Let’s do a notebook tonight, shall we? If I can’t do linkage and it always seems something gets in the way these days, I might as well do a notebook.
I’ll try to provide as many links and stories as possible here.
- Interesting story from The Big Lead. The daily 9 a.m.-3 p.m. ET SportsCenter block on ESPN is going to get a bit of a facelift. Jason McIntyre reports that instead of two shifts of three hours, ESPN will go to three two hour blocks. Kevin Negandhi and Hannah Storm will continue to be the combination to start off the block, but instead of going from 9 a.m.-noon, they’ll be reduced by one hour. Chris McKendry/Jay Crawford and Sage Steele/David Lloyd will be the other two weekday teams. ESPN has not confirmed the report, but The Big Lead’s confidence on this story is quite high.
- Here’s another story from The Big Lead. This upcoming season is the last year in Tim McCarver’s contract with MLB on Fox. Jason McIntyre gets comment from Fox on this.
- Add Cablevision to DirecTV and Verizon Fios to the providers tacking on a surcharge on subscribers who have packages with sports regional networks. In Cablevision’s case, it’s a $2.98 monthly fee that begins in April. Mike Farrell of Multichannel News says the surcharge is for subscribers who have the MSG Networks, SNY and YES RSN’s. This is the providers’ pushback on increasing subscriber fees from RSN’s which come as a result of high media rights for various professional teams. We’ll see if there’s any outcry from subscribers.
- ESPN Radio hack Colin Cowherd continues to say stupid things about the Midwest, this time about Indiana Pacers fans. This guy really needs to shut up.
- Joe Posnanski has been officially hired by NBC Sports to become its main columnist on its website and be featured on its multiple platforms. Ed Sherman of The Sherman Report wonders if this is the right move for Posnanski who left the fledgling Sports on Earth site after less than a year.
- Speaking of Ed, he speaks with Jim Romenesko about blogging for little to no money, something I’m quite familiar with.
- From David Goetzl of MediaPost comes this analysis of a lawsuit brought forth by Dish Network against ESPN. Very good background on a dispute that has been simmering for quite some time.
- To Sports Video Group where we have an interesting look at how ESPN3 produces a women’s college basketball that will be streamed on its platform.
- A few items from Paulsen at Sports Media Watch. First, NBA All-Star Saturday on TNT hit a three-year low, but still is among the best ratings ever for the event. Despite Danica Patrick, still not a good start for Fox for the Daytona 500 Speedweeks. And Paulsen has some various ratings news and notes.
- Ken McMillan at the Middletown (NY) Times Herald has the Arena Football League schedule on CBS Sports Network for the 2013 season. CBSSN takes over the rights after the AFL had been on NFL Network from 2010-2012. CBS will have the Arena Bowl in August.
- Robert Feder at TimeOut Chicago notes that Comcast SportsNet has ended its partnership with the Chicago Tribune and will rebrand its roundtable show as SportsTalk Live.
- Bruce Dowbiggin at the Toronto Globe and Mail reviews the first week of TSN’s new radio format and its new afternoon drive host.
- Could the NFL move the Draft to May into a ratings sweeps period? Tim Baysinger of Broadcasting & Cable says it’s entirely possible.
- By the way, this is not necessarily sports media, but it’s related. NBC definitely misses Sunday Night Football. Since the NFL season ended, the Peacock is having a hard time attracting viewers. The network will finish in 5th place in the 18-49 demographic for the February sweeps. Dominic Patten of Deadline notes that NBC will finish below CBS, Fox, ABC and wait for it…. Univision for the first time in its history. It’s not been a good 2013 for NBC thus far.
- This week, Los Angeles Lakers owner Jerry Buss passed away at the age of 80. He was first in the L.A. market to televise all of his team’s games creating the Prime Ticket regional sports network to air all of the Lakers’ home games and putting the road games on an over the air station. Before his passing, the Lakers went a step further in creating another RSN, Time Warner Cable SportsNet and doing two feeds, one in English and another in Spanish, another innovation. Jim Carlisle of the Ventura County Star looks at the impact Buss had on sports television.
- Media Life Magazine notes a new study which shows low recall of Super Bowl ads, something the NFL TV partners and its sponsors do not want to hear.
- Jonah Keri at Grantland says MLB has opened up the vault and released some of its old highlights.
- Formula 1′s ratings are down worldwide, a concern for the sport.
I think that’s where I’ll end things for now.
I don’t watch Saturday Night Live unless … Ok, I just don’t watch, there is no unless. Anyway, NBC sent this clip from last night’s Weekend Update with Seth Myers and Jay Pharoah did a bang up job as ESPN’s Stephen A. “A is for Acrimony” Smith. In this segment, Seth asks “Stephen” to talk about the Los Angeles Lakers’ troubles at NBA All-Star break and what Kobe Bryant should do. The rest is hilarity.
Very funny stuff.
Let’s provide some mid-week linkage before I get too busy later on.
Austin Karp of Sports Business Daily writes that NBC’s overnight rating for Tuesday’s Olympic primetime was up from the comparable night four years ago.
Tripp Mickle of SBJ says NBC is about to set up a set of exhibition beach volleyball matches between the US and China later this year.
In an SBJ podcast, Tripp meets with Sports Illustrated’s Richard Deitsch to talk about the media coverage of the 2012 Olympics.
Tim Goodman of the Hollywood Reporter will not complain about NBC’s Olympic coverage.
Daniel Miller of the Reporter says swimmer Ryan Lochte is in discussions to star in his own reality TV show.
Also from the Reporter, Marisa Guthrie has five lessons NBC should learn from the 2012 Games.
Another from the Reporter, a majority of those polled think Ryan Seacrest is doing a good job at the Olympics? Who is being polled?
And finally from the Reporter, Eriq Gardner reports that the NCAA has been ordered to hand over TV licensing revenue documents in a case involving video game manufacturer Electronic Arts which is using likenesses of student-athletes without permission from the athletes themselves.
Stephen Douglas at The Big Lead has video of Lolo Jones breaking down on the Today Show this morning.
Meanwhile, Glenn Davis of SportsGrid has video of medal winners Dawn Harper and Kellie Wells being rather candid about their opinions on Lolo with Michelle Beadle this morning.
Jen Floyd Engel at FoxSports.com says despite what the media says, this is not the Olympics of the Woman as the media is stating.
Graeme McMillan of Time asks if NBC should offer the Olympics as reality TV or just straight sports?
Joe Posnanski talks with former NBC Sports Emperor Dick Ebersol about working his last Olympics for American television, the 2012 London Games.
Reid Cherner of USA Today’s Game On has a look at the upcoming slate of 30 for 30 documentaries.
Stewart Mandel of Sports Illustrated profiles ESPN’s Joe Tessitore who is getting a high profile college football assignment after years of taking on crazy schedules.
SI’s Richard Deitsch has a college football roundtable featuring writers Stewart Mandel, Andy Staples and Holly Anderson on what they expect from the TV side of the sport this season.
Tim Baysinger of Broadcasting & Cable says NBC Sports Network is setting viewership records with Olympic programming.
Tim writes that AT&T U-Verse has signed a new agreement to carry NFL Network and RedZone.
Mike Reynolds of Multichannel News says the 2012 Olympics are on pace to become the most-watched TV event in US history.
Anthony Crupi of Adweek writes that online sports viewers can tolerate the bombardment of ads seen during the Olympics.
Thomas Pardee of Advertising Age says the Olympics are topping social TV sites like GetGlue, but HBO’s True Blood is showing its reach.
Toni Fitzgerald of Media Life looks at the winners and losers from broadcasting the Olympics.
Phil Swann at TV Predictions says DirecTV may be adding five new channels including one sports network run by Al Jazeera.
Ed Sherman of The Sherman Report notes that a former Boston Globe college sports columnist is now on his own and got a big scoop this week.
Ed has a couple of NBC Sports-related announcements that have nothing to do with the Olympics.
Ken Kerschbaumer of Sports Video Group looks at NBC’s operations at Olympic Stadium.
ESPN’s Darren Rovell notes that it’s better for sponsors that Michael Phelps remain retired instead of him being an active Olympian.
CBS Radio has officially announced that Scott Zolak will be the radio analyst for New England Patriots games starting this Thursday. He replaces Gino Cappeletti who retired last month.
Ken Schott from the Schenectady Gazette writes that NBC is getting a mixed ratings bag for the Olympics from the last few days.
Pete Dougherty of the Albany Times Union tells readers where they can find this week’s New York Giants preseason opener.
Pete has ESPN’s schedule of MLB games for most of this month.
Ken McMillan of the Middletown (NY) Times Herald-Record notes that former Jets and Giants coach Bill Parcells will appear on ESPN Radio NY opposite his buddy, WFAN’s Mike Francesa during NFL season.
Ken says NBC Sports Network will have Olympic reruns throughout August.
From the Washington Post’s DC Sports Bog, Dan Steinberg notes that ESPN Radio Hack Colin Cowherd is up to his old tricks again.
Eric Deggans from the Tampa Bay Times wonders if the Olympic promos for the NBC’s “Go On” might actually hurt the show in the long run.
Adam H. Beasley of the Miami Herald looks at last night’s Hard Knock premiere on HBO.
Izzy Gould at the South Florida Sun-Sentinel writes that the Miami Dolphins put the team up for display on Hard Knocks.
Gould says Hard Knocks did not explore the Dolphins’ injuries.
Mel Bracht from The Oklahoman says the local NBC affiliate’s ratings are down from 4 years ago.
T.J. Simers of the Los Angeles Times talks with Vin Scully about calling Sandy Koufax’s perfect game back in 1965.
Tom Hoffarth of the Los Angeles Daily News says Scully made a great argument for using instant replay in baseball during an argument on the field Monday night.
The Canadian Sports Media Blog says while viewers in the Great White North are complaining about Olympic coverage, the ratings are saying otherwise.
Ben Koo of Awful Announcing goes in-depth into the Turner Sports purchase of the Bleacher Report.
Matt Yoder of AA defends Lolo Jones against the very strange media backlash that began over the weekend in the New York Times.
John Koblin of Deadspin writes that even our troops stationed abroad are victims to NBC’s tape delays and can’t watch the Olympics live!
Sports Media Watch says UFC on Fox set yet another record low for mixed martial arts on network TV.
The Big Lead, in a sponsored post, speaks with CBS’ Clark Kellogg.
That is going to do it for today.
I owe you some linkage and I gathered so many over the last few days that I’m slowing down by browser with so many tabs. I have to clear them so my browser can run properly.
So many things to go over. Let’s do this.
First at SportsGrid, Jordan Rabinowitz at SportsGrid notes that NBC actually spoiled itself by running a Today Show promo about Missy Franklin winning the gold medal in her 100 meter backstroke race just minutes before it aired!
Cork Gaines of the Business Insider has video of that Today promo. It’s in proper context too.
Michael Hiestand of USA Today live blogs Monday night’s NBC primetime telecast.
Michael explains NBC’s policy of holding the glamor Olympic events for primetime.
Will Oremus at Slate reviews the very strange story of NBC getting a UK reporter’s Twitter account suspended because he was critical of the network’s tape delay shenanigans and for tweeting a public e-mail address of a network producer.
Sam Masters of The Independent in the UK says that reporter is a colleague at his newspaper.
Ty Duffy of The Big Lead has NBC’s statement on the matter through Sports Illustrated’s Richard Deitsch.
Sports Business Daily Global looks at the global Olympic TV ratings.
Sports Business Daily notes the three-day average rating for NBC for the first weekend of the 2012 Olympics.
John Ourand at SBD’s Olympic site says NBC is utilizing its Comcast SportsNet affiliates to help promote the Games.
Matt Yoder of Awful Announcing has an interview with NBC Olympics rowing analyst Yasmin Farooq.
Matt writes that NBC’s tape delay policy continues to anger some viewers.
Steve Lepore of SB Nation says despite the tape delays, NBC has nothing to apologize for.
Jeff Jarvis at Buzz Machine is intrigued by the Twitter hashtag #nbcfail which has been popping up since the Olympics began.
ESPN’s Julie Foudy is saddened by US Women’s Soccer National Team goaltender Hope Solo’s Twitter attacks on former teammate Brandi Chastain who has been working for NBC during the Olympics.
John Clarke at Forbes SportsMoney says NBC reaped in the ratings for the Opening Ceremony last Friday, but took a beating on Twitter.
Richard Sandomir of the New York Times says while every Olympic event is being streamed online by NBC, not everyone can see them.
Richard says NBC may have thought putting events online would have eased complaints about tape delays, but they haven’t.
Ed Sherman at The Sherman Report looks at how newspapers are covering the 2012 Olympics with fewer resources at their disposal in the present day.
Ed says problems with online streaming at NBCOlympics.com should be expected.
By the way, I tried to watch the streaming of Missy Franklin in the 100 meter backstroke on Monday and this is how it looked on my iPad through the NBC Olympics Live Extra app. Actual image.
It should be much clearer than that, but I’m getting that type of quality especially when an event of high interest is on. NBC has to correct that.
Sports Media Watch says Olympic Daytime and Late Night are doing well for NBC.
SMW says the Olympics are off to a fast start on NBC.
A few links that aren’t Olympic-related.
The Big Lead reports that the Perpetually Angry Doug Gottlieb is expected to leave ESPN for CBS and a formal announcement will be made later this week.
SportsRantz got up early on Monday and took notes on the first hour of the premiere edition of NFL AM.
Dave Kohl at The Broadcast Booth says a new policy on making injuries public could hurt Jacksonville Jaguars beat reporters.
Ken Schott of the Schenectady Gazette can’t believe the latest in bad home run calls by Yankees radio voice John Sterling.
Sports Media Watch says it appears ESPN has snatched the rights to the new “Champions Bowl” that will pit teams from the SEC and Big 12.
And that’s is where we will end the linkage for now.
So weird to have the 4th of July in the middle of the week. You get the holiday after two work days and then have two work days afterwards. Some of you have the entire week off which is good, but for me, there’s no such thing as a vacation. In fact, I haven’t had a vacation since August 2001. That’s true. Anyway, you don’t care about that. Let’s get to the links.
Michael Hiestand of USA Today lists which sports media personality has donated money to which politician.
