Time for some linkage in this mid-week and last day of the 2012 MLB regular season. Lots of things to get to.
USA Today’s Michael Hiestand analyzes the new MLB TV deals with Fox and Turner.
Nate Davis of USA Today’s Game On blog previews tonight’s NFL Network “A Football Life” documentary.
John Ourand and David Broughton of Sports Business Journal report on this season’s local MLB TV ratings.
Eriq Gardner of the Hollywood Reporter has a Fox Sports executive being very bullish on soccer.
Alex Ben Block of the Reporter goes over the MLB contracts with Fox and Turner.
John Eggerton of Broadcasting & Cable writes that the American Cable Association, which hates everything, is railing against the MLB TV deals.
Mike Reynolds from Multichannel News also delves into the new MLB deals.
Mike says Monday night’s Chicago Bears-Dallas Cowboys game garnered cable’s third biggest audience of the year.
Kristian Dyer at Yahoo’s Shutdown Corner blog notes that Olympic hurdler Lolo Jones has apologized for an unintentional insensitive tweet responding to the paralyzed Eric LeGrand.
Spiracle Media through Storify harnessed some tweets from athletes who watched the extremely fascinating 30 for 30 documentary, “Broke” on ESPN.
Ed Sherman from The Sherman Report anticipates Fox’s next move to create an all-sports cable channel.
Ken Kerschbaumer of Sports Video Group looks at PGA.com’s video coverage of the Ryder Cup.
ESPN’s Darren Rovell explores the NFL financial advisory program in hopes of preventing athletes from going broke.
NFL referee Ed Hochuli is on the cover of this week’s Sports Illustrated.
Chad Finn of the Boston Globe explores the latest Arbitron ratings for the city’s sports radio stations.
Richard Sandomir of the New York Times looks at the new MLB TV deals.
Pete Dougherty of the Albany Times Union has the Week 6 college football TV schedule.
Dan Steinberg of the Washington Post’s DC Sports Bog notes that ESPN’s and former DC sports reporter Lindsay Czarniak celebrated the Nationals on SportsCenter.
Jim Williams of the Washington Examiner writes about the new MLB TV deals.
Mel Bracht of The Oklahoman says last Saturday’s Texas-Oklahoma State game registered huge local ratings.
Bob Wolfley in the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel says a local sports anchor will not face charges stemming from a domestic violence case.
Howie Magner of Milwaukee Magazine profiles Trenni Kusnierek, now of Comcast SportsNet New England, on her battle with depression.
Robert Feder of TimeOut Chicago writes that the Bulls have renewed their Spanish radio rights (scroll down).
Paul M. Banks at Chicago Sports Media Watch has a full story on the Bulls’ renewal.
Tom Hoffarth of the Los Angeles Daily News says the new TV deals with Fox and Turner gives MLB plenty of stability into the next decade.
James Mirtle of the Toronto Globe and Mail notes that CBC’s Don Cherry is blasting the Maple Leafs for their treatment of one of their players.
Bruce Dowbiggin from the Globe and Mail notes that the MLB Postseason will have teams from both small and big markets.
Cork Gaines at the Business Insider Sports Page has some memorable quotes from last night’s 30 for 30 “Broke” documentary.
John Daly at the Daly Planet explores the possibilities for the much discussed, but unconfirmed Fox Sports 1.
Joe Favorito says College Radio Day is a very good thing for aspiring broadcasters.
The legend of Australian hurdler Michelle Jenneke is growing thanks to a new animated gif showing her warming up in the rain. This has nothing to do with sports media. Just me linking to Michelle Jenneke.
And that is all.
Haven’t been able to provide the Friday megalinks in a while. Let’s do an edition today.
Normally I include a link to the Weekend Viewing Picks, but I’ll be doing that tonight so you can find it on my site when it’s posted. If you follow me on Twitter or have an RSS feed, you’ll be updated as soon as it posts. If not, you can find it later.
Let’s do the links.
USA Today’s Michael Hiestand wonders what effect the gold medal win by the US Women’s Soccer National Team will have on the sport in the long run.
Michael also live blogged Thursday’s Olympic Primetime on NBC.
Jeffrey Martin of USA Today looks at the grand experiment that’s known as the Pac-12 Networks.
Sports Illustrated’s Richard Deitsch talks with NBC Sports Chairman Mark Lazarus about the NBCUniversal’s handling of the 2012 Olympics.
At the Sports on Earth blog, Joe Posnanski chronicles his day in covering the Olympics.
