After not being able to bring you the Friday megalinks or even Saturday linkage, I have some time to provide the Sunday linkage. Some good stuff here and don’t forget to read my Sunday thoughts.
USA Today’s Mike McCarthy breaks news that former co-host of Versus’ The Daily Line, Jenn Sterger will give her first interview on the Brett Favre scandal to Good Morning America this week.
Mike notes that Jim Gray is not part of Golf Channel’s coverage of The Masters® this year.
Rachel Cohen from the Associated Press says TV networks are trying to work out the kinks of shooting sports in 3-D.
From Yahoo’s The PostGame, Eric Adelson talks to former CBS golf announcer Ben Wright whose “Yes Sir!” call of Jack Nicklaus win in the 1986 Masters has been overshadowed and ignored by Verne Lundquist’s.
Mike Reynolds from Multichannel News notes that ESPN’s ratings for its opening round coverage of The Masters® were down from the year before.
Mike says the ratings for The Masters® did go up Friday when Tiger Woods got back into contention.
R. Thomas Umstead at Multichannel says UFC has signed a multiyear sponsorship deal with Bud Light.
Anthony Crupi of Adweek says when you take bar and hotel viewing into account, the ratings for the NCAA Tournament goes up 20%.
Dan Fogarty from SportsGrid writes that the Joe Buck hate reached a fever pitch on Twitter during yesterday’s Yankees-Red Sox game on Fox.
Mohammed Rahman of SportsGrid says ESPN’s Jon Gruden hasn’t met a player he hasn’t liked.
The New York Post’s Phil Mushnick goes after EA Sports for not toning down the violence in the Madden NFL 12 video game.
Annie Karni of the Post talks with Jenn Sterger’s ex-manager (not Jenn herself?) about how it’s all Brett Favre’s fault that she can’t get her career off the ground. If you read the story in full, you’ll see that apparently Sterger’s interview with Good Morning America could lead into her working for ABC. In what capacity, I have no idea.
Pete Dougherty of the Albany Times Union says ESPN’s ratings for the 2nd round of The Masters® were down from last year.
Adam Kilgore of the Washington Post has former Nationals President Stan Kasten denying that former MASN TV analyst Rob Dibble was let go following an e-mail from the father of pitcher Stephen Strasburg.
At the WaPo’s DC Sports Bog, Dan Steinberg has Dibble responding to Kasten.
Mike Frandsen of the Washington Examiner says Dan Snyder’s Red Zebra DC radio station is defending its policy to pick up Baltimore Orioles games.
Greg Hardwig of the Naples (FL) Daily News talks with former CBS golf analyst Ken Venturi about watching The Masters without his good friend, the late golf producer Frank Chirkinian.
Mel Bracht from the Daily Oklahoman says 60 Minutes will profile St. Louis Cardinals 1st baseman Albert Pujols today.
Evan Binns from the St. Louis Business Journal says Fox Sports Midwest has added some familiar names to its Cardinals games.
The Kirksville (MO) Daily Express reports that a local cable provider won’t be airing 20 Cardinals games this season over a rights fee dispute with Fox Sports Midwest.
David Southorn of the Idaho Press-Tribune has the complete 2011 Mountain West football TV schedule.
Steve Lepore at Puck The Media notes that NHL Network will reveal all of the playoff matchups tonight.
Awful Announcing says St. John’s basketball coach and former ESPN analyst Steve Lavin has prostate cancer. Our best wishes to Steve.
That’s going to do it for today.
Now that I’ve finished my work for the day and walked five laps around my office building, I’ll do the links. I’ve found that I’m more productive in my new office than the last building. Perhaps it’s the setting, perhaps it’s the honeymoon I have with the new landlord, perhaps I just have found this new place to feel like home, whatever it is, I’m doing more work here than I ever did. And I’m finding the time to blog here as well. I hope I can keep up this production.
Anyway, here’s your links for today.
USA Today’s Michael McCarthy writes about ESPN The Magazine now doing ESPN The Nude Issue meaning athletes will be posed “tastefully” in the buff. Whatever.
The lovely Christine Brennan of USA Today appeals for viewers for the NHL Stanley Cup Finals.
Chris Littman of the Sporting News says Kevin Garnett and Stephon Marbury actually foresaw ESPN The Nude Issue 13 years ago.
BBC News reports that ESPN is saying it has no plans to buy the cash-strapped Setanta Sports.
Ainsley Thompson of the Dow Jones News Service writes that ESPN does not ruling out buying Setanta’s rights to the English Premier League, however.
Newsday’s Neil Best notes that the Mets are discounting tickets for this week’s key series against the Phillies. Neil says the New Jersey Nets still plan to break ground for their proposed arena in Brooklyn. Neil writes that NBC Sports is gearing up for Game 7 of the Stanley Cup Finals.
