I hope you survived the Black Friday experience if you went out today. If you decided to shop online, better to do that than wait outside in the cold especially in the Northeast where the temperatures dropped below freezing overnight. No fun.
Anyway, I’ll provide the links. The Weekend Viewing Picks are here.
To the linkage.
At USA Today, Michael Hiestand and Mike McCarthy debate whether it’s appropriate to mention religion and faith in sports television.
Mike Reynolds of Multichannel News writes that HBO will give viewers a 12 minute sneak peek on its new NHL-themed 24/7 series tonight.
Dan Fogarty of SportsGrid has the picture of Thanksgiving Day in which a Dallas Cowboys cheerleader got the start of her 15 minutes.
Tom Lorenzo at SportsGrid has a funny vidcap of a kid fast asleep during the Miami-Dallas game. Too much turkey, I guess.
Joe Favorito says hockey hopes to fill a void left by the NBA.
Sports Media Watch has the ratings for all NASCAR Sprint Cup races this season.
SMW notes that ESPN’s Monday Night Football saw a ratings increase for Chiefs-Pats.
SMW says NBC’s Sunday Night Football suffered a rare ratings and viewership drop in Week 11.
And SMW writes that last week’s Thursday Night Football gave NFL Network some early Thanksgiving treats.
Steve Lepore at Puck The Media has the ratings of CBC’s Hockey Night in Canada to date.
The Awful Announcing staff lists the announcers it’s thankful for.
Overseas, BBC Sport, once a UK powerhouse, is now cutting back and it’s only doing half a schedule of one of its signature sports, Formula 1. It explains how it’s covering Formula 1 in 2012.
Owen Gibson of the London (UK) Guardian says BBC has won back the rights to the IAAF World Athletic Championships, an event it lost for the first time this year.
Jackie Pepper writes about a Kansas City Royals MLB.com beat reporter who received a life-saving transplant and then went to cover every single game this past season.
East and Mid-Atlantic
Chad Finn of the Boston Globe writes that NBC is looking to carve out a Thanksgiving niche for the NHL with a new Black Friday game.
Phil Mushnick of the New York Post actually gives praise today! Stop the presses!
Justin Terranova of the Post has 5 questions for Sirius XM college football analyst Eddie George.
Pete Dougherty of the Albany Times Union says ex-coaches don’t always make for the best broadcasters.
David Zurawik of the Baltimore Sun thoroughly enjoyed NFL Network’s coverage of last night’s 49ers-Ravens game.
Jim Williams of the Washington Examiner talks with an NHL official about its new “Thanksgiving Showdown”.
David Barron of the Houston Chronicle waxes poetic about losing the Texas-Texas A&M rivalry.
Chris Baldwin at CultureMap Houston says ESPN reminded Texas A&M fans why the school’s rivalry with Texas is ending when it promoted the Longhorn Network.
Bob Wolfley of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel writes that Ndamukong Suh’s stomp on Green Bay Packers offensive lineman Evan Dietrich-Smith got plenty of play on Fox yesterday.
Paul Christian of the Rochester Post (MN) Bulletin also writes about the TV reaction to Suh’s stomp.
Dan Caesar from the St. Louis Post-Dispatch says embattled Cardinals TV voice Dan McLaughlin might be returning next season after all despite two arrests for DWI.
The Salt Lake Tribune’s Brian T. Smith says the Utah Jazz’s glory days can be seen on TV as fill for the NBA Lockout.
John Maffei at the North County Times reports that the San Diego Padres still have yet to sign a TV deal for next season.
Jim Carlisle in the Ventura County Star notes that LSU is playing another big game today on CBS.
Bill Shaikin from the Los Angeles Times says Fox is asking a judge for the Dodgers to throw in the parking lots in the team’s sale price rather than try to boost it and block its bid for the team’s media rights.
Tom Hoffarth of the Los Angeles Daily News looks at some of the most dubious moments in sports media this year.
Joshua Myers of the Seattle Times notes that NBC is tapping Sounders voice Arlo White to be its MLS announcer.
Bruce Dowbiggin at the Toronto Globe and Mail says a new TSN documentary on the 20th anniversary of the Argonauts winning the CFL Grey Cup shows how far the team has sunk.
The Canadian Sports Media Blog goes inside the numbers of TSN’s coverage of this Sunday’s Grey Cup.
Let’s do a few links for you on this day before Thanksgiving. And my best to you. Be safe in your travels.
We begin with John Ourand of Sports Business Daily who convenes a roundtable of fellow SBD writers to look at ESPN’s new NFL studio shows.
Mason Levinson of Bloomberg News says ESPN college football analyst Urban Meyer will not work Saturday’s Ohio State-Michigan game on ABC to avoid being a distraction over stories that he’ll be the next Buckeyes coach.
Michael Hiestand from USA Today writes that NBC Sports had no problems in switching Versus’ NHL scheduled Monday game from Bruins-Canadiens to Islanders-Penguins to air Sidney Crosby’s season debut.
Eric Deggans of the St. Petersburg Times writes in the Indiana University National Sports Journalism Center that there are still questions behind ESPN’s most recent executive shuffle.
Emma Bazilian of Adweek explores Disney’s machinations moving ESPN Dictator George Bodenheimer out of day-to-day operations and handing them to Executive Vice President John Skipper.
At ESPN’s Front Row blog, PR man David Scott looks at a new Quinnipiac University course on ESPN. Yes, ESPN.
Mike Reynolds from Multichannel News reports that a mediator will be hearing the dispute between the Los Angeles Dodgers and Fox Sports over the team’s media rights.
Mike says regional sports networks are seeking rebates from lost NBA games due to the lockout.
David Goetzl from MediaPost says ESPN and whiskey maker Jameson’s both share blame in the sponsorship of the documentary “Unguarded” which depicted Chris Herren’s struggles with addiction.
Stuart Levine of Variety says the NHL is teaming up with Paramount Pictures for the league’s first movie promotional tie-in.
Glenn Davis of SportsGrid says Canadian rock group Nickelback responds to fans who are petitioning them to be removed from the halftime performance during the Green Bay-Detroit game.
Karen Hogan at Sports Video Group says TSN will be all over the CFL Grey Cup this Sunday.
Ryan Durling at Bostinnovation has a Boston viewing guide for the Thanksgiving football games.
Newsday’s Neil Best says incoming ESPN President John Skipper is a noted soccer fan.
Neil previews an upcoming Bob Costas MLB Network interview with former YES analyst Jim Kaat.
Neil notes an upcoming HBO documentary on former New York Jets quarterback Joe Namath.
Neil says MLS’ New York Red Bulls are booting the media from the best seats in Red Bull Arena and making them accessible to ticket holders.
And Neil is happy to see that Marv Albert will be calling this Sunday’s Jets game on CBS.
In the New York Daily News, Bernie Augustine says Sunday’s MLS Cup on ESPN shown live Sunday nigh was beaten in the ratings by the taped English Premier League game on Fox.
Pete Dougherty of the Albany Times Union has the Week 13 college football TV schedule.
Crissa Shoemaker Bree of the Philly Burbs newspapers says Comcast SportsNet Philadelphia and her company have signed a deal to exchange coverage on Philadelphia professional and high school sports coverage.
David Zurawik of the Baltimore Sun says the NFL Network is treating tomorrow’s San Francisco-Baltimore games as one of its biggest in its short history.
Dan Steinberg at the Washington Post’s DC Sports Bog has Capitals coach Bruce Boudreau is still a bit perturbed almost a year later on how HBO Sports portrayed Pittsburgh Penguins coach Dan Bylsma in the 24/7 series.
Rachel George of the Orlando Sentinel has ESPN college football analyst Urban Meyer again denying reports that he’s signed a 7 year, $40 million contract to coach Ohio State. Whatever. We know he’s going to Columbus, it’s just a matter of time.
Joe Reedy of the Cincinnati Enquirer says the Bengals have already announced that Sunday’s game against the Browns has been blacked out. Oof!
Ed Sherman of Crain’s Chicago Business has his Thanksgiving winners and losers in sports business and media.
Jeff Call of the Deseret (UT) News notes that the BYU-to-the Big East courtship is now dead with the school’s media contract with ESPN being the main sticking point.
Peter Johnson of the Great Falls (MT) Tribune says fans of Montana and Montana State are pleading with ESPN to put their Football Championship Subdivision playoff games on TV instead of on ESPN3.com.
Fritz Neighbor of the Missoula (MT) Missoulian says Montana Grizzlies fans are scrambling to find an internet feed of Saturday’s playoff game.
Meg James at the Los Angeles Times says ESPN has a new Skipper in charge of the network’s day-to-day operations.
Tom Hoffarth of the Los Angeles Daily News has your Thanksgiving weekend football schedule.
SoCal Tech reports that NFL Network has signed a deal with a tech company to provide news and game highlights to 12,000 gas pumps across the country.
Joshua Meyers of the Seattle Times blogs that Sounders announcer Arlo White might be a candidate to call MLS on NBC Sports Network next season.
Paul Gardner at Soccer America feels ESPN got rid of the wrong soccer announcer when it chose to drop John Harkes.
The Canadian Sports Media Blog has last week’s sports TV ratings.
And I’ll end it there.
On this Thanksgiving Week, I’ll provide a few thoughts on what has transpired so far this week. All in bullet form, of course.
- The announcement that ESPN Dictator George Bodenheimer will become ESPN Chairman, leaving day-to-day operations with Executive Vice President of Content John Skipper bears watching. While I have jokingly called Bodenheimer a dictator, he’s far from that really. I’m told he’s very thoughtful and considerate. Bodenheimer grew with ESPN from its humble beginnings and grew the company when he became President. He rose from being literally low man on the totem pole to one of most powerful men in sports.
Now the operations will be under Skipper who has a publishing background and launched ESPN The Magazine. Will he be able to grow ESPN as Bodenheimer did? We shall see.
- The news that broke about Thursday Night Football on Tuesday that NFL Network may get more games as early as next season also bears watching. Where will those extra games come from? CBS and Fox, of course. While the two Sunday afternoon partners won’t say anything publicly, you have to think they aren’t happy giving up inventory to prop up NFL Network. While this may not be a full schedule, NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell did say perhaps some early season games would be added to NFL Network’s existing 8 game 2nd half schedule. How will the Commish placate CBS and Fox? That gets another “we shall see.”
- Thanksgiving Day into Night on paper has the potential to be a football lover’s feast. The Detroit Lions, long a laughingstock, now has a winning record and wants to spoil NFC North rival Green Bay’s quest for a perfect season. An improved Miami Dolphins comes into Dallas and the Cowboys are in the driver’s seat in the NFC East. And there’s the nightcap with Baltimore playing host to San Francisco and there’s the Brothers Harbaugh story to watch as well. I’m predicting monster ratings for CBS, Fox and NFL Network. And despite Nickelback and Enrique Iglesias playing the halftime concerts in Detroit and Dallas respectively, the entire slate of games will be fun to watch.
- MLB announced a new five year Collective Bargaining Agreement with the MLB Players Association. When it expires in 2016, it will have meant 21 years without a labor stoppage. Who would have thought that possible after the 1994 strike wiped out the World Series? Maybe the NBA could learn something.
- Less than 200,000 people watched Sidney Crosby’s NHL season debut for Pittsburgh on Versus on Monday. Perhaps having a game opposite Monday Night Football and Dancing With The Stars isn’t a good idea.
- And on a similar note, the MLS Cup received an 0.8 overnight rating on ESPN Sunday night. Putting it opposite Sunday Night Football on NBC, plus starting it after 9 p.m. on the East Coast doesn’t help the sport attract kids who MLS wants so desperately to reach.
That will do it.
It’s the early evening on the East Coast, but I do have time to bring you some linkage. Lots of stuff to get to.
We’ll begin with John Ourand of Sports Business Journal who reviews ESPN’s new NFL studio shows which came as a result of its new Monday Night Football $2 billion rights fee.
Michael Hiestand of USA Today notes that the NFL has put the Detroit Lions in the Week 13 Sunday night window in place of the lowly Indianapolis Colts.
Michael talks with ESPN College GameDay’s Lee Corso who threw an “F” bomb on Saturday’s show.
Sports Illustrated’s Grand Wahl says ESPN is removing John Harkes as its main soccer analyst and also looks at the moves NBC and Fox Soccer will make for next year.
Michael O’Connor at the Hollywood Reporter notes that Sunday Night Football on NBC drew modest ratings over the American Music Awards on ABC.
Dan Hirschhorn of Advertising Age says Spike TV is looking to stay in the mixed martial arts arena despite losing UFC to Fox.
Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk writes that NFL Commish Roger Goodell is considering starting the Sunday Night flex earlier in the season.
Dave Scott from ESPN’s Front Row has a recap of the best tweets from the weekend regarding some ESPN broadcasts.
Barry Janoff at The Big Lead speaks with officials from NBC Sports and the NHL about the new Black Friday game that both companies hope will become a tradition like the NHL Winter Classic.
CNN’s Howard Kurtz speaks with Harrisburg (PA) Patriot-News reporter Sarah Ganim about breaking stories on the Penn State scandal.
Glenn Davis of SportsGrid has video of Cris Collinsworth saying what we were all thinking when a promo for the new edition of Fear Factor popped up during Sunday Night Football.
Sports Video Group looks at the numbers for NASCAR.com’s RaceBuddy feature for the Sprint Cup.
In SBNation Boston, Bruce Allen of Boston Sports Media Watch looks back at a busy week in local sports media.
Phil Mushnick of the New York Post wants ESPN to stop with the crowd cutaways on its college football broadcasts.
Keith Groller of the Allentown (PA) Morning Call notes that WFAN’s Mike Francesa wasn’t happy with Philadelphia Eagles’ running back Desean Jackson.
The Baltimore Sun’s David Zurawik could no longer stand listening to CBS’ Greg Gumbel and Dan Dierdorf and decided to listen to the Ravens Radio Network.
Dan Steinberg at the Washington Post’s DC Sports Bog has some amusing exchanges between DC NFL team radio announcers Larry Michael, Sam Huff and Sonny Jorgensen during yesterday’s Dallas-Washington game.
Pat Dooley of the Gainesville (FL) Sun has ESPN college football analyst Urban Meyer denying reports that he interviewed for the Ohio State coaching job.
Sad news from Georgia as legendary Georgia Bulldogs football announcer Larry Munson died Sunday at the age of 89. Munson had retired a couple of years ago after numerous health problems, but is still revered by UGA fans. Munson had began as Voice of the Bulldogs in 1966 and remained until 2008. To many, he typified the love for college football in the South. Some of his calls were homerish, but Munson truly bled Georgia football. Fans loved him for it. But he could be fair as well.
Munson not only called the Bulldogs football team, he called the Atlanta Braves, the Falcons, and the Georgia basketball program.
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution has an obituary written mainly by former staffer Tony Barnhart and Chip Towers.
Towers says Munson’s calls are forever linked with the players.
The AJC’s Mark Bradley says Munson will never be forgotten among Bulldog fans.
The AJC has reaction from fellow broadcasters to Munson’s passing.
Atlanta TV station WSB has a special section devoted to Munson.
In the Athens (GA) Banner-Herald, Marc Weiszer says Munson’s voice has finally been silenced.
The Banner-Herald’s Andrea Griffth conducted a video interview with Munson about his career.
And here are the raw unedited interviews between Ms. Griffith and Munson.
If you’re not from the South and don’t understand the love for college football, try to think about the love for your local team and multiply it by 1,000,000 and you’ll see the passion for the sport. Munson was part of that passion that remains today.
David Barron from the Houston Chronicle has some local overnight ratings from college football and the MLS Cup.
Bob Wolfley at the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel says ESPN’s Sunday NFL Countdown crew wondered if Green Bay could go perfect this season.
Bob notes that NBC’s Tony Dungy feels the Packers are vulnerable.
Dusty Saunders of the Denver Post talks about Bob Costas’ interview with Jerry Sandusky.
Rob Davis from the Voice of San Diego writes about some interesting changes coming to the San Diego Union-Tribune sports section.
Tom Hoffarth at the Los Angeles Daily News has the sports calendar for this week.
Bob’s Blitz has video of ESPN’s Erin Andrews getting the Gatorade bath after the Oklahoma-Baylor game and her reaction afterwards.
Tony Manfred at the Business Insider Sports Page has the programming ESPN is using to replace NBA games in December.
And that will do it for us.
Let’s do some links on this Sunday.
Mike Reynolds of Multichannel News says Golf Channel scored a couple of rating records for Day One of the Presidents Cup.
Mike writes that Time Warner Cable has signed a long-term deal to air Los Angeles Galaxy games starting next season.
Mike says Facebook is offering a live stream today of Tony Stewart’s car during the NASCAR finale in Miami.
Steve Coogan of USA Today’s Game On! blog writes that ESPN’s Lee Corso had to apologize after firing off an F bomb during his picks segment on yesterday’s College GameDay.
Writing for the Indiana University National Sports Journalism Center, Eric Deggans of the St. Petersburg Times says TV is playing catchup to print journalists on the Penn State story.
Andrew Gauthier of TVSpy says Miami TV station WFOR prevented a Dolphins blackout for today.
Ben Koo at Awful Announcing notes that ESPN’s Erin Andrews was in good humor after being given the Gatorade drenching following the massive Baylor upset of Oklahoma.
Cork Gaines from the Business Insider Sports Page says ESPN’s reign over sports television will be threatened starting January 2.
Kevin Paul Dupont of the Boston Globe leaves his usual NHL post to tell us that he enjoys watching the dogs on NBC on Thanksgiving Day over football.
