Haven’t done a sports media thoughts post in a while. Figured you’re owed one. Let’s do this in bullet form, of course.
- ESPN’s 30 for 30 series has been good since it started, but Sunday’s “Survive and Advance” documentary on the 1983 North Carolina State NCAA Championship team elevated it to something very special. Directed by Jonathan Hock and executive produced by the team’s point guard, Derek Whittenburg, the documentary chronicled the miracle NC State team that entered the ACC Tournament with 10 losses and needed to beat Wake Forest, North Carolina and Virginia to get to the NCAA Tournament and did. And then continued its run to the Final Four where it beat Georgia to advance to the National Championship Game against Phi Slamma Jama, Houston.
There were interviews with several members of the team including Thurl Bailey, Whittenburg, Terry Gannon who is now a broadcaster for ESPN and NBC, Cozell McQueen and others. The only ones missing were Jim Valvano who died of cancer in 1993 and Lorenzo Charles who scored the winning basket who died in a bus accident in 2011. Director Hock captured the feeling of the magical run. As usual in the 30 for 30 films, no narrator, just sound bites and archival footage, but it works extremely well in this case.
While the team comes off very well, the star of the documentary is Gannon who is very funny and weaves some great tales. His best story was his telling of taking a charge from Houston’s Clyde Drexler in the National Championship Game.
The 30 for 30′s have been very good, but “Survive and Advance” is truly the best of the series to date. It’s not just a very good sports documentary, but one of the best documentaries I’ve seen in any category. There are a lot of things where ESPN has fallen short, but 30 for 30 is the network’s star. It’s quality television and if you have an opportunity to watch the re-airs later this week, by all means do so. You won’t be sorry.
- College basketball’s Championship Week gave us the opportunity to see some great basketball in the conference tournaments. It also allowed us to hear Bill Walton throughout the Pac-12 Tournament. Now, I don’t have the Pac-12 Network as DirecTV continues to keep it off its lineup, but thanks to the ESPN Family of Networks, viewers were able to hear some gems from the Big Red. Yes, Walton can go off on tangents, but they are so entertaining that I watched all three games that I normally may not have viewed. It’s hard to imagine that Walton had retired a few years ago due to chronic back pain and even considered suicide. Thankfully, Walton reconsidered and underwent a procedure to correct the pain. His return to the airwaves is the viewer’s gain.
Kudos go to Dave Pasch for being a very good straight man and for also being patient when Walton went on his rants.
- CBS’ NCAA Tournament Selection Show returned for the 32nd consecutive year on Sunday. The network has the selections down to a science, first the number one overall seed, the picks for each region, reaction shots from selected schools, an interview with the Selection Committee Chairman and analysis. One addition this year was the Perpetually Angry Doug Gottlieb.
Already in a crowded studio with Greg Gumbel, Greg Anthony and Seth Davis, Gottlieb shoehorned his opinions and overpowered Anthony and Davis to the point where they had to interrupt the ESPN retread. I understand Gottlieb is fulfilling a dream by calling NCAA Tournament games, but the studio is not his strength. Gottlieb’s performance on Sunday is on par with Joe Montana’s horrendous performance in the NFL on NBC studio back in 1995. While Gottlieb did not look like a deer caught in the headlights like Montana did, he did not come off well. He looked angry. He pointed at the American people and he tried to cram too many opinions while trying to stir things up with Davis. It was not good television. I am afraid of what will happen when Gottlieb joins the CBS/Turner studio for the Sweet Sixteen and Elite Eight with Kenny Smith and Charles Barkley.
- Lastly, we expect an announcement on the SEC TV network next month. Conference commissioner Mike Slive told Yahoo’s Pat Forde that the league will make an official unveiling of the network sometime next month. The SEC already makes megabucks from CBS and ESPN in contracts that led other conferences to follow and lead to massive upheaval ending long standing rivalries. It’s expected that ESPN will partner in an SEC cable network similar to how Fox Sports partners with the Big Ten for its network.
When the infrastructure is in place, the SEC will make a boatload of money and follow in the footsteps of the Big Ten Network in becoming a cash cow. And viewers who were getting used to watching the over the air SEC Network which replaced Raycom in syndicating third tier games, now will have to transition to seeing those events on cable.
More upheaval is exactly what sports fan want.
We’re done. Enjoy your Monday.
For the third and unfortunately last time during Championship Week, we provide Bill Walton quotage. He worked the Pac-12 Championship with Dave Pasch and Bill did not disappoint. He started off slowly, but when he got warmed up, Big Red provided us with a lot of gems here.
Dave and Bill have become a true comedy act. Dave has become a perfect straight man to Bill’s one liners.
Let us take a look at what transpired last night. There were some definite goodies from the Pac-12 Championship on ESPN.
(On UCLA’s chances without Jordan Adams who broke a bone in his foot against Arizona)
“UCLA will be fine. They’re the more talented team. They’re UCLA, not position robots!”
(On Oregon’s early struggles)
“The Ducks are struggling mightily. They’re taking on water rather than shedding.”
(On the Pac-12 Tournament)
Walton: “The vision of what could possibly be for the nation’s greatest conference! The conference that has all the records! The conference that has all the perfect demographics, all the cool spots! This event this week has been one of the greatest things I’ve ever participated in my whole life! It went over the top today, because at the MGM Grand, they had a pool party this afternoon. Oh my gosh! The bands were there! The bikinis were out in full force! It was absolutely remarkable!
And then on the way to the game tonight through the lobby and the Golden Lion and the bands were all around that, the cheerleaders were dancing! And at the bottom of the elevator below my room, there was Wolfgang Puck’s open until 6 a.m. in the morning! Come on! This is just fantastic! Thank you, Larry Scott!”
Pasch: “Anything else or did you get it all in?”
Walton: “Well, we’re just waiting for the game to start here.”
(During a Tournament Bracket promo)
Pasch: “I don’t know if you were watching any of the games today at the pool party, but…”
Walton: “I was at the pool party. There were plenty of things to see there.”
(On ESPN’s Sunday programming)
Pasch: “You will watch all of it.”
Walton: “And that will include Joe Lunardi?”
Pasch: “Yes, Joe will be there.”
Walton: “Tell Joe to call me please.”
Pasch: “I think he’s refusing to call you after the times you’ve ripped him during the season.”
(After a UCLA timeout)
“Beautiful basketball! The Ducks on fire after a poor start a start as you could have! They have somehow come back and have found their way back to the Oregon Trail! Lewis & Clark would be so proud.”
“I love little fast guys! I used to be one.”
(Making sure he gets his Oregon references in)
“Oregon finding offensive rhythm here for Ducks. Coming over over Multonmah Falls here in the Columbia Gorge stroking it beautifully. Then maybe the McKenzie River. Nothing but net. Mist, in the cool, spring air.”
(More on Oregon’s offense)
“Oregon has found the magic potion in Las Vegas. Smiles everywhere!”
(After an Oregon dunk)
Walton: “That reminded me of that throwdown Jason Plumlee made in that Duke game this year off a missed offensive rebound.”
Walton: “One of those guys.”
(Coming out from halftime)
Pasch: “The MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada. Cirque de Soleil which you see here, on display at hafltime…”
Walton: “All of that without a net. The way we like to operate.”
(After a Samantha Ponder report)
Pasch: “Alright, Samantha. Bill, I’m surprised you haven’t welcomed Samantha to the Bill Walton Experience here.”
Walton: “I was actually hoping to see her at the pool party, but I missed her there. I didn’t get a chance, I’ve been busy. This has been a spectacular week. Sam, welcome to the team.”
(After a turnover)
Walton: “Terrible pass.”
Dave Pasch: “Turnover by UCLA.”
Walton: “You have to throw passes people can catch.”
(After an Oregon three pointer and more Oregon landmark references)
“Biggest shot of Ben Carter’s life. Oh my gosh! The fate of the known world in the balance right here! The pressure is building! And they go to the freshman in the corner over there. And the loyal fans of Oregon dancing in the shadows of the Mount Jefferson Three Sisters!”
(About the underdog Oregon Ducks)
“Just glad the world has got to see this team, this program and this player, Kazemi. What they’ve been able to do against all odds. Eugene, Oregon. How many people live there? 50,000? They’re going up against the metropolises of Phoenix, Seattle, the Bay Area, Los Angeles. They saying, ‘This is us. Yeah, we’re here!’”
(As Oregon closed in on victory)
“Oregon believes! Lewis & Clark were right! There IS a way through!”
Pasch: “Bill, it’s been a pleasure. Enjoyed it all season, my friend.”
Walton: “I’m the luckiest guy in the world. I work for Dave Pasch. Thank you for your patience.”
Pasch: “Bill, you complete me.”
And that will complete the Bill Walton quotage. Three days of quotage that is Bill Walton. Next year, the tournament will be on Fox Sports 1. Won’t be the same without the Dave & Bill Show.
Bill Walton is the gift that keeps on giving. Despite making Ray Lewis and Bill Simmons suspension references during ESPNU’s Pac-12 telecast on Thursday, Walton was back for the Pac-12 semifinals both on Pac-12 Network and ESPN on Friday. We provide the quotage from both the UCLA-Arizona and Utah-Oregon games. Some have wondered if the quotes I put up on Twitter last night were real. They indeed were real.
I first provide the quotage from Pac-12 Network as Walton worked with Ted Robinson for UCLA-Arizona.
Walton-isms from Pac-12 Networks Telecast of Arizona vs. UCLA
Pac-12 Men’s Basketball Tournament
March 15, 2013
Pac-12 Networks’ final men’s basketball telecast of the season featured not only a thrilling 66-64 UCLA win over Arizona, but also produced another batch of “Walton-isms” from the Hall of Famer.
Below are selected quotes from the telecast. For more, plus accompanying video, please visit: http://championships.pac-12.com/mens-basketball/more-waltonisms-from-arizona-vs-ucla-on-pac-12-networks/
“There’s nothing wrong with being selfish in the team concept.” – on Shabazz Muhammad
“When I’m playing basketball, I want as little on me as possible. I want a tank top. I want a pair of shorts. I want two pairs of socks and a pair of shoes.” – Walton on UCLA’s alternative uniforms from Thursday
“Stars shining brightly on the strip in Las Vegas.” – Walton on UCLA F Shabazz Muhammad
“One man gathers what another man spills.” – Walton on UCLA Kyle Anderson, who finished the game with five steals
“What is a traveling violation? (Arizona) Brandon Ashley in the corner, pick a pivot foot please. The refs, I don’t care if they call a foul, but every single traveling violation should be called. That will immediately clean up the quality of play and eliminate all the pushing and shoving going on.” – Walton on a missed traveling call
“I’ve done a lot of cool things in my life, but this is right at the top. Oh my gosh.” – Walton on the Pac-12 Tournament experience in Las Vegas
“Throw it down big man! One time, throw it down!” – Walton on Arizona F Solomon Hill’s dunk
“Up and down action, finally. Solomon Hill says, ‘there is nothing you can do about this. In your face!’” – Walton on dunk by Arizona F Solomon Hill
“Jordan Adams. Doesn’t look like much. Doesn’t have those bulging veins we’ve become so accustomed to. Doesn’t have those muscles where the neck disappears, but what a game, what a touch, what a heart.” – Walton on UCLA G Jordan Adams
“Jordan Adams has been the best individual player in this game today. His ability to hit the pull-up jumpers, not be out of control, stroke three pointers when they back off; Seemingly like Dr. Julius Erving from the University of Massachusetts-Amherst would be able to throw it up without even a prayer and it still goes gracefully through the twine. Only in Las Vegas at the MGM.” – Walton on UCLA G Jordan Adams
“And the UCLA faithful explodes in exultation and celebration.” – Walton on the UCLA win
“Thank you Brock. And thank you Australia.” – Walton on Washington State F Brock Motum
“This whole week has been better than perfect. Thank you Las Vegas, thank you MGM, thank you Pac-12.” – Walton on the Pac-12 Tournament experience
And from the nightcap, Utah-Oregon on ESPNU in which Walton worked with Dave Pasch.
“Truly a game of the millennium tonight.”
(On Utah’s guard Brandon Taylor, all 5’10″ of him)
“If you ever think you’re too small to make a difference, you’ve never spent a night in bed with a mosquito or you’ve never played basketball against Taylor from Utah, number 11 in your program, number one in your heart.”
(Hyping the Pac-12 Conference)
“This is the greatest conference in the history of college basketball.”
(While promoting ESPN’s Saturday programming)
Walton: “Can we do this again next week?”
Pasch: “We can do it again tomorrow, I can guarantee you that.”
(Talking about no free throws attempted in the first half)
Walton: “Anomaly alert number 2. No free throw attempts in the entire game tonight. I love that.”
Pasch: “What was number one? I forgot. Of critical import.”
Walton: “I should have paid attention ,,,.. lack of offensive rebounds.”
(After an Oregon dunk)
“Waverly Austin just having the game of his life. Set up magnificently by Jonathon Lloyd. Pretty boys. Preening out there.”
(On Utah’s second attempt at free throws)
Walton: “For Utah, the first free throw of the game.”
Pasch: “That was actually the last time they shot free throws.”
Walton: “Was that in this game? …. Thank you for keeping it all straight here.”
(On calling nine games in the Pac-12 Tournament)
“I’m having the time of my life here. I have nine games in six days. What more can you ask for?”
(As ESPN was going to break)
“Goodness gracious! All Oregon right now! Extending their insurmountable halftime lead. MGM Grand, Las Vegas!”
(Coming back from break, ESPN shows some Pac-12 mascots)
Pasch: “A shot of Bill’s after party from last night and the mascots…”
Walton: “And what a show it was! Goodness gracious! You talk about … I’ve never had such a good time.”
Pasch: “And the guys in the truck cutting you off with the Super Saturday promo, it’s a good thing they did.”
(Coming out from the Super Saturday promo)
Walton: “Anomaly number 5 for this game. Why is the Big 12 the only one that gets a sponsor?”
Pasch: “The Big East is sponsored, I think you skipped over anomaly number 4, but that’s another matter.”
Walton: “I need you to keep track of these things please. I missed the free throws, I missed it all! But the dunks”
Pasch: “Working hard enough over here.”
Walton: “You can tell! You’ve got a heavy burden!”
(About winning championships)
Pasch: You won your share of championships.”
Walton: “Never enough. Never enough.”
(About being famous)
“I’m Luke’s dad. What could be better than that?”
(About Las Vegas)
“This property. This arena. This venue. This city. The best thing ever.”
(On Oregon’s offensive prowess)
“All about the big picture here. The Oregon spirit on the Oregon Trail here to the Promised Land. Beautiful. Oh my gosh.”
(On a delay in the game)
“The guy who’s behind me just keeps yelling at the refs all night long says, ‘Come on! Make a call! Go back to Foot Locker where you belong! Let’s get this thing going!!’”
(Talking about Maryland’s upset of Duke in the ACC Tournament)
Pasch: “You forget that Maryland beat Duke 12 hours ago?”
Walton: “Was that today or yesterday?”"
(Pasch realizing the game is getting silly)
“It’s getting away from us here.”
(Walton on becoming a First Take fan)
“I used to be a SportsCenter guy, until I found First Take.”
(On going outside briefly)
“I did get my 15 seconds of sunshine today. And oh what a day it was in those 15 seconds.”
(After Pasch read a SportsCenter promo regarding bracketologist Joe Lunardi)
“I want to see Lunardi on that show with Skip and Stephen A. That’s what I want to see. They won’t let him off the hook.”
“When is Saturday?”
Classic stuff. And we’ll have more quotage after the Pac-12 Championship.
I have to credit tweeter CJZero for that headline. Either Bill Walton was on his “A” game or someone spiked his bottled water tonight because he was really coming out with some gems during the Oregon-Washington game in the first round of the Pac-12 Tournament. Having already worked the Utah-Cal game for Pac-12 Network with Ted Robinson, Walton stayed courtside to work with Dave Pasch on ESPNU for the nightcap.
What we got was pure TV gold. Below are various quotes gathered from the game either by myself or Matt Yoder from Awful Announcing. Thanks to the DVR and closed captioning, this is quite accurate. By just reading them, you might think Bill had smoked weed before the game or just plain was high on life. Whatever it was, we the viewers were the beneficiaries of some tremendous quotage.
“The cheerleaders have been dancing on top of the tables.”
(On Las Vegas as host of the Pac-12 Tournament)
“It’s unbelievable in your life when you have a dream and it comes true.”
(As video was playing of Pac-12 mascots getting out of a limousine)
Walton: “I was way in the back with Ray Lewis and it was unbelievable how much fun, oh my gosh, how many people were in there!”
Dave Pasch: “I think we’ll just dismiss the Ray Lewis comments….”
(After being called out by Pasch for making a blatant plug for Southwest Airlines)
Walton: “They’re gonna suspend Bill Simmons. Anything is possible.”
Pasch: “Again, we’ll just dismiss that and get back to the game….”
“Fans beyond description. Dancing angels of mercy. What more can you ask for?”
(After Pasch says working with Walton during tournament will age him 8 years)
Walton: “Your wife’s been calling me.”
(On the SEC Tournament’s location in Nashville)
“I’ve been to Nashville and it’s nice, but not nearly Las Vegas. Goodness gracious, are we having the time here!”
“The dogs barking here and now the girls are dancing! The band, strike it up! Las Vegas! What more can you ask for?”
“But we’re in Las Vegas! You’ve got to win! The tournament on the line! Let’s go!”
“It’s Las Vegas! Restaurants are open until 6 a.m.!”
Pasch: “How much of that is instinctual as a shot blocker, how much of it is teaching?”
Walton: “100 percent of both.”
Walton: “We got all the dancing girls here tonight.”
Pasch: “Let’s get to the brackets….”
“His parents own a candy factory four hours south of Tehran, oh my gosh how sweet it is.”
(As the game went into overtime)
“What could be better? More basketball! Let’s go!”
