Network returned Thursday with the 4th incarnation of its announcing team in five seasons. And to be honest, the official TV network of the National Football League which has done tremendously in producing original programming such as America’s Game, Top 100: NFL’s Greatest Players, NFL Game of the Week, NFL Replay, NFL Total Access, NFL GameDay Final and other shows, somehow falls short when it comes to live game production.
And the announcing teams starting with Bryant Gumbel and Cris Collinsworth in 2006 and 2007, Bob Papa and Collinsworth in 2008, Papa with Matt Millen last season and Papa, Millen and Joe Theismann have not been up to par with other network teams. While Papa is a drastic improvement over Gumbel, he’s been saddled with pedestrian partners, excepting Collinsworth with whom he forged a very strong team. But it only lasted one season after John Madden retired from Sunday Night Football. Now you have NFL Network bringing back Theismann whose brief one game stint on NBC during Wild Card playoff weekend was an out-and-out disaster.
NFL Network which had hired Theismann last year to be an analyst on its Playbook show decided to bring him back to game analysis this season and judging from Thursday’s Baltimore-Atlanta game, the pairing of Millen and Theismann may turn out to be a very bad one.
I was not a fan of Millen’s return to the booth last season and he’s proven to be a lightning rod among Detroit Lions fans who have still not forgiven him for his horrible stint as General Manager. And he’s taken to shouting to get his points heard, especially in the wake of working with Theismann.
To say Theismann is verbose is like saying an arsonist sets things on fire. There were several occasions where he could not wait for Bob Papa to finish his point and would talk over him to start an extremely long-winded analysis. Then he started to contradict Millen just for argument’s sake and that’s never good.
For his part, Millen stated the obvious and never spotted trends or challenged Theismann. He seemed to kowtow to the former Washington quarterback. To make matters worse, the two talked incessantly after every play. Millen would ask a rhetorical question only to have Theismann jump in and answer it. This got be tedious.
It’s never easy for NFL Network to jump into the season during Week 10 and try to hit the ground running. However, with a new production crew, there were some mistakes such as the audio not being synced properly with the video. There’s still time to correct the audio and video errors, but as for Theismann, it’s tough to teach an old dog new tricks.
Thursday Night Football on NFL Network returns this week with a matchup of 6-2 teams, the Atlanta Falcons hosting the Baltimore Ravens. Can’t ask for a better way to premiere an 8 game package of games. However, it also means the debut of motormouth analyst Joe Theismann who never passed the opportunity to talk into a microphone. With he and returning analyst Matt Millen together in the booth, play-by-play man Bob Papa may be lucky to get down and distance in before Theismann takes over.
We have a look at the particulars for NFL Network’s coverage this Thursday.
THURSDAY, NOVEMBER 11 — 8:00 PM ETBALTIMORE RAVENS AT ATLANTA FALCONS ON NFL NETWORKJoe Theismann Debuts on Thursday Night FootballDeion Sanders Sit Down Interview with Baltimore Linebacker Ray Lewis On Thursday Night Kickoff Presented by Sears Pregame Show at 6 PM ET“Your Weekend Starts Here”NOTABLE & QUOTABLE…
- NFL Network and NFL.com add a handful of new members to its Thursday Night Football coverage team. JOE THEISMANN joins play-by-play announcer BOB PAPA and analyst MATT MILLEN in the booth as a game analyst. KURT WARNER is a new analyst on Thursday Night Kickoff Presented by Sears from Los Angeles, along with host FRAN CHARLES and analysts STERLING SHARPE, JAY GLAZER, and JIM MORA.
- “It’s a wonderful opportunity for me to get back where I always wanted to be and (where I) spent so many years in the booth.” – JOE THEISMANN on joining the Thursday Night Football broadcast as a game analyst
- “Now we’re getting to see Joe Flacco open up his game personally, throw the football around a little bit more. I think the emergence of (Atlanta wide receiver) Roddy White in Atlanta has really taken Matt Ryan to another level.” – JOE THEISMANN on the development of quarterbacks Joe Flacco and Matt Ryan
- Thursday Night Kickoff analyst DEION SANDERS sits down for an interview with Baltimore Ravens linebacker RAY LEWIS, the #18 player on The Top 100: NFL’s Greatest Players during the pregame show at 6 PM ET on NFL Network.BALTIMORE RAVENS (6-2) AT ATLANTA FALCONS (6-2)
ANNOUNCERS: Bob Papa (play-by-play), Matt Millen and Joe Theismann (game analysts)PREGAME (6:00 PM ET): Thursday Night Kickoff
In Atlanta: Rich Eisen, Deion Sanders, Steve Mariucci, Marshall Faulk, Kara Henderson (on-site reporter); In Los Angeles: Fran Charles, Kurt Warner, Sterling Sharpe, Jay Glazer, Brian Billick, Jason La CanforaPRE-KICK (8:00 PM ET): Pre-Kick Show
Bob Papa, Matt Millen, Joe Theismann, Alex Flanagan, Rich Eisen, Marshall Faulk, Steve Mariucci, Deion SandersHALFTIME: The Halftime ShowRich Eisen, Deion Sanders, Steve Mariucci, Marshall Faulk, Kara Henderson
POSTGAME: Postgame ShowRich Eisen, Deion Sanders, Steve Mariucci, Marshall Faulk, Kara HendersonNFL Total Access Postgame ShowFran Charles, Jamie Dukes, Rod Woodson
WHERE TO WATCH: DirecTV – Channel 212 (SD/HD), DISH Network – 154 (SD/HD)Verizon – Channel 88 (SD) 588 (HD), AT&T U-Verse – 630 (SD) 1630 (HD)Check your local cable listingsNFL.com LIVE – live “look-ins” at select moments of game
NFL Mobile Live on Verizon WirelessLOCAL OTA SIMULCAST*: Baltimore: NBC Ch. 11 (WBAL)/Atlanta: MyNetwork Ch. 36
Thursday Night FootballNFL Network begins its fifth year airing the Thursday Night Football primetime package. NFL Network presents eight games in the key stretch of the season as teams jockey for playoff berths and seeding.This week, Thursday Night Football travels to Atlanta where the (6-2) Falcons host the (6-2) Ravens at the Georgia Dome in a battle of two of the top teams in the NFL. The matchup marks the first time that third-year quarterbacks JOE FLACCO (Baltimore) and MATT RYAN (Atlanta) will face each other. Both quarterbacks were first-year starters for their teams, and this season each ranks in the top 10 in passing yards.This season marks the debut of new game analyst JOE THEISMANN, who returns to the broadcast booth after a successful stint with ESPN from 1988 – 2006. Alongside Theismann in the booth will be BOB PAPA, who returns for his third year as the play-by-play announcer for NFL Network, and second-year game analyst MATT MILLEN. Additional newcomers include producer ED FEIBISCHOFF and director ARTIE KEMPER.RICH EISEN hosts NFL Network’s Thursday Night Kickoff from the stadium. Eisen, a two-time Sports Emmy nominee in the Studio Host category, is joined by fellow Sports Emmy nominee STEVE MARIUCCI, a former NFL head coach with the San Francisco 49ers and Detroit Lions who also served as Brett Favre’s quarterback coach in Green Bay; MARSHALL FAULK, who won a Super Bowl XXXIV ring with the Rams, earned 2000 NFL MVP honors and three Offensive Player of the Year awards (1999-2001) and has been selected to seven Pro Bowls; and DEION SANDERS, a two-time Super Bowl winner who was 1994 Defensive Player of the Year and an eight-time Pro Bowler who holds the NFL record with 18 career return touchdowns. Coverage also includes on-site reports from KARA HENDERSON, who begins her eighth season with NFL Network, and sideline reporter ALEX FLANAGAN, who is in her fifth season with NFL Network, first as a sideline reporter on Thursday Night Football.Additional coverage will be provided from NFL Network studios in Los Angeles with host FRAN CHARLES and analysts KURT WARNER, a two-time NFL MVP and a Super Bowl MVP quarterback; STERLING SHARPE, a five-time Pro Bowl selection and a 16-year veteran NFL broadcaster; JAY GLAZER, FOX Sports NFL insider and senior writer for FOXSports.com; and BRIAN BILLICK, former NFL coach with the Baltimore Ravens who won a Super Bowl in 2000. NFL Network insider JASON LA CANFORA will also provide the latest updates.NFL.com LIVE at 8:00 PM ET features live programming including live “look-ins” of Thursday Night Football, game highlights and instant analysis from NFL Network talent. From the NFL Network studios in Los Angeles, PAUL BURMEISTER, JAMIE DUKES, BUCKY BROOKS and MIKE MAYOCK provide expert analysis, commentary and fantasy information with contributions from Faulk, Mariucci and Sanders. Henderson and STEVE WYCHE will provide live reports from the stadium, while Mayock will return for a second season with ‘Instant Playbook’ from the NFL Films studios exclusively for NFL.com/LIVE: Thursday Night Football, which provides instant X & O analysis of key plays right after they happen.Following the game at 12:00 AM ET, NFL Network analyst ROD WOODSON will join Charles and Dukes for a postgame edition of NFL Total Access Live.
