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.
It seemed four years ago when ESPN began its commitment to soccer with EURO 2008 that getting ratings anything near to what the network saw for the EURO 2012 tournament would be a pipe dream. However, not only have the ratings for EURO 2012 skyrocketed as compared to EURO 2008, but the numbers have been quite consistent. Even with matches playing mid-afternoon on the East Coast, the viewership on average for the 28 group stage and quarterfinal matches has been 1.144 million people and that’s way up about 63% from four years ago.
And for the Italy-England match on Sunday that went to penalty kicks, ESPN saw an average viewership that almost reached 3 million. That’s the second most watched European Championship game on the networks of ESPN with only the 2008 Final between Spain and Germany on ABC being higher.
Quite impressive going into today’s All-Iberian Peninsula semifinal game between Portugal and defending champion Spain. By the way, the great Ian Darke and Steve McManaman will call the match. For tomorrow’s Germany vs. Italy semi, it’ll be Adrian Healey and Robbie Mustoe in the commentary box.
Here’s ESPN’s press release.
England vs. Italy Sets UEFA European Football Championship Record for ESPN Deportes; Audience on ESPN Digital Platforms Surges
Last Sunday’s UEFA EURO 2012 quarterfinal match between Italy and England, a 0-0 tie won by Italy 4-2 in a penalty-kick shootout, on ESPN was seen by an average of 2.968 million viewers, bigger than any UEFA European Football Championship match in 2012 or 2008, except the 2008 final on ABC (3.760 million for Germany vs. Spain).
The four UEFA EURO 2012 quarterfinal matches (June 21–24) delivered an average of 1.463 million television households and 1.918 million viewers – up 31 percent in both households (1.116 million) and viewers (1.459 million) compared to the quarterfinal round in 2008.
Audiences for UEFA EURO 2012 and 2008 quarterfinals matches:
Date Network Match Households/Viewers (P2+) Sun, June 24, 2012 ESPN England vs. Italy 2,117,000/2,968,000 Sun, June 22, 2008 ESPN Spain vs. Italy 1,387,000/1,911,000 Sat, June 21, 2008 ABC Netherlands vs. Russia 1,384,000/1,838,000 Sat, June 23, 2012 ESPN2 Spain vs. France 1,301,000/1,758,000 Fri, June 22, 2012 ESPN Germany vs. Greece 1,203,000/1,446,000 Thu, June 21,2012 ESPN Czech Republic vs. Portugal 1,068,000/1,238,000 Thu, June 19, 2008 ESPN Germany vs. Portugal 881,000/1,106,000 Fri, June 20, 2008 ESPN Turkey vs. Croatia 798,000/962,000
Through 28 matches (group stage and quarterfinals) of the UEFA European Football Championship 2012, ESPN’s live English-language presentation is averaging 889,000 households and 1,144,000 viewers — up 61 percent and 63 percent, respectively, versus the same 28 matches in 2008 (552,000 households and 703,000 viewers).
The top 10 metered markets through the group stage include: New York (1.9), Miami-Ft. Lauderdale (1.8), Providence (1.5), Los Angeles (1.3), Washington, DC (1.3), San Francisco (1.2), Richmond, Va. (1.2), Atlanta (1.2), Austin, Texas (1.2), and San Diego (1.1).
Last Sunday’s England vs. Italy on ESPN Deportes was viewed by an average of 424,000 Hispanic household, based on an 8.1 Hispanic household coverage rating, making it the most-watched UEFA European Football Championship match on the 24-hour Spanish-language sports network. The telecast beat the network’s previous high – UEFA EURO 2008 final between Germany and Spain with 357,000 Hispanic household impressions.
On ESPN Deportes, the quarterfinals averaged a 5.5 Hispanic household coverage rating with 287,000 Hispanic household impressions – up 57 percent and 133 percent from 2008 respectively. (In 2008, ESPN Deportes televised one of the four quarterfinal matches on delay.)
Through the 24 live matches in 2012, ESPN Deportes has delivered an average 3.5 Hispanic household coverage rating with 184,000 Hispanic HH impressions – up 46 percent and 117 percent respectively. UEFA EURO 2012 news and information programming has also delivered strong ratings: Fuera de Juego Euro Edition has aired 42 live telecasts, averaging a 1.3 Hispanic household coverage rating with 68,000 Hispanic household impressions.
ESPN Digital Platforms:
From June 21-24, through four days of EURO 2012 quarterfinals play, ESPNFC.com and ESPNsoccernet.com globally averaged 878,000 daily visitors, 3.1 million page views per day and 10.2 million minutes per day (source: Adobe/Omniture). Compared to ESPNsoccernet.com during the same time period for EURO 2008, the site is up 24 percent, 13 percent and 132 percent, respectively. In total, ESPNFC.com, ESPNsoccernet.com and ESPNdeportes.com generated 13.3 million total page views during the quarterfinals, up 14.6 percent compared to EURO 2008.
Mobile coverage of the EURO 2012 quarterfinals across ESPNFC, ESPNsoccernet and ESPNdeportes mobile Web sites as well as the ESPNsoccernet app for iPhone and Android logged an average of 1.4 million page views per day, up 238 percent compared to EURO 2008.
Through the quarterfinals (June 8-24) across computers, smartphones, tablets and Xbox, ESPN3 and WatchESPN has logged an average minute audience of 83,607 per match and a total of 344.7 million live minutes to both English and Spanish language feeds. On computers alone, there were a total of 2.1 million unique viewers. Additionally, fans consumed 300.2 million live minutes on computers, up 688 percent compared to EURO 2008.
The England vs. Italy quarterfinal took the top spot as the new most watched match of the tournament thus far on ESPN3 and WatchESPN, logging 422,000 unique viewers, 27.8 million live minutes and an average minute audience of 147,745.
UEFA EURO 2012 Semifinals and Final on ESPN Networks
ESPN’s comprehensive presentation of UEFA European Football Championship 2012 in English and Spanish will continue Wednesday, June 27, and Thursday, June 28, with the semifinals, and conclude Sunday, July 1, with the title match live from Olympic Stadium in Kiev, Ukraine. Schedule (Subject to change):
Date Time (ET) Match Networks Wed, June 27 2 p.m. UEFA EURO Report ESPN Fuera de Juego: EURO Previa ESPN Deportes 2:30 p.m. Semifinal I – Portugal vs. SpainIan Darke and Steve McManamanJorge Ramos and Hernan Pereyra ESPN/ESPN3/ESPN Deportes 5-6 p.m. Fuera de Juego: EURO 2012 ESPN Deportes 5-5:30 p.m. EURO 2012 Tonight ESPN2 Thu, June 28 2 p.m. UEFA EURO Report ESPN Fuera de Juego: EURO Previa ESPN Deportes 2:30 p.m. Semifinal II – Germany vs. Italy
Adrian Healey and Robbie Mustoe
Fernando Palomo and Rafa Puente
ESPN/ESPN3/ESPN Deportes 5-6 p.m. Fuera de Juego: EURO 2012 ESPN Deportes 5-5:30 p.m. EURO 2012 Tonight ESPN2 Sun, July 1 2 p.m. UEFA EURO Report ESPN Fuera de Juego: EURO Previa ESPN Deportes 2:30 p.m. EURO 2012 Final
Darke and McManaman
Ramos, Pereyra and Puente
ESPN/ESPN3/ESPN Deportes 5-6 p.m. Fuera de Juego: EURO 2012 ESPN Deportes EURO 2012 Tonight ESPN2
We have one more ESPN EURO 2012 press release and we’ll need a jump break. (continue reading…)
Let’s do some Tuesday links.
We’ll start with Matt Hayes of AOL Sporting News and he writes that the BCS is looking for a $5 billion TV deal over a decade for its new college football playoff.
In the Indiana University National Sports Journalism Center, Michael Bradley says the new college football playoff still can be improved.
Eric Fisher and John Ourand of Sports Business Journal write that the Washington Nationals and MASN continue to be at odds over what the team’s TV rights are worth.
Maury Brown in Baseball Prospectus goes inside the Nats/MASN TV rights dispute.
Mark Buteau and Alex Duff of Bloomberg report that NBC has signed a long-term extension to lock in the Tour de France.
Etan Vlessing of the Hollywood Reporter says CBC and CTV are dropping their joint bidfor the 2014/2016 Olympic Games.
Charlie Warzel of Adweek says the PGA and Turner Sports are parting ways as the golf association will handle its digital rights in-house and no longer outsource it to Turner.
Tim Baysinger from Broadcasting & Cable writes that Ion will provide the WWE with a third night of programming.
In Multichannel News, Tim has an article about NFL Network’s NFL AM show.
Media Life Magazine notes that a Spanish language ad ran during ABC’s NBA Finals broadcasts.
Ty Duffy at The Big Lead says CBS’ Jim Nantz is now pimping his own wine label. Surprised it’s not called “Hello, Friends.”
Matt Yoder of Awful Announcing has the amazing video of Mike Tyson on ESPN’s Pardon the Interruption giving a preview of his new one-man Broadway play.
Dmitry Chesnokov of Yahoo’s Puck Daddy notes that the KHL has officially announced plans to play in the new Barclays Center in Brooklyn while trashing New York’s Madison Square Garden in the process.
The ESPN Front Row blog fires a shot at the new upstarts CBS Sports Radio and NBC Sports Radio Network on behalf of ESPN Radio.
Ben Lee at Digital Spy UK says Wimbledon’s primetime coverage on BBC2 drew over a million viewers.
Tara Pringle Jefferson at Loop 21 has six questions for ESPN’s Sage Steele.
CNBC’s Darren Rovell says NBA Draft prospect Anthony Davis has trademarked his unibrow.
Darren wonders if US Olympic 100 meter sprinter Justin Gatlin can be marketable once again after sitting out a four year ban for steroids.
Sports Video Group notes that NESN has signedanother content sharing agreement with a third New England TV station, this time in Vermont.
All Access interviews a radio industry analyst who feels the new CBS Sports Radio will do well for the parent company.
Ian Bethune at Sox & Dawgs has the funny video of NESN’s Don Orsillo and Jerry Remy entertaining the viewers during a Red Sox rain delay last night.
Gordon Edes of ESPN Boston writes about the Red Sox being in no rush to replace their late public address announcer Carl Beane.
Claire Atkinson of the New York Post reports that a positive FCC ruling for Tennis Channel in its carriage dispute against Comcast could lead to more viewers for the network and make it more attractive to potential buyers.
Bob’s Blitz has WFAN’s schedule for Sunday when it celebrates 25 years as the Nation’s first sports radio station.
Kimberly A. Martin of Newsday notes that E! will air a special on New York Jets quarterback Tim Tebow.
Neil Best of Newsday looks at ESPN’s start-to-finish coverage of Wimbledon.
Pete Dougherty of the Albany Times Union has MLB Network’s live game schedule through the end of July.
Keith Groller of the Allentown (PA) Morning Call profiles a former local sports anchor who’s making his mark in Detroit.
Laura Nachman says a part-timer at Comcast SportsNet Philadelphia is now part of the regional sports network’s starting team.
Dan Steinberg of the Washington Post’s DC Sports Bog notes that Washingtonian magazine readers aren’t enamored with the Capitals’ Alex Ovechkin.
Tom Jones of the Tampa Bay Times chastises readers who complained about weather alerts about Tropical Storm Debby that cut into sports action.
At the Miami Herald, Barry Jackson looks at anti-Heat media comments almost a week after the team won the NBA Championship.
Marc Weiszer of the Athens (GA) Banner-Herald writes that ESPN is producing a documentary on the 2008 SEC Tournament game between Alabama and Mississippi State that was interrupted by a tornado that ripped through Atlanta.
Jimmy Smith of the New Orleans Times Picayune reports that the Hornets will have the soon-to-be Fox Sports New Orleans to call their home. Fox Sports NO will replace Cox Sports which is getting out of the pro sports business.
Bob Wolfley of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel says NFL Network will air clips of a Brett Favre interview all week long.
Danny Ecker of Crain’s Chicago Business says the local Comcast SportsNet affiliate will launch a new trivia game show.
Tom Hoffarth of the Los Angeles Daily News has a clip of Frank Deford’s appearance on last night’s Colbert Report.