Michael says ESPN NASCAR pit reporter Jamie Little will work her last race for a few months this weekend.
The BBC reports that a single yellow cable that will carry the Olympics from London to Europe was almost cut in Belgium.
Trefis Team at Forbes says ESPN contributes heavily to Disney’s stock price, but that could be reduced over time.
Keach Hagey of the Wall Street Journal looks at the new NBC Sports/Sports Illustrated partnership.
Mike Barnes of the Hollywood Reporter says former mustachioed Oakland Raiders defensive lineman turned pitchman Ben Davidson has died at the age of 72.
Mike Reynolds at Multichannel News writes that ESPN set a viewership record for the EURO 2012 final.
Bill Cromwell of Media Life reports that NBC is close to selling out its Olympic ad inventory.
The Associated Press says the ACC has signed a 12 year deal with the Orange Bowl.
Ed Sherman at The Sherman Report talks with Chris “Mad Dog” Russo about his two decade long partnership with WFAN’s Mike Francesa.
Joe Lucia at Awful Announcing writes that ESPN’s Chris Fowler gave John McEnroe a lesson about Twitter parody accounts at Wimbledon this week.
Joe tells us about reporter-on-reporter Twitter crime between ESPN’s Buster Olney and CBS’ Jon Heyman.
Melissa Jacobs at the Football Girl agrees with Erin Andrews’ assessment that sideline reporters are a necessity when used correctly.
Speaking of Erin, she speaks with Adam Silverstein of the Only Gators blog about moving to Fox.
Dave Nagle in ESPN’s Front Row public relations blog notes the network’s new broadcast position at Wimbledon.
Richard Sandomir of the New York Times says Barclays’ recent troubles are trickling down to the Brooklyn Nets as they prepare to occupy their new home.
Claire Atkinson of the New York Post reports that The Whistle, a sports media company geared towards kids, will have a programming block on NBC Sports Network starting in September.
Dan Steinberg in the Washington Post’s DC Sports Bog notes that DC NFL Team radio analyst Sam Huff will work a reduced schedule this season.
Mel Bracht at The Oklahoman says the U.S. Olympic Trials topped the local ratings this past weekend.
Bob Wolfley of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel writes that Annika Sorenstam joins the NBC golf team this weekend at the U.S. Women’s Open.
Paul M. Banks at Chicago Sports Media Watch urges the White Sox to calm down in asking people to do last-minute voting for the All-Star Game.
Scott D. Pierce of the Salt Lake Tribune says the Pac-12 Network will be a success in Utah knowing the failings of the mtn.
Bill Mooney of the Thoroughbred Times says Fox Sports Net will air the West Virginia Derby next month.
Media Rantz notes that the NBC President who was responsible for the “Heidi Game” and forever changed how sports was aired on TV has passed away.
The Canadian Sports Media Blog says CTV will bring back a few features for this year’s Olympics that were used in 2010 for Vancouver.
EPL Talk has a partial list of English Premier League games that will be aired in the States on ESPN2 and Fox Soccer.
Sports Media Watch says TNT took a ratings hit for last Saturday’s NASCAR Sprint Cup race.
Emmett Jones at Sports Business Digest notes that the US Olympic Committee will pass on bidding for the 2022 Games dashing hopes for a couple of cities. It means the earliest an Olympics will be held in the United States will be 2024.
And those are the links that I could manage to squeeze out of the internet today.
Ok, linkage has been really scarce over the last month and a half and I apologize for that. My schedules have been quite busy and it’s been tough to sit down for the time it takes to gather the links. I hope that changes over the next month or so.
I have some National links for you right now. I’ll follow up with more stuff later.
Here are the Weekend Viewing Picks for you.
Sports Illustrated’s Richard Deitsch speaks with the people at the Poynter Institute who are the ESPN Ombudsman.
Nate Davis at USA Today’s The Huddle has the Miami Dolphins not so enthusiastic about being on Hard Knocks this season.
Michael Hiestand of USA Today talks with ESPN’s Sean McDonough who will undergo brain surgery later this year.
Ira Boudwell of Bloomberg Businessweek says ESPN is getting out of the high school sports business saying it’s not broad enough.
Yahoo’s Adrian Wojnarowski says this week’s blowout between David Stern and Jim Rome proves that the NBA Commissioner needs to go.
John Ourand of Sports Business Daily says Fox Sports San Diego is launching an ad campaign against Time Warner Cable which has still not picked up the regional sports network.
Good Morning America’s and former ESPN SportsCenter host Robin Roberts says she will beat the rare blood disorder that will require a bone marrow transplant.
Michael O’Connell of the Hollywood Reporter notes that the NBA Finals are pacing ABC to good ratings this week.
At Broadcasting & Cable, Tim Baysinger writes that this week’s Dream Team documentary gave NBA TV its best viewership ever.
Mike Reynolds at Multichannel News says GolTV scored with this week’s soccer international friendly match between Brazil and Argentina.
Toni Fitzgerald of Media Life reports that NBC will debut two new sitcoms right smack dab in the middle of the Olympics.
Ed Sherman at the Sherman Report looks at the geriatric broadcasting team calling the NBA Finals for ESPN Radio.
Glenn Davis at SportsGrid notes that even after the winning the Stanley Cup this week, the Los Angeles Kings still aren’t getting respect from the local media.
Former Deadspin editor A.J. Daulerio returns to his former stomping grounds to do a massive takedown of Jay “The Rat” Mariotti.
Also from Deadspin, John Koblin writes that there doesn’t seem to be a clamoring for Erin Andrews beyond ESPN.
Jason Dachman of Sports Video Group says NBA TV and NBA Entertainment are appealing to the hardcore basketball fan for their Finals coverage.
Jason McIntyre of The Big Lead says Sports Illustrated could be laying off part of its staff.
Matt Yoder at Awful Announcing has tweets from people who hated Chris Berman on the U.S. Open yesterday.
Sports Media Watch notes that this year’s Stanley Cup Final did not resonate with viewers.
SMW also has some various ratings news and notes.
CNBC’s Darren Rovell writes that Brooklyn Nets gear is selling very well.
MediaRantz tells us that Sean Salisbury will be getting a new internet radio gig.
UPDATE, 4:30 p.m.: Time for more linkage here.
East and Mid-Atlantic
Chad Finn of the Boston Globe reports that May was a very good month for sports radio station WEEI as it finished ahead of 98.5 The Sports Hub.
At SB Nation, Bruce Allen of Boston Sports Media Watch writes about golfer David Duval taking a turn in the broadcast tower at the U.S. Open.
Bill Doyle of the Worcester Telegram & Gazette discusses Johnny Miller holding court for NBC at the U.S. Open at the Olympic Club in San Francisco this week.
Newsday’s Neil Best talks with ESPN college baseball analyst Kyle Petersen who will be introducing many Long Islanders to the College World Series today.
Phil Mushnick of the New York Post goes after the Yankees for pricing out fans from the “Beautiful People” seats at Yankee Stadium.
Jerry Barmash at Fishbowl NY notes that SNY will unveil the all-time Mets team at a gala event on Sunday.
Ken McMillan of the Middletown (NY) Times Herald-Record says the US Women’s National Soccer Team will be on TV and the web this weekend.
Ken says local Time Warner Cable subscribers will have access to the new Pac-12 Networks this summer.
Ken Schott at the Schenectady Gazette says NBC Sports Group has announced the 2012 Summer at Saratoga schedule.
Pete Dougherty at the Albany Times Union talks with Jim Rome who marks his 16th year in New York’s Capital Region.
Pete says one of harness racing’s famous races changes networks this year.
Keith Groller of the Allentown (PA) Morning Call profiles a local cable TV sports reporter who is filling a double role this summer.
Keith has more on her in his blog.
Barry Jackson from the Miami Herald has some NBA Finals Game 2 postgame reaction as well as Jon Barry saying he’s not a Miami Heat Hater.
David Barron of the Houston Chronicle says Fox Sports Houston was well-prepared and staffed for Wednesday’s perfect game thrown against the Astros by Matt Cain of the San Francisco Giants.
Mel Bracht at The Oklahoman writes that ESPN on ABC was all over the non-foul call against the Thunder’s Kevin Durant during Game 2 of the NBA Finals.
The Oklahoman rounds up what sports reporters are saying on Twitter about the NBA Finals.
John Kiesewetter at the Cincinnati Enquirer says an all-star high school football game will be shown locally this weekend.
Bob Wolfley of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel writes that ESPN is dropping its high school sports operation.
Bob criticizes Jim Rome for his questioning of NBA Communist China Sympathizer David Stern.
Paul M. Banks at Chicago Sports Media Watch says Cubs announcers Len Kasper and Bob Brenly were silent when comedian Jeff Garlin brought up trading Alfonso Soriano.
Paul Christian of the Rochester (MN) Post-Bulletin notes the rare occurrence of the U.S. Open and the NBA Finals going head-to-head on TV this Father’s Day.
Dan Caesar from the St. Louis Post-Dispatch writes that viewers of Fox Sports Midwest may need a scorecard to tell who’s in the Cardinals TV booth over the next few days.
Dan notes that next week will mark a decade since the passing of Jack Buck and Cardinals pitcher Darryl Kile.
Chadd Cripe of the Idaho Statesman says this fall’s Boise State-Southern Mississippi game will get the Fox treatment.
Scott D. Pierce of the Salt Lake Tribune says Utahans are nervous about getting the Pac-12 Networkcomparing it to their experience with the ill-fated the mtn.
John Maffei of the North County Times writes that Fox Sports San Diego has set its sights squarely on Time Warner Cable.
Jim Carlisle at the Ventura County Star says ESPN’s NBA Countdown show seems to work fine without a host.
Jim talks with NBC’s Johnny Miller about the U.S. Open.
Jim has his weekend viewing picks.
Melissa Rohlin of the Los Angeles Times says Game 2 of the NBA Finals drew a good overnight number for ABC.
Tom Hoffarth of the Los Angeles Daily News talks with former Kings voices about the Stanley Cup victory.
Tom has some more in his blog.
The Toronto Globe and Mail’s Bruce Dowbiggin blames both Jim Rome and David Stern for their ugly exchange this week.
The Toronto Sports Media Blog says the NBA and NHL Commissioners are taking it on their chins this week.
And that’s going to do it.
During today’s Upfront presentation to advertisers, ESPN President John Skipper confirmed to Sports Illustrated’s Richard Deitsch that indeed, Michelle Beadle has left ESPN.
ESPN president John Skipper confirms @MichelleDBeadle is leaving ESPN. “We wish her well,” says Skipper.
— Richard Deitsch (@richarddeitsch) May 15, 2012
While various sources have been indicating this is the case, this is the first official confirmation from either ESPN, NBC or Beadle that she is leaving.
We’re not sure of her last day, but there are indications that Michelle will have a role on NBC’s Olympic coverage in London this summer and appear on various NBC Sports big events (Super Bowl, Olympics, maybe even the Kentucky Derby) before contributing to the Today show and becoming co-host of Access Hollywood.
Happy Mother’s Day.
It’s been quite the day in sports already. A few thoughts in bullet form.
- Fox promised us unprecedented coverage on the last day of the English Premier League season and it delivered. Using FX, Fox Sports Net, Fuel and Speed in addition to its Fox Soccer, Fox Soccer Plus on online platforms, it provided full coverage of the final day of the EPL season as teams were scrambling for the Title, Champions and Europa League spots and avoiding relegation. With ESPN2 allowed to air the Manchester City-Queens Park Rangers match, Fox focused on the other 9 games of the day. Using FX as its main hub, there were real time updates on the Fox Box as well as cut-ins by Rob Stone showing scores from other games.
If Fox retains the US rights for the English Premier League, I would love to see more of this coverage not only for what was dubbed “Survival Sunday” by Fox, but for the Opening Weekend of the season as well.
I admit I wasn’t a fan of Rob Stone when he was at ESPN, but he’s grown on me as host of the Premier and Champions League on Fox Soccer. And the way Fox utilized its platforms today was excellent. One could argue they should have been doing this all along.
If Fox is going to do this next year, then open up the pay platforms of Fox Soccer Plus, Foxsoccer.com and Fox Soccer2Go for the weekend. Those of us who don’t subscribe to those platforms were shutout today.
- One pet peeve I have about Fox is that it won’t allow online streaming of its sports properties. Whether it be MLB, NASCAR, college football or NFL, the network makes us watch its product on television. If we can’t be in front of a TV, then we’re pure out of luck. Some the online rights are locked with the league as with the case of MLB and the NFL, but ESPN, NBC and CBS have been diligent in getting online rights. Fox remains steadfast in not streaming its events. I hope that changes as the network goes forward with the NFL and any other sports properties it obtains from here on out.
- And Friday’s development that Michelle Beadle is leaving ESPN is not a surprise. While there has been no firm confirmation from neither ESPN, NBC where she’s reportedly heading nor from Michelle herself, she’s about good as gone.
I told you in the past that sports is not what Michelle wants to do full-time. By keeping a hand in special events like the Olympics and the Super Bowl should be enough for her. And by co-hosting Access Hollywood, it gives NBCUniversal a versatile personality.
She’ll do well for NBC.
That’s going to do it for now.
Hall and Oates from 1976 and the Old Grey Whistle Test. She’s Gone. Michelle Beadle is leaving ESPN2′s SportsNation.
The official word came today. Jim Miller, co-author of “Those Guys Have All The Fun: Inside the World of ESPN” has the news.
Bye bye Bristol: The @MichelleDBeadle deal is to be by cohost of access Hollywood (w billy bush), major sports events and new show tba.
— James Andrew Miller (@ESPNBook) May 11, 2012
My best to Beadle. She has been a friend to this site and will always remain so.
UPDATE, 1:35 p.m.: Sports Illustrated’s Richard Deitsch contacted both ESPN and NBC. ESPN has not budged from its official position that was provided to Fang’s Bites yesterday and NBC is not commenting.
— Richard Deitsch (@richarddeitsch) May 11, 2012
UPDATE, 3:50 p.m.: Jason McIntyre of The Big Lead with everything over, but the official announcement from NBCUniversal, wonders what ESPN could have done to keep Michelle in Bristol (answer: probably nothing).
