Monday Night Football
After the controversial ending of last night’s Monday Night Football game on ESPN, you may have switched the channel or have gone to bed angry. Judging from the overnight ratings, a good chunk of the audience stayed to see the postgame coverage on SportsCenter. But in case you went to bed and missed the discussion, here’s Stuart Scott, Trent Dilfer and Steve Young discussing the Green Bay Interception That Wasn’t.
Overall, ESPN did a very good job in covering the aftermath from postgame comments from Packers coach Mike McCarthy and quarterback Aaron Rodgers, plus getting perspective from insiders Chris Mortensen, Adam Schefter and John Clayton along with analysis from its cadre of ex-NFL’ers.
Steve Young had the strongest comments about the NFL replacement referees after last week’s MNF game between Denver and Atlanta came through once again last night. And Trent Dilfer also said the game insulted our collective intelligence. Thanks to the people at ESPN for posting this clip on YouTube so it could be embedded.
And when the NFL issues its one and only statement about the game, I’ll post it here.
Received the overnight numbers from last night’s extremely controversial Green Bay-Seattle Monday Night Football game on ESPN. Nielsen says the game pulled an 11.5 rating. ESPN public relations maven Bill Hofheimer notes that people stayed to watch SportsCenter immediately afterwards to get perspective on the highly discussed last play that as Inside Edition would say “America is still talking about today.”
— bill hofheimer (@bhofheimer_espn) September 25, 2012
Even with the good numbers and I expect that the game will have beaten strong competition from the broadcast networks’ season premieres all except for “Dancing with the Stars,” John Ourand from Sports Business Journal provides some comparison with last season noting that Packers-Seahawks still finished below last year’s Week 3 MNF game which had the Dallas Cowboys.
Scab referees and TV ratings: ESPN’s 11.5 overnight is down -3% from last year’s Redskins-Cowboys in Week 3 overnight of 11.9.
— John Ourand (@Ourand_SBJ) September 25, 2012
We’ll continue to get numbers and I’ll see if I can crunch them as the day continues.
I’ve been lax this season in posting Monday Night Football previews. Could be that I’m not receiving the NFL programming from ESPN like I have in the past.
Anyway on Monday, ESPN’s crew will in the Great Northwest for the Green Bay-Seattle game. Mike Tirico and Jon Gruden will have the call while Lisa Salters roams the sidelines.
It all begins with Monday Night Countdown at 6:30 p.m. ET. MNF follows at 8:30 p.m.
Here’s the ESPN preview.
NFL MVP Aaron Rodgers and the Green Bay Packers Face the Seattle Seahawks on ESPN’s Monday Night Football
NFL MVP Aaron Rodgers and the defending NFC North Champion Green Bay Packers face rookie quarterback Russell Wilson and the Seattle Seahawks on ESPN’s Monday Night Football on September 24, at 8:30 p.m. ET. Announcer Mike Tirico and analyst Jon Gruden will call the game from CenturyLink Field with sideline reporter Lisa Salters.
In seven Packers-Seahawks matchups, the Seahawks have won just one game. Coincidentally, that win came on MNF six years ago – the last time these teams faced off under the MNF lights.
Leading into the MNF matchup, host Chris Berman and the Monday Night Countdown crew offer a two-hour pre-game show beginning at 6:30 p.m. Analysts Cris Carter, Mike Ditka, Tom Jackson and Keyshawn Johnson and NFL Insiders Chris Mortensen and Adam Schefter join Berman in studio, while on-site host Stuart Scott, analysts Trent Dilfer and Steve Young, contributor Rick Reilly and Salters add to the show. This will be a homecoming for Dilfer, who played for the Seahawks from 2001-04.
MNF is available on ESPN and ESPN Deportes, as well as on computers at WatchESPN.com and on tablets via the WatchESPN app for fans who receive their video subscription from an affiliated provider.
That will do it for the previews for now.
Doing some linkage for you on this return to the work week.
USA Today’s Michael Hiestand notes the NHL Lockout will hurt any ratings momentum NBC Sports Network had from the summer.
Ed Sherman of The Sherman Report talks with The Professor, new-found Slayer fan, John Clayton of ESPN.
The Tampa Bay Times’ Eric Deggans, writing for the Indiana University National Sports Journalism Center, is concerned about the increasing amount of partnerships between the sports TV networks and colleges.
Etan Vlessing of the Hollywood Reporter says hockey fans are wondering if they’ll be watching the NHL when the season supposedly starts next month.
Allison Keene of the Reporter reviews Fox’s new documentary series, “Being: Liverpool.”
In Examiner.com, Evan Weiner explores how politicians play a role in sports labor disputes.
The SEC has announced its TV schedule for September 29.
Richard Sandomir of the New York Times looks at “Being: Liverpool.”
Ken Schott from the Schenectady Gazette explains why the Pittsburgh-New York Jets game was not joined at the beginning of the contest in the Capital Region.
Ken notes that the ESPN Family of Networks will air five Siena men’s basketball games.
Ken McMillan at the Middletown (NY) Times Herald-Record says Marist gets multiple appearances on ESPN’s networks.
The Buffalo News reports that the Bills are about to play more games in Toronto over the next five seasons.
David Zurawik of the Baltimore Sun continues to hate CBS’ Greg Gumbel and Dan Dierdorf.
In Press Box, Dave Hughes of DCRTV.com talks about a new Baltimore Ravens beat writer.
Jim Williams from the Washington Examiner notes SportsCenter’s influence.
Tom Jones of the Tampa Bay Times talks with Fox Sports’ Joe Buck.
Coley Harvey of the Orlando Sentinel says ESPN’s College GameDay is heading to the Sunshine State this week.
David Barron of the Houston Chronicle says a Comcast SportsNet Mid-Atlantic mainstay will be uprooting and heading to Houston.
Mel Bracht in The Oklahoman catches up with Screamin’ Gus Johnson.
Bob Wolfley at the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel has Fox’s Terry Bradshaw giving some advice to quarterbacks Jay Cutler and Aaron Rodgers.
Duane Dudek of the Journal Sentinel notes the launch of new show hosted by four wives of Green Bay Packers players.
Dusty Saunders of the Denver Post says the Broncos are veterans of Monday Night Football.
Tom Hoffarth of the Los Angeles Daily News has your SoCal sports calendar for the week.
Tom has five things he learned from the weekend.
Sports Media Watch says the overnight numbers for CBS’ NFL doubleheader were down from a year ago.
SMW says Fox’s numbers were down for its NFL regional coverage as well.
Those are the links for today.
Was out for a bit today so I’m behind in what I want to get done here. I’ll do some links for you to tie you over.
I’ll start with a couple of stories from Sports Business Daily which looks at some record overnight ratings for Fox and NBC for the first Sunday of the NFL regular season.
John Ourand at SBD notes that ESPN has officially scrapped the musical opens for Monday Night Football for good.
From NFL UK, Nicholas Pike writes that viewers can watch Monday Night Football through BBC’s red button or through its website.
Sam Laird at Mashable says NBC’s Michele Tafoya has been sending video tweets from the sidelines during the NFL Kickoff Game and on Sunday Night Football.
Michael O’Connell at the Hollywood Reporter says NBC is really crowing about its Sunday Night Football overnights.
Tim Baysinger of Broadcasting & Cable reports that NFL Network has hired a former DirecTV executive to join its NFL Total Access show.
Christopher Heine of Adweek says the New York Giants are on the forefront of social media.
Adweek’s Emma Bazilian discovers that CNN Situation Room host Wolf Blitzer loves watching ESPN’s SportsCenter.
Media Life Magazine reports that CBS has almost sold out its Super Bowl ad inventory.
Merrill Knox at TV Spy says Friend of Fang’s Bites Courtney Fallon has taken her talents to South Beach from Providence.
ESPN’s Darren Rovell writes that Gillette Stadium in Foxboro, MA becomes the latest NFL facility to offer free Wi-Fi to its fans.
Ed Sherman of The Sherman Report looks at what’s in store this season on ESPN’s Monday Night Fotoball.
Ed says the NFL can’t be pleased over the length of some of Sunday’s games due to replacement refs.
Rob Tobias from the ESPN Front Row PR blog talks to the man who composed the iconic SportsCenter theme.
Also from the Front Row blog, Allison Stoneberg writes about ESPN’s Monday Night Football production truck.
Pete Dougherty of the Albany Times Union notes that NBC Sports Network will air World Team Tennis this weekend.
Pete says the Baseball Hall of Fame has narrowed the field for the Ford C. Frick broadcasters award.
Pete writes that the local CBS affiliate has opted not to show the US Open men’s final today. The same here in Providence. It’s been pushed to its co-owned Fox affiliate’s secondary digital channel. Ouch.
At the Baltimore Sun, David Zurawik talks with new Monday Night Football reporter Lisa Salters who got her start in TV news in the Charm City.
Rich Shopes of the Tampa Bay Times says the local blackout of the Buccaneers home opener is killing local sports bars.
David Barron from the Houston Chronicle says a nice day plus a blowout lowered the Texans’ TV ratings.
John Kiesewetter of the Cincinnati Enquirer writes that the Reds’ radio ratings are truly amazing.
Bob Wolfley at the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel says Fox’s Joe Buck and Troy Aikman took note of the replacement referees during yesterday’s San Francisco-Green Bay game.
Dusty Saunders of the Denver Post talks with NBC’s Al Michaels.
The Arizona Republic’s Paola Boivin doesn’t have good news in the DirecTV-Pac 12 Networks talks.
Tom Hoffarth of the Los Angeles Daily News has five things he learned over the weekend.
Tom has your sports calendar for the week.
Bruce Dowbiggin of the Toronto Globe and Mail downplays CBC’s acquisition of the 2015 Pan Am Games.
Matt Sarzyniak of Matt’s College Sports has a couple of notes on the ESPN/Fox Big 12 deal.
Let’s do some Sunday linkage on this first NFL regular season Sunday of 2012.
We’ll begin with Pat Eaton-Robb of the Associated Press with an interesting story on how Connecticut is fast becoming home of major sports media companies.
Candace Jackson of the Wall Street talks about her visit to Rich Eisen and his wife, Suzy Shuster’s home in beautiful Beverly Hills.
Jon Gold from CBSSports.com has statements from Pac-12 Commissioner Larry Scott on getting the conference’s networks on Dish Network.
Also from CBSSports.com, Dennis Dodd says the SEC expects to have new TV deals in place including the super secret SEC Network, not the one run by ESPN.
Media Rantz solves the mystery of what happened to NFL Network’s Kara Henderson.
Liana Baker of Reuters reports that an NHL lockout could hurt ratings momentum for NBC Sports Network.
John Gaudiosi of Forbes.com tells us that Sony Playstation 3 gamers get a discounted price for DirecTV’s NFL Sunday Ticket.
Mike Reynolds of Multichannel says Dish Network has beaten DirecTV to the punch and made a deal with Pac 12 Networks in time for yesterday’s college football games.
Georg Szalai of the Hollywood Reporter writes that movie director James Cameron will be assisting UK’s Sky Sports in producing a 3-D production of this month’s Ryder Cup.
Tim Nudd of Adweek looks at ESPN’s very funny SportsCenter promo featuring John Clayton that has already gone viral.
Anthony Crupi from Adweek notes that NBC broke even on the 2012 Olympics.
Sports Illustrated’s Richard Deitsch has your NFL Broadcasting Guide for the 2012 season.
Eric Deggans of the Tampa Bay Times, writing for the Indiana University National Sports Journalism Center has a theory as to why some NFL teams fail to sell out their games.
Ed Sherman of The Sherman Report has former ESPN’er Charley Steiner recalling two of the funniest “This is SportsCenter” ads ever.
Ed also has some videos from the early days of Monday Night Football. Make that very early days.
ESPN’s Darren Rovell wonders if CBS is selling Super Bowl ads on the cheap.
Evan Weiner of Examiner.com says the late Art Modell deserves better from Cleveland fans. I hate to tell you, Evan, but as a Browns fan, Modell made his bed and has to lie in it.
On the other hand, Newsday’s Bob Glauber says he can’t reconcile Modell’s pulling the Browns from Cleveland with the other parts of his legacy.
Rachel Margolis at ESPN’s Front Row PR blog says College GameDay heads to Tennessee for Week 3.
Drew Drawbaugh of Engadget reports that Google Fiber subscribers will get access to NFL Network and NFL RedZone starting tomorrow.
Chad Finn of the Boston Globe says former Celtic and Chicago Bull Brian Scalabrine will join Comcast SportsNet New England as an analyst.
Richard Sandomir of the New York Times says two former American Basketball Association team owners who get to collect part of the NBA’s TV revenue in perpetuity, want even more and are suing to get it.
Tanzina Vega of the Times says ESPN Deportes Radio NY will be broadcasting Jets games in Spanish this season.
The Albany Times Union’s Pete Dougherty has NFL Commish Roger Goodell disappointed that the league doesn’t have a deal with Time Warner Cable to carry NFL Network.
David Zurawik from the Baltimore Sun says ratings for the Grand Prix of Baltimore fell by almost 60% from the year before. However, last year’s race was on ABC while this year’s edition was on NBC Sports Network.
David speaks with Amber Theoharis who has left MASN for NFL Network and will replace the aforementioned Kara Henderson.
Jim Williams of the Washington Examiner talks with Fox Sports college football analyst Charles Davis.
Coley Harvey at the Orlando Sentinel asks if ESPN’s College GameDay will pay a visit to Tallahassee later this month.
Jimmy Burch in the Fort Worth Star-Telegram writes that the new Big 12 deal with ESPN and Fox will allow for more national broadcasts.
David Barron of the Houston Chronicle has the college football media guide for this season.
Mel Bracht in The Oklahoman says yesterday’s PPV production of the Florida A&M-Oklahoma game was network quality.
Tim Feran of the Columbus (OH) Dispatch says NFL Network and Time Warner Cable are no closer to an agreement than when the channel debuted.
Tom Hoffarth of the Los Angeles Daily News wonders how long DirecTV can hold out not carrying the Pac 12 Networks.
Tom says Fox tapped the right man to lead its World Cup coverage.
Sports Media Watch notes that last week’s PGA Deutsche Bank Championship hit a five year ratings high.
Dann Stupp and John Morgan of MMA Junkie write that NBC Sports Network will hire some familiar names for an upcoming World Series of Fighting telecast.
And that will do it. The NFL pregame show quotage is coming up next.
I hope to be doing this for you before each week of the NFL regular season and into the postseason. I’ll give you a few facts and pick a couple of games from each network to watch.
So let’s give you some quick viewing facts for the very first week of the 2012 NFL season in The League Where They Play. For Pay.
Which network has the doubleheader? — Fox. San Francisco at Green Bay is the main game at 4:25 p.m. going to 87% of the country.
What’s up with the 4:25 p.m. ET starts? — The NFL heard your complaints about cutting off the overruns from the 1 p.m. ET games for the start of the late games. Now you should be able to see those fantastic finishes without having the rug being pulled from under.