Jack Bell of the New York Times says Fox Sports continues to show a commitment to soccer with another football-football doubleheader today.
Phil Mushnick at the New York Post warns the NBA not to cancel the season.
New York Real Estate’s City Biz notes the role one broker had in helping NBC Sports find a new home in Connecticut.
Steven Goff of the Washington Post isn’t a fan of having the MLS Cup starting past 9 p.m. Eastern time.
Jim Williams of the Washington Examiner talks with NFL on Fox sideline analyst Tony Siragusa.
Jon Solomon from the Birmingham (AL ) News wonders if college basketball will gain popularity in the wake of the NBA Lockout.
David Morrison of the Opelika Auburn (AL) News says College GameDay heads to the Iron Bowl on Saturday.
David Barron of the Houston Chronicle looks at the Lee Corso swearing incident.
Gilbert Requena of the Chronicle writes about College GameDay’s first visit to the University of Houston campus.
Chris Baldwin from CultureMap Houston chronicles GameDay’s visit to the area and the catcalls Erin Andrews had to endure during the broadcast.
At the Daily Oklahoman, Mel Bracht notes that ESPN’s Joe Tessitore got to call a lost weekend for Oklahoma football teams on successive nights.
Bob Wolfley of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel says Packers fans will hear plenty from Fox’s Joe Buck and Troy Aikman over the next three weeks.
Dan Caesar from the St. Louis Post-Dispatch says the Rams may have a horrible on-field record, but they are pulling viewers to the TV set.
Marsha Hoffman of the Council Bluffs (IA) Daily Nonpareil writes that a local native is producing motorsports for ESPN.
And we’ll end the linkage here.
I’m hoping this will be a lazy Sunday, but you never know. I’ll put together some thoughts here again in bullet form.
- This weekend in college football was one of the best we’ve had in the last few years. Seeing BCS hopefuls Oklahoma State, Oregon and then Oklahoma go down from Friday through Saturday was an amazing sequence. It was like the baseball pennant races where teams want to play spoiler and that’s exactly what we saw the last two days. And the celebrations by Iowa State and Baylor following their upsets of Oklahoma State and Oklahoma respectively showed why college football is one of the best sports around when we get to focus on action on the field.
- In an offshoot, Joe Tessitore is this year’s Gus Johnson. It seems every game he’s had this season has been a barnburner or a massive upset. And he called both upsets of Oklahoma State and Oklahoma on successive days. He’s done all of the games well, been understated and let the action come to him. And he’s stepped up when the games come to a crescendo. ESPN should just assign him to whatever game it feels will have the potential to be exciting because Tessitore’s track record this season is almost perfect.
- While Sundays are mostly focused on the NFL and rightly so, you may not know that ESPN has a championship Sunday today. At 3 p.m. East, there’s the final NASCAR Sprint Cup race at the Miami Homestead Speedway which will decide this year’s champion. And then at 9 p.m., there’s the MLS Cup between the Houston Dynamo and Los Angeles Galaxy. While both won’t draw well in comparison to the NFL games they’re opposite, NASCAR and MLS will get niche numbers. And they’re nice alternatives if the NFL games become blowouts.
- Why do certain analysts feel the need to yell? I’ve written about this in the past, but watching Michael Irvin yell and pound the table this morning speaking about Tim Tebow on NFL GameDay Morning on NFL Network practically drove me to drink at 9 a.m. There’s no need to yell and there’s no need to pound the table. However, every Sunday, Irvin yells, bullies and screams for four hours. And Kevin Millar on MLB Network’s unwatchable Intentional Talk does this as well. I can’t stand either analyst and it’s made for bad television, yet both men still have jobs. I don’t understand it.
- Count me as someone who’s not in love with an extra Wild Card team for MLB. I don’t mind Houston in the AL West, both leagues should have an equal amount of teams. I’m also against having Interleague play every night. Why not rename the American and National League as American Conference and National Conference? The concept is to see teams you rarely get to see in your market, but starting in 2013, Interleague play will be watered down. Bud Selig continues to ruin baseball.
- I’m interested to see how the next round of NFL bidding goes. For the last three TV contracts, the NFL was able to play networks off each other and cause upheaval. In 1994, it was Fox surprising everyone by taking the NFC from long-time incumbent CBS. Then in 1998, it was CBS coming back to the NFL by grabbing the AFC from long-time incumbent NBC. And in 2005, we saw NBC return to the NFL by signing for Sunday Night Football, ESPN taking over Monday Night Football and ABC going out. This time around, I see the existing packages remaining with their current rightsholders. ESPN has already renewed Monday Night Football into the next decade. The interesting race is for the first half of Thursday Night Football. With NBC, Turner and Fox all interested bidders, someone is going to be disappointed.
And those are the thoughts for your Sunday morning.
On Sunday, ESPN will air the MLS Cup opposite Sunday Night Football on NBC. It doesn’t mean that ESPN is going to skimp on airing the MLS Championship Game between the LA Galaxy and the Houston Dynamo. ESPN’s signature soccer voice Ian Darke will call the game with John Harkes. Monica Gonzalez and Rob Stone will be sideline reporters. Max Bretos will be the host and be joined by the abrasive Alexi Lalas, Taylor Twellman and Alejandro Moreno of Chivas USA.
The game will be aired on ESPN this Sunday night at 9 East from the Home Depot Center in Carson, CA. We have ESPN’s coverage plans below.
David Beckham and the Los Angeles Galaxy vs. Houston Dynamo Sunday at 9 p.m. ET
ESPN will conclude its coverage of Major League Soccer’s 16th season with MLS Cup 2011 featuring David Beckham, Landon Donovan and the Los Angeles Galaxy vs. Houston Dynamo, led by striker Brian Ching, on Sunday, Nov. 20, at 9 p.m. ET, live from The Home Depot Center in Carson, Calif. The match will also be available on ESPN3 and ESPN Mobile TV.MLS Cup 2011 Storylines:
- Sunday’s MLS Cup 2011 winner will be the second franchise to win three MLS titles. The other club is DC United which has won four MLS Cup trophies (1996, 1997, 1999 and 2004);
- Beckham’s last stand – With an MLS Cup victory in the fifth and final year of his MLS contract, soccer icon David Beckham, 36, would win a league title in his last seasons with the three clubs he has played for – Manchester United (2001) and Real Madrid (2007);
- ESPN’s lead studio analyst Alexi Lalas was Los Angeles Galaxy’s president and GM when David Beckham arrived at the club from Real Madrid in 2007 – the first move by AEG (Galaxy’s parent company) to turn the Galaxy into what Lalas calls the “Super Club;”
- Los Angeles Galaxy dominated the league’s 2011 end-of-season awards: MLS Coach of the Year (Bruce Arena); four players in the league’s Best XI; MLS Comeback Player of the Year (Beckham); and MLS Defender of the Year (Omar Gonzalez);
- The MLS Cup 2011-winning coach – Arena (Galaxy) or Dominic Kinnear (Dynamo) – will be the first to win three MLS titles. Arena, former U.S. Men’s National Team manager, would be the second coach to win a title with two different MLS franchises after his first two (1996 and 1997) with DC United.Commentators:
- In the booth: Ian Darke (play-by-play) and John Harkes (analyst);
- Studio (from site): Host Max Bretos with analysts Alexi Lalas and Taylor Twellman, joined by Chivas USA striker Alejandro Moreno;
- Sideline reporters: Monica Gonzalez (Galaxy) and Rob Stone (Dynamo).MLS Cup 2011 TV highlights:
- 21 cameras, including two super slo-mo cameras, two robotic cameras, a steadicam, two Jib cams, and two POV cameras;
- Offside Line, which displays a virtual line affixed to the last defender on replays to show viewers whether the referee’s offside decision is accurate;
- MLS commissioner Don Garber will be interviewed live during halftime.ESPN Deportes RadioESPN Deportes Radio will broadcast the match live from the Home Depot Center. Jorge Ramos and Hernan Pereyra will provide commentary with sideline reporting by Elmer Polanco and Noe Vazquez.Additional coverage:
- SportsCenter – ESPN’s flagship news and information program will feature MLS Cup 2011 preview segments;
- ESPNEWS – Interview with 2011 MLS MVP on Friday, Nov. 18, between 3:30 and 6 p.m. (immediately after the announcement);
- ESPN Deportes’ NACION ESPN, Spanish-language specific version of SportsNation, will feature an interview with Oscar de la Hoya, boxer and co-owner of Houston Dynamo, on Thursday, Nov. 17, at 10 p.m. Friday’s program will feature Real Salt Lake defender Jámison Olave and Seattle Sounders midfielder Mauro Rosales;
- ESPN Radio’s Jorge Ramos y su Banda, simulcast live on ESPN Deportes, will orginate live from ESPNZone at LA Live with MLS Cup 2011 themed shows on Thursday, Nov. 17 (Oscar de la Hoya and Mauro Rosales), and Friday, Nov. 18 (MLS player exec Alfonso Mondelo and Jámison Olave).ESPN Digital Media
- ESPNSoccernet.com soccer writers Leander Schaerlaeckens and Jeff Carlisle will anchor the site’s coverage featuring daily MLS Cup 2011 stories, including player profiles, matchup analysis, match previews, “Cover it Live” and predictions. Highlights include: interviews with Houston Dynamo coach Dominic Kinnear, Los Angeles Galaxy captain Landon Donovan and David Beckham.
- ESPNLosAngeles.com, featuring daily reporting, features and blogging by Scott French, will provide extensive coverage of Los Angeles Galaxy’s first MLS Cup match on the team’s home turf – the Home Depot Center. Additional coverage includes MLS Cup 2011 columns by Ramona Shelburne (Thursday) and Arash Markazi (Sunday).
- ESPNdeportesLA.com will feature a one-on-one interview with MLS Commissioner Don Garber (Thursday), “Countdown to the MLS Cup” previews, “Hot Button” on David Beckham’s future with the Los Angeles Galaxy, “Cover it Live,” Post-game reactions from the locker rooms, and video-based “Voice of the MLS Fan” segments.ESPN InternationalESPN International will televise MLS Cup 2011 in 129 countries and territories covering more than 56 million television homes including Africa, Australia, Brazil, Canada, the Caribbean, Israel, Latin America, Mexico, the Middle East, New Zealand, and the United Kingdom.
That will do it.
It’s Wednesday. It’s mid-week and it’s time for some sports media links. Let’s get to them without further delay.
USA Today’s Michael Hiestand talks with NBC’s Bob Costas about the “get” of accused child molester Jerry Sandusky for “Rock Center with Brian Williams”.
While NBC and Bob Costas are being praised for the Sandusky interview, Sofia M. Fernandez of the Hollywood Reporter writes CBS is being mocked for heavily promoting a disappointing “get” of Penn State assistant coach Mike McQuery.
If you didn’t see the :24 second interview, the Big Lead has the video.
Back to Michael Hiestand, he writes that two Penn State alums will be on the call for ESPN/ABC for the next two Nittany Lions games.
Patrick Rishe at Forbes says Golf Channel should see a ratings spike for the Presidents Cup for Tiger Woods and his ex-caddie Steve Williams.
Tim Baysinger of Broadcasting & Cable says despite losing UFC to Fox, Spike TV will launch a mixed martial arts newsmagazine.
George Winslow of B&C notes that HBO and Sports Illustrated will use social and digital media to promote their new documentary series premiering in 2013.
Mike Reynolds of Multichannel News advises NBA Communist Sympathizer David Stern to cut the “nuclear winter” rhetoric.
Mike says the Minnesota-Green Bay Monday Night Football game despite being a blowout, drew over 14 million viewers for ESPN.
Toni Fitzgerald of Media Life Magazine says even though Fox’s UFC debut had a very brief fight, it still came out a winner.
Jason Dachman of Sports Video Group writes that mobile production companies are being hit hard by the lack of NBA games.
SVG notes that CBS Sports Network will be airing National Lacrosse League games in primetime next year.
Dave Miller at the National Football Post says ESPN analyst Bob Davies will be the new head football coach at New Mexico.
Tim Malloy and Daniel Frankel of The Wrap take a look at how the NBA’s TV partners are coping with a lack of live games this season.
CNBC’s Darren Rovell says the NBA Players are taking a $3.3 billion gamble.
At the Boston Herald, Michael Silverman reports that Don Orsillo of NESN will stay on as Red Sox voice while reporter Heidi Watney is apparently heading back to her native California.
Chad Finn of the Boston Globe confirms Heidi’s departure.
Sean McAdam of Comcast SportsNet New England also has the story.
Sean notes that former Red Sox manager Terry Francona will take 2012 off and possibly pursue broadcasting opportunities for next season.
CSNNE’s Boston Bruins beat reporter Joe Haggerty says B’s forward Brad Marchand isn’t happy over a nickname created by a local sports radio talk show.
Greg Sullivan at the Fall River (MA) Herald says former NBA player Chris Herren has become a high demand speaker after the airing of his ESPN Films documentary “Unguarded”.
Amy Chozick of the New York Times says the NBA’s TV partners are trying to fill programming holes left behind by the lockout.
Claire Atkinson at the New York Post says NFL Network will put a full court press on Time Warner Cable during tomorrow’s Jets-Broncos game.
To Jerry Barmash and Fishbowl NY, he tells us that ESPN Radio New York broadcaster Jared Max will be honored by a gay publication.
At the Albany Times Union, Pete Dougherty has the Week 12 college football TV schedule.
Peter Van Allen at the Philadelphia Business Journal reports that Monday Night Football analyst Ron Jaworski will be the local spokesman for a national tire chain.
To the Washington Post’s DC Sports Bog where Dan Steinberg has CBS News’ Armen Keteyian defending his piss poor interview with Mike McQuery.
Dan says the local CBS affiliate has yet to replace sports anchor Brett Haber who left station three months ago.
Maggie Fazelli Fard of the Post looks at the ESPN Zone auction in DC.
Bob Molinaro at the Virginian-Pilot is not a fan of the ESPN College Hoops Tip-Off Marathon.
Mel Bracht at the Daily Oklahoman has the local ratings of the weekend sports action.
John Kiesewetter from the Cincinnati Enquirer says Time Warner Cable will air a couple of high school football championship games this weekend.
Scott Suttell of Crain’s Cleveland Business says ESPN’s Scott Van Pelt will host an awards show next year.
Bill Zavestoski of the LaJolla (CA) Patch says the local ESPN Radio affiliate will pick up Cal-San Diego basketball games.
Bill Shaikin of the Los Angeles Times writes that the Dodgers are suing Fox Sports for interfering in the sale of the team.
Chris Erskine of the Times reviews the new book on the late ABC Sports broadcaster Howard Cosell.
Also from the Times, Kevin Baxter and Joe Flint report that the Los Angeles Galaxy of MLS are the latest team to join Time Warner Cable’s SoCal regional sports network.
Tom Hoffarth of the Los Angeles Daily News also looks at the Galaxy’s move to TWC from Fox Sports.
Tom has the football TV schedules in both college and the NFL for SoCal.
From the Toronto Globe and Mail, Bruce Dowbiggin feels Bob Costas missed an opportunity to get real answers from Jerry Sandusky. What interview was Dowbiggin watching?
Steve Lepore from Puck The Media wonders why the Chicago Blackhawks-Vancouver Canucks rivalry hasn’t been aired nationally in either Canada or the U.S.
Kelsey Smith at Transworld Business says NBC Sports Network will be the home of Pro Motorcross Championship in 2012.
And that’s going to do it.
I owe you some links having not been able to do them either Monday or Tuesday.
USA Today’s Michael Hiestand talks about the ratings for LSU-Alabama not being as high as the previous #1 vs. #2 college football Game of the Century.
The great Richard Deitsch at Sports Illustrated has his Media Power List for this month.
Richard talks with the Executive Producer of ESPN’s Pardon The Interruption. The show is celebrating ten years on the air. Has it been THAT long?
Alex Sherman at Bloomberg News says Time Warner might be interested in bidding for the media rights for the Los Angeles Dodgers possibly going battle with Fox.
Michael Smith at Sports Business Journal says the Pac-12 Conference is buying back third tier TV rights from its member institutions to fill out Pac-12 Network programming.
Bill King of SBJ says Fox is throwing its promotional muscle at its first UFC broadcast.
Terry Lefton and Michael Smith from SBJ write that insurance company, The Hartford, will no longer sponsor the NCAA Tournament on CBS/Turner.
SportsGrid notes that Fox Business News anchor Chris Cotter will be going back to his sports roots with ESPN.
Mike Reynolds from Multichannel News writes that ESPN pulled big numbers for Monday Night Football this week.
Mike writes about Bob Costas’ new show on NBC Sports Network premiering next year.
Brandon Costa at Sports Video Group writes that CBS saw a record number of video streams for LSU-Alabama last Saturday night.
CNBC’s Darren Rovell says Penn State University gets a big FAIL for its handling of the sex scandal crisis.
Darren writes an open letter to Penn State coach Paterno.
Marcus Henry at Newsday writes that HBO will pay tribute to the late Joe Frazier this week by re-airing its great documentary, “Thrilla in Manila”.
Marcus writes that former Tennessee men’s basketball coach Bruce Pearl has picked up a broadcasting gig.
At Fishbowl NY, Jerry Barmash talks with some former Big Apple sportscasters on covering the late Joe Frazier.
Pete Dougherty at the Albany Times Union has the Week 11 college football TV schedule.
And Pete provides us with the Week 10 NFL TV schedule for the Capital Region of New York.