Austin Karp of Sports Business Daily says with NFL preseason games airing in many local markets on Thursday, NBC Olympic overnight ratings took a hit.
Bill King of SBD says CBS Sports is forging ahead with a show featuring the professional debut of several US Olympic boxers despite their poor performance in London.
Ryan Baucom of SBD writes that several Olympic athletes are getting a boost in Twitter followers after their success in the London Games.
Tripp Mickle of SBD says Universal Sports broke out an ad on NBC Thursday trying to promote its Olympic sports programming. Good luck with that.
Eric Fisher of SBD says Yahoo is declaring victory over NBCOlympics.com for unique pageviews.
Sohrab Amari of the Wall Street Journal reviews an NBC News documentary fronted by Tom Brokaw which will air on NBC’s Olympic coverage on Saturday.
Sarah Kwak of Sports Illustrated talks with Lolo Jones about the media firestorm that swelled just before she ran her 100 meters hurdles race.
In the Sherman Report, Ed Sherman talks with outgoing Boston Globe columnist Bob Ryan about his first job. Ryan will be missed in the pages of the Globe.
Sports Media Journal’s Keith Thibault and I have an Olympic-themed podcast with Richard Sandomir of the New York Times and Bruce Beck of WNBC-TV.
The Hollywood Reporter notes that Today Show host Matt Lauer had an icy reunion with former co-host Ann Curry on NBC’s London Olympics set.
John Eggerton at Broadcasting & Cable writes that the FCC has already denied a Comcast request to stay its decision requiring the cable provider to give space to the Tennis Channel.
Christopher Heine of Adweek says Olympic marketers have failed to medal in their social media campaigns.
But Simon Dumenco of Advertising Age looks at the Olympic sponsors that managed to get a boost through social media.
Michael Learmonth of Advertising Age says NBC and the International Olympic Committee have to fix the Olympic business model before it breaks down.
Toni Fitzgerald of Media Life notes that NBC’s ratings for Wednesday Olympic Primetime show drew better viewership numbers than Atlanta in 1996.
Brandon Costa of Sports Video Group says CBS Sports is preparing for all type of weather conditions for this weekend’s PGA Championship.
Karen Hogan of SVG looks at NBC New York Olympic operations.
Ken Kerschbaumer at SVG says Denmark TV has a floating barge studio for the London Olympics. Now that’s pretty cool.
And Birgit Heidsiek of SVG says Eurosport TV is producing the Olympics in 3-D.
Jason Fry of the Poynter Institute and writing as the ESPN Ombudsman investigates a plagiarism incident at the Alleged Worldwide Leader.
Ronnie Ramos at the Indiana University National Sports Journalism Center writes that the Pac-12 Conference is readying an aggressive digital strategy that will go along with its television distribution.
Ty Duffy at The Big Lead goes after former NBC Sports Emperor Dick Ebersol for being out of touch in defending the tape delayed Olympics.
The Big Lead looks at the Pac-12 being in the forefront of digital distribution after being marred for years of being behind the curve.
Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk says the Miami Dolphins will take advantage of the NFL’s relaxed TV blackout policy this weekend.
Emmett Jones of Sports Business Digest notes that Buffalo Wild Wings has purchased naming rights for a college bowl game. Looks like it will be going to overtime every year.
Sports Media Watch says with NBC committed to the Olympics this year, the NFL Hall of Fame preseason game was aired on NFL Network and naturally suffered a big viewer dropoff.
SMW reports that NBC got another ratings increase for the Olympics.
TVNewsCheck says Gannett is declaring victory saying three of its stations are the top-rated local NBC affiliates in key demographics.
Alex Weprin of TVNewser looks at NBC’s Today Show operations in London.
At TVSpy, Alex tours NBC’s operation center for its local affiliates in London.
East and Mid-Atlantic
Chad Finn of the Boston Globe talks with Celtics TV voice Mike Gorman who’s been calling Olympic handball off a monitor for NBC.
At SB Nation Boston, Bruce Allen discusses Golf Channel’s meteoric rise and its plans to cover the PGA Championship this weekend.
Jane L. Levere of the New York Times writes about ESPN’s new ad campaign for Monday Night Football.
Verne Gay at Newsday notes that a long-time NBC Sports director is retiring after the Olympics.
Newsday’s Chris Serico wonders if NBC’s Matt Lauer and Meredith Viera will be a bit more subdued during the Olympic Closing Ceremony on Sunday than their talkative performance during the Opening Ceremony two Fridays ago.
Neil Best of Newsday catches up with ESPN’s Ron Jaworski who’s filling a new role at the network after being in the Monday Night Football both.