Pete Dougherty of the Albany Times Union writes that local viewers will be able to see John Smoltz do a rehab start for the Pawtucket Red Sox later this afternoon.
Laura Nachman will miss listening to Philadelphia’s Channel 6 on the FM dial due to the digital TV conversion.
Chico Harlan of the Washington Post’s Nationals Journal blog says fans tuning to MASN2 on certain Comcast systems had trouble watching last night’s Reds-Nats game.
Dan Steinberg of the Post’s DC Sports Bog chronicles what exactly happened as the game was suddenly pulled off Comcast.
Paul Farhi of the Post talks about CBS Radio’s plans to challenge Redskins owner Dan Snyder’s Red Zebra group of sports radio stations.
John Kiesewetter of the Cincinnati Enquirer writes that the local ABC affiliate will delay its digital conversion until after Game 4 of the NBA Finals is complete.
Mark Gonzales of the Chicago Tribune writes about Frank Thomas talking with his former White Sox teammates for Comcast SportsNet Chicago.
Bob Wolfley from the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel says a former Packer is taking part in the NFL Broadcast Boot Camp.
The St. Louis Post-Dispatch says former Rams coach Mike Martz will be on NFL Network today and tomorrow.
Barry Horn from the Dallas Morning News feels the Phoenix Suns’ Steve Nash is doing a great job as an NBA Finals reporter for David Letterman.
Lisa Dillman of the Los Angeles Times says it’s a taste of TNT’s Inside the NBA on NBA TV.
Tom Hoffarth of the Los Angeles Daily News wonders what Mark Jackson’s next move will be after calling this year’s NBA Finals on ABC.
John Ryan from the San Jose Mercury News likes one NFL Network Top 10 program with one exception.
As a follow up, Jerod Morris of the MSB has what he hopes are his final thoughts on the whole thing.
The CBC says Hockey Night in Canada analyst Marc Crawford goes back to coaching next season with the Dallas Stars.
Toni Fitzgerald of Media Life Magazine writes that an advertiser actually got its message across by unfurling a huge banner at a Brazilian soccer game.
Ryan Berenz of Channel Guide Magazine talks with Joe Buck in advance of his new HBO show which premieres on Monday.
Chris Byrne’s Eye on Sports Media says the Boxing Writers Association of America will webcast their annual awards on Friday. Chris says CBS’ Tim Brando will be honored by college Sports Information Directors. And Chris feels the NCAA’s new rules on social network go beyond any logic or common sense.
Maury Brown from the Biz of Baseball says MLB.com has delayed the wait for archived games by double the time as requested by its TV partners.
Some good video from Sox & Dawgs, two of which I forgot to post yesterday. First, there’s a video of a woman slapping her ass during NESN’s Red Sox montage from Tuesday’s Red Sox-Yankees game. Also from Tuesday’s game, NESN analyst Dennis Eckersley admits he’s clueless. One of the reasons why Eck is so refreshing in the booth. And here’s a screengrab from last night’s Yankees-Red Sox game showing a woman laughing at Nick Swisher for failing to make a catch.
Dave Kohl of the Major League Programs blog looks into the Celtics possibly streaming their games online.
Tim Conneally of BetaNews.com says a group of smaller cable providers is asking Congress to
limit ESPN’s cost for its broadband 360 site.
CBSSports.com has an excerpt of Jim Nantz’s book, “Always By My Side”.
Plenty of links. I have a press release post coming up.
Well, after seeing my sister graduate yesterday, I’m back blogging today. Yes, I bought a new computer and I’ll be back on a regular blogging schedule very soon. I don’t want to make guarantees, but constant visitors can rest assured that I’ll be back here providing your links every day. There are several things that when you lose them, you feel totally lost. When you lose your wallet and/or your car keys, your cell phone, your driver’s license or anything else that defines you, you have that dreadful feeling and when I lost my computer, I felt helpless. But now that I’m back, I feel complete. Strange, I know, but I’m glad it’s over.
Ok, let’s go over your weekend viewing and then do your links.
Weekend Viewing Picks
Big Brown goes for the final leg of horse racing’s Triple Crown, the Belmont Stakes on Saturday. With all of the drama over his cracked hoof, ESPN has been milking the story as much as possible to try to get viewers to the race, which does not need much hype as Big Brown tries to become the first horse since Seattle Slew in 1978 to complete the Triple Crown. ESPN will produce ABC’s coverage which will begin at 5:30 p.m. Chris Fowler and Kenny Mayne will be among the cast of thousands at Belmont Raceway in Elmont, NY for the coverage.
