I’ll give you a few links here. Just finished watching the latest edition of Ninja Warrior on G4 in which two Americans who qualified for the Sasuke tournament this past summer got to compete. Unfortunately, they could not advance past the first stage, falling into the muddy water at the Jumping Spider. They tried hard and they can take solace that 98 of the 100 participants failed to advance to the 2nd stage and the two that did advance to the next stage could not get past the Salmon Ladder. If you don’t know what I’m talking about, you can get a full explanation of this at the Wiki site. It’s pretty accurate.
To some links now.
Neil Best of Newsday tells us that Madison Square Garden prevented Knicks play-by-play man Gus Johnson from appearing on Steven A. Smith’s ESPN Radio program to comment on the Stephon Marbury situation. Neil also reviews Sports Unfiltered with Dennis Miller.
From TV Week, Chris Pursell reports that the NHL Network adds some programming through 20 American Hockey League games. And in his Pressbox blog, Chris writes that the NFL Network has two big games this season.
In news that could have a big effect on the cable industry, Linda Moss of Multichannel News reports that an arbitrator has ruled that an Ohio cable provider should be paying FSN Ohio less money for carriage because the channel lost the rights to the Cleveland Indians. Also from Multichannel, Linda Haugsted tells us that the NFL Network has begun using former 49er QB Joe Montana in a campaign to promote its eight game schedule.
Glen Dickson of Broadcasting & Cable magazine cites a Motorola study which states football fans prefer to watch games on HDTV rather than going to the games.
The Orbitcast satellite radio blog says XM Satellite Radio will be the sponsor for NHL All Star fan balloting.
Two things from the corporate offices of ESPN. First, we get a press release on the plans to cover the MLS Cup which airs Sunday on ABC. And here are plans for the “multi-platform” coverage for Ohio State-Michigan including classic games on ESPN Classic.
Bruce Allen of Boston Sports Media Watch looks at one of the first sports talk shows in the country that helped to shape how sports radio is done today, the Sports Huddle with Eddie Andelman, Mark Witkin and Jim Witkin which started in Boston back in the early 1970′s and airs today in a different incarnation.
The NFL says the Cowboys-Giants game on Fox this past Sunday was the most watched program of the week.
COWBOYS-GIANTS ON FOX MOST-WATCHED SHOW OF WEEK NFL Games Account for 5 of 6 Most-Watched Shows of TV Season NFL Games Top Ratings in 25 NFL Markets Sunday’s FOX doubleheader game featuring the Dallas Cowboys at New York Giants was viewed by 25.1 million fans, ranking as the most-watched program of the week on television and posting a 15 percent larger audience than the week’s No. 2 show (CSI, 21.9 million viewers). Since the NFL season kicked off on Sept. 6, NFL games account for five of the six most-watched programs on television: Most-Watched Shows on TV, Sept. 6-Nov. 11, 2007 Date Program (Game) Viewers Nov. 4 CBS Sunday National (mostly Patriots-Colts) 33.8 million Oct. 14 CBS Sunday National (mostly Patriots-Cowboys) 29.1 million Sept. 27 CSI (season premiere) 25.4 million Nov. 11 FOX Sunday National (mostly Cowboys-NY Giants) 25.1 million Oct. 21 FOX Sunday National (mostly Vikings-Cowboys) 23.6 million Sept. 9 FOX Sunday National (mostly Bears-Chargers) 22.1 million NFL games topped the local ratings in 25 of 30 NFL markets last week (Nov. 5-11).
CNBC’s Darren Rovell says the turnaround of Alex Rodriguez to negotiate a new contract with the New York Yankees is a slap in the face to baseball uberskunk Scott Boras.
COWBOYS-GIANTS ON FOX MOST-WATCHED SHOW OF WEEK
NFL Games Account for 5 of 6 Most-Watched Shows of TV Season
NFL Games Top Ratings in 25 NFL Markets
Sunday’s FOX doubleheader game featuring the Dallas Cowboys at New York Giants was viewed by 25.1 million fans, ranking as the most-watched program of the week on television and posting a 15 percent larger audience than the week’s No. 2 show (CSI, 21.9 million viewers).
Since the NFL season kicked off on Sept. 6, NFL games account for five of the six most-watched programs on television:
Most-Watched Shows on TV, Sept. 6-Nov. 11, 2007
CBS Sunday National (mostly Patriots-Colts)
CBS Sunday National (mostly Patriots-Cowboys)
CSI (season premiere)
FOX Sunday National (mostly Cowboys-NY Giants)
FOX Sunday National (mostly Vikings-Cowboys)
FOX Sunday National (mostly Bears-Chargers)
NFL games topped the local ratings in 25 of 30 NFL markets last week (Nov. 5-11).