Blackouts? — Oh yes. In Tampa Bay. Oh, Tampa Bay. Pobre Tampa Bay.
CBS just has games at 1 p.m.? — Yes, it’s the usual U.S. Open coverage, but weather has wreaked havoc on the schedule, so instead of the men’s final, CBS will air the women’s final at 4:30 after the NFL.
Who is this Rob Riggle? — He joins Fox NFL Sunday replacing Frank Caliendo on the comic relief picks segment.
Anybody else new on Fox NFL Sunday? — Yes. Erin Andrews. You may have heard of her. She’ll be on the Fox NFL pregame show every week with a feature. This week, she interviews Aaron Rodgers of the Green Bay Packers.
How about The NFL Today on CBS? — Yup. Jason La Canfora, former insider on the NFL Network joins the Tiffany Network replacing the GM segment with Charley Casserly.
What happened to Charley Casserly? — Don’t cry for Charley, he’s on the NFL Network now.
Speaking of NFL Network, anything new with them on Sundays? — Where do we begin? They have a new 7 a.m. ET, yes, that’s 7 a.m. ET, pregame show called “First on the Field” hosted by Melissa Stark. Oh, and Chris Rose will be the host of the Sunday night shows, NFL Game Day Highlights and NFL Game Day Final.
Anyone new on the game broadcasts this year? — Mike Martz joins Fox. He’ll be teamed with Ron Pitts. And Heath Evans will work some games with Sam Rosen. CBS is pretty much status quo.
So is Michael Strahan going to be able to last the season being on Fox NFL Sunday and Live with Kelly and Michael? — Good question. Being bi-coastal with Live in New York and Fox NFL Sunday in LA isn’t going to be easy. Granted, this is not rocket science, but there has to be some wear-and-tear flying to-and-fro each week with no days off in between. We’ll see if Michael has some verbal gaffes late in the season.
So what are your Games of the Week? — In Week 1, just about every game is a Game of the Week, but narrowing it down, first on CBS: Indy at Chicago (Greg Gumbel/Dan Dierdorf) as Andrew Luck makes his NFL regular season debut and yes, Buffalo at New York Jets (Marv Albert/Rich Gannon) just to see when the quarterback controversy starts.
On Fox, I’ll go with Philadelphia at Cleveland (Dick Stockton/John Lynch/Jennifer Hale) of the early games because of my Browns and to see how quick a quagmire the team makes. Also, there’s San Francisco at Green Bay (Joe Buck/Troy Aikman/Pam Oliver) for the late game at 4:25 p.m. as Aaron Rodgers takes on his hometown team.
Anything else I should know? — Let’s see, Fox NFL Sunday has a new set which made its debut under Fox Soccer and Fox College Football. It’ll get its major use on NFL Sundays.
What about NBC? Anything new with the Peacock? — Hines Ward joins NBC and he’ll be at game sites with Bob Costas during Football Night in America and perhaps at halftime. Other than that, FNIA should remain the same. And NBC is not going to tinker with a formula that made Sunday Night Football the top rated primetime series last season, the first for a sports series.
And Monday? What about Monday Night Football? — Can’t forget about Monday. There’s a Week 1 AFC doubleheader with Cincinnati at Baltimore and San Diego at Oakland. MNF will have a two man booth with Mike Tirico and Jon Gruden. Ron Jaworski goes to the studio. Lisa Salters roams the sidelines. And yes, there’s Chris Berman calling his first-ever regular season game in Oakland. How many times will he say, “Da Ray-duhs”? We may have to do a drinking game. Twitter may explode with Berman calling the game, but overall, the ratings will still be good for the double dip. And Suzy Kolber will host Monday Night Countdown in place of Berman.
That is your Viewing Guide for NFL Week 1.
Just as NFL Network announced its extensive programming for the NFL season, ESPN has done the same today. There are a bunch of NFL shows including a new series, Mike and Mike’s Best of the NFL which has ESPN Radio’s Mike Greenberg and Mike Golic reviewing the highlights of the week. NFL 32 returns with co-hosts Suzy Kolber and Chris Mortensen. And Fantasy Football Now expands to two hours on ESPN2 on Sundays, hosted by Sara Walsh.
ESPN has hired three new studio analysts, Brian Dawkins, Matt Light and Jason Taylor joining an already burgeoning staff of NFL studio men. I believe ESPN and NFL Network are in a race to see who can staff a full league of talent.
And ESPN notes the changes to Monday Night Football including Ron Jaworski to the studio and some new production elements.
It’s all listed below in yet another extensive press release.
More than 30 hours of Weekly NFL Programming; 17 Monday Night Football Games in Prime Time
ESPN kicks off the 43rd season of Monday Night Football on Sept. 10 with a doubleheader: Cincinnati Bengals vs. Baltimore Ravens (7 p.m. ET), and San Diego Chargers vs. Oakland Raiders (10:15 p.m.) MNF’s new two-person booth of Mike Tirico (play-by-play) and Jon Gruden (analyst) will call the opener with new sideline reporter Lisa Salters. Chris Berman and Trent Dilfer will call the second game with Rachel Nichols.
Prior to the first game, Suzy Kolber will anchor Monday Night Countdown, now a two-hour pre-game show, at the special time of 5 p.m. She’ll be joined in studio by NFL analysts Cris Carter, Mike Ditka, Tom Jackson and Keyshawn Johnson and NFL Insiders Adam Schefter and Chris Mortensen. Stuart Scott, Jason Taylor and Steve Young will also contribute to the show from M&T Bank Stadium in Baltimore.
In addition to MNF game action, ESPN’s impressive lineup of NFL studio shows includes: Sunday NFL Countdown, Monday Night Countdown, NFL Live, NFL Primetime, NFL32, NFL Matchup, Fantasy Football Now, Audibles, NFL Kickoff and Mike and Mike’s Best of the NFL.
Experienced Analysts, Reporters:
- New Monday Night Football team: Play-by-play announcer Mike Tirico and analyst Jon Gruden make up ESPN’s new booth team, while Lisa Salters debuts as MNF’s sideline reporter.
- Jaws In-Studio: NFL analyst Ron Jaworski, who was on MNF the past five seasons, moves to a new studio role on Sunday NFL Countdown, Monday Night Countdown, NFL Matchup, and NFL-branded specials.
- New NFL Studio Analysts: Former NFL players Brian Dawkins, Matt Light, and Jason Taylor and six-time National Football League Executive of the Year Bill Polian have joined ESPN as NFL analysts. They will appear on a variety of studio shows throughout the season.
Original, Upgraded NFL Studio Shows, Specials:
- Mike and Mike’s Best of the NFL (Tuesdays, 3-3:30 p.m., ESPN): In a new weekly NFL highlights show, hosts Mike Greenberg and Mike Golic of ESPN Radio’s Mike and Mike in the Morning examine the best NFL game highlights from the previous week. The show debuts Sept. 11.
- Fantasy Football Now (Sundays, 11 a.m.-1 p.m., ESPN2): This fantasy show expands to two hours in 2012. Robert Flores hosts with analysts Matthew Berry and Tim Hasselbeck, injury analyst Stephania Bell and Sara Walsh.
- Monday Night Countdown (Mondays, 6:30-8:30 p.m., ESPN): MNF’s pre-game show – now two hours – offers 30 more minutes of information and analysis in 2012. Host Chris Berman and ESPN’s cast of NFL analysts and Insiders prepare fans for the weekly MNF matchup.
- SportsCenter Special: Bill Parcells’ NFL Mid-Season Review (Wednesday, Oct. 31, 8 p.m., ESPN): ESPN NFL contributor and two-time Super Bowl winning head coach Bill Parcells analyzes the first part of the NFL season.
Monday Night Football Production Advances:
- Spidercam: A next generation aerial camera, spidercam has a wide fly zone and provides better tracking and smoother coverage. It has also been used on US Open tennis.
- Hi-speed cameras: Two high-speed cameras (providing frame rates of 300-400 frames per second).
- Goal post cameras: The addition of a camera on each goal post will help MNF show game action on the goal line from the perspective of the defense.
- “Soundtracks”: A new weekly segment during MNF halftime will treat fans to the best in-game audio from all of that weekend’s NFL games. The sounds will be heard for the first time on ESPN and will be culled by NFL Films.
- Gruden Grinder: Gruden will nominate an unsung hero as his player of the game each week. A social media element will be incorporated, giving fans the opportunity to cast their votes using the hashtag #GrudenGrinder and the @ESPNMondayNight account.
- Rules Consultant: Former NFL official Gerry Austin, now the Supervisor of Officials for Conference USA, will work with Tirico and Gruden in the booth. As needed, he’ll provide an explanation of NFL rules throughout MNF telecasts.
- The Rolling Stones: In honor of The Rolling Stones’ 50th Anniversary, ESPN will collaborate with the Universal Music Group to create “Legend to Legend” – a combination of MNF highlights and classic Rolling Stones tracks.
ESPN’s Weekly NFL Programming:
Date Time (ET) Show Network Sundays 3:30-4 a.m. NFL Matchup ESPN 8:30-9 a.m. NFL Matchup ESPN2 10 a.m.- 1 p.m. Sunday NFL Countdown ESPN 11 a.m.-1 p.m. Fantasy Football Now ESPN2 The Blitz on SportsCenter ESPN Mondays 4-5 p.m. NFL Live ESPN 3-4 p.m. NFL Primetime ESPN 6-6:30 p.m. NFL32 ESPN2 6:30-8:30 p.m. Monday Night Countdown ESPN 8:30 p.m. Monday Night Football ESPN Tuesdays 3-3:30 p.m. Mike and Mike’s Best of the NFL ESPN 4-5 p.m. NFL Live ESPN 6-6:30 p.m. NFL32 ESPN2 Wednesdays 4-5 p.m. NFL Live ESPN 6-7 p.m. NFL32 ESPN2 Thursdays 4-5 p.m. NFL Live ESPN 6-7 p.m. NFL32 ESPN2 7-8 p.m. Audibles ESPN or ESPN2 Fridays 4-5 p.m. NFL Live ESPN 6-7 p.m. NFL32 ESPN2 7-8 p.m. NFL Kickoff ESPN2
Gruden’s QB Camp Re-airs
Five of the 10 quarterbacks who took part in Gruden’s QB Camp in 2012 have been named NFL starters as rookies. ESPN revisits the shows with re-airs of MNF analyst Jon Gruden’s one-on-one film sessions with Robert Griffin III (Washington Redskins), Andrew Luck (Indianapolis Colts), Ryan Tannehill (Miami Dolphins), Brandon Weeden (Cleveland Browns) and Russell Wilson (Seattle Seahawks).
Date Time (ET) Show Network Fri, Sept. 7 1-3 a.m. Gruden’s QB Camp: Luck, Griffin, Weeden, Tannehill ESPNU Sun, Sept. 9 8-10 a.m. Gruden’s QB Camp: Wilson, Weeden, Luck, Griffin ESPNews
NFL weekends on ESPN Radio will begin Fridays with Mike Tirico’s Monday Night Preview podcast, an addition to the network’s coverage that will take listeners behind the scenes of sports television’s longest-running series with the MNF crew and offer a look ahead to next week’s matchup. Also on Fridays, Tirico will be joined by Chris Mortensen and Keyshawn Johnson to preview the weekend’s NFL action in Mike Tirico’s Weekend Blitz, which airs at 8 p.m. ET (re-airs at 11 p.m.). On Sundays, Countdown to Kickoff (10 a.m.) provides whip-around coverage of the day’s slate in the NFL. Host Adnan Virk takes fans to the game sites for late-breaking injury, weather and fantasy information. Later on Sunday, The NFL on ESPN Radio (1 p.m.) offers day-long reports from every stadium with hosts Mike Hill and Freddie Coleman and analysts Eric Allen, Antonio Pierce and Tim Hasselbeck.
NFL Guests on Mike and Mike in the Morning
The following NFL guests are scheduled to make these weekly ESPN Radio appearances this season:
- Mondays: Ron Jaworski (7:15 a.m.), Cris Carter (7:30 a.m.) and Mike Ditka (8:15 a.m.);
- Tuesdays: Cris Carter (7:30-8:30 a.m.) and John Clayton (9:15 a.m.);
- Wednesdays: Jon Gruden (7:15 a.m.) and Adam Schefter (7:45 a.m.);
- Thursdays: Brian Billick (7:30 a.m.) and Chris Mortensen (9:15 a.m.);
- Fridays: Ron Jaworski (8:15 a.m.) and Mel Kiper, Jr. (8:45 a.m.);
- And Mark Schlereth – in studio Thursday or Friday.
ESPN Deportes, the U.S. Spanish-language network, will present live coverage of 17 regular season Monday Night Football games. Super Bowl champion (SB XXI and XXV) Raul Allegre returns to serve as analyst during the games, along with play-by-play voice Alvaro Martin. ESPN Deportes’ coverage will feature a Monday night pregame show, NFL Esta Noche, with hosts Eduardo Varela, Pablo Viruega, Georgina Ruiz Salvador and John Sutcliffe as onsite commentator and reporter. In addition, ESPN Deportes’ weekly show NFL Semanal returns every Sunday morning with commentators Martin, Ciro Procuna, Allegre and Sutcliffe providing analysis and highlights. ESPN and the NFL will also present a special Hispanic Heritage Month Celebration surrounding the Green Bay Packers vs. Seattle Seahawks MNF game on Sept. 24.
This season ESPN will bring the NFL into over 73 million homes in 161 countries/territories in Latin America, Brazil, the Caribbean, Africa, Middle East, Israel, Europe, Canada, and Australia/New Zealand/Pacific Islands. ESPN will showcase more NFL programming than ever before, highlighted again this year by:
- ESPN’s Monday Night Football in all territories;
- Digital highlight rights and live MNF streaming in select markets;
- Live coverage of the other regular season games, playoffs, and Super Bowl throughout Latin America, Brazil, the Caribbean, Africa, Middle East, Israel, Continental Europe, Canada and Australia/New Zealand/Pacific Islands;
- The entire AFC/NFC Playoffs, Pro Bowl, and Super Bowl in Brazil and Australia/New Zealand;
- Spanish language programming including NFL Semanal, NFL Esta Noche, and NFL Primetime;
- Portuguese language programming including Semana NFL in Brazil;
- ESPN NFL programming such as Sunday NFL Countdown, Monday Night Countdown, NFL Primetime and NFL Live and NFL Films original programming, including Super Bowl Highlights, Yearbooks, Greatest Games, NFL Films Presents and more;
- ESPN remains the exclusive syndication agent to cruise ships worldwide for all pre-season, regular season, playoffs, Super Bowl, Pro Bowl, NFL Network, NFL Films, NFL Sunday Ticket, NFL Red Zone Channel, and NFL GameDay.
- ESPN Fantasy Focus Football podcast: Hosted by Matthew Berry and Nate Ravitz and featuring guests and interviews, this podcast will provide player previews, game overviews and strategies. Last year, Fantasy Focus was named in the PodcastAwards.com awards for “Best Sports Podcast” for the second time in the past three years. Fantasy Focus Football is posted five days per week during the season.