Simon Houpt and Steve Ladurantaye of the Toronto Globe and Mail look at CBC and CTV ending their joint bid for the 2014/16 Olympics after two prices were rejected.
Ann Dempsey from the Toronto Star also has a story on the CBC/CTV disbanding.
Bill Harris in the Toronto Sun says Olympic viewing in Canada after this year is up in the air.
Monika Warzecha of Toronto Life wonders if Canadians will be stuck watching NBC for the 2014/16 Olympics.
The Canadian Sports Media Blog notes TSN did well in showing the NHL Draft and EURO 2012.
Sports Media Watch has some various ratings news and notes.
Emmett Jones at Sports Business Digest says NBC and Shazam have teamed up to provide interactive coverage of the London Olympics.
And that’s going do it for our linkage.
Time for some sports media thoughts. These have been percolating in my head all day Monday. It’s fine time to pour them out and have you peruse through them. As always, they’re in bullet form.
- Monday’s announcement from NFL Network regarding its new morning show could be a game changer for sports television. If “NFL AM” is successful, it could lead other sports networks to follow NFL Network’s lead. But if the show fails to catch on, then it will be back to the status quo with repeats of the previous night’s highlights program. With “NFL AM” set to launch on July 30 from 6-10 a.m. ET, one wonders if there will be enough content to fill the time, but as a director once told me when I was working at a Providence TV station, “Have no fear. We’ll find a way to fill the show. I’ve never had a half-hour of black,” meaning he never had to show a blank screen. That will have to be the philosophy of NFL Network for “NFL AM”. Plus with people going to work and school, not everyone will see the entire four hours.
If the show works, I can see other league-owned channels attempting similar ventures. MLB Network’s Quick Pitch airs on a loop on most days from 1 a.m. – noon ET. That’s too long. An MLB Network morning show could work as would a morning NBA program.
But before we get to the point of multiple live morning sports programs, “NFL AM” has to get off the ground successfully. By this time next year, we’ll have an idea whether NFL Network’s “NFL AM” is a success or a failure.
- When I began this site five years ago, Erin Andrews was the darling of the sports blogosphere. Any picture or even a slight mention of her would increase a site’s traffic. There was a reason why she was nicknamed “Erin Pageviews”. Before she re-signed with ESPN in 2010, Erin seemed to be in demand. Her star never shone brighter and it appeared that she could have the pick of any job.
Now cut to 2012 and it appears Erin is no longer the darling of sports bloggers. Others like Michelle Beadle, Jenn Brown, Charissa Thompson and Molly Qerim et.al. have become favorites as well. This isn’t to say that the Internet is ignoring her, TMZ still pays attention even speculating that she had a boob job. And she was referenced twice in the premiere of the new HBO series, “The Newsroom”.
Deadspin which once championed her (and was the first to link to the infamous hotel room video in 2009) came out with an article this month pointing out that Ms. Andrews seemingly has no place to go other than ESPN.
Deadspin reported that Erin is no longer working for Good Morning America and she’s removed the reference to GMA from her Twitter bio.
Does this necessarily mean that Erin has no other place to go than ESPN? If you believe the speculation from Deadspin and The Big Lead, the answer is yes. But does it mean that she hasn’t had any other offers or couldn’t get work if she decided to walk away from Bristol, CT?
She can still attract viewers and page views. The NHL thought Erin had enough star power to invite her to its annual awards show last week and present two trophies. Could a league-owned channel like NHL Network find room for Erin? I’m sure it could if the opportunity was presented. But we have not heard of any offers asides from her present employer.
Overall, I still think Erin can move the meter on the Internet and she’ll continue to so for a while. Just for how long she’ll be at ESPN is anyone’s guess.
- Without any EURO 2012 action until Wednesday’s semifinal game between Spain and Portugal, I went into soccer withdrawals. International soccer is a sport that ESPN continues to excel. Understated coverage with Bob Ley heading the studio and Ian Darke the main play-by-play man, I can easily say this is a Golden Age for soccer on American television. Couple this with having Martin Tyler calling English Premier League games on Fox Soccer and fans have been hearing some of the best announcing of the sport.
Granted, we get hiccups like Fox’s silly dumbing down of the Champions League Final last year, but overall, the coverage on ESPN, Fox Soccer and Gol TV has been good.
With ESPN having just the FIFA World Cup in Brazil left to broadcast, it is setting the bar very high. Fox will have a long ways to go to match ESPN’s coverage and while this year’s Champions League Final was an improvement over 2010, the network will have a big hill to climb to equal or surpass the Alleged Worldwide Leader on soccer.
- Count me as one who loved the premiere of “The Newsroom” on Sunday. I enjoyed Jeff Daniels as the erascible anchor Will McAvoy and Emily Mortimer as his idealistic Executive Producer MacKenzie McHale. Yes, in typical Aaron Sorkin fashion, some of the dialogue was overwritten, but I enjoyed the show and I hope it has a long life on HBO. As long as Sorkin doesn’t go overboard on preaching, I think the show will do just fine.
I went longer than I expected on the thoughts. That’s to your benefit.
Let’s do some links on a rainy Monday in Southern New England.
Michael Hiestand of USA Today looks at NFL Network’s new morning show.
Michael says ESPN has not confirmed whether Chris Berman will call a Monday Night Football game on the opening weekend of the season.
John Ourand of Sports Business Journal reports that CBS is about 80% sold for the Super Bowl.
Terry Lefton of Sports Business Journal says Pepsi has signed a deal to sponsor the Super Bowl halftime show.
Mike Ozanian of Forbes notes that the Miami Heat is on the verge of getting a huge deal with Fox Sports Florida.
Former ESPN First Take co-host Dana Jacobsen writes in her blog that she was molested as a child. Courageous for her to speak publicly about this.
Scott Roxborough and Stuart Kemp of the Hollywood Reporter note that yesterday’s Italy-England EURO 2012 Quarterfinal game became the highest-rated and most watched game of the tournament in Europe.
Mike Reynolds from Multichannel News looks at ESPN going all in at Wimbledon.
Rich Thomaselli of Advertising Age wonders now that LeBron James has won a championship, will he reach Michael Jordan levels in marketing?
Staci D. Kramer of paidContent says ESPN’s streaming of the NBA Finals drew a decent audience.
Ed Sherman from the Sherman Report writes that sportswriter Frank Deford will appear on tonight’s Colbert Report.
The Big Lead looks at alleged bias by the HBO Boxing crew from the Manny Pacquaio-Timothy Bradley fight.
Matt Yoder of Awful Announcing reviews the train wreck that was Charlie Sheen’s guest appearance on Fox Saturday.
Matt analyzes the moves by CBS and NBC to create their own sports radio networks.
Dylan Murphy at SportsGrid says a French soccer player cursed out a reporter after the team’s loss at EURO 2012 last week.
Also from SportsGrid, Dan Fogarty notes that Oprah Winfrey will interview LeBron James and the Miami Heat this weekend which has train wreck potential written all over it.
Evan Weiner at Examiner.com writes that the NFL has a long way to go to get a foothold in Europe.
Newsday’s Neil Best talks with some of the people who have worked at WFAN during its past 25 years.
The New York Post’s Phil Mushnick says college presidents’ pleas to pray for the Jerry Sandusky abuse victims ring hollow. Did Phil want them to go to Jerry Sandusky’s jail cell and shoot him dead?
And Phil goes after his favorite target, WFAN’s Mike Francesa.
Jerry Barmash at Fishbowl NY talks with WFAN Operations Manager Mark Chernoff about the nation’s oldest radio station turning 25.
Jerry says a 1010 WINS sports anchor wants to go after those who mispronounce “Wimbledon”.
Bob’s Blitz has the WFAN 25th Anniversary lineup for this Sunday.
Ken McMillan of the Middletown (NY) Times Herald-Record says a New York-Penn League minor league baseball team won’t have a radio partner this year.
Greg Connors of the Buffalo News talks with Jim Rome about his CBS Sports Network show.
Jim Williams of the Washington Examiner notes that ESPN will be providing a lot of tennis action over the next fortnight.
At Chicago Sports Media Watch, Paul M. Banks talks with Danica Patrick about her transition from IndyCar to NASCAR.
Dusty Saunders at the Denver Post writes about ESPN’s extensive Wimbledon coverage.
Tom Hoffarth from the Los Angeles Daily News has the sports calendar for this week.
Brent Schrotenboer of the San Diego Union-Tribune says all of San Diego State’s football games will be seen on TV, the question is where?
Bruce Dowbiggin at the Toronto Globe and Mail suggests that the NHL expand Hockey Night in Canada to Sundays.
Raju Mudhar with the Toronto Star writes about technology and sports melding together.
At Frontstretch, Amy Henderson writes that TV is actually hurting NASCAR and turning fans off.
Back to Paul M. Banks at the Sports Bank and he has video of ESPN’s Jenn Brown taking batting practice at the College World Series.
MediaRantz reviews WFAN at 25.
MediaRantz says noted Florida sports radio bad boy Dan Sileo could be headed to the new CBS Sports Radio.
Steve Lepore of Puck The Media says NBC’s shuffle of the NHL Draft wasn’t great, but it wasn’t the worst thing in the world.
Sports Media Watch says the NBA Finals’ ratings were down from last year.
SMW writes that MLB on Fox took a hit opposite the U.S. Open.
But SMW says this past weekend, MLB on Fox did significantly better.
Jeff Eisenberg of Yahoo’s The Dagger blog writes that ESPN expects to replace analyst Hubert Davis with Jalen Rose on College GameDay.
Paul Magno at Yahoo says boxing may return to network TV as Oscar de la Hoya tries to bring a fight to CBS.
Kris Hughes at Rant Sports asks if Time Warner Cable could purchase the Longhorn Network from ESPN?
Gaslamp Ball talks with the head of Fox Sports San Diego.
And that will do us for today.
After an outage that ruined things from Sunday through Tuesday and being busy yesterday, my goal to have links every day this week has gone out the window. However, I can get a few links out to you today.
Let’s get to them.
Starting with Ed Sherman from the Sherman Report who talks with ESPN resident Prince of Darkness Vince Doria who not only hates Twitter, but is concerned that the social media site could bring “diminished standards.” No, hiring Skip Bayless and Stephen A. Smith brings “diminished standards.”
Ed feels ESPN’s hiring of Darren Rovell away from CNBC is a good move for all sides.
Christopher Botta and John Ourand from Sports Business Journal write that despite having ratings downturns for the NHL Conference Finals and the Stanley Cup Final, NBC and its sponsors are happy with the results.
Christopher notes that a budding Northwest US MLS rivalry is bringing excellent sponsor activation in the region.
At the Bleacher Report, Dan Levy asks ESPN to respond to the heavy viewer criticism brought forth to the network every time Chris Berman does the U.S. Open.
Mike Reynolds at Multichannel News says the ESPN Family is doing well with EURO 2012.
Peter Kafka at All Things Digital writes that the on-again/off-again Turner purchase of the Bleacher Report seems to be on again. I promise my friends over at Bleacher Report that I won’t publish the Tsunami screengrab like Deadspin does.
Speaking of Deadspin, John Koblin tells us that CNBC’s Darren Rovell, will be getting $500,000 from Disney to work at ESPN and ABC News.
The Big Lead notes that Jalen Rose will be heading to the basketball version of ESPN’s College Gameday.
Simon Dumenico of Advertising Age notes the high amount of Tweets devoted to Game 1 of the NBA Finals.
Media Life Magazine notes NBC’s ratings for last weekend’s US Open.
Evan Weiner at Examiner.com says while Roger Clemens was acquitted by a jury of his peers, he still has to get by the Hall of Fame jury known as the Baseball Writers of America.
Lance Venta at Radio Insight reports that with CBS Radio starting a new sports network, ESPN Radio will lose two affiliates in Florida.
To espnW where Amanda Rykoff went to an event which honored women in sports business including Kim Williams, the Chief Operating Officer of NFL Network.
Matt Rudnitsky at SportsGrid says today is D-Day for many Sports Illustrated employees. Godspeed to them.
Jason Dachman of Sports Video Group looks at how TNT tries to expand the fan experience during its six NASCAR Sprint Cup productions.
Jerry Barmash of FishbowlNY talks with MSG Network’s Walt “Clyde” Frazier about his popularity among Knicks fans.