I wonder if Michelle will make some sort of announcement on SportsNation today. I’m hoping she does as I’ve bet Richard Deitsch some Starbucks over this. But even if she doesn’t say anything today, I’m sure next week that there will be some type of official press release from NBC and perhaps a short, terse statement from ESPN as well.
Now with Dana Jacobsen and Michelle Beadle gone from the Alleged Worldwide Leader, management can focus on their two remaining free agents, Scott Van Pelt and Erin Andrews. Look for both to remain with the Bristolians for the foreseeable future.
Earlier this week, we learned that when NBCUniversal was in the midst of signing no talent hack Ryan Seacrest, Brian Stelter of the New York Times reported that the American Idol host would be getting a role on the Olympics.
Then this morning on NBC’s Today show, Seacrest in an interview with Matt Lauer announced his new role at NBC will involve some work with the morning show, but also on the Olympics. While Seacrest himself didn’t come out with it, we’ve now learned through Washington Post TV critic Lisa de Moraes that he will be getting a role in NBC’s primetime coverage of the London Games. That apparently means he will be co-hosting with Bob Costas.
Yesterday, I speculated on the hosts for NBC’s coverage this July and hoped that Seacrest would not be in primetime. Well, one of my greatest fears has surfaced.
It seems like last week we rang in the New Year. Now, we’re one month into 2012. Didn’t take long.
Let’s do some linkage.
Starting with Michael Hiestand of USA Today, we learn that NBC has quite a bit in store for its six hour Super Bowl pregame show.
Also in USA Today, Michael Coppinger finds that new HBO Sports President Ken Hershman plans on cleaning up the network’s shaky boxing reputation.
And Reid Cherner at USA Today has a preview of the upcoming season of “Eastbound & Down” featuring Kenny Powers. I’ll admit, I don’t get the chi of “Eastbound & Down” and find it unwatchable, but the show has its fans.
John Ourand at Sports Business Daily says the NFL is issuing a tablet-only commemorative Super Bowl appl
At Bleacher Report, Dan Levy tells us that NFL Network’s Deion Sanders came out the winner at yesterday’s Super Bowl Media Day.
At Deadspin, Barry Petchesky has video of reporters leering at Televisa Deportes reporter Marisol Gonzalez during Media Day.
Barry also has a series of photos taken by
perverts reporters as original Mexican bombshell Inês Sainz was traversing her way through Media Day.
The Olympic newsletter Around the Rings notes that the International Olympic Committee is in no hurry to negotiate a Canadian TV rights deal after the lone bid failed to come up to its standards.
Around the Rings also notes that broadcasters for the 2014 Winter Games including NBC are gathering in Sochi to discuss plans for that Olympiad.
To All Things D where Liz Gannes has new ESPN President John Skipper saying he wants people to see his content, just not for free.
And All Things D has the video highlights of Skipper’s comments.
Lisa Richwine of Reuters notes that Skipper is bullish on ESPN 3D. Oh great.
Lucas Shaw at The Wrap says John Skipper and ESPN are in love with Silicon Valley.
Katy Bachman at Adweek says the FCC is seeking public comment on the NFL’s antiquated TV blackout rules.
Best Buy won’t be using rock stars, but tech stars in its Super Bowl ad. Last year, Best Buy used Ozzy Osbourne and Justin Bieber in a very lame ad.
Natalie Zmuda of Advertising Age says Pepsi will emphasize music in its Super Bowl ads.
Louisa Ada Seltzer of Media Life Magazine previews tonight’s “Super Bowl’s Greatest Commercials” special on CBS.
CNBC’s Darren Rovell wishes advertisers wouldn’t release their Super Bowl spots before they air in the Big Game.
Kristi Dosh of ESPN.com says Super Bowl advertising has gone beyond just buying time during the game.
Alex Sherman and Andy Fixmer of Bloomberg Businessweek write that NBC is using the Super Bowl to heavily promote “Smash” in what it hopes will save its primetime lineup.
The NBC’s Sunday Night Football Facebook page has a gallery of photos from yesterday’s media event in Indianapolis.
The Nielsen Wire blog looks at whether the New England Patriots or the New York Giants do better than the other in social media.
To SportsGrid and Tom Lorenzo who has video of TSN’s Ray Ferraro throwing out an “F” bomb not once, but twice during a broadcast last night.
Jason Dachman of Sports Video Group writes that ESPN was technically prepared to air the Australian Open epic men’s final.
James Careless of TV Technology looks at NBC’s online streaming of the Super Bowl.
Steve Donohue of Fierce Cable says Time Warner Cable seems to be doing just fine without MSG Network.
Lou Modestino of the Quincy (MA) Patriot-Ledger says Fox Sports was mostly responsible for moving the Daytona 500 forward one week.
Bill Pennington in the New York Times looks at fans getting to attend Super Bowl Media Day for the first time.
Richard Sandomir of the Times says a new media company wants to become the ESPN for kids. Already, the NFL, several sports stars and NBC Sports Network have signed up to partner with the company.
Good story by Jim Yardley of the Times Magazine exploring how some American NBA players are faring in Communist China and how the NBA made a huge miscalculation in trying to launch a league there.
Pete Dougherty at the Albany Times Union writes that Time Warner Cable will extend its free Sports Pass option to residential customers affected by the company’s dispute with MSG Network.
Pete says NFL Network will air the Pro Football Hall of Fame announcement for the Class of 2012 on Saturday.
Dan Gross of the Philadelphia Daily News writes that a local TV reporter is back at work after being on suspension for prematurely tweeting that Joe Paterno had died.
Jim Williams of the Washington Examiner speaks with CBS Sports Network’s Tom Lemming about National Signing Day.
Mel Bracht of the Daily Oklahoman notes a ratings record for the Oklahoma City Thunder on Fox Sports Oklahoma.
Matthew Tully of the Indianapolis Star says foreign journalists covering the Super Bowl are enjoying Indy as the host city.
The Star has a roundup of what journos are saying about Indianapolis.
Bob Kravitz of the Star filed a diary with his observations of Super Bowl Media Day.
Anthony Schoette of the Indianapolis Business Journal writes that the Super Bowl has helped to focus a spotlight on IndyCar and the Indianapolis Motor Speedway which has been hosting media events this week.
Bob Wolfley of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel says Green Bay Packers QB Aaron Rodgers will be a guest analyst on NBC’s Super Bowl XLVI pregame.
Ed Sherman at Crain’s Chicago Business looks at Super Bowl Week in Indianapolis and wonders “what if” had the Bears built a domed facility.
Steve Eighinger of the Quincy (IL) Herald Whig is thankful for ESPN as it helped him to endure the Great Midwest Blizzard of 2011.
Roman Augustoviz of the Minneapolis Star Tribune notes that CBS Sports Network has signed a TV deal with the new National Collegiate Hockey Conference known in local circles as “The National.”
Eli Segall of the San Jose Business Journal says the Sharks are scoring big for Comcast SportsNet California.
Bruce Dowbiggin of the Toronto Globe and Mail says the man who broke the Sidney Crosby neck injury story stands by his scoop.
Sports Media Watch says the NFL Pro Bowl’s ratings were down from last year, but still outpace the other All-Star games.
SMW has some various ratings news and notes.
Dave Kohl at the Broadcast Booth says last week was pretty slow for any kind of sports news.
Joe Lucia of Awful Announcing notes that Harrisburg (PA) Patriot-News crime writer Sarah Ganim has been given much deserved Pulitzer Prize consideration for her reporting on the Penn State story.
Barry Janoff at The Big Lead writes that Mean Joe Greene is redoing his iconic Coke Super Bowl ad from the 1970′s for Proctor & Gamble.
And we have more links that I ever thought I would find today. That’s good for you.
Been busy again today, but I’ll try to post as many links here as possible. Don’t know if I can do a complete set, but I’ll see what I can do.
USA Today’s Michael Hiestand hears from ESPN’s Brent Musburger who calls tonight’s BCS National Championship Game.
Tom Weir of USA Today says Tim Tebow mentions broke a Twitter record last night.
Michael Smith of Sports Business Journal says the winner of tonight’s BCS National Championship Game stands to cash in through licensing of its gear.
Eric Fisher and John Ourand of SBJ report that MLB has to make a decision very soon on an extra round of Wild Card playoff games and the TV network that would air them.
Sports Business Daily recaps the mixed reviews for Charles Barkley’s hosting of NBC’s Saturday Night Live this past weekend.
Eriq Gardner of the Hollywood Reporter says a lawsuit brought forth by basketball legends Bill Russell and Oscar Robertson over their likenesses used in video games now has the TV networks getting involved.
George Winslow at Broadcasting & Cable says LG Smartphone users will gain access to a new ESPN ScoreCenter app that will include exclusive HD video.
John Eggerton at Multichannel News has a quick blurb on ESPN gaining rights for the NYC Marathon.
At Adweek, Anthony Crupi looks at the NFL’s final regular season ratings for 2011.
Glen Davis of SportsGrid cannot believe the religious connotations behind last night’s ratings for Pittsburgh-Denver.
Dom Consentino of Deadspin says the NBC reporter arrested last month on DUI charges after a party thrown by alleged child molester Jerry Sandusky’s attorney, tried to talk his way out of the arrest.
Phil Mushnick of the New York Post goes after Fox’s Charles Davis and NBC’s Mike Mayock for talking too much.
Ken Schott from the Schenectady Gazette writes that Saturday’s NFL Divisional playoff action will be split among two local radio stations.
Pete Dougherty at the Albany Times Union says MSG Network will be throwing a local viewing party to drum up support in its dispute with Time Warner Cable.
Ken McMillan with the Middletown (NY) Times Herald-Record writes about the NYC Marathon running to ESPN from NBC.
At the DC Sports Bog, the Washington Post’s Dan Steinberg notes that Comcast SportsNet Mid-Atlantic will begin airing a new live show modeled after NBC Sports Talk.
Tom Jones from the Tampa Bay Times reviews the weekend in sports TV.
David Barron at the Houston Chronicle notes that the Texans had their best local ratings since their inaugural game back in 2002.
John Kiesewetter at the Cincinnati Enquirer says on Saturday, the Bengals did not do as well locally as its regular season games.
Bob Wolfley of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel writes that NFL Network will re-air two Giants-Packers games.
Dusty Saunders at the Denver Post writes that CBS stepped up for last night’s Pittsburgh-Denver game.
Tom Hoffarth of the Los Angeles Daily News has your sports calendar for this week.
Bruce Dowbiggin of the Toronto Globe and Mail continues to go after CBC’s Don Cherry.
Raju Mudhar from the Toronto Star says Toronto is not the only hockey hotbed around.
I’ll try to add more stuff later.
UPDATE, 5:50 p.m.: I’ll add some more links now.
CNBC’s Darren Rovell notes that the top selling sports book of last year was not the ESPN book, but Tim Tebow’s autobiography.
Dave Zoren of the Delaware County Times notes that the NHL Winter Classic Alumni Game did well on Comcast SportsNet Philadelphia.
Scott Sloan from the Lexington (KY) Herald-Leader says a Kentucky-based high school sports TV and online provider has filed for bankruptcy.
At the Austin American-Statesman, Kirk Bohls says despite a lack of carriage agreements and viewers, ESPN remains committed to the Longhorn Network.
Tom Hoffarth of the Los Angeles Daily News writes that legendary Dodgers voice Vin Scully finally gets his own bobblehead this season.
The Canadian Sports Media Blog says theScore has signed a deal to pick up a whole host of college sports.
Sports Media Watch tells us that the Sugar Bowl had its worst ratings in 18 years.
Sports Media Watch says the Orange Bowl had its worst ratings in the BCS era.
The Waiting for Next Year blog notes that ESPN’s Erin Andrews will replace Scott Van Pelt as host of the Greater Cleveland Sports Awards. That’s a huge upgrade.
Awful Announcing has the Broncos radio call of last night’s overtime win over the Steelers.
Joe Favorito wonders if MMA fighter Gina Carano is about to crossover to become a mainstream star.
The Sports Business Digest notes that the Lingerie Bowl will be played in Las Vegas.
NBC will partner with Panasonic to air the London Olympics in 3-D which only 145 people across the country can watch.
And that will do it for the links today.
I’ve been all over the place. I think I’m busier on unemployment than when I was working. It’s cut into my blogging time. Thanks for your patience during this time.
I’ll provide a few links for you.
With the Bill Conlin story continuing to explode, let’s get some links there first.
If you’re not familiar, Philadelphia Daily News columnist Bill Conlin hastily retired after Philadelphia Inquirer investigative reporter Nancy Phillips wrote a story about four people accusing the Baseball Hall of Fame writer of molesting them as children in the 1970′s.
Daily News editor Larry Platt writes how hard it is to report on one of your own.
Gail Shister from the Philly Post talks with Phillips on how she broke the Conlin story.
Mike Silva’s Sports Media Watchdog was angry over the initial reaction from the Baseball Writers Association of America to Conlin.
Andy Martino of the New York Daily News says the BBWAA doesn’t speak for him.
AJ Daulerio of Deadspin chronicles a strange e-mail conversation he had with Conlin the day before the story broke.
To other stories now, Ronnie Ramos at the Indiana University National Sports Journalism Center writes that new media is putting teams in competition with traditional media to break stories.
Brian Steinberg at Advertising Age has details on NBC’s plans to stream Super Bowl XLVI online and to give online viewers access to the TV ads that are a big part of the game.
Mike Reynolds from Multichannel News writes that Time Warner Cable has signed a long-term deal for NESN National, firing a big shot at MSG Network.
Wayne Friedman at MediaPost’s Media Daily News says the NBA is offering its League Pass out-of-market package free to cable and satellite customers at no cost for the first two weeks of the season.
Yesterday, there was a minor Twitter scuffle that started when Deadspin creator Will Leitch (now of New York Magazine) tweeted his morning run. CNBC’s Darren Rovell got irritated with it and called him out. It then led to Late Show with David Letterman staff writer Justin Stangel to get involved. Stangel was unfollowed by Rovell a couple of weeks ago over a tweet and he’s been bitter about it ever since.
Leitch wrote this post in Deadspin about his tweeting and Darren today. To their credit, Leitch and Rovell made up so all’s good apparently. Stangel and Rovell are a different story. Darren does have a sense of humor about being called the Twitter Police and this is his Twitter profile pic.