And you have the details of NFL Network’s coverage.
This week, NFL Network brought new Thursday Night Football analysts Joe Theismann and Kurt Warner to talk to the media about their new roles for the package as live games begin next week. And joining them was new NFL Network Sr. VP for production and programming, Mark Quenzel. As usual, Theismann was verbose, but when is he not?
Here’s what was said in general.
Excerpts from NFL Network’s Thursday Night Football conference call with new game analyst Joe Theismann and studio analyst Kurt WarnerNFL Network’s fifth season of Thursday Night Football games begins on Thursday, November 11 when the Baltimore Ravens travel to face the Atlanta Falcons at the Georgia Dome. Coverage begins at 6:00 PM ET with Thursday Night Kickoff, leading straight up to kickoff. The game will be called by Bob Papa, Matt Millen and Joe Theismann.The conference call featured new Thursday Night Football game analyst Joe Theismann, new Thursday Night Kickoff pregame show analyst Kurt Warner, and NFL Network senior vice president of production and programming Mark Quenzel.Below are excerpts on NFL Network’s first game between the Ravens and Falcons, benching of Donovan McNabb, challenges facing the Chicago Bears and Cincinnati Bengals, the play of Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Josh Freeman and the drama surrounding the Minnesota Vikings.“It’s a wonderful opportunity for me to get back where I always wanted to be and (where I) spent so many years in the booth.” – Joe Thesimann on joining the Thursday Night Football broadcast as a game analyst“I’m excited to be a part of an unbelievable team of analysts for Thursday Night Football and looking forward to covering it, getting my feet wet a little bit in this field.” – Kurt Warner on joining the Thursday Night Kickoff team“We saw in their first year how good they were going to be and how rare it is at this level to come in, in your first season, and have the success that both of those guys did.” – Warner on the match up of third year quarterbacks in Baltimore’s Joe Flacco and Atlanta’s Matt Ryan.“Now we’re getting to see Joe Flacco open up his game personally, throw the football around a little bit more. I think the emergence of (Atlanta wide receiver) Roddy White in Atlanta has really taken Matt Ryan to another level.” – Theismann on the development of Flacco and Ryan“I don’t think it’s taken Coach (Mike) Shanahan eight weeks to figure out that his quarterback doesn’t know the offense. … There’s a lot about this scenario of what happened that just doesn’t seem very plausible, the reasoning, the explanation.” – Theismann on the reasoning coach Mike Shanahan gave for benching quarterback Donovan McNabb“The dots don’t seem to connect for some reason.” – Theismann on the benching of Washington Redskins quarterback Donovan McNabb“It took me completely by surprise that a coach would even think about that, and especially when you’re talking about a guy like Donovan McNabb, who makes his living making plays and putting his team in positions to win. It’s where he’s been the best throughout his career.” – Warner on the benching of Washington Redskins quarterback Donovan McNabb“It actually gets simplified in the two-minute situation that you only run a handful of plays (and) you don’t change formations.” – Warner on a team’s play-calling during a two-minute drill“(Baltimore safety) Ed (Reed) is a new dimension as we saw in his first action (two weeks ago).” – Warner on what Baltimore Ravens safety Ed Reed poses to the Atlanta Falcons“With Atlanta, it’s all about speed, and you can’t ignore the fact that there is an advantage for teams, especially with quick defensive linemen, when they play at home and noise becomes a factor.” – Theismann on Atlanta Falcons’ defense“From Baltimore’s standpoint it’s basically a big football team. It’s big on both sides of the ball.” – Theismann on the challenges the Baltimore Ravens pose.“The one thing you understand about this offense more than any other offense I’ve been in is that it’s all based on timing. The timing comes with the understanding of what’s going on around you.” – Warner on Chicago Bears offensive coordinator Mike Martz’s offensive system, having played in it with the St. Louis Rams“Where I see (Chicago Bears quarterback) Jay (Cutler) struggling right now is in the confidence and understanding, whether it be his part of the system and understanding the whole realm of that, or whether it’s the guys around him not necessarily being there on time. I see hesitation in Jay at the back end of his drop and in the pocket, where he wants to get back there, hitch a couple times, see something come open and then make the throw. And in this offense it’s not built that way. That’s the biggest struggle that they’re having is that the timing orientation of it is off right now.” – Warner on the offensive struggles of Chicago Bears quarterback Jay Cutler“There are times when he holds it too long. There are times when he just should throw it away. But he’s so set in trying to make a play that it just gets him in trouble.” – Theismann on the struggles of Chicago Bears quarterback Jay Cutler“Their inability to be able to convert on 3rd down is what’s killing them.” – Theismann on the struggles the Cincinnati Bengals have had this season“It’s a football team that has a lot of talent that hasn’t figured out how to sustain it, and that to me is the biggest issue. Defensively they can’t get the ball away, either. I mean, last year their defense really carried them.” – Theismann on the state of the Cincinnati Bengals“To me the team last year that was so good was a team that was built around running the football in Cedric Benson and the pass came second.” – Warner on why the Cincinnati Bengals were successful last season“(Cincinnati Bengals quarterback) Carson Palmer still can play at a very high level. But the team around him has to help him out.” – Warner on Cincinnati Bengals quarterback Carson Palmer“Everybody thinks of Mike Martz and the automatic thing that you do is you associate it with the Greatest Show on Turf.” – Warner on if the Chicago Bears have the right personnel for Mike Martz’s system“What I’ve been the most impressed with is down the stretch in games, where it doesn’t seem like he gets overwhelmed with those big-time situations, that he plays better and is able to come up with the big play at critical times.” – Warner on Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Josh Freeman“Josh Freeman has been fun to watch because I don’t think there’s been any (other) quarterback in the league that I have seen a leap (in improvement) from last year to this year.” – Theismann on Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Josh Freeman“It appears that Brett (Favre) runs everything.” – Theismann on the Minnesota Vikings“To me, it’s in the best interest of Randy (Moss) to be out of there. It’s in the best interest of the Minnesota Vikings to not have someone there you don’t feel can contribute.” – Theismann on the Minnesota Vikings placing Randy Moss on waivers“A whole bunch of things are going wrong in Minnesota, and I look at it as a situation where it’s almost like they’re just trying to stop the bleeding a little bit. So many distractions, so many things going on, so many things going the wrong direction for them.” – Warner on the struggles the Minnesota Vikings have had this season“No one will ever question the toughness of Brett Favre. You have the warrior’s warrior. But there comes a point as a football team where what’s in the best interest of winning, and to me I don’t know – I feel that that is not the way they’re going to win football games, period.” – Theismann on if the Minnesota Vikings would be better suited sitting Brett Favre until he gets healthy“They need to figure out a way to be able to play better defense if they want to be able to contend.” – Theismann on the Houston Texans“What Joe brings obviously is an offensive expertise, and he’s very, very opinionated. He’s not afraid to put it out there and call it as he sees it. Matt (Millen) is the same way but he has a defensive orientation. Both of them are very, very smart and they’re opinionated, which means there are going to be times that they’re going to agree and there are going to be times that they disagree.” – Mark Quenzel on the Thursday Night Football broadcast team of Bob Papa, Matt Millen and Joe Theismann“What makes it really interesting for a viewer is the forward-looking part of it, what to look for. Joe and Matt are both very, very good at that, and we’re going to spend a lot of time with it. That really is what puts a broadcast over the top.” – Quenzel on how a three-man booth can be successful“Three-man booths can work and they can not work, and I’m feeling really good about this one.” – Quenzel on the Thursday Night Football broadcast team of Bob Papa, Matt Millen and Joe Theismann“You can call it parity if you want. It’s just the competiveness, and I think you’re just more interested around the country when your team is involved and when the outcome doesn’t seem like a foregone conclusion.” – Quenzel on the popularity of football“I’m very excited to be in the booth. I’ve worked a two-man booth and I’ve worked a three-man booth, and I like the three because it gives you a chance to be able to bounce opinions off of one another. And Matt (Millen) and I, we didn’t agree when we played against one another, and we’re certainly not going to agree in the booth.” – Theismann on returning to the broadcast booth
Thursday Night Football begins in Week 10 with the Baltimore Ravens visiting the Atlanta Falcons.