Phil Mushnick of the New York Post is in another one of his moods today.
Pete Dougherty of the Albany Times Union notes a local radio station’s high school football schedule.
Ken McMillan from the Middletown (NY) Times Herald-Record says Pac-12 Networks will be seen on Time Warner Cable locally.
Keith Groller of the Allentown (PA) Morning Call says despite a lost season, the Philadelphia Phillies TV crew still has plenty to talk about during games.
Tim Richardson in Press Box looks at the business of fantasy football as leagues get ready to hold their drafts soon, if not already.
Sarah Kogod of the Washington Post’s DC Sports Bog notes that more people were watching the DC NFL Team in area sports bars last night as compared to the Nationals.
Dan Steinberg of the DC Sports Bog says the Nationals radio team tried to explain the term “ball bag”.
Greg Cote of the Miami Herald reviews HBO’s Hard Knocks on the Dolphins.
Craig Davis of the South Florida Sun-Sentinel says the Dolphins have announced their TV blackout policy today.
Mel Bracht of The Oklahoman says a local high school sports TV show expands to a new market.
The Cincinnati Enquirer says ESPN’s College GameDay could be visiting the Queen City in February.
Bob Wolfley of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel looks at Dick Ebersol’s latest comments on tape delaying Olympic events.
Dan Caesar of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch talks with a local sports radio host who’s perturbed at a former employer.
Dan notes that the Olympics and the St. Louis Cardinals ratings have been hurt by each other.
Patrick Finley of the Arizona Daily Star says the Pac-12 Networks are ready to launch next week, but without a few major cable and satellite providers.
John Maffei of the North County Times talks with a former NBC Olympics analyst who was fired on the spot after calling a race.
To the Ventura County Star where Jim Carlisle talks about the increased spotlight on the Pac-12 through its new TV networks.
Jim says Twitter has become an Olympic event.
Lisa Dillman of the Los Angeles Times has the Irish radio call of boxer Katie Taylor’s victory giving the country its first gold medal of the Olympics.
Tom Hoffarth of the Los Angeles Daily News says this is a critical time for beach volleyball as the sport is in transition now.
Tom has some Olympic TV notes in his blog.
And those are your supersized megalinks for today.
Let’s do the Thursday linkage. We’re doing well so far this week, knock on wood.
Austin Karp of Sports Business Journal reports NBC’s overnight rating for Wednesday’s Olympic Primetime was up from Beijing.
Tripp Mickle of Sports Business Journal says YouTube is looking to further strengthen its live sports portfolio after streaming Olympic content in Africa and Asia.
Austin Karp of SBJ says NBC’s Olympic ratings remain ahead of Beijing’s pace.
Michael Katz of USA Today notes that USA gold medal-winning gymnast McKayla Maroney taught NBC’s Jenna Bush how to do the Dougie. Can’t wait for Colin Cowherd to criticize both for their upbringings.
Speaking of McKayla, Erin Carlson of the Hollywood Reporter notes that one of the funniest internet memes has come Maroney’s reaction to winning the silver medal last week in the individual vault event. Here is the site, “McKayla Maroney is not Impressed” which is being updated quite frequently.
Major League Baseball has released the 2012 Postseason schedule with networks.
John Eggerton at Broadcasting & Cable says Comcast is still fighting an FCC decision requiring the cable provider to make room for Tennis Channel.
Dan Alexander at Forbes writes that the U.S. Fierce Five gymnasts stand to make a lot of money in endorsements.
Brian Steinberg of Advertising Age says the 2012 Olympics may be winding down, but NBCUniversal has already sold a portion of its ad time for the 2014 Winter Games in Sochi.
Toni Fitzgerald of Media Life says NBC’s strategy to put the Olympics on NBC Sports Network is paying off.
Steve Lepore at SB Nation provides his rankings for NBC’s Olympic announcers.
Ed Sherman at The Sherman Report is surprised to learn that CBS Sports Chairman Sean McManus and golf producer Lance Barrow aren’t concerned with slow play in golf.
Eric Deggans of the Tampa Bay Times writing for the Indiana University National Sports Journalism Center says critics of NBC’s tape delays should be focusing their anger at something else.
Steve Myers at the Poynter Institute says a new Gallup Poll finds viewers want their Olympics live in primetime.
Stephen Douglas at The Big Lead has video of Fox’s Erin Andrews and Eddie George dancing to “Call Me Maybe”.
NBC Sports provides a sneak peek at its new digs currently under construction in Connecticut.