Ken McMillan of the Middletown (NY) Times Herald-Record says SNY’s Gary Cohen will be taking two rare days off this week.
Ken says WFAN will be airing Team USA Olympic basketball games.
And Ken talks about the launch of CBS Sports Radio.
Keith Groller of the Allentown (PA) Morning Call says the Philadelphia Phillies’ troubles have become fodder for the local talk shows.
David Barron at the Houston Chronicle notes that the city is about to get its 5th sports radio station thanks to the new CBS Sports Radio.
Mel Bracht of The Oklahoman says Game 4 of the NBA Finals set another local ratings record.
John Kiesewetter of the Cincinnati Enquirer writes that the Reds’ ratings are up and they’re being noticed by Fox Sports.
Bob Wolfley at the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel says Brewers analyst Bill Schroeder will work Saturday’s game against the White Sox for a different audience.
Paul M. Banks of Chicago Sports Media Watch says Sun-Times columnist Richard Roeper guest tweeted on the White Sox official account this week.
Tom Hoffarth of the Los Angeles Daily has begun a list of the top sports media voices of the landmark Title IX that gave women the opportunity to play sports. His first honoree is sports broadcasting pioneer Donna de Varona. Next is Mary Carillo. She’s followed by Ann Ligouri. Pam Ward is next. Basketball Hall of Famer Ann Meyers Drysdale follows. Read about Jeannine Edwards. Then look at the bio of Christine Brennan. Then there’s Michele Tafoya. Then Jamie Little. Next is Suzy Kolber. And she’s followed by Sally Jenkins. Great stuff by Tom.
Bruce Dowbiggin from the Toronto Globe and Mail reports that the NHL doesn’t want Maple Leafs rightsholders Rogers and Bell to form a consortium to bid for CBC’s Hockey Night in Canada and they’ve been told to provide separate bids.
Michael Hill from Dolce Vita magazine profiles CTV Olympic host Brian Williams (not to be confused with NBC’s Brian Williams) about the many Games he has hosted over the years for either CBC or CTV.
Sports Media Watch speculates that NBC could be moving its NHL Game of the Week to Saturday afternoons for the 2012-13 season.
Tony Manfred at the Business Insider Sports Page has a slideshow on ESPN’s Erin Andrews who remains a free agent at this time.
Joe Favorito looks at the NBA possibly shutting the door on its players participating in the Olympics.
And that will do it for us today for the links.
Ok, linkage has been really scarce over the last month and a half and I apologize for that. My schedules have been quite busy and it’s been tough to sit down for the time it takes to gather the links. I hope that changes over the next month or so.
I have some National links for you right now. I’ll follow up with more stuff later.
Here are the Weekend Viewing Picks for you.
Sports Illustrated’s Richard Deitsch speaks with the people at the Poynter Institute who are the ESPN Ombudsman.
Nate Davis at USA Today’s The Huddle has the Miami Dolphins not so enthusiastic about being on Hard Knocks this season.
Michael Hiestand of USA Today talks with ESPN’s Sean McDonough who will undergo brain surgery later this year.
Ira Boudwell of Bloomberg Businessweek says ESPN is getting out of the high school sports business saying it’s not broad enough.
Yahoo’s Adrian Wojnarowski says this week’s blowout between David Stern and Jim Rome proves that the NBA Commissioner needs to go.
John Ourand of Sports Business Daily says Fox Sports San Diego is launching an ad campaign against Time Warner Cable which has still not picked up the regional sports network.
Good Morning America’s and former ESPN SportsCenter host Robin Roberts says she will beat the rare blood disorder that will require a bone marrow transplant.
Michael O’Connell of the Hollywood Reporter notes that the NBA Finals are pacing ABC to good ratings this week.
At Broadcasting & Cable, Tim Baysinger writes that this week’s Dream Team documentary gave NBA TV its best viewership ever.
Mike Reynolds at Multichannel News says GolTV scored with this week’s soccer international friendly match between Brazil and Argentina.
Toni Fitzgerald of Media Life reports that NBC will debut two new sitcoms right smack dab in the middle of the Olympics.
Ed Sherman at the Sherman Report looks at the geriatric broadcasting team calling the NBA Finals for ESPN Radio.
Glenn Davis at SportsGrid notes that even after the winning the Stanley Cup this week, the Los Angeles Kings still aren’t getting respect from the local media.
Former Deadspin editor A.J. Daulerio returns to his former stomping grounds to do a massive takedown of Jay “The Rat” Mariotti.
Also from Deadspin, John Koblin writes that there doesn’t seem to be a clamoring for Erin Andrews beyond ESPN.
Jason Dachman of Sports Video Group says NBA TV and NBA Entertainment are appealing to the hardcore basketball fan for their Finals coverage.
Jason McIntyre of The Big Lead says Sports Illustrated could be laying off part of its staff.
Matt Yoder at Awful Announcing has tweets from people who hated Chris Berman on the U.S. Open yesterday.
Sports Media Watch notes that this year’s Stanley Cup Final did not resonate with viewers.
SMW also has some various ratings news and notes.
CNBC’s Darren Rovell writes that Brooklyn Nets gear is selling very well.
MediaRantz tells us that Sean Salisbury will be getting a new internet radio gig.
UPDATE, 4:30 p.m.: Time for more linkage here.
East and Mid-Atlantic
Chad Finn of the Boston Globe reports that May was a very good month for sports radio station WEEI as it finished ahead of 98.5 The Sports Hub.
At SB Nation, Bruce Allen of Boston Sports Media Watch writes about golfer David Duval taking a turn in the broadcast tower at the U.S. Open.
Bill Doyle of the Worcester Telegram & Gazette discusses Johnny Miller holding court for NBC at the U.S. Open at the Olympic Club in San Francisco this week.
Newsday’s Neil Best talks with ESPN college baseball analyst Kyle Petersen who will be introducing many Long Islanders to the College World Series today.
Phil Mushnick of the New York Post goes after the Yankees for pricing out fans from the “Beautiful People” seats at Yankee Stadium.
Jerry Barmash at Fishbowl NY notes that SNY will unveil the all-time Mets team at a gala event on Sunday.
Ken McMillan of the Middletown (NY) Times Herald-Record says the US Women’s National Soccer Team will be on TV and the web this weekend.
Ken says local Time Warner Cable subscribers will have access to the new Pac-12 Networks this summer.
Ken Schott at the Schenectady Gazette says NBC Sports Group has announced the 2012 Summer at Saratoga schedule.
Pete Dougherty at the Albany Times Union talks with Jim Rome who marks his 16th year in New York’s Capital Region.
Pete says one of harness racing’s famous races changes networks this year.
Keith Groller of the Allentown (PA) Morning Call profiles a local cable TV sports reporter who is filling a double role this summer.
Keith has more on her in his blog.
Barry Jackson from the Miami Herald has some NBA Finals Game 2 postgame reaction as well as Jon Barry saying he’s not a Miami Heat Hater.
David Barron of the Houston Chronicle says Fox Sports Houston was well-prepared and staffed for Wednesday’s perfect game thrown against the Astros by Matt Cain of the San Francisco Giants.
Mel Bracht at The Oklahoman writes that ESPN on ABC was all over the non-foul call against the Thunder’s Kevin Durant during Game 2 of the NBA Finals.
The Oklahoman rounds up what sports reporters are saying on Twitter about the NBA Finals.
John Kiesewetter at the Cincinnati Enquirer says an all-star high school football game will be shown locally this weekend.
Bob Wolfley of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel writes that ESPN is dropping its high school sports operation.
Bob criticizes Jim Rome for his questioning of NBA Communist China Sympathizer David Stern.
Paul M. Banks at Chicago Sports Media Watch says Cubs announcers Len Kasper and Bob Brenly were silent when comedian Jeff Garlin brought up trading Alfonso Soriano.
Paul Christian of the Rochester (MN) Post-Bulletin notes the rare occurrence of the U.S. Open and the NBA Finals going head-to-head on TV this Father’s Day.
Dan Caesar from the St. Louis Post-Dispatch writes that viewers of Fox Sports Midwest may need a scorecard to tell who’s in the Cardinals TV booth over the next few days.
Dan notes that next week will mark a decade since the passing of Jack Buck and Cardinals pitcher Darryl Kile.
Chadd Cripe of the Idaho Statesman says this fall’s Boise State-Southern Mississippi game will get the Fox treatment.
Scott D. Pierce of the Salt Lake Tribune says Utahans are nervous about getting the Pac-12 Networkcomparing it to their experience with the ill-fated the mtn.
John Maffei of the North County Times writes that Fox Sports San Diego has set its sights squarely on Time Warner Cable.
Jim Carlisle at the Ventura County Star says ESPN’s NBA Countdown show seems to work fine without a host.
Jim talks with NBC’s Johnny Miller about the U.S. Open.
Jim has his weekend viewing picks.
Melissa Rohlin of the Los Angeles Times says Game 2 of the NBA Finals drew a good overnight number for ABC.
Tom Hoffarth of the Los Angeles Daily News talks with former Kings voices about the Stanley Cup victory.
Tom has some more in his blog.
The Toronto Globe and Mail’s Bruce Dowbiggin blames both Jim Rome and David Stern for their ugly exchange this week.
The Toronto Sports Media Blog says the NBA and NHL Commissioners are taking it on their chins this week.
And that’s going to do it.
The UEFA 2012 European Championships, better known as EURO 2012, are off to boffo ratings on ESPN. For the first three days of matches, six contests in all, ESPN is averaging just about 1.33 million viewers per game. It’s up 214% from the last European Championship, EURO 2008.
The most watched game thus far in the first three days of tournament was the Italy-Spain game which registered over 2.1 million viewers on Sunday, the most for any European Championship game on the ESPN Family of Networks except for the EURO 2008 Final between Spain and Germany on ABC which received an average of 3.76 million people. Pretty good numbers for ESPN.
And for ESPN Deportes, the same games are averaging a 3.2 Hispanic household coverage rating which I guess is pretty good.
Here is the ESPN press release.
Triple-Digit Viewership Increases vs. 2008 on Television; Surge on ESPN Digital PlatformsLast Sunday’s UEFA EURO 2012 match between Italy and Spain at on ESPN, a 1-1 tie and tournament opening match for both Group C teams, was seen by an average of 2.113 million viewers, bigger than any UEFA European Football Championship 2008 match except the final on ABC. That game, Germany vs. Spain, was watched by an average of 3.760 million viewers.Through six matches, ESPN’s English-language presentation of the event is averaging 1,007,000 households and 1.328,000 viewers — up 198 percent and 214 percent, respectively, versus the first six games of the UEFA EURO 2008 (338,000 households and 423,000 viewers in ’08). The second most-watched game to-date in 2012 is Saturday’s Portugal-Germany matchup – a 1.1 household coverage rating, 1,244,000 households, and 1,798,000 viewers, second to only one ESPN game in all of 2008.ESPN Deportes:ESPN Deportes delivered strong ratings for the kickoff of UEFA EURO 2012. Through the first three days (six matches), the matches averaged a 3.2 Hispanic household coverage rating (+66 percent from 2008) with 166,000 Hispanic households (+147 percent from 2008). The Spain vs. Italy match on Sunday, June 10, was the highest-rated and most-watched match so far, delivering a 6.0 Hispanic household coverage rating with 313,600 household impressions.ESPN Digital Platforms:Since the start of EURO 2012 on June 8, ESPNFC.com globally logged 876,000 daily visitors, 8.5 million page views and 33 million minutes (source: Adobe/Omniture). Compared to the first three days of EURO 2008, the site is up 45 percent, 11 percent and 191 percent, respectively.Additionally, through the first three days of EURO 2012, ESPN3 and WatchESPN generated 65.8 million minutes to both the English and Spanish language feeds across computers, smartphones, tablets and Xbox. On computers alone, it generated an average minute audience of 80,000 and an average of nearly 231,852 daily unique viewers that logged a total of 57.5 million minutes to all six EURO 2012 matches.
That’s all for this post.
As we continue with the guest columns this week, we have this one from reader Matt Lichtenstadter. In this post, Matt writes about the possibility of Al Jazeera’s new US soccer channel making in-roads through obtaining the rights to the English Premier League. It’s a fascinating scenario and one that could change the landscape of sports in the US if Al Jazeera is successful.
Matt looks at Al Jazeera’s attempts to obtain programming and start a war with ESPN and Fox.