Speaking of Darren, he has this report on CNBC looking at the increase in broadcast rights fees for sports.
Joe Gill at Boston Sports Then and Now looks at how the Boston Red Sox used Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer’s likeness without permission.
Steve Lepore at Puck The Media notes that the premiere of HBO’s 24/7 Flyers/Rangers garnered over one million viewers over a week’s worth of airings.
Obsessed With Sports looks at how ESPN makes money on the non-BCS bowls.
Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk writes that come Saturday, the Bengals will be blacked out again in Cincinnati.
I’ll leave it there. Wanted to give you some links.
Due to being at jobsites for the last few days, I haven’t been able post links like I’ve wanted to. I apologize for that. I have tried to be diligent in updating as much as I can.
I have quite a bit to catch up with. I may be a blogging machine as I have to post a lot of things today. Plus, I to get ready to head to New York tomorrow for Blogs with Balls 4 so I’m going to be quite busy. Let’s get to the linkage.
But first, there’s always the Weekend Viewing Picks for your sports and entertainment planning.
John Ourand at Sports Business Journal writes that ESPN will do everything it can to head off NBC/Versus at the pass.
Sports Illustrated’s Richard Deitsch asks if sports broadcasting and politics should mix?
Jeff Latzke of the Associated Press says the Big 12′s TV contracts helped to keep the conference together for now.
The Nielsen Ratings Wire blog notes that among various TV programming, sports in primetime continues to do well.
USA Today’s Mike McCarthy talks with CBS/WFAN/Westwood One’s Boomer Esiason on how the NFL should investigate the Dallas Cowboys’ medical staff for clearing Tony Romo to play last Sunday.
Mike says ESPN is denying any responsibility for the recent college football chaos and says the Longhorn Network doesn’t have anything to do with it. I think Texas A&M, Missouri and other Big 12 schools would beg to differ.
Bob Velin of USA Today writes that CBS’ 48 Hours Mystery program will investigate the mysterious and unsettling death of boxer Arturo Gatti.
Mike McCarthy and Michael Hiestand of USA Today debate whether schools or TV wield the power in college sports.
John Taylor of College Football Talk writes that Brett Favre gets his first taste of being an analyst next week for CSS.
John Eggerton of Broadcasting & Cable reports that the FCC has ruled that Cablevision-owned MSG Network cannot withhold its HD signal to other cable providers violating program-access rules.
Mike Reynolds from Multichannel News writes that YES received its second highest rating ever for the American League East Division clinching game this week.
Mike says Golf Channel and NBC Sports are teaming up for a promotion to give a lucky viewer of “The Big Break” a chance to win a trip to see Notre Dame play in Ireland next year.
Tim Nudd of Adweek says the NFL has pulled an ad for its fantasy football product which used a picture of Kansas City Chiefs running back Jamaal Charles after he was injured last week.
David Lieberman of Deadline reports that Time Warner Cable is planning to offer a low cost tier that will not include ESPN in the lineup.
Timothy Burke of SportsGrid has the video of ESPN sideline reporter Jenn Brown calling Cincinnati football coach Butch Jones something else.
Glenn Davis at SportsGrid has the sixth and perhaps final installment of New Era’s Yankees-Red Sox Alec Baldwin-John Kraskinski ads. They have been quite good. This latest one may have taken it a bit too far.
Also from SportsGrid, Dan Fogarty reviews the ESPN Films documentary “Catching Hell”, on Steve Bartman and the 2003 Chicago Cubs.
Sports Media Watch talks with the crew of ESPN’s College GameDay.
SMW says despite being on tape delay, Fox drew a decent audience for its first English Premier League game on Sunday.
SMW notes that the ratings for CBS’ 2nd game of its NFL doubleheader dropped from last year.
SMW says the NBA lockout has forced the cancellation of the start of training camp and over 40 preseason games.
And SMW has some various ratings news and notes.
Joe Favorito looks at one imaginative marketing campaign that helped Eye Black this week.
CNBC’s Darren Rovell reviews “Moneyball.”
Darren has some interesting facts on sports participation in America.
Karen Hogan of Sports Video Group looks at how CBS Sports Network was able to bring the Tim Brando Show into a TV simulcast from his base in Shreveport, LA.
Matt Yoder at Awful Announcing has this week’s network TV on-screen typos.
Ben Koo from AA says tomorrow is when Gus Johnson and FX get their real grand opening in college football.
At The Stir, Maressa Brown feels ESPN’s Erin Andrews is unqualified to demonstrate CrossFit.
East and Mid-Atlantic
Chad Finn of the Boston Globe writes that WEEI’s Glenn Ordway has suffered a rather severe pay cut due to lower ratings for his afternoon drive show.
At SBNation Boston, Bruce Allen of Boston Sports Media Watch looks at a busy week in local sports media news.
Bill Doyle of the Worcester Telegram & Gazette writes that Dale Arnold is pleased to be back with NESN after leaving in 2007.
Lang Whitaker and Ian Lovett of the New York Times give us an inside look at DirecTV’s Red Zone Channel and NFL Network’s RedZone.
John Jeansonne of Newsday reviews ESPN Films’ documentary on transgendered tennis player Renee Richards.
Newsday’s Neil Best says fans seem to be buying into the New York Islanders’ future.
Claire Atkinson of the New York Post has news that some Time Warner Cable subscribers have been waiting for, that the company appears to be close to a carriage agreement with NFL Network.
Phil Mushnick at the Post can’t stand ESPN’s Monday Night Football.
Justin Terranova of the Post says last month’s Russian plane crash that killed 44 members of the KHL team Lokomotiv Yaroslavl really hit home for MSG Network analyst Joe Micheletti.
And Justin has five questions for Joe.
Lou Lumenick of the Post says “Moneyball” is one of the best baseball movies of all-time.
I’ll break my self-imposed embargo on the New York Daily News’ Bob Raissman for a week for this story on the Yankees’ radio rights which are in flux and so are the fates of broadcasters John Sterling and Suzyn Waldman.
Pete Dougherty of the Albany Times Union writes that MSG Network has named Steve Cangialosi to replace Mike “Doc” Emrick on New Jersey Devils games.
And Pete talks with Steve about his new gig.
Ken Schott of the Schenectady Gazette is not a fan of a new local sports talk show host.
Ken notes that NBC Sports is extending its “Summer at Saratoga” series for at least two more years.
Jim Williams of the Washington Examiner says the college football conference merry-go-round could have some legal ramifications.
Jim says the ratings for the NFL in both Baltimore and Washington were very strong.
In the Miami Herald, Joseph Goodman notes the irony of ESPN possibly saving college football from massive chaos.
Matt Murschel of the Orlando Sentinel catches up with ESPN college football analyst Jesse Palmer.
Jeff Sentell of the Birmingham (AL) News says ESPN is not ponying up to air high school games from the region.
David Barron of the Houston Chronicle notes that an Astros broadcaster is celebrating 25 years with the club.
David asks readers if they find the idea of the Longhorn Network offensive.
Mel Bracht at the Daily Oklahoman says an Oklahoma State wide receiver will be profiled on ESPN’s College GameDay.
Paul Hoynes of the Cleveland Plain Dealer says Cleveland MLB team radio voice Mike Hegan is leaving he broadcast after this season.
John Kiesewetter of the Cincinnati Enquirer says Reds voice Marty Brennaman can’t campaign on-air for his former partner Joe Nuxhall for the Baseball Hall of Fame Ford C. Frick Award.
Micahel Zuidema of the Grand Rapids (MI) Press wonders why the DirecTV/NBC series “Friday Night Lights” didn’t do better in the ratings.
Bob Wolfley in the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel says actor Brad Pitt saw “Moneyball” as a compelling story.
Bob says the Green Bay Packers will be showcased aplenty in the late afternoon window on both CBS and Fox this season.
Ed Sherman in Crain’s Chicago Business writes that the PGA Tour’s BMW Championship failed to draw viewers away from the NFL on Sunday.
Joe Cowley of the Chicago Sun-Times talks with WMAQ-TV sports anchor Paula Ferris.
Dan Caesar of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch wonders why Cardinals TV voice Dan McLaughlin has been missing of late.
Kevin Haskin of the Topeka (KS) Capital-Journal writes that CBS Sports Network was in town to air an NCAA Division II football game this week.
Jay Posner from the San Diego Union-Tribune says Big Ten Network won’t allow the local Cox system to pick up Saturday’s San Diego State-Michigan game on a one-time only basis.
The North County Times’ John Maffei writes that unless fans can find a sports bar, they’ll have to listen to San Diego State on the radio.
Jim Carlisle at the Ventura County Star says it’s too bad Southern California couldn’t see the end of the exciting Oakland-Buffalo game due to silly NFL rules.
Jim says HBO will replay last Saturday’s controversial Floyd Mayweather-Victor Ortiz fight.
Tom Hoffarth of the Los Angeles Daily News says a bankruptcy court has given the Dodgers permission to change their flagship radio station for next season.
Tom says the NFL secondary market rule needs to be changed.
Tom also has a few notes that he couldn’t get into his Friday column.
Jon Wilner of the San Jose Mercury News looks at the Pac-12′s decision to stand pat, TV’s role in the whole thing and where BYU may be headed.
Bruce Dowbiggin from the Toronto Globe and Mail writes that CBC’s P.J. Stock is regretting his initial comments on Wade Belak’s death.
The Toronto Sports Media Blog is not so fast to forgive P.J.
The Canadian Sports Media Blog notes that CBC has made some additions to its Hockey Night in Canada crew.
And there you have it for your links today.
This in from the National Football League, four NBCUniversal networks and NFL Network will simultaneously air the NFL Kickoff Pregame show Thursday night at 7:30 ET. NBC will join in progress after its coverage of President Obama’s address to a joint session of Congress is finished.
So G4, Syfy, USA Network and Versus are the NBCUniversal networks taking part. The Kickoff special will have musical performances from Kid Rock, Lady Antebellum and Maroon 5.
The NFL is also announcing that NBC is adding a one hour special at 8 p.m. Eastern on Saturday previewing the 2011 season. That will be hosted by Bob Costas.
Let’s take a look at the announcement from the NFL.
NBC to Join in Progress Following President Obama’s Speech
NFL KICKOFF 2011 Extended to 90 Minutes
NBC Adding NFL Special on Saturday Night at 8 p.m. ET
NFL KICKOFF 2011, the pregame show to officially celebrate the start of the 2011 NFL season, at 7 p.m. ET on Thursday.
NFL Kickoff 2011, which has been extended to 90 minutes, was originally scheduled to air on NBC but is now being preempted due to President Obama’s speech, scheduled to begin at 7 p.m. ET. NBC will join NFL Kickoff 2011 in progress once its coverage of the speech has concluded and VERSUS, USA, Syfy and G4 will resume their regularly-scheduled programming shortly thereafter. NFL Network will carry NFL Kickoff 2011 in its entirety.
The President’s speech is not expected to conflict in any way with NBC’s Thursday night coverage of the first game of the 2011 NFL season, scheduled to begin at 8:30 p.m. ET and featuring the last two Super Bowl champions — the New Orleans Saints at the Green Bay Packers — from historic Lambeau Field.
NFL Kickoff 2011 will feature musical performances by award-winning artists Kid Rock, Lady Antebellum and Maroon 5 from a stage adjacent to Lambeau Field. The musical performances are part of the celebration to kick off the 2011 season and to honor the Super Bowl champion Packers. This is the 10th consecutive Kickoff celebration to start the season and the eighth consecutive year the NFL has saluted the Super Bowl champions with the opening game in their stadium on a Thursday in primetime.
The 90-minute pregame celebration will also feature Football Night in America and Sunday Night Football commentators Bob Costas, Al Michaels, Cris Collinsworth, Dan Patrick, Tony Dungy, Rodney Harrison, Peter King and Mike Florio live from Green Bay as they examine the impending 2011 NFL season.
On Saturday night at 8 p.m. ET, NBC is adding a one-hour NFL special to preview the season. It will look ahead to the first full Sunday of football, address the season’s major story lines, feature a Bob Costas interview with New York Jets head coach Rex Ryan, and show unseen musical performances from NFL Kickoff 2011.
NBC concludes NFL Kickoff weekend on Sunday, September 11 with Football Night in America (7 p.m. ET) followed by Sunday Night Football (8:30 p.m. ET), featuring the Dallas Cowboys at the New York Jets, airing at their traditionally-scheduled times.
NBCUniversal’s NFL Kickoff Programming Schedule
Thursday, September 8 (all times ET)
7 p.m.: NFL Kickoff 2011 — VERSUS, USA, Syfy, G4 and NFL Network/NBC (in progress following speech coverage)
8:30 p.m.: Saints @ Packers — NBC
Saturday, September 10
8 p.m.: NFL Special — NBC
Sunday, September 11
7 p.m.: Football Night in America — NBC
8:30 p.m.: Sunday Night Football, Cowboys @ Jets — NBC
That will do it.
As part of its “Big Event” strategy, NBCUniversal is utilizing five of its networks, one of its syndicated shows, four NBC programs and its local network and cable affiliates to promote the NFL regular season opener this Thursday between the New Orleans Saints and Green Bay Packers. Of course, NBC will air the game in a Thursday Night special at 8:30 Eastern Time, but leading up to the game, NBCUniversal will have NBC’s Today show, America’s Got Talent and two late night shows to help hype the opener. CNBC’s Darren Rovell will be reporting live from Green Bay for the business network. Weather Channel will be live from Wisconsin as well. And there’s Telemundo getting into the act too. It’s part of the NFL’s “Back to Football” campaign that NBC has incorporated into its promotions as well.
So let’s take a look at what NBCUniversal is up to this week.
TODAY, CNBC, E! & Others Report From Green Bay
NEW YORK – Sept. 6, 2011 – NBCUniversal is getting “Back to Football” with NFL-themed programming all week and unprecedented coverage from Green Bay, Wis., this Thursday to celebrate the start of the 2011 NFL season.
Rivaling NBCUniversal’s presence at the Olympics and Super Bowl, NBCU will be on site in Green Bay covering the annual NFL Kickoff celebration in the city of the Super Bowl Champion. This year’s game is a matchup of the last two Super Bowl champions as the Packers host the New Orleans Saints from historic Lambeau Field
“For so many Americans, the start of football season is a special time, and once again the NBCUniversal family helps to build upon the momentum when our country gets ‘Back to Football,’” said John Miller, CMO of NBCU Television Group and head of NBC Sports Agency. “This is the first NFL season for the new NBCUniversal and more assets than ever are involved in the NBC Sports Group’s ‘Big Event Strategy.’”