Keith Groller from the Allentown (PA) Morning Call writes that Chris Herren, the subject of ESPN Films’ “Unguarded” documentary, will be speaking in the local area next month.
Zach Wilt of the Baltimore Sports Report says a Pittsburgh TV station failed to pay up on a bet made with a local TV channel in regards to Sunday’s Ravens-Steelers game.
At the Washington Post’s DC Sports Bog, Dan Steinberg writes that Wizards TV voices Steve Buckhantz and Phil Chenier will be calling some college basketball games during the NBA Lockout.
David Barron from the Houston Chronicle talks about the big ratings for LSU-Alabama for CBS.
Mel Bracht at the Daily Oklahoman says Oklahoma outrated Oklahoma State in the local TV ratings last weekend.
John Kiesewetter of the Cincinnati Enquirer reports big ratings for the local CBS affiliate thanks to the Bengals.
Ed Sherman in Crain’s Chicago Business says today is a big day for the NBA Lockout.
Scott D. Pierce at the Salt Lake Tribune enjoyed Ian Darke’s call of the MLS playoffs over the weekend.
Bill Shaikin at the Los Angeles Times says a U.S. Bankruptcy Court judge is promising Fox Sports a fair shake at the hearing to determine the new owners of the Dodgers.
Bruce Dowbiggin of the Toronto Globe and Mail says big ratings drops for the CFL on TSN have to be a concern for both parties.
SMW notes that Colts-Patriots in Week 13 has been flexed out of NBC’s Sunday Night Football.
Steve Lepore at Puck The Media says San Jose-New York Rangers failed to draw well for Versus with the country’s biggest market blacked out.
Joe Favorito says don’t discount the power of the gaming market.
And I’ll end the linkage there for today.
Yesterday about 2 p.m., I got the power back at the Fang’s Bites abode and after walking around the neighborhood, I saw that I was quite lucky in not getting any tree limbs falling on my house or any leaks in the basement. So while Hurricane Irene was quite deadly and caused major damage up and down the East Coast, I consider myself very lucky in being able to get through the storm without any major interruptions and I thank National Grid for getting the power back to my house within a day after being knocked offline.
Let’s do some linkage. Already a couple of major sports media stories breaking today.
First, Bill Carter of the New York Times writes that NBC has tapped Today show Executive Producer Jim Bell and former NBC Sports Emperor Dick Ebersol protégé as the Executive Producer of the 2012 London Olympics.
Tim Malloy at The Wrap says NBC feels Bell is uniquely qualified to helm the Olympics for the network.
Georg Szalai of the Hollywood Reporter writes that Bell will continue to oversee the Today show while working on the Olympics.
The lovely Rachel Cohen of the Associated Press writes that NBC will show all Olympic events live in one platform or another.
Ken Schott of the Schenectady Gazette is happy to see NBC airing events live.
In a related note, Meredith Galante of the Business Insider notes that the aforementioned former Emperor is selling his Colorado home for a huge pricetag.
And maybe this is why Ebersol is selling his house, Bill Carter and Richard Sandomir of the New York Times reports that the former Emperor is returning to NBC Sports as a senior adviser. You can’t make these things up.
Our other big sports media story involves the University of Kentucky revoking the school newspaper’s media credential for playing by its rules.
Scott Sloan of the Lexington Herald-Leader looks into why this occurred.
And from the Kentucky Kernel, the school newspaper’s managing editor Becca Clemons gives the publication’s response. This now is becoming a First Amendment issue and had the school’s Sports Information Department had handled this differently, this would not have blown up. Instead, the SID reacted poorly and this is the result.
To other stories now.
USA Today notes that there are a few changes coming to NFL Network including the hiring of Andrew Siciliano full-time and the shuffling of anchors for NFL Total Access.
Anthony Crupi at Adweek says advertisers are flocking to Fox’s UFC package knowing they can reach large numbers of young males.
To the Indiana University National Sports Journalism Center and Jason Fry whose final column for the site provides sportswriters with the five changes in digital sports they need to look for in the very near future. Also, Jason has collected 19 of his National Sports Journalism Center columns into a eBook and it’s available for download at Amazon or at Smashwords. Jason has been a great resource here and I hope to let you know where he’ll be landing soon.
Cam Martin at SportsNewser says syndicated radio host Paul Finebaum will be writing a column for SI.com.
Glenn Davis in SportsGrid has the latest Alec Baldwin-John Krasinski Yankees-Red Sox rivalry New Era ad that premieres tonight. It’s very funny.
Brandon Costa of Sports Video Group looks at Big Ten Network’s programming schedule to reflect the new football season.
Brandon writes about the launch of Kansas State’s new KStateHD.TV.
Sports Illustrated’s Richard Deitsch takes to TwitLonger to ask why ESPN’s new social media policy is not being applied equally.
David Whitely of AOL Sporting News wonders if airing the Little League World Series on TV is too much pressure on the kids.
CNBC’s Darren Rovell says the addition of Texas A&M to the SEC won’t add much value to its TV contracts.
Claire Atkinson of the New York Post writes that the US Tennis Association is considering charging viewers for watching the U.S. Open online.
Pete Dougherty of the Albany Times Union wishes ESPN would lighten up.
David N. Dunkle of the Patriot-News (PA) writes a long-time Harrisville R&B radio station flips to ESPN Radio this week.
Mark Berman of the Roanoke (VA) Times says ESPN’s new contract with the ACC means more Virginia Tech sports on TV.
Dave Walker of the New Orleans Times-Picayune reports that former CNN/ESPN/YES/Fox Sports South host Fred Hickman has signed with a local TV station to become its sports director.
Susan Blaskovich of the Pegasus (TX) Times says Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban gets his chance to pick games on ESPN’s College GameDay on Saturday.
The Grand Rapids (MI) Press notes the passing of long-time Detroit Lions beat writer Tom “Killer” Kowalski.
The Ann Arbor News has reaction to Kowalski’s passing.
Bob Wolfley of the Milwaukee Sentinel looks at how WTMJ radio will handle conflicts between the Brewers, Green Bay Packers and Wisconsin Badgers.
Bob has some interesting tidbits from the NFL Films America’s Game documentary on the 2010 Packers that airs next week.
Ed Sherman in Crain’s Chicago Business feels the number of documentaries released now focusing on the Cubs is bad timing.
Mike Imrem of the Chicago Daily Herald says he might be part of the problem in ESPN’s airing of the Little League World Series.
Josie Becker of LA Galaxy Confidential suggests that NBC use the ESPN model for hiring announcers for MLS instead of the Fox Soccer way of doing things.
Maury Brown of the Biz of Baseball says the MLB At Bat for iPhone and iPod Touch underwent a nice upgrade in time for the pennant races.
And I think that will do it for the links today.
The last couple of days have been tough to provide links as I was out of the office. Glad to be back linking again, although you never know if I’ll be called away again. I’ll try to do what I can.
Mike McCarthy of USA Today attended the NFL on CBS media day on Tuesday which introduced the network’s announcing teams for this season. Mike got some interesting quotage from NFL Today analyst Boomer Esiason on Denver Broncos third string QB Tim Tebow.
Mike reported earlier this week that ESPN’s Brian Kenny is leaving the network to possibly take a position with MLB Network.
Erik Brady of USA Today writes that the late Al McGuire’s granddaughter, once a basketball player at Virginia, is now an accomplished model.
John Ourand at Sports Business Journal chronicles what NBC Sports Group is doing to position Versus as a major player in sports television.
Jon Lafayette of Broadcasting & Cable says CBS Sports officials were worried about a potential NFL lockout, but continued to sell ads and carried on with its business of getting ready for this season.
Tim Baysinger of B&C has Marv Albert pleasantly surprised to be calling the NFL on TV again.
Over to Multichannel News and Mike Reynolds who writes that the Pac-12 Conference has hired a sports media veteran to run its seven Pac-12 Networks.
Mike says Tennis Channel has signed a new deal with the National Cable Television Cooperative that takes it off sports tiers on member’s cable systems.
R. Thomas Umstead of Multichannel says MTV2 will air some live Lingerie Football League games starting on Friday.
Anthony Crupi of Adweek writes that concerns over the NFL lockout led advertisers to turn to college football for commercial buys.
Crupi adds that NFL Network has signed up another cable provider leaving Cablevision and Time Warner as the last two major holdouts.
Gregg Rosenthal of Pro Football Talk writes that former Patriots, Dolphins and Saints running back Heath Evans will retire and join NFL Network’s large cadre of analysts.
Mike Florio of PFT says NFL owners realize that empty stadiums don’t make for exciting TV.
Marcus Vanderberg at SportsNewser writes that ESPN is hiring another WWE veteran to join its on-air staff.
Dan Fogarty of SportsGrid notes that ESPN’s Sunday NFL Countdown crew was dressed in SWAT uniforms for an promo shoot.
Jason Dachman of Sports Video Group says the Baltimore Ravens are successfully producing all home preseason TV games in-house rather than outsource production to a local TV or cable network.
The Big Lead’s Barry Janoff recaps the NFL on CBS Media Day.
Rich Arden at ESPN’s Front Row PR blog says you can now put the Monday Night Football schedule into your Google calendar. Seriously!
Richard Sandomir of the New York Times writes that if it’s US Open time, then it must mean another battle between Cablevision and Tennis Channel.
Richard says after many repeated offers, MetLife is finally taking the plunge and buying the naming rights to the New Meadowlands Stadium.
Barry Bearak of the Times profiles former play-by-play announcer Dom Valentino who’s currently fighting several life battles.
Richard Huff of the New York Daily News reports that WCBS-TV sports anchor and sometimes CBS Sports reporter Sam Ryan is leaving to take a job with MLB Network.
Newsday’s Neil Best looks at MetLife slapping its name on New Meadowlands Stadium for a rather large fee.
During Tuesday’s NFL on CBS Media Day, Pete Dougherty of the Albany Times Union asked CBS Sports President Sean McManus about a few non-NFL related issues.
Pete says 18 years later, CBS NFL analyst Steve Tasker is still correcting those who think it was he who prevented Dallas Cowboys defensive lineman Leon Lett from scoring at Super Bowl XXVII.
Ken Schott in the Schenectady Gazette says the University of Albany is shifting its football season opener to a different radio station as its flagship has a conflict.
Ken McMillan from the Middletown (NY) Times Herald-Record writes that Time Warner Cable won’t be airing any local high school football games this season.
Matt Murschel of the Orlando Sentinel talks with ESPN College GameDay analyst Desmond Howard about his new book and his usage of social media.
Henry Unger of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution speaks with NBC Sports Chairman Mark Lazarus about replacing the former Emperor Dick Ebersol.
Jimmy Burch of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram says the ESPN College GameDay crew will be in Austin to help launch the Longhorn Network.
David Barron of the Houston Chronicle says the Longhorn Network’s immediate future looks rather murky right now.
Mel Bracht in the Daily Oklahoman notes that former Sooners safety Roy Williams will be a part of the school’s radio broadcasts this season.
Mel says the NFL preseason topped the local TV ratings.
Mike Baldwin of the Oklahoman says ESPN’s All-Access series on the Sooners is compelling TV.
John Kiesewetter of the Cincinnati Enquirer writes that the Bengals garnered a huge local rating on Sunday.
John says the new Joe Morgan radio show is being heard locally.
Bob Wolfley of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel says Green Bay Packers QB Aaron Rodgers will appear weekly on the local NBC station.
The Provo (UT) Daily Herald notes that ESPN has released the 2011-12 West Coast Conference men’s basketball schedule.
Ryan Casey of the Denver Post tells us that Root Sports Rocky Mountain will air the state high school football and basketball championships this year.
The Reno (NV) Gazette-Journal reports NFL Network will be seen on the local cable provider this season.
Bruce Dowbiggin of the Toronto Globe and Mail writes that CBC is shooting down claims that it’s biased against Western Canadian NHL teams in its new Hockey Night in Canada schedule.
The Canadian Sports Media Blog says TSN and CBC are teaming up for coverage of this weekend’s LPGA Canadian Women’s Open.
Sports Media Watch says the PGA Championship’s ratings fell to a three year low.
SMW also has some various ratings news and notes.
Daniel Feuerstein of MLS Talk feels NBC will be a big boost for Major League Soccer.
Joe Favorito writes that Fordham University has been a fertile training ground for several of NYC’s sports voices.
Last night, I had the privilege to be a guest on
The only Steeler fan I really like, Steelergurl, explains why she hasn’t been blogging lately. Get well soon, Lahne.
Dave Kohl at the Broadcast Booth looks at what NBC Sports Group is doing to improve Versus.
And that is going to finish out the links today.
Time for some Sunday links. I’ll also attempt some Sunday thoughts later.
Todd Spangler of Multichannel News writes that Comcast has dropped a lawsuit against DirecTV over its NFL Sunday Ticket ad campaign.
Tom Weir of USA Today explains how ESPN’s Dick Vitale got so angry at a sports radio talk show that he hung up.
Mike McCarthy of USA Today has Fox’s Jimmy Johnson ripping into former University of Miami booster Nevin Shapiro who blew the whistle on his payments former Hurricanes to Yahoo! Sports.
Former LA Times NBA beat writer Mark Heisler gives us an inside account of his layoff from the newspaper.
Will Brinson at CBSSports.com notes that people made CBS Sports and Golf Channel-themed sandcastles at the PGA Tour’s Wyndham Championship.
Dylan Stableford of Yahoo’s Cutline blog explains how Yahoo! Sports broke the University of Miami violations story.
Marcus Vanderberg at SportsNewser writes that the first UFC on Fox card in November 12 will not conflict with the Manny Pacquiao-Juan Manuel Marquez fight on the same night.
Timothy Burke at SportsGrid notes that another ESPN camera was broken at the Little League World Series.
Ken Pishna of Yahoo! Sports has UFC President Dana White claiming ESPN canceled an interview with him after the announcement of the Fox deal.
Brandon Costa of Sports Video Group notes that Longhorn Network opened its doors to the media and University of Texas administration last week.
Plagiarist Ron Borges of the Boston Herald says boxing has fallen behind mixed martial arts in attracting younger males to the sport.
The New York Post talks with new SNY anchor/reporter Kerith Burke who makes her debut tonight.
Pete Dougherty at the Albany Times Union has the ESPN MLB schedule from now through the end of the month.
Jim Williams of the Washington Examiner says the NFL should make the Baltimore-Washington area a shared media market.
Matt Forman of the Miami Herald writes about former Dolphins quarterback Bob Griese joining the team’s radio broadcast booth.
Barry Horn of the Dallas Morning News also writes about the UFC on Fox deal.
Art Garcia of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram says with less than a week to go for its launch, no cable or satellite provider has yet to come forward to pick up the Longhorn Network.
Bob Wolfley at the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel discusses how NFL Films chose the three Green Bay Packers to be part of the latest edition of “America’s Game”.
Matt Erickson in the Chicago Tribune asks if the UFC and Fox are really a natural fit.
Dan Caesar of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch says the Cardinals have put former Midwest radio powerhouse KMOX back on top of the local ratings.
Dan also has the sports radio ratings for the Gateway to the West.
Stu Durando of the Post-Dispatch looks at Longhorn Network not being allowed to air high school football games.
Deadspin has the video of the MLS’ Houston Dynamo’s announcer going crazy after a last second goal.
The Canadian Sports Media blog says TSN picks up Canada’s college football championship.
And that will do it for today.
It’s been a while since I’ve written a Sunday thoughts column and you certainly deserve one here. My apologies for not writing one in a long time. Let’s get cracking.
ESPN vs. NBC Is Starting To Heat Up
This battle is going to quite interesting. While the book “Those Guys Have all The Fun: Inside The World of ESPN” depicted a healthy sports property competition between ESPN and NBC, the real war starts now. With the NBC Sports Group establishing itself through Golf Channel, Versus (NBC Sports Network) and the Comcast SportsNet regional sports networks, the battle with ESPN is heating up. ESPN is well established with its networks, ESPN, ESPN2, ESPNU, ESPNews, ESPN Classic, ESPN3.com, ESPN Deportes and anything else I’ve forgotten to mention (ESPN the Ocho).
Earlier this year, we saw the two companies battle over the NHL (NBC Sports Group), Olympics (NBC Sports Group), Pac-12 (ESPN and Fox) and Wimbledon (ESPN). Last week, NBC Sports Group surprised most everyone with a successful bid for MLS taking Fox Soccer’s portion of the contract, now sharing the league with ESPN. This could make for a very interesting partnership with both contracts expiring in 2014.
NBC Sports Network is positioning itself for its rebranding on January 2, 2012. Not only will Versus change to a new name and go beyond being Versus 2.0, the new network will take the NBC Sports brand and run with it. The Group hopes to make NBC Sports Network a true destination for the sports fan. NBC Sports Network is in the running for the first half of the NFL Thursday Night Football package that will begin in 2012. We’ve heard that it will air college hockey games on the weekends to help fill programming holes. There was the announcement that NBC Sports Network will start airing 1-2 Notre Dame football home games next season. And there was the report that two studio shows will premiere next year with Pro Football Talk’s Mike Florio and CNBC’s Darren Rovell as hosts.
With NBC Sports Network assisting the main network with the NHL, Horse Racing’s Triple Crown and the Olympics, 2012 is shaping up to be a busy year for the Group.
So what about ESPN? With the network having so much inventory, one won’t have to worry about its programming. With the network firmly established with college sports, Wimbledon, MLB, Monday Night Football among others, ESPN will be quite busy. And it’s also in a decent position in case the NBA lockout wipes out an entire season.