Jason Dachman of Sports Video Group explores how the Olympics are being sent to Australia.
Bill Carter of the New York Times writes that female Olympic athletes are finding the spotlight and scrutiny rather harsh, especially Lolo Jones.
Sam Borden of the Times says viewers of women’s water polo are getting a bit more exposure than they anticipated.
Ken Schott of the Schenectady Gazette notes that ESPNU won’t airing any college hockey regular season games again.
Ken McMillan from the Middletown (NY) Times Herald-Record notes that local radio stations will be picking up national college and NFL broadcasts this fall.
In Press Box, Dave Hughes from DCRTV.com notes that Comcast SportsNet Mid-Atlantic will be all over the Baltimore Ravens and DC NFL Team in the preseason.
David Zurawik of the Baltimore Sun looks at a poll which shows a majority of Americans like how NBC is handling the Olympics.
Dan Steinberg of the Washington Post’s DC Sports Bog says MLB Network’s Kevin Millar and ESPN’s Dick Vitale (?) are weighing in on the Nationals’ strategy to shut down pitcher Stephen Strasburg.
Jim Williams of the Washington Examiner writes that NBC is setting viewership records both online and on TV for the Olympics.
At the Bleacher Report, Jim looks at Telemundo’s coverage of the 2012 London Games.
Back to Eric Deggans, this time in his home newspaper the Tampa Bay Times, says NBC’s syndicated Olympic Zone program blurs the line between real news and advertising.
John Kiesewetter of the Cincinnati Enquirer notes that the Reds’ hot July pumped Fox Sports Ohio’s ratings.
Bob Wolfley of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel says Big Ten Network’s college football announcers have some local ties.
Danny Ecker of Crain’s Chicago Business writes that local TV ratings for the Olympics are good, but not at the top of the country.
David Brauer of the Minnesota Post looks at Minneapolis-St. Paul’s radio ratings including the sports radio wars.
Scott D. Pierce from the Salt Lake Tribune says Salt Lake has the highest ratings in the nation for the Olympics once again.
Tom Hoffarth of the Los Angeles Daily News says it’s about time for the annual Vin Scully announcement on whether he’ll return for another season.
Sports Media Watch has some of the bottom feeders among the local ratings for the Olympics.
Joe Favorito says the soccer exhibition “friendlies” may now be over in the U.S., but they helped to grow the game.
The latest Awful Announcing podcast has ESPN’s Darren Rovell as the guest.
Dave Kohl at the Broadcast Booth looks at some teams making flagship radio station moves.
And that’s going to finish us for today.
Let’s provide some mid-week linkage before I get too busy later on.
Austin Karp of Sports Business Daily writes that NBC’s overnight rating for Tuesday’s Olympic primetime was up from the comparable night four years ago.
Tripp Mickle of SBJ says NBC is about to set up a set of exhibition beach volleyball matches between the US and China later this year.
In an SBJ podcast, Tripp meets with Sports Illustrated’s Richard Deitsch to talk about the media coverage of the 2012 Olympics.
Tim Goodman of the Hollywood Reporter will not complain about NBC’s Olympic coverage.
Daniel Miller of the Reporter says swimmer Ryan Lochte is in discussions to star in his own reality TV show.
Also from the Reporter, Marisa Guthrie has five lessons NBC should learn from the 2012 Games.
Another from the Reporter, a majority of those polled think Ryan Seacrest is doing a good job at the Olympics? Who is being polled?
And finally from the Reporter, Eriq Gardner reports that the NCAA has been ordered to hand over TV licensing revenue documents in a case involving video game manufacturer Electronic Arts which is using likenesses of student-athletes without permission from the athletes themselves.
Stephen Douglas at The Big Lead has video of Lolo Jones breaking down on the Today Show this morning.
Meanwhile, Glenn Davis of SportsGrid has video of medal winners Dawn Harper and Kellie Wells being rather candid about their opinions on Lolo with Michelle Beadle this morning.
Jen Floyd Engel at FoxSports.com says despite what the media says, this is not the Olympics of the Woman as the media is stating.
Graeme McMillan of Time asks if NBC should offer the Olympics as reality TV or just straight sports?
Joe Posnanski talks with former NBC Sports Emperor Dick Ebersol about working his last Olympics for American television, the 2012 London Games.
Reid Cherner of USA Today’s Game On has a look at the upcoming slate of 30 for 30 documentaries.
Stewart Mandel of Sports Illustrated profiles ESPN’s Joe Tessitore who is getting a high profile college football assignment after years of taking on crazy schedules.