Highlights of NBCUniversal’s “Back to Football” Week:
TODAY Show: Matt Lauer and Al Roker will be on-site in Green Bay to report on Kickoff festivities on Thursday. Segments include live interviews with NBC Sports commentators, pre-taped and live features with Packers and Saints players, and reports on the fan and entertainment aspects of Kickoff.
- The TODAY Show will also celebrate “Back to Football” throughout the show and encourage viewers to wear jerseys to school and work to celebrate “Back to Football Friday.”
- TODAY’s fourth hour with Kathie Lee and Hoda will celebrate “Back to Football Week” with a special NFL-themed segment on Wednesday.
- Weekend TODAY: The nation’s No. 1 weekend morning news show will interview one of NBC’s “Football Night in America” studio analysts on Saturday morning.
Access Hollywood: On Thursday, Access Hollywood will air a behind-the-scenes feature with Faith Hill recording and performing the Sunday Night Football opener, “Waiting All Day for Sunday Night.”
America’s Got Talent: America’s No. 1 primetime show of the summer will incorporate an NFL Kickoff message and Back to Football information into the Tuesday and Wednesday primetime shows this week.
Weather Channel: Al Roker and Stephanie Abrams will be on-site in Green Bay reporting live for “Wake Up with Al” and “Your Weather Today” on Thursday.
CNBC: Sports-business reporter Darren Rovell will be on-site in Green Bay reporting live for CNBC’s daytime coverage on Thursday.
Jay Leno’s Show of Hacks: Correspondent Rove McManus will do a taped feature from Green Bay, interviewing fans and Green Bay locals for a Kickoff special feature that will air on Thursday. Jay Leno will also promote Kickoff in his monologues Wednesday through Friday, promoting both NFL Kickoff and the start of the “Sunday Night Football” season.
Late Night with Jimmy Fallon: During “Back to Football Week,” Jimmy Fallon will promote NFL Kickoff with football-themed segments and sketches.
E!: The 24-hour network with programming dedicated to the world of entertainment will report live from Green Bay on Thursday for E! News, the premiere destination for celebrity news.
Telemundo: Late night sports and entertainment show, Titulares y Mas, will be on-site in Green Bay covering the Kickoff concert and all the NFL Kickoff news.
Universal Orlando Theme Park: Universal Orlando will promote “Back to Football” and NFL Kickoff 2011 to all park guests Thursday through Sunday. Promotion includes NBC Sports NFL promos airing on the CityWalk Astrovision screens and on the large stage screens. CityWalk restaurant/bar employees will wear NFL jerseys and all park turnstile employees will wear NFL hats.
NBC Affiliates and Comcast Regional Sports Networks: Local correspondents will report live from Green Bay on Thursday, feeding content to all 235 local stations and 11 Comcast Regional Sports Networks. NBC affiliates in NFL markets will also help celebrate “Back to Football Friday,” by wearing NFL customized jerseys on-air Friday morning.
One thing that caught my eye. NBC affiliates in NFL markets will wear NFL customized jerseys? So a reporter or weather person will wear an NFL jersey? Many anchors and/or weather persons are not sports fans so that’s going to look awkward, don’t you think? And should news reporters be active rooters for sports teams? I don’t think that’s a good idea. Just putting my old radio reporter’s hat on.
And here’s John Miller, Chief Marketing Officer of NBC Sports discussing the promotion for Thursday and for NBC’s Sunday Night Football game on 9/11.
Let’s get these megalinks done as I hope to give you a weekend full of posts for the three day holiday. That’s my plan, at least. They could get changed due to family or weather. You never know.
I have the sports and entertainment programming in the Weekend Viewing Picks. Let’s get to the linkage now.
Michael Hiestand of USA Today discusses the NFL Films documentary on Bill Belichick that followed him for the entire 2009 season and got some rather interesting footage.
Sports Business Daily’s John Ourand speaks with a Fox Soccer exec about having English Premier League games air on the Fox mothership.
John Eggerton from Broadcasting & Cable reports that President Obama’s speech to a joint session of Congress next Thursday will not cut into the NFL regular season opener on NBC.
Mike Reynolds of Multichannel News writes that Big Ten Network’s BTN2Go service has been picked up by four cable and satellite providers.
Timothy Burke of SportsGrid says former NFL cheap shot artist Chuck Cecil got off to an inauspicious start to his broadcasting career on Thursday.
Matt Yoder at Awful Announcing has some really bad network typos from the last week.
Sports Media Watch looks at the extension of the PGA Tour’s deal with CBS Sports, Golf Channel and NBC Sports.
Steve Lepore of Puck The Media says the NHL’s TV partners should lead the discussion on head injuries and how they could lead to tragedies such as the deaths of Wade Belak, Derek Boogaard and Rick Rypien.
Joe Favorito says the Los Angeles Dodgers are using social media this month to try to get closer to the fans.
East and Mid-Atlantic
Chad Finn from the Boston Globe looks at the PGA Tour’s extension with its TV partners and he talks about Friend of Fang’s Bites Jen Royle talking with various area radio stations.
In SBNation Boston, Bruce Allen of Boston Sports Media Watch has the ESPN Monday Night Football crew previewing this season’s Patriots team.
Richard Sandomir of the New York Times writes about college football writer “Free Bruce” Feldman leaving ESPN.com to go to CBS Sports.
Larry Dorman of the Times writes about the PGA Tour’s new contract with CBS, Golf Channel and NBC.
Phil Mushnick of the New York Post continues to plaster hate all over his wretched columns.
Justin Terranova of the Post has five questions for Monday Night Football’s Jon “This Guy” Gruden and Ron “I’m Telling You, Jaws” Jaworski.
Pete Dougherty of the Albany Times Union says a local TV station is in its 13th year producing a high school football highlights show.
Keith Groller of the Allentown (PA) Morning Call tells football fans not to worry about President Obama’s speech interrupting the Saints-Packers NFL season opener on Thursday.
Laura Nachman has a press release announcing the winner of a Philadelphia sports radio talk show host contest.
DCTRV.com’s Dave Hughes in Press Box notes that Comcast SportsNet Mid-Atlantic’s Russ Thaler moves to Versus for a national gig.
Jim Williams of the Washington Examiner has a few notes about this Sunday’s Baltimore Grand Prix.
Jim has Fox’s college football crew discussing the potential departure of Oklahoma from the Big 12.
Barry Jackson of the Miami Herald looks at some of the changes in the NFL TV broadcast booths for this season.
Tom Jones at the St. Petersburg Times has a preview of the weekend on sports television.
Bud Kennedy of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram says the Longhorn Network will help Texas down the road, but it’s already hurting its relationship with other schools.
David Barron of the Houston Chronicle reveals that Texas and Texas A&M were in talks to create a joint TV network four years ago.
David says University of Houston quarterback Case Keenum gets a national showcase on Fox Sports Net this weekend.
Mel Bracht of the Daily Oklahoman talks with the new voice of the Oklahoma Sooners.
In his notebook, Mel looks at the new Fox Sports studio team for college football.
Gina Mizell of the Oklahoman talks with ESPN Sport Science host John Brenkus about how an Oklahoma State athlete was chosen for a feature.
John Kiesewetter of the Cincinnati Enquirer is still rooting for the late Reds announcer Joe Nuxhall to get into the Baseball Hall of Fame.
And John has a couple of local TV news and notes.
Mike Zuidema of the Grand Rapids (MI) Press talks with ESPN college football analyst Chris Spielman about the rivalry that is Michigan-Ohio State.
Bob Wolfley of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel asks if social media has a place in sports broadcasts.
Scott Cooper Williams of the Green Bay Gazette says a bunch of NBC shows will be town to help hype the Saints-Packers NFL season opener on Thursday.
Ed Sherman in Crain’s Chicago Business has his winners and losers in sports business and media.
Tina Akouris of the Chicago Sun-Times writes about Dick Vitale’s new children’s book.
Scott D. Pierce of the Salt Lake Tribune says Utah fans should be happy that a local TV station is picking up the team’s games for this season.
J. Patrick Coolican of the Las Vegas Sun says UNLV’s TV contract through the Mountain West Conference just plain sucks.
Jay Posner from the San Diego Union-Tribune says Padres fans should expect to watch games on a new channel next season.
John Maffei of the North County Times says there will be a plethora of college football games this weekend.
Jim Carlisle of the Ventura County Star notes the return of former Dodgers broadcaster Ross Porter to play-by-play, but this time online.
Jim says Fox Sports West will be extensively covering high school football online.
Helene Elliot of the Los Angeles Times says Hall of Fame Kings announcer Bob Miller has signed a new contract that will bring him to 40 seasons with the team.
Tom Hoffarth of the Los Angeles Daily News also writes about Miller’s new deal.
Tom talks to network executives and producers about how and when to incorporate Twitter into a sports broadcast.
And that’s going to do it for the megalinks. If you’re traveling this weekend, be safe and if you’re still recovering from Hurricane Irene, I hope all returns to normal soon.
The NFL usually doesn’t run ads hyping the season until the first preseason games are underway, but as the league finally gets into action with the collective bargaining agreement officially approved, it will air an ad this weekend on all of the league’s TV partners.
The ad features one football being thrown around in different scenes from a high school to an office eventually to a living room to a football field and finally to an NFL stadium. The NFL says this is the earliest an ad promoting the new season has been aired, normally they don’t start until the preseason is underway, but this is no ordinary offseason having the lockout take over the time when training camps would be underway.
So take a look at the ad and you can see where this is taking us.
The Back To Football: The Ball ad will premiere in primetime programming starting this weekend on CBS, ESPN, Fox, NBC and NFL Network.
We’ve given you ESPN’s and Fox’s statements on the Olympic bidding for 2014 and beyond. It’s NBC’s turn. Here’s their statement as sent unedited.
LAUSANNE – June 7, 2011 – The International Olympic Committee (IOC) announced today that it awarded the U.S. media rights to the 2014, 2016, 2018 and 2020 Olympic Games to NBCUniversal for $4.38 billion.
Brian Roberts, Chairman & CEO Comcast, said: “We are honored to continue as the U.S. Olympic broadcaster for the remainder of this decade. The vision for our new Comcast-NBCUniversal was to create new platforms and technologies to distribute the very best content. Every two years the Olympic Games provides iconic content for us to deliver on all platforms. We are proud to continue the rich heritage and long association that NBC has had with the IOC and I personally want to thank President Jacques Rogge and Richard Carrion for their long-term trust.”
Steve Burke, CEO, NBCUniversal: “I’m extremely pleased we will be continuing as the IOC’s U.S. media partner. Broadcasting sports events is an important part of our business and the Olympics are obviously a significant part of the portfolio. We have a talented and experienced team in place with a legacy of outstanding Olympics coverage and we are all looking forward to London next year and to Sochi and Rio after that.”
Mark Lazarus, Chairman, NBC Sports Group: “It is a great thrill to know that NBC’s unsurpassed Olympic heritage and unprecedented partnership with the IOC will continue through 2020. The Olympics are a significant part of NBC and the IOC again recognized NBCUniversal’s unmatched ability to promote, market, program and produce the Olympic Games. London, Sochi, Rio and the 2018 and 2020 Games will benefit from our ability to galvanize all the resources of the newly-formed NBC Sports Group to bring the Games to more homes and more platforms than ever.”
The decision came after two days of meetings held at the IOC headquarters in Lausanne. Switzerland, during which ESPN, Fox and NBC each gave a presentation and submitted their proposals to the IOC. The negotiation process started earlier this year with preliminary discussions conducted with all interested parties. Each proposal was discussed by an IOC delegation chaired by President Rogge.
IOC President Jacques Rogge said: “We are delighted to have reached an agreement with our longstanding partner NBC. We received three excellent bids and would like to thank each broadcaster for their presentations. In the end we were most impressed with NBC, which not only has a track record for broadcasting the Games that speaks for itself, but also has a clear and innovative vision of where it wants to take the broadcast of the Games between now and 2020. We look forward to continuing to build on our already strong relationship beginning in London next year.”
NBC, America’s Olympic Network, has broadcast a total of 12 Olympic Games, more than any other network. The 2012 London Summer Olympics will be NBC’s 13th Olympic Games broadcast and seventh consecutive. Today’s announcement means that at the conclusion of the 2020 Summer Olympics, NBC will have broadcast 17 Olympic Games and 11 consecutive.
That’s it. More stuff to come.
Ok starting the linkage off late again today, but I hope get a full set in before leaving work later.
Sports Business Daily notes some shuffling of personnel with the NFL TV partners.
Preston Bounds of Sports Business Daily talks about Brad Nessler saying his college football schedule with ESPN/ABC won’t be affected by his new gig with NFL Network.
Sports Business Daily discusses the machinations behind the ESPN-owned Longhorn Network.
Michael Hiestand from USA Today has some of the ratings from the weekend.
At Variety, Cynthia Littleton talks about ABC Studios developing a sitcom based on a book written by ESPN Radio morning drive co-host Mike Greenburg.
R. Thomas Umstead of Multichannel News notes that ESPN has been honored for its World Cup programming.
Anthony Crupi from Adweek says NBCUniversal’s networks are all over the promotion of the Kentucky Derby.
Wayne Friedman at MediaPost notes that Time Warner saw additional ad revenues in the 1st quarter of this year thanks to the NCAA Tournament.
Wayne says Fox is reporting good ad revenues from the NFL in its fiscal year 2nd quarter.
Greg Wyshynski of Yahoo’s Puck Daddy has the video of a cameraman getting a little too close to the action before Game 3 of the Vancouver-Nashville game.
Eric Deggans of the St. Petersburg Times writing for the Indiana University National Sports Journalism Center notes that sports journalism is greatly lacking in diversity.
Kristi Dosh of the Business of College Sports has an excellent look at the TV contracts for all of the BCS conferences.
Richard Sandomir of the New York Times notes that embattled Los Angeles Dodgers owner Frank McCourt is blaming MLB Walking, Talking Conflict of Interest Bud Selig for his financial troubles. Way to help your cause, Frank.