John Ryan of the San Jose Mercury News wonders why the Sharks don’t like playing on TV.
Staying in the Bay Area, Dave Del Grande of the Oakland Tribune has some suggestions on how to improve the ratings for the final NASCAR Nextel Cup race this Sunday. Del Grande is wrong that the race will air on NBC, it airs on ABC. NBC no longer has the NASCAR rights.
Awful Announcing quotes an interview Sports Business Daily conducted with CBS News and Sports President Sean McManus in which he talks extensively about the NFL, the NFL Network and flex scheduling. Good stuff.
That’s going to do it for tonight. I’m going to bed. Back with more tomorrow.
Beginning of the work week. It’s hot here in the East. Yesterday, so many people flocked to Rhode Island beaches that they shut down the parking lots and turned cars away. The hot weather that hit the West last week is here in the East so it’s our turn to suffer after a nice start to July. But enough about the weather. This is not a weather blog so let’s get to the Sports stuff.
In May, I wrote about Ninja Warrior on G4. I found that Kaki Sports loves it as well. In fact, the person I linked to in that entry, Kaki Flynn of After Ellen.com, is the keeper of the Kaki Sports blog. Check her out. Kaki links to here so I thank her for that.
Michael Hiestand of USA Today has his Monday column and included is the news that Fox will drop Bill Maas after his arrest this past weekend on gun and drug charges. No official word on the Fox Sports.com site.
Phil Mushnick of the New York Post says the MLB steroids investigation by George Mitchell is not strong enough.
In his blog, Neil Best of Newsday says maybe it’s the right time for Bud Collins to be leaving NBC.
The battles lines have been drawn in the Big Ten Network vs. Comcast fight. Either you’re for the Big Ten Conference to see the football games or you’re for Comcast because you don’t want to pay extra on your cable bill. Frank Bodani of the Evening Sun of Harrisburg and Gettysburg, PA says Comcast is protecting the consumer. Chris Walsh in the Tuscaloosa (AL) News says the Southeastern Conference is watching the launch very closely as the SEC is mulling over whether to launch its own channel.
John Consoli of Mediaweek says ad rates for NBC’s Sunday Night Football are up 25% from last year.
David Barron of the Houston Chronicle says Fox Sports Executive Producer Ed Goren is one of several subjects interviewed (including Larry King????) in HBO’s new documentary on the Brooklyn Dodgers that airs this week.
In the Toronto Star, Michael Geist writes a guest column appealing to sports leagues and commissions to give the Internet a chance. Good stuff there. He mentions the stupid NFL restriction on video on websites.
John Ryan of the San Jose Mercury News talks about ESPN’s ejection from the All Star Game.
Jason Peterson in the Daily Utah Chronicle, a college newspaper, says ESPN just plain sucks for showing the Rock, Paper, Scissors Championships.
David Neal of the Miami Herald says MLB, NBA NFL and NHL are all dealing with the YouTube era and wondering how to handle clips that end up on the site. Some partner like the NBA and NHL partner up, but the NFL just plain removes them.
Red Sox fans are going to have to deal without Joe Castiglione for the first series after the All Star break. 38 Cliches says Joe C. takes it off leaving us having to deal with Glenn Geffner again. Dave O’Brien will be there, but it’s going to be rough listening to Goof reading off notecards.
That will be it for now. I’ll monitor ESPN Radio at 1 p.m. and I’ll post whatever Dan Patrick says.
Hello. Memorial Day Weekend here in the US and it means that warm weather is finally coming. Here in New England, 90 degree temps are expected and it nice to see. Also, it means summer movies and we’ll keep an eye on them here in the blog. But, we’ll always keep an eye on what the sports media is doing.
One other thing, I hope Shandi Finnessey will be on Quiznation this weekend on GSN. I have to admit after seeing her for the first time while flipping channels, I’m a bit smitten. Hey, she’s in Los Angeles, I’m in RI. Stranger things have happened, but I know the reality. We’ll continue our efforts to make her and Shana Hiatt the Next Big Star.
Ok, enough silliness, on to the links.