- ESPN Football Today podcast: Hosts Ross Tucker and Matt Williamson discuss all things football with in-depth pre- and post-game analysis. Football Today is posted daily throughout the season.
- ESPN Primetime Payoff: New to Fantasy for the upcoming NFL season, ESPN Primetime Payoff on ESPN.com and accessible on mobile and tablet devices is the debut pick ‘em game based on the events of Monday Night Football. Every Wednesday during the season, 12 game-related questions will be released for participants to answer for the following week. During halftime, four additional bonus questions – worth two points each – will be released that are directly relevant to what has happened in the game. Participants gather points throughout the season based on correct picks, which will transfer as entries to the overall grand prize random drawing of $1 million. Additionally, the overall highest scoring player in the game will receive a check for $50,000. The game will include social media integrations like message boards and the ability to submit halftime questions via Twitter hashtag #primetimepayoff.
In addition to prominently featuring Monday Night Football coverage on Page 1 and the NFL page, ESPN.com dedicates a page, “Monday Night HQ,” for coverage. MN HQ Presented by Toyota will include in-depth previews of every game, as well as the complete MNF schedule, access to the popular MNF on Facebook page (more than 1.1 million likes), blog posts, statistics and more. Every NFL game will be staffed by an ESPN.com blogger or national NFL columnist, who will provide in-depth post-game analysis. Game coverage includes “Cover It Live,” which allows users to interact with ESPN.com bloggers and analysts in real time. In addition, ESPN.com will offer quarter-by-quarter video highlights and post-game video analysis.
- ESPN Fantasy FootballApp – The free app for iPhone, Android and – for the first time – on iPad and Windows Phone exclusively on Nokia Lumia smartphones features team management, FantasyCast live scoring, news, videos and Tweets from ESPN Fantasy experts, league message boards and more.
- Mobile Team Management – Users with access to the ESPN mobile Web site will be able to set rosters, trade and waive players, and check scoring – all from their mobile devices.
- Mobile Scores and Alerts – Users can access their matchup, league scoreboard, and latest news on their mobile devices. ESPN Insiders can opt to receive personalized team alerts with breaking news, scoring, injury and substitution updates.
- Mobile TV – Fantasy football-related video content from ESPN studio shows.
ESPN The Magazine
ESPN The Magazine’s NFL Preview, currently on newsstands, tackles a variety of issues surrounding the NFL, taking the subject of concussions head on with features such as Concussion Confidential, where 320 preps leveled with The Mag. This is part of an overall NFL Confidential, also featured in the NFL Preview, which polls 48 NFL players for tough answers on sensitive subjects. For more on NFL Confidential: http://bit.ly/MagNFLPreview.
NFL Preview features highlight the Lions’ Calvin Johnson, Peyton Manning and the Broncos, and Minnesota Vikings’ rookie Matt Kalil.
Beginning this season, espnW.com will launch two new series around the NFL: Street Clothes and 53rd Man. Street Clothes will give readers a behind-the-scenes look at players’ lives off the field and insight into their home lives, families and hobbies. 53rd Man will feature the stories of the final player to make their teams’ roster. Additionally, espnW.com reporter Jane McManus will provide a column featuring the news of the week.
*All times ET unless otherwise noted.
That’s it for this post.
This in from ESPN. To celebrate the 50th Anniversary of the Rolling Stones (has it been that long?), Monday Night Football will use 16 classic songs from the band throughout the season. This is to mark the release of the Stones’ release of its greatest hits collection called “GRRR!” that will be out in November.
This initiative called “Legend to Legend” as Monday Night Football is a TV institution and the Stones are well, a life-long institution to many, will utilize four songs every month in a rotation for highlights, promos and in postgame highlights on SportsCenter.
ESPN even has permission to use the Rolling Stones’ iconic logo as you’ll see. It’s an interesting collaboration and will make fans forget about Hank Williams, Jr. who was dropped mid-season in 2011.
Here’s the ESPN press release and a video is included below.
Sixteen Classic Tracks to be part of ESPN’s Monday Night Football Coverage This Fall
The Rolling Stones have announced the November release of GRRR!, a greatest hits collection to mark five decades of the Greatest Rock’n'Roll Band In The World. Now, ESPN will commemorate The Rolling Stones’ 50th Anniversary on Monday nights throughout the National Football League season this fall with “Legend to Legend”, a unique collaboration with the Universal Music Group that will combine Monday Night Football highlights with classic tracks from the legendary band featuring Mick Jagger, Keith Richards, Charlie Watts and Ronnie Wood.
ESPN is licensing 16 Rolling Stones tracks, spanning the early 1970’s release of Exile on Main St. through the mid 2000’s A Bigger Bang. The songs will be a mix of popular hits and deep cuts, including “It’s Only Rock’n Roll”, “Hot Stuff” and “One Hit (To the Body)”. Four different songs will be selected per month and will be used for four weeks at a time on ESPN’s Monday Night Countdown pregame show (6:30 p.m. ET), on bumpers and teases within the Monday Night Football game (8:30 p.m.), and in a post-MNF game highlight segment on SportsCenter, ESPN’s flagship highlights, news and information show.
“Legend to Legend” will debut Monday, Sept. 10 when ESPN kicks off the >43rd season of Monday Night Football with two games at a special time: Cincinnati Bengals vs. Baltimore Ravens (7 p.m.) and San Diego Chargers vs. Oakland Raiders (10:15 p.m.). Countdown begins at 5 p.m. The schedule continues throughout ESPN’s 16-week NFL schedule, which concludes on Saturday, Dec. 22.
“Legend to Legend” elements will be identified with a branded logo and high-end animation within Monday Night Countdown and SportsCenter, highlighting “The 50 Years of the Stones” and incorporating the band’s signature tongue logo.
“We’re very proud that the Rolling Stones chose ESPN’s Monday Night Football to play a major role in their 50th Anniversary celebration; sports and music fans alike will enjoy the combination of these two pop culture legends – the most successful prime time sports series in the history of television and the world’s greatest rock and roll band to supply music for our season-long soundtrack,” said Bob Toms, ESPN vice president of production enhancements, who oversees the ESPN Music department.
And here’s the animation that will introduce the “Legend to Legend” segment on MNF.
That does it.
Can you believe it’s Wednesday already? Holiday on Monday makes the work week go faster.
To the linkage which has been too scarce on the site.
Michael Hiestand of USA Today looks at some of the changes on the NFL’s TV partners this season.
John Ourand of Sports Business Journal talks about the fierce bidding between Fox and Turner for the MLB TV contract.
Mike Ozanian of Forbes has a video interview with MLB Advanced Media’s Bob Bowman about the company’s video technology which is being used all over the internet.
Tim Baysinger of Broadcasting & Cable says CBS Sports is adding an on-air medical consultant to its NFL coverage this season.
Mike Reynolds at Multichannel News says CBS/CBS Sports Network’s coverage of the US Open this past Labor Day Weekend was on the mark.
Anthony Crupi of Adweek tells us that General Motors is all over the NFL season opening game.
Natalie Zmuda from Advertising Age discusses what Pepsi is doing to maximize its branding in a new 10 year contract with the National Football League.
Michael Bradley at the Indiana University National Sports Journalism Center says when it comes to the NFL on TV, it’s all about the money.
Ed Sherman at the Sherman Report looks at what’s new on NBC’s Sunday Night Football coverage this season.
ESPN’s Darren Rovell looks at the best of Aramark’s NFL stadium food for this season.
The great people at Awful Announcing have started an offshoot site called Awful Advertisements.
Speaking about Awful Announcing, Brad Gagnon talks about former New York Giant Shaun O’Hara joining NFL Network.
At the New York Times, Richard Sandomir notes that SNY analyst Keith Hernandez’s famous mustache is now turning grey and could actually be shaved off!
Newsday’s Neil Best looks at the new Monday Night Football booth for this season.
Pete Dougherty of the Albany Times Union writes that a former New York Giants offensive lineman will be joining NFL Network as an analyst.
Pete says local listeners to last Saturday’s Northwestern-Syracuse game were suddenly left in limbo late in the 4th quarter.
Ken Schott from the Schenectady Gazette has your Week 2 college football schedule on TV.
Keith Groller at the Allentown (PA) Morning Call says the NFL is back on TV.
Sheil Kapadia of Philadelphia Magazine reports that former Eagles quarterback Donovan McNabb is headed to television.
Dave Hughes from DCRTV.com writes in Press Box that legendary Voice of the University of Maryland sports, Johnny Holliday will be honored in November.
Jim Williams of the Washington Examiner talks with NBC’s Al Michaels who’s in his 25th year of calling the National Football League’s premier primetime game.
Adam H. Beasley at the Miami Herald recaps the season finale of HBO’s Hard Knocks.
Steve Svekis of the South Florida Sun-Sentinel notes that Hard Knocks showed all of the Miami Dolphins’ warts.
Eric Deggans of the Tampa Bay Tribune likes that the NFL on Fox’s Michael Strahan is joining Kelly Ripa on “Live”.
David Barron of the Houston Chronicle has CBS’ Jim Nantz and Phil Simms being bullish on the Texans’ chances this season.
Mel Bracht of the Daily Oklahoman notes that last Saturday’s OU-UTEP game was the lowest rated Sooners game in five years.
John Kiesewetter of the Cincinnati Enquirer notes that NBC Sports Radio launched around the country last night, but not in the Queen City.
The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel’s Bob Wolfley looks at Dwayne Wade’s new autobiography.
Paul M. Banks at Chicago Sports Media Watch notes that Notre Dame football radio analyst Allen Pinkett has been suspended for comments he made about recruiting criminals for the program.
Dusty Saunders of the Denver Post profiles a long-time local sports radio host.
Scott D. Pierce of the Salt Lake Tribune tells us what we already know, that the NFL is the king of sports television.
Bruce Dowbiggin of the Toronto Globe and Mail says the NHL’s Canadian TV partners have been notoriously silent about the impending lockout.
Sports Media Watch says ESPN has added a former referee to the Monday Night Football lineup.
Dave Kohl of the Broadcast Booth says Fox Sports almost lost its college football opener when its MLB games went long.
That’s going to do it for now.
This being the last Sunday of 2012 without the NFL, let’s go over a few tweaks to the television experience this season.
SUNDAY LATE AFTERNOON GAMES START AT 4:25 P.M. ET
After numerous complaints about breaking away from NFL cut-ins in between the early and late afternoon games, the league has mandated that the late Sunday afternoon games begin at 4:25 p.m. ET ten minutes later than last year. This only applies to the network carrying the national doubleheader each week. If CBS or Fox is scheduled to show just one game in your region, then the late game will begin at 4:05 p.m. as usual.
Too often, fans would complain about being shown a game heading towards a fantastic finish only to be told as a game winning or tying score was about to happen, that NFL rules would not allow the network to show the finish and they would be taken to the start of the late game. With the 4:25 p.m. starts, the league hopes to show all of the finishes of the early game without having to break away. We’ll see if this eases the complaints.
This will also wreak havoc on CBS’ primetime schedule and possibly to NBC’s Football Night in America show as to when it can begin airing highlights.
NFL NETWORK GETS AN EXPANDED THURSDAY NIGHT FOOTBALL SCHEDULE
Starting in Week 2, NFL Network will air a total of 13 games beginning with the Chicago Bears at Green Bay Packers. This means one game a week taken away from the Sunday afternoon TV partners, CBS and Fox. Overall, there will be 14 Thursday Night games this season, NFL Network gets to air all but one of them.
NBC AIRS THE THANKSGIVING NIGHT GAME STARTING THIS SEASON
In Week 12, the Thanksgiving Night Game which began in 2006 on NFL Network, now moves to NBC as part of its Sunday Night Football package. It means that all three Thanksgiving holiday games will be on network television. This year’s Thanksgiving Night game will involve the blood AFC East rivalry between the New England Patriots and the New York Jets at Met Life Stadium.
It was a very good move by NBC to buy into the Thanksgiving Day games. This marks the first time NBC will air an NFL Thanksgiving game since 1997 when Tennessee beat Dallas, 27-14.
Get ready for Al Michaels, Cris Collinsworth, Michele Tafoya, Bob Costas, Dan Patrick, Tony Dungy, Rodney Harrison and Hines Ward to be part of your Thanksgiving evening.
CBS SPORTS NETWORK AIRS ITS FIRST-EVER NFL PROGRAMMING
Starting in Week 1, CBS Sports Network will air its first ever NFL-related show, NFL Monday QB featuring NFL on CBS analysts Phil Simms, Rich Gannon and Steve Beuerlein. It will start airing on Monday, September 10 and every Monday throughout the NFL season. Adam Schein will be the moderator.
CHRIS ROSE IS THE NEW HOST OF NFL GAMEDAY HIGHLIGHTS AND NFL GAMEDAY FINAL
Also starting in Week 1, Chris Rose, co-host of the Abortion Known as Intentional Talk on MLB Network, will join NFL Network to host its Sunday highlights shows, NFL GameDay Highlights and NFL GameDay Final. He replaces Fran Charles. Rose will also be the host of the Thursday Night Football postgame edition of NFL Total Access. He becomes the first on-air talent to be employed on two league-owned networks simultaneously.
ESPN’s LAST MONDAY NIGHT FOOTBALL GAME OF THE 2012 SEASON AIRS ON A SATURDAY … WHAT?
To avoid airing an NFL game on Christmas Night (although this hasn’t stopped the NFL before), ESPN will air its final contest of the 2012 season on Saturday, December 22. That game will be Atlanta at Detroit so for two consecutive weeks, NBC’s Sunday Night Football will be the last game of the weekend.
MONDAY NIGHT FOOTBALL MAKES ANOTHER BOOTH ADJUSTMENT
It seems since ESPN obtained the Monday Night Football package in 2006, it can’t stay consistent for too long. First, there was Mike Tirico, Joe Theismann and Tony Kornheiser. Then in 2007, it was Tirico, Ron Jaworski and Kornheiser. Two years later, Mr. Tony left and Jon Gruden was hired to join Tirico and Jaworksi. For 2012, Jaws has been jettisoned out of the booth and it’s Tirico and Gruden.
Oh and let’s not forget after last season’s sideline reporter rotation including the failed John Sutcliffe experiment, ESPN has brought in Lisa Salters to be the permanent sideline reporter. Let’s hope ESPN can keep the talent lineup constant for the next few seasons.
ERIN ANDREWS MAKES HER NFL DEBUT
Erin Andrews will join the NFL this season as part of the Fox NFL Sunday pregame show as she will have features every week. She’ll also be on the sidelines for the Thanksgiving Day game between Washington and Dallas joining Joe Buck, Troy Aikman and the always intimidating Pam Oliver. Erin will also join Joe, Troy and Pam for the NFL Playoffs.
NEW ENGLAND-ST. LOUIS IS YOUR LONDON GAME THIS SEASON
CBS will air this season’s game in the UK in Week 8 (October 28), the last game in which the St. Louis Rams will be the designated “home” team. After 2012, the Jacksonville Jaguars will become London’s “home” team for the next few seasons.