Ok, let’s do some links on this rainy Thursday in the Northeast. Time to look at what’s going on today.
First from the Indiana University National Sports Journalism Center, Brian Hendrickson recaps a symposium in which Deadspin editor A.J. Daulerio was frank in a panel discussion on the whole Brett Favre/Jenn Sterger story.
Philiana Ng of the Hollywood Reporter says Chicago Bulls star Derrick Rose failed to show up in New York to film a cameo appearance on CBS’ “The Good Wife”.
ESPN.com boxing writer Dan Rafael talks with HBO Sports President Ross Greenburg about 2010 being a weak year for the sport.
Mike Reynolds of Multichannel News writes that ESPN 3D will air three Thanksgiving weekend college basketball tournaments later this month.
Mike says CBS College Sports is showcasing TCU-Utah this Saturday as part of a free preview.
CNBC’s Darren Rovell says the legacy of Mark McCormack, the man who founded sports agency giant IMG, will live on at the University of Massachusetts.
Noah Davis at SportsNewser says winning teams generate TV ratings.
Also from SportsNewser, Marcus Vanderberg shows us how ESPN’s Skip Bayless should not do the Dougie.
Andy Barall of the New York Times ventures a guess at the Top 10 players in the NFL Network’s Top 100 program.
Page Six at the New York Post goes into detail on how the Bulls’ Derrick Rose stood up “The Good Wife” set.
Dan Steinberg in the Washington Post’s DC Sports Bog transcribes the rant of ESPN Radio hack Colon Cowherd on Wizards guard John Wall’s pregame Dougie dance.
Dan says DC NFL team radio voice Larry Michael is also chiming in on the Donovan McNabb benching from last Sunday.
Leonard Shapiro of the Post talks with NFL Network’s Joe Theismann who starts his new gig with the channel next week.
Jim Williams of the Washington Examiner speaks with the producer of NFL Network’s “Top 100: NFL’s Greatest Players” about tonight’s series finale.
Tom Jones of the St. Petersburg Times looks at a feud between ESPN and a local Tampa Bay Buccaneers blog.
The Knoxville (TN) News Sentinel notes that CBS College Sports is being picked up by Comcast just in time for Saturday’s game against Memphis.
Jason Morton of the Tuscaloosa (AL) News writes about ESPN shooting a commercial in the local area.
David Barron from the Houston Chronicle writes about the finale of NFL’s Top 100 series tonight.
John Kiesewetter of the Cincinnati Enquirer says fans can talk with the Reds radio broadcasters about the Hot Stove starting next week.
Bob Wolfley of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel notes that ESPN has made some additions to its college basketball announcing lineup.
Ed Sherman of Crain’s Chicago Business says former Bears coach Mike Ditka was mostly responsible for bringing the 1985 Bears back together for the taping of a TV show this Friday.
Ed talks with the author of a new book that looks into how athletes like former Bears QB Jim McMahon became endorsement stars.
Ed says the White Sox’s new radio deal provides for a HD channel which it will program.
Ed notes that the Bulls will also be part of the White Sox’s radio HD channel.
Bill Zwecker and John Jackson of the Chicago Sun-Times says the Bulls’ Derrick Rose isn’t talking about why he didn’t show up to the set of “The Good Wife” earlier this week.
The Salt Lake Tribune says overnight camping will be allowed on Friday for College Gameday’s appearance at the University of Utah’s campus this Saturday.
Olympics writer Alan Abrahamson says disgraced track star Marion Jones is not telling the truth in her interviews and in the ESPN 30 for 30 documentary that aired this week.
Tom Hoffarth of the Los Angeles Daily News looks at what Alan has to say.
Sports Media Watch has a few news and notes.
Allen Levin of Digital Sports Daily speaks with NBA TV’s Steve Smith.
Dave Kohl at Major League Programs notes that athletes are using TV and radio to bypass newspapers to get their messages out.
And we’ll end it there.
Since NFL Network started airing live games in 2006, its broadcast booth has been a bastion of inconsistency. Since Bryant Gumbel left in 2007, there have been changes every year. Let’s take a look at the combinations.
2006 – Bryant Gumbel & Cris Collinsworth
2007 – Bryant Gumbel & Cris Collinsworth
2008 – Bob Papa & Cris Collinsworth
2009 – Bob Papa & Matt Millen
2010 – Bob Papa, Matt Millen & Joe Theismann
It would behoove NFL Network to keep the booth consistent for next season. Even if the Theismann move is unpopular, the changes make the booth look topsy-turvy.
I’ve already expressed my opinion on this. Here’s the official press release from NFL Network.