It’s no secret now that soccer is becoming more and more popular in the U.S, especially the club variety. The English Premier League is quickly becoming a rights commodity for FOX and ESPN alike, and it’s almost time to negotiate TV rights for the 3 seasons starting in 2013. These negotiations worldwide will net the Premier League over $1.5 billion (for comparison, the new NFL deals in total netted around $3 billion for 8 years). While the British rights are often the most interesting to follow, the US rights may be more interesting than that. Not only will FOX and ESPN duke it out, there will be a new player in the mix that may cause quite a stir.
Al Jazeera is often thought of as the network for the Middle East, and it is one of the largest media networks in the world. They have a large sports division that covers sports for the Middle East as well. Now, with money backed up by the Qatari royal family, they have started a sports network called beINSport USA, which next year will cover La Liga from Spain, Serie A from Italy, and Ligue 1 from France. They have already poached the famous duo of Phil Schoen and Ray Hudson from GolTV most likely, and the Premier League will very likely be their next rights target. They have tons of money to play with, as seen with some of the club teams that Qatari’s own, but will that be enough to sway the pendulum away from the status quo?
Al Jazeera English, the news arm of the network broadcast in English, is only carried by Dish Network right now, and it’s assumed that they will also carry the new sports network. But aside from that, they have no other apparent carriage deals in the hopper. It’s very likely that most of the country will be shut out from watching 3 of Europe’s biggest club soccer leagues this year because of carriage issues. If Al Jazeera wants to grab Premier League rights, they’ll have to expand their footprint on American carriers, fast. ESPN obviously has an incredibly wide distribution, and FOX Soccer has a good network as well. FOX and ESPN have a lot to play for in these rights negotiations, especially considering these networks are the home of the World Cup up until 2022. FOX wants to keep its soccer profile high leading up to the World Cup in 2018, and since John Skipper is a major proponent of soccer at ESPN, you know he’ll be very interested in getting the major package for his network in order to keep their soccer profile high after they lose FIFA events after the next World Cup.
It’s no doubt that Al Jazeera has plans for their brand new sports network, and the Premier League could be at the top of their wish list. They have the money to make it happen, but can they compete with the likes of FOX and ESPN, especially considering what they have at stake with their soccer broadcasts? Time will tell, but if you want to see how well Al Jazeera is doing, check on their carriage rights deals and see how many they have by December, when the rights will most likely be sealed. There’s a new player on the US soccer scene, and everyone better take them seriously.
Bio: Matt Lichtenstadter has his own sports blog, Matt’s Sports Musings, which you can find at http://www.mattssportsmusings.com/. He’s also written a few pieces like this for other blogs as well. He wants more work. Help his pour blogging soul. He’s also on twitter @JagsFan93.
The guest columns continue through tomorrow. Thanks to those who have provided the guest columns this week and I’ll be back Monday.
ESPN has given us the studio hosts and analysts for EURO 2012. The main host will be the great Bob Ley who was also the main host for the Women’s World Cup last year. Joining him will be ESPN UK host Rebecca Lowe, who became the first woman to host a major soccer championship game in UK television history, and Max Bretos.
Among the studio analysts for EURO 2012 will be Alexi Lalas, Taylor Twellman, Michael Ballack and Tommy “The ol’ Onion Bag” Smyth.
We have the announcement from ESPN will the bios of those who will be part of the studio coverage of EURO 2012.
Bob Ley, José Ramón Fernández, Rebecca Lowe and Max Bretos to Host; Michael Ballack, Mario Kempes, Alexi Lalas, Tato Noriega, et al, to Serve as Studio Analysts; Four Reporters in Poland-Ukraine
ESPN today announced its studio teams for the English and Spanish presentations of the UEFA European Football Championship 2012 (June 8 to July 1) in Poland and Ukraine.
Outside the Lines host Bob Ley, ESPN UK football presenter/reporter Rebecca Lowe, and SportsCenter anchor Max Bretos will combine to host English-language studio programming for the event. Veteran Spanish-language television journalist José Ramón Fernández will be primary host for ESPN Deportes studio programs for the UEFA EURO 2012.
The studio hosts will work with a team of former players who excelled in professional soccer: former German National Team captain Michael Ballack, 1978 FIFA World Cup champion and Golden Boot winner Mario Kempes, former U.S. National Team defender Alexi Lalas, former U.S. National Team and Premier League goalkeeper Kasey Keller, former Mexican National Team player Jose Antonio “Tato” Noriega, and more.
ESPN, ESPN2 and ESPN Deportes will combine to present more than 200 hours of live UEFA EURO 2012 programming, including all 31 matches live on English-language networks and 27 on ESPN Deportes, the most comprehensive presentation ever of the quadrennial European championship in the United States.
ESPN UEFA EURO 2012 Studio Team
- Bretos – The SportsCenter anchor and ESPN host of MLS Cup joined ESPN in 2010 from Fox Soccer. He will make his debut hosting major international soccer on ESPN with the UEFA EURO 2012.
- Fernández – A veteran sports journalist who has covered nine FIFA World Cups since 1978 and eight Olympic Games, Fernández appears on several programs on ESPN Deportes and ESPN in Latin America, as well as other multimedia platforms, including online and audio.
- Ley – Host of Outside the Lines and numerous ESPN in-depth news specials, Ley was one of three primary hosts during ESPN’s award-winning presentation of the 2010 FIFA World Cup from South Africa and 2011 FIFA Women’s World Cup in Germany. He earned the Honorary All-America Award by the National Soccer Coaches Association of America in 1999 for his contributions to the sport.
- Lowe – ESPN UK football presenter, Lowe made her U.S. debut last year hosting ESPN’s critically acclaimed coverage of the FIFA Women’s World Cup Germany 2011. On May 5, she became the first woman to host the FA Cup Final on television at Wembley Stadium, working ESPN UK’s daylong coverage.
Ballack, Keller, Kempes and Noriega will headline a team of studio analysts that also includes Andrés Agulla, José Hernández, Richard Méndez, Fernando Palomo, Tommy Smyth and Taylor Twellman.
- Agulla – A Spanish-language commentator, Agulla will bring years of experience covering soccer and a variety of other sports to ESPN Deportes’ studio coverage.
- Ballack – Former German National Team captain and current professional footballer, Ballack will be making his debut as a television analyst in the U.S.
- Hernández – ESPN Deportes and ESPN Dos (Mexico) soccer commentator, Hernández has called major European leagues such as Serie A, La Liga and UEFA Champions League for the networks. He is currently an expert panelist on ESPN Deportes’ soccer studio program Fuera de Juego.
- Keller – A former U.S. National Team goalkeeper who played professional football for 16 years in Europe, Keller retired last year after three seasons with the MLS Seattle Sounders FC. He serves as a studio analyst for U.S. Men’s National Team matches and select MLS telecasts.
- Kempes – The 1978 FIFA World Cup champion from Argentina has been with ESPN Deportes (U.S.) and ESPN in Latin America since 2004, providing Spanish-language studio commentary on the European leagues and FIFA World Cup events.
- Lalas – The former U.S. Men’s National Team defender is ESPN’s lead English-language studio analyst for soccer. He played professional soccer in Italian Serie A and was among a pioneer group of U.S. players who launched Major League Soccer.
- Méndez –Méndez, who has been with ESPN since 2006, is a Spanish language sports journalist who combines roles as a match commentator, studio host and analyst. He is also a columnist for ESPNDeportes.com.
- Palomo – Palomo will combine his ESPN Deportes match commentator role with periodic appearances on studio segments including co-hosting the pre-game show for the title match, live from Kyiv, Ukraine, on July 1.
- Smyth – One of the most knowledgeable analysts on European football in the U.S. having called more 2,500 matches from European and South American leagues for ESPN International, Smyth is best known for his hard-hitting punditry on ESPNsoccernet Press Pass – a daily soccer news and opinion program.
- Twellman – One of the most-prolific strikers in eight (2002-2010) Major League Soccer seasons, Twellman is the match analyst for MLS and U.S. Men’s National Team matches on ESPN.
Reporters Martin Ainstein, former Australian Women’s National Team player Alicia Ferguson, Vito De Palma and Alex de la Rosa, will be in Poland and Ukraine throughout the tournament. Ainstein, De Palma and de la Rosa will primarily work for ESPN Deportes, while Ferguson, a studio commentator on ESPN’s 2011 FIFA Women’s World Cup and reporter for ESPN’s Premier League telecasts, will report primarily for ESPN, ESPN2 and English-language studio programming.
The press release speaks for itself. Take a look as you scroll and see what announcing teams will call the games in one of the most exciting soccer tournaments in the world.
ESPN’s comprehensive coverage of the UEFA European Football Championship (June 8-July 1) will feature all 31 matches televised live and in high definition in English on ESPN and ESPN2, as well as 27 matches live with four tape-delayed in Spanish on ESPN Deportes. Additional coverage includes ESPN3, WatchESPN, ESPN Mobile TV and ESPN Deportes Radio. Today, ESPN senior vice president and executive producer Jed Drake announced the ESPN commentator assignments for the group stage of the tournament. Highlights:
Key matchups in the group stage:
- On Saturday, June 9, at 2:45 p.m., Derek Rae and Kasey Keller (ESPN), and Jorge Ramos and Hernan Pereyra (ESPN Deportes) will call Germany vs. Portugal. Germany has beaten Portugal in their last two matches – at the 2006 FIFA World Cup and UEFA EURO 2008. Each team will need a result in the first of their three Group B matches.
- Spain vs. Italy (Sun, June 10 at 12 p.m. on ESPN) – a matchup between the last two FIFA World Cup champions in their first Group C match, where both teams are favored to advance – will feature Ian Darke and Steve McManaman (English), and Fernando Palomo and Rafa Puente (Spanish).
- Traditional powers in European soccer – France vs. England – are entering the tournament with a recent history of underachieving in marquee tournaments. Monday, June 11, telecast on ESPN will feature Darke and McManaman at 12 p.m. Ramos and Pereyra will call the match on ESPN Deportes.
- Darke and McManaman (ESPN) and Palomo and Puente (ESPN Deportes) will call Netherlands vs. Germany on Wed., June 13, at 2:45 p.m. ET – the matchup of traditional European rivals and two of the top teams in the world playing in the second of three matches in Group B, the tournament’s “group of death.”
- Adrian Healey and Robbie Mustoe (ESPN2), and Ramos and Pereyra (ESPN Deportes) will call the Italy vs. Republic of Ireland match on Monday, June 18 – a rematch of the 1994 FIFA World Cup when Ireland upset Italy at Giants Stadium at the Meadowlands.
UEFA EURO 2012 will mark most comprehensive coverage of the three-week competition by any media company in the United States. In 2008, ESPN2, ESPN, ESPN Classic and ABC combined to present live all 31 matches of the UEFA European Football Championship. ESPN Deportes, the Spanish-language home of the championship, also televised all 31 matches – four on tape-delay.