But what about Sports Rights Armageddon coming up in 2012 and 2013 when rights for MLB, MLS, NBA, NASCAR, NFL and the PGA Tour all come up for bid? You know NBC Sports and ESPN will be chomping at the bit to win as many sports properties from each other. Let’s handicap each sport to see where they could land.
ESPN is firmly entrenched with MLB in a relationship that dates back to 1990. Their rights expire in 2013 and I’m sure ESPN, Fox and Turner would like to remain in the sport. You can rest assured ESPN wants the October postseason rights back after being shut out in 2006 by Fox and Turner. And while Versus did consider bidding for the ESPN Sunday and Wednesday night contract back in 2005, ESPN made sure it kept its portion of the deal by also adding Monday Night Baseball. Expect NBC Sports Group to come in to possibly drive the bidding up and maybe even steal a contract. But with NBC Sports Group committed to the NHL, it might be difficult to clear primetime games in April and May. However, Sunday afternoons would be open and that is Turner’s portion of the contract. Perhaps NBC Sports Group could bid for that part of the contract to gain the playoffs to keep them off ESPN. I don’t see NBC being interested in MLB on Saturday afternoons, although you never know.
Now that both ESPN and NBC Sports Group have MLS until 2014, expect Major League Soccer to assess how each company does from the period between 2012-2014. MLS will most likely combine both contracts into one to have ESPN and NBC bid against each other. ESPN has been trying to establish itself as the soccer network in the U.S. thanks to its performance with the Men’s and Women’s World Cups over the last two years plus obtaining English Premier League rights through Fox Soccer. Expect ESPN to do all it can to win this contract from NBC.
You know there are producers at NBC who wax nostalgic over the NBA on NBC days during the 1990′s. This could be a very interesting battleground between ESPN and NBC. Expect Turner to keep its portion of the NBA contract and possibly even gain the NBA Finals in alternate years. ESPN and NBC could bid heavily for this contract. And while ESPN has practically sold its soul to the NBA, remember that NBC once gave the NBA heavy promotion and was instrumental during the Chicago Bulls championship years. Would the NBA split this contract to have three TV partners? I seriously doubt it. But NBC could make this a very difficult bid for ESPN by driving the price up dramatically.
I project ESPN keeping the NBA.
NBC and Turner shared one NASCAR contract until 2006 until ESPN swooped in and took it away. ESPN has made a big commitment to the sport. While Versus has IndyCar and looks like it will keep its portion of that contract, I don’t see NBC bidding for NASCAR. I believe ESPN will keep NASCAR and could possibly pick up some additional races in the next contract.
There are a lot of dynamics in play here. There’s the aforementioned Thursday Night Football contract currently up for bid. There’s NBC’s Sunday Night Football which I think Comcast will want to keep for the network at all costs. And you have ESPN about to renew Monday Night Football into the next decade. I don’t see either network losing their NFL primetime packages. I could see NBC also renewing Sunday Night Football for the same length of time as ESPN’s contract.
If NBC Sports Network wins the rights for the first half of Thursday Night Football, expect to see a long-term deal to run in concert with NBC’s Sunday Night Football package. The bidding for Thursday Night between Fox, NBC, Turner and maybe even ESPN could make for a very interesting story.
I do think NBC Sports Group will get the Thursday Night package starting in 2012.
ESPN did carry PGA Tour events up until 2006 when the PGA chose to go with Golf Channel, NBC and CBS. ESPN dropped out of the bidding to carry individual events for the current contract and I don’t see it going for a new contract especially with Tiger Woods not doing so well. ESPN has committed to golf’s major events and I foresee it continuing with that policy. And with the newly combined Golf Channel/NBC entity, the NBC Sports Group could bid for more tournaments although the PGA Tour is most of CBS’ summer programming. CBS will want to remain with its 20 PGA tournaments and there’s also the CBS Sports Network which the Tiffany Network wants to stock its inventory as well, but that’s another story entirely.
The Big East Conference recently held its annual football media day and with it deciding to wait until its contract opens up next year, it will have plenty of suitors including ESPN, NBC Sports Group and Fox. However, if the SEC starts poaching the Big 12, it could lead to the breakup of the Big East as the ACC and Big 10 might rip it up for parts so we’ll have to wait for all of the dust to settle. If the Big East survives, expect competitive bidding among the aforementioned parties. With ESPN and the Big East having so much history between the two, I expect the four letter network to keep the rights.
The French Open rights will be coming up for bid in the next couple of years. With NBC having lost Wimbledon to ESPN this year, NBC could attempt to get out of the tennis business, but it also could try to wrest the cable rights away from Tennis Channel and putting a combined bid in for the entire two week tournament. If NBC commits to some live tennis, then perhaps Roland Garros could commit to the Group. Plus you know ESPN would love to shut NBC out. This will be a very interesting battleground. I’ll say ESPN takes the French with Tennis Channel as a partner.
You know that ESPN vs. NBC is going to be an interesting battle for years to come.
Where is CBS Sports on Twitter?
It hit me as I was driving to a jobsite last week that we don’t see too many CBS Sports personalities on Twitter. It should hit you that my mind works in strange ways.
You have College Football Today co-hosts Tim Brando and Spencer Tillman, but I think they set up those accounts on their own. CBS Sports golf analyst David Feherty just recently set up an account, but that was mostly to promote his new Golf Channel show. NCAA Tournament analysts Greg Anthony, Clark Kellogg and Seth Davis have their own accounts, but again set up independently from CBS Sports. And NFL/NCAA announcer Kevin Harlan is also on Twitter, but I don’t see Jim Nantz, Greg Gumbel, Phil Simms, Dan Dierdorf, Ian Eagle, Gary McCord, or any of the other CBS personalities on the service.
To be honest, I don’t think this is a company-wide policy not to be on Twitter and social media, it just seems to be a coincidence that many CBS Sports announcers don’t partake. I haven’t written an e-mail to CBS Sports asking about this. I will send one to see if there’s a social media policy, but I don’t think there’s any memo from higher ups banning their announcers from joining Twitter. Consider the fact that ESPN, Fox and NBC have encouraged their announcers to join, it seems very quiet on the CBS front. Just an observation and certainly not a criticism.
Video of the Week
And I’ll conclude with the one of the best videos from this past week or any other week. This is the reunion of U.S. Army Major Michael Harlow with his wife, Darla, pulling off the ultimate surprise at a Mississippi Braves game. Darla threw out of the first pitch thinking the team had chosen her at random for the honor. Little did she know that the catcher was her husband, home from Afghanistan for ten weeks. The best story was that Major Harlow had set this up with his two daughters to surprise Darla. We have the video from WAPT in Jackson, MS.
As you saw from the video, this isn’t the first time Major Harlow surprised his wife. The first time he pulled off the surprise, she fainted. It’s a good thing she did not this time around.
And those are the Sunday thoughts.
Any time I put “Quick” in the title, it appears I find more linkage than I set out to. Nothing wrong with that. Again, I ended up being outside of the office for an extended time and it looks like that will happen again tomorrow. Don’t know work is so crazy all of a sudden. I hope the weekend won’t be too busy, but you never know until it gets here. So I won’t put “Quick” in the title today.
In the meantime, I’ll do as many links as I can.
Mike McCarthy of USA Today writes that ESPN has actually dropped two NFL studio analysts to help make room for five new guys coming to the network.
Michael Hiestand at USA Today explains why Jerry Rice chose to become a TV analyst now.
In Sports Business Daily, John Ourand has the story on how NBC Sports Group signed a new multiyear contract with MLS.
Sports Illustrated’s Richard Deitsch writes that the NBC Sports deal might be the boost that MLS has been seeking.
Jack Bell of the New York Times looks at the particulars of the deal.
Joe Flint of the Los Angeles Times’ Company Town blog says NBC Sports Group grabbing the MLS is a big blow to Fox Soccer which previously had this portion of the contract.
Daniel Feuerstein from MLS Talk also reviews this new MLS contract.
Now to other links.
Mike Reynolds at Multichannel News says Cablevision and Tennis Channel may spar again when its contract with a cable collaborative expires. Again, this could affect viewership of the U.S. Open in New York.
Autoweek talks about ESPN renewing its deal to air the Indianapolis 500 on ABC for the long-term.
Marcus Vanderberg of SportsNewser notes that a longtime Baltimore Sun writer is leaving to join the WWE.
Cam Martin of SportsNewser tells us that age was a factor in having CNBC’s Darren Rovell replace John Feinstein on the ESPN Radio affiliate in Washington DC. It’s never good to admit that publicly.
Ben Axelrod from SportsGrid says U.S. Women’s Soccer team goalie Hope Solo will be posing nude for ESPN The Magazine’s Body issue.
Major League Baseball has announced its postseason schedule and it starts early and would end well before Halloween.
Over to the aforementioned Darren Rovell who provides us with his annual College Football All-Name Team.
Dan Steinberg of the Washington Post’s DC Sports Bog looks at Darren joining a DC sports radio station for a weekly guest spot.
Dan writes that a DC TV station will air Baltimore Ravens preseason games for the first time.
Bert Pfankuch of the Sarasota Herald-Tribune is changing cable companies and tearfully says goodbye to Golf Channel.
Angela Woolen in the Macon (GA) Telegraph says ESPN is in town to air the Little League Baseball World Series Southeast Regional this week.
Ben Flanagan from the Huntsville (AL) Times recaps comments from South Carolina coach Steve Spurrier to Dan Patrick in which he stated that he felt ESPN gave Alabama preferential treatment.
Bob Wolfley at the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel says former Packers running back Ahman Green joins Big Ten Network for selected games this college football season.
Bob talks about former NFL coach Bill Parcells rejoining ESPN for this season.
Scott D. Pierce of the Salt Lake Tribune writes that NBC Sports plans to put one or two Notre Dame games on the NBC Sports Network starting next season.
Tom Hoffarth of the Los Angeles Daily finds an angry message to Dodgers owner Frank McCourt inside Dodger Stadium.
Ferd Lewis at the Honolulu Star-Advertiser says an announcement to tout a new University of Hawaii sports channel has been delayed again.
Bruce Dowbiggin in the Toronto Globe and Mail goes over caddie Steve Williams’ bitter remarks to CBS shortly after Adam Scott won the WGC-Bridgestone Invitational.
Kristen Douglas of the Campbell River (Canada) Mirror says NBC Sports was in the local area to shoot a segment for an adventure show.
Sports Media Watch advises us to keep on an eye on the battle between ESPN and the NBC Sports Group.
Awful Announcing’s Matt Yoder goes over Jerry Rice’s hiring at ESPN.
And AA talks with soccer announcer extraordinaire Ian Darke.
The Biz of Baseball’s Maury Brown says MLB’s attendance numbers are quite deceptive.
The Football Girl blog looks at the ESPN/NFL Network analyst wars plus the NFL on Fox announcing lineup.
And that is going to conclude the linkage for today.
In a takeover of a sports property, MLS and NBC Sports Group have signed a deal to put 49 soccer games across NBC Sports and the NBC Sports Network (Versus) over the next three years. This also includes four games involving the U.S. Men’s Soccer team. The deal begins in 2012. NBC will have two MLS regular season games, two postseason games and two U.S. Soccer appearances. NBC Sports Network will have 38 regular season games, three playoff games and two U.S. Soccer appearances.
It will mark the first time MLS will be on network TV since ABC carried a handful of games in 2002.
My hope is that NBC Sports Group hires JP Dellacamera who’s currently on Fox Soccer as its MLS voice. Apparently, NBC has taken over Fox Soccer’s portion of the MLS contract. This is a big blow to Fox Soccer’s primetime programming.
Here’s the official announcement.
MLS, NBC announce three-year broadcast deal
45 MLS and 4 USMNT matches to appear on NBC and new NBC Sports Network
NEW YORK – Major League Soccer (MLS) and the NBC Sports Group today announced a three-year media rights agreement, which commences at the start of the 2012 MLS season. The partnership calls for 45 MLS games and four U.S. Men’s National Team contests to be televised live across both NBC and NBC Sports Network each season. This marks the first rights deal for the newly-named cable channel that will be re-branded from VERSUS on January 2, 2012. The announcement was made today by MLS Commissioner and Soccer United Marketing CEO Don Garber and Mark Lazarus, Chairman, NBC Sports Group.
“Everyone at the NBC Sports Group is thrilled to begin this partnership with Major League Soccer,” said Lazarus. “MLS is a perfect fit for our new group, and we are uniquely positioned to help grow soccer in the United States with extensive coverage on NBC Sports Network, significant programming on the broadcast network and our growing digital platforms. Additionally, this agreement complements the partnerships that five of our regional sports networks have with their local MLS teams.”
Each season, NBC will broadcast two regular-season MLS games, two playoff games and two appearances by the U.S. Men’s National Team, marking the first time four MLS matches will be broadcast on English-language network television since 2002. The NBC Sports Network will televise 38 regular-season games, three playoff games and two U.S. Men’s National Team matches. All telecasts on NBC and NBC Sports Network will consist of pre-game and post-game coverage. According to the agreement, the NBC Sports Group obtains digital rights across all platforms and devices for the games it televises.
“Our new partnership with the NBC Sports Group is a significant step forward for Major League Soccer and U.S. Soccer,” said MLS Commissioner and Soccer United Marketing CEO Don Garber. “The NBC Sports Group is world-renowned for its award-winning coverage, superb broadcast quality and promotional expertise. We are excited to be part of NBC’s ambitious plans for soccer, and look forward to reaching a considerable audience on multiple platforms.”
Featuring an exciting mix of players, including world-class stars such as Landon Donovan, David Beckham and Thierry Henry, MLS is one of the nation’s fastest growing sports properties. It has seen considerable growth across many metrics, including number of teams (10 clubs in 2004 to 19 in 2012) and new stadiums (two soccer stadiums in 2004 to having 15 of 19 clubs playing in venues built with soccer in mind, including new soccer stadiums in Houston and Montreal next year). This season, the League is enjoying the highest average attendance and largest number of corporate sponsors in its 16-year history.
Along with already-established MLS partnerships with five Comcast SportsNets (California, Chicago, Mid-Atlantic, New England and Philadelphia), this agreement provides the league with coverage across the NBC Sports Group’s unique four-tier portfolio of assets: broadcast network, national cable, regional sports networks and digital platforms.
That’s it for now. Certainly some shocking news here as MLS has been with ESPN/ABC almost from its inception. It will remain on ESPN.
UPDATE, 2:45 p.m.: We have this video from NBC Sports & Versus/NBC Sports Network President of Programming Jon Miller explaining the machinations behind putting the deal together.
Ok, seeing some good stories on this Friday and it appears that I’m staying in the office today so I can give you a full set and not have to leave for another site. Let’s git ‘er done!
We start as always with the Weekend Viewing Picks which are getting busier with each passing weekend as we get closer to football. And in September, you’ll have College Football Viewing Picks and the NFL Viewing Picks to go along with the weekend picks so you can expect to see those every Friday from September through the end of both football seasons.
Let’s do the linkage.
Michael Hiestand and Mike McCarthy of USA Today debate whether networks really need to use ex-jocks to be analysts.
R. Thomas Umstead of Multichannel News reports that HBO PPV will air the Manny Pacquaio-Juan Manuel Marquez fight with replays of the 24/7 documentary series airing on CNN. Interesting.
Mike Reynolds from Multichannel says Comcast is going after DirecTV for what it says is a deceptive ad campaign by the satellite provider for offering “free” NFL games.
Toni Fitzgerald of Media Life Magazine looks at how Kraft used its Macaroni & Cheese brand to help warm up football fans tailgating in cold weather cities.
Jason Fry in the Indiana University National Sports Journalism Center gives some tips on starting up a digital sports journalism program.
At NFL.com, Adam Rank gives his top six favorite features from NFL Films as founder Ed Sabol goes into the Pro Football Hall of Fame this weekend.
Glenn Davis of SportsGrid is giddy over Stephen Colbert taking over MLB’s Twitter account for all day today.
Cam Martin of SportsNewser has the latest New Era Red Sox-Yankees ad featuring notorious Yankees fan Alec Baldwin and Red Sox fan John Krasinski. This ad called “One Hitter” is the best of the series thus far.
Karen Hogan of Sports Video Group says NASCAR.com is expanding its online RaceView program from Sprint Cup only to three Nationwide Series races.
Sports Media Watch notes that the ratings for the MLS All-Star Game on ESPN2 went up slightly from last year.
Joe Favorito talks about motorsports trying to tap into the New York market.
Barry Janoff of The Big Lead notes that Pepsi is returning to advertise in the Super Bowl by using the winner of Fox’s X Factor contest into NBC’s broadcast.
Brady Green at Awful Announcing reports a story that we’ve been following closely here, that Versus may make a big commitment to college hockey.
AA also introduces its Fan Forum where you get a voice on the blog.
In Sports TV Jobs, ESPN’s Clay Matvick talks about what it takes to be a play-by-play announcer.
Kristi Dosh, the SportsBizMiss, notes how big a business college sports is in the Business of College Sports.
Law professor Roger Groves writes in Forbes that the Pac-12 deal while lucrative, may end up costing college sports in the long run.
East and Mid-Atlantic
To the Lewiston (ME) Sun Journal and Randy Whitehouse who writes that the Maine Sports Network has carved a niche for itself by broadcasting local high school sports and talk shows to a hungry audience.
Chad Finn of the Boston Globe talks about the rebranding of Versus to fit the NBC Sports Group.
At Boston Sports Media Watch, Ryan Hadfield has some local media musings.