JOE THEISMANN JOINS NFL NETWORK’S THURSDAY NIGHT FOOTBALL BOOTHFormer Super Bowl Winning Quarterback Joins Bob Papa and Matt Millen for Primetime NFL GamesFormer Washington Redskins and Super Bowl winning quarterback Joe Theismann joins NFL Network’s Thursday Night Football announcing team, it was announced today. Theismann, who is also an analyst on NFL Network’s weekly Playbook shows, teams with Bob Papa and Matt Millen to call NFL Network’s eight-game Thursday Night Football package beginning on November 11 with the Baltimore Ravens vs. Atlanta Falcons.“Joe is one of the premier analysts in the business,” said Eric Weinberger, executive producer NFL Network. “With Joe joining Matt, we have two former Super Bowl-winning players who had long and distinguished playing careers before making successful transitions into broadcasting. Joe will add his strong opinions and analysis to a booth that already features two men who live and breathe NFL football. We are sure there will be great debates and entertaining analysis on our games this season.”“It’s great to be back in the booth and joining Matt and Bob on NFL Network’s primetime games,” said Theismann. “We have a great schedule of games and I can’t wait for them to begin.”As a veteran NFL broadcaster, Theismann brings a wealth of knowledge and expertise on what goes on inside the huddle. His first experience in the broadcast booth came in 1985, calling Super Bowl XIX alongside Frank Gifford and Don Meredith. In 1988, Theismann became a staple in the broadcast booth for ESPN’s Sunday Night Football for the next 16 years, followed by a stint on the network’s Monday Night Football telecast.Following a standout college career at Notre Dame that included finishing second to Jim Plunkett in 1970 Heisman voting, Theismann began his professional playing career with the CFL’s Toronto Argonauts in 1971, where he played three seasons before making the move to the NFL with the Washington Redskins. Theismann led Washington to its first championship in Super Bowl XVII and an appearance in Super Bowl XVIII one year later. He earned league MVP honors in 1983 and still holds the Redskins franchise record for most career passing attempts (3,602), career passing completions (2,044) and career yards (25,206).NFL Network’s primetime Thursday Night Football schedule features eight games and includes teams that combined for eight playoff berths and five division titles in 2009. This is the fifth season of NFL games on NFL Network. In 2009, NFL Network games featured four of the five most viewed games in the network’s history. Game times for the contests — seven on Thursdays and one on Saturday – are 8:00 PM ET, with a special 7:30 PM ET start on Christmas.NFL Network 2010 Thursday Night Football ScheduleWeek 10: Thursday, November 11 at 8:00 PM ETBaltimore Ravens at Atlanta FalconsWeek 11: Thursday, November 18 at 8:00 PM ETChicago Bears at Miami DolphinsWeek 12: Thursday, November 25 at 8:00 PM ETCincinnati Bengals at New York Jets (Thanksgiving)Week 13: Thursday, December 2 at 8:00 PM ETHouston Texans at Philadelphia EaglesWeek 14: Thursday, December 9 at 8:00 PM ETIndianapolis Colts at Tennessee TitansWeek 15: Thursday, December 16 at 8:00 PM ETSan Francisco 49ers at San Diego ChargersWeek 16: Thursday, December 23 at 8:00 PM ETCarolina Panthers at Pittsburgh SteelersWeek 16: Saturday, December 25 at 7:30 PM ETDallas Cowboys at Arizona Cardinals (Christmas)
Theismann can also be seen with Brian Baldinger and Sterling Sharpe on NFL Network’s Thursday’s NFC and Friday’s AFC editions of Playbook, dissecting the same “all-22” game film to prepare fans for the week’s upcoming matchups. Starting on November 11, he will not be on Playbook as he will be preparing for the Thursday Night Football telecasts.
Since this was confirmed by Richard Deitsch of Sports Illustrated this afternoon, I have yet to see any positive reaction to this move. Every single tweet or blog post that I’ve read about this has been extremely negative. Joe Theisman is not polarizing, he’s universally disliked. Maybe he’s not disliked by Dick Vitale, but by most everyone else.
- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone
Reported yesterday by Bob Raissman of the New York Daily News and confirmed today by Richard Deitsch of Sports Illustrated, Joe Theismann who was dropped by ESPN after the 2006 season, has completed his TV comeback. He will join NFL Network’s Thursday Night Football which is currently called by Bob Papa and Matt Millen and make it a three man booth.
The usually talkative Theismann will most likely be the dominant figure as he tends to overanalyze, overhypothesize and overthink every play.
His first game will be Veterans Day, November 11 when Baltimore takes on Atlanta. This is not a good move, but I’m not running NFL Network.
Let’s give you some linkage on this Sunday of the Labor Day holiday weekend for most of you. I’ve been working so I don’t know what it’s like to have this off. Anyway, here’s linkage.
SportsGrid has the video of WGN sports anchor Pat Tomasulo dunking on a five year old boy, the same kid he dunked on last year.
SportsGrid also has Comcast SportsNet analyst Dan Hampton summoning a Hurricane Katrina reference involving New Orleans. Why not use a 9/11 reference about New York, Dan?
Aaron Gray of the Virgin Islands Daily News says TBS has signed a deal that lifts a blackout on the islands seeing its coverage of the MLB Postseason.
Bob Raissman of the New York Daily News breaks news in his column today. In a column in which he laments Jet QB Mark Sanchez deciding to tone down his media obligations, Raissman also reports that motormouth Joe Theismann appears to be joining the NFL Network Thursday Night Football booth this season and also reports that Fox NFL Sunday analysts will be joining certain regional games from the studio.
Dr. Doom and Gloom in the New York Post writes about something only he cares about.
In SB Nation NY, Puck The Media’s Steve Lepore notes that the problems over Ilya Kovalchuk’s contract with the New Jersey Devils drew little interest from the New York media.
Michael Klein of the Philadelphia Inquirer has a few sports media tidbits in his Sunday column (scroll down).
Bob Cohn of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review writes that Thursday’s Steelers preseason finale killed the Pittsburgh Panthers season opener in the ratings. It’s not a level playing field as the Steelers were on KDKA-TV locally and the Panthers were on Versus.
Jim Williams of the Washington Examiner talks with CBS College Sports college football man Tony Barnhart.
The Washington Post’s Dan Steinberg in the DC Sports Bog has the emotional farewell of a Comcast SportsNet anchor’s last night in Washington.
Dave McKenna in the Washington City Paper looks at the origin of the NFL’s silly blackout rules.
Jim speaks with ESPN’s Rece Davis about the new Capital One Cup.
D. Orlando Ledbetter of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution talks with the NBC Sunday Night Football crew about the NFL season opener.
Bob Wolfley of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel delved through the NFL Information Guide to find some fun facts on the Green Bay Packers.
Bob McNamaman of the Arizona Republic has the analysts for Sunday and Monday Night Football predicting the upcoming season.
Matt Solinsky of The Desert Sun (CA) answers readers’ questions on a couple of sports TV issues.
Bill Dwyre of the Los Angeles Times says Tennis Hall of Famer Pam Shriver has found her niche on ESPN2′s tennis coverage.
Stephanie Myles of the Montreal Gazette caught ESPN2 analyst John McEnroe actually being friendly with Tennis Channel’s Jimmy Connors. The two have not been the best of friends over the years.
The Sports Media Watch has its weekend ratings predictions.
Sox & Dawgs has a funny NESN promo involving Red Sox pitcher Tim Wakefield and Wally the Green Monster.
And we’ll finish it there. Have a good Sunday. I’ll be working.
Back to work for most of us today. Let me provide links for you.
Starting with Michael Hiestand of USA Today who breaks news in his Monday column. He says Joe Theismann who refused to work college football games for ESPN when he was removed from Monday Night Football now willing to work Notre Dame games for NBC. In addition, Michael has items on the NFL deciding to charge $40 to watch 54 exhibition games online and ESPN announcing its team for the late Monday Night Football game in its opening night doubleheader.
Sports Illustrated’s Richard Deitsch tweets some sad news. A producer for ESPN Dallas, Leah Siegel has passed away after a battle with breast cancer. My sympathies to Ms. Siegel, her family and her ESPN colleagues. Here’s her website chronicling her battle.
In the Sports Business Journal, John Ourand writes that the Open Championship seeing its lowest ratings ever in its first year as an all-cable event is not a cause for concern for ESPN or sports leagues in general.
John also notes that the Red Sox on NESN has lost its local TV ratings lead to the St. Louis Cardinals on Fox Sports Midwest.
John and Tripp Mickel report that the International Olympic Committee may decide to sell the US TV rights for 2014 and 2016 by itself instead of using an outside source as it has in the past.
David Broughton of the SBJ writes that research shows that fans who use social media to connect to MLB and NFL are now more avid fans of the sports.
Jon Lafayette of Broadcasting & Cable profiles new Fox Sports President Eric Shanks.
Mike Reynolds from Multichannel News notes that boxer Manny Pacquaio has set a pay per view date for November, it just won’t be with Floyd Mayweather.