Match schedule (Subject to change):
Date Time (ET) Match Networks Friday, June 8 12 p.m. Poland vs. Greece
Ian Darke and Steve McManaman
Fernando Palomo and Rafa Puente
ESPN/ESPN3/ESPN Deportes 2:45 p.m. Russia vs. Czech Republic
Derek Rae and Kasey Keller
Ricardo Ortiz and Tato Noriega
ESPN/ESPN3/ESPN Deportes Saturday, June 9 12 p.m. Netherlands vs. Denmark
Adrian Healey and Robbie Mustoe
Palomo and Puente
ESPN/ESPN3/ESPN Deportes 2:45 p.m. Germany vs. Portugal
Rae and Keller
Jorge Ramos and Hernan Pereyra
ESPN/ESPN3/ESPN Deportes Sunday, June 10 12 p.m. Spain vs. Italy
Darke and McManaman
Palomo and Puente
ESPN/ESPN3/ESPN Deportes 2:45 p.m. Republic of Ireland vs. Croatia
Healey and Mustoe
Ortiz and Noriega
ESPN/ESPN3/ESPN Deportes Monday, June 11 12 p.m. France vs. England
Darke and McManaman
Ramos and Pereyra
ESPN/ESPN3/ESPN Deportes 2:45 p.m. Ukraine vs. Sweden
Rae and Keller
Palomo and Puente
ESPN/ESPN3/ESPN Deportes Tuesday, June 12 12 p.m. Greece vs. Czech Republic
Healey and Mustoe
Jose Hernandez and Noriega
ESPN/ESPN3/ESPN Deportes 2:45 p.m. Poland vs. Russia
Rae and Keller
Richard Mendez and Puente
ESPN/ESPN3/ESPN Deportes Wednesday, June 13 12 p.m. Denmark vs. Portugal
Healey and Mustoe
Ramos and Pereyra
ESPN/ESPN3/ESPN Deportes 2:45 p.m. Netherlands vs. Germany
Darke and McManaman
Palomo and Puente
ESPN/ESPN3/ESPN Deportes Thursday, June 14 12 p.m. Italy vs. Croatia
Rae and Taylor Twellman
Ortiz and Noriega
ESPN2/ESPN3/ESPN Deportes 2:45 p.m. Spain vs. Republic of Ireland
Darke and McManaman
Palomo and Puente
ESPN2/ESPN3/ESPN Deportes Friday, June 15 12 p.m. Ukraine vs. France
Rae and Twellman
Palomo and Puente
ESPN2/ESPN3/ESPN Deportes 2:45 p.m. Sweden vs. England
Healey and Mustoe
Ramos and Pereyra
ESPN2/ESPN3/ESPN Deportes Saturday, June 16 2:45 p.m. Czech Republic vs. Poland
Rae and Twellman
Mendez and Puente
ESPN/ESPN3/ESPN Deportes 2:45 p.m. Greece vs. Russia
Healey and Mustoe
Ortiz and Barak Fever
ESPN2/ESPN3/ESPN Deportes at 5 p.m. Sunday, June 17 2:45 p.m. Portugal vs. Netherlands
Ramos and Pereyra
ESPN/ESPN3/ESPN Deportes 2:45 p.m. Denmark vs. Germany
Hernandez and Puente
ESPN2/ESPN3/ESPN Deportes at 5 p.m. Monday, June 18 2:45 p.m. Croatia vs. Spain
Rae and Twellman
Palomo and Puente
ESPN/ESPN3/ESPN Deportes 2:45 p.m. Italy vs. Republic of Ireland
Healey and Mustoe
Ramos and Pereyra
ESPN2/ESPN3/ESPN Deportes at 5 p.m. Tuesday, June 19 2:45 p.m. England vs. Ukraine
Darke and McManaman
Hernandez and Noriega
ESPN/ESPN3/ESPN Deportes 2:45 p.m. Sweden vs. France
Rae and Twellman
Ortiz and Fever
ESPN2/ESPN3/ESPN Deportes at 5 p.m.
* ESPN Deportes match coverage will begin at 11:30 a.m. and 2:30 p.m.
* ESPN and ESPN match coverage begins at 11:45 a.m. and 2:30 p.m.
* Each of the two commentator teams – Darke and McManaman, and Healey and Mustoe – will call the matches
Tonight in Toronto, NBC Sports Network continues its 2012 soccer tour into Canada as the U.S. Men’s National Team gets another test in anticipation of World Cup Qualifying for the 2014 tournament in Rio de Janeiro.
The US will take on Canada at BMO Field.
NBC Sports Network’s MLS team of Arlo White will be high above the field with analyst Kyle Martino in between the American and Canadian benches. Russ Thaler will be on hand to host from Toronto.
The game will begin airing at 7 p.m. ET on NBC Sports Network. We have the preview from NBC Sports below for you. Check it all out.
THE U.S. MEN’S NATIONAL SOCCER TEAM TAKES ON CANADA IN A “FRIENDLY” THIS SUNDAY ON NBC SPORTS NETWORK
Primetime Match Sunday at 7 p.m. ET
“After the 4-1 defeat to Brazil in D.C. on Wednesday night, Head Coach Jürgen Klinsmann has called on his team to be ‘nastier’ in future games.” – Arlo White on USA Team
NEW YORK – NBC Sports Network’s soccer coverage continues tonight when the U.S. Men’s National Team faces Canada in a ‘friendly’ game live from BMO Field in Toronto, Canada, on Sunday at 7 p.m. ET. The game is another test for the team as they look to their upcoming World Cup Qualifying matches.
COMMENTATORS: The NBC Sports Group’s lead soccer commentary team of Arlo White (@arlowhite, play-by-play), and Kyle Martino (@kylemartino, “Between the Benches” analyst) will call the game in Toronto. Russ Thaler (@RussThaler) will host the pre-game, halftime and post-game segments live from the stadium.
WHITE ON THE USA TEAM: “After the 4-1 defeat to Brazil in D.C. on Wednesday night, Head Coach Jürgen Klinsmann has called on his team to be ‘nastier’ in future games. In short, he wants the U.S. to get ‘stuck in’ and be more physical. Maybe we’ll see a reaction to that against Canada, which would make an already fierce rivalry, even feistier. The U.S. created plenty of chances against Brazil, and U.S. Soccer fans may finally see their wish granted. Landon Donovan and Clint Dempsey could start an International together under Klinsmann’s reign, for the first time.”
WHITE ON THE CANADIAN TEAM: “This game is being played to celebrate the centenary of the Canadian Soccer Association, and Canada is also preparing for the start of their World Cup qualifying campaign. Look out for the current MLS MVP Dwayne De Rosario for the home side. He’s a magnificent player who is aware that he has one chance left to make it to a World Cup Final.”
Before the day is through, let’s do some linkage for you.
Steve Berkowitz from USA Today looks at the Pac-12′s TV contract which is the richest in college sports (for now).
Speaking of USA Today, Ed Sherman of The Sherman Report says the newspaper is restructuring its sports department and about a dozen staffers have been laid off. That includes Friend of Fang’s Bites Mike McCarthy and Game On! blogger Tom Weir. Very sad to see this. I met Mike a few years ago when we covered an event at ESPN. Good reporter and writer. I hope to be linking to him again soon.
Ed also writes about ESPN holding onto the Nathan’s Hot Dog Eating Contest.
ESPN Ombudsman Jason Fry of the Poynter Institute watches ESPN’s interviewing guru critique the questioning style of some of its reporters.
Marisa Guthrie at the Hollywood Reporter looks at NBCUniversal’s plans to offer some 5,500 hours of coverage on the Olympics.
John Eggerton of Broadcasting & Cable says Golf Channel will have live coverage of U.S. Open qualifying on June 4.
Tim Baysinger at B&C recaps last night’s Sports Business Journal/Sports Business Daily’s Sports Business Awards.
Rich Thomaselli from Advertising Age says the NHL’s social media and traditional ad campaigns have helped bring casual fans to the Stanley Cup Playoffs.
After being disrespected by its own local media last week, the Los Angeles Kings made this infographic giving a brief history on its logo, names of players and number of times the team has been in the postseason. This season, the Kings have stepped its social media campaign and website to provide fans with a very humorous, but also informative experience. Keep it up, Kings. You guys rock!
Eric Deggans of the Tampa Bay Times, writing in the Indiana University National Sports Journalism Center, notes the difficultly for women to find a proper role in sports television.
CNBC’s Darren Rovell says Texas Rangers outfielder Josh Hamilton’s past is preventing collectors from lining up at his doorstep.
Congratulations to Steve Lepore of Puck The Media who has become SB Nation’s NHL Media writer. Steve is a hard worker who has created a very good niche for himself. And his first column for SB Nation is about the ratings for the NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs Western Conference Final clincher.
Steve also writes about the controversy over NHL on NBC charlatan Pierre McGuire’s withholding of information over an incident between the benches during Game 4 of the Eastern Conference Final.
Jerry Barmash of Fishbowl NY says MSG Network will air two specials on the upcoming Belmont Stakes in which I’ll Have Another will go for horse racing’s Triple Crown.
Ken Schott from the Schenectady Gazette says in addition, MSG Plus will air some horse races this summer.
Pete Dougherty at the Albany Times Union writes that ESPN has expanded its 3-D coverage of Wimbledon.
Ken McMillan from the Middletown (NY) Times Herald-Record says Al Jazeera will be launching two soccer channels this summer.
Keith Groller at the Allentown (PA) Morning Call looks at ESPN on ABC’s plans for Sunday’s Indianapolis 500.
Dan Steinberg of the Washington Post’s DC Sports Bog says former ESPN’er Dave Feldman is leaving the local market to go home to his native Northern California.
Dan says former DC NFL Team running back and sports radio host John Riggins will be hosting an outdoors show next year.
Jim Williams from the Washington Examiner says a deadline is fast approaching in which the Nationals will find out how much MASN will be paying them for TV rights.
Mark Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times says the Rays are paying tribute to Fox Sports MLB reporter Ken Rosenthal by wearing bow ties.
Tom Jones of the Times says MLB Network analyst Mitch Williams ripped Tropicana Field.
David Barron from the Houston Chronicle looks at the proposed uses for the abandoned Astrodome.
John Kiesewetter in the Cincinnati Enquirer says Fox Sports is on the Reds’ bandwagon.
Bob Wolfley of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel writes that MLB Walking, Talking Conflict of Interest Bud Selig is holding firm to his retirement date.
Paul M. Banks at Chicago Sports Media Watch says the Big Ten Network has helped to expand the league and in part, raise Northwestern’s profile.
Gordon Monson of the Salt Lake Tribune says even though the Utah Jazz bought the sports radio station where he works, he’ll remain an independent voice.
Chris Jenkins from the San Diego Union-Tribune says Fox Sports San Diego’s Mark Sweeney is a natural fit as Padres analyst.
Tim Sullivan of the Union-Tribune says he enjoys listening to the Padres on the radio.
The Los Angeles Daily News’ Tom Hoffarth can’t believe he’s seeing a farmers dating service ad on NBC Sports Network.
Laura Stone of the Toronto Star writes that a new feature by CBC for the NHL Stanley Cup Final has some hardcore female sports fans hopping mad.
Timothy Burke at Deadspin looks at the Twitter police for college sports programs.
Sports Media Watch notes the increased ratings for the series-clinching game of the NHL Stanley Cup Western Conference Final on NBC Sports Network.
Joe Favorito examines the right way and the wrong way to attract Twitter followers.
Dave Kohl at The Broadcast Booth marvels at the LA media for getting the Kings logo and players wrong during local newscasts.
And I’ll end the linkage there for now. Enjoy the rest of your day.
Some familiar names from ESPN’s soccer coverage will be coming over to call the EURO 2012 soccer tournament starting next month in Poland and the Ukraine. Combined with the play-by-play men already unveiled, the announcing teams will be quite strong for EURO 2012.
Lead analyst for ESPN2′s English Premier League coverage, Steve McManaman will be teamed with lead announcer Ian Darke.
Robbie Mustoe who was on ESPN’s World Cup coverage in 2010 will pair with Adrian Healey. MLS analysts Taylor Twellman and Kasey Keller will alternate working with ESPN UK announcer Derek Rae.
ESPN has also named those analysts working EURO 2012 on ESPN Deportes.
We have the announcement below.
ESPN today announced the match analysts for its presentation of the UEFA European Football Championship 2012 (June 8 to July 1) in Poland and Ukraine.
The English-language analysts will be led by Steve McManaman, a Liverpool FC legend and former England National Team player who had his best performances representing his country at the UEFA European Football Championship 1996. McManaman’s inspired play propelled England to its only semifinal appearance in the UEFA European Championship. McManaman will be paired with the lead play-by-play commentator and his English Premier League booth partner Ian Darke as the primary team.
Other English-language match analysts include former Premier League midfielder Robbie Mustoe, former U.S. Men’s National Team goalkeeper Kasey Keller, and former New England Revolution and U.S. Men’s National Team striker Taylor Twellman. Mustoe, a match analyst for ESPN International who was part of ESPN’s award-winning presentation of the 2010 FIFA World Cup South Africa, will be paired with ESPN’s Major League Soccer voice Adrian Healey. Keller and Twellman will split match analyst roles working with ESPN UK’s Derek Rae, while also contributing studio analysis.
On ESPN Deportes, the Spanish-language booth analysts include Hernan Pereyra, former Mexican National Team players Rafa Puente and José Antonio Noriega.