SI’s Richard Deitsch has a college football roundtable featuring writers Stewart Mandel, Andy Staples and Holly Anderson on what they expect from the TV side of the sport this season.
Tim Baysinger of Broadcasting & Cable says NBC Sports Network is setting viewership records with Olympic programming.
Tim writes that AT&T U-Verse has signed a new agreement to carry NFL Network and RedZone.
Mike Reynolds of Multichannel News says the 2012 Olympics are on pace to become the most-watched TV event in US history.
Anthony Crupi of Adweek writes that online sports viewers can tolerate the bombardment of ads seen during the Olympics.
Thomas Pardee of Advertising Age says the Olympics are topping social TV sites like GetGlue, but HBO’s True Blood is showing its reach.
Toni Fitzgerald of Media Life looks at the winners and losers from broadcasting the Olympics.
Phil Swann at TV Predictions says DirecTV may be adding five new channels including one sports network run by Al Jazeera.
Ed Sherman of The Sherman Report notes that a former Boston Globe college sports columnist is now on his own and got a big scoop this week.
Ed has a couple of NBC Sports-related announcements that have nothing to do with the Olympics.
Ken Kerschbaumer of Sports Video Group looks at NBC’s operations at Olympic Stadium.
ESPN’s Darren Rovell notes that it’s better for sponsors that Michael Phelps remain retired instead of him being an active Olympian.
CBS Radio has officially announced that Scott Zolak will be the radio analyst for New England Patriots games starting this Thursday. He replaces Gino Cappeletti who retired last month.
Ken Schott from the Schenectady Gazette writes that NBC is getting a mixed ratings bag for the Olympics from the last few days.
Pete Dougherty of the Albany Times Union tells readers where they can find this week’s New York Giants preseason opener.
Pete has ESPN’s schedule of MLB games for most of this month.
Ken McMillan of the Middletown (NY) Times Herald-Record notes that former Jets and Giants coach Bill Parcells will appear on ESPN Radio NY opposite his buddy, WFAN’s Mike Francesa during NFL season.
Ken says NBC Sports Network will have Olympic reruns throughout August.
From the Washington Post’s DC Sports Bog, Dan Steinberg notes that ESPN Radio Hack Colin Cowherd is up to his old tricks again.
Eric Deggans from the Tampa Bay Times wonders if the Olympic promos for the NBC’s “Go On” might actually hurt the show in the long run.
Adam H. Beasley of the Miami Herald looks at last night’s Hard Knock premiere on HBO.
Izzy Gould at the South Florida Sun-Sentinel writes that the Miami Dolphins put the team up for display on Hard Knocks.
Gould says Hard Knocks did not explore the Dolphins’ injuries.
Mel Bracht from The Oklahoman says the local NBC affiliate’s ratings are down from 4 years ago.
T.J. Simers of the Los Angeles Times talks with Vin Scully about calling Sandy Koufax’s perfect game back in 1965.
Tom Hoffarth of the Los Angeles Daily News says Scully made a great argument for using instant replay in baseball during an argument on the field Monday night.
The Canadian Sports Media Blog says while viewers in the Great White North are complaining about Olympic coverage, the ratings are saying otherwise.
Ben Koo of Awful Announcing goes in-depth into the Turner Sports purchase of the Bleacher Report.
Matt Yoder of AA defends Lolo Jones against the very strange media backlash that began over the weekend in the New York Times.
John Koblin of Deadspin writes that even our troops stationed abroad are victims to NBC’s tape delays and can’t watch the Olympics live!
Sports Media Watch says UFC on Fox set yet another record low for mixed martial arts on network TV.
The Big Lead, in a sponsored post, speaks with CBS’ Clark Kellogg.
That is going to do it for today.
As we go into the second week of the 2012 London Olympics or the Games of the XXX Summer Olympiad, I thought I would take the opportunity on this middle Sunday to look ahead for the next set of Games on television.
We know that NBCUniversal will carry the Olympics through 2020, that’s two Winter and two Summer Games in that timespan. While the network has been served well by its current crop of announcers, some of whom date back as far back as 1988, it’s time to replace them with a new generation of hosts, play-by-play callers and analysts who can carry the network through 2020 and possibly beyond.
I’ll focus this post on the Summer Games since that’s what we’ve been watching for the last 8 days. I’ll do a Winter Olympics announcing post at a later date. I’ll start with hosts, then go by the glamor sports.