Diego Vasquez in Media Life Magazine talks about how sponsors can reach an audience at small college football games.
In the Indiana University National Sports Journalism Center, Jason Fry suggests to newspaper websites that they provide links to outside sources as a service to readers.
The Inside Track girls at the Boston Herald says NESN mistook Bill Hall for Mike Cameron in a Red Sox promo.
At the New York Times, Richard Sandomir recaps the rainy festivities at Cooperstown, NY for the annual Baseball Hall of Fame Inductions.
Viv Bernstein of the Times says NASCAR notes that with the lack of younger viewers to the sport comes the lack of younger drivers as well.
Phil Mushnick of the New York Times goes after Fox Sports’ Eric Karros for talking way too much during Saturday’s Mets-Dodgers game.
In SB Nation New York, Puck The Media’s Steve Lepore looks at SNY taking phone calls during a Mets blowout and Billy Jaffe losing his Islanders TV analyst gig.
Dan Steinberg of the Washington Post’s DC Sports Bog says the Nationals are no longer on the bottom of MLB’s local TV ratings.
Jim Williams in the Washington Examiner explores the list of Forbes’ Top 50 Sports Franchises.
Dustin Long of the Virginian-Pilot writes that NASCAR is attempting to reach younger viewers which have abandoned the sport.
Tom Jones in the St. Petersburg Times has his view of the weekend in televised sports.
Larry Harstein of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution explores an ESPN Outside the Lines report on stadium food safety.
Doug Demmons in the Birmingham (AL) News says NASCAR should be concerned about its TV coverage based on its slipping TV ratings.
Crystal Forester in the Fort Worth Business Press notes that ESPN will be coming to town for the Super Bowl.
David Barron of the Houston Chronicle reacts to a British study on drivers who listen to sports on the radio.
Bud Shaw from the Cleveland Plain Dealer says criticism ESPN’s role in LeBron James’ 73 minute infomercial could prevent other athletes from pulling the same shenanigans.
Jeff Seidel of the Detroit Free Press says ESPN is interested in the story of the first girl to break the Little League Baseball gender barrier in 1973.
Jeff has more in this feature story on how the Little League gender barrier got broken.
Tim Feran of the Columbus Dispatch puts Ohio State fans on alert that Time Warner Cable could be taking ESPN and other Disney networks off its systems before the football season opener.
Phil Rosenthal of the Chicago Tribune notes that two local sportscasters have made the transition to news anchors.
Dusty Saunders in the Denver Post says you can’t keep track of the changes in local sports radio without a scorecard.
Kimberly Nicoletti from the Summit (CO) Daily News says the Ski Channel is coming to the local Comcast system.
Tom Hoffarth of the Los Angeles Daily News has the sports calendar in SoCal for this week.
Brian T. Smith of The Columbian (WA) says Comcast is scoffing at a Portland Trail Blazers’ charge that the company is preventing fans from seeing their games.
Chris Zelkovich of the Toronto Star looks at a key personnel change at CBC’s Hockey Night in Canada.
Bruce Dowbiggin in the Toronto Globe and Mail says this change could lead to more down the road on HNIC.
SMW has some ratings news and notes.
Joe Favorito wonders if UFC Chief Dana White is mellowing.
Bruce Allen at Boston Sports Media Watch has a look at the Red Sox beat writers whining like bitter little hedgehogs when they can’t get their way.
Sox & Dawgs has a funny NESN promo featuring Red Sox manager Terry Francona.
And we’ll get these up now so you don’t have to wait until noon.
I’m at work once again. I still can’t watch or listen to the NFL playoff games today. I’m really thrilled. I will give you some links today.
Starting with Richard Sandomir of the New York Times who was less than enthralled with NBC’s broadcast team of Tom Hammond, Joe Theismann and Joe Gibbs during yesterday’s Jets-Bengals game. If you read on Twitter, this threesome was not popular at all.
Also in the Times, Edward Wyatt reporting from the Television Critics Association winter press tour says NBC Sports is looking at losses from the Winter Olympics.
Bob Raissman of the New York Daily News feels Giants owner John Mara’s tirade against his team can only help ticket sales for the new stadium. Bob really finds little things to harp on, doesn’t he?
Phil Mushnick of the New York Post decides that he’s going to hate everyone including small children today.
Pete Dougherty of the Albany Times Union says Cowboys QB Tony Romo gave NBC a nice plug for Saturday Night Live during last night’s Wild Card playoff postgame coverage.
Mike Organ of the Tennessean has TNT NASCAR analyst Kyle Petty ripping Danica Patrick’s move to NASCAR.
Jerry Tipton of the Lexington (KY) Herald-Leader talks with ESPN college basketball analyst Jimmy Dykes about the SEC.
Barry Horn of the Dallas Morning News wonders what the Cowboys will do for bulletin board material now that NBC is finished for the NFL season.
Brad Keller of the Greenville (TX) Herald-Banner writes that a a local cable provider is ready to drop the NFL Network over subscriber fees.
Artie Gigantino from the San Francisco Examiner has a bunch of topics to cover today.
The San Diego Union-Tribune feels Joe Theismann was a bit rusty on NFL rules after being three years away from the broadcast booth.
In the Toronto Globe and Mail, Stephen Brunt looks at how the way we attend sports and watch sports on TV will continue to evolve in the next decade THAT BEGINS IN 2011, NOT IN 2010.
From the Hollywood Reporter, James Hibberd’s The Live Feed blog has NBC Sports Emperor Dick Ebersol freely admitting that the network will lose money on the Winter Olympics.
Todd Spangler from Multichannel News wonders if viewers and consumers will even want to watch events in 3-D.
Ben Grossman of Broadcasting & Cable talks with veteran soccer play-by-play Martin Tyler who will lead ESPN’s coverage of the World Cup this summer.
In Truth & Rumours, William Houston discusses how a preemptive strike against the Russian KHL would help the NHL conquer Europe.
The Sports Media Watch has the ratings of every single NFL game this season. Lots of work. Good job.
SMW also has its weekend ratings predictions.
The great John Daly at the Daly Planet NASCAR TV blog looks at how ESPN 3D might impact NASCAR and its fans.
Joe Favorito warns colleges and universities who try to control their own message regarding their sports programs, be careful what you wish for.
And we’re gong to end it there. I’ll have NFL pregame quotage, provided that CBS and Fox cooperate. I already have NFL Network’s quotes from this morning.
Let’s finish up our links from earlier today. We’ll finish up the West and Canadian links. But we do have some national links to add.
Mike Reynolds of Multichannel News reports that Fox Soccer Channel is very close to purchasing either key cable rights or the owner outright of Setanta Sports US.
Glen Dickson of Broadcasting & Cable writes that Cisco will deliver video for multiple platforms for NBC’s online streaming of the Winter Olympics.
Tom Ziller of Fanhouse writes about Turner Sports luring ESPN’er Matt Winer to NBA TV.
Also from Fanhouse, Milton Kent laments the death of the Washington Times sports section.
Amanda Bruno of Batter-up with Bruno notes that Twitter took down a fake Jackie MacMullen account after it put up a phony Red Sox trade.
Jeff Levine at the Biz of Football says everything is pointing to a work stoppage in the NFL come 2011.
The Thoroughbred Times reports that NBC and ESPN Radio received Eclipse Awards for their coverage of horse racing.
From the UK, Campaign looks at an ESPN World Cup marketing campaign surrounding “The Group of Death”.
Dan Caesar of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch says the Rams’ TV ratings remained steady despite their losing record this season.
Dusty Saunders of the Denver Post says the Colorado Rockies have a new radio voice.
The San Diego Union-Tribune’s Jay Posner didn’t like Brent Musburger’s call of the BCS National Championship Game.
John Maffei of the North County Times is happy to see Joe Theismann back calling an NFL game.