Richard Sandomir of the New York Times writes about the ailing NFL Films team of Ed and Steve Sabol who are holding on to see Ed finally make it to the Pro Football Hall of Fame.
Newsday’s Neil Best says the Yankees-Red Sox rivalry hasn’t lost any of its luster to ESPN or Fox.
Neil says MSG Network has finalized a deal with Spero Dedes for him to call New York Knicks games on radio.
The New York Post’s Phil Mushnick is filled with hatred for the entire world today.
Marc Berman at the Post says MSG is overlooking a recent DWI arrest in hiring Dedes.
Justin Terranova in the Post has five questions for CBS/TNT golf analyst Ian Baker-Finch.
In the Albany Times Union, Pete Dougherty would like YES to stop airing a certain smoking cessation ad.
Pete says NFL Network has confirmed talks with Time Warner Cable to possibly get carriage for this season.
Pete talks with player agent J.R. Rickert about having to squash inaccurate media reports about his clients.
Ken Schott at the Schenectady Gazette says NFL Network will have up to six live preseason on its air this month.
Laura Nachman says a Philly sports reporter is teaming up on a new book on the hapless 1972 Phillies.
In Press Box, Dave Hughes notes that Comcast SportsNet Mid-Atlantic has hired a new Capitals insider for TV and online appearances.
At the Washington Examiner, Jim Williams says the rebrand from Versus to NBC Sports Network is more than just a name change.
David Barron at the Houston Chronicle talks Texans with NFL Network’s Michael Lombardi.
Mel Bracht of the Daily Oklahoman notes that Cox has released its local high school football schedule.
Mel says Tulsa native Bob Carpenter may be looking for a new gig after MASN did not pick up his option to call Washington Nationals games.
Josh Weir in the Canton (OH) Repository profiles NFL Films founder Ed Sabol as he enters the Pro Football Hall of Fame this weekend.
Josh writes that Ed’s relationship with the late NFL Commissioner Pete Rozelle changed the fate of the league and NFL Films.
Josh says Ed’s hiring of the late John Facenda as the voice of NFL Films added a mystique to the NFL.
Josh says Ed’s successor at NFL Films, his son Steve, has been ailing almost as much as Ed has.
And Josh writes that before Ed was a filmmaker, he was a very good swimmer at Ohio State.
Over to the Akron Beacon Journal, Jason Lloyd goes behind the scenes with CBS Sports as it airs this weekend’s coverage of the WGC-Bridgestone Invitational.
John Kiesewetter of the Cincinnati Enquirer says a former Bengals radio pregame host is returning to his position this season.
John has a little more on the story in his blog.
John says Fox Sports Ohio picks up an additional Cincinnati Reds game later this month.
Mark Snyder of the Detroit Free Press says ESPN will make next month’s Michigan-Notre Dame game into a big primetime affair.
Michael Zuidema of the Grand Rapids (MI) Press says Versus will air a documentary on MLB’s first openly gay player next week.
Bob Wolfley at the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel writes that the Green Bay Packers’ weekend scrimmage will be picked up on TV both locally and nationally.
Paul Christian of the Rochester Post-Bulletin says eight years after its creation, NFL Network finally gets picked up by Charter Communications.
In the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, Dan Caesar writes the NFL Network-Charter agreement was a compromise on where the channel would be placed.
Dan says the St. Louis Cardinals were kicked off Fox’s national MLB schedule to give the Pittsburgh Pirates a rare spotlight.
John Maffei in the North County Times says the NFL’s TV partners are hopeful viewers will watch preseason football.
Tom Hoffarth of the Los Angeles Daily News says Ed Sabol is worthy of the Pro Football Hall of Fame.
Tom wonders if Ed was actually a candidate to succeed the late Pete Rozelle as NFL Commish.
Ed looks at the sports media’s connection to this year’s class of 2011 for the Pro Football Hall of Fame.
Tom says ESPN has invented a quarterback rating statistic and wants everyone to know about it.
Bruce Dowbiggin of the Toronto Globe and Mail talks about a new reality series in which a former CFL’er is trying to make Canada’s bobsledding team.
The Canadian Sports Media Blog looks at CBC and Rogers Sportsnet teaming up to air two tennis tournaments this month.
And the Canadian Sports Media Blog lists the Gemini Award nominees in the sports categories. The Geminis are Canada’s version of the Emmys.
That will conclude the links today.
On Tuesday, I did the links in the evening, but today, the linkage is coming out early. Let’s get to them.
Michael Hiestand of USA Today writes that Fox plans to use its college football sideline reporter more as an analyst on the field, rather than give injury updates.
To the Wall Street Journal where Sam Schechner and Alexandra Berzon write about poker programming falling off TV due to the recent Fed crackdown of offsite gambling sites.
The Sports Biz Miss, Kristi Dosh, writes in Forbes that the settlement of the NFL lockout does not bode well for the NBA players in their dispute with the league.
Cam Martin of SportsNewser notes that former Access Hollywood and Insider host (and Betsy admirer) Pat O’Brien returns to CBS as the host of a new poker series. Pat used to be NBA, MLB and Olympics host for CBS Sports a long, long time ago. I think he’s better known now for his entertainment work than his sports career.
Ben Grossman of Broadcasting & Cable has Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban being bullish on cable saying it’s the best way to distribute video rather than the internet.
Mike Reynolds at Multichannel News says Universal Sports, which is now available on DirecTV, is airing “One Year To Go” programming as we’re now a year away from the 2012 Summer Olympics in London.
Ki Mae Heussner from Adweek says ESPN’s Erin Andrews was among those taking part in an event hosted by Marie Claire magazine.
Tim Nudd at Adweek looks at the State of MLS as it hits its All-Star Game tonight.
Timothy Burke of SportsGrid has the video of the controversial ending between the Atlanta Braves and Pittsburgh Pirates in the 19th inning.
Ken Kerschbaumer of Sports Video Group notes that ESPN.com has reworked its video player to stream 720p clips.
At Yahoo’s From the Marbles blog, Jay Busbee has ESPN’s NASCAR crew telling Dale Earnhardt, Jr. that it’s time to be a man.
The Big Lead notes that ESPN is all over football right now even though baseball is approaching one of its busier times of the season.
Awful Announcing is now at the finals of its Joe Morgan Memorial Tournament. Finalists might surprise you.
All Access says ESPN Deportes Radio has picked up another affiliate, this time in South Florida.
Richard Sandomir from the New York Times the victims of Bernard Madoff’s Ponzi scheme are now focusing on the Mets ownership and what they knew of Madoff’s shenanigans and when they knew it.
Tom Spousta of the Times notes that Texas’ rivals in the Big 12 are seeing more than burnt orange in regards to the Longhorn Network.
Pete Tobey at the Glen Falls (NY) Post-Star says local native Dave Strader is leaving his Phoenix Coyotes post to work for the NHL on NBC/Versus.
Bob Smizik of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette says CBS Radio is making a hard charge at the Pittsburgh Pirates rights as Clear Channel tries to hold onto them.
Fox Sports Southwest has formally announced that Friday nights will be devoted to high school football programming.
Brent Zwerneman at the Houston Chronicle notes that the Big 12 has called a meeting on what to do about the Longhorn Network.
Steve Watkins of the Cincinnati Business Courier says Fox Sports Ohio is offering some online features as a companion to its Reds game broadcasts.
Robert Feder at TimeOut Chicago says NBC Chicago has hired the replacement for the late Daryl Hawks on its sports staff.
Vahe Gregorian at the St. Louis Post-Dispatch writes that the Big 12 hierarchy is feeling that the issues surrounding Longhorn Network can be fixed.
Rustin Dodd of the Kansas City Star says a switching error caused the Royals-Red Sox extra inning game to go off the air on Fox Sports Kansas City late Monday night and a streetball program to go on briefly its place.
Chris Dufrense of the Los Angeles Times says Pac-12 schools remain euphoric about their $3 billion media rights contract with ESPN and Fox, but there are still some issues that hang over the conference.
Jon Wilner of the San Jose Mercury News caught up with Pac-12 Commissioner Larry Scott and spoke with him about several issues facing the league.
Robert Collias of the Maui (HI) News reports that NBC golf analyst Mark Rolfing is sounding off after being dropped as the Executive Director of a PGA Tour stop.
Susan Krashinsky of the Toronto Globe and Mail writes that Rogers Sportsnet has purchased Setanta Sports Canada and will rebrand the channel under the Sportsnet name.
Erik Spanberg from Scene Daily has ESPN being hopeful that the upward trend on NASCAR’s TV ratings continue as it takes over the Sprint Cup schedule for the rest of the season.
Sports Media Watch has some various ratings news and notes.
The Business Insider Sports Page has its suggestions as who should be cause in the ESPN Book movie.
And I’m done with the links for now.
If you’re looking to get a soccer fix after the Women’s World Cup earlier this month, there’s the MLS All-Star Game being played in Harrison, NJ tonight. ESPN2 will carry the game and it will have plenty of international stars including David Beckham and Thierry Henry playing for the MLS All-Stars as they go up against English Premier League Champion Manchester United, easily the world’s most popular club team in the sport and the most corrupt (I’m a Chelsea fan). Anyway, the game marks the time the MLS All-Star Game will have been played at Red Bull Arena. Coverage begins at 8:30 p.m. ET on ESPN2.
Calling the game for ESPN2 will be Adrian Healey and John Harkes.
David Beckham, Thierry Henry and Omar Bravo Lead MLS’s Best vs. Barclays Premier League Champion Manchester United
ESPN2 and ESPN3.com will show live the 2011 MLS All-Star Game on Wednesday, July 27, beginning at 8:30 p.m. ET from the Red Bull Arena in Harrison, N.J. – the first MLS All-Star event at the state-of-the-art soccer-specific stadium. The special telecast, available in high definition, will feature MLS All-Stars, led by Los Angeles Galaxy’s David Beckham, New York Red Bull Thierry Henry, and Sporting Kansas City’s Omar Bravo versus Manchester United, the most successful club in English football with a record 19 league titles and 11 FA Cups.
This will mark the second consecutive MLS All-Star game between the U.S. league’s best players and Manchester United. This year, the MLS All-Star roster includes players with more than 10 combined appearances on FIFA World Cup teams – Beckham (1998, 2002, ’06), Henry (1998, 2002, ’06, ’10), Kasey Keller (1998, 2002), Omar Bravo (2006) and Faryd Mondragón (1998). Tonight’s All-Star Game is also the first time Beckham will face his former team Manchester United in the U.S.
Manchester United is coming off its 19th league title after winning the 2010-2011 Barclays Premier League season. Led by Sir Alex Ferguson, who is entering his 25th season as the club’s manager, Manchester United’s roster is stacked with some of the top-tier players in the world. Former Welsh national team captain Ryan Giggs, England’s Wayne Rooney and Rio Ferdinand, Portugal’s Nani, French international Patrice Evra, Serbian national team star Nemanja Vidic, Mexico’s Javier “Chícharito” Hernández, South Korea’s Ji-Sung Park, and others return from last season’s Premier League title winners.
Adrian Healey and John Harkes, ESPN’s primary MLS commentator team, will call the action, with Rob Stone as sideline reporter. Max Bretos, Alexi Lalas, Steve McManaman and Taylor Twellman will host the studio coverage including pre-game, halftime and post-game segments live from Red Bull Arena. Coverage will also include live, in-game interviews with select coaches and/or players.
The All-Star game will be broadcast via ESPN International networks to over 39.3 million television home in 104 countries and territories across the world.
We’re done here.
I’ve been out of the office for most of the day as this week has been a bear for some reason. I’ll do some linkage and do as much as I can before being booted out for the day.
Mike McCarthy of the USA Today says the MLB All-Star Game on Fox received its lowest ratings ever.
Mike says Shaquille O’Neal has officially joined Turner Sports as an NBA studio analyst.
Georg Szalai of the Hollywood Reporter also writes about Shaq joining Turner.
Etan Vlessing of the Reporter says Canadian French language network TVA Sports has signed a deal to become the official broadcaster of Montreal Impact MLS games.
Toni Fitzgerald of Media Life Magazine says ratings for the 18-49 demographic for the MLB All-Star Game fell precipitously from last year.
Sports Illustrated’s Richard Deitsch writes about Shaquille O’Neal shuffling to Turner Sports.
On this 5th anniversary of Twitter, SI lists its 100 must follow Sports Twitter accounts. I discount it because I wasn’t listed. I’m joking. Maybe. Maybe not.
SI’s Jon Wertheim writes about Twitter’s huge impact on sports.
Terry Lefton of Sports Business Journal reports that an Under Armour executive died suddenly last night.
Brian Lowry from Fox Sports has some thoughts on how Fox handled the All-Star Game.
Eric Deggans of the St. Petersburg Times writing for the Indiana University National Sports Journalism Center provides a review of Showtime’s “The Franchise”.
Big news from the IU National Sports Journalism Center, the man who help found the center and also establish its journalism focus, Tim Franklin is leaving for Bloomberg News in Washington.
Ben Axelrod of SportsGrid has a funny video showing the BBC misidentifying and then interviewing the wrong writer.
Cam Martin at SportsNewser writes that Fox Sports President Eric Shanks has been named to the board of a sports statistics company.
Jason Dachman of Sports Video Group says Sony has extended its sponsorship of ESPN 3D which about 35 people across the country have access to.
CNBC’s Darren Rovell has 100 Twitter rules to live by. I admit, I don’t follow all of them which is probably why he doesn’t follow me. He used to.
Chad Finn of the Boston Globe writes about the city’s sports radio ratings.
Chad has a story on Shaquille O’Neal going to TNT.
Earlier this week, Newsday’s Neil Best reported that WFAN’s Mike Francesa was dropping his WNBC-TV Sunday night show effective immediately.
Neil says the show will have a new host, but keep the same name.
And Neil writes about Shaquille O’Neal heading to TNT.
David Zurawik of the Baltimore Sun looks at the incredible shrinking TV sportscasts during the late local news.
David talks with former sports TV anchor Scott Garceau about whether Baltimore is as passionate about sports as other cities.
Richard Sandomir of the New York Times says All-Star Game viewership has hit its nadir.
Dan Steinberg of the Washington Post’s DC Sports Bog has video of Lindsay Czarniak’s emotional farewell to DC market.
Dan says the extremely bitter John Feinstein is changing radio stations.
Jim Williams of the Washington Examiner writes that the Open Championship presents logistical challenges to ESPN.
Jim says DC and Baltimore pace the country in the ratings for the Women’s World Cup.
Jim notes that TNT’s NASCAR ratings are up this year.
John Kieswetter of the Cincinnati Enquirer talks about Fox Sports Ohio’s high school football schedule.
Bob Wolfley of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel says Suds City loves the long ball.
Ed Sherman in Crain’s Chicago Business shares his thoughts on the All-Star Game.
Tom also talks with ESPN Women’s World Cup analysts Brandi Chastain and Julie Foudy about having the 2011 USA team being compared to their 1999 champion squad.
The incredibly uninformed Bruce Dowbiggin of the Toronto Globe and Mail talks about Rogers Sportsnet looking to bring in additional talent and not fire its staff.
But then Toronto Sports Media reports that Rogers fired Calgary Flames voice Peter Loubardias.
The Canadian Sports media blog reacts to the Rogers move as well as looking at the Winnipeg Jets broadcast rights.
The Big Lead talks with The Extra 2% author and baseball writer extraordinaire Jonah Keri.
Joe Favorito says the sport that wins on the movie screen is NASCAR.
Sports Media Watch says the USA-France Women’s World Cup semifinal set another high mark for this year’s games.
SMW looks at the top 100 most viewed sporting events on broadcast and cable TV to the halfway point of 2011.
That will do it.
Time for the links on this Tuesday. Lots of good stuff to get to.
Matthew Futterman of the Wall Street Journal looks at MLB Commissioner Bud Selig rejecting the Los Angeles Dodgers’ deal with Fox which now throws Frank McCourt’s ownership of the team into jeopardy.
In Sports Business Journal, Broadcasting & Cable Editor-in-Chief Ben Grossman has some suggestions for Major League Soccer on how to grow the sport in the U.S.
From the ESPN Ombudsman, Kelly McBride of the Poynter Institute says Bill Simmons’ Grantland site shows potential, but needs to do more.
Sports Illustrated’s Richard Deitsch has his June Media Power List.
Richard also talks with the CEO of the polarizing Bleacher Report.
Had to catch up with those last three links from last week. I was so far behind after not doing linkage Friday, Saturday and Sunday.
Curtis Eichelberger of Bloomberg writes that NFL quarterback Chad Pennington is taking a year off and will work for Fox Sports when the league comes back from lockout.
Lesley Goldberg of the Hollywood Reporter writes that Comedy Central has canceled two sports-themed shows after just one season.
Marisa Guthrie of the Reporter notes that the U.S. Open’s final round ratings improved from Saturday’s numbers, but were still far below last year’s.
John Eggerton from Broadcasting & Cable has NBC being very apologetic about cutting “Under God” from the Pledge of Allegiance during Sunday’s coverage of the U.S. Open.
Mike Reynolds of Multichannel News says NBA’s digital platforms are all over this week’s NBA Draft.
Toni Fitzgerald from Media Life Magazine says Rory McIlroy has yet to prove he’s a ratings draw.
Brett McMurphy of CBS Sports.com says the Big East turned down a big payday from ESPN to risk checking the free agent market.
Sam Mamudi of Marketwatch.com notes that you may not know that Turner Sports has a rather large online presence in golf.