CBS AIRS SUPER BOWL XLVII IN NEW ORLEANS
On Sunday, February 3, CBS will air Super Bowl XLVII live from the Louisiana Superdome. In August, Adweek’s Anthony Crupi reported that the Tiffany Network was already 80% sold for the Big Game. Expect the usual hoopla, hype and hysteria surrounding the game. And expect another ratings record as long as the game remains close.
That’s what you can expect watching the NFL on CBS, ESPN, Fox, NBC and the NFL Network this season.
As we approach the 2012 NFL regular season, let’s take a look at the online streaming plans for the League’s TV partners. Believe it or not, online real-time streaming of games began back in 2007 when DirecTV released its Supercast app for computers (for Internet Explorer only!) and allowed subscribers to its NFL Sunday Ticket service to watch the Sunday afternoon games online. At that time, streaming to mobiles was just in its infancy and the quality on a 3G network was horrible.
The following year, NBC announced it would stream its entire Sunday Night Football schedule online.
Since then, the NFL has taken baby steps in streaming. DirecTV’s Sunday NFL Ticket has expanded to mobiles and tablets as well as a gaming platforms. ESPN’s Monday Night Football now streams on the WatchESPN service, but only for authenticated subscribers of Bright House, Comcast, Time Warner Cable and Verizon Fios systems. And the NFL has provided mobile streaming rights to Verizon meaning only customers of the cell phone provider can watch Sunday, Monday and Thursday Night Football on their devices.
With the new TV contracts signed at the end of last year, the NFL’s broadcast and cable partners have limited streaming rights. I’ve asked several networks about their streaming plans and I’ll provide answers, where applicable, on how this season shapes up online, on mobiles and on tablets.
- CBS — No streaming plans.
- DirecTV — NFL Sunday Ticket streamed online, mobiles and on tablets. Also on participating gaming consoles.
- ESPN — Monday Night Football streamed online and on tablets at WatchESPN only for authenticated cable customers (Bright House, Comcast, Time Warner, Verizon Fios)
- Fox — No streaming plans.
- NBC — Sunday Night Football streamed online at NBCSports.com also available on tablets through browsers. Not available through the NBC Sports Live Extra app.
- NFL Network — Thursday Night Football streamed on mobiles through NFL Live on Verizon devices only. Awaiting word if there will be streaming on tablets this season.
Sunday and Monday Night Football are streamed on mobiles through NFL Live on Verizon devices only.
While Super Bowl XLVI was streamed through NBCSports.com only on computers, there’s no word yet whether CBS will receive permission to stream Super Bowl XLVII. It had sought to stream Super Bowl XLIV in 2010, but was turned down by the league. We’ll see if the NFL decides to allow CBS to show the Super Bowl online in 2013.
For the last six years, ESPN used the line, “Is it Monday Yet?” for Monday Night Football. After using that line since it received the Monday Night Football contract, ESPN has decided to go in another direction. And while using actors anticipating the MNF game worked well, the Alleged Worldwide Leader has decided to use a new line created by its ad agency Wieden & Kennedy.
This time using real NFL figures in its first spot like Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones, New York Jets cornerback Darrelle Revis, New England Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski and Houston Texas running back Arian Foster among others, we have a new tagline for Monday Night Football, “It All Comes Down to Monday Night”.
This will debut on Monday, but you get a sneak peek right now. And two more spots with other NFL players will debut during the season. Here’s the promo.
Haven’t been able to provide the Friday megalinks in a while. Let’s do an edition today.
Normally I include a link to the Weekend Viewing Picks, but I’ll be doing that tonight so you can find it on my site when it’s posted. If you follow me on Twitter or have an RSS feed, you’ll be updated as soon as it posts. If not, you can find it later.
Let’s do the links.
USA Today’s Michael Hiestand wonders what effect the gold medal win by the US Women’s Soccer National Team will have on the sport in the long run.
Michael also live blogged Thursday’s Olympic Primetime on NBC.
Jeffrey Martin of USA Today looks at the grand experiment that’s known as the Pac-12 Networks.
Sports Illustrated’s Richard Deitsch talks with NBC Sports Chairman Mark Lazarus about the NBCUniversal’s handling of the 2012 Olympics.
At the Sports on Earth blog, Joe Posnanski chronicles his day in covering the Olympics.
Austin Karp of Sports Business Daily says with NFL preseason games airing in many local markets on Thursday, NBC Olympic overnight ratings took a hit.
Bill King of SBD says CBS Sports is forging ahead with a show featuring the professional debut of several US Olympic boxers despite their poor performance in London.
Ryan Baucom of SBD writes that several Olympic athletes are getting a boost in Twitter followers after their success in the London Games.
Tripp Mickle of SBD says Universal Sports broke out an ad on NBC Thursday trying to promote its Olympic sports programming. Good luck with that.
Eric Fisher of SBD says Yahoo is declaring victory over NBCOlympics.com for unique pageviews.
Sohrab Amari of the Wall Street Journal reviews an NBC News documentary fronted by Tom Brokaw which will air on NBC’s Olympic coverage on Saturday.
Sarah Kwak of Sports Illustrated talks with Lolo Jones about the media firestorm that swelled just before she ran her 100 meters hurdles race.
In the Sherman Report, Ed Sherman talks with outgoing Boston Globe columnist Bob Ryan about his first job. Ryan will be missed in the pages of the Globe.
Sports Media Journal’s Keith Thibault and I have an Olympic-themed podcast with Richard Sandomir of the New York Times and Bruce Beck of WNBC-TV.
The Hollywood Reporter notes that Today Show host Matt Lauer had an icy reunion with former co-host Ann Curry on NBC’s London Olympics set.
John Eggerton at Broadcasting & Cable writes that the FCC has already denied a Comcast request to stay its decision requiring the cable provider to give space to the Tennis Channel.
Christopher Heine of Adweek says Olympic marketers have failed to medal in their social media campaigns.
But Simon Dumenco of Advertising Age looks at the Olympic sponsors that managed to get a boost through social media.
Michael Learmonth of Advertising Age says NBC and the International Olympic Committee have to fix the Olympic business model before it breaks down.
Toni Fitzgerald of Media Life notes that NBC’s ratings for Wednesday Olympic Primetime show drew better viewership numbers than Atlanta in 1996.
Brandon Costa of Sports Video Group says CBS Sports is preparing for all type of weather conditions for this weekend’s PGA Championship.
Karen Hogan of SVG looks at NBC New York Olympic operations.
Ken Kerschbaumer at SVG says Denmark TV has a floating barge studio for the London Olympics. Now that’s pretty cool.
And Birgit Heidsiek of SVG says Eurosport TV is producing the Olympics in 3-D.
Jason Fry of the Poynter Institute and writing as the ESPN Ombudsman investigates a plagiarism incident at the Alleged Worldwide Leader.
Ronnie Ramos at the Indiana University National Sports Journalism Center writes that the Pac-12 Conference is readying an aggressive digital strategy that will go along with its television distribution.
Ty Duffy at The Big Lead goes after former NBC Sports Emperor Dick Ebersol for being out of touch in defending the tape delayed Olympics.
The Big Lead looks at the Pac-12 being in the forefront of digital distribution after being marred for years of being behind the curve.
Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk says the Miami Dolphins will take advantage of the NFL’s relaxed TV blackout policy this weekend.
Emmett Jones of Sports Business Digest notes that Buffalo Wild Wings has purchased naming rights for a college bowl game. Looks like it will be going to overtime every year.
Sports Media Watch says with NBC committed to the Olympics this year, the NFL Hall of Fame preseason game was aired on NFL Network and naturally suffered a big viewer dropoff.
SMW reports that NBC got another ratings increase for the Olympics.
TVNewsCheck says Gannett is declaring victory saying three of its stations are the top-rated local NBC affiliates in key demographics.
Alex Weprin of TVNewser looks at NBC’s Today Show operations in London.
At TVSpy, Alex tours NBC’s operation center for its local affiliates in London.
East and Mid-Atlantic
Chad Finn of the Boston Globe talks with Celtics TV voice Mike Gorman who’s been calling Olympic handball off a monitor for NBC.
At SB Nation Boston, Bruce Allen discusses Golf Channel’s meteoric rise and its plans to cover the PGA Championship this weekend.
Jane L. Levere of the New York Times writes about ESPN’s new ad campaign for Monday Night Football.
Verne Gay at Newsday notes that a long-time NBC Sports director is retiring after the Olympics.
Newsday’s Chris Serico wonders if NBC’s Matt Lauer and Meredith Viera will be a bit more subdued during the Olympic Closing Ceremony on Sunday than their talkative performance during the Opening Ceremony two Fridays ago.
Neil Best of Newsday catches up with ESPN’s Ron Jaworski who’s filling a new role at the network after being in the Monday Night Football both.
Phil Mushnick of the New York Post is in another one of his moods today.
Pete Dougherty of the Albany Times Union notes a local radio station’s high school football schedule.
Ken McMillan from the Middletown (NY) Times Herald-Record says Pac-12 Networks will be seen on Time Warner Cable locally.
Keith Groller of the Allentown (PA) Morning Call says despite a lost season, the Philadelphia Phillies TV crew still has plenty to talk about during games.
Tim Richardson in Press Box looks at the business of fantasy football as leagues get ready to hold their drafts soon, if not already.
Sarah Kogod of the Washington Post’s DC Sports Bog notes that more people were watching the DC NFL Team in area sports bars last night as compared to the Nationals.
Dan Steinberg of the DC Sports Bog says the Nationals radio team tried to explain the term “ball bag”.
Greg Cote of the Miami Herald reviews HBO’s Hard Knocks on the Dolphins.
Craig Davis of the South Florida Sun-Sentinel says the Dolphins have announced their TV blackout policy today.
Mel Bracht of The Oklahoman says a local high school sports TV show expands to a new market.
The Cincinnati Enquirer says ESPN’s College GameDay could be visiting the Queen City in February.
Bob Wolfley of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel looks at Dick Ebersol’s latest comments on tape delaying Olympic events.
Dan Caesar of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch talks with a local sports radio host who’s perturbed at a former employer.
Dan notes that the Olympics and the St. Louis Cardinals ratings have been hurt by each other.
Patrick Finley of the Arizona Daily Star says the Pac-12 Networks are ready to launch next week, but without a few major cable and satellite providers.
John Maffei of the North County Times talks with a former NBC Olympics analyst who was fired on the spot after calling a race.
To the Ventura County Star where Jim Carlisle talks about the increased spotlight on the Pac-12 through its new TV networks.
Jim says Twitter has become an Olympic event.
Lisa Dillman of the Los Angeles Times has the Irish radio call of boxer Katie Taylor’s victory giving the country its first gold medal of the Olympics.
Tom Hoffarth of the Los Angeles Daily News says this is a critical time for beach volleyball as the sport is in transition now.
Tom has some Olympic TV notes in his blog.
And those are your supersized megalinks for today.
ESPN airs the Green Bay Packers-San Diego Chargers game at the Stadium Formerly Known as San Diego Jack Murphy. It marks the debut of Mike Tirico and Jon Gruden with new sideline reporter Lisa Salters.
ESPN starts its coverage with Monday Night Countdown on a Thursday with Chris Berman hosting and analysts Mike Ditka, Tom Jackson, Keyshawn Johnson and Cris Carter. ESPN hits the air with its NFL coverage beginning at 7 p.m. ET. The game begins at 8 ET.
There’s not much else I can say so why not read the press blurb below?
ESPN’s four-game Monday Night Football preseason schedule opens with Aaron Rodgers and the Green Bay Packers facing Philip Rivers and the San Diego Chargers on Thursday, Aug. 9, at 8 p.m. ET. Play-by-play commentator Mike Tirico and analyst Jon Gruden will team in ESPN’s new two-person booth, joined by new MNF sideline reporter Lisa Salters.
Preceding the matchup, ESPN’s Chris Berman will host the hour-long Monday Night Countdown at 7 p.m. with studio analysts Cris Carter, Mike Ditka, Tom Jackson, and Keyshawn Johnson and NFL Insiders Adam Schefter and Chris Mortensen.
The MNF regular season kicks off Monday, Sept. 10, with a doubleheader – Cincinnati Bengals vs. Baltimore Ravens (7 p.m.) and San Diego Chargers vs. Oakland Raiders (10:15 p.m.).
Date Time (ET) Game Thurs, Aug. 9 8 p.m. Green Bay Packers at San Diego Chargers Mon, Aug. 13 8 p.m. Dallas Cowboys at Oakland Raiders Mon, Aug. 20 8 p.m. Philadelphia Eagles at New England Patriots Thurs, Aug. 23 8 p.m. Arizona Cardinals at Tennessee Titans
Just received from ESPN. E:60 reporter and New York-based correspondent Rachel Nichols has been tapped to be the sideline reporter for the late Monday Night Football game on September 10 between the San Diego Chargers and Oakland Raiders at 10:15 p.m. ET.
This completes the broadcast team. Previously announced were Chris Berman and Trent Dilfer as the play-by-play man and analyst respectively. Nichols was part of the sideline reporter rotation last year that included Suzy Kolber, Ed Werder and others.
Here’s the ESPN announcement.
Reporter Rachel Nichols to Cover Chargers-Raiders Monday Night Football Doubleheader Game on Sept. 10
New York-based bureau reporter and E:60 correspondent Rachel Nichols will serve as the sideline reporter for ESPN’s season-opening Monday Night Football doubleheader game between the San Diego Chargers and Oakland Raiders on Sept. 10. She will work with the previously announced commentator team of Chris Berman and analyst Trent Dilfer. The game is scheduled to kick off at 10:15 p.m. ET, following the Cincinnati Bengals-Baltimore Ravens game (7 p.m.), which will feature the commentator team of Mike Tirico, Jon Gruden and reporter Lisa Salters.
Nichols is a regular contributor to ESPN’s NFL coverage. She is responsible for weekly features throughout the season for SportsCenter, Sunday NFL Countdown, Monday Night Countdown and other programs. She also files regular reports from team sites and stadiums on NFL Sundays.
In this Front & Center podcast, Nichols discusses the MNF assignment, her upcoming E:60 story on Ravens linebacker Ray Lewis, expectations for covering the Super Bowl champion New York Giants training camp and more.
That is all.
Time for some Wednesday links. Won’t be a full set as I’ll be monitoring NBC’s Olympic conference call.
Pro Football Talk’s Mike Florio discusses Chris Berman heading to the Monday Night Football booth for two games.
Matt Yoder of Awful Announcing says national nightmare Berman in the booth is not what NFL fans want.
Doug Farrar of Yahoo’s Shutdown Corner says it isn’t Berman who we should be worried about.
Matt writes about ESPN replacing Craig James on Thursday Night college football.
Michael Smith in Sports Business Daily writes that the PGA has a new sponsor for its developmental tour.
Scott Foxborough at the Hollywood Reporter notes the huge increase for EURO 2012′s ratings on ESPN from the last event four years ago.
George Winslow of Broadcasting & Cable says MLB Network has upgraded its production control room for its signature MLB Tonight show.