“Tonight’s start was electric. Just both teams riding quasars all the way to the top of the mountain to the promised land!”
Walton: “So many things here have defied rational thought.”
Pasch: “You’re not kidding.”
Pasch: “The (Pac-12) Championship game, Bill and I will have it on ESPN Saturday night at 11 Eastern….” That depends if Bill is not suspended for his Ray Lewis comments.
I can only wonder if Pasch’s head was spinning as he was leaving the MGM Grand tonight. Buckle your seatbelts. We have two more days of Big Red at the Pac-12 Tournament.
Having Bill Walton back on a national stage this season has been a huge plus. His quotes during Pac-12 games on the ESPN Family of Networks have been true gems.
Walton has also been working on Pac-12 Network for the tournament. We have some quotage from the Cal-Utah game which ended in an upset.
And during the ESPNU telecast of the Washington-Oregon game, Walton made a Ray Lewis limousine joke and a reference to Bill Simmons’ suspension at the hands of ESPN. Matt Yoder of Awful Announcing has the videos. I’m still laughing over this.
Anyway, here’s the Pac-12 Network Walton quotage.
Walton-isms from Pac-12 Networks Telecast of California vs. Utah
Pac-12 Men’s Basketball Tournament
March 14, 2013
“Fantastic pace to this game. Shot clock not a factor, refs inconsequential; Players soaring like eagles here over the desert sky.” – Walton on early pace of Cal-Utah
“I love guys that shoot without dribbling. When I watch basketball, I say, ‘what has happened to this game?’ All it is these little guys dribbling incessantly, aimlessly, without purpose, only to draw attention to themselves. Please save us.”
“You have to have the attitude that everybody’s watching every play. That’s what your youth coaches teach you, that’s what your college coaches teach you…Every play is critical on every level.” – Walton on players responding when on a national stage
“(Jordan) Loveridge used a stiff-arm, Rick Neuheisel is here; He’ll appreciate that one, but this is basketball.” – Walton on Utah F Jordan Loveridge
“Cal has got to get going again and stop thinking the world is against us. Quit feeling sorry for yourself and start playing ball. You had a chance to win and you couldn’t turn him (Jarred DuBois) back and you didn’t commit a foul. It would have been an easy one to finish off right there, but you let a left-handed guy dribble to his left and hit his own shot. DuBois has been doing that pretty much all night, pretty much on command all season.” – Walton on Cal’s response to Utah forcing overtime
Walton resumes his broadcast duties with Pac-12 Networks from the 2013 Pac-12 Men’s Basketball Tournament tomorrow at 6:00 PM PT for UCLA vs. Arizona alongside play-by-play voice Ted Robinson.
That is it. We’ll see if Walton is back for ESPN’s portion of the semifinals tomorrow.
During the event that introduced US version of Fox Sports 1 to the world (let’s not forget the original Fox Sports 1 in Australia), we learned that the network has been built upon what Fox is calling “7 Sports Pillars,” College Basketball, College Football, MLB, NASCAR, NFL, Soccer and UFC fights.
Let’s go over what each pillar will bring to Fox Sports 1.
While it was not formally announced on Tuesday, we can expect Fox Sports 1 to be the official cable home of the new Big East, those “Catholic 7″ basketball-only schools to be joined by Butler and Xavier from the A-10 and maybe even Creighton from the Missouri Valley. The new Big East will join the Big 12, Conference USA and Pac-12 on Fox Sports 1. Expect to see basketball games in the winter on Monday, Thursday, Saturday and Sunday.
Games from C-USA, the Big 12 and Pac-12 will be on Thursday nights as well as triple and quadrupleheaders on Saturdays. In addition, Erin Andrews will host a Saturday morning pregame show on FS1. The Fox Mothership will continue to air college football games on Saturday nights. The 2013 schedule for Fox includes Notre Dame at Stanford as well as the Big Ten Championship and the Cotton Bowl.
In 2014, Fox’s new contract with Major League Baseball kicks in. Fox Sports 1 will air a full schedule of 26 regular season games which will include games from its Fox Sports Net affiliates. Expect to see plenty of the New York Yankees from YES, the Anaheim Angels from Fox Sports West and the Texas Rangers from Fox Sports Southwest. In addition, Fox Sports 1 will carry two League Division Series and a number of League Championship Series. The LCS was the latest development. Fox’s broadcast schedule will reduce from 24 regular season games this year to 12 in 2014. Fox will still carry the All-Star Game, most of the LCS and the entire World Series.
As Speed converts to Fox Sports 1, its NASCAR coverage will carryover to FS1. This will include the entire Camping World Truck Series and the familiar NASCAR RaceDay and NASCAR Victory Lane programs from Speed. In 2015, selected Sprint Cup races will move to Fox Sports 1 as will the All-Star race. The Daytona 500 Speedweeks festivities which include the Twin 125′s and the Duel will be aired on FS 1.
While Fox Sports 1 doesn’t have the rights to show games, it will have a daily program, Fox Football Daily which will include the cast of Fox NFL Sunday. The show will air daily at 6 p.m. ET. Terry Bradshaw, Howie Long, Jay Glazer, Gus Johnson, Erin Andrews and Mike Pereira are listed as participants, but as the show evolves, this falls under the category “subject to change.” This show will premiere when Fox Sports 1 launches in August.
It’s expected that Fox will do away with Fox Soccer and convert it to FX2, an all-entertainment channel. With the loss of the English Premier League to NBC, Fox will move the UEFA Champions League, Europa League, FA Cup and CONCACAF events to Fox Sports 1. UEFA Champions League and Europa League will be aired on Tuesday through Thursday afternoons. And when Fox’s contract with FIFA begins in 2015, Fox Sports 1 will air Women’s World Cup games that year and in 2019 and the men in 2018 and 2022. Other soccer leagues that were part of Fox Soccer Plus can be expected to be dispersed to Fox Sports 2 when that channel launches at a later date.
On Fox Sports 1′s launch date in August, a UFC card will be aired. Also, Fox Sports 1 will be the home to UFC programming on Wednesday nights. During Super Bowl XLVIII week, Fox Sports 1 is expected to have a card the night before the Big Game. Super Bowl Saturday normally has a UFC pay per view, but it’s expected to be aired on FS1 in 2014.
The news about Regis Philbin was confirmed on Monday during his appearance on of all places, “The View.” Regis will be host of “Rush Hour” which will have a panel of guests from the media, sports and fandom. This will air at 5 p.m. ET and lead into Fox Football Daily.
At 11 p.m. ET, Fox Sports 1 will air Fox Sports Live, the challenger to ESPN’s venerable SportsCenter. According to the Fox Sports executives, the network will invest heavily into a newsgathering operation that will produce a nightly program that will review the day’s events. A morning edition of Fox Sports Live will begin airing in January.
The Fox Sports Net affiliates and local Fox TV stations will be encouraged to contribute reports to Fox Sports Live.
It’s been seen on the Cotton Bowl and on the Daytona 500, the double box that will air commercials and also show live action so viewers don’t miss anything. Reviews on this has been mixed thus far, but I expect this to win fans over during NASCAR coverage.
Fox Sports Go will be an mobile and tablet app that will stream live events from Fox Sports, Fox Sports 1 and the Fox Sports Net affiliates. Subscribers to participating cable and satellite providers will have to authenticate in order to watch the events on their mobile device.
And there in a nutshell is what you’ll see on Fox Sports 1 when it launches on August 17.
The worst kept secret in sports media finally gets pushed from behind the curtain and will be officially unveiled to advertisers and the media on Tuesday. Fox Sports officials will be at the Marriott Marquis Hotel in New York to tell the world what the average fan will see on the new Fox Sports 1 and Fox Sports 2 networks when they launch this summer.
Unlike previous Fox launches when the broadcast company started completely new channels from scratch, it’s using existing infrastructure from Speed to form Fox Sports 1 and from Fuel TV to build Fox Sports 2.
And using existing partnerships with Major League Baseball, NASCAR, the Big 12 and PAC-12 along with UFC, the channels will have an extensive inventory of live sports to show. Plus, with an expected partnership with the breakaway “Catholic 7″ from the old Big East conference to form a new Big East conference, Fox Sports 1 and 2 will have live college basketball games in November.
Over the last year, Fox has flown under the radar to bring its new networks into fruition. While NBC Sports has attempted to add major sports to its arsenal, Fox has used its relationships to convince its partners to sign off on shuffling inventory from the Fox Television Network to its cable channels. As a result, Fox will have 14 MLB games starting in 2014 compared to 24 this year. Also, several NASCAR Sprint Cup races will go to Fox Sports 1 after being on Fox for several years.
While it appears Fox is positioning itself as a bona fide challenger to ESPN, it still has a long way to go if it truly wants to mount a fight. Even so, Fox and ESPN have become dance partners in college sports with the Big 12, the Pac-12 and look to partner with the old Big East and the Catholic 7. Just last year, ESPN and Fox filed a joint bid for the English Premier League before losing out to NBC. So as Fox starts the new sports networks, it’s also forming an Unholy Alliance with the one network that it along with CBS, NBC and to a certain extent, Turner Sports are hoping to knock down.
In addition to the live games, Fox Sports 1 will have talk shows. Regis Philbin announced on “The View” Monday that he will host a show on the network that will be modeled after “The View” itself. John Ourand of Sports Business Journal reported last year that Jay Mohr, a host on Fox Sports Radio, was in talks for his own series on FS1.
With Tuesday’s announcement, Fox Sports 1 and 2 become the New Kids on the Sports Block. The key for success will be clearance among increasing militant cable and satellite providers which are balking at paying high subscriber fees due to sports rights. Richard Sandomir and Amy Chozick of the New York Times report that Fox is seeking $1 per subscriber for FS1. After the euphoria of launching a new cable network comes the reality of gaining cable carriage. We’ve yet to hear if Fox has been able to get agreements from the major providers like Bright House, Cablevision, Comcast, Cox, DirecTV, Dish, Suddenlink and Time Warner among others. If Fox Sports 1 and 2 are cleared throughout the country, then it will be a major hurdle that will be out of the way.
And if Fox Sports 1 is able to get an NFL package and NBA games to add to their other properties, then the road for the networks will be paved with gold. Right now, the networks will be given a head start with MLB, NASCAR, college football and basketball, MMA, World Cup Soccer and additional soccer games coming Fox Soccer. If more properties can be added, then Fox will be in very good position as it heads into the next decade.
The journey for the new Fox Sports entities begins on Tuesday. Whether it will be smooth sailing or a stormy ride will be determined over the next few years.
In its first year of existence, Pac-12 Network shows its worth by airing extensive coverage of both the women’s and men’s conference tournaments starting this week.
On Thursday, March 7, coverage of the Pac-12 Women’s Tournament begins and it marks the first time that all of the women’s tournament will be seen live. Pac-12 Network will have coverage concluding with the semifinals on Saturday, March 9. Anne Marie Anderson, Tammy Blackburn and Krista Blunk will make up one announcing team. They’ll call the afternoon sessions on March 7 and 8 plus one semifinal game. The other announcing crew will be Krista Blunk, Mary Murphy and Anne Marie Anderson. They’ll do the night sessions and the other semifinal of the tournament which will be played at the Key Arena in Seattle.
Then the Pac-12 Network will air most of the Pac-12 Men’s Tournament which will be played at the MGM Grand Hotel in Las Vegas. Overall, 9 games will be aired on the network including three quarterfinal games and one semifinal. ESPN will carry one quarterfinal, one semifinal and the championship game.
The announcing crews for the Pac-12 on the men’s tournament will be as follows:
Kevin Calabro and Don MacLean on the afternoon sessions on Wednesday, March 14 and Thursday, March 15.
Ted Robinson and Bill Walton will call the night session on March 14, one quarterfinal game on Thursday evening and then one semifinal game on Friday, March 16.
The sideline reporters will be Ashley Adamson and Yogi Roth.
Here’s what Pac-12 Network is saying about the postseason basketball action over the next two weeks.
Pac-12 Networks to Televise Eight Men’s & 10 Women’s Tournament Contests Live
Men’s Basketball Selection Show Special Airs Sunday, March 17 at 7:00 pm PT, while
Women’s Basketball Selection Show Debuts Monday, March 18 at 7:00 pm PT
SAN FRANCISCO, Calif., February 28, 2013 – March Madness is almost here and Pac-12 Networks is on tap to provide comprehensive coverage of both men’s and women’s conference tournaments, as well as additional programming to set the stage for Pac-12 teams advancing to the big dance.
With the launch of Pac-12 Networks, this season marks the first time that every men’s and women’s tournament matchup will be televised live to a national audience. Postseason action begins Thursday, March 7 in Seattle with the Pac-12 Women’s Basketball Tournament, featuring 10 live game telecasts in over three days from Key Arena. Following the women’s tourney, the men’s tournament gets underway Wednesday, March 13 from its new home in Las Vegas at the MGM Grand.
Pac-12 Networks will enlist 13 on-air voices for coverage over both men’s and women’s tournament from three locations. Krista Blunk, Tammy Blackburn, Anne Marie Anderson and Mary Murphy rotate broadcasting duties for 10 games over three days from the women’s tournament in Seattle, while host Ashley Adamson and analyst Ros Gold-Onwude contribute pre, half and postgame analysis from Pac-12 Networks’ San Francisco studios.
The broadcast crew from Vegas consists of play-by-play voice Kevin Calabro pairing with analyst Don MacLean, while Ted Robinson and the legendary Bill Walton team up to split broadcasting duties on eight total live contests behind the desk. Ashley Adamson and Yogi Roth will also be on hand in Vegas, reporting from the sidelines for each Pac-12 Network game.
In addition to live postseason action, Pac-12 Networks coverage will also include one-hour selection show specials for both men’s and women’s hoops to set the stage for the conference teams advancing on to the NCAA tournament. The Pac-12 Men’s Basketball Selection Show airs Sunday, March 17 at 7 pm PT and features host Mike Yam alongside Don MacLean and Ernie Kent unveiling the Pac-12’s NCAA tournament qualifiers and their opponents, as well as breaking down the entire pool of 68 teams and the regional battles to look out for. The following evening, Monday, March 18 at 7 pm PT, it’s the women’s turn with host Ashley Adamson and analysts Ros Gold-Onwude and Mary Murphy looking at the 2013 Women’s NCAA tournament and where qualifying Pac-12 teams stack up in the national landscape.
Pac-12 Networks complete postseason basketball coverage includes:
- First three rounds (10 games) of women’s basketball tournament live from Key Arena in Seattle, WA
- Eight live game telecasts from first three rounds of men’s basketball tournament from MGM Grand in Las Vegas, NV
- Four-person on-air talent roster featuring Anne Marie Anderson, Tammy Blackburn, Krista Blunk and Mary Murphy covering women’s basketball action from Seattle
- Six-person on-air talent roster including Bill Walton, Kevin Calabro, Don MacLean, Ted Robinson, Ashley Adamson and Yogi Roth covering men’s basketball telecasts on site in Vegas
- Ashley Adamson and Ros Gold-Onwude provide pre, half and postgame coverage from Pac-12 Networks San Francisco studios surrounding each women’s basketball telecast
- Mike Yam and Ernie Kent deliver pre, half and postgame analysis from Pac-12 Network studios during men’s basketball tournament
- Re-air of women’s tournament final Tuesday, March 12 at 9:00 PM PT
- Encore showing of men’s tournament final Monday, March 18 at 9:00 PM PT
- Mike Yam host one-hour Men’s Basketball Selection Show, with analysts Don MacLean and Ernie Kent Sunday, March 17 at 7:00 PM PT
- One-hour Women’s Basketball Selection Show, hosted by Ashley Adamson alongside Ros Gold-Onwude and Mary Murphy Monday, March 18 at 7:00 PM PT
- Regionalized encores of top men’s and women’s games from the regular season airing across all seven networks leading into tournament coverage
Tickets for both the Pac-12 Men’s and Women’s Basketball Tournament are still available. Fans can purchase all-session passes, as well as tickets for each individual session by visiting Pac-12.com/tickets.
Pac-12 Networks Postseason Women’s Basketball Talent Assignments March 7 – Games 1/2 • Noon/2:30 PM PT March 7 – Games 3/4 • 6:00/8:30 PM PT Anne Marie Anderson – play-by-play Krista Blunk – play-by-play Tammy Blackburn – analyst Mary Murphy – analyst Krista Blunk – sideline reporter Anne Marie Anderson – sideline reporter March 8 – Quarterfinal 1/2 • Noon/2:30 PM PT March 8 – Quarterfinal 3/4 • 6:00/8:30 PM PT Anne Marie Anderson – play-by-play Krista Blunk – play-by-play Tammy Blackburn – analyst Mary Murphy – analyst Krista Blunk – sideline reporter Anne Marie Anderson – sideline reporter March 9 – Semifinal 1 • 6:00 PM PT March 9 – Semifinal 2 • 8:30 PM PT Anne Marie Anderson – play-by-play Krista Blunk – play-by-play Tammy Blackburn – analyst Mary Murphy – analyst Krista Blunk – sideline reporter Anne Marie Anderson – sideline reporter March 7-9 – Pre, Half and Post Studio (San Francisco) March 18 – Women’s Basketball Selection Show • 7:00 PM PT Ashley Adamson – host Ashley Adamson – host Ros Gold-Onwude – analyst Ros Gold-Onwude – analyst Mary Murphy – analyst Pac-12 Networks Postseason Men’s Basketball Talent Assignments March 13 – Games 1/2 • Noon/2:30 PM PT March 13 – Games 3/4 • 6:00/8:30 PM PT Kevin Calabro – play-by-play Ted Robinson – play-by-play Don MacLean – analyst Bill Walton – analyst Ashley Adamson – sideline reporter Ashley Adamson – sideline reporter Yogi Roth – sideline reporter Yogi Roth – sideline reporter March 14 – Quarterfinal 1/2 • Noon/2:30 PM PT March 14 – Quarterfinal 3 • 6:00 PM PT Kevin Calabro – play-by-play Ted Robinson – play-by-play Don MacLean – analyst Bill Walton – analyst Ashley Adamson – sideline reporter Ashley Adamson – sideline reporter Yogi Roth – sideline reporter Yogi Roth – sideline reporter March 15 – Semifinal 1 • 6:00 PM PT March 13-17 – Pre, Half and Postgame Studio (San Francisco) Ted Robinson – play-by-play Mike Yam – host Bill Walton – analyst Ernie Kent – analyst Ashley Adamson – sideline reporter Yogi Roth – sideline reporter March 17 – Men’s Basketball Selection Show • 7:00 PM PT Mike Yam – host Ernie Kent – analyst Don MacLean – analyst
That is all.