Newsday’s Neil Best says former NFL Network play-by-play man Bob Papa is taking the high road.
Pete Dougherty of the Albany Times Union writes that thoroughbred racing from Saratoga Race Course is heading back to national television after a year’s absence.
Ken Schott from the Schenectady Gazette says Time Warner Cable will air some local high school baseball.
Keith Groller at the Allentown (PA) Morning Call writes that Matt Millen had a feeling he was going to be blown out of the NFL Network booth.
Jim Williams from the Washington Examiner feels the big Pac-12 contracts with ESPN and Fox could lead the Big East to a huge windfall.
Barry Horn in the Dallas Morning News says the Mavericks saw their biggest ratings in more than 2 years.
John Kiesewetter of the Cincinnati Enquirer notes that Pawtucket Red Sox and Cincinnati Bearcats voice Dan Hoard will become the voice of the Bengals this season.
John goes into some of the reasons why Brad Johansen will no longer be the voice of the Bengals.
Bob Wolfley from the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel looks at Mike Mayock becoming the new analyst for NFL Network’s Thursday Night Football.
Ed Sherman at Crain’s Chicago Business notes that WGN will have a special on Bulls and White Sox owner Jerry Reinsdorf.
Paola Boivin from the Arizona Republic takes a look at the Pac-12 media rights agreements and what it means for member schools.
Diane Pucin of the Los Angeles Times writes about Brad Nessler coming in to call NFL Network Thursday Night Football.
SportsbyBrooks profiles the US Assistant Attorney General whose looking into the BCS.
Sports Media Watch notes that in Boston this week, the Bruins beat the Celtics in the ratings, but not head-to-head.
SMW says Lakers losses are leading to lofty ratings.
Steve Lepore, the hardest working blogger in the business, says NBC saw a double digit ratings jump last Sunday.
Steve also has the ratings for Night 21 of the NHL Playoffs.
Awful Announcing notes that announcers Victor Rojas and Mark Gubicza understandably went a little goofy as the Angels-Red Sox game went form Wednesday night into early Thursday morning.
Keggs ‘n Eggs notes the irony of Urban Meyer’s daughter complaining about him working for ESPN as he was supposed to spend retirement from Florida with his family.
I’ll end the links there. Finally finish these at 9:50 p.m. Thursday. Lots of things to do on the blog.
For the last few years, NBC Sports has taken a philosophy to promote certain events all over the NBCUniversal platform. The Olympics are a perfect example and the Kentucky Derby is another. If you or a significant other watches NBCUniversal’s vast cable empire including USA, Oxygen, Bravo, E!, G4, CNBC, MSNBC, The Weather Channel, Syfy and the tons of other channels under the Comcast/NBC banner, then you’ll probably have seen the promos for the race run on the first Saturday in May. This year is no different and with Comcast in the fold with NBC this year, the promotion has expanded even further. If you’ve watched the Stanley Cup Playoffs on Versus, then you’ll have seen promos as well.
Take a look at the NBCUniversal press release on how the organization plans to promote the Kentucky Derby as coverage begins today on Versus.
NBCU Marketing Council Designates Derby a “Cross-Channel Priority”
TODAY Show Segments Live from Churchill Downs Starting Thursday
Features and Segments from NBCUniversal Properties Including CNBC, Access Hollywood, Weather Channel, Late Night With Jimmy Fallon, E!, Style, iVillage, Daily Candy
NEW YORK – May 3, 2011 – The NBC Sports Group will present 14½ hours of Kentucky Derby coverage beginning Wednesday at 4 p.m. ET on VERSUS and culminating with the 137th running of the Kentucky Derby on NBC, Saturday, May 7 beginning at 4 p.m. ET.
The shared vision of Churchill Downs and NBC Sports’ successful ‘Big Event Strategy’ to assemble the broadest possible audience led to the 2010 Kentucky Derby being the most-watched Kentucky Derby in 21 years, in addition to the year prior which was the most-watched Derby in 20 years. Last year’s Kentucky Derby averaged 16.5 million viewers, making it the most-watched Kentucky Derby since 1989 when Sunday Silence won (18.5 million).
In the 10 years that Churchill Downs and NBC Sports have been together the event has experienced remarkable growth. The Kentucky Derby is now seen by 7.4 million more viewers than the last Kentucky Derby broadcast by ABC in 2000 (16.5 million vs. 9.1 million, up 51 percent).
CROSS-CHANNEL PRIORITY: Kentucky Derby coverage on NBC and VERSUS has been identified by NBCUniversal’s Marketing Council as a cross-channel priority. It is receiving the benefit of extensive promotion across NBCUniversal’s 20 channels and more than 40 websites. Also, once again this year, a host of NBCUniversal properties will participate in promoting the food, fashion, celebrity and entertaining spectacle that is the Kentucky Derby.
Below is a summary of the NBCU properties that are supporting the Kentucky Derby:
TODAY Show: The TODAY Show, the No. 1 morning news show (averaging 6 million viewers/week), is featuring Derby segments highlighting the food, fashion, celebrity and entertaining elements of the Derby everyday this week. Al Roker and Jenna Wolfe will be live from Churchill Downs Thursday, Friday and Saturday and their coverage will include interviews with NBC Sports horse racing analyst Gary Stevens and reporter Donna Brothers, who last year in a live interview with Roker was thrown from her horse and became a viral hit.
The Today Show with Hoda and Kathie Lee (4th hour): For the second straight year, Hoda and Kathie Lee are featuring a Derby trip giveaway contest for the fan who creates the most interesting Derby hat. The contest began Wednesday, April 27 and concludes this Wednesday. Viewers are asked to send in pictures of their originally-created hats, and one viewer will be selected to win a trip for two to the Derby. KLG and Hoda are promoting the contest through the show, on TODAYShow.com and through their Facebook page and Twitter accounts.
TodayShow.com: TodayShow.com is featuring a special Derby video player for viewers to replay all the Today Show Derby segments that are running throughout the week.
Weekend Today: The No. 1 weekend morning news show will air live segments from the Derby this weekend with Jenna Wolfe featuring interviews with NBC Sports talent on Saturday and scheduled to interview the winning connections on Sunday.
Late Night with Jimmy Fallon: Jimmy Fallon and his creative team developed a Derby sketch that will premiere in Saturday’s Derby coverage on NBC. Fallon also created pre-Derby coverage that will air in his show this week.
Access Hollywood and AH Live: Access Hollywood and Access Hollywood Live will highlight the Derby in a segment featuring Derby attendee and Celebrity Apprentice’s Niki Taylor shopping for her hat for Derby weekend. In the past years, Access shopped with Paris Hilton and Tinsley Mortimer as they prepared for the Derby.
CNBC: CNBC’s sports-business reporter, Darren Rovell, will report live from Churchill Downs all day Friday.
WEATHER CHANNEL: Al Roker and Stephanie Abrams will broadcast live from the Derby Friday and Saturday morning with “Wake Up with Al.” Abrams will also host “Your Weather Today” and “Weekend View” from the Derby.
E!: E! News is featuring Derby segments this week, including hat shopping with Sports Illustrated model and Derby attendee, Marisa Miller, and an interview with Jordin Sparks, who will perform the National Anthem at the Kentucky Derby.
Eonline.com is the premiere destination for breaking entertainment news and celebrity inside information to over six million unique users per month and will feature five distinct Derby-themed photo galleries each day of Derby week.
Style: MyStyle.com premieres Derby-themed photo galleries each day of Derby week and will also feature a Derby Day photo gallery with up-to-the minute Derby pictures from Churchill Downs.
Local Media & Comcast sports nets: Feature clips from NBC Sports Group’s Kentucky Derby coverage are being distributed to all 235 affiliates as well as the 11 CSN’s this week. NBC is also producing a satellite media tour with Betsy Berns, horse racing expert.
IVillage: iVillage, the essential digital brand for women, which reaches over 30 million unique visitors per month, will celebrate this year’s Derby by hosting a “Derby Yourself” application on its thriving Facebook page (www.facebook.com/ivillage), where fans can enter to win a fabulous new wardrobe and accessories from Vineyard Vines’ brand-new Kentucky Derby collection. Users can visualize themselves at the historic Churchill Downs race by creating their own avatar and dressing them in the height of Derby fashion, with fancy clothes, outrageous hats and all the accessories perfect for watching the event that marks the official start of the racing season.
DailyCandy: DailyCandy.com will feature Derby editorial content on its homepage each day of Derby Week and feature Derby fashion in their new feature, “Round-Ups.” In addition, a Derby-themed “Party Time” section will be featured in all DailyCandy editions and links to Derby content in DailyCandy Local and Everywhere emails will be present all week.
Swirl by DailyCandy: DailyCandy’s sister sample sale site, Swirl, launched a Derby-inspired sale this week featuring spring dresses, hats and other Derby attire. DailyCandy and Swirl content will link with iVillage Derby content.
NBC SPORTS GROUP KENTUCKY DERBY COVERAGE (All Times ET):
KENTUCKY DERBY – 14½ Hours
Wednesday, May 4, Derby Classics – Smarty Jones, 4-5 p.m., VERSUS
Wednesday, May 4, Kentucky Derby Draw, 5-6 p.m., VERSUS
Thursday, May 5, Derby Classics – Barbaro, 4-5 p.m., VERSUS
Thursday, May 5, Live from Churchill Downs, 5-6 p.m., VERSUS
Friday, May 6, Derby Classics – Mine That Bird, 4-5 p.m., VERSUS
Friday, May 6, Kentucky Oaks, 5-6 p.m., VERSUS
Saturday, May 7, Live from Churchill Downs, 11 a.m.-4 p.m., VERSUS
Saturday, May 7, Kentucky Derby, 4-7 p.m., NBC
Saturday, May 7, Kentucky Derby Wrap-up, 7-7:30 p.m. VERSUS
And I have a few more press releases to post before moving to links. Keep your feeds updated.
Let’s do some links today. I hope to get some other things done today and some time down the road, I need to do some work.
We begin Sports Illustrated’s Richard Deitsch who gives us his March Media Power List. Some good names on it.
Some links from USA Today and lots of good ones at that. Sean Leahy notes that the Dallas Cowboys will be seen aplenty in primetime in the 2011 NFL regular season.
Sean notes that in addition to the Cowboys, the usual suspects like the Patriots, Colts, Steelers, Jets and others get multiple primetime games as well.
Michael Hiestand says while the primetime NFL schedule looks good on paper now, will the matchups really be attractive come fall?
Michael also looks at the ratings of selected events from the weekend.
Michael shares his thoughts on the NHL staying on NBC/Versus.
In what could be the first of several takeovers in Comcast/NBC markets, John Ourand at Sports Business Daily reports that Comcast SportsNet Bay Area will produce live sportscasts for the San Francisco NBC affiliate, KNTV.
Brian Lowry at Fox Sports says Sports Law & Order does not make for good television.
Dan Wetzel of Yahoo feels the fact that the NFL has scheduled two meaningful games in the New York area and Washington on the 10th anniversary of 9/11 should show that the league is serious about ending the lockout before the season begins. I’ll mildly disagree as I’m sure the NFL had plans to have games scheduled there for quite some time, but we’ll see if the league follows through.
Gregg Rosenthal of Pro Football Talk notes the five NFL teams that didn’t get scheduled for primetime.
The St. Petersburg Times’ Eric Deggans in the Indiana National Sports Journalism Center talks with investigative reporter Armen Keteyian about his return to Real Sports this month.
The Hollywood Reporter’s Marisa Guthrie has NBC Sports Group Emperor Dick Ebersol being extremely optimistic about the company’s new 10 year deal with the NHL.
Jon Lafayette at Broadcasting & Cable says with its new deal, NBC/Versus will get extra exclusivity from the NHL.
Jon says the $2 billion pricetag for the NHL shows that Comast is willing to spend money on sports.
Michael Malone of B&C has more details about Comcast SportsNet Bay Area taking over the live sportscasts for NBC’s KNTV.
Janon Fisher of Adweek says a New York woman is suing the Yankees for trademark infringement saying the team never paid her uncle to create what is now the iconic logo for the franchise.
Glenn Davis at SportsGrid says a New York Daily News Mets beat writer did his best to come up with a creative lede to describe yet another loss by the team.
CNBC’s Darren Rovell asks does it really matter who is on the Madden NFL video game cover?
Bruce Allen from Boston Sports Media Watch takes a look at what the impact of a Comcast SportsNet New England/NBC partnership could mean for the New England region.
From the New York Times, Richard Sandomir says the NHL decided to remain loyal to the networks that stood by it when times were tough to find a television home.
Newsday’s Neil Best says ESPN Radio New York is undergoing yet another scheduling shuffle.
Pete Dougherty of the Albany Times Union says poker’s time on TV might be over.
Ken Schott from the Schenectady Gazette gives praise to the NBC/Versus deal with the NHL.
Ken McMillan at the Middletown (NY) Times Herald-Record speculates on what the NFL schedule in New York would look like throughout the 2011 season provided the lockout is settled.
Jim Williams from the Washington Examiner takes a look at the NHL’s new contract with the NBC Sports Group.
Stephen Whyno of the Washington Times tells us what the NBC Sports Group/NHL deal means for fans.
An era in broadcasting is ending as long-time Voice of the North Carolina Tarheels Woody Durham announced his retirement today. Durham began broadcasting Carolina football and basketball in 1971 and ended this year in 2011 which means an amazing 40 year career. I used to pick up the games through various 50,000 watt AM radio stations from the Tarheels Radio Network. He was great to listen to and I loved his style of calling a game.
Robbi Pickeral of the Raleigh News & Observer says Durham felt it was time to retire.
Briana Gorman from the Durham Herald-Sun writes that the news of Durham’s retirement came as a shock to some.
Ed Hardin of the Greensboro News & Record says Durham was a journalist and a friend.
Bob Sutton of the Gaston Gazette shares one particular memory about Woody Durham.
Alan Ford of the Gazette says Woody was there to call all of the big moments in Carolina basketball.
Aaron Keck at radio station WCHL in Chapel Hill, NC has reaction from those who worked with Durham over the years.
