We’ll monitor the upfronts today and also what’s going on in the sports TV/Radio business. Busy day.
First off, our main focus of the blog. The NFL Network suffered a blow last week when a New York appellate judge ruled in favor of Comcast which wants to put the channel on a sports tier. The NFL Network wants to be on expanded basic, but apparently when Comcast lost out on the package of eight Thursday and Saturday night games, the NFL said the cable company could put the channel on the tier. The NFL will appeal. Richard Sandomir of the New York Times has his analysis of the situation. The fact that the NFL put that in the language with Comcast is the smoking gun.
Neil Best of Newsday has his usual Tuesday column. He has his review of the New York sports radio stations’ midday programming which he describes as less than inspiring. WFAN and ESPN Radio have been battling it out with the well established FAN winning out in all dayparts, but ESPN has been trying with Stephen A. Smith and Max Kellerman. So far, it isn’t working.
In his blog, Best notes that the rating for The Players this past weekend was pretty decent.
Bob Raissman of the New York Daily News gives support for Ralph Kiner who’s suffering from Bell’s Palsy. Kiner is still beloved by Mets fans for his malapropisms in the booth. At 84, he still does some games, but just does a few games here and there.
Greg Johnson and Mike DiGiovanna of the LA Times have a joint effort on FOX and MLB announcing that the World Series will begin on October 24, a Tuesday night and the reasoning behind it.
An interesting milestone. UCLA has become the first school to win 100 Championships. A lot of it is due to Title IX, the legislation to bring equality in college sports. Appropriately enough, the 100th title was won by the women’s water polo team.
Jim Williams of the Baltimore/DC Examiner says FOX5′s (DC) Dave Feldman is quickly becoming the heir to George Michael’s crown as most popular sportscaster in the District. Feldman also does a sports radio talk show on WTEM.
Thanks to The Biz of Baseball blog, here’s the revised postseson schedule:
2007 MAJOR LEAGUE BASEBALL POSTSEASON SCHEDULE
|NLDS A Game 1||Wed., Oct. 3||TBS|
|NLDS B Game 1||Wed., Oct. 3||TBS|
|ALDS B Game 1||Wed., Oct. 3||TBS|
|NLDS A Game 2||Thurs., Oct. 4||TBS|
|NLDS B Game 2||Thurs., Oct. 4||TBS|
|ALDS A Game 1||Thurs., Oct. 4||TBS|
|ALDS A Game 2||Fri., Oct. 5||TBS|
|ALDS B Game 2||Fri., Oct. 5||TBS|
|NLDS A Game 3||Sat., Oct. 6||TBS|
|NLDS B Game 3||Sat., Oct. 6||TBS|
|ALDS A Game 3||Sun., Oct. 7||TBS/TNT|
|ALDS B Game 3||Sun., Oct. 7||TBS/TNT|
|NLDS A Game 4||Sun., Oct. 7||TBS/TNT|
|NLDS B Game 4||Sun., Oct. 7||TBS/TNT|
|ALDS A Game 4||Mon., Oct. 8||TBS|
|ALDS B Game 4||Mon., Oct. 8||TBS|
|NLDS A Game 5||Tues., Oct. 9||TBS|
|NLDS B Game 5||Tues., Oct. 9||TBS|
|ALDS A Game 5||Wed., Oct. 10||TBS|
|ALDS B Game 5||Wed., Oct. 10||TBS|
|NLCS Game 1||Thurs., Oct. 11||TBS|
|NLCS Game 2||Fri., Oct. 12||TBS|
|ALCS Game 1||Fri., Oct. 12||FOX|
|ALCS Game 2||Sat., Oct. 13||FOX|
|NLCS Game 3||Sun., Oct. 14||TBS|
|ALCS Game 3||Mon., Oct. 15||FOX|
|NLCS Game 4||Mon., Oct. 15||TBS|
|ALCS Game 4||Tues., Oct. 16||FOX|
|NLCS Game 5||Wed., Oct. 17||TBS|
|ALCS Game 5||Thurs., Oct. 18||FOX|
|NLCS Game 6||Fri., Oct. 19||TBS|
|ALCS Game 6||Sat., Oct. 20||FOX|
|NLCS Game 7||Sat., Oct. 20||TBS|
|ALCS Game 7||Sun., Oct. 21||FOX|
|WS Game 1||Wed., Oct. 24||FOX|
|WS Game 2||Thurs., Oct. 25||FOX|
|WS Game 3||Sat., Oct. 27||FOX|
|WS Game 4||Sun., Oct. 28||FOX|
|WS Game 5||Mon., Oct. 29||FOX|
|WS Game 6||Wed., Oct. 31||FOX|
|WS Game 7||Thurs., Nov. 1||FOX|
Italics indicate “if necessary.”
To the network upfronts, TV Guide.com has an analysis of ABC’s Primetime Schedule. Eleven new shows will be unveiled. One of those will be Private Practice, the Grey’s Anatomy spin-off starring the hot Kate Walsh. I do find her very sexy. But can two Grey’s shows be good for ABC? It’ll anchor the Wednesday night lineup.
Gary Levin of USA Today also has an inside look at the ABC sked.
When more details are released either on sports business or the network upfronts, we’ll be here.
The Cape Cod League has long been a place for the baseball stars of tomorrow to play and learn the nuances of the majors. College players shuck the aluminum bats for wood and get to play on the Cape for a summer. Alumni include Nomar Garciaparra, Frank Thomas and Mark McGwire to name a few. Well, the games from the Cape Cod League this summer will be streamed through WBZ Radio’s website. Legendary Boston Bruins announcer Fred Cusick (who’s in his 80′s, by the way) will call the games live. You can read more from Boston Radio Watch.
Neil Best of Newsday has started a blog and this has led to more articles from him in his newspaper. He has written a story tonight about the NFL allowing reporters access to assistant coaches. Bill Parcells, Bill Belichick, Tom Coughlin and Eric Mangini have all played this game, preventing their assistants from talking to the media. Now with new Commissioner Roger Goodell in charge, this practice stops now. Best also reports that ESPNU will carry the entire NCAA Men’s Lacrosse tournament, all 15 games. However, not all cable systems carry the channel.
In his blog, Best notes that Bob Costas is not interested in pursuing Don Imus’ old show. Costas is not a morning person so I don’t know why this was a story in the first place.
In Minnesota, the Twins will be on both Fox and ESPN this weekend. Judd Zulgad of the Minneapolis Star-Tribune says that while Saturday’s game on Fox will be shown to a small regional audience, Sunday’s game will be shown nationally on ESPN and gives the Twins a rare national opportunity to showcase itself.
Good story from USA Today on the Inside the NBA studio show on TNT. It’s one of the best studio shows in sports. ESPN has tried to match the chemistry of Ernie Johnson, Jr. , Kenny Smith and Charles Barkley to no avail. To be honest, I’d rather have the NBA on TNT on cable and ABC on free, but because ESPN wants to be involved, it gets a slew of games. However, this leads to confusion during the playoffs as you have no idea what games are on which channel. If we went back to the days of when NBC had the over the air contract, it was easy. TNT had the playoff games Monday-Friday and on weekend nights, NBC had the games during weekend afternoons. But now with ESPN/ABC involved, games are on all over the place.
We’ll have more links tomorrow.