We’re fast approaching the college basketball conference tournaments and some really fun games. Teams that are on the bubble hope to improve their NCAA Tournament selection chances, while those teams firmly assured of a birth hope to improve on their seeding or hope not to get knocked off a certain line.
With the networks of ESPN not having the rights to the NCAA Tournament, this is the next best thing to having the Big Dance. ESPN has the rights to most of the major conference tournaments including the ACC, Big East, Big Ten, Big 12, Pac-12 and SEC.
And the announcing assignments for the “BCS” conferences are as follows:
ACC Tournament (Greensboro, NC): Dan Shulman on 7 games working with Sean Farnham on four games, Doris Burke on one semifinal and Dick Vitale on a semifinal game and the Championship. Dave O’Brien and Doris work the other four games. Sideline reporters will be Allison Williams on four games, Jeannine Williams on 7.
Big East Tournament (New York, NY): Sean McDonough, Jay Bilas, Bill Raftery and Andy Katz call eight games including the semifinals and Championship. Mike Patrick and Len Elmore work the other five tournament games.
Big Ten Tournament (Chicago, IL): Mike Tirico, Dan Dakich and Samantha Ponder will work four tournament games. CBS has the rights to the semifinals and finals.
Big 12 Tournament (Kansas City, MO): Brent Musburger, Fran Fraschilla and Holly Rowe work five games including the semifinals and Championship.
Pac-12 Tournament (Las Vegas, NV): Dave Pasch and Bill Walton call one quarterfinal, one semifinal and the Championship. Samantha Ponder joins Pasch and Walton for the Championship.
SEC Tournament (Nashville, TN): Brad Nessler, Jimmy Dykes and Shannon Spake will call seven tournament games including the semifinals and Championship on ABC.
Let’s look at what ESPN is saying about Championship Week.
Includes Pac-12 Title Game for First Time as Part of Crowning of 23 Champions
ESPN’s 2013 Championship Week will showcase 136 men’s college basketball conference tournament games across ESPN, ABC, ESPN2, ESPNU and ESPN3 from Wednesday, March 6 to Sunday, March 17. ESPN3 will simulcast 37 of the matchups that are available in the local markets via syndication. Coverage highlights:
- For the first time, ESPN will televise Pac-12 Tournament games, covering a quarterfinal, semifinal and the Championship. In addition to ESPN’s telecast, ESPN Deportes will televise the Pac-12 title game. As part of a 12-year agreement with the conference, ESPN will televise one conference quarterfinal and semifinal game, and the championship every other year.
- The networks will combine to offer coverage of 23 Division I conference title games and action from 25 conferences overall.
- This season will mark ESPN’s 28th, ESPN2’s 19th and ESPNU’s eighth year of comprehensive coverage. ESPN will televise 20 games, ESPN2 24, ESPNU 19 and ABC three games, while ESPN3 will offer a platform record 29 exclusive contests.
- ESPN, ABC, ESPN2, ESPNU and ESPN3 will combine to provide action of multiple men’s games from several top conferences, including all 13 of the BIG EAST games; all 11 of the SEC and ACC; all nine from the Big 12 and four from the Big Ten.
ESPN3 will tip off Championship Week with coverage of the Atlantic Sun Conference Quarterfinals with two games each on Wednesday, March 6 and Thursday, March 7. The matchups will tip off at 2:30 and 8:30 p.m. ET on both days. Championship Week will conclude on Sunday, March 17 with the ACC (ESPN) and SEC (ABC) title games at 1 p.m. Additional platform coverage:
- ESPN Buzzer Beater will provide live cut-ins, highlights and up-to-the-minute commentary from numerous Championship Week games from across the ESPN networks on Thursday, March 14 and Friday, March 15.
- The entire Championship Week coverage will also be available via WatchESPN, which delivers live access to ESPN, ESPN2, ESPNU, ESPN3 and ESPN Buzzer Beater/Goal Line on computers, smartphones, tablets and Xbox to fans who receive ESPN’s linear networks as part of their video subscription. The WatchESPN app is available free to download for iOS, Android and Kindle Fire devices in the App Store, Google Play Store and Amazon Appstore for Android. It is also accessible online at WatchESPN.com and through ESPN on Xbox LIVE to Gold members.
- ESPN 3D will offer coverage of all 11 ACC tournament matchups.
- ESPN International will offer extensive coverage, reaching 152 countries and territories on ESPN America – Great Britain (41 games), ESPN America – Europe (33 games), ESPN America -Middle East (32 games), ESPN2 Caribbean (22 games), ESPN Pac Rim (3 games), ESPN2 Australia (25 games), ESPN Atlantic (14 games), ESPN Middle East (20 games) and ESPN Brazil HD (9 games).
Week Concludes with Extensive Day-Long Coverage
The final day of Championship Week – Selection Sunday, March 17 – will begin at noon with College Basketball Live on ESPN, followed by the ACC Championship (on ESPN) and SEC Championship (on ABC), both at 1 p.m. Extensive coverage of the men’s NCAA Championship selection will include a three-hour Bracketology at 3 p.m. and a two-hour edition at 7 p.m., both on ESPN. ESPN will also offer selection coverage during SportsCenter at 6 p.m.ESPNU will televise the seventh annual NIT Selection Show at 9 p.m. and a three-hour Tournament Countdown edition of The Experts at 9:30 p.m.
Debut of Documentary Survive And Advance
ESPN’s Selection Sunday coverage on March 17 will conclude with the ESPN Films 30 for 30 documentary Survive And Advance, focusing on NC State’s 1983 season, at 9 p.m. When the 1982-83 college basketball season began, Jim Valvano and his NC State Wolfpack faced high expectations with equally high aspirations. But with ten losses for the season, the Wolfpack’s only hope of making the NCAA Tournament was to win the ACC Tournament and earn the conference’s automatic berth. Nine straight improbable tournament wins later over the likes of Sampson, Jordan, Olajuwon and Drexler, NC State had “survived and advanced” its way to a national championship. In Survive and Advance, director Jonathan Hock takes a poignant look through the eyes of senior captain Dereck Whittenburg at a dream fulfilled and explores what at times has been a tragic and heartbreaking aftermath in the 30 years since.
- BIG EAST: Sean McDonough, Jay Bilas, Bill Raftery and Andy Katz will pair up to call eight BIG EAST games, including the semifinals and championship. Mike Patrick and Len Elmore will work the remaining five games.
- ACC: Dan Shulman will call seven of the ACC games, including the semifinals and championship. He will work four games with analyst Sean Farnham, a semifinal with Doris Burke and a semifinal and championship with Dick Vitale. Dave O’Brien, Burke and reporter Allison Williams will pair up on four games. Jeannine Edwards will report on seven including the semifinals and championship.
- Pac-12: Dave Pasch and Bill Walton will call all three of ESPN’s Pac-12 telecasts with reporter Samantha Ponder joining them on the championship.
- Big 12 & SEC: Brad Nessler, Jimmy Dykes and Shannon Spake will call seven SEC games including semifinals and title game on ABC, while Brent Musburger, Fran Fraschilla and Holly Rowe will work five Big 12 telecasts.
- Big Ten: Mike Tirico, Dan Dakich and Samantha Ponder will call the four Big Ten telecasts.
ESPN.com’s Championship Week index page will feature news, analysis, information and results for every conference tournament as well as previews, in-depth expert examination and key storylines for select conferences. ESPN.com’s Bubble Watch with writer Eamonn Brennan will give fans an in-depth look at teams on the bubble and the latest developments on NCAA tournament selection status. In addition, writers will file stories from several tournament sites, including the ACC, BIG EAST, Big Ten, Mountain West, Pac-12 and SEC. ESPN.com’s Bracketologist Joe Lunardi will also update and adjust his Bracketology projections and outlook daily.
ESPN Radio: Greenberg & Greenberg Tips Off Championship Week
ESPN Radio’s Championship Week coverage will begin with the inaugural Greenberg & Greenberg in the Morning show on Friday, March 8 (6-10 a.m. ET simulcast on ESPN2). Mike & Mike in the Morning co-host Mike Greenberg will be joined by former Virginia Tech men’s head basketball coach Seth Greenberg for a hoops-heavy four-hour broadcast.
The Network’s play-by-play coverage will include the Big 12 Semifinals and Championship (March 15-16) for the fourth straight season, and every game of the ACC Tournament (March 14-17) for the second year.
Studio coverage will feature the SportsCenter Tonight Selection Sunday Special with Bram Weinstein and Dan Dakich on Sunday, March 17 from 6:30 p.m. (immediately after Knicks-Clippers NBA broadcast) to 10 p.m. featuring analysis of the brackets and interviews with tournament bound coaches and players.
Additionally, regularly scheduled ESPN Radio programming will include previews and reviews of key games, analysis by ESPN experts, and interviews with coaches and players preparing for the NCAA Tournament.
And after a jump break, I’ll provide the entire ESPN Family of Networks Championship Week schedule. Get ready to scroll.
Wasn’t able to do any posts yesterday as I was away for most of the day. Tough to get anything done when you’re out of range for any internet or even 3G. First World Problems.
Anyway, time for some Friday megalinks. Been doing well with the links, except for Thursday, but let’s continue doing them today.
No Weekend Viewing Picks yet. When they’re done, I’ll insert them here.
Let’s get cracking on the linkage.
We begin with Michael Hiestand of USA Today who talks with CBS’ Gary Danielson about the SEC Championship.
Ed Sherman with The Sherman Report has AOL’s David Whitley’s response to criticisms about his column about 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick’s tattoos.
Ed has CBS’ Verne Lundquist discussing SEC fatigue.
Ed has Gary Danielson’s preview of the SEC Championship.
And Ed analyzes the local ratings for the NFL.
Michael David Smith at Pro Football Talk has Hollywood movie producer Harvey Weinstein baffled at the NFL’s censoring of an interview featuring Bradley Cooper over a movie Weinstein produced that referenced gambling and adds that some team owners actually liked the flick.
Lesley Goldberg of the Hollywood Reporter notes that U.S. Olympic diving gold medalist David Boudia will join a new ABC celebrity diving show as a judge. Yes, Greg Louganis will also be a judge.
Will Ashworth of Investor Place wonders if now is the time for Disney to sell ESPN.
Jordan Rabinowitz of SportsGrid has video of San Antonio Spurs coach Greg Popovich shooting down TNT’s Charles Barkley during an in-game interview against the Miami Heat.
Matt Yoder from Awful Announcing says this weekend is a big test for Fox College Football.
Dave Kohl at the Broadcast Booth notes that CBS Sports Network and NBC Sports Network need to step up their games.
Sports Media Watch talks about the ratings for Notre Dame-USC.
Kristi Dosh at ESPN.com says Notre Dame’s resurgence is good news for its TV rights.
ESPN’s Darren Rovell feels NBA Communist Sympathizer David Stern is wrong for threatening to sanction the San Antonio Spurs for sending their major players home last night.
Ronnie Ramos at the Indiana University National Sports Journalism Center says traditional media is clashing with new rules surrounding live tweeting of games.
From earlier in the week, John Koblin of Deadspin writes about ESPN admonishing its staff for crediting a story to SportsbyBrooks.
East and Mid-Atlantic
Chad Finn from the Boston Globe says some big name announcers got their start at Boston College’s student radio station.
Paul Doyle of the Hartford Courant writes that the Big East Conference has to recover from its latest blows while negotiating a new TV contract.
Charles McGrath of the New York Times profiles WFAN’s Steve Somers who’s been schmoozing s-p-o-r-t-s for 25 years on the nation’s first all-sports radio station.
Newsday’s Neil Best says SNY’s New York Jets postgame show does not pull any punches.
Neil has the Jets’ Tim Tebow being fine with the New York media.
Neil has an ESPN executive embracing debate.
The New York Post’s Phil Mushnick hates the Knicks’ style of play.
Pete Dougherty in the Albany Times Union has New York’s Capital Region’s Week 13 NFL TV schedule.
Pete says ESPN executives are doing backflips over Notre Dame playing in the BCS National Championship Game.
Ken McMillan of the Middletown (NY) Times Herald-Record says next week’s Army-Navy game will be aired nationally on radio.
Jim Williams of the Washington Examiner notes that Louisville made the right sales pitch to get invited to join the ACC.
Mel Bracht from The Oklahoman notes that three local college football teams all get national telecasts at the same time on Saturday.
Lynn Henning of the Detroit News says while the Tigers may not have a rights fee as high as major market teams, they are still happy with their relationship with Fox Sports.
Bob Wolfley of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel recaps a GQ article that profiles some of the NFL replacement referees.
Danny Ecker at Crain’s Chicago Business discusses Groupon’s new relationship with MLB.
Dan Caesar at the St. Louis Post-Dispatch notes that Missouri football and basketball games will remain on a Gateway City radio station for several years.
Dan wonders where a local sports radio talk show host will surface after losing his job for making racial comments.
Greg Palermo of the Creve Coeur (MO) Patch says a local sports radio host said goodbye to his listeners today.
The Idaho Statesman says ESPN Radio has picked up a new affiliate in Boise.
John Maffei of the North County Times is frustrated that most local fans can’t watch this weekend’s high school football championship games.
Jim Carlisle from the Ventura County Star says tonight’s Pac-12 Championship on Fox gives UCLA and Stanford a chance to wipe their slate clean for the postseason.
Steve Dilbeck of the Los Angeles Times catches up with Dodgers voice Vin Scully as he turns 85.
Tom Hoffarth of the Los Angeles Daily News says the Dodgers are about to hit the motherlode whether it’s with Fox or another company.
Tom has some items that didn’t make his newspaper media column.
And that’s going to do it for now.
For the second consecutive year, Fox goes back-to-back with the Pac-12 and Big Ten Conference Championship Games on consecutive nights. It also marks the second straight year that Gus Johnson and Charles Davis will call both games. This year, sideline reporters Julie Alexandria and Petros Papadakis will join them on the double dip.
The Pac-12 Championship will be played Friday night in Palo Alto, CA as the Stanford Cardinal host the UCLA Bruins at 8 p.m. ET.
The Big Ten Championship Game will be at Lucas Oil Stadium as the Wisconsin Badgers takes on the Nebraska Cornhuskers, also at 8 p.m.
Fox will have pregame coverage both nights starting at 7:30 p.m. with Erin Andrews, Eddie George and Joey Harrington.
Here’s what Fox is saying about its Championship Weekend.
FOX Sports Calls Double Coverage on Championship Weekend
UCLA Battles Stanford for Pac-12 Football Championship Friday at 7:30 PM ET
Wisconsin vs. Nebraska for Big Ten Football Championship Saturday at 7:30 PM ET
FOX SPORTS COLLEGE FOOTBALL CHAMPIONSHIPS IN PRIMETIME FRIDAY & SATURDAY – Championship weekend on FOX Sports is here and it kicks-off in primetime. FOX Sports proudly presents exclusive coverage of the Pac-12 Conference Football Championship as the 16th-ranked UCLA Bruins travel to Palo Alto, CA to face the 8th-ranked Stanford Cardinal Friday, Dec. 1. On Saturday, Dec. 2 the Big Ten Conference Football Championship game is featured on FOX as the Wisconsin Badgers take on the 12th-ranked Nebraska Cornhuskers in Indianapolis, IN. Pulling double-duty, FOX’s lead broadcast team of play-by-play announcer Gus Johnson, analyst Charles Davis and reporter Julie Alexandria are joined by on-field analyst Petros Papadakis to call the action from Stanford Stadium, in Palo Alto and Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis. The two stadiums are 2,279 miles apart.
Coverage for both championship events begins at 7:30 PM ET with the FOX COLLEGE FOOTBALL pregame show hosted by Erin Andrews. Heisman Trophy winner and College Football Hall of Famer Eddie George and former Oregon All-American quarterback Joey Harrington partner with Andrews to provide highlights and analysis of all the day’s action. The Pac-12 edition on Friday night includes a special look at Stanford’s Stepfan Taylor as he approaches becoming the school’s all-time leading rusher. Friday’s show also includes BEING: Joseph Fauria, an off-the-field look at UCLA’s senior tight end over the last few weeks of the Bruins’ season. Saturday’s Big Ten pregame show puts the spotlight on quarterback Taylor Martinez, Nebraska’s all-time leader in total offense and BEING: Montee Ball offers an in-depth look in a day in the life of the Wisconsin running back and college football’s all-time touchdown leader.
For instant updates during the week and games from the entire CFB on FOX crew, follow us on Twitter at http://twitter.com/CFBONFOX.
DAVIS ON THE PAC-12: MORA MUST GET TEAM TO FOCUS ON FRIDAY, NOT LAST WEEK – This Friday’s Pac-12 Championship Game opponents don’t need to think too hard about the last time they faced each other as the Bruins and Cardinal squared-off at The Rose Bowl just one week ago. Lead analyst Charles Davis sees the key to a UCLA victory is being able to forget last week’s loss while still learning from their mistakes. “Jim Mora needs to make sure he doesn’t harp on last week’s loss to Stanford and I don’t think he will,” said Davis. “Last week’s game gets totally wiped out with a win this week. Stanford played their game last week and UCLA needs to make sure that doesn’t happen on Friday. Stanford is going to run the football for four quarters. If they press the run game the way they have, Stepfan Taylor’s chances for success will be high and the challenge again is on UCLA’s defensive front line and linebackers to be physical early or they are going to have a problem.”