Ken Sugiura of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution asks Woody’s son, Wes, an outstanding broadcaster in his own right and voice of Georgia Tech basketball and the Atlanta Falcons, on whether he would succeed his father.
Kevin Scarbinsky of the Birmingham (AL) News feels ESPN’s Bob Knight should go one step farther after his apology on comments he made about Kentucky’s basketball program.
In fact, ESPN issued a short statement on Knight’s comments.
Then ESPN issued an apology attributed to Knight.
Eric Crawford at the Louisville Courier-Journal says Knight’s apology still doesn’t address inaccuracies in his original statements about Kentucky.
In Crain’s Chicago Business, Ed Sherman has some various Windy City sports media news and notes.
Ed says the Chicago Bears did not receive the maximum number of primetime appearances.
Chip Scoggins from the Minneapolis Star Tribune says without Brett Favre, the Minnesota Vikings’ primetime appearances have been cut significantly.
Diane Pucin of the Los Angeles Times looks at the new NBC Sports Group/NHL deal.
Jon Wilner of the San Jose Mercury News notes that the Pac 12 asked Fox for a lot of money and that is why the rights to the conference are currently on the open market.
David Shoalts of the Toronto Globe and Mail says the NHL wants to keep the Coyotes in Phoenix at all costs over its TV market. There’s been talk the Coyotes may have to Winnipeg, but nothing has been confirmed.
Bruce Dowbiggin of the Globe and Mail writes that Don Cherry’s making light of concussions isn’t helping the situation.
The lovely Kat Hasenauer at SportsGirlKat (and she is lovely as I’ve met her in person) says blogging should not have a negative connotation. Very good post.
Sports Media Watch speaks with the Vice President of Content at NBA Digital.
SMW notes that NBC Sports Group is about to rebrand Versus very soon.
Let’s get Steve Lepore’s take on the NBC Sports Group new contract with the NHL in Puck The Media and he says it’s a win-win not just for both parties, but for fans too.
Steve also has the NHL Playoff weekend ratings for Versus.
The Canadian Sports Media blog has its observations on The Group and NHL getting back together.
The Big Lead talks about its first online NFL Pre-Draft special that will take place next Monday.
Dave Kohl in Major League Programs looks at sports radio ratings in various major markets.
Ok, I think I’m done for now.
Late last night or early this morning, whichever you prefer, Tiger Woods made a rare talk show appearance. It was to promote his new video game. But before talking about Tiger Woods PGA Tour 12: The Masters, he and Jimmy Fallon discussed how Woods gave him plenty of material over the last couple of years.
In this video, Jimmy talks about beating Tiger in the 2010 version of the video game.
In this video, Tiger shows off his game to Jimmy Fallon and the always lovely Amy Poehler from Parks & Recreation.
And lastly, more of Jimmy, Tiger and Amy.
There you have it.
You’re linkage once again so let’s provide some now. I am putting together a Videos of Week for Sunday morning so look for that if you get up around 8 a.m. Eastern time tomorrow.
ESPN Ombudsman Don Ohlmeyer writes his last column in his role of overseer and apologizes for his lack of writing.
Nellie Andreeva of Deadline.com reports that CBS is picking up two sitcoms based on two ESPN personalities, one extremely annoying, the other not so much.
Michael Malone of Broadcasting & Cable writes that DirecTV wants to settle a dispute with Northwest Broadcasting that is keeping several local channels off the satellite provider and preventing subscribers from possibly seeing the Super Bowl.
Milton Kent from Fanhouse says ESPN’s Stuart Scott will undergo chemotherapy after having cancerous tissue removed. Our best to Stuart.
Milton says Fox’s Terry Bradshaw will be tickled pink if he gets to hand the Super Bowl Trophy to his old team, the Pittsburgh Steelers.
Lucia Moses from Mediaweek says after a two year absence, Sports Illustrated is bringing back its Super Bowl party in Dallas.
The Nielsen Ratings Wire blog looks into the factors that are causing the NFL’s TV ratings to increase at an astounding rate.
Bill Cromwell of Media Life Magazine says Comcast has a long road ahead to pull NBC out of its current doldrums.
One quick aside. You may have noticed that as of yesterday, I recommended a non-sports NBC program in the Weekend Viewing Picks for the first time in about a year. Now that Jeff Zucker is gone from running the network into the ground, I have ended my primetime and late night boycott of NBC. I had only put NBC sports programs in the Viewing Picks since the Conan debacle last year. If I feel an NBC program is worthy of being recommended, I will place it in the Picks. Right now, absolutely none of NBC’s primetime lineup (The Cape? A Minute To Win It? Perfect Couples? What the hell are those?) appeals to me. We’ll see if the upcoming programs are of any quality. For now, baby steps for NBC. And no, please don’t sell me on “Friday Night Lights”. That has no appeal to me whatsoever.
Back to the links.
Toni Fitzgerald of Media Life says there is plenty of buzz over the Super Bowl ads again this year.
E.J. Schultz of Advertising Age says Snickers is hoping comedienne Roseanne will do in this year’s Super Bowl what Betty White did for the candy bar in last year’s Super Bowl ad. I’ll be honest. Everyone loves Betty White. Roseanne doesn’t have that same appeal.
Ken Wheaton of Ad Age has one of the two silly Go Daddy.com Super Bowl ads.
Wayne Friedman of MediaPost writes that the NHL is not only seeing higher TV ratings, but is also seeing more revenue from corporate sponsorships.
Tanya Irwin of MediaPost’s Marketing Daily notes that the NFL is teaming up with Visa to produce an exclusive Twitter feed for the Super Bowl.
One story that surfaced earlier this week and I wasn’t able to get to it. This comes from Allan Brettman of The Oregonian who points out the conflict of interest of ESPN’s Erin Andrews endorsing Reebok after reporting in the BCS about some problems about Nike shoes.
Katie Thomas of the New York Times now picks up the story and further explores the problems this brings.
Don’t forget last year when ESPN’s Jenn Brown was going to be the spokesperson for Icehouse beer and after Sports Illustrated’s Richard Deitsch pointed out the conflict of interest, the deal was nixed.
Barry Horn of the Dallas Morning News writes that Fox’s Terry Bradshaw will be excited if he hands the Vince Lombardi Trophy to the Green Bay Packers.
Dan Caesar of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch notes that Midwest radio powerhouse KMOX is expanding its sports coverage.
Tom Hoffarth at the Los Angeles Daily News looks at the Best and Worst of SoCal’s analysts.
Tom has his extensive media notes.
Dan Fogarty at SportsGrid provides the very funny postmatch comments by Li Na after the Australian Open women’s final.
Sports Media Watch notes that NASCAR will have later start times for its late season races.
Steve Lepore of Puck the Media has the ten most watched and least watched NHL games on Versus thus far this season.
We’ll end it there for now.
Even with a visit from my sister, her husband and their dog, I still have some time to provide the Sunday linkage. I think this is the first time in quite some time that I’ve been able to provide linkage on both weekend days. Once again, I’m still in a holding pattern not knowing if I’m being booted from this server or if I have to go to another site. There are several places I’m considering for the next home of Fang’s Bites if things don’t work out here. I’ll keep you posted.
To the linkage.
Milton Kent of Fanhouse talks with ESPN’s Chris McKendry who is hosting at the Australian Open.
Mike Reynolds from Multichannel News looks at Versus picking up rights to the National Lacrosse League.
The great college basketball writer Kevin McNamara of the Providence Journal looks at the effect of ESPN’s deal with the University of Texas.
Brittany Lyte of the Connecticut Post writes that ESPN filmed the opening of its Super Bowl coverage at a local blacksmith shop. Seriously.
The New York Daily News’ Bob Raissman correctly gets on ESPN’s Tom Jackson for his silly explanation of his Patriots prediction last week.
Newsday’s Neil Best provides some of the best from his blog in the previous week.
Dr. Gloom and Doom at the New York Post decides that hating the entire world works for him.
From the New Jersey Newsroom, Evan Weiner feels ESPN will finally get some real competition from Comcast/NBC.
Jim Williams from the Washington Examiner talks with Hall of Fame hockey announcer Mike “Doc” Emrick about the NHL All-Star Game.
Dan Steinberg from the Washington Post’s DC Sports Bog says the Capitals might have received a ratings bounce thanks to HBO’s 24/7 series.
David O’Brien from the Atlanta Journal-Constitution writes that Peachtree TV is outsourcing production of its 45 Braves games to Fox Sports South effectively ending Turner Sports’ long relationship with the team.
In a related story, Kristi E. Swartz of the AJC notes that Turner is turning over management of Peachtree TV to the local CBS affiliate.
The Dallas Morning News picks up a story from the Fort Worth Star-Telegram’s Ray Buck on the new University of Texas/ESPN network.
Mike Baldwin of the Daily Oklahoman notes that ESPN’s Dick Vitale will be honored as part of an award handed to the nation’s top freshman college basketball player.
Drew Sharp of the Detroit Free Press says the ESPN deal to form a TV network based on the University of Texas sets a bad precedent in college sports.
Eric Weddle from the Lafayette (IN) Journal Courier looks at ESPN’s visit to the Purdue campus for College GameDay.
Bob Wolfley from the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel says ESPN has had plenty of coverage on the NFC Championship Game this morning.
Bob has Joe Buck’s storylines heading into today’s NFC Championship Game.
Philip Hersh of the Chicago Tribune provides this tribute to the late Olympic documentarian Bud Greenspan.
Also from the Tribune, Phil Rosenthal notes that unlike the 1985 Chicago Bears, not too many present day Bears have endorsement deals.
Tom Hoffarth of the Los Angeles Daily News has the video of a local TV reporter getting hurt at a motorcross live shot, and his fellow reporters laughing away.
The Sports Media Watch says Onion SportsDome’s second outing did progressively worse in the ratings.
SMW has its Weekend Ratings Predictions.
The Big Lead has the video of the announcer on the USA-Chile soccer friendly making a Black Eyed Peas reference.
Glenn Davis at SportsGrid has audio of WFAN’s Mike Francesa being totally clueless on UFC. I just shake my head.
And I think I’ll end it there. Enjoy your Championship Sunday.
Let’s do some linkage for you. I haven’t done any since Wednesday, I believe. Still working on bringing archives here, but I’m not as stressed as I was last night. Thanks to my friends over at Radio Insight for giving me some great ideas on how to bring the archives over. I’d say about 90% of my archives are here. I’ll be working to bring them all over and when all is said and done, the Blogger site will be taken down for good. Let me know what you think of this particular site and how it can be improved. My e-mail address remains at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Now to the links.
Richard Deitsch of Sports Illustrated looks at the new CBS/Turner lineup for the NCAA Tournament.
Mike Reynolds of Multichannel News writes about how the combined CBS/Turner team came together to decide on the announcing and sales teams for the NCAA Tournament.
Mike says he can’t wait to watch the NFL Conference Championship games tomorrow.
Last night, the big buzz on Twitter and Facebook was the sudden departure of Keith Olbermann from MSNBC. There’s speculation on where he might end next, whether it be at a sports network, radio, on Live with Kelly Ripa. Dan Fogarty of SportsGrid says you can rest assured that he won’t be heading back to ESPN.
Tim Goodman of Hollywood Reporter has 10 tongue-in-cheek suggestions.
Bill Carter of the New York Times says Olbermann’s departure was in the works for weeks.
Milton Kent of Fanhouse wonders where Olbermann will go considering he has a reputation for burning bridges.
Now to the sports media.
Marcus Vanderberg of SportsNewser notes that ESPN Ombudsman Don Ohlmeyer will write his last column after being mostly non-existent.
At the Indiana University National Sports Journalism Center, Eric Deggans of the St. Petersburg Times notes that the line for sports media coverage is being redefined more and more by Deadspin.
Back to Milton Kent of Fanhouse, he says CBS’ Jim Nantz and Phil Simms do not like being called biased towards one team or another.
Also from Fanhouse, David Whitley writes about how rival NFL bloggers came together as friends before one passed away earlier this week.
Speaking of Jim, Richard Sandomir of the New York Times looks at how Nantz has become an advocate for Alzheimer’s Disease research.
Pete Dougherty at the Albany Times Union says the local Jets radio affiliate won’t be able to carry the AFC Championship Game tomorrow.
Greg Connors of the Buffalo News talks with the new Executive Producer of the NHL Network US.
Jim Williams from the Washington Examiner writes that the NFL’s ratings have made people sit up and take notice.
David Barron of the Houston Chronicle writes how Alzheimer’s Disease affected CBS’ Jim Nantz up close.
David also looks back at this week’s anniversary of one of the biggest games that made college basketball a viable TV sport.
David shares a reader’s e-mail of how he managed to listen to the game from all the way in Vietnam.
Mel Bracht of the Daily Oklahoman notes how the New York Jets have helped to boost CBS’ NFL postseason ratings.
Mel talks about how TNT’s Charles Barkley will be part of the NCAA Tournament coverage this season.
Mel says ESPN’s Outside the Lines will look at the ten year anniversary of the Oklahoma State basketball air plane crash.
John Kiesewetter of the Cincinnati Enquirer says the Reds are virtually ignored in the early Sunday Night Baseball schedule.
Bob Wolfley of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel looks at Joe Buck calling plenty of Green Bay’s game in the last month.
Bob says a local channel will air two specials on the Packers this weekend.
Dan Caesar at the St. Louis Post-Dispatch looks at the shuffling of the Cardinals Fox Sports Midwest team this season.
Tom Hoffarth of the Los Angeles Daily News profiles local sports anchor Jaime Maggio and lists the best and worst in local sports anchors/reporters.
Tom also has his media notes.
Bruce Dowbiggin at the Toronto Globe and Mail says TSN has made a hire for its sports radio network.
The Canadian Sports Media Blog notes that Rogers Sportsnet has lured a noted hockey reporter away from TSN.
Sports Media Watch has some ratings news and notes.
SMW has more ratings news and notes.
SportsbyBrooks explores the deal that led to Sporting News buying the assets of Fanhouse from AOL.
Steve Lepore at Puck The Media has his final comparison of NHL Overtime and NHL on the Fly.
Joe Favorito says by bringing the World Series Trophy to New York, the San Francisco Giants are doing all they can to expand their brand beyond the Bay Area.