Mike Reynolds of Multichannel News says the Sportsman Channel is gaining ground for its HD network.
Patrick Hipes of Deadline notes the TV bidding for the new college football playoff system to begin with the 2014 season will be worth beaucoup bucks.
Ed Sherman of The Sherman Report talks with the former owner of WFAN and how it was a risk to start an all-sports radio station 25 years ago.
Ed says no matter what you think of him, Don Imus’ move to WFAN helped save the sports radio format and sent it flying to new heights.
Ed says ESPN’s public relations blog fired salvos on behalf of ESPN Radio at CBS and NBC.
Jason Dachman from Sports Video Group says Fox Sports Net has developed an MLB app for second screens.
In GoLocalProv, former WBZ-TV anchor Bob Lobel gives one of the greatest moments in his career when he brought Boston legends Bobby Orr, Larry Bird and Ted Williams together for one show. I watched that when it happened. It was a great show.
Jerry Barmash at Fishbowl NY talks with WFAN 20/20 Sports update man John Minko.
Jerry also talks with another WFAN original, Steve Somers who schmoozes S-P-O-R-T-S every night.
Pete Dougherty at the Albany Times Union writes about Chris Berman and Trent Dilfer being teamed for two Monday Night Football games.
At the Washington Post’s DC Sports Bog, Dan Steinberg says Nationals’ ratings on MASN are way up from last season.
Barry Jackson from the Miami Herald reviews LeBron James’ appearance on Late Show with David Letterman last night.
Dan Bickley of the Arizona Republic talks about the strange removal of Daron Sutton from Diamondbacks broadcasts.
Jerry Crasnick of ESPN.com says the Diamondbacks have suspended Sutton for “insubordination” and won’t say anything more.
Tom Hoffarth of the Los Angeles Daily News notes that the Pac-12 won the most NCAA Championships this academic year.
Bruce Dowbiggin of the Toronto Globe and Mail wonders if it’s soccer time to shine in Canada and the U.S.
The Canadian Sports Media Blog looks at CBC and CTV dropping their joint bid for the 2014/16 Olympics.
Sports Media Watch looks into the move to put Chris Berman into the Monday Night Football booth.
Ty Duffy at The Big Lead says bitter little hedgehog Danny Sheridan is buying Twitter followers.
Dave Kohl in The Broadcast Booth talks about multiple national sports radio networks.
And that’s going to do it today. Had to cut the links short because today will be quite busy. Leaving the afternoon free for the NBC Olympics announcements.
Since SportsbyBrooks tweeted last week that Chris Berman would call the opening week Monday Night Football late doubleheader game, we’ve been waiting for confirmation. Instead of receiving a press release, ESPN has chosen to confirm this through its public relations website, Front Row.
Over the last few years, Berman has been polarizing. His performances on the U.S. Open and All-Star Home Run Derby have been heavily criticized on social media sites. Now with Berman going to call two games, a preseason game between Arizona and Tennessee on August 23 and then the last game on Week 1 of the 2012 regular season, San Diego-Oakland at 10:15 p.m., Twitter, Facebook, Google+, Sulia and any other site within reach of fans could explode.
Berman will be teamed with Trent Dilfer who has been the analyst for the late Week 1 doubleheader game since 2010, paired with Brad Nessler. But with Nessler on NFL Network for 13 weeks, ESPN has chosen to go with the overbearing Berman for this year. If people thought the Mike Greenberg and Mike Golic experience was bad from 2007 through 2009, they had better be ready for 2012′s edition of the late night train wreck.
So from ESPN Front Row, here’s a listing of the announcers for the Week 1 Monday Night Football late game since the doubleheaders began in 2006.
ESPN’s Season-Opening MNF Doubleheader Commentator Teams (2006-present):
|2006||San Diego Chargers at Oakland Raiders||Brad Nessler, Ron Jaworski and Dick Vermeil|
|2007||Arizona Cardinals at San Francisco 49ers||Mike Greenberg, Mike Golic and Mike Ditka|
|2008||Denver Broncos at Oakland Raiders||Greenberg, Golic and Ditka|
|2009||San Diego Chargers at Oakland Raiders||Greenberg, Golic and Steve Young|
|2010||San Diego Chargers at Kansas City Chiefs||Nessler and Trent Dilfer|
|2011||Oakland Raiders at Denver Broncos||Nessler and Dilfer|
|2012||San Diego Chargers at Oakland Raiders||Chris Berman and Dilfer|
If it were up to me, I’d use one of ESPN’s college football primetime teams. Why not have Brent Musburger, Kirk Herbstreit and Erin Andrews do the late night game? Brent has an NFL background from his days at CBS and also hosted Monday Night Football for a year. Kirk has seen many of the players before. And Brent could give us a betting line reference. It would be so fun.
But as I get back to reality and realize Chris Berman will call the game, I will be watching only for the potential train wreck value. I know my friends at ESPN PR won’t like that, but they have to know how polarizing Berman can be.
UPDATE, 10:18 a.m.: Just as I hit “Publish”, ESPN comes through with the press release. Here it is.
Six-time National Sportscaster of the Year Chris Berman has been the face of ESPN’s NFL coverage for nearly three decades.
The 2012 season will be Berman’s 28th as host of Sunday NFL Countdown. He’s also hosted ESPN’s NFL Draft and Super Bowl week coverage, and he continues to emcee the Pro Football Hall of Fame’s annual enshrinement ceremony in Canton, Ohio.
In fact, Berman himself was inducted into the Hall of Fame as the Pete Rozelle Radio-TV Award recipient in 2010.
But this coming NFL season, Berman will try something he’s never done before … call an NFL game.
He and analyst Trent Dilfer have been assigned to the booth for the San Diego Chargers-Oakland Raiders game as part of ESPN’s season-opening Monday Night Football doubleheader on September 10.
Berman will host the three-hour Countdown in Bristol on the opening NFL Sunday. After the show, he’ll fly cross country for this AFC West rivalry game the next night (10:15 p.m. ET). The west coast game will follow the Cincinnati Bengals-Baltimore Ravens opener, which will be called by the regular MNF team of Mike Tirico and Jon Gruden (7 p.m.).
In preparation for the assignment, Berman and Dilfer will also call the Arizona Cardinals-Tennessee Titans MNF preseason game on Aug. 23 (8 p.m.).
“I have worked with Boom for four years now and I’ve never been around someone who loves the NFL more than him,” said Dilfer. “I firmly believe that his passion and mine for the game of football will translate to the audience.”
That will be it.
Let’s do some links on a rainy Monday in Southern New England.
Michael Hiestand of USA Today looks at NFL Network’s new morning show.
Michael says ESPN has not confirmed whether Chris Berman will call a Monday Night Football game on the opening weekend of the season.
John Ourand of Sports Business Journal reports that CBS is about 80% sold for the Super Bowl.
Terry Lefton of Sports Business Journal says Pepsi has signed a deal to sponsor the Super Bowl halftime show.
Mike Ozanian of Forbes notes that the Miami Heat is on the verge of getting a huge deal with Fox Sports Florida.
Former ESPN First Take co-host Dana Jacobsen writes in her blog that she was molested as a child. Courageous for her to speak publicly about this.
Scott Roxborough and Stuart Kemp of the Hollywood Reporter note that yesterday’s Italy-England EURO 2012 Quarterfinal game became the highest-rated and most watched game of the tournament in Europe.
Mike Reynolds from Multichannel News looks at ESPN going all in at Wimbledon.
Rich Thomaselli of Advertising Age wonders now that LeBron James has won a championship, will he reach Michael Jordan levels in marketing?
Staci D. Kramer of paidContent says ESPN’s streaming of the NBA Finals drew a decent audience.
Ed Sherman from the Sherman Report writes that sportswriter Frank Deford will appear on tonight’s Colbert Report.
The Big Lead looks at alleged bias by the HBO Boxing crew from the Manny Pacquaio-Timothy Bradley fight.
Matt Yoder of Awful Announcing reviews the train wreck that was Charlie Sheen’s guest appearance on Fox Saturday.
Matt analyzes the moves by CBS and NBC to create their own sports radio networks.
Dylan Murphy at SportsGrid says a French soccer player cursed out a reporter after the team’s loss at EURO 2012 last week.
Also from SportsGrid, Dan Fogarty notes that Oprah Winfrey will interview LeBron James and the Miami Heat this weekend which has train wreck potential written all over it.
Evan Weiner at Examiner.com writes that the NFL has a long way to go to get a foothold in Europe.
Newsday’s Neil Best talks with some of the people who have worked at WFAN during its past 25 years.
The New York Post’s Phil Mushnick says college presidents’ pleas to pray for the Jerry Sandusky abuse victims ring hollow. Did Phil want them to go to Jerry Sandusky’s jail cell and shoot him dead?
And Phil goes after his favorite target, WFAN’s Mike Francesa.
Jerry Barmash at Fishbowl NY talks with WFAN Operations Manager Mark Chernoff about the nation’s oldest radio station turning 25.
Jerry says a 1010 WINS sports anchor wants to go after those who mispronounce “Wimbledon”.
Bob’s Blitz has the WFAN 25th Anniversary lineup for this Sunday.
Ken McMillan of the Middletown (NY) Times Herald-Record says a New York-Penn League minor league baseball team won’t have a radio partner this year.
Greg Connors of the Buffalo News talks with Jim Rome about his CBS Sports Network show.
Jim Williams of the Washington Examiner notes that ESPN will be providing a lot of tennis action over the next fortnight.
At Chicago Sports Media Watch, Paul M. Banks talks with Danica Patrick about her transition from IndyCar to NASCAR.
Dusty Saunders at the Denver Post writes about ESPN’s extensive Wimbledon coverage.
Tom Hoffarth from the Los Angeles Daily News has the sports calendar for this week.
Brent Schrotenboer of the San Diego Union-Tribune says all of San Diego State’s football games will be seen on TV, the question is where?
Bruce Dowbiggin at the Toronto Globe and Mail suggests that the NHL expand Hockey Night in Canada to Sundays.
Raju Mudhar with the Toronto Star writes about technology and sports melding together.
At Frontstretch, Amy Henderson writes that TV is actually hurting NASCAR and turning fans off.
Back to Paul M. Banks at the Sports Bank and he has video of ESPN’s Jenn Brown taking batting practice at the College World Series.
MediaRantz reviews WFAN at 25.
MediaRantz says noted Florida sports radio bad boy Dan Sileo could be headed to the new CBS Sports Radio.
Steve Lepore of Puck The Media says NBC’s shuffle of the NHL Draft wasn’t great, but it wasn’t the worst thing in the world.
Sports Media Watch says the NBA Finals’ ratings were down from last year.
SMW writes that MLB on Fox took a hit opposite the U.S. Open.
But SMW says this past weekend, MLB on Fox did significantly better.
Jeff Eisenberg of Yahoo’s The Dagger blog writes that ESPN expects to replace analyst Hubert Davis with Jalen Rose on College GameDay.
Paul Magno at Yahoo says boxing may return to network TV as Oscar de la Hoya tries to bring a fight to CBS.
Kris Hughes at Rant Sports asks if Time Warner Cable could purchase the Longhorn Network from ESPN?
Gaslamp Ball talks with the head of Fox Sports San Diego.
And that will do us for today.
Ok, as we’re all in denial over the Miami Heat winning the NBA Championship, it’s time for a few sports media thoughts. Too many things to go over, but I’ll do my best to cover as many things as I can.
As always, we do them in bullet form. And to drown out the thoughts of LeBron James celebrating, I’m listening to Korn on my iPad at the highest volume.
- Over 24 hours since first learning about Darren Rovell’s decision to leave CNBC for ESPN and I’m still baffled. Now, over all the sports media free agents I’ve mentioned or heard about for 2012, Darren’s name never came up. Darren who started his career at ESPN and left for CNBC in 2006 seemed to be happy with the NBCUniversal, having his own show on NBC Sports Network, his own CNBC site, and occasional appearances on NBC Sports events.
But when the Worldwide Leader comes a’calling, you have to listen. Deadspin reported Thursday that Disney will pay Rovell $500,000 to file reports for both ABC News and ESPN.
I don’t know if he’ll have his own show as he did with NBC Sports Network, I tend to doubt it. But the timing is rather interesting. Just after getting the sports business show that he had been clamoring, Darren leaves.
And as we know, Darren is a prolific tweeter. Will his penchant for Twitter be controlled under ESPN’s social media policy? I’m sure this will all be addressed down the line.
- CBS Radio’s announcement that it was launching a sports radio network came as a surprise. The timing came just ten days after NBC announced it was launching a radio network of its own.
This makes an already crowded radio scene even more so. Considering you have ESPN which has been firmly established since the 1990′s, Fox Sports Radio, Yahoo and even the Sports USA Radio Network, one wonders if there’s enough room for one more national radio net let alone two.
Personally, I love to see more networks because competition can only lead to better programming, however, economic realities tell you that one of these fledgling entities may not make it.
The eyeball test from the outset shows that CBS has the best infrastructure having already established sports stations in several major markets that will be part of CBS Sports Radio. Plus teaming with Cumulus Media’s 67 stations cross the country helps the reach.
As for NBC, it’s just getting back into the radio business after General Electric had sold the Radio Network to Westwood One and its entire radio station group to various owners. It will partner with the former Westwood One now known as Dial Global.
The question is whether this will lead to a bidding war for sports properties. ESPN Radio has the BCS, MLB and the NBA while Dial Global has the NFL, NCAA Championships and The Masters.
Suddenly radio is red hot once again and I like it. And as SportsbyBrooks pointed out, it could lead to more poaching of ESPN talent by CBS and NBC to fill programming slots.
- I was disappointed to learn that Radio Wimbledon will not be handling the worldwide audio play-by-play of the Championships Wimbledon starting next week.
Last October, Wimbledon’s parent, the All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club accepted a bid from IMG to take over the radio rights to call the matches. The new entity called Live@Wimbledon will be using some, but not all of Radio Wimbledon’s team. Over the years, Radio Wimbledon had been the only link to live tennis when NBC was pulling its tape delay shenanigans. Unfortunately, despite Radio Wimby attracting 2.7 million listeners in 2011, the AELTC decided to take IMG’s money and ruin a very good service for the fortnight.
Radio Wimbledon will be missed.
- As Sports Business Journal reported this week, Fox Sports has begun talks with NASCAR in hopes of extending its current contract. It expires in 2014.
As Fox has been successful in obtaining rights to the FIFA World Cup, Big 12 and Pac-12, the thinking behind many of these acquisitions has been to play keep away from NBC Sports Group. You know that with NASCAR rights in play, NBC Sports would love nothing more than to add inventory to NBCSN.
If Fox is successful, it leaves only TNT’s mid-season Sprint Cup races and ESPN’s Chase for the Cup races being up for grabs. And both Turner and ESPN want to prevent NBC from grabbing their packages.
With MLB, NASCAR, the Big East and the NBA negotiations all unsettled thus far, NBC still has a chance to lure one if not all to its war chest.