DAVIS ON THE BIG TEN: KEY TO NEBRASKA WIN IS STOPPING BADGERS RUNNING GAME — Cornhusker standout running back Rex Burkhead missed four games because of a knee injury earlier this season but is now back in Nebraska’s lineup and ready to go in the Big Ten Championship Game on Saturday. Lead analyst Charles Davis looks at what Burkhead’s presence brings to Nebraska and what weapons Wisconsin brings to this championship showdown: “Rex Burkhead’s return means everything to Nebraska – confidence in the huddle and confidence on the sidelines. He does everything you want on the football field. After three ACL surgeries, Wisconsin quarterback Curt Phillips finally gets his shot on the big stage. Despite his procedures, he moves around the pocket well enough and is finding his stride. He competes every second he’s out there and I expect him to play well. The wild card in Saturday’s championship game will be Wisconsin’s offensive line and what Nebraska’s defense can do to protect against the Badger’s remarkable running game.”
DATE TIME GAME OUTLET Play by Play Analyst Sideline Friday, November 30 8:00 PM Pac-12 Champ Game:
UCLA at Stanford
FOX/FOX Deportes Gus Johnson Charles Davis Julie Alexandria/Petros Papadakis Saturday, December 1 8:00 PM B1G Champ Game (from Lucas Oil Stadium):
Wisconsin vs. Nebraska
FOX/FOX Deportes Gus Johnson Charles Davis Julie Alexandria/Petros Papadakis
For the second straight year, Fox Sports has a double conference championship game weekend. And once again, Gus Johnson and Charles Davis will pull the double, calling the Pac-12 Championship Game on Friday in Palo Alto, CA and then taking the red eye east to Indianapolis for the Big Ten Championship Game to call that game on Saturday. Fox will use Julie Alexandria and Petros Papadakis on the sidelines for both games.
Fox also has two Big 12 games on FX and Fox Sports Net at noon and at 2 p.m. ET on Saturday.
We have the games that will be aired on the Fox Sports Media Group for the final week of college football before we get to the Bowl games.
College Football on FOX Advance Programming Schedule
November 30-December 1
All times Eastern unless otherwise indicated
DATE TIME GAME OUTLET Play by Play Analyst Sideline Friday, November 30 8:00 PM Pac-12 Championship Game:
UCLA at Stanford
FOX/FOX Deportes Gus Johnson Charles Davis Julie Alexandria/Petros Papadakis Saturday, December 1 8:00 PM B1G Championships Game (from Lucas Oil Stadium):
Wisconsin vs. Nebraska
FOX/FOX Deportes Gus Johnson Charles Davis Julie Alexandria/Petros Papadakis Saturday, December 1 12:00 PM Oklahoma St. at Baylor FX Craig Bolerjack Joel Klatt Darius Walker Saturday, December 1 2:30 PM Kansas at West Virginia FSN (National) Steve Physioc Brian Baldinger Jim Knox
There you have it.
This week marks for all intents and purposes, the final week of conference play in college football. There are conference championships in the ACC, Big Ten, C-USA, MAC, Pac-12 and SEC. ESPN platforms will carry four of them either through TV or radio.
The ESPN family of networks also will air the regular season finales in conferences that don’t have championship games including the Big East, the Big 12 and Mountain West.
And with the Football Championship Subdivision in the midst of the second round of its playoffs, ESPN3 will be carrying games online from across the country.
We have the schedule for Week 14 across ESPN’s platforms.
Football Championship Week Highlighted by Games with Conference Championship & Bowl Bid Implications
ESPN’s college football “Championship Week” schedule will include games with conference championship and bowl bid implications, highlighted by five matchups in which the winning team will win the conference title.
- ESPN’s Thursday prime-time telecast on November 29 will pit Louisville at Rutgers in a BIG EAST matchup at 7:30 p.m. Rutgers will win the conference with a victory over Louisville. ABC will also televise Cincinnati at Connecticut on Saturday, Dec. 1, at 3:30 p.m. If Louisville and Cincinnati win and create a four-way tie for the championship, the higher-ranked team in the BCS Standings between Louisville and Rutgers will receive the conference’s BCS berth. The highest-ranked team in the BCS Standings between Louisville, Rutgers and Syracuse will receive the BCS bid with a Louisville and Connecticut victory.
- ESPN2 and ESPN Radio will each offer a conference championship game on Friday, Nov. 30:
- ESPN2 will televise the MAC Football Championship, No. 21 Northern Illinois vs. No. 17 Kent State in a showdown of one-loss teams at 7 p.m. ET.
- ESPN Radio will broadcast No. 16 UCLA at No. 8 Stanford in the Pac-12 Championship Game at 8 p.m.
- The lineup for Saturday, Dec. 1, will include ACC and Conference USA championship games and a matchup between the top two teams of the Sun Belt:
- ESPN’s prime-time telecast will feature No. 13 Florida State vs. Georgia Tech in the ACC Championship Game at 8 p.m.
- ESPN2 and ESPN 3D will televise Central Florida at Tulsa in a matchup of 9-3 teams in the Conference USA Championship Game at noon.
- ESPN3 will carry Middle Tennessee at Arkansas State in a matchup for the Sun Belt Conference title at 3 p.m. Both teams have an 8-3 overall and 6-1 in conference record.
- Additional games with conference and bowl implications on Saturday, Dec. 1:
- No. 6 Kansas State will host No. 18 Texas on the ABC Saturday Night Football broadcast at 8 p.m. One-loss Kansas State will clinch the Big 12 title and the conference’s automatic BCS berth with a win or a No. 11 Oklahoma loss. ESPN will televise Oklahoma at TCU Saturday, Dec. 1 at noon.
- ABC will also broadcast No. 20 Boise State at Nevada at 3:30 p.m. Boise State can clinch a share of the Mountain West Conference title with a win.
- ESPN3 will carry eight games from the Football Championship Subdivision quarterfinals on Saturday, Dec. 1.
ESPN, ABC, ESPN2, ESPNU, ESPN3, ESPN 3D and ESPN Radio Schedule
Date Time (ET) Game / Commentators Network Thu, Nov 29 7:30 p.m. Louisville at Rutgers
Rece Davis, Jesse Palmer, David Pollack & Samantha Steele
ESPN Fri, Nov 30 7 p.m. MAC Football Championship: No. 21 Northern Illinois vs. No. 17 Kent State (from Detroit)
Carter Blackburn, Rod Gilmore & Jemele Hill
ESPN2 8 p.m. Pac-12 Championship Game: No. 16 UCLA at No. 8 Stanford
Bill Rosinski, David Norrie, Joe Schad
ESPN Radio Sat, Dec 1 Noon No. 11 Oklahoma at TCU
Joe Tessitore, Matt Millen & Shannon Spake
ESPN Noon Conference USA Championship Game: UCF at Tulsa
Dave Pasch, Brian Griese & Jenn Brown
ESPN2 & ESPN 3D Noon No. 23 Oklahoma State at Baylor
Dave Lamont, Tom Ramsey, Ian Fitzsimmons
ESPN Radio 2 p.m. FCS Championship Second Round: New Hampshire at Wofford ESPN3 2 p.m. FCS Championship Second Round: Coastal Carolina at Old Dominion ESPN3 2 p.m. FCS Championship Second Round: Central Arkansas at Georgia Southern ESPN3 2 p.m. FCS Championship Second Round: Illinois State at Appalachian State ESPN3 3 p.m. Middle Tennessee at Arkansas State
Brock Bowling & Cole Cubelic
ESPN3 3:30 p.m. No. 20 Boise State at Nevada
Mike Patrick, Ed Cunningham & Jeannine Edwards
ABC & ESPN3 * Cincinnati at Connecticut
Bob Wischusen, Danny Kanell & Maria Taylor
ABC & ESPN3 * 4 p.m. FCS Championship Second Round: South Dakota State at North Dakota State ESPN3 4 p.m. FCS Championship Second Round: Cal Poly at Sam Houston State ESPN3 6 p.m. FCS Championship Second Round: Wagner at Eastern Washington ESPN3 7 p.m. Pittsburgh at South Florida
Mark Jones, Brock Huard & Quint Kessenich
ESPN2 7 p.m. FCS Championship Second Round: Stony Brook at Montana State ESPN3 8 p.m. No. 18 Texas at No. 6 Kansas State
Brad Nessler, Todd Blackledge & Holly Rowe
ABC 8 p.m. ACC Championship Game: No. 13 Florida State vs. Georgia Tech (Charlotte)
ESPN: Brent Musburger, Kirk Herbstreit & Heather Cox
Radio: Bill Rosinski, David Norrie, Joe Schad
ESPN & ESPN Radio
* Local blackout may apply
And the Fox Sports Media Group’s college football games for Week 14 will be posted next.
I’ve been bottling up some sports media thoughts from the last time I wrote a similar post. You’re due for some more. Let’s provide you with some. They’re below in bullet form as always.
- We’re getting closer to seeing Fox Sports 1 coming to fruition. While Fox is not saying anything official, behind the scenes, it’s working very hard to show that it is very serious about making this a true alternative to ESPN. In this week’s Sports Business Journal (subscription required), John Ourand writes that Fox has already trademarked “Fox Sports 1,” purchased a dot-com to host a Fox Sports 1 website, developed a logo, and has showed a video to several professional league and college conference officials that displays what the network is all about.
Ourand cites sources who have seen the video that Fox is looking to launch the network in August of 2013, rebranding the existing Speed channel, and then making a big platform launch during Super Bowl XVIII week in February 2014 which will air on the Fox mothership.
While many sports media observers were watching NBC Sports Network to see if it was going to be the challenger to ESPN, Fox has quietly been working to sign long term contracts with existing partners MLB, NASCAR, UFC as well as the Big 12 and the Pac-12 to help establish programming on Fox Sports 1. When the network finally launches next summer, Fox Sports 1 will be in very good position and hit the ground running with some major sports programming, something that NBCSN has been unable to achieve.
And with the NBA and English Premier League coming up for bid in 2015 and the Big Ten in 2016, Fox Sports 1 could make a very good destination for all three.
We’ll be monitoring this story well into 2013.
- In a related note, Fox’s parent company, News Corp., made huge news last week with its purchase of 49% of the YES Network plus reportedly being close to retaining the rights to the Los Angeles Dodgers for a staggering $280 million annually.
Through buying into YES and keeping the Dodgers, News Corp. would have the rights to three of the four MLB teams in the nation’s two largest markets. And with the option to increase its ownership of YES to 80% within three years, Fox is in a very good position to maintain its position in MLB through local rights.
I would not be surprised if Fox goes after ownership stakes in NESN in Boston, co-owned by the Red Sox and Bruins, and Altitude in Denver, partners with the Avalanche and the Nuggets. I don’t think News Corp. is done with its spending spree. It will have a lot of cash to spend as it’s spinning off its publishing unit and focusing solely on television and movies.
By positioning the Fox Sports Nets with long term contracts with several MLB, NBA and NHL teams, Fox ensures the survival of its regional sports networks for many years to come.
- ESPN’s 12 year contract to air the college football playoff plus the Orange, Rose and Sugar Bowls shows that the Alleged Worldwide Leader has faith in the sport and wants maintain its firm control of the postseason.
We saw that when it placed all of the Bowl Championship Series on cable in 2010, that ESPN was very serious about controlling the postseason. And while ABC is given major college football games during the regular season, it carries just a few bowl games, most are aired on either ESPN or ESPN2.
When your humble blogger went to ESPN last year to talk with Executive Senior Vice President of Studio and Event Production, Norby Williamson, he told me that ESPN was the perfect destination for the BCS as the network could provide fans with programming surrounding the games not just pre and post, but through coverage in the days leading up to the Championship Game. I’m sure his feeling has not changed now that ESPN has obtained the rights to the playoffs.
While there’s no doubting that ESPN does college football well, its control of all of the BCS Automatic Qualifying conferences is disturbing. By guaranteeing control through long-term contracts that go well into the next decade, ESPN will continue airing games for the foreseeable future without interruption.
- Whenever I eat dinner at my parents’ house, one program they like to watch while dining is Inside Edition. While the show has its positive qualities, one huge negative is its coverage of celebrities, Lindsay Lohan in particular. It seems every move she makes is extensively covered, no matter how big, no matter how small. One night, as the show was in its 3,608th consecutive day of covering Lindsay Lohan, I said out loud, “This is like ESPN with Tim Tebow,” and it suddenly hit me that Inside Edition’s obsession with Lohan is just like ESPN’s with Tim Tebow.
Now is this so far off? Inside Edition goes to court whenever Lohan violates her probation whether it be drunk driving or stealing a necklace (allegedly). ESPN went to New York Jets training camp to cover Tebow.
Inside Edition went into battle mode when handlers called 9-1-1 when Lohan failed to wake up for a call on set of the Lifetime movie, “Liz and Dick”. ESPN made sure we all celebrated Tim Tebow’s birthday via SportsCenter.
Inside Edition covered Lohan’s snub of ABC’s Barbara Walters. ESPN asked actor Liam Neeson about Tim Tebow even though he was hardly familiar with the QB.
Inside Edition can’t seem to go one day without mentioning Lohan. Doug Gottlieb admitted to Dan Patrick that ESPN management told him to mention Tebow on his radio show.
These are just a few instances, but again, I ask is this so far off to make the analogy that Lindsay Lohan is to Inside Edition as Tim Tebow is to ESPN?
I’m sure I’ll hear from ESPN’s extensive public relations machine on this, but they can’t convince me that Tebow isn’t their Binky.
- I’ve seen all of season 3 of Downton Abbey except for the Christmas Special that will air on ITV in the UK on Christmas Day (naturally). While I won’t give any spoilers, I will give some news that has already been reported. Shirley MacLaine gives some great energy to the first few episodes playing Elizabeth “Cora Grantham” McGovern’s mother, visiting from the United States. The season begins in 1920 with Robert in financial difficulty and Downton’s future in doubt, Mr. Bates in jail and Matthew and Lady Mary engaged.
What transpires next is the usual drama, comedy and plot twists that make the series great. There will be joy and there will be sadness, but you’ll have to see what happens when the third season premieres on PBS on January 6.
I’m giving away nothing. If you want spoilers, buy me a few drinks and I’ll tell you.
We’re done. Enjoy your Tuesday.
The last few days, I’ve been sick which limited the number of posts between Friday and Saturday. I’m still not feeling well, but I’ll be providing linkage and posts as long I’m physically able. To the links.
Sports Illustrated’s Richard Deitsch talks with NFL Network’s Melissa Stark about returning to sports television after leaving in 2008 to become a full-time mom.
Don Banks of SI looks at how NFL teams are adjusting to a full season of Thursday Night Football.
John Ourand & Michael Smith from Sports Business Journal report that ESPN is close to nabbing the college football playoff for many years to come.
John catches up with outgoing Fox Sports Media Group Vice Chairman Ed Goren who helped launch the company in 1994.
Eric Fisher at SBJ notes how MLB Advanced Media kept operating after Hurricane Sandy wiped out power in the company’s headquarters.
Ed Sherman of The Sherman Report looks at an unusual Comcast SportsNet Chicago documentary which went to Cambodia to tell a compelling story.
Kurt Badenhausen from Forbes explains how ESPN is the cash engine that drives Disney.
Joe Levine of SportsGrid tells us that Fox NFL Sunday had some technical issues during one of its halftime updates.
Brian Steinberg at Advertising Age says Century 21 will return to advertising in the Super Bowl in February.
Phil Mushnick of the New York Post doesn’t understand the bubble screen.
Pete Dougherty at the Albany Times Union has NBC Sports Network’s college basketball announcing teams.
Dave Zoren of the Delaware County Daily Times says Comcast SportsNet Philadelphia and The Comcast Network team up for almost 70 college basketball games this season (scroll down).
Jim Williams of the Washington Examiner talks about waking up with NFL AM.
The Charlotte Observer talks with CBS’ Jim Nantz.
Tom Jones of the Tampa Bay Times looks back at the weekend in sports television.
Matt Murschel of the Orlando Sentinel says a fourth sports radio station launches in the local market today.
Christine Lee of NBC Dallas says ESPN is teaming up with the Irving Chamber of Commerce to attract businesses to the local area.
David Barron from the Houston Chronicle has DirecTV’s CEO complaining about Comcast SportsNet Houston’s subscriber fees.
Mel Bracht at The Oklahoman reviews the TV productions of the Oklahoma and Oklahoma State games from Saturday.
John Vomhof, Jr. of the Minneapolis-St. Paul Business Journal says a Fox Sports North reporter is leaving for a similar position at Root Sports Pittsburgh.
Dusty Saunders of the Denver Post feels Dick Vitale is key to any college basketball season.
Patrick Finley of the Arizona Daily Star says the Pac-12 Conference will no longer have exposure issues now that with new TV contracts with ESPN, Fox, CBS and of course, the Pac-12 Network.
Tom Hoffarth of the Los Angeles Daily News has the SoCal sports calendar for this week.
Tom has the five things he learned from watching sports over the weekend.
Barry Petchesky of Deadspin notes that Minnesota Vikings QB Christan Ponder made a tongue-in-cheek comment about his girlfriend, ESPN’s Samantha Steele.
The Classic Sports TV and Media blog has a look at ABC’s Monday Night Football’s halftime highlights as narrated by the late, great Howard Cosell.
And that will do it for now.
Let’s take a look at the announcers ESPN will utilize for college basketball this season.
Dan Shulman and Dick Vitale remain the top team as they’ll major ACC and Saturday primetime games together. Dave O’Brien gets an upgrade as he’ll call ACC games with Vitale, Jay Bilas or Doris Burke.
Brent Musburger returns to call Big 12 games on Big Monday, but he’ll have a new partner in Fran Fraschilla who returns to calling Big Monday on ESPN.