Jim Carlisle of the Ventura County Star mourns the passing of Angels TV voice Rory Markas.
Jim looks at the NFL Wild Card Playoff games this weekend.
Diane Pucin of the Los Angeles Times says Clippers analyst Michael Smith is in a whole heap of trouble.
Tom Hoffarth of the Los Angeles Daily News discusses the impact of Rory Markas on his friends.
Tom hears from more of Rory’s friends in the wake of his passing.
Tom looks back at an eventful week in SoCal sports media.
Ryan Vaillancourt of the Los Angeles Downtown News says ESPN’s LA site looks to challenge local newspaper sports coverage.
Bob Condotta of the Seattle Times says those in bordering US towns used to watching the Olympics live through CBC will be out of luck this year when CTV airs the Games.
Bruce Dowbiggin of the Toronto Globe and Mail has an issue with the Baseball Hall of Fame voting.
Chris Zelkovich of the Toronto Star notes the retirement of a Canadian radio legend.
William Houston of Truth & Rumours says the Maple Leafs are under fire on local sports radio.
And we’re finished with the megalinks.
I’m currently at the home office and it’s been quite difficult to blog with the boss constantly over your shoulder, but I’m doing my best. In between reports, phone calls and meetings, I’m trying to bring you some links. I may have to do this in two parts, but I’ll try to get this completed in one shot. Let’s do it.
First, you can check out your Weekend Viewing Picks for the college basketball, NFL, golf and other sports going on plus primetime TV.
Now to your links.
USA Today’s Michael Hiestand says the All-American Bowl gives fans the opportunity to see where the next generation of college football stars will play.
Austin Karp of Sports Business Daily says this just-completed NFL regular season was the most watched since 1990, almost 20 years, which is rather impressive.
Glen Dickson of Broadcasting & Cable looks at ESPN’s plans for ESPN 3D’s productions which start in earnest later this year.
R. Thomas Umstead of Multichannel News writes about the cancellation of the highly anticipated Manny Pacquaio-Floyd Mayweather fight which many observers felt would have broken all pay per view records.
Rick Porter of zap2it.com says the BCS Championship Game on Thursday ruled the network primetime ratings.
Sports Illustrated’s Jimmy Traina talks with Baltimore Ravens fan Stacy Keibler and Patriots fan Maria Menounos about this Sunday’s Wild Card playoff game.
CNBC’s Darren Rovell notes that “The Blind Side” should give actress Sandra Bullock her biggest payday ever.
Matt Ginella of Golf Digest talks with ESPN’s Jon Gruden about his excitement for golf and wish to win golf’s Grand Slam.
The Sports Media Watch is not happy with sportswriters who stereotype the NBA and other leagues.
SMW notes that ESPN’s Dick Vitale will be back calling the NBA for one game this season.
Maury Brown in the Biz of Baseball gives his predictions for MLB and its TV partners in 2010.
Joe Favorito says pro soccer is hoping Philadelphia can give the sport a shot in the arm in both the men’s and women’s game.
Russell Scibetti in the Business of Sports has ten sports business stories to watch in 2010.
Steve Lepore of Puck The Media writes the real star of the NHL Winter Classic was the NHL Network.
Steve lists the regional sports networks and cable stations carrying the AHL All-Star Game later this month.
Len Berman provides his top five stories of the day.
East and Mid-Atlantic
From the Boston Globe, Chad Finn looks at ESPN’s ESPN 3D channel which launches in June.
Bill Doyle of the Worcester Telegram writes about NESN’s Tom Caron who will be calling the two outdoor college hockey games at Fenway Park today.
Bob Raissman of the New York Daily News isn’t thrilled to have Joe Theismann on NBC’s Wild Card playoff coverage.
Phil Mushnick in the New York Post is coming out guns ablazin’ today.
Pete Dougherty of the Albany Times Union raises an excellent point about one issue ESPN/ABC missed during the late stages of the BCS Championship Game.
Pete also looks at whether we should run out and buy a 3-D TV after we just purchased an HDTV.
Jim Williams of the Washington Examiner says the national sports spotlight fell on DC this week.
Barry Jackson of the Miami Herald writes that NBC will use some new, but quite familiar voices for the first NFL Wild Card playoff game this Saturday.
Jon Solomon of the Birmingham (AL) News was happy to have ESPN/ABC producing the BCS National Championship Game instead of Fox.
Ray Buck in the Fort Worth Star-Telegram says the Fiesta Bowl involvingTCU-Boise State was a ratings winner in the Metroplex and nationally as well.
Barry Horn of the Dallas Morning News says Brent Musburger misjudged the severity of Colt McCoy’s injury during last night’s BCS Championship Game.
Barry and Cowboys radio analyst Babe Laufenberg held a live chat today.
Barry says ESPN/ABC’s Kirk Herbstreit helped to curse the Texas Longhorns during last night’s BCS National Championship Game.
The Houston Chronicle’s David Barron says when ESPN takes over the BCS next year, viewership could be hurt as not as many homes have cable.
David also has the national and local ratings for the BCS National Championship Game.
Mel Bracht of the Daily Oklahoman looks at NBC’s “B” team for the NFL Wild Card playoffs tomorrow.
Mel says the Big 12 kicks off conference play in a big way on Saturday.
John Kiesewetter of the Cincinnati Enquirer recaps Cris Collinsworth’s appearance on what appears to be one of the last Jay Leno Shows in primetime.
Michael Zuidema of the Grand Rapids (MI) Press talks to a former local sports anchor who’s looking for a job out of the market.
Trenni Kusnierek of MLB Network lists her new decade resolutions in OnMilwaukee.com.
Ed Sherman in Crain’s Chicago Business has his sports business and media winners and losers.
Paul Christian of the Rochester (MN) Post-Bulletin writes that the Green Bay-Arizona NFL Wild Card playoff game will provide some intrigue for viewers.
The St. Louis Post-Dispatch’s Dan Caesar writes that a former local sports radio talk show host left the Gateway City without taking shots at his former employer.
I’ll end it there for now. I will complete the megalinks tonight.
Around 3 p.m., I was ready to do the Friday megalinks so I could leave my evening free, but thanks to some unknown issue that prevented many bloggers who use Google’s Blogspot service from logging in, I could not do them. So I’m doing them at night. Again.
Anyway, let’s get these done so I can move on to other things.
As usual, we have the Weekend Viewing Picks. Baseball and the start of the NFL dominate our viewing weekend.
The Red Sox-Yankees rivalry takes precedence on the networks. Saturday and Sunday, the games are on national TV with the worst that the networks have to offer. Joe Buck and Tim McCarver are on the case on Fox for Saturday at 4:10 p.m. Then ESPN with Jon Miller and Joe Morgan call the game Sunday night at 8.
If you need an alternative this weekend, MLB Network will have the Cubs-Rockies, Saturday night and TBS’ Sunday game is Minnesota-Detroit. Of course, I have the schedules below, but if you want to see what Fox, ESPN and TBS have to say about their games, click here.
The NFL exhibition season starts Sunday with the Hall of Fame game between Buffalo and Tennessee. Both teams will wear throwback jerseys as the NFL celebrates the 50th anniversary of the old American Football League and you’ll see plenty of celebration with the NFL this season.
On Saturday, there’s the Pro Football Hall of Fame Induction Ceremonies which both ESPN and NFL Network will carry. Since Comcast started carrying NFLN on digital basic last week, you’ll have the chance to see how NFLN covers the ceremonies, but you won’t be able to avoid Chris Berman no matter what you do because he’s delivering the introduction speech for Buffalo Bills owner Ralph Wilson. The less I say about Berman, the better. The Hall of Fame inductions start at 7 p.m. on both ESPN and NFL Network.