Pereyra, who has covered several FIFA World Cups, the Mexican soccer league, and other marquee international sporting events, will be paired with Jorge Ramos. Puente, the former Mexican Men’s National Team goalkeeper who later coached Mexican first division clubs such as Pachuca, Club Atlante and Tecos UAG, will work with veteran commentator Fernando Palomo. Rounding out the team is former Mexican Men’s National Team midfielder Noriega, who will be paired with Ricardo Ortiz.
From Friday, June 8, through Sunday, July 1, three ESPN television networks – ESPN, ESPN2 and ESPN Deportes – will combine to present more than 200 hours of live coverage of the UEFA EURO 2012 including all 31 matches live on English-language networks and 27 on the Spanish-language sports network ESPN Deportes. This will mark the most comprehensive presentation ever of the quadrennial European championship in the United States.
- Keller – Currently the record holder as the most-capped goalkeeper in the U.S. Men’s National Team with 102 appearances, Keller started two of three matches in the 1998 FIFA World Cup in France and played all matches in the 2006 FIFA World Cup in Germany. His professional career took him to two of Europe’s best leagues – German Bundesliga and English Premier League – before returning to the U.S. to play three seasons for the Seattle Sounders FC. An analyst for Sounders matches on local television, Keller is also a studio analyst for ESPN’s MLS and U.S. National Team matches.
- McManaman – After earning critical acclaim for his work on ESPN’s 2010 FIFA World Cup coverage, McManaman joined the company as the analyst for Premier League matches and studio analyst for key international events such as FIFA World Cup and U.S. Men’s National Team matches. One of England’s best players in his prime, McManaman is a legend at Liverpool FC after nine seasons and 364 appearances for the club. He was the first English player to win the Champions League with a non-English club while playing for Real Madrid FC.
- Mustoe – He played for 12 seasons in the midfield for Middlesbrough FC (1990-2002). Following his retirement from professional soccer, Mustoe moved to the United States and began coaching soccer. He primarily works on ESPN International’s coverage of top soccer leagues such as Spain’s La Liga, German Bundesliga, the UEFA Champions League, and more.
- Noriega – played professional soccer with various clubs in the Primera Division de Mexico from 1988–2004 and was a member of the Mexican national soccer team from 1993-2002. In 16 professional seasons, Noriega played for six Mexican clubs, most notably, UNAM (1988-1992), Monterrey (1992-96), Santos Laguna (1997-99) and Morelia (2000-02). Currently works for ESPN International and ESPN Deportes, where he mostly appears on Fuera de Juego.
- Pereyra – a veteran Spanish-language radio and television commentator for soccer, Pereyra has covered numerous FIFA World Cups (1998, 2002 and 2010). He is cohost of the weekday afternoon show Jorge Ramos y su Banda, where he is paired with Jorge Ramos on ESPN Deportes Radio (simulcast on ESPN Deportes). Ramos (commentator) and Pereyra (co-commentator) will replicate their on- and off-air chemistry commentating on UEFA EURO 2012 matches for ESPN Deportes.
- Puente – a former goalkeeper for the Mexican National Team and for several Mexican first division clubs who serves as an analyst for ESPN Deportes and ESPN International, including co-host role on Fútbol Picante and Los Capitanes studio programs. Prior to becoming a TV broadcaster, Puente also coached several Mexico first division clubs such as Pachuca, Club Atlante and Tecos UAG.
- Twellman – a former Major League Soccer MVP and New England Revolution’s most prolific scorer who serves as the lead match analyst for MLS on ESPN and U.S. Men’s National Team. His career highlights include leading the Revolution during its most-successful era – four MLS Cup appearances in six years. Twellman played 30 matches for the U.S. senior team after emerging as one of the stars of the 1999 FIFA World Youth Championship in Nigeria.
More stuff coming up.
NBC Sports Network is slowly transitioning to its summer schedule as the number of NHL games it has left to air is dwindling to single digits (one or two more games in the Eastern Conference Final, then Games 3 & 4 of the Stanley Cup Final).
This weekend, NBCSN will carry two MLS games and one International Friendly match between the US Men’s Soccer Team and Scotland.
It also marks the return of veteran soccer play-by-play man JP Dellacamera to the national stage as he’ll call the Sporting KC vs. San Jose Earthquakes game on Sunday.
The main MLS on NBC soccer team of Arlo White and Kyle Martino will call the US vs. Scotland match Saturday night from Jacksonville.
And also on Saturday, NBC Sports Network will air the MLS Cup rematch between Houston Dynamo vs. LA Galaxy.
We have the details below.
THREE SOCCER GAMES – INCLUDING USA FRIENDLY AGAINST SCOTLAND – HIGHLIGHT THIS WEEKEND’S COVERAGE ON NBC SPORTS NETWORK
USA vs. Scotland in Primetime Saturday at 8 p.m. ET
Rematch between 2011 MLS Champion LA Galaxy against Houston Dynamo Saturday at 2:30 p.m. ET
San Jose at Kansas City Sunday at 4:30 p.m. ET
“These guys take massive pride in representing their country. I think Scotland will feel the full force of that in Jacksonville on Saturday.” – Arlo White on USA Team
NEW YORK – May 23, 2012 – NBC Sports Network’s soccer coverage will expand this weekend to include coverage of the U.S. Men’s National Team against Scotland in a ‘friendly,’ live from EverBank Field in Jacksonville, Fla., on Saturday at 8 p.m. ET. The game will be seen as a litmus test for each team’s overall performance as the countdown to the World Cup Qualifiers inch closer.
Additionally, two MLS games will air this weekend beginning Saturday with a 2011 MLS Cup rematch between Houston and 2011 MLS Champions LA Galaxy at 2:30 p.m. ET, followed by Sunday’s game in Kansas City as Sporting KC host the San Jose Earthquakes at 4:30 p.m. ET.
COMMENTATORS: The NBC Sports Group’s lead soccer commentary team of Arlo White (@arlowhite, play-by-play), and Kyle Martino (@kylemartino, “Between the Benches” analyst) will call the game in Jacksonville. Veteran soccer commentator JP Dellacamera (play-by-play) and former MLS player Brian Dunseth (analyst) will call the MLS coverage with Ivan Carter, from Comcast SportsNet Mid-Atlantic, joining them on Sunday to host pre-game, halftime and post-game segments live from LIVESTRONG Sporting Park in Kansas City, Kan.
Steve Busfield The Guardian sports blogger on Arlo White: “Arlo is fantastic. My Seattle friends all miss him, but you can’t blame NBC for picking him up.”
WHITE ON THE USA TEAM: “This is a tremendous thrill for us. We can’t wait to show the U.S. National team as they prepare for the start of qualifying for the 2014 World Cup in Brazil. Head Coach Jürgen Klinsmann has some star names to call upon against Scotland. Clint Dempsey has become a massive star in the English Premier League, Landon Donovan is an MLS Champion with LA, and Tim Howard is regarded as one of the top goalkeepers in the world. Then there are the young players like Terrence Boyd and Juan Agudelo who are desperate to make an impact and launch their international careers. The battle for international caps is intense. These guys take massive pride in representing their country. I think Scotland will feel the full force of that in Jacksonville on Saturday.”
MARTINO ON THE MATCH: “It’s business time. Only three games left for the United States before World Cup Qualifying begins. Scotland will prove to be a great test for Klinsmann and his side as they make their final preparations.”
UPCOMING MLS GAMES ON NBC SPORTS NETWORK: (All Times ET, Home Team Listed First)
Sun., June 17, Chicago vs. New York, 5 p.m.
Sun., June 24, New York vs. D.C, 7 p.m.
Fri., June 29, Kansas City vs. Chicago, 8 p.m.
And I’ll have another soccer-centric post coming up.
Let’s do some sports media thoughts for you on this back to work Monday. As usual, they’re in bullet form.
- Last week’s news that TBS would pick up the new single elimination MLB Wild Card Playoff games for this year and next was not a surprise. TBS has pleased MLB with its postseason coverage since 2007, gaining all of the League Division Series and one League Championship Series, sharing that round with Fox. Not only would TBS pay an extra $10 million for the new playoff games on top of its current fee, but it would also give two LDS games to MLB Network. Now that was a surprise.
It gives MLB Network its first foothold into postseason games after increasing the amount of regular season game telecasts steadily over the network’s first four years of existence. As Richard Sandomir of the New York Times reported on Friday, MLB Network will have Bob Costas and Matt Vasgersian call the LDS games with yet to be named analysts (expect to see Jim Kaat and Mitch Wiiliams or even John Smoltz). It’s a big move for MLB Network. Just as with TBS’ postseason package, the games will be exclusive with no local simulcasts. However, it does give MLB Network some leverage with cable and satellite providers to spread its reach beyond the current 69 million households.
- Also last week, NBC Sports Group announced coverage plans for NBC Sports Network, Bravo, CNBC, MSNBC and Telemundo. With each NBCUniversal channel assigned to certain carry certain sports, it will be a virtual feast for viewers to see the athletes compete. Add this to the live streaming that will be provided on NBCOlympics.com, fans should not miss anything from London this summer.
Now the hosting assignments give us some interesting food for thought. Fred Roggin hosting boxing on CNBC shows consistency from 2008. I was quite surprised about the return of Pat O’Brien to the Olympics. While he really hasn’t been on the national radar since losing his job at Entertainment Tonight and The Insider due to his personal problems, it hasn’t stopped him from working at Fox Sports Radio and making regular appearances on Fox News Channel. I’ll be happy to see Pat make his puns and illiteration attempts from the hallowed grounds of Wimbledon during Olympic tennis.
And I’ll be interested to see how Kelly Tilghman does on MSNBC as she’ll be hosting events there. Kelly has been host and done play-by-play for Golf Channel. I hadn’t seen her as an Olympic host and while she’s been polarizing to golf fans during her stint on GC, I think she’s been pretty decent as a studio host and interviewer, although she sometimes has her strange moments.
We’ll be waiting to see who else will be hosting on NBC Sports Network and on NBC in London.
- And who would have thunk that Al Jazeera, the network known for ruffling feathers in the Middle East could be a player for soccer rights? It’s been steadily obtaining rights to soccer in the Middle East and is about to start networks in France and in the United States. Al Jazeera has the US rights to Spain’s La Liga, France’s La Ligue, and Italy’s Serie A. These had been previously on Gol TV as well as Fox Soccer. Some games were sublicensed to ESPN throughout the years. Now with Al Jazeera obtaining the games, it will create two networks called beIN Sport as Multichannel News’ Mike Reynolds reports. The whole issue is if beIN Sport’s channels, one in English, the other in Spanish can gain wide distribution. If Al Jazeera gets the English Premier League US rights over Fox Soccer and ESPN, then expect plenty of cable and satellite carriage pickups before the summer is out.
That’s going to do it.
Happy Mother’s Day.
It’s been quite the day in sports already. A few thoughts in bullet form.
- Fox promised us unprecedented coverage on the last day of the English Premier League season and it delivered. Using FX, Fox Sports Net, Fuel and Speed in addition to its Fox Soccer, Fox Soccer Plus on online platforms, it provided full coverage of the final day of the EPL season as teams were scrambling for the Title, Champions and Europa League spots and avoiding relegation. With ESPN2 allowed to air the Manchester City-Queens Park Rangers match, Fox focused on the other 9 games of the day. Using FX as its main hub, there were real time updates on the Fox Box as well as cut-ins by Rob Stone showing scores from other games.
If Fox retains the US rights for the English Premier League, I would love to see more of this coverage not only for what was dubbed “Survival Sunday” by Fox, but for the Opening Weekend of the season as well.
I admit I wasn’t a fan of Rob Stone when he was at ESPN, but he’s grown on me as host of the Premier and Champions League on Fox Soccer. And the way Fox utilized its platforms today was excellent. One could argue they should have been doing this all along.
If Fox is going to do this next year, then open up the pay platforms of Fox Soccer Plus, Foxsoccer.com and Fox Soccer2Go for the weekend. Those of us who don’t subscribe to those platforms were shutout today.
- One pet peeve I have about Fox is that it won’t allow online streaming of its sports properties. Whether it be MLB, NASCAR, college football or NFL, the network makes us watch its product on television. If we can’t be in front of a TV, then we’re pure out of luck. Some the online rights are locked with the league as with the case of MLB and the NFL, but ESPN, NBC and CBS have been diligent in getting online rights. Fox remains steadfast in not streaming its events. I hope that changes as the network goes forward with the NFL and any other sports properties it obtains from here on out.