Musburger’s partner of last year, Bob Knight will be assigned to SEC games on Thursday nights with Rece Davis.
With ESPN picking up Pac-12 games this season, Bill Walton returns to the Mothership to be the analyst on Wednesday and Thursday night games with Dave Pasch.
Returning teams include Sean McDonough, Jay Bilas and Bill Raftery on Big East games on Big Monday, Mike Patrick and Len Elmore move to the Big East on Saturdays after calling the ACC for years and Brad Nessler and Jimmy Dykes on the SEC.
Ok, here’s the ESPN press release.
ESPN 2012-13 Men’s College Basketball Commentators
Vitale, Bilas & More Return; Walton Joins; Fraschilla & Knight on New Nights
ESPN’s 2012-13 men’s college basketball telecasts – more than 1,450 games tipping off with 350 nonconference contests beginning Friday, Nov. 9 – will feature a deep bench of knowledgeable and experienced commentators.
Dick Vitale, in his 34th season with ESPN, will continue to provide analysis on top games throughout the season, primarily with Dan Shulman. During conference play, Shulman and Vitale will work the weekly Saturday Primetime series and select ACC Wednesday Night Hoops telecasts, including North Carolina at Duke on February 13.
Jay Bilas, entering his 18th season with ESPN, will also work top matchups throughout the season, beginning in Germany for ESPN’s telecast of Michigan State vs. Connecticut in the Armed Forces Classic from the Ramstein Air Base on Friday, Nov. 9, at 5:30 p.m. ET. During conference action, Bilas will again team with Sean McDonough and analyst Bill Raftery, who joined ESPN in 1980, on the weekly Big Monday BIG EAST package of games and work contests from various conferences.
Basketball Hall of Famer Bill Walton – a three-time NCAA Player of the Year (1972, 1973, 1974) at UCLA – will rejoin ESPN as a college basketball analyst, primarily working Wednesday and Thursday Pac-12 telecasts with commentator Dave Pasch. Walton, who guided UCLA to national titles in 1972 and 1973 and to an NCAA record 88-game winning streak, served as a key NBA analyst for ESPN from 2002 to 2009.
Top analysts Fran Fraschilla and Bob Knight will take on new assignments during conference play. Fraschilla will serve as the analyst on the Big Monday Big 12 series, partnering with Brent Musburger. Fraschilla previously worked Big Monday Big 12 games from 2004 through 2009. Knight will work Thursday Night Showcase SEC matchups with Rece Davis. Knight and Davis have worked several games together and shared the set on studio programming, including College GameDay.
- Brad Nessler and Jimmy Dykes will return to work SEC telecasts as part of ESPN’s Super Tuesday series and through the finals of the SEC Tournament. Mark Jones will call play-by-play with Dykes on Saturday SEC games.
- Mike Tirico, one of ESPN’s most versatile commentators and the voice of Monday Night Football, and ESPN analyst Dan Dakich will return for their second season together on the weekly Big Ten Super Tuesday game.
- The Thursday Night Showcase Big Ten telecasts will feature a new announcer team of Joe Tessitore and Sean Farnham.
- Dave O’Brien, who previously worked Big Ten games, will call Thursday and Saturday ACC games. Doris Burke will serve as the analyst with O’Brien on Saturday telecasts.
Commentators appearing in regular weekly ESPN, ESPN2 and ESPNU time slots plus Saturdays throughout the conference action (conference assignments can vary):
Network Conference Play-by-play Analyst ESPN or ESPN2 Select Games Dan Shulman Dick Vitale
Network Conference Play-by-play Analyst Reporter ESPN BIG EAST Sean McDonough Jay Bilas and Bill Raftery ESPN Big 12 Brent Musburger Fran Fraschilla Holly Rowe
Network Conference Play-by-play Analyst Reporter ESPN Big Ten Mike Tirico Dan Dakich Samantha Steele ESPN SEC Brad Nessler Jimmy Dykes Shannon Spake ESPNU ACC Tom Hart Len Elmore ESPNU SEC Dari Nowkhah Dino Gaudio
Wednesday Night Hoops
Network Conference Play-by-play Analyst ESPN or ESPN2 ACC Dan Shulman or Dave O’Brien Dick Vitale, Jay Bilas or Doris Burke ESPN or ESPN2 BIG EAST Mike Patrick LaPhonso Ellis ESPN or ESPN2 Big 12 Bob Wischusen Stephen Bardo ESPN or ESPN2 Pac 12 Dave Pasch Bill Walton ESPNU Big 12 Mitch Holthus Matt Doherty ESPNU BIG EAST Adam Amin Tim Welsh
Thursday Night Showcase
Network Conference Play-by-play Analyst Reporter ESPN or ESPN2 ACC Dave O’Brien Dick Vitale, Jay Bilas or Doris Burke Jeannine Edwards ESPN or ESPN2 Big Ten Joe Tessitore Sean Farnham ESPN or ESPN2 SEC Rece Davis Bob Knight ESPN or ESPN2 Pac 12 Dave Pasch Bill Walton ESPN or ESPN2 BIG EAST John Saunders Various analysts ESPN2 West Coast Dave Flemming TBD ESPNU Pac-12 Roxy Bernstein Miles Simon
Network Conference Play-by-play Analyst ESPNU MAAC Doug Sherman Tim O’Toole ESPNU Horizon Jim Barbar Malcolm Huckaby
Network Conference Play-by-play Analyst Reporters ESPN Saturday Primetime Dan Shulman Dick Vitale Samantha Steele ESPN BIG EAST Mike Patrick Len Elmore ESPN Big Ten Bob Wischusen Dan Dakich ESPN Big 12 Jon Sciambi Fran Fraschilla ESPN ACC Dave O’Brien Doris Burke ESPN SEC Mark Jones Jimmy Dykes ESPNU BIG EAST Beth Mowins Tim Welsh ESPNU SEC Tom Hart Matt Doherty ESPNU Pac-12 Dave Flemming Sean Farnham
Network Conference Play-by-play Analyst Reporter ESPNU ACC Sunday Night Basketball Carter Blackburn Jay Williams Allison Williams ESPNU Missouri Valley Mitch Holthus Mark Adams
In addition to regular assignments on ESPN, ESPN2 and ESPNU, ESPN Regional Television will produce and syndicate an extensive schedule of games from the SEC, BIG EAST and Big 12:
SEC Network Play-by-play Analyst Wednesday and Saturday Clay Matvick, Dave Baker, Dave Neal or Dave Lamont Joe Dean, Kara Lawson, Barry Booker, Jon Sundvold or Kyle Macy
Big 12 Network Play-by-play Analyst Saturday and select weekdays Dave Armstrong, Mitch Holthus or Brad Sham Reid Gettys, Stephen Howard, Bryndon Manzer, Chris Piper or Rich Zvosec
BIG EAST Network Play-by-play Analyst Saturday and select Sundays Anish Shroff Bob Wenzel
That is all.
To the ESPN family of networks’ schedule for the 2012-13 basketball season. Overall, ESPN, ESPN2 and ESPNU will air 38 conference games, 14 of which to be divided among ESPN/ESPN2 and the rest on ESPNU.
The games will air primarily on Wednesday, Thursday and Saturday nights. This season begins an 11 p.m. ET game on ESPN2 Wednesdays except for two weeks in January when the networks airs the Australian Open.
Take a look at the schedule below.
ESPN’s 2013 Pac-12 men’s college basketball regular-season schedule will feature 38 conference games across ESPN, ESPN2 and ESPNU. Overall, ESPNU will televise 24 of the matchups.
ESPN and the Pac-12 are beginning a new 12-year agreement for extensive conference action through 2024-25. As part of the deal, ESPN will add men’s regular-season basketball across ESPN, ESPN2 and ESPNU, primarily on Wednesday, Thursday and Saturday nights, including in new 11 p.m. ET (8 p.m. PT) Wednesday telecasts (except Jan. 16 and 23). ESPN also receives the rights to one Pac-12 Men’s Basketball Tournament quarterfinal and semifinal game, and the championship every other year beginning this season.
Viewers can also watch live ESPN, ESPN2 and ESPNU game action online at WatchESPN.com or on smart phones and tablets through the WatchESPN app. The service – available to customers of Time Warner Cable, Bright House Networks, Verizon FiOS TV and Comcast Xfinity TV – gives fans the ability to watch ESPN’s live networks, no matter where they are.
ESPN, ESPN2 and ESPNU 2013 Pac-12 Men’s Basketball Schedule
Dates, times and television listings subject to change
Date Time (ET) Game Network Thu, Jan 3 8 p.m. Colorado at Arizona ESPNU 10 p.m. Stanford at USC ESPNU Sat, Jan 5 9:30 p.m. Washington at Washington State ESPNU Wed, Jan 9 11 p.m. Washington at California ESPN2 Thu, Jan 10 9 p.m. Arizona at Oregon ESPN or ESPN2 10 p.m. USC at Colorado ESPNU Sat, Jan 12 9:30 p.m. Arizona at Oregon State ESPNU Thu, Jan 17 9 p.m. Oregon State at UCLA ESPNU 11 p.m. Oregon at USC ESPNU Sat, Jan 19 9 or 11 p.m. Utah at Washington ESPNU Thu, Jan 24 9 p.m. UCLA at Arizona ESPN2 10 p.m. Stanford at Colorado ESPNU Sat, Jan 26 8:30 p.m. USC at Arizona ESPNU Wed, Jan 30 11 p.m. Oregon at Stanford ESPN2 Thu, Jan 31 9 p.m. Arizona at Washington ESPN or ESPN2 10 p.m. Oregon State at California ESPNU Sat, Feb 2 9 p.m. Arizona State at Washington ESPNU Wed, Feb 6 9 or 11 p.m. Stanford at Arizona ESPN2 Thu, Feb 7 9 p.m. Washington at UCLA ESPN or ESPN2 10 p.m. Colorado at Oregon ESPNU Sat, Feb 9 9 p.m. Stanford at Arizona State ESPNU Wed, Feb 13 11 p.m. Oregon at Washington ESPN2 Thu, Feb 14 9 p.m. UCLA at California ESPN or ESPN2 11 p.m. USC at Stanford ESPNU Sat, Feb 16 4 p.m. UCLA at Stanford ESPN or ESPN2 9 p.m. Arizona State at Colorado ESPNU Wed, Feb 20 11 p.m. Washington at Arizona ESPN2 Thu, Feb 21 9 p.m. California at Oregon ESPNU 11 p.m. Stanford at Oregon State ESPNU Sat, Feb 23 TBD Washington at Arizona State ESPNU Wed, Feb 27 11 p.m. Colorado at Stanford ESPN2 Thu, Feb 28 9 p.m. Utah at California ESPNU 11 p.m. Oregon State at Oregon ESPNU Sat, Mar 2 9 p.m. Saturday Primetime: Arizona at UCLA * ESPN 5 p.m. Colorado at California ESPNU Wed, Mar 6 11 p.m. Stanford at California ESPN2 Thu, Mar 7 9 p.m. Oregon at Colorado ESPNU 11 p.m. Oregon State at Utah ESPNU Thu, Mar 14 11:30 p.m. Pac-12 Tournament: Quarterfinal #4 ESPNU Fri, Mar 15 11:30 p.m. Pac-12 Tournament: Semifinal #2 ESPN or ESPN2 Sat, Mar 16 11 p.m. Pac-12 Tournament: Championship ESPN
* College GameDay will originate from site
Let’s take a look at the Pac-12 Network’s men’s basketball schedule for the 2012-13 season.
November 9 — 4:00 PM, Wofford vs. Colorado
November 9 — 6:00 PM, Niagara vs. Oregon State
November 9 — 6:00 PM, Willamette vs. Utah
November 9 – 8:00 PM, Coppin State vs. USC
November 9 — 8:00 PM, San Francisco vs. Stanford
November 10 — 4:30 PM, Northern Arizona vs. Oregon
November 10 — 4:30 PM, Central Arkansas vs. Arizona State
November 10 — 4:30 PM, Eastern Washington vs. Washington State
November 11 — 3:00 PM, Charleston Southern vs. Arizona
November 11 — 5:00 PM, Loyola (MD) vs. Washington
November 11 — 7:00 PM, Cal-State Bakersfield vs. California
November 12 — 6:30 PM, Portland State vs. Oregon
November 12 — 8:30 PM, Cal State Fullerton vs. Stanford
November 13 — 6:30 PM, Long Beach State vs. USC
November 13 — 6:30 PM, Pepperdine vs. California
November 13 — 6:30 PM, Albany vs. Washington
November 13 — 8:30 PM, UC Irvine vs. UCLA
November 14 — 7:00 PM, Utah Valley vs. Washington State
November 15 – 6:00 PM, Alcorn State vs. Stanford
November 15 — 8:00 PM, James Madison vs. UCLA
November 16 — 6:00 PM, Sacramento State vs. Utah
November 16 — 8:00 PM, Vanderbilt vs. Oregon
November 18 — 12:00 PM, Florida A&M vs. Arizona State
November 18 — 6:00 PM, Belmont vs. Stanford
November 19 — 6:00 PM, Long Beach State vs. Arizona
November 19 — 8:00 PM, Jacksonville State vs. Oregon
November 20 — 6:00 PM, Cornell vs. Arizona State
November 21 — 6:00 PM, Idaho State vs. Utah
November 23 — 4:00 PM, Central Michigan vs. Utah
November 24 — TBD, Wright State vs. Utah
November 24 — TBD, Arkansas-Pine Bluff vs. Washington State
November 24 — 4:30 PM, Colorado State vs. Washington
November 25 — 3:00 PM, Montana State vs. Oregon State
November 25 — 5:00 PM, Air Force vs. Colorado
November 25 — 7:00 PM, Cal Poly vs. UCLA
November 27 — 6:30 PM, Texas Southern vs. Colorado
November 28 — 5:00 PM, Arkansas-Pine Bluff vs. Arizona State
November 28 — 7:00 PM, Idaho vs. Washington State
November 28 — 7:00 PM, Northern Arizona vs. Arizona
November 28 — 7:00 PM, Seattle vs. Stanford
November 28 — 9:00 PM, Saint Louis vs. Washington
November 28 — 9:00 PM, Cal State Northridge vs. UCLA
November 29 — 7:00 PM, UT San Antonio vs. Oregon
December 1 — 3:30 PM, Arkansas-Pine Bluff vs. Oregon
December 1 — 5:30 PM, Sacramento State vs. Arizona State
December 1 — 7:30 PM, Portland vs. Washington State
December 2 — 2:00 PM, Denver vs. Stanford
December 2 — 4:00 PM, Cal State Fullerton vs. Washington
December 4 — 6:30 PM, Southern Mississippi vs. Arizona
December 5 — 5:30 PM, Boise State vs. Utah
December 5 — 5:30 PM, Hartford vs. Arizona State
December 5 — 7:30 PM, Colorado State vs. Colorado
December 8 — 11:00 AM, Cal State Northridge vs. Arizona State
December 8 — 1:00 PM, Grambling State vs. Oregon State
December 8 — 3:00 PM, Idaho State vs. Oregon
December 8 — 5:00 PM, Nevada vs. Washington
December 8 — 7:30 PM, Minnesota vs. USC
December 9 — 4:00 PM, Fresno State vs. Washington State
December 12 — 6:00 PM, DePaul vs. Arizona State
December 13 — 7:00 PM, Jackson State vs. Washington State
December 15 — 12:00 PM, Dartmouth vs. Arizona State
December 15 — 2:00 PM, UC Davis vs. Stanford
December 15 — 4:00 PM, UC Riverside vs. USC
December 15 — 4:00 PM, Jackson State vs. Washington
December 15 — 6:00 PM, Prairie View A&M vs. UCLA
December 15 — 8:00 PM, Creighton vs. California
December 16 — 4:00 PM, Chicago State vs. Oregon State
December 18 — 6:00 PM, Oral Roberts vs. Arizona
December 18 — 6:00 PM, Southern Methodist vs. Utah
December 18 — 8:00 PM, UC Santa Barbara vs. California
December 18 — 8:00 PM, Long Beach State vs. UCLA
December 19 — 7:00 PM, Howard vs. Oregon State
December 20 — 6:00 PM, Cal Poly vs. Washington
December 20 — 8:00 PM, UC Irvine vs. USC
December 21 — 5:30 PM, Northern Arizona vs. Colorado
December 21 — 7:30 PM, Cal State Northridge vs. Utah
December 21 — 7:30 PM, Buffalo vs. Washington State
December 22 — 12:00 PM, Houston Baptist vs. Oregon
December 22 — 2:00 PM, Prairie View A&M vs. California
December 22 — 4:00 PM, Northern Illinois vs. Washington
December 22 — 6:00 PM, San Diego vs. Oregon State
December 22 — 8:00 PM, Fresno State vs. UCLA
December 28 — 6:30 PM, College of Idaho vs. Utah
December 29 — 11:00 AM, Coppin State vs. Arizona State
December 29 — 11:00 AM, Hartford vs. Colorado
December 29 — 1:00 PM, Towson vs. Oregon State
December 29 — 3:00 PM, Idaho State vs. Washington State
December 29 — 5:00 PM, Harvard vs. California
December 29 — 7:30 PM, Lafayette vs. Stanford
December 30 — 4:00 PM, Dayton vs. USC
December 31 — 2:00 PM, Texas-Pan American vs. Oregon State
December 31 — 4:00 PM, Nevada vs. Oregon
January 2 — 7:00 PM, Utah vs. Arizona State
January 5 — 12:00 PM, Stanford vs. UCLA
January 5 — 2:00 PM, Utah vs. Arizona
January 6 — 5:00 PM, Colorado vs. Arizona State
January 9 — 7:00 PM, Washington State vs. Stanford
January 10 — 6:30 PM, UCLA vs. Utah
January 10 — 8:30 PM, Arizona State vs. Oregon State
January 12 — 11:00 AM, UCLA vs. Colorado
January 12 — 1:00 PM, Washington State vs. California
January 12 — 3:00 PM, USC vs. Utah
January 13 — 6:00 PM, Arizona State vs. Oregon
January 16 — 6:30 PM, Utah vs. Washington State
January 16 — 8:30 PM, Colorado vs. Washington
January 19 — 5:00 PM, Oregon State vs. USC
January 19 — 7:00 PM, Colorado vs. Washington State
January 23 — 6:30 PM, Washington State vs. Oregon
January 23 — 8:30 PM, Washington vs. Oregon State
January 24 — 5:30 PM, California vs. Utah
January 24 — 7:30 PM, USC vs. Arizona State
January 26 — 2:00 PM, Washington State vs. Oregon State
January 26 — 4:00 PM, Washington vs. Oregon
January 27 — 6:00 PM, Stanford vs. Utah
January 30 — 7:00 PM, USC vs. UCLA
January 31 — 8:00 PM, Arizona State vs. Washington State
February 2 — 7:00 PM, Arizona vs. Washington State
February 3 — 12:00 PM, Oregon State vs. Stanford
February 6 — 7:00 PM, Utah vs. Oregon State
February 7 — 6:30 PM, California vs. Arizona State
February 7 — 8:30 PM, Washington State vs. USC
February 9 — 5:00 PM, Utah vs. Oregon
February 9 — 7:00 PM, Washington State vs. UCLA
February 10 — 4:00 PM, California vs. Arizona
February 10 — 6:00 PM, Colorado vs. Oregon State
February 13 — 5:00 PM, Arizona State vs. Utah
February 13 — 7:00 PM, Oregon State vs. Washington State
February 14 — 7:00 PM, Arizona vs. Colorado
February 16 — 4:00 PM, Oregon vs. Washington State
February 17 — 12:00 PM, Arizona vs. Utah
February 20 — 7:00 PM, Washington State vs. Arizona State
February 21 — 7:00 PM, Utah vs. Colorado
February 23 — 3:00 PM, California vs. Oregon State
February 23 — 5:00 PM, Stanford vs. Oregon
February 27 — 6:30 PM, Arizona vs. USC
February 27 — 8:30 PM, Arizona State vs. UCLA
March 3 — 2:00 PM, Utah vs. Stanford
March 6 — 6:30 PM, UCLA vs. Washington State
March 6 — 8:30 PM, USC vs. Washington
March 9 — 11:30 AM, Oregon vs. Utah
March 9 — 1:30 PM, Oregon State vs. Colorado
March 9 — 3:30 PM, USC vs. Washington State
March 13 — 12:00 PM, Pac-12 Tournament – Game 1
March 13 — 2:30 PM, Pac-12 Tournament – Game 2
March 13 — 6:00 PM, Pac-12 Tournament – Game 3
March 13 — 8:30 PM, Pac-12 Tournament – Game 4
March 14 — 12:00 PM, Pac-12 Tournament – Quarterfinal 1
March 14 — 2:30 PM, Pac-12 Tournament – Quarterfinal 2
March 14 — 6:00 PM, Pac-12 Tournament – Quarterfinal 3
March 15 — 6:00 PM, Pac-12 Tournament – Semifinal 1
ESPN’s Pac-12 schedule is next.