Over to Paris where the French Open will be coming to a close this weekend. Saturday will be the Women’s Final where Ana Ivanovic will attempt to win her first Grand Slam title against Daniela Safina, the sister of Russian Marat Safin. And on Sunday, the men’s title will be contested between rivals Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal. While no Americans are involved in either final, the tennis should be quite stellar and if Ivanovic wins the title, expect to see her face plastered in many ads here in the States. She’s already quite popular in Europe. Anyway, NBC has both finals starting at 9 a.m.
Game 2 of the NBA Finals will be held on Sunday as ABC will carry the Lakers and Celtics live from the TD Banknorth Garden starting at 9 p.m.
Baseball heads into the warmer weather across the country with several interesting matchups. On Fox on Saturday, the Red Sox host the Seattle Mariners, the Cubs visit Chavez Ravine and the Los Angeles Dodgers and Cleveland takes on Detroit. The games on Fox start at 3:55 p.m. WGN will carry Cubs and Dodgers tonight at 10 p.m. and the White Sox hosting Minnesota, Saturday at 7 p.m. Then on Sunday, TBS has the Phillies at Atlanta at 1 p.m. and ESPN’s Sunday night game will be the Cubs at the Dodgers at 8.
NASCAR heads to the Poconos for the Pocono 500 and it marks the first race for TNT this season. The race begins at 2 p.m.
Formula 1 is in Canada and Fox will have that race Sunday at 1 p.m.
The IndyCar series is in Fort Worth on ESPN2 Saturday at 10 p.m.
Soccer fans have the second most important tournament to watch this weekend as the UEFA Euro 2008 begins this weekend. ESPN Classic will have live coverage with 5 games this weekend.
And golf will be in full swing. The PGA Tour’s last tournament before next weekend’s US Open is the Stanford FedEx Championship and CBS has coverage at 3 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday. The Golf Channel has the McDonald’s Championship which is the LPGA’s second major.
Now to your links.
Michael Hiestand of USA Today talks about how Big Brown’s attempt for the Triple Crown could boost ratings.
Sports Illustrated’s Richard Deitsch says ESPN/ABC execs were not only rooting for a Celtics-Lakers NBA Final, but were also rooting for a seven game series.
Let’s head from East to West today.
East and Mid-Atlantic
Friend of Fang’s Bites David Scott is back from his trip to China and immediately jumps into the Bob Ryan-Bill Simmons fire, has a reply from Simmons about his comments about colleague Rick Reilly and looks at the NESN decision to drop Hazel Mae.
The Boston Globe’s Nancy Marrapese-Burrell talks with the lovely Rachel Nichols of ESPN as she’s embedded with the Celtics for the Worldwide Leader’s coverage of the NBA Finals.
Richard Sandomir of the New York Times writes that there will be blanket coverage of Big Brown in the Belmont on Saturday.
Newsday’s Neil Best talks with ESPN/ABC’s Jerry Bailey about Big Brown’s chances in the Belmont. In his blog, Neil discusses more about the Belmont with ESPN executive Len DeLuca. Neil also writes that the ratings for the NHL Stanley Cup Finals were twice as nice as last year’s.
The New York Daily News’ Bob Raissman writes that the News’ headlines gave YES Yankees “apologists” a headache.
From the Schenectady Gazette, Ken Schott writes that Game 6 of the Stanley Cup Finals got another good rating for NBC.
Laura Nachman says the Phillies topped the ratings on Wednesday night (you may have to scroll down depending on the news that Laura adds to her site).
From the DC/Baltimore Examiner, Jim Williams talks with Red Zebra Broadcasting’s CEO about its purchase of DC Sports Talker WTEM.
Doug Nye of The State says the renewal of the University of South Carolina’s radio rights with Citadel Communications has left Clear Channel seeing red.
Barry Jackson of the Miami Herald writes that local ratings for the Marlins do not jive with attendance for the team.
Dave Darling from the Orlando Sentinel says despite not having a Game 7 for the Stanley Cup Finals, there’s plenty of great sports action to watch this weekend.
The Houston Chronicle’s David Barron talks about FSN’s Amazing Sports Stories which will focus on a story about a former Astro who hit three home runs for a blind boy back in the 1960′s.
Ray Buck of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram says Texas Rangers TV voice Josh Lewin is getting plenty of suggestions for a nickname for Josh Hamilton.
Mel Bracht of the Oklahoman wonders if Big Brown’s attempt for the Triple Crown will be enough to garner TV ratings. Mel has his weekly notebook including Oklahoma University negotiating a new satellite radio rights deal. Mel has his viewing picks for the weekend.
George M. Thomas of the Akron Beacon Journal writes that Big Brown in the Belmont will be something watch.
Bob Wolfley of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel says NASCAR saw a bump in the ratings for Fox in the early part of the season.
Michael Zuidema of the Grand Rapids (MI) Press writes that the NHL has to capitilize on its good ratings.