Alex Weprin of SportsNewser recaps Comcast CEO Brian Roberts’ comments on NBC’s successful Olympics bid.
At SportsGrid, Dave Levy writes that Grantland failed to live up to the hype.
Dave says Bill Simmons could have left ESPN to create Grantland somewhere else.
Dan Fogarty at SportsGrid says the Dan Patrick Show has an unusual proposal on how to end the NFL lockout.
CNBC’s Darren Rovell writes that flamboyant tennis fashionista Bethanie Mattek-Sands (who came to Fang’s Bites’ attention in 2007) has signed a new endorsement contract for an nontraditional tennis product.
Jay Busbee of Yahoo’s From the Marbles blog looks at Fox’s proposal to move some of its NASCAR races to cable in its next contract.
At the Daly Planet, John Daly has some thoughts on what this potential move means for the future of Speed.
Diane Mermigas of the Business Insider says innovation could help NBCUniversal pay for its $4.38 billion pricetag for the Olympics.
Olympic sports beat writer John Powers of the Boston Globe finally gets to write about NBC winning the rights to four Olympic Games.
Tom Rock of Newsday has some quotes of tonight’s HBO Real Sports profile of former New York Giants running back and NBC analyst Tiki Barber.
Richard Sandomir from the New York Times looks at MLB rejecting the Los Angeles Dodgers’ deal with Fox.
Pete Dougherty of the Albany Times Union notes that Rory McIlroy doesn’t move the TV ratings meter like Tiger Woods did.
Nate Mink writing for the Philadelphia Daily News recaps an ESPN taping of a program involving legendary coaches Joe Paterno of Penn State and Mike Krzyzewski of Duke.
Joseph Santoliquito of the Marple Newtown Patch has a profile of Comcast SportsNet Philadelphia anchor Ron Burke.
Greg Augman of the St. Petersburg Times notes that Jon Gruden is taping a session of his ESPN “QB Camp” series with former Ohio State quarterback Terrelle Pryor.
Ken Sugiura of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution has an interview with Georgia Tech’s Athletic Director on a few subjects including the impact of the ESPN/SEC contract on the school.
Mac Engel of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram notes that Golf Channel is giving David Feherty a platform for his humor.
The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel’s Bob Wolfley has Keith Olbermann not impressed with the tome on ESPN.
Justin Albers at the Chicago Sun-Times chronicles ESPN’s Baseball Tonight’s visit to the Windy City on Sunday.
Robert Feder of Time Out Chicago says the local ESPN Radio affiliate is about to move to new streetside studios.
Chad Purcell of the Omaha World-Journal goes behind-the-scenes with ESPN’s crew at the College World Series.
Bill Shaikin and David Wharton of the Los Angeles Times have a story on MLB rejecting the Fox offer to Dodgers’ owner Frank McCourt and putting the team into limbo.
The Spokane (WA) Spokesman-Review has a profile of Golf Channel’s Todd Lewis who used to work in the area.
Kenyon Wallace of the Toronto Star responds to ESPN the Magazine ranking the Canadian city as the worst in all of pro sports.
Cathal Kelly of the Star says there are cities worse off than Toronto.
The Canadian Sports Media Blog has its version of the NHL TV Awards.
Maury Brown of the Biz of Baseball writes that Frank McCourt is threatening legal action to hold onto the Dodgers.
Barry Petchesky of Deadspin has video of NESN’s Don Orsillo and Jerry Remy being amused by a Red Sox fan wearing a chicken hat. I found out later that she’s the sister of writer Joe Meloni who covers the Hockey East conference for College Hockey News.
And that’s where I’ll leave it for now. Lots of links today.
It’s been a busy day for me as I’ve been working on the story on NBC approving plans for a Stanley Cup Final Viewing Party at TD Garden in Boston. Amazing how things fall into place on a story like that. But still working to confirm on the Bruins and Garden end of the story. Once that happens, the story will be complete.
Let’s do links while I can.
Sports Business Daily notes that the NBA Finals finished as the 2nd most watched NBA Finals since 2004, but still finished below last year’s Celtics-Lakers series.
The Sporting News picks up a story from the Sports Business Journal’s Tripp Mickle about Fox’s increased ratings for NASCAR this season.
Sarah Kuta of the Associated Press Sports Editors page notes that economic realities have hit newspaper sports coverage quite hard.
Ken Campbell of the Hockey News gives us this item that hockey charlatan Pierre McGuire is being offered a full-time position at NBC/Versus (scroll down).
Greg Wyshynski of Yahoo’s Puck Daddy has the overnight ratings from Monday night’s Game 6 of the Stanley Cup Final.
At the Indiana University National Sports Journalism Center, Jason Fry shares his thoughts on the launch of Grantland.
Fox Sports’ Brian Lowry says the Miami Heat’s crash and burn in the NBA Finals is not what the script doctor ordered.
Georg Szalai of the Hollywood Reporter writes that ESPN Classic will become home to ESPN Films’ 30 for 30 documentaries and all future projects.
Anthony Crupi from Adweek says ABC scored with the NBA Finals.
And Toni Fitzgerald at Media Life also writes about the NBA Finals’ ratings.
Matt Hegerty of the Daily Racing Form says this year’s Belmont Stakes received higher ratings on NBC than last year’s race on ABC.
Cam Martin at SportsNewser notes that ESPN NFL analyst Tedi Bruschi unveiled Patriots coach Bill Belichick’s media rules.
Ben Axelrod of SportsGrid notes that today is the “24th Anniversary” of the Keith Hernandez spitting incident made famous on Seinfeld.
David Goetzl of MediaPost says the NFL Network is tapping the podcast for actual programming.
ESPN.com’s David Ubben talks with Big 12 Commissioner Don Beebe about the new revenue distribution and the TV appearance formula for member schools.
Richard Lawler from Engadget HD looks at the expansion in programming at ESPN 3D.
CNBC’s Darren Rovell says tickets for Game 7 of the NHL Stanley Cup Final are a hot commodity due to the lack of a secondary ticket market in Vancouver.
Richard Sandomir of the New York Times notes that NBA Finals Game 6 brought in the viewers as compared with last year.
Richard says a LeBron James critic writing a book on the Miami Heat star got the happy ending he was hoping for.
Pete Dougherty at the Albany Times Union has the Wimbledon TV schedule.
Pete says Fox NASCAR analyst Darrell Waltrip will be inducted into the sport’s Hall of Fame later this year.
Evan Weiner in the New Jersey Newsroom says LeBron James’ attack of his critics shows us what’s wrong with sports.
Ray Fittipaldo of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette says a recent reairing of Super Bowl XIV gave him an appreciation of Pat Summerall as a play-by-play man.
Dan Steinberg of the Washington Post’s DC Sports Bog notes that DC United’s TV ratings are way, way up this season.
Del Milligan of the Lakeland (FL) Ledger says get ready for plenty of TV coverage from the U.S. Open.
Barry Horn of the Dallas Morning News says Game 6 of the NBA Finals brought in record ratings locally.
Fox Sports Southwest will air the Dallas Mavericks victory parade this week.
Mel Bracht of the Daily Oklahoman writes that the local ABC affiliate saw a ratings record for the NBA Finals.
John Kiesewetter of the Cincinnati Enquirer notes that the local minor league hockey team returns to radio next season.
Mark Snyder at the Detroit Free Press says former Michigan football coach Rich Rodriguez heads to the broadcast booth for the upcoming season.
Bob Wolfley of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel writes that the NBA Finals did not do as well locally as compared to last year.
Bob says Packers coach Mike McCarthy revealed in a radio interview that he had his players sized for Super Bowl rings the night before the game!
Robert Feder from Time Out Chicago says the Tribune is losing its media critic (and a good resource for Fang’s Bites as well).
Ed Sherman of Crain’s Chicago Business continues his talk with White Sox analyst Steve Stone.
Mark Faller of the Arizona Republic isn’t a fan of the Longhorn Network ads.
Tom Hoffarth of the Los Angeles Daily News notes that one website recognizes Pac-12 Commish Larry Scott as a pretty powerful guy.
The Toronto Sports Media Blog notes that CBC Hockey Night in Canada Radio host Jeff Marek is quite in demand now that his contract is up.
The Canadian Sports Media Blog reviews the first two weeks of Canadian sports television.
Steve Lepore at Puck The Media notes that an estimated 12 million people watched Stanley Cup Final Game 6 across the US and Canada.
Sports Media Watch says Gold Cup Soccer is gathering a strong audience for Univision’s networks.
TV Technology notes that NBC/Versus tapped a Swiss company for its telestrator graphics on the Stanley Cup Final.
Ryan Ballengee of Pro Golf Talk has the video of a new Golf boy band that debuted on Golf Channel.
Emma Carmichael of Deadspin talks about her time working for the NBC Olympics unit.
Ty Duffy of The Big Lead reviews “Those Guys Have All The Fun: Inside the World of ESPN”
And that will end the links.
Let’s do some linkage on this last Monday before Memorial Day.
By the way, if you’re on Facebook, hit my fan page and click “Like”. It acts like an RSS feed. All posts should be there and you can click on the links to see the latest information. Already, 375 people have signed up and you should as well. Thanks for reading that paragraph.
Also, I hope to do the mailbag tonight. I said that yesterday, but for some reason, weekends have become busier than weekdays for me. Not sure why that is. Anyway, the mailbag will be posted tonight and two lucky people will get a $50 gift card from Nike.com. I hope to get one more gift for you as well.
To the links now.
Michael Hiestand of USA Today delves into the clip that went viral of ESPN’s and Rhode Island’s own Doris Burke mouthing a swear word during a report before the Oklahoma City-Dallas NBA Western Conference Finals on Saturday. For the record, ESPN taped that report and a techie in the production truck cued the tape to the wrong report. And forever being classy, Doris did not throw the technie under the bus.
Sports Illustrated’s Richard Deitsch reviews the book, “Those Guys Have All The Fun: Inside The World of ESPN.”
David M. Shribman of Bloomberg also provides a review.
Jon Lafayette of Broadcasting & Cable notes that ESPN is using its upcoming fall shows as a vehicle for marketing and advertising.
At the Indiana University National Sports Journalism Center, Jason Fry tells sports editors that they should not be afraid to link to other sites.
Mike Ozanian of Forbes.com says NASCAR’s attendance is getting hit by the economy like many businesses across the nation.
Dr. Patrick Rishe writes in Forbes that there are many reasons to doubt Lance Armstrong’s contentions that he didn’t take performance enhancing drugs.
Bill King of Sports Business Journal writes about UFC positioning itself closer to the mainstream as it begins talks with Spike and possibly other networks to be the home of the mixed martial arts organization.
CNBC’s Darren Rovell says despite his world crumbling around him, accused PED-user Lance Armstrong continues to rake in the endorsements.
Phil Mushnick of the New York Post decides that he’ll throw darts at MLB Walking, Talking Conflict of Interest Bud Selig.
Pete Dougherty of the Albany Times Union writes that the Preakness Stakes received its lowest overnight rating in a little more than a decade.
At the Washington Post’s DC Sports Bog, Dan Steinberg tries to give a synopsis on Ted Leonsis’ mad diatribes on radio, blogs and Twitter.
Jim Williams of the Washington Examiner notes that TNT just fell shy in setting another ratings record for Game 3 of the NBA Conference Finals.
Ira Winderman of the South Florida Sun-Sentinel writes that TNT will move its Inside The NBA postgame inside AmericanAirlines Arena after encountering some rowdy Miami Heat fans last night.
Tom Jones of the St. Petersburg Times reviews the weekend in sports television.
Phil Rosenthal of the Chicago Tribune notes that Game 3 of the Bulls-Miami Heat series is expected to do really well in the ratings when the final numbers come out.
Dusty Saunders at the Denver Post writes that Dick Ebersol’s resignation from NBC certainly ends an era in broadcast television.
Mike Klis of the Post reports that the Broncos are about to change flagship television stations.
Joe Flint of the Los Angeles Times writes that Time Warner Cable has hired a veteran sports executive to lead its sports programming wing.
Tom Hoffarth of the Los Angeles Daily News has the SoCal sports calendar for this week.
Matthew Fleischer of Fishbowl L.A. notes that ESPN Deportes has launched a SoCal-centric website.
Raju Mudhar in the Toronto Star looks at the tome chronicling at the history of ESPN.
Sports Media Watch has a couple of MLS-related ratings notes.
SMW says the NBA Draft Lottery failed to catch on with viewers this year.
Last week, my Twitter friend Stefanie Gordon at Not Your Typical Girl, took the picture of the Space Shuttle Endeavor that got picked up by every news outlet. She writes about her experiences and the whirlwind media tour that followed.
Noted public relations expert Gail Sideman at Publiside has some suggestions in case you’re ever caught in a similar situation as Stefanie.
Ty Duffy at The Big Lead looks at why some college football teams play in ESPN-owned or ESPN-televised bowl games that end up costing them money.
The Big Lead also has an interview with James Andrew Miller, the co-author of “Those Guys Have All The Fun: Inside The World at ESPN.”
Steve Lepore of Puck The Media notes that the NHL Conference Finals are trending downward on NBC.
And that’s going to do it.
On this Wednesday, it’s time to provide some linkage. Some stuff to get to. Let’s not delay any further.
Steve Wieberg of USA Today writes that the NCAA spent a lot of money to protect the March Madness™ trademark.
Michael Hiestand of USA Today looks at Gus Johnson leaving CBS for Fox Sports.
Eben Novy-Williams at Bloomberg News delves into Gus’ departure from CBS.
The great Maggie Hendricks at Yahoo’s Cagewriter says while Gus is leaving CBS, he will remain at corporate sibling Showtime to call boxing and MMA.
Brian Lowry of Fox Sports says while fans are cheering the Lakers’ exit now, they’ll regret it later.
Mike Reynolds at Multichannel News writes that TNT scored an across-the-board ratings win in key demographics for Game 4 of the Miami-Boston NBA Playoff game.
Mike Farrell of Multichannel says Disney’s CEO is saying that the Olympics could help ESPN get more money from cable providers.
Anthony Crupi of Adweek says Disney’s CEO isn’t too worried about an NFL lockout hurting ESPN.
Crupi writes a weak field in the Kentucky Derby offset NBCUniversal’s heavy promotion for the Run for the Roses.
Tony Fitzgerald of Media Life also looks at the lower ratings for the Derby on NBC.
Sean Martin at Golfweek says college golf could see more airtime with the new megarights deals with the Pac-12 and University of Texas.
Cam Martin of SportsNewser notes that ESPN will air the MLS Cup against Sunday Night Football again (provided there is an NFL season).
Cam has video of ESPN’s Barry Melrose comments about gays on NHL teams which really has to be seen to be believed.
CNBC’s Darren Rovell says he got to meet a star before she become one.
Darren says Miami Heat star Dwyane Wade is hoping to fill a void in fantasy camps.
Chad Finn of the Boston Globe has a story on Jack Edwards signing an extension with NESN to call Bruins games.
Richard Sandomir of the New York Times writes about Gus Johnson moving to Fox Sports.
At the DC Sports Bog at the Washington Post, Dan Steinberg wonders if Captain Blowhard is recruiting Tony Kornheiser to write for Grantland.
Jim Williams of the Washington Examiner says Maryland and Miami will open the ACC football season in primetime on ESPN.
Joe Reedy at the Cincinnati Enquirer notes that the Bengals have renewed their radio rights deal with Clear Channel Radio.
The South Bend Tribune reports that ESPN/ABC may put a November Notre Dame road game in primetime.
Anthony Schoettle from the Indianapolis Business Journal says IndyCar officials are talking about placing more of their races on ABC in the next TV contract.
Bob Wolfley of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel notes that HBO’s Real Sports will profile Brewers voice Bob Uecker.
Ed Sherman in Crain’s Chicago Business says a suspended sports talk show host returns to the air today.
Philip Hersh of the Chicago Tribune suggests the International Olympic Committee should take NBC’s overbid for the 2010/12 Games into account for the bid for the ’14/’16 Olympics.
Dom Izzo at WDAY-TV in Fargo, ND says Twins fans are being shut out from a number of games thanks to a dispute between Fox Sports North and the local cable provider.
Scott D. Pierce in the Salt Lake Tribune doesn’t understand why ESPN did not choose Real Salt Lake for its MLS TV schedule.
In the Phoenix Business Journal, Patrick O’Grady writes that the Pac-12 Network could find it difficult to gain carriage into Arizona homes.
Diane Pucin of the Los Angeles Times discusses Gus Johnson signing with Fox to become its main college sports announcer.
Bruce Dowbiggin at the Toronto Globe and Mail says the controversy over Sean Avery’s support of gay marriage and the condemnation by Uptown Hockey has opened a Pandora’s Box.
The Canadian Sports Media Blog feels Uptown Hockey and NHL agent Todd Reynolds should not have gone there.
Lost Letterman wonders if ESPN college basketball analyst Fran Fraschilla could be headed back into coaching.
Matt Sarzyniak at Matt’s College Sports Media analyzes the ESPN/ABC Pac-12 schedule.
Steve Lepore at Puck The Media says Dan Patrick will host NBC’s coverage of the Stanley Cup Final, more specifically, the later games.
Sports Media Watch has some various NHL ratings news and notes.
And that will do it.
This weekend was a very lost weekend for me and for you on the blog as I was unable to do anything either Saturday and Sunday. I attended a groundbreaking ceremony on Saturday in Massachusetts and that took most of the day, then I went to a sports bar that night to see the Manny Pacquaio-Sugar Shane Mosley fight and I’m glad I did not have to pay a cover as Mosley just did not do anything. I fought to stay awake as the fight was very boring.