While Pac-12 Networks may not be on DirecTV, it still steams ahead with its schedule. Basketball season will be starting soon and the network has announced its play-by-play callers and analysts for inaugural year of broadcasts.
Familiar names to West Coasters fill the roster including Ted Robinson, Kevin Calabro, Roxy Bernstein and Paul Sunderland are among those to call the play-by-play.
Bill Walton, Don MacLean, Ernie Kent, Lenny Wilkens and Detlef Schrempf are among the analysts who will be on the basketball telecasts.
Overall, this is a strong lineup of announcers to call the games on Pac-12 Networks. Take a look at the press release below.
Bill Walton, Don MacLean, Ernie Kent, Lenny Wilkens & Detlef Schrempf Headline Analyst Team for Pac-12 Networks Live Game Telecasts
Pac-12 Men’s Basketball Media Day to be Held at Pac-12 Studios & Streamed Live on Pac-12.com Thursday, November 1 with ‘Pac-12 Media Day Special’ Airing on Networks at 9:00 PM PT
‘Pac-12 Networks 2012 Men’s Basketball Season Preview’ Show Debuts Wednesday, November 7 at 7:00 PM PT
SAN FRANCISCO, CALIF., October 30, 2012 — Pac-12 Networks gets set to hit the hard court with its first season of men’s basketball game coverage that features 150 exciting live contests and dynamic analysis from legendary Pac-12 names. Live game action begins Friday, November 9 at 4:00 PM PT with five nonconference matchups and concludes with the first eight games of the Pac-12 Men’s Basketball tournament from its new home at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas, NV.
For its coverage, Pac-12 Networks has assembled a talented group of voices to provide play-by-play and analysis for both live games and studio shows. Led by UCLA and NBA legend Bill Walton, Pac-12 Networks men’s broadcast team also includes:
Former UCLA Bruin standout and all-time Pac-12 scoring leader
Former University of Oregon head coach and Pac-10 Coach of the Year (2002)
Hall of Fame player and coach; NBA Champion (1979) and Coach of the Year (1994)
Former Washington Huskies forward and three-time NBA All-Star
Former Stanford All-American and 12-year NBA veteran
Former Oregon State guard
Former University of San Francisco head men’s basketball coach
Former University of Utah men’s basketball coach
Former Arizona Wildcats guard
Former Army guard and Director of Basketball Operations for Duke men’s basketball
Pac-12 Networks football play-by-play voice; Seattle radio personality and former voice of the Seattle Supersonics
Pac-12 Networks football announcer; Two-time Emmy winner and current radio voice of the San Francisco 49ers
Voice of Cal men’s basketball and former San Francisco radio personality
Sports reporter and host with former assignments covering the MLB and Summer Olympics
Seasoned play-by-play voice with previous assignments at CBS Sports Network, FOX Sports and ABC Sports covering college football and the NFL
Pac-12 Networks lead men’s soccer announcer and current play-by-play voice for the Los Angeles Galaxy
Southern California sports personality covering the Lakers for FOX Sports Net; Also covering beach volleyball and the NBA for FSN and NBC Sports
Multi-sport announcer with over 20 years of broadcasting experience covering the Pac-12 and professional sports for NBC, FOX Sports, ESPN3 and Universal Sports
“With the incredible amount of talent Pac-12 men’s basketball is bringing to the court this season, there could not be a better time for Pac-12 Networks to showcase the tradition and strength of the conference’s 12 teams with an unprecedented amount of live coverage,” said Lydia Murphy-Stephans, Pac-12 Networks Executive Vice President and General Manager. “We’re thrilled to host the conference coaches and players in our new home to officially kick off the season, as well as introduce our all-star talent roster that includes Hall of Famers, Emmy winners and some of the best former players in the conference.”
Several of Pac-12 Networks’ men’s basketball on-air team will be on hand for Media Day, being held at Pac-12 Studios Thursday, November 1. Pac-12.com will offer live streaming of all the action including both player and coaches press conferences, while at 9:00 PM PT, MacLean, Kent and host Mike Yam put a bow on all the day’s events on the Pac-12 Media Day Special on Pac-12 Networks.
The Pac-12 Networks basketball schedule begins Friday, November 9 and over that first weekend will feature home openers for 11 Pac-12 teams. The unprecedented amount of exposure means that each school will be featured at least 11 times during the season and guarantees that every Pac-12 home game will be televised for the first time in Conference history. The schedule boasts 92 nonconference battles, including 11 contests featuring 2012 NCAA tournament-qualifying opponents. The conference season opens the first week in January with Utah at Arizona State, Stanford at UCLA, Utah at Arizona and Colorado at Arizona State.
With UCLA and Arizona bringing in top rated recruiting classes and several prominent starters returning from all 12 schools, including Allen Crabbe (California), Solomon Hill (Arizona), Brock Motum (Washington State) and Andre Roberson (Colorado), the race for the Pac-12 title figures to come down to the wire, as it did a year ago. The Pac-12 featured seven teams with 20-or-more wins and seven others with 10-or-more conference wins. Washington edged Cal for the regular season title before Colorado claimed the Pac-12 Tournament title in dramatic fashion.
Men’s hoops joins Pac-12 women’s basketball as the first programs to have postseason games televised live on Pac-12 Networks with the first eight games of the 2013 Pac-12 Men’s Basketball Tournament from its new home in Las Vegas, NV March 13-15. The Pac-12 Networks schedule also includes special neutral site regular season matchups with bay area teams San Francisco and Stanford squaring off at Oracle Arena in Oakland, CA November 9 at 8:00 PM PT, Buffalo vs. Washington State at Seattle’s Key Arena December 21 at 7:30 PM PT and Idaho State in a 3:00 PM PT contest versus the Cougars December 29 at the Toyota Center in Kennewick, WA.
That is all.
As we speed into the last quarter of 2012 and prepare for what’s ahead in 2013, there is one thing that is on the horizon for US sports fans and that is the expected appearance of a new all-sports cable channel. No, it’s not NBC Sports Network, although its trials and tribulations this fall will be the subject of a sports media thoughts post this week.
Sometime over the next two years, Fox Sports will announce that the sometimes all-motorsports, sometimes reality channel SPEED will be converted to an all-sports channel that will air MLB, Big 12 and Pac-12 sports, MMA, some NASCAR and anything else it can its hands on. You’re seeing a little bit of this through Fox’s increased sports programming on FX. Two Saturdays ago, FX had a college football doubleheader followed by a UFC on FX Fight Night.
Imagine that next year on the new SPEED which will in all likelihood be rebranded as Fox Sports 1. Why Fox Sports 1? Because it will be part of a company rebranding of Fox’s other sports channels, Fox Soccer and Fuel as Fox Sports 2 and Fox Sports 3, respectively. And there is precedence for this. Fox’s Australian channels are called Fox Sports 1, 2 and 3. Each channel serves to carry certain sports and big events like the Olympics or the Australian Open.
For American sports fans, expect the sports properties to line up as follows once the rebranding takes shape:
FOX SPORTS 1 (FORMERLY SPEED)
- College Basketball (Big 12 & Pac-12)
- College Football (Big 12 & Pac-12)
- English Premier League (Survival Sunday)
- Mixed Martial Arts (UFC)
- UEFA Champions League
- World Cup Soccer
FOX SPORTS 2/FOX SPORTS 2 PLUS (FORMERLY FOX SOCCER/FOX SOCCER PLUS)
- English Premier League
- Scottish Premier League
- UEFA Champions League
- UEFA Europa League
- Australian Rules Football
FOX SPORTS 3 (FORMERLY FUEL)
- Extreme Sports
- Australian Rules Football
- Mixed Martial Arts (UFC)
Fox has already signed for 40 MLB games on Fox Sports 1, taking 14 games away from its over the air package and another 13 away from TBS to form the new slate of games on cable. In addition, the new cable channel will air some League Division Series games starting in 2014.
Fox is about to announce a renewal of its NASCAR rights and expect part of its current schedule of 13 races in the early portion of the Sprint Cup calendar to migrate to Fox Sports 1. If Fox keeps the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series, the races could be split among Fox Sports 1 and 3.
And if Fox manages to hold off Al Jazeera’s expected bid for the US rights to English Premier League games, perhaps Fox Sports 1 could gain a package of early Saturday or Sunday morning matches with the rest going to Fox Sports 2.
There are a lot of possibilities for the Fox Sports channels. It could also be in very good position to gain NBA games when the new set of packages go to bid in 2014. And let us not forget about a potential 8 game Thursday Night NFL package that could cover the first half of the regular beginning in 2014 that Fox would certainly be interested in.
It was thought that NBC was positioning itself to challenge ESPN’s supremacy, but with its acquiring of MLB, NASCAR and college sports plus the World Cup in 2015, Fox just might have leap frogged ahead of the Peacock as ESPN’s main opponent.
Ok, time for some links on this Columbus Day holiday for some of you.
Michael Hiestand of USA Today has a bunch of news and notes in his Monday sports media column including a recap of the NFL Today interview with scab NFL referee Lance Easley.
Tim Baysinger of Broadcasting & Cable says the first-ever MLB Wild Card Games did well for TBS last Friday.
Mike Reynolds from Multichannel News says Time Warner Cable SportsNet has signed its first affiliate for its Los Angeles Lakers-centric regional sports network.
Over to Ed Sherman at The Sherman Report. He talks with Steve Madden, the man in charge of Sports on Earth, the joint venture between USA Today and MLB Advanced Media. Disclaimer: Fang’s Bites is an independently-owned blog affiliated with USA Today Media Group.
Glenn Davis of SportsGrid has video of San Diego Super Chargers safety Atari Bigby’s creative introduction on Sunday Night Football.
Matt Yoder at Awful Announcing notes that NBC’s Cris Collinsworth called New Orleans’ game-ending strip sack of San Diego Chargers QB Philip Rivers just before it occurred.
Brandon Costa at Sports Video Group says MLB Network prepared to air its first postseason games not knowing where they would be.
ESPN’s Darren Rovell tells us that MLB teams don’t keep any of the playoff ticket money the games generate.
Jim Romenesko notes how ESPN edited a blogger’s KKK-Rod headline.
Richard Sandomir of the New York Times says the Mets are looking for ways to refinance its huge debts through its regional sports network, SNY.
As usual, Phil Mushnick of the New York Post hates everything on television.
Jerry Barmash of FishbowlNY notes that long-time New York Knicks analyst John Andariese is retiring.
David Zurawik of the Baltimore Sun says TBS stepped up to the task for the New York Yankees-Orioles game on Sunday.
David says CBS’ Ian Eagle got the job done during yesterday’s Baltimore Ravens-Kansas City Chiefs game while his partner, Dan Fouts did not.
Tom Jones from the Tampa Bay Times reviews the weekend in sports television.
Josh Robbins of the Orlando Sentinel reports that Fox Sports Florida will air all 81 Magic games this season instead of splitting them between FS Florida and Sun Sports.
David Barron at the Houston Chronicle says the Astros are considering replacements to its radio team of Dave Raymond and Brett Dolan who were let go last week.
David says ESPN’s Jon Gruden brings his enthusiasm for the NFL to Monday Night Football.
Bob Wolfley at the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reviews the CBS NFL Today interview of former scab referee Lance Easley.
Missouri Sports Magazine notes that the Kansas City Royals have set a ratings record for the 2012 season.
Dusty Saunders from the Denver Post says Sunday gave sports fans plenty of action to watch.
Paola Boivin of the Arizona Republic says there are a number of candidates to replace the Diamondbacks TV team of Daron Sutton and Mark Grace who were let go by the team after the season.
Bill Plaschke of the Los Angeles Times says the Lakers have become the least-viewed team in the NBA thanks to its deal with Time Warner Cable Sports.
Tom Hoffarth of the Los Angeles Daily News has your sports calendar for this week.
Tom has the five things he learned from watching sports over the weekend.
Jon Wilner at the San Jose Mercury News updates us on the Pac-12 Network and its dispute with DirecTV.
Bruce Dowbiggin of the Toronto Globe and Mail says fans are split over which side to support in the NHL lockout.
Ryan Lambert at Yahoo’s Puck Daddy looks at ESPN picking up KHL games in the wake of the NHL lockout.
Ty Duffy at the Big Lead says MLS is doing well at the gate, but not on TV.
Media Rantz informs us that former NFL Network original Kara Henderson left broadcasting to get married. Congrats to Kara.
That’s going to do it.
Fox Sports has announced its college football plans for the next couple of weeks. Its primetime games for this Saturday and next Saturday will be in the Big 12. And next Saturday, September 29 will mark its first visit to Stillwater, Oklahoma for the Texas-Oklahoma State game.
That follows this week’s Kansas State at Oklahoma game so Fox is embracing the Big 12 in a big way.
Here’s Fox’s schedule for the next couple of weekends on its various networks.
Longhorns & Cowboys Play Their Big 12 Conference Opener Sept. 29
Doubleheader on FX Action Includes No. 8 West Virginia Hosting Baylor
New York, NY – FOX Sports Media Group today unveiled the matchups slated for FOX, FX, FSN & FCS on Saturday, Sept. 29.
FOX Sports presents the Texas/Oklahoma State game in primetime from Stillwater, OK. The FOX COLLEGE SATURDAY pregame show, hosted by Erin Andrews with analysts Eddie George and Joey Harrington, begins coverage at 7:00 PM ET with kickoff slated for 7:50 PM ET. Texas is currently No. 12 in the latest AP poll and makes their first trip to Boone Pickens Stadium since 2009.
On FX, doubleheader coverage includes Baylor traveling to West Virginia at 12:00 PM ET. At 4:00 PM ET, Arizona State meets California in a Pac-12 matchup.
Below is the schedule for the next two weekends on the FSMG networks. The remainder of the schedule will be announced as the season progresses.
FSMG COLLEGE FOOTBALL SCHEDULE – UPDATED 9/17/12
ALL TIMES EASTERN
Saturday, September 22
12:00 PM — Maryland at West Virginia, Big 12, FX
12:00 PM — Ole Miss at Tulane, C-USA, FSN
4:00 PM — Colorado at Washington State, Pac-12, FX
7:30 PM — Kansas State at Oklahoma, Big 12, FOX/FOX Deportes
Saturday, September 29
12:00 PM — Missouri at UCF, C-USA, FSN
12:00 PM — Baylor at West Virginia, Big 12, FX
3:30 PM — Houston vs. Rice (from Reliant Stadium), C-USA, FSN
4:00 PM — Arizona State at California, Pac-12, FX
7:00 PM — TCU at SMU, C-USA, FSN
7:00 PM — Texas Tech at Iowa State, Big 12, FCS
7:30 PM — Texas at Oklahoma State, Big 12, FOX/FOX Deportes
After a steady diet of Pac-12 games in primetime in the first three weeks of the college football season, Fox will finally be able to show a Big 12 game on September 22 as its new contract with the conference kicks in.