Bob Costas — Bob is 60 this year and while his youthful look betrays his age, he’ll be 64 in 2016 for Rio and 68 in 2020 at a site yet to be determined. ABC’s Jim McKay hosted his last Olympics in 1988 at age 65. Costas remains the best interviewer on sports television and should be allowed to host the Olympics on NBC for as long as he wants. I don’t think he’s going anywhere.
Dan Patrick — Dan is just four years younger than Bob, but if Costas decides to leave, DP could step into his shoes as Primetime host.
Liam McHugh — For 2016, I would think this is where NBC could tap Liam McHugh and put him in Al Michaels’ place on Daytime. Al would be 71 in Rio and while he would still be very good at calling Sunday Night Football in four years, I would not put him in the host’s chair in Rio. McHugh has proven he can be very versatile hosting the NHL Postseason, the Stanley Cup Final, the Tour de France and the Olympics over a four month span. That is not easy, but Liam has made it look easy and that’s the sign of a very good host.
Bonnie Bernstein — ESPN’s Bonnie Bernstein is the best personality not to have an Olympic gig. This is like saying she’s the Best Golfer Not To Win A Major. She has proven as a substitute host for Dan Patrick and on Twitter that she can discuss multiple sports. And Bonnie’s also a former gymnast. Watching BBC’s coverage of the London Games, the network utilizes both studio and venue hosts. Making Bonnie a venue host at Gymnastics with Nastia Liukin as her analyst would work to one of her strengths. She was a five-time host of the NCAA Gymnastics Championship when she was at CBS. I would love to see her work an Olympic Games.
Ryan Burr — Ryan will be coming to the NBCUniversal family to work at Golf Channel and at NBC Sports Network. We could see him host on either MSNBC or NBCSN.
Michelle Beadle — Michelle’s done a great job thus far in London. She has shown she can talk Olympic sports and bring some humor as well.
Kelly Tilghman — I’ve liked her work on MSNBC. I can see her on future Olympics as well.
Let’s do this by sport.
BASKETBALL — If the NBA continues sending players to the Olympics, then NBC could continue utilizing Bob Fitzgerald from Comcast SportsNet Bay Area and Chris Carrino. This is where NBC should tap Turner Sports for a Steve Kerr or even Reggie Miller for analysts.
If basketball becomes an Under 23 tournament as speculated, NBC may have to hire college basketball announcers. Borrowing Ian Eagle from CBS and YES to call games would be a good move. Jay Bilas from ESPN would forge a strong team with Ian throughout the Games. And NBC should still utilize Craig Sager as the reporter although he looks muted with a regular wardrobe.
On the women’s side, if NBC could get Doris Burke on loan from ESPN, that would be ideal. She could work men’s games too as she’s proven over the past few years. If NBC can’t get Doris Burke, why not former ESPN’er Stacey Dales or Fox Sports Net’s Debbie Antonelli?
BOXING — Bob Papa and Teddy Atlas are a very good team and should remain, but I’d love for NBC to bring in its old friend Jim Lampley with Larry Merchant and Emmanuel Steward from HBO to call one or two bouts a day. What could be better than that? And bring in Harold Lederman for judging analysis while we’re at it.
Host Fred Roggin should be replaced with boxing fan Brian Kenny of MLB Network.
CYCLING — If it’s not Phil Liggett and Paul Sherwen, NBC should go announcer-less.
DIVING — Can you believe Cynthia Potter has worked every Summer Olympics on network television since 1984? She’s been solid, but it’s time to bring in some new blood. 2000 gold medalist Laura Wilkinson who worked the Diving Trials for NBC Sports Network in June is a potential candidate.
GYMNASTICS — Utilizing a favorite word of Tim Daggett’s, the announcing on this sport over the last two Olympiads has been catastrophic. Normally, I like Al Trautwig, but his calls of gymnastics in 2008 in Beijing and this year in London is reaching John Tesh disastrous proportions in 1996. Al makes everything seems at life or death levels. In addition, his penchant to focus on crying gymnasts borders on creepy.
Tim Daggett’s constant talking and use of the word “catastrophic” is annoying. Elfi Schlegel has been reduced to short sentences. NBC needs to replace this team for 2016.
This is where NBC can utilize a venue host (see Bonnie Bernstein above) with an analyst. Nastia Liukin could fill that role very nicely. Bela Karolyi has proven to be Must See TV and should be one of the studio analysts. And if his wife, Marta retires, imagine the fireworks on the set between those two.
NBC is using Terry Gannon this year to call rowing. Why not have Terry call Olympic Gymnastics in 2016? He has called the sport for ABC and did it well. And having watched the World Feed this year through NBC’s Olympics Live Extra app, I’m very impressed with Shannon Miller from 1996′s Magnificent Seven Team. She’s been the sole analyst for Olympic Broadcasting Services and has done very well in explaining certain moves, the scoring system and their implications without sounding overdramatic. Terry Gannon and Shannon Miller would make an excellent team.