And on Mother’s Day, I had several errands to run so the blog was very quiet. I was happy nothing broke because I would not have been able to do anything. But we’re back today and let’s get cracking on some overdue linkage.
USA Today’s Michael Hiestand says ESPN/ABC’s NBA analysts were very down on the Los Angeles Lakers’ effort in their series-ending loss to the Dallas Mavericks on Sunday.
Sports Business Daily has Screamin’ Gus Johnson calling reports of his departure from CBS “premature.”
SBD notes that the NBA Playoffs did very well in the weekend overnight ratings.
SBD also looks at the NFL possibly working under different rules from last year if the lockout is lifted.
Lacey Rose at the Hollywood Reporter writes that Golf Channel is giving CBS’ David Feherty his own primetime show.
Mike Reynolds from Multichannel News says the Pacquaio-Mosley fight will most likely lead to more boxing pay per view events.
Mike goes inside the new Pac-12 Conference media rights deals.
Rich Thomaselli of Advertising Age talks with NHL Chief Operating Officer John Collins about the league and its media rights deal with Comcast/NBC.
Diego Vasquez at Media Life Magazine writes on how sponsors can get true brand activation at the Preakness Stakes.
Cam Martin of SportsNewser has video of what Oracle is doing to make the viewing of this year’s America’s Cup more enjoyable to fans at home.
Glenn Davis of SportsGrid reviews the silly Captain Blowhard-Keith Olbermann renewal of their Twitter feud over the weekend.
That wasn’t the only Twitter feud this weekend, supermodel Chrissy Teigen and Jay Mohr had one also. Very silly these Twitter fights.
At Yahoo’s Puck Daddy, Greg Wyshynski looks at whether Versus’ Jeremy Roenick crossed the line or was being candid when he said San Jose’s Patrick Marleau was “gutless” following the team’s surprising loss to Detroit last night.
At ESPN Front Row, PR specialist Josh Krulewitz speaks with Hannah Storm on sports and Mother’s Day.
Phil Mushnick of the New York Post says Animal Kingdom owner Bill Irwin’s candor during NBC’s Kentucky Derby broadcast enlightened an otherwise technical glitch-filled broadcast.
Jonathan Bombulie of The Citizens’ (PA) Voice notes that ESPN’s E:60 newsmagazine will profile the young fan of a minor league hockey team, who has been battling a debilitating disease.
Mark Brown from the Baltimore Sports Report talks with legendary Maryland Terrapins voice Johnny Holliday about Gary Williams’ retirement.
Dan Steinberg of the Washington Post’s DC Sports Bog notes that the local ESPN Radio affiliate had egg on its face for reporting a false rumor on Maryland’s coaching situation.
Rick Stroud of the St. Petersburg Times has ESPN’s Herman Edwards giving some advice to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers on enduring the filming of HBO’s “Hard Knocks” as the Bucs are a candidate for the series this summer, provided there is a season.
Rodney Page of the Times has a look at the weekend in sports TV.
Matt Murschel of the Orlando Sentinel says the Pac-12 came out smelling like a rose in its new TV deals.
Bud Withers of the Daily Oklahoman notes that the Pac-12 can no longer be considered a college sports doormat.
Ed Sherman at Crain’s Chicago Business talks with Bulls radio voice Chuck Swirsky.
Dusty Saunders of the Denver Post writes that fans got to see the Lakers’ fatal flaws yesterday.
Tom Hoffarth at the Los Angeles Daily News has the SoCal sports calendar for this week.
Steve Gress from the Corvallis (OR) Gazette-Times says Pac-12 Commissioner Larry Scott definitely delivered for the league.
Eric Degerman of the Tri-City (WA) Herald says MLB Network has a nightly tribute to the late Seattle Mariners announcer Dave Niehaus.
Bruce Dowbiggin of the Toronto Globe and Mail has the ratings for the Fan 590 and TSN 1050 in April.
Raju Mudhar in the Toronto Globe and Mail says the city’s courtship of the NFL through the Ford family has one glaring omission.
Paul Kennedy at Soccer America feels ESPN2′s MLS soccer highlights last Saturday did the league a great disservice.
Daniel Feuerstein at MLS Talk has his thoughts on Fox Soccer Channel’s inaugural Soccer Night in America broadcast.
Sports Media Watch notes that the camera operator is the anonymous person who is a big part of the sports broadcast you watch.
SMW says Bulls-Hawks has been a big draw for TNT.
Steve Lepore at Puck The Media has the ratings for Night 23 of the NHL Playoffs.
Joe Favorito says boxing and horse racing are taking baby steps in getting back into the national conscience.
The Big Lead says ESPN’s Erin Andrews was among the beautiful people attending the Kentucky Derby and why not as Erin is a beautiful person.
And I’ll end the links there.
With me not having to drive in between two offices, I’m able to provide you with the Friday megalinks during the day. And with things planned for me during the day for Saturday, it’s best to get these in now so it can tie you over while I’m gone.
The Weekend Viewing Picks provide your sports and entertainment programming for Mother’s Day and before.
To the links. Lots to get to today.
In USA Today, Michael Hiestand and Mike McCarthy debate whether Donald Trump should have pulled out of driving the pace car at this year’s Indianapolis 500.
Mike McCarthy broke news last night that Champion fired Pittsburgh Steelers running back Rashard Mendenhall over his tweets on Osama bin Laden’s death.
Sports Business Daily looks at the final sports TV ratings from this week.
At Sports Video Group, Carolyn Braff says the Pac-12 Network will take lessons from the Big 10 Network when it launches in 2012.
Cam Martin at SportsNewser notes a new website launch for the National Sportcasters and Sportswriters Association.
CNBC’s Darren Rovell has an extensive look at whether the newest marketing plan by Gatorade can bring the company to new heights.
Cork Gaines of the Business Insider’s Sports Page notes that the new Pac-12 rights deal will immediately pay dividends for two schools.
Ed DeRosa of the Thoroughbred Times profiles Larry Collmus who is the new Voice of the Triple Crown for NBC.
Steve Lepore at Puck The Media has the ratings for Night 22 of the NHL Playoffs.
At SportsGrid, Glenn Davis is keeping track of whether Gus Johnson will stay at CBS or go to Fox.
Matt Yoder of Awful Announcing also has an update on the Gus Johnson saga.
The Nielsen Wire blog has news that will make NBC really happy, the Kentucky Derby is growing in popularity.
Dave Kohl at Major League Programs looks at the college conference rights megadeals and other sports media news that occurred this week.
East and Mid-Atlantic
Pawtucket Red Sox announcer Steve Hyder is very proud of his radio partner Dan Hoard for getting the call to the Cincinnati Bengals.
Chad Finn of the Boston Globe says the NFL Network appears to have finally gotten its Thursday Night Football announcing booth down.
Dan Lamonthe of the Red Sox Monster blog in the Springfield Republican chuckles at the “so bad, it’s good” Sullivan Tire ad with second baseman Dustin Pedroia and pitcher Jon Lester.
Newsday’s Neil Best has New York Jets coach Rex Ryan realizing that he’s been doing too many interviews this week.
I’m not sure what Phil Mushnick is saying in today’s New York Post.
Justin Terranova of the Post has five questions for SNY analyst Ron Darling.
Pete Dougherty of the Albany Times Union writes that a local radio personality gets to take his passion for NASCAR to a national level.
Tom Luicci of the Newark (NJ) Star-Ledger speaks with Larry Collmus of Monmouth Park who will call the Kentucky Derby for NBC.
Evan Weiner in the New Jersey Newsroom says sports business seems to carry on despite the sluggish economy.
Laura Nachman says Phillies radio analyst Larry Andersen has won a reader’s poll.
Bob Smizik of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette says Root Sports has a decision to make on its Penguins announcing team.
Mark Madden of the Beaver County (PA) Times also looks at the Penguins announcing situation.
David Zurawik of the Baltimore Sun notes that MASN is seeing higher ratings for the Orioles especially among younger viewers.
Dave Hughes of DCRTV.com has a look at what’s going on in Baltimore and DC sports media in Press Box.
Steven Goff of the Washington Post says the MLS’ DC United and Comcast SportsNet Mid-Atlantic have forged a rights deal.
Jim Williams in the Washington Examiner likes how NBC and Versus are sharing coverage of the Kentucky Derby.
Barry Jackson of the Miami Herald is a fan of ESPN/ABC NBA analyst Jeff Van Gundy.
Jeff Shain from the Orlando Sentinel looks at Golf Channel’s documentary on the late Frank Chirkinian of CBS Sports. It is a good documentary and airs tonight at 8 and throughout the weekend on Golf Channel.
Joe Biddle of The Tennessean notes that the new NHL TV contract with NBC/Versus gives the league stability, but hurts the younger generation with late starting times.
Jon Solomon of the Birmingham (AL) News says Alabama native Rece Davis returns to report on the recent tornadoes for ESPN and how sports is helping the region to recover.
Retired NFL quarterback Brett Favre tells WDAM-TV of Hattiesburg, MS that coaching or TV is in his future. Stay away from my TV, Brett.
David Barron of the Houston Chronicle attempts to catch up with two weeks worth of sports media news in one column.
Peter Lim of the Chronicle says two local boxers get their national spotlight this weekend.
Mike Finger of the San Antonio Express-News takes a look at the control the University of Texas has over the ESPN-owned and operated Longhorn Network.
Mel Bracht in the Daily Oklahoman profiles ESPN basketball analyst Doris Burke of North Providence, RI.
Mel has various sports media tidbits in his weekly notebook.
George M. Thomas of the Akron Beacon Journal says it was the Big 10 Conference that paved the way for the Pac 10/12 to cash in on its media deals.
John Kiesewetter of the Cincinnati Enquirer looks into why the Bengals chose to change play-by-play announcers.
Mike Zuidema from the Grand Rapids (MI) Press has NBC’s Kentucky Derby crew talking the horses in advance of Saturday’s race.
Ed Sherman in Crain’s Chicago Business has his winners and losers this week.
Dan Caesar of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch says the Kentucky Derby has lost ties to the local area with the departure of race caller Tom Durkin.
Bill Husted of the Denver Post writes that ESPN’s Rick Reilly returned to his alma mater in Boulder, CO to give the final commencement address to its Journalism School.
Lya Wodraska of the Salt Lake Tribune says the Pac-12 Network has the potential to give Utah plenty of exposure.
Bruce Pascoe of the Arizona Daily Star gives us a peek at how the Pac-12 Network might look like when it launches next year.
John Maffei from the North County Times notes that the Pac 10/12 has hit Powerball.
Jim Carlisle of the Ventura County Star says keeping ownership of its own network is key for the Pac-12 Conference.
Jim talks about Michele Tafoya joining NBC’s Sunday Night Football.
Diane Pucin of the Los Angeles Times says Golf Channel will pay tribute to the late CBS golf producer Frank Chirkinian tonight.
Diane says the Pac-12 media deals show how valuable sports is to television executives.
Tom Hoffarth of the Los Angeles Daily News notes that the Pac-12 member schools are going to be very rich under the new rights deals.
Tom looks at the very busy week in sports media.
Tom FitzGerald of the San Francisco Chronicle says the Pac-12 contract means more options for viewers.
Bruce Dowbiggin of the Toronto Globe and Mail feels Rashard Mendenhall and other athletes should think before they tweet.
The Canadian Sports Media Blog has the ratings for CBC and TSN for the first games of the 2nd round of the NHL Playoffs.
The Toronto Sports Media blog has the April sports radio ratings for the local stations.
And that is going to conclude the Megalinks.
Again, I’ve been all over the place and can’t really blog like I want to, but I do what I can. Some links while I’m free and not committed to anything.
The Pac 12 media deals with ESPN and Fox will be made official later this week, but we do know some details. First, it’s a $3 billion deal over a span of 12 years meaning the Conference will get $250 million a year to distribute to its member schools. Second, both ESPN and Fox will air primetime games on over the air TV. Third, it increases the amount of games shown on television.
Richard Sandomir of the New York Times says one part of the new TV world for the conference will be a new Pac 12 Network that will be fully owned and operated by the league.
Jon Wilner of the San Jose Mercury News writes that NBC/Comcast was shut out of obtaining any rights at least on the cable and network deals.
Jon also has some details from the new deal.
Scott D. Pierce of the Salt Lake Tribune says the new TV contract will give the University of Utah much more money than it would have made in the Mountain West Conference.
George Schroeder of the Eugene (OR) Register-Guard writes that Pac 12 schools will start to see a financial windfall thanks to increased revenue from the new TV contract.
Jon Weisman of Variety says the new contract is now the most lucrative in college sports.
CNBC’s Darren Rovell says the Pac 12 contract proves that sports is the engine that drives TV ratings.
To other stories now.
Brian Lowry of Fox Sports says small market teams are doing their best to play with the big boys.
Eriq Gardner from the Hollywood Reporter says Miami Heat star Chris Bosh is suing the mother of his child and the producer of the VH1 reality show, “Basketball Wives” for infringing on his “life rights” and using his “mark” illegally.
Tim Baysinger at Broadcasting & Cable discusses the Sports Emmy Awards which were handed out on Monday.
Tim also looks at Fox Soccer Channel rebranding its MLS coverage.
The Nielsen Wire blog notes that the number of TV’s have dropped since its last survey.
R. Thomas Umstead from Multichannel News says the Manny Pacquaio-Shane Mosley fight will be made available online for the same pay per view TV price.
Mike Reynolds of Multichannel writes TNT saw a record audience for the first round of the NBA Playoffs.
Current’s Keith Olbermann writing in his MLB.com blog takes ESPN.com’s Fantasy Baseball to task for not updating its stats quick enough and throws some shots at the Mothership in the process. Thanks to The Big Lead for the link.
The Big Lead notes that noted FoxSports.com basketball writer Drew Goodman could be headed to CBSSports.com.
Dan Fogarty at SportsGrid says NBA fans get angry when Ernie Johnson, Jr. takes a day off from Inside the NBA.
At ESPN’s Front Row, Sheldon Spencer profiles the network’s Senior Coordinating Producer of the NFL Draft who got his baptism-by-fire this past weekend.
At the Indiana University National Sports Journalism Center, Dave Kindred looks at new media and how the rules of covering established events apply to it.
To Pete Dougherty at the Albany Times Union who notes a local reporter gets a minor league baseball announcing gig.
In the New Jersey Newsroom, Evan Weiner notes that sports leagues, sports organizations team owners and athletes don’t have their priorities straight.
Dan Steinberg at the Washington Post’s DC Sports Bog notes that a trio of CNN reporters were watching or attending Game 2 of the Tampa Bay Lightning-Capitals series when they were notified to get to work to report on the Osama bin Laden story.
Cindy Boren from the Post’s Early Lead blog says Pittsburgh Steelers running back Rashard Mendenhall tweeted about Osama bin Laden’s death and 9/11.
Jim Williams of the Washington Examiner says the Capitals are back in action tonight with an early start on Comcast SportsNet Mid-Atlantic.
Iliana Limon of the Orlando Sentinel has Conference USA rejecting ESPN’s argument that it ventured into a media rights agreement.
John Kiesewetter from the Cincinnati Enquirer notes that NBC’s Cris Collinsworth has now won an even dozen Sports Emmy Awards.
Bob Wolfley of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel says viewership for the NFL Draft was down from last year.
Diane Pucin from the Los Angeles Times talks with ESPN’s Dan Shulman about him addressing the Osama bin Laden story on Sunday Night Baseball.
Sports Media Watch says NASCAR on Fox’s overnight ratings were flat compared to last year.
SMW notes that the opening game of Celtics-Heat scored for ABC on Sunday.
SMW says the series clinching win for the Memphis Grizzlies over the San Antonio Spurs did not resonate with viewers as much as last year’s comparable game.
And SMW writes that the Mavericks-Lakers opener on Monday did very well for TNT.
Ed De Rosa of the Thoroughbred Times says NBC is tapping Sunday Night Football producer Fred Gaudelli for this year’s Kentucky Derby broadcast.
Puck The Media’s Steve Lepore is happy to see Mike Emrick win the Sports Emmy for Outstanding Play-by-Play.
The Canadian Sports Media Blog feels TSN Radio should avoided politics on Election Day.
Cork Gaines at the Business Insider’s Sports Page wonders if sports leagues can survive Detroit’s declining population.
And that will conclude the links for today.
We have Hockey Night in Canada, Football Night in America, so why not a Soccer Night too? Starting this Friday, Fox Soccer Channel will repackage and rebrand its MLS games on Friday and Saturday nights as part of “Soccer Night in America”. There will be new graphics as well as a whole new video introduction. Fox Soccer Channel will provide full studio pregame, halftime and post game coverage. And Fox will bring in new cameras as well as provide clearer replays. This will be something to watch.
Here’s the Fox Soccer Channel press release.
New Graphic-Look & High-Tech Production Elevates MLS on FOX Soccer
Los Angeles (May 3, 2011) – FOX Soccer, America’s premier soccer-only channel, is taking its live, HD coverage of Major League Soccer to the next level as it introduces SOCCER NIGHT IN AMERICA on Friday, May 6, when the expansion Portland Timbers host the Philadelphia Union. Exclusive coverage begins at 10 p.m. ET/7 p.m. PT. live from JELD-WEN Field, home to what has quickly become one of MLS’ most spirited fan experiences.