Golf Channel and CBS have the last PGA Tour stop before next week’s PGA Championship, and this tournament, the Bridgestone Invitational has 49 of the top 50 golfers. Tiger Woods is always in contention at this tourney. Golf Channel kicks off coverage at noon on both Saturday and Sunday with CBS coming in at 2.
NASCAR stops at Watkins Glen for a race and I don’t feel like writing the sponsor. Suffice to say, ESPN carries the race on Sunday starting at 2.
UFC 101 is this Saturday and it’s on pay per view at 10.
The US Open Series continues this weekend and the men are in DC for the Legg Mason Classic while the women are still on the West Coast for the LA Women’s Tennis Championships. ESPN2 and Tennis Channel team up for coverage and the times are listed below.
If you want to see beach volleyball gold medalist Kerri Walsh in first action since giving birth, she’s at the Hermosa Beach Open this Saturday at 4:30 p.m. on NBC.
And if you want to avoid sports, there’s IFC’s miniseries, Bollywood Hero which is on IFC Saturday at 10 p.m. I also suggest the series premiere of 10 Dollar Dinners with Melissa (the winner of The Next Food Network Star last week) which is on Sunday at 12:30 on Food Network.
There’s True Blood which last week had its best episode on HBO, Sunday night at 9. If you don’t have HBO, National Geographic Channel has a fascinating special called “Drain The Ocean” which looks at what’s really on the ocean floor. That’s on Sunday night at 9 as well. My viewing picks for the weekend are here. Check them out.
Now time for the links.
Michael Hiestand of USA Today writes that Cris Collinsworth is ready to take the mantle from John Madden this Sunday.
From the Wall Street Journal, Michael Judge reviews ESPN’s documentary, “The Lost Son of Havana”.
Sports Business Daily’s William Cooper catches up NFL Network’s Rich Eisen who emcees the Pro Football Hall of Fame Induction Ceremonies on Saturday.
William has another article for SBD and it’s regarding Virgin America making a splash by sponsoring this weekend’s Hermosa Beach AVP Tour stop.
CNBC’s Darren Rovell says an unsold sponsorship for a tennis exhibition later this month might be a good bargain.
Darren writes the New York Jets are doing one thing right by embracing Twitter.
And Darren looks into the deferred contracts that the Arizona Diamondbacks are paying well into the next decade.
Christopher Byrne of the Eye on Sports Media looks at a Redskins fan who became an embedded team beat reporter for CBSSports.com.
The Hugging Harold Reynolds blog chronicles how it got mistaken for a Harold Reynolds impersonator on Twitter and got banned in the process.
The Sports Media Watch looks at the ratings to date for the MLB on Fox.
SMW looks at the big ratings for the Buick Open thanks to Tiger Woods’ win last Sunday.
James Young from Variety says Telemundo and mun2 stand to get high ratings for the USA-Mexico World Cup qualifying match.
By the way, DirecTV is putting mun2 on channel 203 for the soccer match on August 12.
Thomas Umstead of Multichannel News says Fox Sports Detroit and Comcast are working together to put the Tigers On Demand.
Mike Reynolds of Multichannel writes that Turner Sports is already launching new media coverage for next week’s PGA Championship.
East and Mid-Atlantic
Chad Finn of the Boston Globe looks at the machinations of WEEI and the new WBZ-FM leading up to next week’s launch of 98.5 FM The Sports Hub.
Chris Reidy of the Globe writes about ESPNU being made available on Comcast systems in Massachusetts, New Hampshire and Maine.
Amanda Bruno of the Batter-up with Bruno blog looks at the possibility of the Boston Globe charging for its content online.
Kristine Leahy has Friday’s edition of The Five on WEEI.com.
And WEEI.com has something called “The WEEIk That Was“. This may be the one and only time we link to this.
Newsday’s Neil Best looks at this week’s Hofstra University sportscasting workshop originally targeted at teens, but getting a more diverse crowd this year.
Neil says Rutgers University has a new analyst for its football radio network.
Bob Raissman of the New York Daily News is angry for no good reason.
Phil Mushnick of the New York Post gets on ESPN for failing to explain the background of the Nolan Ryan beating of Robin Ventura. Like the network should have had a three minute thesis on the whole issue. What exactly do Raissman and Mushnick want? I don’t understand sometimes. No, make that most of the time.
The Post’s Justin Terranova has five questions for Giants radio play-by-play man Bob Papa.
Pete Dougherty of the Albany Times Union writes that Giants linebacker Gary Clark isn’t waiting for retirement to look at a broadcasting career.
In his blog, Pete mentions that an Albany TV sports anchor gets a plum assignment for NBC at the 2010 Winter Olympics.
Philly.com has pictures of the Phillies honoring their late broadcaster Harry Kalas by putting his portrait on their Wall of Fame.
Jim Williams of the Washington Examiner talks about the weekend sports fare on TV.
Jim says he would like to hear more of the Examiner’s sports staff on DC sports radio.
And Jim writes that Joe Theismann returns to the airwaves this Monday.
Barry Jackson of the Miami Herald talks about Cris Collinsworth moving from the studio to the booth for NBC this season and also mentions a Miami sports radio host moving to Boston.
Tony Barnhart of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution talks with ESPN’s Lee Corso who hopes to be back on TV in time for the College Gameday season premiere in Atlanta.
John Kiesewetter of the Cincinnati Enquirer says native Cris Collinsworth looks forward to being a game analyst again.
Michael Zuidema of the Grand Rapids (MI) Press writes that an area university will video stream its games on the internet so parents can watch their kids in action.
Bob Wolfley of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel says new Sirius NFL Radio host Rich Gannon sang the praises of the Packers.
Tom Miller of the Janesville (WI) Gazette writes about an ESPN photographer who’s accompanying NFL insider Chris Mortensen on his road trip.
Ed Sherman from Crain’s Chicago Business talks about a new show that premieres on Comcast SportsNet Chicago this Sunday.
And Ed has his winners and losers of the week.
Ted Cox of the Chicago Daily Herald writes that the Allstate Arena will weather the loss of the Arena Football League’s Chicago Rush.
Paul Christian in the Rochester (MN) Post-Bulletin says the post-Madden era begins on Sunday.
Dan Caesar from the St. Louis Post-Dispatch looks at the sports radio ratings.
Dan mentions that two Missouri University football games are heading to pay per view.
Jay Posner of the San Diego Union-Tribune says it appears that Chargers fans may have to deal with local regular season blackouts for the first time since 2004.
John Maffei in the North County Times says a San Diego sports radio station’s hard work paid off when Jake Peavy was traded.
Jim Carlisle from the Ventura County Star feels Cris Collinsworth has some big pants to fill.
Jim writes that the NBA is now treating Christmas Day as just another day.
Diane Pucin in the Los Angeles Times writes that despite being fired from Fox Sports, Steve Lyons still takes a shoot-from-the-hip attitude to Dodgers games.
Tom Hoffarth of the Los Angeles Daily News takes a look at some of the youngest generation who might down the road be heard on our TV and radios.
Bruce Dowbiggin of the Toronto Globe and Mail says some Hollywood directing star power is looking to bring 3D to hockey.
That will do it for the megalinks.
For those of you taking the day off for the holiday, hoping you are remembering the fine servicemen and servicewomen who served their country for us.
I’m watching ESPN’s First Take for the first time in earnest today. I like Dana Jacobsen. She’s a good interviewer and has the personality to be a good co-host. Jay Crawford? I didn’t like him in Cold Pizza and I don’t like him now. The 1st and 10 segment without Skip Bayless is good. I didn’t like Skip Bayless when he was doing that segment with Woody Paige. Bayless is just plain abrasive. That’s my take on First Take.
To the links now.