- Lastly, the aforementioned SportsbyBrooks tweeted that Chris Berman will call the late game for Monday Night Football’s season opening doubleheader on September 10. And in addition, he’ll call one preseason game as practice. If you thought the venom towards Berman is bad when he calls the U.S. Open or the All-Star Home Run Derby, just wait until he does the NFL. It’s probably best that ESPN public relations stay off social media on the nights Berman calls the NFL.
And that will conclude the thoughts. Enjoy your Friday.
As I continue to be busy with family commitments this week, I continue with the guest columns. I’ll have some of my own original content throughout the week, look for that.
On this second day of guest columns, I provide this from Michael Schottey, the Associate NFL Editor of the Bleacher Report. Michael is none too thrilled about the analysis coming from the networks.
This past fall, the worst of NFL broadcasting was on display during Week 11. For months, the “Wide Nine” defense had been ubiquitous as the Philadelphia Eagles floundered and the Detroit Lions excelled running a defense that, if you believe announcers, is full of crazy and novel concepts.
Then, in Week 11, FOX used Brian Billick (a former coach and NFL offensive mastermind) to explain the “Wide Nine” defense. Just as Billick started to move toward his chalkboard, the producers thought it would be funny if they fast forwarded to show viewers how much content they were missing because FOX doesn’t think they actually deserve analysis.
That was it. It was over.
The video, posted by Fox on YouTube, has not amassed 2,000 views in the months since it first aired. There was no encouragement to “see more” by going on Fox’s website. Viewers were literally left with the inference that “this Xs and Os nonsense is just too hard for you common folk. Why try to explain what you plebeians will certainly never understand.
The Pregame Circus
Of course, nothing speaks to the pandering of network coverage like the pregame show. Too often, the sets are packed with former players and/or coaches who offer little-to-nothing in terms of analysis. The player or coach is either too raw as a broadcaster (see Sapp, Warren; Irvin, Michael or Cowher, Bill) or, perhaps worse, the experienced broadcasters turn into sideshows rather than substance. Just imagine a world where Deion Sanders, Terry Bradshaw or Michael Strahan actually delved into something other than schtick for more than five minutes every Sunday.
ESPN might be the worst offender of pregame shenanigans — not because their show is the worst (though, Berman critics might agree there) but because they have a solid analysis show that it chooses to run at 3 a.m. on Sunday!
NFL Matchup features Merril Hoge, Sal Paolantonio and Ron Jaworski and has actually been around since 1984 when Steve Sabol of NFL films manned the telestrator. Most fans under the age of 30 have no idea Matchup even exists because it’s hidden in the recesses of late-night TV. Yet, for those that catch the broadcast (or the 7:30am re-run, or know to DVR it), it showcases a treasure trove of knowledge.
Take that 30 minutes of Xs and Os glory and compare that to the crud on a typical pregame show. Networks would rather shove Tim Tebow down your throat for the 1,000th time than actually take 5 minutes to describe how Tebow managed to win games as a Bronco. Listening to the broadcast (both pregame and in-game) Tebow was some magician that “just wins games.” In reality, Tebow was able to take advantage of a simple numbers game on offense (because he was a run/pass threat) and ball control helped rest the Broncos’ defense.
ESPN might showcase the biggest gap from what they do to what they are capable of, but the other networks aren’t much better. The entire gamut of pregame shows is storyline and personality driven. While that isn’t necessarily a bad thing, balance would be nice. Ironically, NBC’s Football Night in America probably has the best on-air analyst in Tony Dungy. However, because highlights packages, injury news, and updates (naturally) take the majority of the time on Sunday night, Dungy and Rodney Harrison have less time to do their thing.
Misinformation and the Time Crunch
While pregame shows have no excuse, game broadcasts can at least claim that they don’t have the time or the ability to offer anything but the basest of between plays. As offenses move faster, it is easier to simply say, “so-and-so missed the pass” when that rarely might be the case.
I broke my teeth in sports as a color commentator (and later play-by-play) for a small Division III school in Minnesota. As little as I was able to catch by breath during those broadcasts, NFL commentators have so much more to deal with. It isn’t just the offenses pushing the envelope, producers cram as much as they can into a telecast while advertisers want their products plugged as well.
The broadcast format does the viewer no favors as well. TV executives have decided (wisely) that the average NFL fan will follow the ball on any given play. Unless that safety or backside receiver is your cousin (or on your fantasy team), most fans don’t care about him. Because of that, TV angles focus tightly on the ball. However, much is lost in what cannot be seen on TV.
With complex option routes and extensive audible systems, many mistakes on the football field can’t be simplified to “so-and-so threw the ball poorly” or “so-and-so didn’t run the right route.” More often, the quarterback and receiver saw the same thing but reacted in different ways. The quarterback, looking at an safety’s shade can be thinking slant, while the receiver–noticing a stutter in the cornerback’s stride–is thinking he can beat his man deep. Both reactions are completely valid within the framework of the play, but neither explanation is often proffered.
Broadcasts often leave viewers with the idea that a small number of players are either superstars or bums and the rest of the field doesn’t really matter.
In real NFL terms, nothing could be farther from the truth, but there simply isn’t time (or effort) to break the finer points of the game down immediately. The far greater sin is the cookie-cutter answers given by color commentators who should be better. Troy Aikman, Phil Simms and Dan Fouts have all forgotten more football than many of us will ever know, but all are guilty of giving simplistic analysis to complicated situations. At best, it’s lazy. At worst, it’s disingenuous.
So, What’s the Solution?
I’ve already mentioned Dungy and Harrison as a pairing that gets the pregame Xs and Os right (or, as right as they reasonably can.) Mike Mayock is another guy that, pregame or in-game, is either on-the-money with analysis or keeps his mouth shut rather than filling dead air with something he isn’t sure about or just isn’t true.
Kevin Harlan and Rich Gannon have emerged as a surprising pairing that works. Harlan, not truly an “NFL guy” is a capable play-by-play voice who can carry an exchange while Gannon, often deliberately, works through what happened on the field.
Billick and John Lynch have both, at times, come through with interesting commentary, from both their knowledge of the game and their experience. While not every former player or coach makes the transition into capable commentator, these two have. Billick is more polished than Lynch at this stage of the game, but both clearly have a future.
Fox has made the most inventive stride recently, with the addition of Mike Pereira to every broadcast as a rules analysts. From his perch at Fox, Pereira can bring insight and expertise that no other network has access to. As networks struggle to fill space during lengthy challenges, Fox has found a way to make it one of the highlights of their broadcast. No rambling, no ill-informed guessing, just the fact, maam, and Pereira is becoming a star because of how effective he’s been.
Sadly, the biggest broadcast each week–Monday Night Football–is probably the biggest offender when it comes to this issue. A pregame and halftime show driven by Berman and a broadcast that has pushed Jaws out of the booth to make room for Jon Gruden’s personality is never going to be as informative as a true diehard fan would want. (Or, ironically, as entertaining as ESPN producers think it is.)
So, this is the NFL, so this column can’t end with an impassioned plea to turn off the TV (although muting may be, at times, wise.) Instead, simply make your voices heard. Compliment announcers, commentators, producers and networks when you see something done right. In a social media-driven world, perhaps we can convince someone that less hot air and more cold hard facts is what the viewers really want.
Michael Schottey is an NFL Associate Editor for Bleacher Report (managing NFC and National NFL writers) and an award-winning member of the Pro Football Writers of America. Born and raised in Michigan, Michael got his start in sports on Minnesota radio covering the Vikings as well as the other pro sports teams in Minneapolis. He now lives in Florida with his wife, 2-year-old son and is expecting another son shortly.
Some very good points from Michael. More guest columns coming up over the next few days.
Time for some linkage again.
Starting with Sports Business Daily which gauges media reaction to last night’s extravagant NFL regular season schedule release on both ESPN and NFL Network.
Mike Reynolds from Multichannel News reviews both the Monday Night and expanded Thursday Night Football schedules.
Ed Sherman at the Sherman Report has your potential hits and misses in the 2012 NFL regular season schedule for all of the league’s TV partners.
Dan Levy of the Bleacher Report talks with Sports Illustrated’s Richard Deitsch about Skippy Bayless, ESPN’s free agents and Twitter.
Michael Hiestand of USA Today notes that NBC is now going all in to provide a live online Olympic experience.
Mike McCarthy at USA Today says the NFL Schedule Release Shows on ESPN and NFL Network filled fans’ thirst for football news.
Jenna Fryer of the Associated Press says thanks to a NASCAR-less Sunday, IndyCar’s race on NBC Sports Network got a ratings bump.
Stuart Kemp and George Szalai of the Hollywood Reporter says London is hoping to build buzz for the XXX Olympic Summer Games in the days leading up to the Opening Ceremony.
John Eggerton of Broadcasting & Cable notes the FCC is appealing to the Supreme Court, the ruling from a lower court throwing out its decency complaint over CBS’ airing of Janet Jackson’s nekkid boob during Super Bowl XXXVIII.
Sarah Mahoney of MediaPost’s Marketing Daily says advertisers are jumping on the Olympics 100 Day Countdown.
Michael Bradley at the Indiana University National Sports Journalism Center writes that cable provider Comcast is proving to be a very good broadcast competitor.
Jason McIntyre of the Big Lead says a lawsuit brought forth by a former ESPN.com writer against New York Post NBA big mouth Peter Vescey has been settled out of court.
Dan Fogarty of SportsGrid talks with ESPN’s Michelle Beadle about what her next move is.
Ken Kerschbaumer at Sports Video Group notes that NBCOlympics has tapped AT&T to manage private networking systems for the London Summer Games.
Zac Wassink in Yahoo! says MLS on NBC Sports Network is doing decently in the ratings.
Chad Finn of the Boston Globe has the local sports radio ratings and CBS Radio continues to be on top.
Richard Sandomir of the New York Times says NBC will stream all Olympic events live online, but there’s a bit of a catch.
Richard says the NBA is looking at allowing jersey sponsorships.
Jerry Barmash of Fishbowl NY notes the passing of a former Yankees, Islanders and Nets radio announcer.
Ken Schott at the Schenectady Gazette notes the good ratings for the NHL on NBC.
Ken McMillan of the Middletown (NY) Times Herald-Record has a viewing primer for the upcoming NFL season.
Keith Groller at the Allentown (PA) Morning Call discusses and dissects NBC’s Sunday Night Football schedule.
Keith says the NHL’s Battle of Pennsylvania is drawing big ratings in the Keystone State.
Jonathan Tannenwald of Philly.com’s Goalkeeper blog says a Spanish League soccer game on ESPN2 beat MLS on NBC Sports Network in the ratings last weekend.
Dan Steinberg at the Washington Post’s DC Sports Bog has pictorial proof of the Space Shuttle Discovery passing various local sports venues on its last flight to the Smithsonian yesterday.
Tom Robinson at the Virginian-Pilot reports that the United Football League could have a TV contract with CBS Sports Network.
Barry Horn of the Dallas Morning News says the Texas Rangers’ ratings on Fox Sports Southwest are way up this season.
Mike Bailey of the Houston Chronicle talks with a local golfer who took part in the upcoming season of Golf Channel’s Big Break reality show.
Mel Bracht in The Oklahoman says a local sports radio show moves from middays to afternoon drive.
Mel has the local weekend TV ratings.
Berry Tremel of The Oklahoman writes that NBC’s Sunday Night Football is the NFL’s premier TV package.
John Kiesewetter of the Cincinnati Enquirer remembers a former NBA announcer.
Bill Shea at Crain’s Detroit Business says the Tigers are looking at a big payday for their TV rights.
Robert Channick in the Chicago Tribune profiles Comcast SportsNet Chicago head man Jim Corno.
Eric Goodman at Mile High Sports feels he wasted three hours of his life watching ESPN’s NFL regular season schedule release special.
Sarah McLellan of the Arizona Republic says Phoenix Coyotes TV analyst Tyson Nash is feeling the wrath of Chicago Blackhawks fans for comments he made about a hit on ‘Hawks star Marian Hossa.
Tom Hoffarth of the Los Angeles Daily News mourns the passing of a former Kings radio voice.
Tom Cheredar of Venture Beat talks about NBC’s extensive plans to stream the Olympics online.
Sports Media Watch notes the rise of NHL ratings for a couple of regional sports networks.
SMW talks about CBS passing on broadcasting this upcoming season’s Pro Bowl.
Steve Lepore of Puck The Media says NBC may air both Bruins-Capitals NHL Playoffs games this weekend.
Joe Favorito says sometimes, it’s a little idea at a major network that could catch fire elsewhere.
And that is all for now.
ESPN has an 17 game schedule and it’ll kick it off with an opening week doubleheader as it has since obtaining the MNF contract. And it’ll be an AFC doubleheader with the Cincinnati Bengals squaring off against the Baltimore Ravens and the San Diego Chargers battling the Oakland Raiders in the nightcap.
Then ESPN has Peyton Manning’s second consecutive primetime game for Week 2 as the Denver Broncos travel to the Georgia Dome to take on the Atlanta Falcons.
In Week 4, MNF will have the Dallas Cowboys traveling to Soldier Field to face the Chicago Bears. In Week 11, the Bears go against the San Francisco 49ers at Candlestick Park.
In Week 16, ESPN’s game between Atlanta and Detroit will air on Saturday night, December 22 as Christmas falls on a Monday this year.
Monday Night Football has a tweaked broadcast lineup with Mike Tirico, Jon Gruden and Lisa Salters for this season. Here’s the ESPN press release.
AFC Bengals-Ravens, Chargers-Raiders Division Matchups in Season-Opening Doubleheader on Sept. 10
- Appearances by both Super Bowl teams – New York Giants at Washington (Dec. 3); and New England Patriots vs. Houston Texans (Dec. 10);
- Chicago Bears lead all NFL teams with three MNF appearances. Eight teams (49ers, Broncos, Chargers, Eagles, Falcons, Jets, Lions and Texans) have two appearances each;
- Six of 17 MNF games involve divisional matchups.
The 43rd season of Monday Night Football will kick off on ESPN with a doubleheader Monday, September 10 –Cincinnati Bengals at Baltimore Ravens (7 p.m. ET) and San Diego Chargers at Oakland Raiders (10:15 p.m. / 7:15 p.m. PT) -– and will continue with a total of 17 prime-time games. Following a season that delivered 14 of the 20 biggest cable household audiences of the year, ESPN’s MNF schedule will feature all 12 playoff teams from 2011, including both the defending Super Bowl champion New York Giants and AFC champion New England Patriots.
Andy Dalton and the Bengals, who returned to the AFC playoffs last year, open the season against Ray Lewis and the division rival Ravens in Baltimore in the first game of ESPN’s nationally televised week 1 doubleheader.
The Ravens won the AFC North in 2011 and advanced to last year’s conference championship. In the second game, Philip Rivers and the Chargers play Carson Palmer and the Raiders in Oakland in a matchup of longtime AFC West foes.