FOX Soccer already carries more MLS games than any other network, but now SOCCER NIGHT IN AMERICA delivers those matches in a slick new package. Re-designed, state-of-the-art graphics headline the new look, and along with the addition of super slow-motion camera technology, it creates a production style that draws FOX Soccer much closer to the world-renowned standards set by FOX Sports.
“We are essentially elevating FOX Soccer’s MLS broadcasts to match the game’s excitement and pace to ensure fans have a premium viewing experience,” said David Nathanson, FOX Soccer’s General Manager.
The new graphics package incorporates Vizrt technology, which provides digital, real-time 3D and virtual graphic displays for a crisp, 21st Century look. Super slow-motion cameras and digital recorders added to game coverage capture action at 90 frames per second compared to the 30 frames per second of traditional slow motion, thus providing stunningly clear replays, especially in HD.
Former U.S. National Team and MLS players Eric Wynalda and Christopher Sullivan team up for SOCCER NIGHT IN AMERICA’s” pre-game, halftime and post-game coverage. J.P. Dellacamera has the play-by-play, with former MLS standout Kyle Martino handling analysis in the booth and Brian Dunseth contributing sideline reports.
This inaugural “Soccer Night” falls in one of FOX Soccer’s 20 exclusive MLS broadcast programming windows. All remaining Friday and Saturday night MLS games on FOX Soccer come under the SOCCER NIGHT IN AMERICA banner.
For the latest MLS news, information and FOX Soccer’s 2011 telecast schedule, please visit http://msn.foxsports.com/foxsoccer/mls. For a complete list of FOX Soccer’s programming, please visit www.foxsoccer.com.
Remaining 2011 MLS Schedule on FOX Soccer (all times Eastern):
Friday, May 6, 2011 – Portland Timbers vs. Philadelphia Union, 10:30 PM
Saturday, May 14, 2011 – Real Salt Lake vs. Houston Dynamo, 9:00 PM
Friday, June 3, 2011 – Los Angeles Galaxy vs. DC United, 11:00 PM
Friday, June 10, 2011 – New York Red Bulls vs. New England Revolution, 8:30 PM
Saturday, June 11, 2011 – Seattle Sounders FC vs. Vancouver Whitecaps FC, 10:00 PM
Friday, June 17, 2011 – Sporting Kansas City vs. San Jose Earthquakes, 8:30 PM
Saturday, June 25, 2011 – San Jose Earthquakes vs. Los Angeles Galaxy, 11:00 PM
Saturday, July 2, 2011 - DC United vs. Philadelphia Union, 7:00 PM
Saturday, July 9, 2011 - Los Angeles Galaxy vs. Chicago Fire, 10:30 PM
Saturday, July 16, 2011 – Seattle Sounders FC vs. Colorado Rapids, 4:00 PM
Saturday, July 23, 2011 - tbd, tbd
Friday, July 29, 2011 - Philadelphia Union vs. Colorado Rapids, 7:30 PM
Saturday, July 30, 2011 - Vancouver Whitecaps FC vs. Los Angeles Galaxy, 7:30 PM
Friday, August 5, 2011 - Colorado Rapids vs. Columbus Crew, 9:30 PM
Saturday, August 13, 2011 – Sporting Kansas City vs. Los Angeles Galaxy, 8:30 PM
Saturday, August 20, 2011 - Portland Timbers vs. Vancouver Whitecaps FC, 10:00 PM
Saturday, August 27, 2011 - Chivas USA vs. Real Salt Lake, 10:30 PM
Friday, September 9, 2011 – Los Angeles Galaxy vs. Colorado Rapids, 11:00 PM
Friday, September 16, 2011 – Portland Timbers vs. New England Revolution, 11:00 PM
Friday, September 23, 2011 - Sporting Kansas City vs. Philadelphia Union, 8:30 PM
Saturday, October 1, 2011 - Toronto FC vs. New York Red Bulls, 7:30 PM
Saturday, October 15, 2011 - Seattle Sounders FC vs. San Jose Earthquakes, 10:30 PM
Saturday, October 22, 2011 – tbd, tbd
And that’s it. Looking forward to the new package.
According to CSN Chicago, an estimated 7 million households watched all or part of 52 live games shown on Comcast SportsNet Chicago or Comcast SportNet Chicago Plus. This included the Blackhawks, Bulls, Cubs, Fire and White Sox. And Comcast SportsNet Chicago was the most watched TV station in the market for the month, garnering demographic wins in men 18-49 and other key age groups. Let’s take a look at the press release sent to us from Comcast SportsNet Chicago.
Biggest month in Network history also includes 3.8 million homes tuning in for “Pre/Post Game Live”
2.8 million homes tuned in to live editions of “SportsNet Central” & “Chicago Tribune Live”
#1 Highest-Rated “Cable” Network in Primetime in April for Households & Every Demo Category
#1 “Overall” Highest-Rated Television Station in Primetime for Every Male Demo & Adults 18-49
Chicago, IL (May 2, 2011) – Fueled by two thrilling Bulls and Blackhawks first round playoff series (which included the #1 highest-rated Bulls and #1 highest-rated Blackhawks telecasts in network history), along with the always-anticipated start of another baseball season on both sides of town, Comcast SportsNet, the television home for the most games and most comprehensive coverage of Chicago Blackhawks, Chicago Bulls, Chicago Cubs and Chicago White Sox, delivered record-setting television ratings during the month of April 2011.
Over the past month (April 1 – May 1), Comcast SportsNet televised 52 live professional games (Blackhawks: four regular season/seven playoffs; Bulls: two regular season/five playoffs; Cubs: 14 regular season; White Sox: 18 regular season; Fire: two regular season) amassing a total viewing audience of close to SEVEN MILLION Chicago TV households (6,956,864). During this time period, the network set a new weekly record amassing over 2.6 million homes tuning in for 15 live pro events from April 18-24. (NOTE: Over the course of SIX weeks last year, Apr. 1 – May 16, 2010, Comcast SportsNet carried 66 live pro events gathering 6.5 million Chicago TV homes tuning in.)
In addition, Comcast SportsNet also attracted 3.8 million Chicago TV homes tuning in for all live editions of Pre-Game Live and Post Game Live, including a record-breaking 5.3 household rating for Blackhawks Post Game Live on April 24 (over 186,300 homes). Plus – 2.9 million more Chicago TV homes also tuned in to the network’s locally-produced, live sports news and talk programming (SportsNet Central & Chicago Tribune Live). Source for all ratings information is provided by Nielsen Media Research.
“This past month has demonstrated the incredible passion of Chicago sports fans, along with the depth of our local sports coverage,” said James J. Corno, President of Comcast SportsNet Chicago. “We understand how much Chicago sports fans love their teams and that’s why we’ll continue to go beyond just game coverage with expert insight, analysis and the very latest local sports news and detailed information that’s important to our fan base. Naturally, none of this would be possible without the enormous success and popularity of our pro team partners and I credit their staffs, along with our distributors, our advertisers and everyone here at Comcast SportsNet, for making the most of this very exciting time in Chicago sports history.”
During primetime (7:00-10:00 PM CT) over the past month (averaging in all nights when it carried a live pro game telecast), Comcast SportsNet was the #1-highest rated “cable” television network in the Chicago market for every major TV ratings category including Households and the key advertising demo of Adults 25-54. In addition, Comcast SportsNet was #1 “overall” in primetime (which includes all broadcast TV stations) in the demo categories of Men 18-34, Men 18-49, Men 25-54, Adults 18-34 & Adults 18-49 (Comcast SportsNet was #2 overall in Adults 25-54 and #3 overall for Households).
On Tuesday, April 26, Comcast SportsNet enjoyed the biggest night in its 6 ½ year history, which included live coverage of the Bulls First Round/Game 5 series clincher vs. Indiana (10.93 household rating…#2 highest-rated Bulls game in network history) and the Blackhawks First Round/Game 7 OT battle at Vancouver (13.33 household rating…#1 highest-rated Blackhawks game in network history). On that historic night, Comcast SportsNet was the #1 overall highest-rated television network for eight-straight hours from 5:30 PM – 1:30 AM.
The top spotlight over the past month is the fact that the Top 5 highest-rated games EVER to air on Comcast SportsNet (which includes every Blackhawks, Bulls, Cubs and White Sox telecast since the network launched on October 1, 2004) all occurred during the course of a five-day period (Apr. 21-26):
1) 13.69 – Bulls at IND (Rd. 1, Gm. 3 on April 21)
2) 13.33 – Blackhawks at VAN (Rd. 1, Gm. 7 on April 26)
3) 12.45 – Blackhawks vs. VAN (Rd. 1, Gm. 6 on April 24)
4) 10.93 – Bulls vs. IND (Rd. 1, Gm. 5 on April 26)
5) 10.58 – Blackhawks at VAN (Rd. 1, Gm. 5 on April 21)
And that’s it.
Time for the Monday linkage. I hope you had a good Easter if you observed the holiday. If not, I hope the weekend was relaxing for you. Let’s go over the linkage for today.
USA Today’s Michael Hiestand writes that ESPN’s Sunday Night Baseball analysts like the idea of expanded MLB playoffs.
Mike McCarthy of USA Today reviews ESPN’s upcoming documentary on Steve Bartman and what he’s had to endure since becoming the scapegoat for the Chicago Cubs failure in 2003.
Sports Illustrated’s Richard Deitsch says NFL Network is going all out for the NFL Draft.
Jason Fry at the Indiana University National Sports Journalism Center says like it or not, ESPN isthe standard bearer for most things sports media.
Anthony Crupi of Adweek notes that NBC Sports Emperor Dick Ebserol could very well pull a successful Olympics bid out of his hat.
David Goetzl at MediaPost says ESPN should be given credit for admitting it’s wrong.
At ESPN Front Row, Dan Quinn looks at how the Alleged Worldwide Leader keeps the ABC’s Wide World of Sports flame.
The always lovely Kristi Dosh of The Business of College Sports tells us why an antitrust suit against the BCS won’t necessarily bring a playoff to college football.
CNBC’s Darren Rovell says a year supply of 7Up is not a worthy prize for hitting a half court shot.
The New York Post’s Phil Mushnick was apparently in a bad mood when he wrote today’s mishmash of a column.
Jim Williams from the Washington Examiner talks with executives from NBA TV and the NHL Network about their postseason coverage.
Tom Jones at the St. Petersburg Times looks at the weekend that was in sports television.
Steve Svekis of the South Florida Sun-Sentinel has Bill Parcells discussing his Miami Dolphins drafts in anticipation of his ESPN special on Tuesday.
Mel Bracht of the Daily Oklahoman reviews ESPN’s broadcast of the Thunder-Spurs game over the weekend.
Bob Wolfley of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel says TNT’s Charles Barkley is apologizing again.
Ed Sherman in Crain’s Chicago Business says Game 6 of Vancouver-Blackhawks on Sunday set yet another ratings record for Comcast SportsNet.
Ed tells Bulls and Blackhawks fans to get their remotes ready for Tuesday.
Derrick Goold from the St. Louis Post-Dispatch looks at ESPN’s Baseball Tonight paying a visit to the Gateway City.
Dan Caesar of the Post-Dispatch says ESPN’s Sunday Night Baseball announcers had trouble getting to the city due to the violent storms in St. Louis over the weekend.
At the Denver Post, Dusty Saunders explores the humble beginnings of ESPN’s NFL Draft coverage with Bob Ley.
Tom Hoffarth of the Los Angeles Daily News goes over this week’s sports calendar for Southern California.
Raju Mudhar from the Toronto Star says this month’s crackdown on online sites is forcing ESPN, TSN, Rogers Sportsnet and The Score to rethink their poker programming.
Bruce Dowbiggin of the Toronto Globe and Mail says 2012′s NHL Playoff starting times could be staggered like the NCAA Tournament to gain more US TV viewership.
The Sports Media Watch has the weekend overnight ratings for the NBA Playoffs on TNT.
At Puck The Media, Steve Lepore wonders if the Winter Classic saved the NHL on network TV.
Jim Weber at the Lost Letterman site says if you think the NFL likes seeing the Draft in primetime, then we may be in store for a lot more in the future.
Joe Favorito says the team concept does not work for every sport.
Emmett Jones of the Sports Business Digest says the NFL stands to lose $2 BILLION in revenue if it lost the entire 2011 season.
Ryan Yoder of Awful Announcing has the video of the usually solid Versus’ Dave Strader calling the wrong winner during Saturday’s Canadiens-Bruins game.
At Tribal Football, Andrew Slevison talks about ESPN2′s MLS ratings from last week.
Bob’s Blitz correctly calls for Colin Cowherd’s resignation from ESPN based on his sitcom deal working for CBS that is now in violation of the Alleged Worldwide Leader’s endorsement guidelines.
And that will do it for now.
Over the next two weeks, Fox Sports platforms will have exclusive coverage of the UEFA Champions League semifinals. Fox Soccer Channel will air one semifinal leg while FX joins in to cover the other. The two channels will alternate matchups. Coverage begins April 26 and continues the following week. It marks the first time that FX will air the Champions League. And Fox brings in Curt Menefee to host the semifinals for the UEFA Champions League pregame show. You may remember he hosted the Champions League Final when it aired on Fox last year.
This marks FX’s return to sports since it aired MLB and NASCAR in the early to mid-aughts.
EXCLUSIVE COVERAGE OF UEFA CHAMPIONS LEAGUE SEMIFINALS ON FX and FOX SOCCER APRIL 26-27; MAY 4-5 – Three of the world’s most prestigious clubs and a tournament Cinderella clash in the Champions League semifinals, televised exclusively on FX and FOX Soccer Channel. For the first time ever FX, Fox Network Group’s popular basic cable network delivered to 99 million US homes, carries one game from each semifinal with the other two games appearing on FOX Soccer.
Date Teams Channel First Leg: Tuesday, April 26 FC Schalke 04 vs. Manchester United Live at 2:30 ET on FOX Soccer First Leg: Wednesday, April 27 Real Madrid vs.FC Barcelona Live at 2:30 ET on FX Second Leg: Tuesday, May 3 Barcelona vs.Real Madrid Live at 2:30 ET on FOX Soccer Second Leg: Wednesday, May 4 Manchester United vs. FC Schalke 04 Live at 2:30 ET on FX
FOX NFL SUNDAY host Curt Menefee and FOX Soccer’s Eric Wynalda, Warren Barton and Christopher Sullivan preview and analyze Champions League semifinal action on UEFA Champions League Pregame, live at 2:00 PM ET each matchday from FOX Soccer’s brand-new, state-of-the-art studio set at the FOX Network Center in Los Angeles. FOX Sports, for the second straight year, broadcasts the UEFA Champions League Final, Saturday, May 28 with pre-match coverage beginning at 2:00 PM ET, live from London.
And one other note from Fox Soccer Channel, it will air two MLS games this weekend:
TWICE THE ACTION ON FOX SOCCER THIS WEEKEND – FOX Soccer doubles its Major League Soccer coverage this weekend with games on Friday and Saturday nights. Friday’s game (9:00 PM ET/6:00 PM PT) features the defending MLS Cup champion Colorado Rapids hosting the Seattle Sounders. The Rapids’ captain, former U.S. International Pablo Mastroeni, is expected to return from a calf injury that sidelined him for the last two games. Seattle, unbeaten in its last four games, is gaining confidence with Fredy Montero up top and Steve Zakuani in the midfield marshaling the attack. J.P. Dellacamera has the play-by-play, with former MLS standout Kyle Martino handling analysis and Brian Dunseth contributing sideline reports. On Saturday, April 23 (10:30 PM ET/7:30 PM PT) the action moves to the Home Depot Center in Carson, CA where the Galaxy makes its 2011 MLS debut on FOX Soccer by welcoming the expansion Portland Timbers. Galaxy, currently in a first-place tie with Real Salt Lake atop the Western Conference, get midfielders David Beckham and Juninho, back from suspension and U.S. captain Landon Donovan back from injury. Mark Rogondino provides the play-by-play, with Kyle Martino bringing the analysis and Allen Hopkins handling sideline reports. Former U.S. National Team and MLS players Eric Wynalda and Christopher Sullivan team up for the pre-game, halftime and post-game coverage. For the latest MLS news, information and FOX Soccer’s 2011 telecast schedule, visit: http://msn.foxsports.com/foxsoccer/mls.
That’s all for your soccer notes today.
UPDATE, 10:10 a.m.: Fox Soccer has sent some more information on its UEFA Champions League coverage. Fox is branding the coverage on FX as “Fox Soccer on FX” continuing the traditions of “ESPN on ABC” and “Golf Channel on NBC”. And Fox will unveil a new set for the studio coverage. Take a look.
“FOX Soccer on FX”and FOX Soccer Broadcasts, Hosted by Curt Menefee, Debut New Champions League Studio Set at FOX Network Center
Los Angeles (April 21, 2011)–As UEFA Champions League, the preeminent competition in world club soccer, nears its thrilling climax, FOX Soccer ramps up its coverage with exclusive live high-definition telecasts of the semifinals beginning next week. For the first time ever FX, Fox Network Group’s popular basic cable network delivered to 99 million US homes, brings viewers “FOX Soccer on FX,”for one game in each semifinal with the other two games appearing on FOX Soccer.
FOX NFL SUNDAY host Curt Menefee and FOX Soccer’s Eric Wynalda, Warren Barton and Christopher Sullivan preview and analyze Champions League semifinal action on UEFA Champions League Pregame, presented by Geico, live at 2 p.m. ET each matchday from FOX Soccer’s brand-new, state-of-the-art studio set at the FOX Network Center in Los Angeles.
There you have it.