USA Today’s Michael McCarthy is a bit late to the party, but he has praise for ESPN Ombudsman Le Anne Schreiber. This blog was all over it from her first column, but better late than never. McCarthy also has some notes on Jose Canseco pitching a reality show and the emergence of Mixed Martial Arts into the mainstream sports media. Again, McCarthy is a bit late to the party on MMA, but with UFC on the cover of Sports Illustrated this week, there’s an increased focus on the sport.
Dave Scott of Boston Sports Media Watch says the Boston Globe is running a double standard criticizing Boston talk station, WRKO for trying to bring in embattled Don Imus producer Bernard McGuirk to audition (WRKO eventually backed down and scrapped the audition before it started), but keeping silent on the Ron Borges affair. Scott also has praise for Globe columnist Bob Ryan who has started a blog. To be honest, for Ryan who’s one of the best writers in the country, I say welcome to the blogosphere, Bob. Nice to have you join us.
Susan Bickelhaupt of the Globe has another story about NBC cutting off last week’s Ottawa-Buffalo game, but she defends the Peacock. She says it’s a matter of ratings and the numbers do show that the pre-race show got more viewers than the game, but it’s the principle. If it were an NFL or Notre Dame college football game, you had better believe there would be no cutting away.
Richard Sandomir of the New York Times also writes about MMA’s growing popularity.
New York Post curmudgeon Phil Mushnick has some criticisms for ESPN’s Joe Morgan. I have to say I agree with them. Morgan is not a very good analyst and his constant harping on how the 1975-76 Cincinnati Reds were the best team of all time grates on me. Then again, Morgan must feel he knows everything because his manager Sparky Anderson knew everything. Now I totally respect Sparky as the man won three championships in two different leagues, but Joe can only go so far. Besides, I have always respected Walpole Joe Morgan, former manager of the Red Sox, much more than ESPN’s Joe Morgan. ESPN’s Joe Morgan is not worthy of any links.
Do you care that the former “Bachelor” Jesse Palmer has retired from the CFL for a television career? Me neither.
Bob Raissman says the YES Network was unsurprisingly quiet on the Jason Giambi affair and also criticizes Peter Gammons for questioning the validity of the New York Daily News report that the “Geeambeeno” (as John Sterling calls him) failed a drug test.
Neil Best of New York Newsday looks at former New York Giant Phillipi Sparks whose daughter, Jordin won American Idol this week.
Teddy Greenstein of the Chicago Tribune looks at a new documentary on minor leaguers trying to make it to the Show and the Big Ten Network making ESPN’s Dave Revsine or “The Rever” it’s first on-camera hire.
David Barron of the Houston Chronicle talks to former Rockets coach Jeff Van Gundy about widening the court in the NBA. I’m sure team owners would just love to lose those courtside seats in which they overcharge fans by the thousands of dollars.
Continuing to talk NBA here, Barry Jackson of the Miami Herald says the ratings for the early games of the NBA Conference Finals have not caught fire nor will they.
Dave Darling of the Orlando Sentinel writes about the Stanley Cup Finals getting top notch coverage from both Versus and NBC. Now if NBC would find a way not to shuttle overtime games to Versus.
Jay Posner of the San Diego Union-Tribune has his take on the NBC switch from the hockey game to the Preakness.
Do you notice how much this move by NBC has given the NHL some actual juice going into Monday’s Game 1? I do hope the NHL can capture this momentum, but knowing Commissioner Gary Bettman, he’ll probably lock out the players and delay the start of the season. He’s such an incompetent.
Greg Johnson of the LA Times talks about how hockey is struggling to find an audience in US.
Also from the Times, Larry Stewart says Versus has a negative connotation among hockey fans. And in his notebook column, Stewart says ESPN and the Tennis Channel will have plenty of coverage from the French Open which begins Sunday. He also mentions Ninja Warrior on G4!!!
You know what I find myself watching more and more these days? G4′s Ninja Warrior. It’s a competition that is very popular in Japan. Called Sasuke, it’s a massive competition of 100 participants who must complete an obstacle course in four stages. Whenever G4 has a marathon of this program, I’ll plop myself in front of the TV and watch it. It’s funny to see the different competitors just try to get by the very difficult first round. Some people have devoted their lives to completing the competition and winning it outright. But only two men to date have finished the entire course in the ten years the program has aired.
And there’s a women’s competition as well. Called Women of Ninja Warrior here in the States, Kunoichi has had only one winner, but she’s won it three times, something no man has done in Sasuke.
I get involved by watching the profiles of some of the competitors who have trained for years to try to win. It airs on G4. If you have it, give it a try. I’m not paid by G4 nor do I work for them so I can say this without any bias.