Play-by-play commentator Mike Tirico, analyst Jon Gruden and recently named sideline reporter Lisa Salters will call the Bengals-Ravens opener, and the MNF games each week at 8:30 p.m. ESPN Deportes, ESPN’s 24-hour Spanish-language domestic sports network, will continue to offer a Spanish-language production of MNF games during the 2012 NFL season. Additional MNF“game around the game” content will be available throughout the day across ESPN’s multimedia platforms.
September: Peyton Manning Returns to MNF in Week 2
- Sept. 10: Season-opening doubleheader – Bengals at Ravens and Chargers at Raiders in a pair of AFC divisional matchups;
- Sept. 17: Peyton Manning and the new look Denver Broncos travel to Atlanta to play Matt Ryan and the Atlanta Falcons. The AFC West champions extend the NFL’s longest current streak of 21 consecutive seasons playing on MNF (1992-present);
- Sept. 24: NFL MVP Aaron Rodgers and the NFC North champion Green Bay Packers travel west to face former Packers back-up quarterback Matt Flynn and the Seattle Seahawks.
October: Bears-Cowboys NFC Showdown in ‘Big D’
- Oct. 1: NFC contenders collide in Texas as Jay Cutler and the Chicago Bears tackle Tony Romo and the Dallas Cowboys;
- Oct. 8: Matt Schaub and the AFC South champion Houston Texans try to take a bite out of Mark Sanchez and the New York Jets in the Big Apple;
- Oct. 15: Elite quarterbacks Peyton Manning and Philip Rivers will be on display when the Broncos travel to San Diego to play the Chargers;
- Oct. 22: It’s an old fashioned NFC North grudge match when Calvin Johnson and the Detroit Lions go head-to-head with Cutler and the Bears in the Windy City, a rematch of one of MNF’s most exciting games in 2011;
- Oct. 29: In an NFC West duel in the desert, Larry Fitzgerald and the Arizona Cardinals host Alex Smith and the division champion San Francisco 49ers.
November: Vick and Eagles Look to Take Flight with Two MNF< Games
- Nov. 5: On the eve of the U.S. presidential election, MNF will be declared a winner when Drew Brees and the NFC South champion New Orleans Saints host Michael Vick and the Philadelphia Eagles at the home of Super Bowl XLVII;
- Nov. 12: Ben Roethlisberger and the Pittsburgh Steelers play host to Jamaal Charles and the Kansas City Chiefs. As extra motivation, former Chiefs head coach Todd Haley, now the Steelers offensive coordinator, will face his former team;
- Nov. 19: In the 34th MNF game played at Candlestick Park (most among all NFL stadiums), Frank Gore and the 49ers host Matt Forte and the Bears in a matchup of tradition-rich NFC franchises;
- Nov. 26: Thanksgiving weekend concludes with a feast of electrifying quarterbacks as 2011 NFL Rookie of the Year Cam Newton makes his MNF debut for the Carolina Panthers against Vick and the high-flying Eagles in Philadelphia.
December: Super Bowl Teams in Back-to-Back Weeks; Falcons-Lions Season-Finale in Motown:
- Dec. 3: Super Bowl MVP Eli Manning and the world champion New York Giants face NFC East rival Washington Redskins in the Nation’s Capital. Washington won both games in 2011;
- Dec. 10: In a matchup of AFC playoff teams from last season, Schaub and the Texans battle Tom Brady and the AFC champion New England Patriots in Foxboro;
- Dec. 17: Sanchez and the Jets fly into Nashville to try to ground Chris Johnson and the Tennessee Titans;
- Dec. 22 (Sat.): Last season’s NFC Wild Card teams, Atlanta and Detroit, look to be in the playoff hunt again as Ryan and the Falcons face Matthew Stafford and the Lions in the MNF season finale in Motown. (Note: The game will be played on Saturday in prime time due to the Christmas holiday).
ESPN’s Monday Night Football
ESPN’s Monday Night Football is the most-watched series in cable television history. In six seasons on ESPN, MNF has registered seven of the top 10 all-time biggest household audiences in cable history. For the 2011 season, ESPN’s MNF delivered 14 of the 20 biggest household audiences (and 13 of the top 20 among viewers) for cable television in 2011, averaging a 9.7 rating (8.4 US rating) and 9,589,000 homes (13,252,000 viewers).
ESPN’s 2012 Monday Night Football Schedule
Date Time (ET) Teams Aug. 9 8 p.m. Green Bay Packers at San Diego Chargers Aug. 13 8 p.m. Dallas Cowboys at Oakland Raiders Aug. 20 8 p.m. Philadelphia Eagles at New England Patriots Aug. 23 8 p.m. Arizona Cardinals at Tennessee Titans
Sept. 10 7 p.m. Cincinnati Bengals at Baltimore Ravens 10:15 p.m. San Diego Chargers at Oakland Raiders Sept. 17 8:30 p.m. Denver Broncos at Atlanta Falcons Sept. 24 8:30 p.m. Green Bay Packers at Seattle Seahawks Oct. 1 8:30 p.m. Chicago Bears at Dallas Cowboys Oct. 8 8:30 p.m. Houston Texans at New York Jets Oct. 15 8:30 p.m. Denver Broncos at San Diego Chargers Oct. 22 8:30 p.m. Detroit Lions at Chicago Bears Oct. 29 8:30 p.m. San Francisco 49ers at Arizona Cardinals Nov. 5 8:30 p.m. Philadelphia Eagles at New Orleans Saints Nov. 12 8:30 p.m. Kansas City Chiefs at Pittsburgh Steelers Nov. 19 8:30 p.m. Chicago Bears at San Francisco 49ers Nov. 26 8:30 p.m. Carolina Panthers at Philadelphia Eagles Dec. 3 8:30 p.m. New York Giants at Washington Redskins Dec. 10 8:30 p.m. Houston Texans at New England Patriots Dec. 17 8:30 p.m. New York Jets at Tennessee Titans Dec. 22 (Sat.) 8:30 p.m. Atlanta Falcons vs. Detroit Lions
We’ll have NFL Network’s Thursday Night Football schedule next.
This was compiled by the fine people at ESPN. Here’s the list of Monday Night Football announcing teams dating back to when the series began on ABC in 1970. Since ESPN took over production in 1998, there has been a lot of upheaval in the announcing teams and you’ll notice this especially since the series moved to ESPN in 2006.
Year Commentators 1970 Keith Jackson, Howard Cosell, Don Meredith 1971 Frank Gifford, Howard Cosell, Don Meredith 1972 Frank Gifford, Howard Cosell, Don Meredith 1973 Frank Gifford, Howard Cosell, Don Meredith 1974 Frank Gifford, Howard Cosell, Don Meredith, Fred Williamson 1975 Frank Gifford, Howard Cosell, Alex Karras 1976 Frank Gifford, Howard Cosell, Alex Karras 1977 Frank Gifford, Howard Cosell, Don Meredith 1978 Frank Gifford, Howard Cosell, Don Meredith 1979 Frank Gifford, Howard Cosell, Don Meredith, Fran Tarkenton 1980 Frank Gifford, Howard Cosell, Don Meredith, Fran Tarkenton 1981 Frank Gifford, Howard Cosell, Don Meredith, Fran Tarkenton 1982 Frank Gifford, Howard Cosell, Don Meredith, Fran Tarkenton 1983 Frank Gifford, Howard Cosell, Don Meredith, O.J. Simpson 1984 Frank Gifford, Don Meredith, O.J. Simpson 1985 Frank Gifford, O.J. Simpson, Joe Namath 1986 Al Michaels, Frank Gifford 1987 Al Michaels, Frank Gifford, Dan Dierdorf 1988 Al Michaels, Frank Gifford, Dan Dierdorf 1989 Al Michaels, Frank Gifford, Dan Dierdorf 1990 Al Michaels, Frank Gifford, Dan Dierdorf 1991 Al Michaels, Frank Gifford, Dan Dierdorf 1992 Al Michaels, Frank Gifford, Dan Dierdorf 1993 Al Michaels, Frank Gifford, Dan Dierdorf 1994 Al Michaels, Frank Gifford, Dan Dierdorf, Lynn Swann 1995 Al Michaels, Frank Gifford, Dan Dierdorf, Lynn Swann 1996 Al Michaels, Frank Gifford, Dan Dierdorf, Lynn Swann 1997 Al Michaels, Frank Gifford, Dan Dierdorf, Lesley Visser 1998 Al Michaels, Dan Dierdorf, Boomer Esiason, Lesley Visser 1999 Al Michaels, Boomer Esiason, Lesley Visser 2000 Al Michaels, Dan Fouts, Dennis Miller, Melissa Stark, Eric Dickerson 2001 Al Michaels, Dan Fouts, Dennis Miller, Melissa Stark, Eric Dickerson 2002 Al Michaels, John Madden, Melissa Stark 2003 Al Michaels, John Madden, Lisa Guerrero 2004 Al Michaels, John Madden, Michele Tafoya 2005 Al Michaels, John Madden, Michele Tafoya, Sam Ryan * 2006 Mike Tirico, Tony Kornheiser, Joe Theismann, Suzy Kolber, Michele Tafoya 2007 Mike Tirico, Tony Kornheiser, Ron Jaworski, Suzy Kolber, Michele Tafoya 2008 Mike Tirico, Tony Kornheiser, Ron Jaworski, Suzy Kolber, Michele Tafoya 2009 Mike Tirico, Jon Gruden, Ron Jaworski, Suzy Kolber, Michele Tafoya 2010 Mike Tirico, Jon Gruden, Ron Jaworski, Suzy Kolber, Michele Tafoya 2011 Mike Tirico, Jon Gruden, Ron Jaworski ** 2012 Mike Tirico, Jon Gruden, Lisa Salters
* Ryan filled in duringTafoya’s pregnancy/maternity leave
** Rotation of reporters (Kolber, Nichols, Nix, Paolantonio, Werder)
ABC – 1970-2005; ESPN – 2006-present
Just announced by ESPN today, Lisa Salters will become the new sideline reporter for Monday Night Football for the 2012 season.
She replaces the rotation of reporters last season that included the disastrous debut of John Sutcliffe during the Pittsburgh Steelers-San Francisco 49ers game that experienced a transformer explosion and subsequent blackout of Candlestick Park.
Before the rotation began, ESPN had utilized Michele Tafoya and Suzy Kolber on the sidelines only to reduce their roles in 2009.
Now Lisa will take over the sideline reporting duties. She had previously been assigned to college football for both ABC and ESPN. Plus, Lisa has been courtside for the NBA and various college basketball games.
In addition, Lisa has been a reporter for ABC News and has done work on ESPN’s news magazine, E:60.
We have the press release from ESPN.
Lisa Salters, one of the lead reporters for ESPN on ABC’s NBA coverage, has been named the new sideline reporter for ESPN’s Monday Night Football. Salters will join play-by-play commentator Mike Tirico and analyst Jon Gruden on the weekly MNF game telecasts and provide live stadium reports during ESPN’s Monday afternoon studio shows throughout the NFL season.
One of ESPN’s most versatile and accomplished reporters, Salters has covered the NBA, college football and more since joining ESPN in 2000 from ABC News. She is a featured correspondent on the ESPN news magazine, E:60, a role which earned her both a Gracie Award from the Association for Women in Radio and Television for best feature in 2009, and a Sports Emmy nomination for the story “Ray of Hope” in 2008. She also traveled to Haiti for a powerful story on the U17 national women’s soccer team just months after the country was devastated by an earthquake in 2010.
Salters’ journalistic assignments have brought her to a number of major global sports events around the world, including the 2002 FIFA World Cup in Korea/Japan, the 2004 Olympic Games in Athens, Greece, and the 2006 Winter Olympics in Torino, Italy. She also covered sports-related stories for ESPN in and around U.S. Central Command in Qatar during the build-up to Operation Iraqi Freedom, and she traveled with SportsCenter in 2004 to Camp Arifjan, a U.S. Army base in Kuwait.
Before arriving at ESPN, Salters was a Los Angeles-based correspondent for ABC News (1995-2000), where she covered the O.J. Simpson civil and criminal trials among other major stories for World News Tonight with Peter Jennings and ABC News outlets. earlier in her career, she worked at WBAL-TV, the NBC affiliate in Baltimore, Md.
“Lisa’s experience covering the NBA and other major sports events, as well as her strength as an interviewer, make her ideally suited for the Monday Night Football sideline reporter role,” said John Wildhack, ESPN executive vice president, production. “She will be a tremendous addition to our MNF team with Mike and Jon, and to our overall NFL presentation.”
“The opportunity to work with Mike, Jon and the entire Monday Night Football crew on ESPN’s signature property is both humbling and exciting,” said Salters. “I have always admired MNF reporters like Suzy Kolber and Michele Tafoya, and I am determined to continue the standard of excellence they have established in this role.”
Salters worked previously with both Tirico and Gruden, most recently on the 2012 Orange Bowl college football telecast.
A year ago, ESPN used a rotation of sideline reporters on its MNF games.
And I have one more post next.
ESPN will air four preseason games in August, two on Thursdays and the other two on its natural Monday Night. As we know, Ron Jaworski will no longer be in the Monday Night Football booth. It’ll be a two man affair starting on August 9 when the Green Bay Packers take on the San Diego Super Chargers as Mike Tirico and Jon Gruden will call the game.
All of ESPN’s games will take place at 8 p.m. ET.
Here’s ESPN’s press release.
ESPN will televise four NFL games as part of its 2012 Monday Night Football preseason schedule. Play-by-play commentator Mike Tirico and analyst Jon Gruden will call every game in anticipation of ESPN’s MNF regular-season opener on Monday, Sept. 10. All MNF preseason games will begin at 8 p.m. ET.
The season kicks off Thursday, August 9, when Aaron Rodgers and the NFC North champion Green Bay Packers travel to San Diego to face Philip Rivers and the Chargers at Qualcomm Stadium.
The ESPN crew then heads up the California coast four days later to the Bay Area when Carson Palmer and the Oakland Raiders host Tony Romo and the Dallas Cowboys on Monday, Aug. 13. The game will be a homecoming for Gruden, who served as head coach of the Raiders from 1998-2001.
On Monday, Aug. 20, Tom Brady and the AFC champion New England Patriots host Michael Vick and the Philadelphia Eagles at Gillette Stadium in Foxboro, Mass.
ESPN will conclude its preseason schedule when Larry Fitzgerald and the Arizona Cardinals face Chris Johnson and the Tennessee Titans at LP Field in Nashville on Thursday, August 23.
ESPN Deportes, ESPN’s 24-hour Spanish-language domestic sports network, will once again offer a Spanish-language production of MNF preseason and regular season games in 2012.
The 2012 ESPN MNF regular season schedule is expected to be announced in the coming weeks.
ESPN’s Monday Night Football 2012 NFL Preseason Schedule:
Date Time (ET) Game Thursday, Aug. 9 8 p.m. Green Bay Packers at San Diego Chargers Monday, Aug. 13 8 p.m. Dallas Cowboys at Oakland Raiders Monday, Aug. 20 8 p.m. Philadelphia Eagles at New England Patriots Thursday, Aug. 23 8 p.m. Arizona Cardinals at Tennessee Titans
Last week, I asked you to vote on which themes should be the “official” tunes for each sport. This was a fun post and it was linked from Sports Illustrated. I appreciate all of the votes. The polls are now closed so let’s take a look at the results. I’ll provide the number of votes, the percentages and the video that will become the “Official” Theme Song for each sport. Some of the results will not be surprising, others may be.