- And Friday’s development that Michelle Beadle is leaving ESPN is not a surprise. While there has been no firm confirmation from neither ESPN, NBC where she’s reportedly heading nor from Michelle herself, she’s about good as gone.
I told you in the past that sports is not what Michelle wants to do full-time. By keeping a hand in special events like the Olympics and the Super Bowl should be enough for her. And by co-hosting Access Hollywood, it gives NBCUniversal a versatile personality.
She’ll do well for NBC.
That’s going to do it for now.
Coming next Saturday, Fox Sports and Fox Deportes will air the UEFA Champions League Final live from Munich, Germany.
Bayern Munich from Germany’s Bundesliga and Chelsea from the English Premier League face off in the Final to be played at Bayern’s home field, the first time that’s ever happened in CL history.
Fox Sports will air the match starting at 2 p.m. Curt Menefee will be the event host and set the scene in Munich. Rob Stone will be the on-site studio host and will be joined by Eric Wynalda and Brad Friedel. Martin Tyler and Gary Neville will call the match.
We have the details from Fox Sports.
Bayern Munich & Chelsea FC Square-Off in Munich for World’s Most-Coveted Club Soccer Prize on May 19
Viewership Has Increased 10-Fold in 10 Years
Los Angeles – Only two teams and one game remain in the 2012 UEFA Champions League, the world’s most-watched elite club soccer tournament. On the grandest stage of European soccer, German club Bayern Munich and England’s Chelsea FC face off inside UEFA Fußball Arena Munchen on Saturday, May 19 in Munich, Germany. Bayern has the advantage of being the first team to play a UEFA Champions League Final in its home stadium, while Chelsea is on a quest to capture its first European Cup. For the third consecutive year, FOX Sports is broadcasting this showcase event live, with coverage beginning at 2:00 PM ET.
Live from Munich, FOX Sports’ Curt Menefee serves as event host, with FOX Soccer’s Rob Stone hosting on-site studio coverage. FOX Soccer analyst and American National Soccer Hall of Famer Eric Wynalda joins Tottenham goalkeeper and former United States National Team player Brad Friedel for pre-game, halftime and post-match analysis. Legendary Sky Sports play-by-play announcer Martin Tyler calls the match with analysis from former Manchester United defender Gary Neville.
FOX Soccer’s pre-game coverage begins at 1:00 PM ET preceding FOX Sports’ over-the-air programming. FOX Deportes is carrying the match live in Spanish, and FOX Soccer re-airs the match at 8:00 PM ET on Saturday night with FOX Soccer Plus doing the same at 5:00 PM ET on Sunday, May 20.
After a week of lead-up programming, FOX Deportes, the nation’s leading Spanish-language sports cable network, begins its coverage on May 19 at 1 PM ET with UCL Final Preview, live from Munich. Match coverage begins at 2:30 PM ET, followed by the post-match celebration at 5:00 PM ET on Lo Mejor de la UCL. At 5:30 PM ET, FOX Deportes airs La Ultima Palabra, a special one-hour postgame show live followed later on by an encore match presentation at 10:30 PM ET. Manning FOX Deportes’ Los Angeles studio are Mauricio Cardenas and Bruno Vain. John Laguna, Christian Bozzo and Daniel Brailovsky are on-site in Munich with reporters Nelson Vignolles and Alejandro Blanco.
U.S. viewership of the UEFA Champions League Final has exploded in recent years. 2011 was the seventh straight year that English-language viewing increased in the U.S. Over the last 10 years, the audience has increased almost 10-fold, from 264,000 viewers on ESPN in 2002 to 2.6 million on FOX in 2011.
The 2011 Champions League Final is the highest-rated and most watched in U.S. history. FSMG’s coverage on FOX (1.4 HH rating, 2.6 million viewers) and FOX Deportes (0.7 HH rating, 1.6 million viewers) combined to generate a 2.1 household rating and 6 share, drawing an audience of 4.2 million viewers nationally, dwarfing the ratings and audience of 2010 by +75% (1.2) and +91% (2.2 million), respectively. Significantly, the 2011 match on FOX and FOX Deportes also bettered the 2009 match, which featured the same Barcelona and Manchester United clubs, by +62% on rating (2.1 vs. 1.3) and +24% on viewership (4.2 million vs. 2.1 million).
Completing one of the most stunning comebacks in UEFA Champions League history, Chelsea is riding significant momentum into Munich after knocking out reigning champion FC Barcelona. After falling behind 2-0 on the road in its second-leg clash with the Catalans, Chelsea stormed back to secure a 2-2 draw, allowing the Blues to advance to the Final 3-2 on aggregate. Remarkably, Chelsea pulled off this feat down a man, after captain John Terry was red carded in the first half. In order to hoist the famed Champions League trophy, Chelsea will have to defeat Bayern without Terry and suspended teammates Ramires, Branislav Ivanovic and Raul Meireles. This is Chelsea’s first Final since 2008, when the Blues lost to Manchester United.
Bayern Munich returns home to Bavaria and has the support of is home fans in the 2012 UEFA Champions League Final. The club already has four European Cups/Champions League titles to its name, having last won the competition in 2001. Managed by Jupp Heynckes, Bayern advances to the tournament’s final stage after defeating Real Madrid on penalties in the second-leg of the semifinals. Bolstered by wingers Arjen Robben and Frank Ribery, the German side has one of the most potent attacks in Europe. Bayern forward Mario Gomez is the second leading scorer in this year’s Champions League (12).
There you have it.
With teams fighting to stave off relegation to the lower Football League, Sunday is going to be a very interesting day in the English Premier League. We already know that Blackburn and Wolverhampton are going to be out of the EPL next season. Queens Park Rangers and the Bolton Wanderers are fighting for that last spot to stay in.
In addition to relegation, there’s the final standings which determine which teams go to the UEFA Champions League for next season (top four places go) and which teams go to the UEFA Europa League (5th and 6th place teams). It’s all quite interesting and will be a day to behold.
With that said, Fox Sports Media Group is devoting nine of its platforms to nine of the ten games being played on this last day of the English Premier League season. FX, Fuel, Fox Sports Net, Fox Soccer, Fox Soccer Plus, Fox Deportes, Speed as well as Fox Soccer2Go and Fox Soccer.com will be utilized in this unprecedented day of soccer coverage in the United States.
The only game not covered by Fox will be Manchester City vs. Queens Park Rangers and that will be aired on ESPN2. All games will begin at 10 a.m. ET with pregame coverage a half-hour earlier.
We have the entire game and network lineups for Sunday. This will be a big day.
LOS ANGELES – Finally, the wait is over – Survival Sunday has arrived. For the first time in U.S. television history, nine live games from the most dramatic day in soccer are being carried on one family of outlets. On Sunday, May 13, the final day of action from the Barclays Premier League, FOX Sports Media Group (FSMG) presents the best in international soccer, as England’s top teams compete for financial survival, hardware and European honors.
Led by FX, FOX’s fully-distributed cable powerhouse, FSMG networks SPEED, FSN, FUEL TV, FOX Soccer, FOX Soccer Plus and FOX Deportes, along with digital platforms FOXSoccer.com and FOX Soccer 2Go, are carrying all nine matches live at 10:00 AM ET. Pre-match coverage begins at 9:30 AM ET on all networks with the exception of SPEED, with all outlets carrying post-match coverage of this hallmark event. FX anchors halftime coverage. Pre-match, halftime and post-match coverage (English) is hosted by Rob Stone, with analysis from Eric Wynalda, Warren Barton and Brian McBride. All FSMG outlets are showing the Barclays Premier League trophy presentation following the day’s events along with highlights from all 10 Survival Sunday games.
Today FSMG announced its full lineup for Survival Sunday, highlighted by Manchester United’s must-win match at Sunderland to keep its title hopes alive on FX and in Spanish on FOX Deportes. Arsenal, Tottenham and Newcastle United are currently behind Manchester City and Manchester United in the race for highly lucrative UEFA Champions League positions. All three clubs fight for their place among the elite on Survival Sunday, with Arsenal traveling to West Bromwich Albion on FSN, Tottenham hosting Fulham and American superstar Clint Dempsey on FOX Soccer, and Newcastle battling Everton carried by FOXSoccer.com.
Chelsea faces recently-relegated Blackburn Rovers on SPEED ahead of their 2012 UEFA Champions League Final clash with Bayern Munich (May 19/FOX Sports). Liverpool looks to rebound from FA Cup disappointment at Swansea City on FUEL TV, while Bolton must win at Stoke City to stay alive in the Barclays Premier League (FOX Soccer Plus).
Teams live and die with each goal on Survival Sunday, and fans can follow all of the action at once via FOXSoccer.com/SurvivalSunday with real-time standings updates after every change. Twitter conversations surrounding all games will be streamlined on FOXSoccer.com/SurvivalSunday, allowing fans to follow the day’s events simultaneously (hashtag #SurvivalSunday). There will be live play-by-play for all 10 Survival Sunday matches with FOX Soccer MatchTrax, along with exclusive video highlights from every game throughout the day.
WHAT: Survival Sunday – the final day of England’s Barclays Premier League, where all 20 teams face off at the same time (9:30 AM ET). The bottom three teams are relegated from the BPL (clubs 18-20), while the top four sides ensure passage to the world’s most prestigious (and lucrative) club tournament – the UEFA Champions League. Teams finishing in fifth and sixth place can qualify for the 2012-2013 UEFA Europa League.
WHEN: Sunday, May 13 – 9:30 AM ET (except SPEED, who will join at 10:00 AM ET).
Sunderland v Manchester United — FX & FOX Deportes
Sir Alex Ferguson’s Manchester United visits Sunderland needing a win to keep title hopes alive in the race against Manchester City.
Chelsea v Blackburn Rovers — SPEED
Chelsea’s midseason revival continues against recently doomed Blackburn. Rovers were relegated following Monday’s defeat to Wigan, and Chelsea needs to win in order to remain in the hunt for European qualification.
Swansea City v Liverpool — FUEL TV
Following FA Cup disappointment against Chelsea, English giant Liverpool and captain Steven Gerrard look to finish their season on a high note against upstart Swansea City.
West Bromwich Albion v Arsenal — FSN
In a vital match for Arsenal, the Gunners aim to secure their place in next season’s UEFA Champions League by winning at West Bromwich Albion.
Tottenham Hotspur v Fulham — FOX Soccer
Chasing an all-important UEFA Champions League position, Tottenham hosts Fulham and American superstar Clint Dempsey at North London’s White Hart Lane.
Stoke City v Bolton Wanderers — FOX Soccer Plus
At one of the most intimidating venues in English soccer, Stoke City hosts a Bolton team desperately seeking to avoid relegation at the Britannia Stadium. Sitting in the relegation zone in eighteenth place, Bolton must win to avoid dropping into the English second division.
Everton v Newcastle United — FOXSoccer.com
In one of the most important clashes on Survival Sunday, Newcastle looks to secure its place in next season’s UEFA Champions League, while Everton needs to win for a shot at UEFA Europa League qualification.
Norwich City v Aston Villa — FOX Soccer 2GO
In its first season since gaining promotion to the Barclays Premier League, Norwich City has impressed and looks to go out on a high against Aston Villa at Carrow Road.
Wigan Athletic v Wolverhampton Wanderers — FOX Soccer 2GO
Safe from relegation after defeating Blackburn Rovers on Monday, a resurgent Wigan team celebrates its Barclays Premier League survival at home against last place Wolverhampton.
Manchester City v Queens Park Rangers — ESPN2/MatchTrax
Manchester City seeks to capture its first Barclays Premier League title against a Queens Park Rangers team fighting to avoid relegation.
On Sunday, ESPN2 airs the rare EPL/MLS Daily Double. Sunday is Relegation Sunday in the English Premier League and with first place on the line, ESPN2 will air the Manchester City-Queens Park Rangers game. If Manchester City wins, it will give the Citizens a rare EPL title. If Queens Park pulls the upset, then it opens the door for Manchester United to win its 13th Premier League Championship and 20th English Football title overall. That game will air at 9:30 a.m. ET with Ian Darke and Steve McManaman on the call.
Then at 12:15 p.m., it’ll be MLS action with the Philadelphia Union hosting the New York Red Bulls with Adrian Healey and Taylor Twellman at PPL Park.