Michael McCarthy of USA Today says Bryant Gumbel and Cris Collinsworth don’t plan to get involved in the NFL Network/Time Warner dispute as both men get paychecks from both organizations. In an Op-Ed piece in the Fort-Worth Star-Telegram, C. Bruce Deramus says taxpayers’ money could be better spent than on the NFL Network/cable dispute.
Phil Mushnick in the New York Post says Sunday’s NFL action was a nice respite from ESPN’s overkill.
John Ryan in the San Jose Mercury News has some notes for those watching the Monday Night Football game between the 49ers and Seahawks (and if you watch the game, you deserve a medal). Claire Farnsworth of the Seattle Post-Intelligencer wonders if Monday Night Football is still relevant. However, Danny O’Neil of the Seattle Times says fans still like MNF coming to town.
Continuing with Monday Night Football, Paulsen over at the Sports Media Watch blog urges Joe Theismann to stop talking about MNF and Tony Kornheiser.
Bob Wolfley of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel says Fox was talking about the Vikings’ Adrian Peterson before yesterday’s Minnesota-Green Bay game, but ended up talking about the Packers’ Ryan Grant at the end.
Dusty Saunders of the Rocky Mountain News is another in the line of sports media writers who love HBO’s The Rivalry documentary on Ohio State-Michigan.
An editorial in the Grand Rapids (MI) Press says college sports fans have been blindsided by the Big Ten Network/Big Cable dispute.
We seem to have a surplus of Op-Ed pieces today. We have another one for you. Anita Hill (yes, that Anita Hill) has written a piece for the Boston Globe about the legacy of Title IX, the NCAA program to bring gender equity to college sports, and notes that women’s college basketball broadcasts are increasingly getting primetime TV slots on ESPN.
John Consoli of Mediaweek says TV ratings for the NBA on ESPN and TNT are up in the early going.
The Flip Side column at the Baltimore Sun has ESPN’s Erin Andrews talking about that infamous picture circulating on the internet that shows a fan seemingly fondling her. We’ve all seen it. I’m not putting it here nor am I linking to it. You can find it. And here’s Erin talking to SI.com from which the Sun took its quotes.
Tony Dobrowlski of the Berkshire (MA) Eagle writes that ESPN’s presence with College Gameday on Saturday added some excitement to the Amherst-Williams rivalry.
Ed Sherman of the Chicago Tribune says last night’s home debut of the Blackhawks on Comcast SportsNet will lead him to watching more games.
Chris Zelkovich of the Toronto Star gets on CBC’s Don Cherry for advocating violence on Hockey Night in Canada.
A little bit light on the links this morning, but it’s a recognized holiday today. We’ll see what we have later in the day.
I’ve been away from the office for most of the day and then I had to get some stuff done. Now that I’m done with what I’ve had to do, I can give you some links.
Bill Doyle of the Worcester Telegram & Gazette profiles Boston Herald Red Sox beat reporter Rob Bradford who has made a name for himself through writing a book and numerous radio and TV appearances.
Mel Bracht of the Daily Oklahoman has his weekly media columns. He says ESPN will use the skycam during the Kansas-Oklahoma State game on ABC this Saturday. Bracht gives us some tidbits for his TV notebook. Finally, Bracht gives his viewing picks for the weekend.
Joe Theismann continues to be a bitter little hedgehog about his canning from Monday Night Football (but I can’t say I blame him). Neil Best of Newsday blogs that Theismann gave his assessment of the ESPN crew to Fox Sports Radio. And Best talks about College Gameday originating from the Williams-Amherst game this Saturday.
Tom Hoffarth from the Los Angeles Daily News writes in his Farther Off the Wall blog about Football Night in America turning off the lights on Sunday. And Hoffarth reviews the debut of Sports Unfiltered with Dennis Miller on Versus. Finally, he talks about the flex scheduling for Sunday Night Football.
Jim Williams of the DC/Baltimore Examiner talks about Noisegate at the Hoosier Dome and CBS’ role/non-role in it.
Jim Carlisle of the Ventura County Star writes in his blog that FSN West and FSN Prime Ticket will air an interview with new LA Dodger manager Joe Torre conducted by Charley Steiner all this week.
Maury Brown of the Biz of Baseball site has more on the FSN Northwest rights agreement with the Seattle Mariners. John Hickey of the Seattle Post-Intelligencer has more on the 12 year agreement between the Mariners and FSN.
Laura Nachman from her own media news website has a story on the Philadelphia Phillies surveying fans on its broadcast team.
Mark Zuckerman writes in the Washington Times that Bob Carpenter has been brought back by the Washington Nationals to be their TV voice, two months after being told he was being dropped.
Ed Sherman of the Chicago Tribune writes that even though NBC dropped the Bears from Sunday Night Football, CBS and Fox are more than happy to pick them up.
ESPN tells us the features that will be carried on Sunday NFL Countdown and Monday Night Countdown.
Marc Hansen of the Des Moines Register talks with former KCCI-TV sports director Heidi Soliday who appears to have been forced out of the station (she’s not saying it, but I am).
Dave Vest of the Arizona Republic writes that the PGA Tour’s FBR Open is willing to share the spotlight with the Super Bowl in February.
Mike Thomas of the Orlando Sentinel says the Magic’s move to put 35 games on FSN without the channel getting an agreement first with Bright House Cable smacks of greed.
Marc Narducci of the Philadelphia Inquirer writes that Saturday’s Penn State-Temple game will not be available to Comcast subscribers because the game is on ESPNU.
Ken Burger of the Charleston (SC) Post-Courier writes that ESPN’s Bob Davie is willing to be negative towards South Carolina coach Steve Spurrier when no one else is.
The Lafayette (IN) Journal and Courier has a story on the Big Ten Network’s analysts for women’s college basketball. Jeff Rabjons of the Indianapolis Star says a former Indiana Miss Basketball will be one of the main studio analysts for BTN. Linda Haugsted of Multichannel News writes that legislation to force cable companies to put the Big Ten and NFL Networks on Ohio cable TV has died.
Ted Hearn of Multichannel News reports that Comcast has given the FCC the reason why it hasn’t put the NFL Network on basic cable. An editoral in the Appleton (WI) Post-Crescent calls for the state legislature to quickly consider its bill for the NFL and Big Ten Networks.
Len Ziehm of the Chicago Sun-Times writes that Comcast SportsNet will try to give the viewer the full experience of being at a Blackhawks home game. Tom Alexander of the Chicago Sports Review gives praise to Blackhawks President Rocky Wirtz for quickly putting together a package of home games for fans.
Robert Feder also of the Sun-Times says Dan Patrick has picked up a Chicago affiliate and is on pace to be syndicated 100 radio stations by January.
That will be it for now. I might have an update tonight. Primetime Viewing Picks are next.
Earlier today, Richard Sandomir of the New York Times reported that ABC late night host Jimmy Kimmel would not be returning to Monday Night Football after he made a comment referring to the fired Joe Theismann. For his part, Theismann was amused by the comment, but was not watching the game at the time Jimmy was on.
Richard Deitsch of Sports Illustrated managed to get in touch with Kimmel earlier today and for his part, Jimmy was actually surprised that ESPN went that far to ban him from the MNF booth. In Deitsch’s story, Kimmel is quoted as saying, “I was on for twice as long as I was expecting to be on,” Kimmel said. “There was no set time on how long I was supposed to be in that booth and they could have removed me without me even knowing there was a problem.”
Having read the comments and not hearing them directly, I don’t think the comments were all that bad.
And Deitsch writes that and ESPN spokesperson did not rule Kimmel from returning to MNF in the future so we’ll see. For his part, Jimmy is handling this well and he’ll probably make reference to the whole thing on his show, “Jimmy Kimmel Live” tonight on ABC. It will make for interesting viewing.