Here they are:
Total Votes: 765
Which Should Be The “Official” Theme For MLB?
|ESPN’s MLB Theme||381||50%|
|MLB on Fox||299||39%|
|ABC’s Monday Night Baseball||85||11%|
The winner: MLB on ESPN
Total Votes: 713
Which Theme Should Be The “Official” Song For College Football
|SEC on CBS||367||51%|
|Present ESPN Theme||243||34%|
|Old School ESPN Theme||103||14%|
The winner: SEC on CBS
Total Votes: 719
Which is Your Choice for “Official” Theme For College Basketball
|CBS/Turner March Madness||628||87%|
|ESPN College Basketball (1995-2001)||62||9%|
|NBC’s 1980′s Theme||29||4%|
The winner: CBS/Turner March Madness
Total Votes: 748
What Should Be the “Official” Theme of the NBA?
|NBA on NBC “Roundball Rock”||663||89%|
|NBA on TNT||48||6%|
|NBA on CBS||37||5%|
The runaway winner: Roundball Rock
Total Votes: 735
Your Choice for “Official” Theme of the NFL
|ESPN’s Monday Night Football “Heavy Action”||343||47%|
|NFL on Fox||225||31%|
|NBC’s Sunday Night Football||141||19%|
|NFL on CBS “Pots and Pans”||26||4%|
Our winner: Monday Night Football “Heavy Action”
While this remix is good, I prefer the ABC version used in the late 1980′s.
Total Votes: 479
Which Should Be The “Official” Theme For The NHL?
|NHL on ESPN||225||47%|
|Hockey Night in Canada/Hockey Theme||161||34%|
|The Hockey Song by Stompin’ Tom Connors||37||8%|
|NHL on NBC||36||8%|
|NHL on Fox||20||4%|
The Winner: NHL on ESPN over my wishes for Hockey Night in Canada, but the voters have spoken.
Total Votes: 295
Which Do You Like As the “Official” Theme for Tennis
|Wimbledon on NBC||175||59%|
|USA Network’s US Open Theme||99||34%|
|BBC Wimbledon Theme||21||7%|
The winner: Wimbledon on NBC
Total Votes: 315
What Should Be Our “Official” Theme For Sports Anthologies?
|ABC’s Wide World of Sports||240||76%|
|CBS Sports Spectacular||52||17%|
The overwhelming winner: ABC’s Wide World of Sports as it should be.
This was very enjoyable to do. I hope to do similar polls with you in the future.
Back to work for many of you. Let’s get some Monday links in.
Mike McCarthy at USA Today says the networks have missed a competitive Tiger Woods.
Tom Weir of USA Today adds that Cleveland Cavs owner Dan Gilbert has pulled his Quicken Loans ads from Rush Limbaugh’s radio show over a budding controversy.
The independent Gannett Blog notes that all of USA Today’s sports staffers have been told to reapply for their jobs as part of a newsroom reorganization. Oh, that’s nice.
At Forbes, Douglas Alden Warshaw says Comcast is going all in on sports and chronicles how it survived the loss of NBC Sports Emperor Dick Ebersol last year.
To Mashable where Sam Laird notes that ESPN is opening up its source code so developers can build apps around the Alleged Worldwide Leader’s sports information.
Michael Schottey at Bleacher Report says it’s time to end the archaic NFL blackout rules.
Nat Ives with Advertising Age writes that magazines like Sports Illustrated are finding at what price is best to bundle print and tablet subscriptions.
Also at AdAge, Brian Steinberg looks at NBC’s ad sales pitch for the London Olympics.
To Adweek where Anthony Crupi says car rental company Enterprise will ramp up a new March Madness spot for the NCAA Tournament.
Dan Daley at Sports Video Group says MLB Network is gearing up for this week’s Cleveland-Arizona telecast which will feature nearly real-time audio from the field.
Double G Sports interviews Friend of Fang’s Bites Jen Royle.
To Comcast SportsNet New England’s Tom Curran who says the Boston Globe treats the Red Sox and Patriots differently when it comes to their off-the-field business deals.
The New York Post’s Phil Mushnick says it may take civil action to finally put an end to bounties in the NFL.
Pete Dougherty of the Albany Times Union writes that the ratings for the final round of the Honda Classic were good.
From the New Jersey Newsroom, Evan Weiner writes that a U.S. Senator is seeking an end to NFL blackouts.
Kevin Callahan of the Cherry Hill (NJ) Courier-Post talks with ESPN’s Ron Jaworski about being booted out of the Monday Night Football booth.
Dan Steinberg at the Washington Post’s DC Sports Bog says ESPN’s Bram Weinstein is forever grateful to former Georgetown coach John Thompson.
Tom Jones at the Tampa Bay Times writes that a new sports radio talk show premieres today.
Tom also reviews the weekend in sports television.
Bob Wolfley of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel says the Green Bay Packers have changed flagship TV stations.
In Crain’s Chicago Business, Ed Sherman says local MLB teams are cashing in on huge rights fees, except for the Cubs and White Sox.
Dan Caesar of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch writes that the Cardinals have set their spring training radio schedule.
Dan says this week, Joe Buck is co-hosting a local radio show that could lead to a podcast or a nationally syndicated show.
Dusty Saunders at the Denver Post writes that quarterbacks help drive the NFL engine.
Tom Hoffarth of the Los Angeles Daily News has your sports calendar for this week.
Tom FitzGerald of the San Francisco Chronicle says NBC Sports Group will attempt to attract viewers to the 2013 America’s Cup.
Steve Ladurantaye of the Toronto Globe and Mail writes that Yahoo is considering a bid for the Canadian TV and online rights for the 2014/16 Olympics after two combined efforts by CBC/CTV were thrown by the International Olympic Committee for being too low.
Bruce Dowbiggin of the Globe and Mail wonders if CBC will pay a price with the NHL for Don Cherry’s candor on Coach’s Corner.
Damien Cox of the Toronto Star says Cherry’s criticisms of Maple Leafs GM Brian Burke are getting out of hand.
Joseph Hall at the Star says Cherry remains at odds with Burke.
Sports Media Watch says Tiger Woods helped drive the Honda Classic’s overnight ratings to a 10 year high.
SMW says North Carolina-Duke gave ESPN its highest college basketball overnight ratings in 3 years despite a blowout.
Steve Lepore at Puck The Media says the NHL on NBC’s overnight ratings continue on a steady upward trend.
And we’ll end the links there for today. Enjoy the rest of your Monday.
Since television began, theme songs have helped us to identify our favorite programs. This is certainly the case in sports where the theme for Monday Night Football, Sunday Night Football, Wide World of Sports, the Olympics, The Masters and others have become iconic.
I thought about writing a post on which themes should be the “official” one for each sport since Paulsen at Sports Media Watch suggested ESPN trade for NBC’s “Roundball Rock” which became so identifiable with the NBA in the 1990′s.
So in this post, I’m going to provide nominees for each sport from the various networks and have you vote on which one should be the “official” theme. Results will be released next Sunday.
Two examples of how themes are identified with sports. The Olympics on American television have been introduced with”Bugler’s Theme” composed by Leo Arnaud. Played originally on ABC’s coverage of the Olympics starting in 1968, it was purchased by NBC and used starting in 1992 all the way to the present.
Here’s Bugler’s Theme in its original version.
And this is the version used by NBC which is composed by John Williams combining “Bugler’s Theme” with “Olympic Fanfare” which was written for the 1984 Olympics in Los Angeles.
The Masters has its own theme that has been used on CBS and around the world. The theme’s name is “Augusta”.
Those are two examples of iconic sports theme tunes. Now let’s go through the nominees for each sport. There will be no more than three for each sport except for the NFL and NHL otherwise this post could get ridiculously long.
I have three nominees for Baseball.
This is ABC’s Monday Night Baseball theme from the late 1970′s and one of my all-time favorites.
Here’s the MLB on ESPN theme. This is the current incarnation.
And the MLB on Fox theme that was used from 1996 through 2010, then Fox decided to use its NFL theme for all sports.
CBS March Madness Theme recut for its partnership with Turner Sports.
NBC’s College Basketball Theme from the mid-1980′s. Yes, NBC once had college basketball, kids.
ESPN’s college basketball theme from 1995 through 2001.
The SEC on CBS theme first introduced for Super Bowl XXI and subsequently used on its college football coverage, first the old CFA package in the late 1980′s, brought back in 1996 when CBS came back into college football after losing the sport in the early 1990′s and has been used ever since.
ESPN’s present College Football theme.
ESPN’s old College Football theme used until 1999. I like this one better than the current theme.
Here’s the NBA on CBS theme used from 1982 until 1990 when it left the sport for good. This is a clean copy of its open utilized from 1982 through 1988. The black spots are for video and voiceover. One of my all-time favorites.
The current NBA on TNT theme as composed by Trevor Rabin.
And you can’t have an NBA theme poll without NBC’s Roundball Rock composed by John Tesh and considered by many as the best sports theme of all-time. I’m inclined to agree.
NATIONAL FOOTBALL LEAGUE
We have four choices, one for each network.
This is known as the NFL on CBS “Pots and Pans” theme that was used from 1986 through 1988. I’ve preferred this theme over the others have been utilized since. And ignore the quality of the video, just listen to the theme. And it was called “Pots and Pans” because some fans thought it sounded like pots and pans banging.
The NFL on Fox theme, now the music used for all sports, originally composed in 1994.
NBC’s Sunday Night Football theme composed by John Williams. We’re not using the “I’ve Been Waiting All Day For Sunday Night” sung by Faith Hill for obvious reasons. Someone put a compilation of the current themes together. I like it.
ESPN’s Monday Night Football Heavy Action theme.
I’ll do five here.
The NHL on ESPN theme that was used through 2005.
How about the NHL on Fox theme that was used from 1995 through 1998? Here’s a compilation of the theme. You can still hear it on Fox Sports Net affiliates that carry the NHL locally.
Here’s the NHL on NBC theme that is currently being used. Different variation from its main theme, but you get the idea.
The Hockey Song by Stompin’ Tom Collins, probably the second most beloved hockey theme in Canada.
The old CBC Hockey Night in Canada theme which is now known as the Hockey Theme as it was purchased and now owned by TSN. Used since 1968.
We have three candidates for tennis.
The NBC Wimbledon theme which won’t be heard anymore as ESPN has the rights to the tournament.
When NBC was in the bad habit of tape delaying matches, I would find ways to watch BBC’s coverage which was always live. I got used to its Wimbledon theme and grew to like it.
And USA Network’s US Open theme music that we no longer hear unfortunately. Remember when USA actually had sports?
I don’t have a clean copy of ESPN’s tennis theme so the three we have will have to suffice.
Finally, we have the sports anthologies from the networks. This should be quite interesting to get your take. Anthology shows would put together various different events in one show, like track & field, barrel jumping, tennis or diving. ABC’s Wide World of Sports was the first of its kind on American television and then the other networks followed until the anthologies went extinct.
First, from across the pond, BBC’s Grandstand which was one of the longest running sports series on television. This ran until 2007. These are various opens from the 1990′s. This theme is catchy.
Here’s the open from the CBS Sports Spectacular from 1979 using Emerson, Lake & Palmer.
NBC had SportsWorld in the 1970′s and 1980′s. I like this music.
And the original that started it all in the U.S., ABC’s Wide World of Sports. The voiceover is from the late Jim McKay. This open is from 1984.
And that is going to do it. Vote and leave your comments on any omissions below.
This week is going to be busy for me. I was cleaning out an office for most of the day and it looks like that will be on the agenda for the rest of the month. I’ll do my best to post what I can here. But just know that I may be scarce. I’ll do what I can to post breaking news when I can.
Let’s do some linkage.
Michael Hiestand of USA Today says the NBA on ESPN/ABC crew did not go overboard in covering Sunday’s Dallas-New York Knicks game.
Irving DeJohn and Helen Kennedy of the New York Daily News speak with the ESPN editor who lost his job over the Jeremy Lin headline slur that was seen on the network’s mobile site.
Ole Skaar and Helen Kennedy of the Daily News have Jeremy Lin forgiving and forgetting about the ESPN.com headline.
Ty Duffy from The Big Lead feels ESPNews anchor Max Bretos who was suspended for a month by the Alleged Worldwide Leader in reference to Jeremy Lin, got too harsh a punishment.
Richard Sandomir of the New York Times also writes about ESPN’s actions in the wake of the Jeremy Lin headline.
Adrian Wojnarowski at Yahoo has Lin appealing to the Taiwanese media to leave his relatives alone.
Patrick Burns at Deadspin has ESPN SportsCenter going way overboard in Jeremy Lin mentions last week. That’s not good at all.
Paul Bond of the Hollywood Reporter has Glen Beck going after ESPN and ABC for the Max Bretos suspension.
Mike Silva at Sports Media Watchdog feels ESPN overreacted.
Sports Illustrated’s Richard Deitsch interviews Yahoo’s Dan Wetzel and ESPN’s Michelle Beadle
Sports Business Journal’s John Ourand has the full joint statement from MSG Network and Time Warner Cable in regards to their agreement.
In this week’s SBJ issue, John writes that NBC Sports Network’s ratings are off to a slow start.
Mike Reynolds from Multichannel News says MSG Network will take viewers inside the World’s Most Famous Arena’s Phase I renovation.
Tim Nudd of Adweek writes that M&M’s won the YouTube 2012 Super Bowl Ad Blitz.
Rich Thomaselli of Advertising Age writes that sponsors are knocking on Jeremy Lin’s door, hoping he will endorse their products.
Ryan Berenz from Channel Guide magazine talks with CBS/Golf Channel’s David Feherty.
It’s no secret that the New York Post’s Phil Mushnick hates the WWE.
The New York Daily News’ Bob Raissman speculates that ESPN jettisoned Ron Jaworski from Monday Night Football in case Peyton Manning becomes available.
Thanks to Sports Radio Interviews for the link.
The Washington Examiner’s Jim Williams talks with TNT’s Shaquille O’Neal and ESPN’s Jon Barry about the Wizards.
Tom Jones of the Tampa Bay Times reviews the weekend in sports television.
Bob Wolfley of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel speaks with Frank Deford about his new memoir.
Dusty Saunders of the Denver Post notes the rise of Linsanity.
Tom Hoffarth at the Los Angeles Daily News has the sports schedule for this week.
Bruce Dowbiggin at the Toronto Globe and Mail explores the policy of NHL teams that allow reporters to fly on their private planes with the players.
Raju Mudhar of the Toronto Star looks at the ugly side of Linsanity.
Sports Media Watch notes the overnight ratings for the NASCAR Budweiser Shooting on Fox were up from last year.
SMW says the first half of NBC’s Hockey Day in America did well.
And that will do it.