GOLF — Remember, golf makes its return to the Olympics in Rio in 2016, having made its last appearance in 1904. NBC/Golf Channel has an established team with Dan Hicks, Johnny Miller, Nick Faldo, Roger Maltbie, Brandell Chamblee, Frank Nobilo, Rich Lerner, the aforementioned Kelly Tilghman, David Feherty, the incoming Ryan Burr and so many others who could work this event.
Some people have asked me on Twitter if Dan would stop calling swimming to do golf. I think Dan could do both especially if the IOC (with the help of NBC) decides to schedule golf in the second week of the Olympics, so that it doesn’t interfere with swimming, tennis, gymnastics and other sports in the first week. This is where a venue host would come in handy, perhaps Kelly or Ryan with one or two of the many Golf Channel analysts. And we could expect Golf Channel to have a role in picking up the first two rounds of Olympic Golf with NBC coming in for the last two rounds.
SOCCER — NBC used its MLS crew, Arlo White and Kyle Martino on the men’s games along with JP Dellacamera, Glenn Davis, Steve Cangialosi and Allen Hopkins. I’d love to see English Premier League announcers Martin Tyler and Ian Darke on US TV calling some Olympic action.
Brandi Chastain despite Hope Solo’s complaints last week is doing well on women’s games and I would keep her in the booth.
SWIMMING — Dan Hicks has made this one of his signature sports along with golf throughout his career at NBC. I can’t see him leaving the sport unless golf is scheduled in the first week, but I don’t think that would happen. Rowdy Gaines has been a good salesman for swimming and he’s doing yeoman’s work to raise money for the sport to establish a training center. However, I’ve grown tired of his screaming and his voice raising over 50 octaves. This is where NBC could bring in a plethora of gold medalists to replace Gaines. This is also a sport that could utilize a venue host and it’s where Liam McHugh could go if NBC decides to keep Al Michaels in Daytime.
While Phelps has said he’s retiring, NBC would like to see him in Rio either as a swimmer or perhaps an analyst. If the network uses him on TV, I’d prefer to see him in the studio. At first thought, I felt putting Phelps on camera would be a bad move, but this was based on his interviews in Beijing where he looked uncomfortable. During his NBC interviews in London, Michael has looked more at ease, but that does not necessarily make for a good analyst. If he wants to go the TV route, putting him in the studio for short spurts might be best for 2016.
As for the races, I’d go with Amy Van Dyken to replace Rowdy. For the past year, Amy has been co-hosting Fox Sports Tonight with Rob Dibble on Fox Sports Radio and she’s been in London analyzing the Olympic swimming for FoxSports.com. Amy is not only funny, but she speaks her mind. She knows the mind of an Olympic athlete and I think she’d be perfect with Dan in calling the races.
TENNIS — This sport finally received some glamor treatment from NBC this year. However, it was treated badly with Pat O’Brien as the venue host. Not only did Pat demonstrate a huge lack of knowledge, he conducted awkward interviews as well. Brett Haber and Andrew Catalon did very well on the play-by-play and I liked Rennae Stubbs to want her to return in Rio. Justin Gimelstob was a weak link in the crew. I’d replace him with ESPN’s Darren Cahill or have John McEnroe call more matches.
TRACK & FIELD — There’s not much I would replace here. Tom Hammond is about as classy an announcer as you will find. Ato Boldon has become a very strong analyst. And NBC has brought back Craig Masback, long a staple of track coverage in the 1980′s and 1990′s. But for 2016, I think Lolo Jones would make for a good studio analyst. And Michael Johnson who has been on the last few Olympics for the BBC would work well too. Having Bob host Primetime from the Athletics venue would be a nice change of pace from being in the studio. And he could mix it up with Lolo and Michael.
Those are my suggestions. If you have some of your own, put them in the comments below.
Yes you do. It’s overdue. I thought being on unemployment would give me more time for doing the site. Instead, I have less. I don’t know how that’s happened.
Anyway, here are some links for you.
USA Today’s Michael Hiestand has soon-to-be NBC’s Michelle Beadle saying even she’s sick of the coverage on where she’s going next.
Michael takes a look at the Weekend TV ratings.
Nicole Auerbach of USA Today says Laurie Fine, wife of ex-Syracuse assistant basketball coach Bernie Fine, has officially filed her libel lawsuit against ESPN.