Fox Sports announced today that it will air Kansas State at Oklahoma at 7:50 p.m. on September 22. This Saturday, Fox will be in the Pac-12 showing the traditional USC at Stanford rivalry game.
Also this Saturday, FX has a Big 12/Pac-12 doubleheader with TCU-Kansas at noon ET followed by Portland State-Washington at 4.
Here are the other games that will be covered by the Fox Sports Media Group over the next two weeks.
No. 15 Wildcats vs. No. 5 Sooners Marks First Big 12 Regular Season Matchup on the Broadcast Network
Maryland at West Virginia – Colorado at Washington State Doubleheader on FX
New York, NY – FOX Sports Media Group today unveiled the matchups slated for FOX and FX on Saturday, Sept. 22.
FOX Sports presents the University of Oklahoma/Kansas State game in primetime, the first ever Big 12 regular season game on the broadcast network. The FOX COLLEGE SATURDAY pregame show, hosted by Erin Andrews with analysts Eddie George and Joey Harrington, begins coverage at 7:00 PM ET with kickoff from Gaylord Family Oklahoma Memorial Stadium slated for 7:50 PM ET. Oklahoma is currently tied at No. 5 in the latest AP poll. Kansas State is ranked No. 15 and faces North Texas on Saturday, Sept. 15 before heading to Norman.
On FX, doubleheader coverage includes West Virginia welcoming the Maryland Terrapins to Morgantown at 12:00 PM ET and at 4:00 PM, Colorado visits Mike Leach’s Washington State team in a Pac-12 matchup.
Below is the schedule for the next two weekends on the FSMG networks. The remainder of the schedule will be announced as the season progresses.
ALL TIMES EASTERN
Saturday, September 15
12:00 PM — TCU at Kansas, Big 12/FX
12:00 PM — Louisiana-Lafayette at Oklahoma St, Big 12/FSN
3:30 PM — Texas A&M at SMU, C-USA/FSN
4:00 PM — Portland St. at Washington, Pac-12/FX
7:00 PM — North Texas at Kansas State, Big 12/FSN
7:00 PM — New Mexico at Texas Tech, Big 12/FCS
7:00 PM — Sam Houston St. at Baylor, Big 12/FCS
7:30 PM — USC at Stanford, Pac-12/FOX / FOX Deportes
Saturday, September 22
12:00 PM — Maryland at West Virginia, Big 12/FX
12:00 PM — Ole Miss at Tulane, C-USA/FSN
4:00 PM — Colorado at Washington St, Pac-12/FX
7:30 PM — Kansas State at Oklahoma, Big 12/FOX / FOX Deportes
That’s it for this post.
Haven’t been able to provide the Friday megalinks in a while. Let’s do an edition today.
Normally I include a link to the Weekend Viewing Picks, but I’ll be doing that tonight so you can find it on my site when it’s posted. If you follow me on Twitter or have an RSS feed, you’ll be updated as soon as it posts. If not, you can find it later.
Let’s do the links.
USA Today’s Michael Hiestand wonders what effect the gold medal win by the US Women’s Soccer National Team will have on the sport in the long run.
Michael also live blogged Thursday’s Olympic Primetime on NBC.
Jeffrey Martin of USA Today looks at the grand experiment that’s known as the Pac-12 Networks.
Sports Illustrated’s Richard Deitsch talks with NBC Sports Chairman Mark Lazarus about the NBCUniversal’s handling of the 2012 Olympics.
At the Sports on Earth blog, Joe Posnanski chronicles his day in covering the Olympics.
Austin Karp of Sports Business Daily says with NFL preseason games airing in many local markets on Thursday, NBC Olympic overnight ratings took a hit.
Bill King of SBD says CBS Sports is forging ahead with a show featuring the professional debut of several US Olympic boxers despite their poor performance in London.
Ryan Baucom of SBD writes that several Olympic athletes are getting a boost in Twitter followers after their success in the London Games.
Tripp Mickle of SBD says Universal Sports broke out an ad on NBC Thursday trying to promote its Olympic sports programming. Good luck with that.
Eric Fisher of SBD says Yahoo is declaring victory over NBCOlympics.com for unique pageviews.
Sohrab Amari of the Wall Street Journal reviews an NBC News documentary fronted by Tom Brokaw which will air on NBC’s Olympic coverage on Saturday.
Sarah Kwak of Sports Illustrated talks with Lolo Jones about the media firestorm that swelled just before she ran her 100 meters hurdles race.
In the Sherman Report, Ed Sherman talks with outgoing Boston Globe columnist Bob Ryan about his first job. Ryan will be missed in the pages of the Globe.
Sports Media Journal’s Keith Thibault and I have an Olympic-themed podcast with Richard Sandomir of the New York Times and Bruce Beck of WNBC-TV.
The Hollywood Reporter notes that Today Show host Matt Lauer had an icy reunion with former co-host Ann Curry on NBC’s London Olympics set.
John Eggerton at Broadcasting & Cable writes that the FCC has already denied a Comcast request to stay its decision requiring the cable provider to give space to the Tennis Channel.
Christopher Heine of Adweek says Olympic marketers have failed to medal in their social media campaigns.
But Simon Dumenco of Advertising Age looks at the Olympic sponsors that managed to get a boost through social media.
Michael Learmonth of Advertising Age says NBC and the International Olympic Committee have to fix the Olympic business model before it breaks down.
Toni Fitzgerald of Media Life notes that NBC’s ratings for Wednesday Olympic Primetime show drew better viewership numbers than Atlanta in 1996.
Brandon Costa of Sports Video Group says CBS Sports is preparing for all type of weather conditions for this weekend’s PGA Championship.
Karen Hogan of SVG looks at NBC New York Olympic operations.
Ken Kerschbaumer at SVG says Denmark TV has a floating barge studio for the London Olympics. Now that’s pretty cool.
And Birgit Heidsiek of SVG says Eurosport TV is producing the Olympics in 3-D.
Jason Fry of the Poynter Institute and writing as the ESPN Ombudsman investigates a plagiarism incident at the Alleged Worldwide Leader.
Ronnie Ramos at the Indiana University National Sports Journalism Center writes that the Pac-12 Conference is readying an aggressive digital strategy that will go along with its television distribution.
Ty Duffy at The Big Lead goes after former NBC Sports Emperor Dick Ebersol for being out of touch in defending the tape delayed Olympics.
The Big Lead looks at the Pac-12 being in the forefront of digital distribution after being marred for years of being behind the curve.
Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk says the Miami Dolphins will take advantage of the NFL’s relaxed TV blackout policy this weekend.
Emmett Jones of Sports Business Digest notes that Buffalo Wild Wings has purchased naming rights for a college bowl game. Looks like it will be going to overtime every year.
Sports Media Watch says with NBC committed to the Olympics this year, the NFL Hall of Fame preseason game was aired on NFL Network and naturally suffered a big viewer dropoff.
SMW reports that NBC got another ratings increase for the Olympics.
TVNewsCheck says Gannett is declaring victory saying three of its stations are the top-rated local NBC affiliates in key demographics.
Alex Weprin of TVNewser looks at NBC’s Today Show operations in London.
At TVSpy, Alex tours NBC’s operation center for its local affiliates in London.
East and Mid-Atlantic
Chad Finn of the Boston Globe talks with Celtics TV voice Mike Gorman who’s been calling Olympic handball off a monitor for NBC.
At SB Nation Boston, Bruce Allen discusses Golf Channel’s meteoric rise and its plans to cover the PGA Championship this weekend.
Jane L. Levere of the New York Times writes about ESPN’s new ad campaign for Monday Night Football.
Verne Gay at Newsday notes that a long-time NBC Sports director is retiring after the Olympics.
Newsday’s Chris Serico wonders if NBC’s Matt Lauer and Meredith Viera will be a bit more subdued during the Olympic Closing Ceremony on Sunday than their talkative performance during the Opening Ceremony two Fridays ago.
Neil Best of Newsday catches up with ESPN’s Ron Jaworski who’s filling a new role at the network after being in the Monday Night Football both.
Phil Mushnick of the New York Post is in another one of his moods today.
Pete Dougherty of the Albany Times Union notes a local radio station’s high school football schedule.
Ken McMillan from the Middletown (NY) Times Herald-Record says Pac-12 Networks will be seen on Time Warner Cable locally.
Keith Groller of the Allentown (PA) Morning Call says despite a lost season, the Philadelphia Phillies TV crew still has plenty to talk about during games.
Tim Richardson in Press Box looks at the business of fantasy football as leagues get ready to hold their drafts soon, if not already.
Sarah Kogod of the Washington Post’s DC Sports Bog notes that more people were watching the DC NFL Team in area sports bars last night as compared to the Nationals.
Dan Steinberg of the DC Sports Bog says the Nationals radio team tried to explain the term “ball bag”.
Greg Cote of the Miami Herald reviews HBO’s Hard Knocks on the Dolphins.
Craig Davis of the South Florida Sun-Sentinel says the Dolphins have announced their TV blackout policy today.
Mel Bracht of The Oklahoman says a local high school sports TV show expands to a new market.
The Cincinnati Enquirer says ESPN’s College GameDay could be visiting the Queen City in February.
Bob Wolfley of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel looks at Dick Ebersol’s latest comments on tape delaying Olympic events.
Dan Caesar of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch talks with a local sports radio host who’s perturbed at a former employer.
Dan notes that the Olympics and the St. Louis Cardinals ratings have been hurt by each other.
Patrick Finley of the Arizona Daily Star says the Pac-12 Networks are ready to launch next week, but without a few major cable and satellite providers.
John Maffei of the North County Times talks with a former NBC Olympics analyst who was fired on the spot after calling a race.
To the Ventura County Star where Jim Carlisle talks about the increased spotlight on the Pac-12 through its new TV networks.
Jim says Twitter has become an Olympic event.
Lisa Dillman of the Los Angeles Times has the Irish radio call of boxer Katie Taylor’s victory giving the country its first gold medal of the Olympics.
Tom Hoffarth of the Los Angeles Daily News says this is a critical time for beach volleyball as the sport is in transition now.
Tom has some Olympic TV notes in his blog.
And those are your supersized megalinks for today.
Here’s the Monday linkage wrapped in a nice bow for you.
From Sports Business Journal’s John Ourand and Michael Smith, they report that ESPN will pay an average of $80 million per year to air the Rose Bowl. That more than doubles the current contract which pays $30 million.
Liz Mullen of SBJ says a noted movie studio is forming a sports talent agency further melding Hollywood and athletics.
Also from Sports Business Journal, Chris Botta notes that Brooklyn is ready and waiting if the New York Islanders can’t find a new home on Long Island
Michael Hiestand of USA Today says Bill Walton returns to national TV through ESPN as he’ll become the network’s analyst for Pac-12 basketball games.
Mike Reynolds at Multichannel News writes that the early sign up numbers for NBC’s Olympic apps are encouraging.
Mike says NBCUniversal is looking to make the 2012 London Games a truly digital experience.
Ed Sherman of The Sherman Report talks with NBC’s Bob Costas about turning 60.
Talkers Magazine, the so-called Bible of Talk Radio, lists its 2012 Heavy 100 of Sports Talk. I agree with Mike Francesa and Dan Patrick in the Top 3, the rest I have issues with including a few in the New England area, plus why is Joe Morgan on the list? And there are only two women.
Lisa O’Carroll of the London (UK) Guardian says Britain’s oldest and largest black newspaper has been denied credentials to the Olympics Stadium for the track & field events.
George Winslow from Broadcasting & Cable notes that it’s expected that social media will be heavily used for the Olympics.
Matt Rudnitsky of SportsGrid notes that ESPN’s Captain Blowhard and Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban are engaging in the next Great Twitter feud.
Brian Clapp at Sports TV Jobs wonders how NFL Network’s new morning show can sustain fresh content over a four hour period every day.
Kirk Minihane of WEEI.com tackles the question over whether the Boston Red Sox should fire advisor Bill James over his comments on ESPN Radio about Joe Paterno and the Jerry Sandusky scandal.
If it’s Monday, then it must mean that the New York Post’s Phil Mushnick is in a bad mood about something.
Pete Dougherty of the Albany Times Union writes that Syracuse has negotiated an early exit to the ACC from the Big East Conference.
Ken Schott from the Schenectady Gazette notes that ESPN is starting its weekday coverage of the Open Championship earlier than previously announced.
DCRTV’s Dave Hughes writing in Press Box talks about the friendship that has developed between MASN’s Washington Nationals studio team of the great Johnny Holliday and Ray Knight.
Dan Steinberg of the Washington Post’s DC Sports Bog noticed that Democratic
gargoyle strategist James Carville wore a Nats t-shirt on MSNBC over the weekend.
Tom Jones of the Tampa Bay Times has a look back at the weekend in sports television.
Mike Herndon of the Mobile (AL) Press-Register writes about the SEC releasing its early-season football TV schedule.
David Barron of the Houston Chronicle looks back at the ten years since the failed US Olympic bids for the 2012 Games.
David imagines what if Houston had been awarded the 2012 Olympics.
Dusty Saunders from the Denver Post says the Penn State scandal has been the talk of the town.
Matthew T. Hall at the San Diego Union-Tribune wants to organize a fan protest on the lack of movement on getting Padres games on local TV.
Tom Hoffarth from the Los Angeles Daily News has your weekly sports calendar.
Sports Media Watch looks at Bill Walton making his return to ESPN.
Steve Lepore at Puck The Media suggests how the NHL Network can stop the inexorable amount of game reruns during the summer.
Cork Gaines from the Business Insider’s Sports Page says MLB Advanced Media gave a hollow apology for a system-wide outage preventing fans from watching MLB.TV online Friday.
Emmett Jones at Sports Business Digest says truTV has given the go to a Shaquille O’Neal-fronted viral video show.
This is where we’ll end the links for today.
Time for some Wednesday links. Won’t be a full set as I’ll be monitoring NBC’s Olympic conference call.
Pro Football Talk’s Mike Florio discusses Chris Berman heading to the Monday Night Football booth for two games.
Matt Yoder of Awful Announcing says national nightmare Berman in the booth is not what NFL fans want.
Doug Farrar of Yahoo’s Shutdown Corner says it isn’t Berman who we should be worried about.
Matt writes about ESPN replacing Craig James on Thursday Night college football.
Michael Smith in Sports Business Daily writes that the PGA has a new sponsor for its developmental tour.
Scott Foxborough at the Hollywood Reporter notes the huge increase for EURO 2012′s ratings on ESPN from the last event four years ago.
George Winslow of Broadcasting & Cable says MLB Network has upgraded its production control room for its signature MLB Tonight show.
Mike Reynolds of Multichannel News says the Sportsman Channel is gaining ground for its HD network.
Patrick Hipes of Deadline notes the TV bidding for the new college football playoff system to begin with the 2014 season will be worth beaucoup bucks.
Ed Sherman of The Sherman Report talks with the former owner of WFAN and how it was a risk to start an all-sports radio station 25 years ago.
Ed says no matter what you think of him, Don Imus’ move to WFAN helped save the sports radio format and sent it flying to new heights.
Ed says ESPN’s public relations blog fired salvos on behalf of ESPN Radio at CBS and NBC.
Jason Dachman from Sports Video Group says Fox Sports Net has developed an MLB app for second screens.
In GoLocalProv, former WBZ-TV anchor Bob Lobel gives one of the greatest moments in his career when he brought Boston legends Bobby Orr, Larry Bird and Ted Williams together for one show. I watched that when it happened. It was a great show.
Jerry Barmash at Fishbowl NY talks with WFAN 20/20 Sports update man John Minko.
Jerry also talks with another WFAN original, Steve Somers who schmoozes S-P-O-R-T-S every night.
Pete Dougherty at the Albany Times Union writes about Chris Berman and Trent Dilfer being teamed for two Monday Night Football games.
At the Washington Post’s DC Sports Bog, Dan Steinberg says Nationals’ ratings on MASN are way up from last season.
Barry Jackson from the Miami Herald reviews LeBron James’ appearance on Late Show with David Letterman last night.
Dan Bickley of the Arizona Republic talks about the strange removal of Daron Sutton from Diamondbacks broadcasts.
Jerry Crasnick of ESPN.com says the Diamondbacks have suspended Sutton for “insubordination” and won’t say anything more.
Tom Hoffarth of the Los Angeles Daily News notes that the Pac-12 won the most NCAA Championships this academic year.
Bruce Dowbiggin of the Toronto Globe and Mail wonders if it’s soccer time to shine in Canada and the U.S.
The Canadian Sports Media Blog looks at CBC and CTV dropping their joint bid for the 2014/16 Olympics.
Sports Media Watch looks into the move to put Chris Berman into the Monday Night Football booth.
Ty Duffy at The Big Lead says bitter little hedgehog Danny Sheridan is buying Twitter followers.
Dave Kohl in The Broadcast Booth talks about multiple national sports radio networks.
And that’s going to do it today. Had to cut the links short because today will be quite busy. Leaving the afternoon free for the NBC Olympics announcements.
Ok, as we’re all in denial over the Miami Heat winning the NBA Championship, it’s time for a few sports media thoughts. Too many things to go over, but I’ll do my best to cover as many things as I can.
As always, we do them in bullet form. And to drown out the thoughts of LeBron James celebrating, I’m listening to Korn on my iPad at the highest volume.
- Over 24 hours since first learning about Darren Rovell’s decision to leave CNBC for ESPN and I’m still baffled. Now, over all the sports media free agents I’ve mentioned or heard about for 2012, Darren’s name never came up. Darren who started his career at ESPN and left for CNBC in 2006 seemed to be happy with the NBCUniversal, having his own show on NBC Sports Network, his own CNBC site, and occasional appearances on NBC Sports events.