The Big Lead wonders who will be in charge of ESPN The Magazine when it finalizes its move from New York to the Alleged Worldwide Leader’s headquarters.
Dave Kohl at Major League Programs is not a fan of the new Longhorn Network.
And I think that will do it. Sorry to get these up late.
Just received this press release from NBC that Auburn quarterback Cam Newton will be making an appearance on the NBC late night program, Jay Leno’s Show of Hacks. We have the press release.
BCS FOOTBALL CHAMPION AND HEISMAN TROPHY WINNER CAM NEWTON SET TO APPEAR ON ‘JAY LENO’S SHOW OF HACKS’ TUESDAY (JANUARY 11)BURBANK, Calif. – January 10, 2011 – Newly crowned BCS football Champion Cam Newton, the Heisman Trophy winner and Auburn quarterback, will take a seat on the couch of Jay Leno’s Show of Hacks (Monday-Friday, 11:35 p.m. ET) on Tuesday, January 11.On Monday, January 10, the junior Newton led the #1 ranked Auburn Tigers to a dramatic victory over the #2 Oregon Ducks in college football’s ultimate match-up. Much speculation continues as to whether the BCS championship game would be the top-ranked quarterback’s last college contest. The deadline for qualified underclassmen to declare for the NFL Draft is January 15.
On this New Year’s Day during it which seems college football is quite irrelevant. That’s what the BCS National Champion Game has done, made any New Year’s Day bowl games totally forgettable. And you have some weak matchups in the Rose and Fiesta Bowls tonight so I’m not all that excited about the games. And with the NHL Winter Classic postponed until tonight, this might be the event needed to make New Year’s Day into a great day for hockey. Seriously.
And as long as Pierre McGuire isn’t allowed to do the game tonight, even better.
Let’s give you some linkage now.
At Fanhouse, NHL writer Christopher Botta who can’t get a credential for a New York Islanders game, but can for the Winter Classic, talks about the debut of Cablecam for tonight’s game in Pittsburgh.
Fanhouse’s Milton Kent says this week’s Stanford upset of UConn to end their 90 game winning streak set a women’s college basketball ratings record for ESPN2.
Michael Malone of Broadcasting & Cable notes that Hearst TV stations have avoided being pulled from DirecTV.
Meanwhile, Northwest Broadcasting stations in four smaller markets have been taken off DirecTV systems.
Marcus Vanderberg from SportsNewser discusses how the NHL decided to postpone the Winter Classic until tonight.
Richard Sandomir from the New York Times facetiously lists seven events that won’t happen this year.
Newsday has the Best of Neil Best’s blog from this week.
Neil also discusses the migration of the BCS from over the air TV to cable.
Neil also provides some sports media predictions for 2011.
Pete Dougherty of the Albany Times Union notes that two area natives were cited by Sports Illustrated’s Richard Deitsch in his year-end media column.
The Buffalo News reports that Sinclair Broadcasting has agreed to an extension with Time Warner Cable to keep its stations on the provider temporarily.
Jim Williams from the Washington Examiner says a primetime NHL Winter Classic is actually a very good break for NBC.
Jim provides a few sports media predictions of his own.
Barry Jackson from the Miami Herald lists his best and worst sports media stories of 2010.
Barry Horn at the Dallas Morning News discusses today’s bowl games on TV.
David Barron of the Houston Chronicle pays tribute to the late Olympic filmmaker Bud Greenspan.
Ed Sherman from Crain’s Chicago Business reviews the year in sports business and media.
Dan Caesar of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch also reviews 2010′s biggest stories in the Gateway City and beyond.
Tom Hoffarth at the Los Angeles Daily News looks behind some of the decisions behind NFL games shown in SoCal.
Tom also looks at some of the events from the past week.
Michael Hiltzik of the Los Angeles Times feels the NBC-Comcast merger does not serve the public interest.
Bruce Dowbiggin from the Toronto Globe and Mail looks at how the NHL found its signature event.
Paulsen also reviews his sports media predictions from last year.
SMW provides its predictions for 2011.
Former Washington Times reporter Mark Zuckerman at the Nats blog looks at what has happened to the entire Times sports staff which was let go at this time last year.
Steve Lepore from Puck The Media lists the best and worst in hockey media in 2010.
Joe Favorito talks about the Harlem Globetrotters still going strong.
I’ll end it there for now.
Ok, got interrupted today, but let’s finish up the linkage for this mid-week. Lots of good stuff out there.
USA Today’s Mike McCarthy catches up with NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman to discuss the Winter Classic and the league’s TV rights.
Sports Business Journal lists some of the best sports tweets from athletes and journalists.
Sports Business Daily has Los Angeles Lakers coach Phil Jackson criticizing the NBA for scheduling five games on Christmas Day and has a roundup of other media reaction to two other league’s handling of the Holy Day.
Rachel Cohen from the Associated Press talks about the increased ratings for the NBA, even taking out the ratings for the Miami Heat.
Kurt Helin of Pro Basketball Talk also discusses the higher NBA TV numbers.
At the Indiana University National Sports Journalism Center, Eric Deggans from the St. Petersburg Times shares his thoughts on what could and should happen in the sports media in 2011.
Marcus Vanderberg of SportsNewser notes that the Beef O’Brady’s Bowl on ESPN beat the UConn women on ESPN2 in the overnight ratings last night.
John Eggerton at Broadcasting & Cable says the NBC-Comcast deal will not be voted on by the FCC before year’s end disappointing both parties.
Mike Reynolds from Multichannel News says cable and satellite providers are happy to learn that pay per view darling Manny Pacquaio will have another fight in May.
Lucia Moses of Mediaweek says Time, Inc. is splitting its combined News & Sports Group into two different entities.
All Access says all-around sports charlatan Max Kellerman will join ESPN Radio’s Los Angeles affiliate after the New Year.
Joseph Tartakoff of paidContent notes that Bleacher Report raised another $10.5 million of capital.
To Greg Wyshynski at Yahoo’s Puck Daddy and a look at the NHL’s trailer for the Winter Classic.
Mike Florio from Pro Football Talk is crowing about a new iPhone app.
Nick Caito of the Hartford Courant reports that Connecticut Attorney General Richard Blumenthal is petitioning the NFL, Fox Sports and ESPN to not black out the Constitution State for New York Giants as it was last week for the G-Men/Vikings game.
The Waterbury (CT) Republican-American says the UConn women got decent ratings for ESPN2, but still did not reach a record for women’s college basketball.
At the Washington Post’s DC Sports Bog, Dan Steinberg wonders which Capitals fan started the “We Want Pittsburgh” chant.
Jim Williams with the Washington Examiner notes that DC and Baltimore had the NFL rank #1 in the local ratings once again.
To the South Florida Sun Sentinel where Sarah Talalay tells us that the latest edition of the LeBron James shoe will be unveiled on Christmas Day.
Tommy Hicks from the Mobile (AL) Press-Register says the locally-based GoDaddy.com Bowl has renewed its rights agreement with ESPN.
Shannon Owens of the Sentinel looks at DirecTV possibly dropping Golf Channel by year’s end.
Kyle Veazey of the Clarion (MS) Ledger looks at three state teams playing in holiday basketball tournaments this week that are all owned by ESPN.
Paul Sullivan of the Chicago Tribune says the Cubs and WGN-AM will begin the search to replace late radio analyst Ron Santo.
Debbie Goffa of the Los Angeles Times writes that NHL Network will be all over the IIHF World Junior Championships starting this weekend.
Jim Moore of the Seattle Post-Intelligencer talks about FSN Northwest undergoing a name change in the Spring.
Bruce Dowbiggin with the Toronto Globe and Mail says Maple Leafs coach Ron Wilson makes his job harder by being confrontational with beat reporters.
Friend of Fang’s Bites Jason Clinkscales of A Sports Scribe explains how he made his national television debut on the “C’mon, Man” segment on ESPN’s Monday Night Countdown.
My former TV partner-in-crime Johnny Crowe at The Crowe’s Nest lists his top five announcers in various sports.
Paulsen at the Sports Media Watch has some ratings news and notes.
SMW says TNT’s NBA ratings are on the up-and-up.
And Paulsen says CBS had a slight drop for its Week 15 NFL late Sunday game.
Dave Kohl at Major League Programs talks about the NBA smorgasbord of games on Christmas Day.
We’re finally done with the linkage.
It’s been a while since I could give you the Friday megalinks. You’re owed them. Let’s give them to you now.
There’s the Weekend Viewing Picks which has your sports and entertainment viewing choices.
USA Today’s Michael Hiestand reports that Fox rookie NFL rules analyst Mike Pereira will be in the broadcast booth for Super Bowl XLV in case there’s a controversial call or booth review.
Mike McCarthy of USA Today notes that in his 2nd stint in the NFL, Michael Vick has become a ratings magnet.
Nat Worden of the Wall Street Journal notes that Time Warner Cable is offering a cheaper package to subscribers without ESPN.
Milton Kent of Fanhouse is amused by the NFL ratings claims by CBS, Fox and NBC.
Milton talks about Michael Wilbon leaving the Washington Post after three decades for a full-time position with ESPN.
Carolyn Giardina of the Hollywood Reporter writes that ESPN is launching a new research and development lab with a Florida university.
Mike Reynolds of Multichannel News reports that the new NBC Sports/Comcast will have a new man heading up the cable side of the division.
Mike looks at ESPN research showing that 3-D TV had a “presence” during its coverage of the World Cup this past summer.
Mike says NFL Network’s Thursday Night Football won the cable primetime ratings once again.
Anthony Crupi of Mediaweek discusses Fox Sports becoming the home of the Big Ten Football Championship Game starting next year.
CNBC’s Darren Rovell says Reebok sees its future in selling its products through vending machines.
Darren looks at the future of notifying sports fans when something special is in progress.
Marcus Vanderberg of SportsNewser notes that ESPN was not allowed to air an Activision ad before an Outside the Lines segment today.
Glenn Davis from SportsGrid has the time lapse video of transforming Yankee Stadium from a baseball diamond to a football field.
I’ll have more on this story in the megalinks. Here’s Greg Wyshynski’s story in Yahoo’s Puck Daddy about the New York Islanders pulling a media credential from noted NHL blogger Chris Botta.
Joe Favorito talks about Botta and Scott Raab who had their credentials pulled.
Spots Media Watch notes that ESPN’s college football ratings got a rise from South Carolina-Florida last week.
SMW talks with WNBA star Candice Wiggins.
Steve Lepore of Puck The Media says Versus’ ratings for NHL Overtime rose over its predecessor, The Daily Line.
East and Mid-Atlantic
Chad Finn of the Boston Globe looks at the first NESN simulcasts of WEEI’s Dennis & Callahan radio show.
In the Springfield Republican, the lovely Amanda Bruno profiles the blogger who blew the lid off the NHL’s Colin Campbell’s bias towards the Bruins’ Marc Savard.
In her blog, Batter-up with Bruno, Amanda tells younger sports media consumers that they should care if newspapers fall by the wayside.
Richard Sandomir of the New York Times looks at the Islanders revoking Chris Botta’s media credential over a very silly issue.
Richard profiles CBS’ James Brown who is the face of a government contractor.
Newsday’s Neil Best talks with NBC’s Al Michaels.
Neil wonders why SNY keeps replacing its female hosts for “Beer Money”.
Neil talks with Giants QB Eli Manning about hosting “Saturday Night Live”.
The New York Daily News’ Bob Raissman says ESPN Radio’s Mike and Mike refrained from asking tough questions to Tiger Woods.
Phil Mushnick at the New York Post can’t stand live ad reads during live game action.
The Post’s Justin Terranova talks with ESPN’s NBA analyst Jeff Van Gundy.
Pete Dougherty of the Albany Times Union lists whom he thinks are among the best in hosting and calling NFL games.
Pete also conducts a poll on the same subject in his blog.
Dan Steinberg in the Washington Post’s DC Sports Bog has Michael Wilbon’s thoughts on leaving the WaPo.
Jim Williams in the Washington Examiner has Alexander Ovechkin’s thoughts on his new NHL DVD.
Dustin Long of the Virginian-Pilot has NASCAR Chairman Brian France backing ESPN despite lower ratings this year.
Barry Jackson of the Miami Herald notes that the Heat’s ratings are up.
Ray Buck at the Fort Worth Star-Telegram looks at three new NFL Films documentaries.
David Barron of the Houston Chronicle also looks at the NFL Films coaching docs.
The Daily Oklahoman wonders if ESPN’s College Gameday is headed to the Sooner State next Saturday.
John Kiesewetter of the Cincinnati Enquirer notes what happened since the last time the Bengals were blacked out locally.
Mike Zuidema of the Grand Rapids (MI) Press says Fox Sports Detroit is beefing up its high school football coverage.
The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel’s Bob Wolfley doesn’t want to watch NBA TV’s airing of Allen Iverson playing in Turkey.
Crain’s Chicago Business’ Ed Sherman has his winners and losers in sports business and media.
Ed has the Chicago Cubs’ statement on the Big Ten’s decision to use only one endzone at Wrigley Field for tomorrow’s Illinois-Northwestern game.
Dan Caesar at the St. Louis Post-Dispatch takes a gander at the local sports radio ratings.
Dan has a closer look at the ratings.
Jay Posner at the San Diego Union-Tribune notes that the Chargers narrowly avoided a blackout on Monday night.
Jay talks with ESPN’s Ron Jaworski about Monday night’s Broncos-Chargers game.
John Maffei from the North County Times also talks with Jaws about Broncos-Chargers.
Jim Carlisle of the Ventura County Star discusses the NFL Films trilogy on coaches that began Friday.
Bill Dwyre of the Los Angeles Times says Manny Pacquaio would have fascinated the writers of yesteryear.
Tom Hoffarth of the Los Angeles Daily News looks at the difference of sports reporting now and then.
Tom has his extensive media notes in his blog.
Stacy Brownhill of Willamette (OR) Week reports that Portland Trail Blazers fans protested Comcast SportsNet’s failure to gain widespread access for the team’s games.
Bruce Dowbiggin of the Toronto Globe and Mail wonders if the local media is treating Maple Leafs GM Brian Burke with kid gloves in the wake of him losing his son earlier this year.
Burke’s daughter, Katie, has written a reply to some of the comments in Dowbiggin’s column.
We’ll end it there.