At Sports Business Journal, John Ourand and Michael Smith report that the Southeastern Conference, in the midst of restructuring its media rights deal with CBS and ESPN, could be resurrecting its plans to start an SEC Channel.
Mike Reynolds from Multichannel News goes over the “trade” between TBS and MLB Network giving the young network its first postseason action this season.
Tim Baysinger of Broadcasting & Cable says ESPN 3D will air the last five days of Wimbledon later this summer.
David Mercer of the Associated Press says citing low ratings, the Big Ten Network will drop academic non-sports programming in order to air higher rated sports.
Anthony Crupi of Adweek talks about GM pulling out of advertising in Super Bowl XLVII.
Brian Clapp at Sports TV Jobs tells aspiring sports TV anchors how to thrive in local markets despite the shrinking amount of time in newscasts.
Dan Fogarty from SportsGrid has video of TNT’s Charles Barkley admitting to America that he waxes his eyebrows.
Eric Goldschein of SportsGrid has this funny video of Saturday Night Live’s Jay Pharoah getting Stephen A. “A is for Acrimonious” Smith down pat.
From the New Haven Register, David Borges talks with long-time Red Sox radio voice and Connecticut native Joe Castiglione about his career and his new book.
Ken Schott at the Schenectady Gazette talks about CBS Sports sublicensing some college basketball games from ESPN.
Pete Dougherty in the Albany Times Union has the French Open TV schedule.
Pete says the overnight ratings for the Preakness Stakes dropped double digits from last year.
Jonathan Tannenwald of Philly.com says NBC Sports Network will tap some familiar names to call MLS action this weekend.
David Zurawik of the Baltimore Sun says NBC got the job done in its Preakness Stakes production.
Dan Steinberg of the Washington Post’s DC Sports Bog says Comcast SportsNet Mid-Atlantic is on the RGIII train.
The increasingly bitter Thomas Boswell of the WaPo feels MASN should pony up for the Washington Nationals media rights.
Jim Williams at the Washington Examiner writes that outgoing NFL Network insider Jason La Canfora is looking forward to working and writing for CBS.
Eric Deggans of the Tampa Bay Times says two writers from the newspaper including sports media writer Tom Jones will co-host a new morning show for the local sports radio station. Jones will now stop covering sports radio to avoid a conflict of interest.
Iliana Limón Romero of the Orlando Sentinel says the Big East is hopeful of finding a suitable TV suitor for the league.
David Barron from the Houston Chronicle has some sports media observations.
Mel Bracht at The Oklahoman writes that TNT’s Charles Barkley is looking forward to visiting Oklahoma City for the NBA Western Conference Finals.
John Kiesewetter of the Cincinnati Enquirer writes that the Reds gave local radio station WLW a big ratings win last month.
Bob Wolfley in the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel looks at the local weekend ratings.
Dan Caesar of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch says a technical glitch forced Cardinals fans to watch Fox Sports San Diego’s feed of last night’s Redbirds-Padres game and listen to Dick Enberg which is not a bad thing at all.
Bryce Miller of the Des Moines Reigster says Iowan and Olympics hurdler Lolo Jones is on a media blitz.
Tom Hoffarth of the Los Angeles Daily News says the Dodgers will honor long-time Spanish radio voice Jaime Jarrin next month.
Timothy Burke at Deadspin has video of NBC Sports Network’s Doc Emrick ripping diving in soccer.
Steve Lepore of Puck The Media says ratings for the NHL Conference Finals on the NBC Sports Group are down.
Matt Yoder of Awful Announcing has some of Pam Ward’s “Greatest” hits over her years calling college football.
That will do it for now.
On Tuesday, HBO’s Real Sports with Bryant Gumbel will air a feature on Olympic hurdler Lolo Jones and her attempts to get back to the Games. You may remember in the 2008 Communist China Olympics that Jones was leading the women’s 100 meter hurdles and was the heavy favorite to win the gold medal when she hit the next to last hurdle, then fell to the track and lost the race. Now, she’s attempting to get back to the Olympics for her shot at redemption.
Mary Carillo interviewed Lolo and we have some clips from the show that will air on Tuesday. And the subject matter is rather fascinating.
First, Jones talks about how she got the name “Lolo”.
Here, Lolo tells Mary what it takes to train to get to the Olympics.
And in this clip, Lolo explains to Mary why she decided to remain a virgin until she marries.
Real Sports with Bryant Gumbel airs Tuesday night at 10 ET/PT on HBO with various replays throughout the next three weeks.