Teddy Greenstein from the Chicago Tribune writes that Mike North could be leaving his morning sports radio talk show.
Judd Zulgad from the Minneapolis Star Tribune reports that KSTP has hired a new sports anchor from Denver.
Paul Christian of the Rochester (MN) Post-Bulletin talks with ESPN/ABC horse racing analyst Randy Moss about the Belmont Stakes.
Scott D. Pierce of the Deseret (UT) Morning News writes that DirecTV will not charge extra for the mtn.
Jay Posner from the San Diego Union-Tribune says US Open viewers can put up with Chris Berman for two days. No we can’t. Jay adds that TSN/NBC NHL analyst Mike Milbury didn’t find Tiger Woods comments about hockey funny. And Jay has last weekend’s ratings from San Diego.
John Maffei of the North County Times says ESPN’s MLB analyst Rick Sutcliffe is a Profile in Courage as he battles colon cancer.
The Ventura County Star’s Jim Carlisle says this has been a special season for the NBA.
John Scheibe of the Los Angeles Times reviews HBO’s new documentary on the 1960 US Open as Ben Hogan, Arnold Palmer and Jack Nicklaus all battled for the lead.
Tom Hoffarth from the Los Angeles Daily News says the NBA Finals between the Celtics and Lakers transcends generations. In his blog, Hoffarth has a bunch of media notes and numbers crunching over the Finals. And Hoffarth says don’t get carried away about the high ratings and website traffic numbers over Game 1 of the NBA Finals.
John Ryan of the San Jose Mercury News writes that the NHL Stanley Cup Finals average ratings were the best in six years.
William Houston of the Toronto Globe and Mail says CBC should reflect on its NHL coverage.
Chris Zelkovich of the Toronto Star says Wednesday could have been the last time viewers heard the familiar Hockey Night in Canada theme on CBC.
Bruce Allen of Boston Sports Media Watch has his take on the media’s performance from Game 1 of the NBA Finals.
The Sports Media Watch says Game 1 of the NBA Finals got a good overnight rating, but it could have been better.
CNBC’s Darren Rovell reveals a company that changes the netting at many arenas before each and every NBA game.
Joe Favorito says Barack Obama has done a good job in courting the sports vote.
Maury Brown from the Biz of Hockey blog writes that NBC is reporting a 111% increase in the ratings for Game 6 of the Stanley Cup Finals from 2006.
David Scott mentioned this in his entry today, and you can read it for yourself. Will Leitch is leaving as editor of Deadspin for a job in *gasp* mainstream media.
That will do it for this week.
Some more stuff for you on this Wednesday. The end of the day can’t come fast enough for me.
Dan Snyder (yes, the Redskins owner) owns three radio stations to carry his team’s football games. Known as Triple X-ESPN Radio in the DC area, it has had to pick up some other inventory to fill time and today, Synder’s Red Zebra Broadcasting has signed with Virginia Tech to pick up its football and basketball games. In addition, Triple X will carry the ACC basketball tournament.
I admit I’m not into motorsports, but every once in a while, if there’s nothing on, I’ll take a gander at NASCAR. It’s not exciting to me, but I don’t begrudge anyone who’s a fan. Believe it or not, the New York Times has a blog devoted to automotive and it’s done by Jerry Garrett. He critiques the commentary on the races done this past weekend by NBC, Fox and ABC.
Phil Mushnick of the New York Post is not enamored with NBA Commissioner David Stern and he correctly takes the Commish to task for stretching out the playoffs for two full months. There was once a time when the NBA Finals actually finished in May. Not anymore.
Also in the Post, a story on Yankee 3rd baseman Alex Rodriguez being seen with a woman in Toronto, while his wife, Cynthia was back in New York with their kids. Now what this means, I’m not certain, but I know the Post is trying to insinuate something is going on between the two. I’m not judging this. Yet. Apparently, A-Rod was with this woman and two other men heading to a Toronto strip club. Decide for yourself if there’s something going on. Here’s the story.
Finally, the bashing of Red Sox “announcer” and I now put that in quotes, Glenn Geffner continues. He continues to mumble his way through Red Sox games. Fans are up in arms and continue to write about his awful calls. Over at 38 Cliches, there are two links, one to a blog that cannot stand Goofner and another which inexplicably likes him. But it’s good to show an opposing view every once in a while. I’m really hoping 2008 will be Geffner-free. Maybe during Presidential campaign season, we ask candidates in both parties to promise to outlaw Geffner from any more Red Sox broadcasts. The first one to guarantee Geffner’s ouster will be promised the entire New England region as a block of votes. Yes, I’m being silly, but I’m operating on just a few hours of sleep.
We’ll be back later with primetime viewing choices. It’ll be tough tonight as it’s mostly repeats on the networks and the cable channels are gearing up for their premieres in June.