But when the Worldwide Leader comes a’calling, you have to listen. Deadspin reported Thursday that Disney will pay Rovell $500,000 to file reports for both ABC News and ESPN.
I don’t know if he’ll have his own show as he did with NBC Sports Network, I tend to doubt it. But the timing is rather interesting. Just after getting the sports business show that he had been clamoring, Darren leaves.
And as we know, Darren is a prolific tweeter. Will his penchant for Twitter be controlled under ESPN’s social media policy? I’m sure this will all be addressed down the line.
- CBS Radio’s announcement that it was launching a sports radio network came as a surprise. The timing came just ten days after NBC announced it was launching a radio network of its own.
This makes an already crowded radio scene even more so. Considering you have ESPN which has been firmly established since the 1990′s, Fox Sports Radio, Yahoo and even the Sports USA Radio Network, one wonders if there’s enough room for one more national radio net let alone two.
Personally, I love to see more networks because competition can only lead to better programming, however, economic realities tell you that one of these fledgling entities may not make it.
The eyeball test from the outset shows that CBS has the best infrastructure having already established sports stations in several major markets that will be part of CBS Sports Radio. Plus teaming with Cumulus Media’s 67 stations cross the country helps the reach.
As for NBC, it’s just getting back into the radio business after General Electric had sold the Radio Network to Westwood One and its entire radio station group to various owners. It will partner with the former Westwood One now known as Dial Global.
The question is whether this will lead to a bidding war for sports properties. ESPN Radio has the BCS, MLB and the NBA while Dial Global has the NFL, NCAA Championships and The Masters.
Suddenly radio is red hot once again and I like it. And as SportsbyBrooks pointed out, it could lead to more poaching of ESPN talent by CBS and NBC to fill programming slots.
- I was disappointed to learn that Radio Wimbledon will not be handling the worldwide audio play-by-play of the Championships Wimbledon starting next week.
Last October, Wimbledon’s parent, the All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club accepted a bid from IMG to take over the radio rights to call the matches. The new entity called Live@Wimbledon will be using some, but not all of Radio Wimbledon’s team. Over the years, Radio Wimbledon had been the only link to live tennis when NBC was pulling its tape delay shenanigans. Unfortunately, despite Radio Wimby attracting 2.7 million listeners in 2011, the AELTC decided to take IMG’s money and ruin a very good service for the fortnight.
Radio Wimbledon will be missed.
- As Sports Business Journal reported this week, Fox Sports has begun talks with NASCAR in hopes of extending its current contract. It expires in 2014.
As Fox has been successful in obtaining rights to the FIFA World Cup, Big 12 and Pac-12, the thinking behind many of these acquisitions has been to play keep away from NBC Sports Group. You know that with NASCAR rights in play, NBC Sports would love nothing more than to add inventory to NBCSN.
If Fox is successful, it leaves only TNT’s mid-season Sprint Cup races and ESPN’s Chase for the Cup races being up for grabs. And both Turner and ESPN want to prevent NBC from grabbing their packages.
With MLB, NASCAR, the Big East and the NBA negotiations all unsettled thus far, NBC still has a chance to lure one if not all to its war chest.
- Lastly, the aforementioned SportsbyBrooks tweeted that Chris Berman will call the late game for Monday Night Football’s season opening doubleheader on September 10. And in addition, he’ll call one preseason game as practice. If you thought the venom towards Berman is bad when he calls the U.S. Open or the All-Star Home Run Derby, just wait until he does the NFL. It’s probably best that ESPN public relations stay off social media on the nights Berman calls the NFL.
And that will conclude the thoughts. Enjoy your Friday.
Over the last hour or so, it’s been all-Pac-12, all the time. Let’s break that up with this post on the complete Fox Sports college football schedule for 2012-13. It will be filled with national matchups featuring the Big 12, Conference USA and Pac-12 including regional games on the Fox Sports Net affiliates from the ACC, Big East, Big Sky, SEC, Southland and WAC. Also, the Fox Sports-run Big Ten Network will air games involving teams from the Big Ten Conference.
Overall, the Fox Sports Media Group will carry 135 games across its various platforms, Fox Sports, FX, Fox Sports Net and the Big Ten Network.
This marks the first year of Fox Sports airing games across the Fox network in primetime on Saturday nights. Most of its schedule will involve the Pac-12. Let’s go to the Fox press release. And there will be a jump break to provide the entire schedule.
Hawai’i at USC Kicks-Off FOX Sports’ Inaugural College Football
Broadcast Schedule on Sept. 1 in Primetime
Pac-12, Big Ten and Cotton Bowl Classic Titles Settled on FOX
New York, NY – FOX Sports Media Group’s college football coverage kicks into high gear with more than 165 games airing nationally across FOX, FX, FOX Sports Networks (FSN), Big Ten Network (BTN) and FOX College Sports. The master schedule features teams from the Pac-12, Big 12, Conference USA and Big Ten (on BTN), as well as regional match-ups from the ACC, SEC, Big East, Big Sky, WAC and Southland Conferences.
Week 1 action begins Saturday, Sept. 1 with seven exciting match-ups highlighted by the debut of FOX Sports’ first-ever regular-season over-the-air college football package. The schedule culminates with coverage of the Pac-12 Football Championship Game, Big Ten Football Championship Game and Cotton Bowl Classic all airing in primetime on FOX.
All eyes will be on Los Angeles Saturday, Sept. 1 (7:30 PM ET) as FOX Sports kicks off 13 consecutive weeks of regular-season action, including 12 prime time games and seven doubleheaders. Expected Heisman Trophy candidate Matt Barkley begins his quest to lead potential preseason #1 USC to a national title when the Trojans host Hawai’i in the Coliseum. First-year head coach Jim Mora takes the field Saturday, Sept. 8 (7:30 PM ET) when his UCLA Bruins host top 25 contender Nebraska Cornhuskers from the storied Rose Bowl in Pasadena, CA. Barkley & Co. are back on FOX Week 3 when the Trojans travel to Stanford on Saturday, Sept. 15 (7:30 PM ET) to take on the nationally-ranked Cardinal.
Bob Stoops and his perennial top 10 Oklahoma Sooners are also featured Week 1 when they head to El Paso, TX for a Saturday, Sept. 1 (10:30 PM ET) showdown with UTEP on FSN. Other exciting match-ups include the battle of Colorado when Colorado St. takes on the Buffaloes from Sports Authority Field at Mile High on Saturday, Sept. 1 (4:00 PM ET) and the Wisconsin Badgers look to build on last year’s Rose Bowl season when they travel to Oregon St. on Saturday, Sept. 8 (4:00 PM ET) for a match-up against the Beavers on FX. These games headline doubleheader coverage on FX for the first five weeks of the season.
Coming off its most successful season yet, with record ratings and 16 games featuring a top 25-ranked team, BTN airs 15 Big Ten games during the first three weekends of the 2012 season, including the debut of the Urban Meyer era at Ohio State and the return of defending Big Ten champion Wisconsin Badgers. Overall, BTN televises over 40 football games this fall, again ensuring that all Big Ten home football games are televised nationally.
Additionally, FOX Sports boasts exclusive coverage of college football’s Pac-12 Conference Football Championship Game on Friday, November 30 (8:00 PM ET) followed by the Big Ten Conference Football Championship Game on Saturday, Dec. 1 (8:00 PM ET) from Indianapolis. FOX Sports wraps up its 2012-13 campaign with an exciting Big 12/SEC match-up in the Cotton Bowl Classic live from Cowboys Stadium on Friday, Jan. 4 (8:00 PM ET).
And after this jump break, the entire Fox Sports Media Group college football schedule. Look out.
Last week, Fox and ESPN held their first-ever Pac-12 “Draft”, picking games among the two networks that they wanted to air this season. This being the first year of a long-term agreement, ESPN chose 12 games that will air on its various networks.
Many of these games will be shown in the late Saturday or Thursday night window, either at 9 p.m. or 10:30 p.m. ET.
More games will be added later. We have the first Big Dozen of Pac-12 games that the ESPN Family of Networks will provide in the 2012 season. You’ll notice the annual late November Notre Dame at USC game is already slated for either ABC or ESPN
We have the schedule below. You can read it and plan your football viewing.
ESPN – entering the first year of a new 12-year agreement with the Pac-12 Conference – has selected 12 Pac-12 college football games for telecasts across ESPN, ABC, ESPN2 and ESPNU. Combined with previously announced games, 10 of the 12 Pac-12 institutions are now represented in the schedule to date. Additional games will be announced as the season progresses. Highlights:
- The early selections include multiple games involving USC and Oregon, the No. 1 and No. 4 teams in a preseason College Football Live preseason top 25 poll, respectively:
- No. 1 USC twice: at Utah (Thursday, Oct. 4, at 9 p.m. on ESPN) and against No. 24 Notre Dame (Saturday, Nov. 24, on ABC or ESPN).
- No. 4 Oregon three times: against Arkansas State (Saturday, Sept. 1, at 10:30 p.m. on ESPN), against Arizona (Saturday, Sept. 22, on ABC, ESPN or ESPN2) and at Arizona State (Thursday, Oct. 18, at 9 p.m. on ESPN).
- ESPN and ESPN2 will combine to televise six weeknight Pac-12 games:
- Four consecutive Thursday ESPN College Football Primetime telecasts, highlighted by three games involving a preseason ranked team and Arizona State making consecutive appearances.
- ESPN and ESPN2 will each air a Friday night telecast in November.
- The newly announced games include the debut of three head coaches on Saturday, Sept. 1:
- Arkansas State’s Gus Malzahn will open his coaching tenure with the Red Wolves, the defending Sun Belt Conference champions, at defending Pac-12 and Rose Bowl champion Oregon at 10:30 p.m. on ESPN. Malzahn was the offensive coordinator of the Auburn team that defeated Oregon in the 2011 Tostitos BCS National Championship.
- ESPNU will televise a showdown of new head coaches when Arizona and new head coach Rich Rodriguez hosts Toledo, now led by Matt Campbell, at 10:30 p.m.
- ABC or ESPN will televise Notre Dame at USC, one of sports’ greatest rivalries that started in 1926, on Saturday, Nov. 24. Other traditional rivalry games include the Holy War between BYU and Utah (Saturday, Sept. 15, at 10 p.m. on ESPN2) and the Territorial Cup matching Arizona State against Arizona (Friday, Nov. 23, at 10 p.m. on ESPN).
As part of the new 12-year agreement between ESPN and the Pac-12, ESPN will deliver more football games than the previous agreement, including more games in the late Saturday night window, plus the Pac-12 Football Championship Game every other year starting in 2013; the addition of an extensive schedule of men’s regular-season basketball games, as well as select Pac-12 Men’s Basketball Tournament matchups and the Pac-12 Men’s Basketball Tournament Championship every other year starting with the 2012-13 season; and for the first time rights to women’s college basketball and other sports content.
The 2012 Pac-12 schedule (additional selections to be announced):
Date Time (ET) Game Network Sat, Sep 1 10:30 p.m. Arkansas State at No. 4 Oregon ESPN Sat, Sep 1 10:30 p.m. Toledo at Arizona ESPNU Sat, Sep 8 10:30 p.m. Illinois at Arizona State ESPN Sat, Sep 15 10 p.m. BYU at Utah ESPN2 Sat, Sep 22 TBD Arizona at No. 4 Oregon ABC, ESPN or ESPN2 Thu, Sep 27 9 p.m. No. 15 Stanford at Washington ESPN Thu, Oct 4 9 p.m. No. 1 USC at Utah ESPN Thu, Oct 11 9 p.m. Arizona State at Colorado ESPN Thu, Oct 18 9 p.m. No. 4 Oregon at Arizona State ESPN Fri, Nov 2 9 p.m. Washington at California ESPN2 Fri, Nov 23 10 p.m. Arizona State at Arizona ESPN Sat, Nov 24 TBD No. 24 Notre Dame at No. 1 USC ABC or ESPN
That will be it.
This from the Pac-12, we have the first games that the new Pac-12 Networks will air. A total of seven networks, one main and six regional, Pac-12 Enterprises says in the first three weeks of the 2012 college football season, it will air 15 games.
In the opening week, a total of six games will be shown which means the Pac-12 Networks will be opening up with a vengeance. The very first games on the networks will occur on August 30, Northern Colorado at Utah and that will be followed by Northern Arizona at Arizona State.
Let’s take a look at what the Pac-12 is saying about its early schedule. Check it out below.
PAC-12 NETWORKS OPEN 2012 FOOTBALL SCHEDULE WITH 15 GAMES IN FIRST THREE WEEKS, INCLUDING SIX GAMES IN WEEK ONE
Initial TV Schedule Features Five Games with Top 25 Powers Oregon, Stanford, USC
The Pac-12 Networks will open its initial college football season by airing 15 games in the first three weeks of the 2012 season and, with the addition of the California at USC game in week 4, will televise at least one game from each Pac-12 team during the first four weeks, it was announced today.
With USC, Oregon and Stanford ranked in preseason top 25, four new head coaches joining the Conference and one newly renovated stadium, the Pac-12 Networks will showcase a variety of compelling storylines that will resonate with college football fans across the country.
“We are extremely excited about the upcoming football season and the slate of Pac-12 games that we will feature throughout the season,” Pac-12 Enterprises President Gary Stevenson said. “In the first four weeks, we will have at least one game from all 12 teams, will feature some very intriguing matchups like Oklahoma State at Arizona and Cal at USC, and will televise the home debuts of new coaches Todd Graham at Arizona State and Mike Leach at Washington State. It’s a great start to what we expect to be a very competitive Pac-12 season.”
The Pac-12 Networks will kick-off its 35-game football schedule with six games during the opening week (August 30-September 1), including two on Thursday, Stanford’s home opener on Friday and three more on Saturday.
The University of Utah will host the first football game on the Pac-12 Networks when Northern Colorado visits Rice-Eccles Stadium Thursday, August 30. Kickoff is set for 5:15 p.m. MT. The Pac-12 Networks targeted the Utes home opener as their historic first football game and requested a special start time to make it happen.
“Putting our first schedule together required a lot of flexibility and cooperation from all of our schools,” Stevenson said. “Utah was especially helpful by moving the start time of their home opener to give us a great doubleheader to launch our networks.”
Arizona State will be the second game of an opening night doubleheader when they kick-off the Todd Graham era at home against Northern Arizona at 7:30 p.m. PT. The first week will also feature the unveiling of Cal’s newly renovated Memorial Stadium Sept. 1 at 12:00 p.m. PT when the Bears host Nevada, as well as home openers for Oregon State and Washington.
The Pac-12 Networks will have six more games during week two, highlighted by three-time defending Conference champion Oregon hosting Fresno State, Oklahoma State’s visit to Tucson to face Rich Rodriguez’s Arizona Wildcats and the Pullman debut of head coach Mike Leach when Washington State hosts Eastern Washington.
In week 3, the Pac-12 Networks will have a triple-header on Saturday, September 15 with Oregon hosting Tennessee Tech, UCLA and new head coach Jim Mora at home against Houston and South Carolina State visiting Arizona.
The Pac-12 Networks have picked Cal at USC Saturday, Sept. 22 as its initial game selection in week four. The remainder of the week four television schedule will be determined 6-to-12 days prior to the games.
Arizona, Cal, Oregon and Stanford each have two appearances during the first three weeks, while ASU, Colorado, Oregon State, UCLA, Utah, Washington and Washington State have one. USC makes its debut on the networks the following week.
The Pac-12 Networks launch August 15 and will consist of one national and six regional networks devoted solely to the Pac-12. In addition to the hundreds of live televised Pac-12 sporting events, Pac-12 Networks subscribers will have access to their carrier’s TV Everywhere platform, providing access to all Pac-12 Networks programming on any device through their broadband service.
Fans can learn more about the Pac-12 Networks by watching this video http://on.pac-12.org/LS1ALo, and can see if they will get Pac-12 Networks from your TV provider by visiting the Pac-12 Networks Channel Finder http://on.pac-12.org/LCGkvG. Questions that aren’t answered in the Pac-12 Networks FAQ http://on.pac-12.org/La10fX can be sent to email@example.com.
2012 PAC-12 NETWORKS FOOTBALL SCHEDULE
Thur., Aug. 30
Northern Colorado at Utah — 4:15 pm PT/7:15 p.m. ET, Pac-12 Networks
Northern Arizona at Arizona State — 7:30 p.m. PT/10:30 p.m. ET, Pac-12 Networks
Fri., Aug. 31
San Jose State at Stanford — 7 p.m. PT/10 p.m. ET, Pac-12 Networks
Sat., Sept. 1
Nevada at California — 12 noon PT/3 p.m. ET, Pac-12 Networks
Nicholls State at Oregon State — 12 noon PT/3 p.m. ET, Pac-12 Networks
San Diego State at Washington — 7:30 p.m. PT/10:30 p.m. ET, Pac-12 Networks
Sat., Sept. 8
Southern Utah at California — 12 noon PT/3 p.m. ET, Pac-12 Networks
Eastern Wash. at Washington State — 12 noon PT/3 p.m. ET, Pac-12 Networks
Sacramento State at Colorado — 12 noon PT/3 p.m. ET, Pac-12 Networks
Fresno State at Oregon — 3:30 p.m. PT/6:30 p.m. ET, Pac-12 Networks
Oklahoma State at Arizona — 7:30 p.m. PT/10:30 p.m. ET, Pac-12 Networks
Duke at Stanford — 7:30 p.m. PT/10:30 p.m. ET, Pac-12 Networks
Sat., Sept. 15
Tennessee Tech at Oregon — 12 noon PT/3 p.m.ET, Pac-12 Networks
South Carolina State at Arizona — 7:30 p.m. PT/10:30 p.m. ET, Pac-12 Networks
Houston at UCLA — 7:30 p.m. PT/10:30 p.m. ET, Pac-12 Networks
(12- or six-day selection for each of the remaining Pac-12 home games)
Sat., Sept. 22
California at USC — TBA, Pac-12 Networks