Your ESPN press blurb.
Soccer Doubleheader Sunday – English Premier League Championship on the Line; MLS Eastern Conference Rivalry
ESPN2, ESPN3 and ESPN Deportes will combine to present a live soccer doubleheader on Sunday, May 13, beginning at 9:30 a.m. with the English Premier League’s Manchester City vs. Queen Park Rangers match live on ESPN2 and ESPN3. The match could decide the Premier League championship. With a win at home in Etihad Stadium, Manchester City will capture its third top-flight league title in English football and its first since 1968. A QPR victory would open the door to a Manchester United title, if it wins Sunday. Ian Darke and Steve McManaman, a Liverpool FC legend who spent his last two seasons in professional football playing for Manchester City, will provide commentary. Tato Noriega and Jose Hernandez will call the match in Spanish. Additional coverage of the match will include post-match segments and the trophy presentation if Manchester City wins.
Immediately following at 12:15 p.m., the three networks will also present Major League Soccer Eastern Conference rivalry match between Philadelphia Union vs. New York Red Bulls. Adrian Healey and Taylor Twellman will call the match. Max Bretos and analyst Alexi Lalas will host the studio segments bridging the Premier League match and kickoff of the MLS telecast.
There you have it.
ESPN has tapped popular announcer Ian Darke to be its lead play-by-play man for the Euro 2012™ soccer tournament this summer. Also calling games will be Adrian Healey and Derek Rae. All three called matches for ESPN during the World Cup in South Africa two years ago.
From what I understand from the press release, it appears ESPN will send Darke and a yet-to-be-named analyst to the host sites of Poland and Ukraine to call matches from the preliminary rounds all the way to the Championship Game. Adrian Healey and Derek Rae will call preliminary matches off a monitor as they did for Euro 2010™ which was entirely called from ESPN’s World Headquarters in Bristol, CT. Then either Healey or Rae and a yet-to-be-named analyst will head to Poland-Ukraine to call games in the quarterfinal rounds.
And ESPN Deportes which also has rights to Euro 2012™ will have two announcing teams on-site starting with the quarterfinals.
We have the press release from ESPN.
Critically acclaimed soccer voices Ian Darke and Jorge Ramos will lead the ESPN match commentator teams in English and Spanish languages, respectively, during ESPN’s presentation of the UEFA European Football Championship 2012™, beginning Friday, June 8 through Sunday, July 1, in Poland-Ukraine.
Darke, ESPN’s top English-language soccer voice acclaimed for his work during the 2010 FIFA World Cup and 2011 FIFA Women’s World Cup, will lead a team of three UEFA EURO 2012 English-language match commentators that include ESPN’s Major League Soccer voice Adrian Healey and ESPN UK’s Scottish Premier League commentator Derek Rae. All three called matches during ESPN’s Emmy Award winning presentation of the 2010 FIFA World Cup in South Africa.
Ramos, better known as “el relator de las Americas” – commentator of the Americas – for his work as a popular soccer voice among Spanish-speaking Americans, is part of a team of three ESPN Deportes play-by-play commentators including Fernando Palomo, host of Fuera de Juego, the network’s highest-rated soccer studio program, and versatile ESPN play-by-play commentator Ricardo Ortiz. ESPN Deportes’ three commentators for UEFA Euro 2012 rank among the best collection of seasoned soccer voices on Spanish-language television in the U.S.
The commentator teams will call a significant number of matches from site:
- Darke and an analyst (TBA) will call all their matches from site in Poland-Ukraine beginning with the opening match in group stage through the Final,
- A second English-language commentator team will travel to Poland-Ukraine for matches beginning in the quarterfinal round,
- Two Spanish-language commentator teams, led by Jorge Ramos and Fernando Palomo, will provide on-site commentary starting in the quarterfinals.
Overall, the three television networks – ESPN, ESPN2 and ESPN Deportes – will combine to present more than 200 hours of live coverage of the UEFA EURO 2012 including all 31 matches live on English-language networks and 27 on ESPN Deportes, the most comprehensive presentation ever of the quadrennial European championship in the United States.
Short biographies of ESPN’s EURO 2012 play-by-play commentators:
- Darke: A top British sportscaster who joined ESPN in September 2010 from London-based Sky Sports where he was a soccer and boxing commentator since 1992, Darke is the lead English-language soccer commentator for ESPN. He is the primary play-by-play voice on ESPN U.S. network’s for the English Premier League, the U.S. National Teams (men’s and women’s), MLS Cup and All-Star games, and the FIFA World Cups (men’s and women’s). Prior to his full-time role with ESPN, Darke captured the imagination of fans commentating on U.S. team matches during the network’s Emmy Award winning presentation of the 2010 FIFA World Cup in South Africa. He followed up the spectacular 2010 World Cup performance by delivering critically acclaimed commentaries on ESPN’s FIFA Women’s World Cup Germany 2011 – earning a Sports Emmy nomination for “live sports special” category.
- Healey: After joining ESPN in 2003 as an English-language play-by-play commentator for ESPN International’s telecast of several European leagues, Healey was named the primary English-language voice of Major League Soccer on ESPN in March 2011. His credits include commentating on UEFA Champions League and La Liga matches. Each year since 2006, Healey has played a key role as a commentator for marquee international soccer events on ESPN networks – FIFA World Cups (2006 and 2010), FIFA Women’s World Cups (2007 and 2011), UEFA European Football Championship 2008, and the 2009 FIFA Confederations Cup.
- Ortiz: One of the most versatile Spanish-language televised sports commentators in the U.S. and Latin American region, Ortiz joined ESPN Deportes fulltime in 2011 as the Spanish-language play-by-play commentator for soccer, the NBA, tennis, including the Grand Slams (Australian Open, French Open, Wimbledon and the U.S. Open), and boxing. Prior to ESPN, Ortiz handled play-by-play commentary for Fox Deportes and HBO Spanish Boxing.
- Palomo: A lead European soccer play-by-play commentator on ESPN Deportes, Palomo commentates on Spain’s La Liga matches while also serving as host of Fuera de Juego, the network’s popular weekday soccer studio program which also is aired on ESPN International’s Latin American networks. Palomo joined ESPN in 2000 as a SportsCenter anchor in the Latin American region. From 2004-2006, he served as SportsCenter anchor for ESPN Deportes.
- Rae: Best known in the U.S. for his work as the lead English-language play-by-play commentator for UEFA Champions League from 1995 through 2009, Rae is currently ESPN UK’s lead commentator for the Scottish Premier League. He also commentates on FA Cup, UEFA Europa League, Italian Serie A and German Bundesliga matches. Rae was one of the play-by-play commentators on ESPN’s Sports Emmy Award winning presentation of the 2010 FIFA World Cup in South Africa, as well as the critically acclaimed coverage of the UEFA European Football Championship 2008™.
- Ramos: In a career that has spanned more than three decades, Ramos has served as Spanish-language play-by-play commentator on radio or television for more than 3,000 matches. He has covered every FIFA World Cup since Mexico 86 – a total of seven World Cups. In 2010, he co-hosted the self-titled daily ESPN Deportes Radio soccer talk show Jorge Ramos y su Banda from the famed Nelson Mandela Square in Johannesburg, South Africa, while also providing news and information studio analysis in Spanish and English on ESPN Deportes, ESPN International Networks, and ESPN’s English-language coverage in the U.S.
That is all.
Wasn’t able to post as much as I wanted to yesterday and this weekend has been planned for me once again so I won’t be on too much here today and tomorrow. But if something breaks, I’ll do my best to post it here.
Let’s do some quick links today.
First, Phil Mushnick of the New York Post is in a firestorm for writing this column Friday suggesting the Jay-Z-owned Brooklyn Nets be called the New York N-words. And then went farther by saying the cheerleaders be named the Brooklyn Bitches or Hoes.
After negative reaction, Bob’s Blitz got a hold of Mushnick and he refused to apologize for the column and the Post is backing him. At least for now.
Larry McShane of the New York Daily News looks at the reaction to Mushnick’s column.
MediaRantz says the Post needs to get rid of Mushnick.
Robert Littal of Black Sports Online also calls for the Post to fire Mushnick.
Joe Lucia from Awful Announcing can’t believe Mushnick went so far.
And Tommy Craggs at Deadspin calls Mushnick a troll.
This controversy won’t be going away anytime soon and unless the Post takes some kind of action, I suspect there could be a few protests outside the Post’s offices next week. Unbelievable.
To other stories now.
Rarely do I link to Grantland because most of the stories are boring and way too long, but this one from Bryan Curtis is quite the good read. This focuses on a group of old guard sportswriters known as “The Chipmunks” and how they once represented the best and brightest.
Today’s FA Cup Final in the UK between Chelsea and Liverpool will have a first on British television. ESPN UK’s Rebecca Lowe becomes the first woman to host a major soccer broadcast as Laura Williamon of the London Guardian reports.
Jay Yarow of the Business Insider Sports Page notes Captain Blowhard had to give up his NBA MVP vote because he actually made a wager on the award. Stupid.
Ed Sherman at the Sherman Report talks with NBC’s Tom Hammond about today’s Kentucky Derby.
The Big Lead notes that Dan Patrick is pissed at ESPN once again.
Matt Yoder of Awful Announcing says it’s DP vs. Colin Cowhack of ESPN Radio.
Richard Rys of Philadelphia Magazine looks at the dwindling sportscasts on local TV newscasts.
Diane Pucin of the Los Angeles Times wonders why announcers don’t report on no-hitters in progress.
Tom Hoffarth of the Los Angeles Daily News tackles the same subject.
And that’s where we’ll end it today.
I haven’t been able to links for a couple of days. I have a few leftover stuff since Monday, but nothing totally clogging up my browser, but I do want to give you a full set of stories today.
I’ve done my best to summarize the whole bizarre Sarah Phillips/ESPN.com/Scamming people story and that’s over here. If there any updates today, I’ll try to bring them to you, but it appears that there’s a new development every hour or so.
Let’s try to get what I have to you now.
Tom Weir of USA Today also looks into the Sarah Phillips saga.
Mike McCarthy of USA Today says Tiger Woods is being criticized for doing an end run around the news media and answering questions from fans via social media.
Sports Illustrated’s Richard Deistch critiques ESPN’s and NFL Network’s coverage of the NFL Draft.
Kurt Soller of Esquire catches up with TNT’s Craig Sager and discusses his loud wardrobe.
Multichannel News reports on ESPN’s ratings for its first weekday English Premier League game.
Toni Fitzgerald of Media Life notes the NFL Draft was the second most watched in history.
Former ESPN’er Dana Jacobsen has started her own blog and says she’ll keep us up to date on where she lands next.
Greg Wyshynski at Yahoo’s Puck Daddy notes that HBO has renewed 24/7 for another NHL season and will get more input from the league’s media arm.
Greg talks with NHL Chief Operating Officer John Collins about the league’s Stanley Cup Playoff ratings and other matters.
Jeff John Roberts at paidContent wonders if Bleacher Report can make its writers into viable media stars.
ESPN Ombudsman Jason Fry of the Poynter Review Project looks at one man who oversees the Alleged Worldwide Leader’s interviewing technique.
Ed Sherman at the Sherman Report warns how not to use Twitter like the Chicago Sun-Times’ columnist Joe Cowley.
Jason Dachman of Sports Video Group writes that Harris Corp. which done a lot in developing broadcast equipment and had a hand in sports will now get out of the business.
Timothy Burke at Deadspin has the audio of Gus Johnson calling MLS action over the weekend. That’s right, MLS.
John Koblin at Deadspin says pariah Sarah Phillips and her partner-in-crime, Nilesh Prasad have been career scammers.
Deadspin’s Erik Malinowski has a parody Tweeter breaking character and giving his side of the story in the Sarah Phillips saga.
To Ben Koo of Awful Announcing who notes that the Tuesday late night edition of SportsCenter ended in silence.
Erin Gloria Ryan at Jezebel says the Crossing Broad blog posted an upskirt pic that was shown on TV and the site’s editor doesn’t get why the uproar.
Neil Best of Newsday talks with New York Knicks TV voice and ESPN NBA play caller Mike Breen.
Ken Schott from the Schenectady Gazette writes that MLB Network will air seven Minor League Baseball games this season.
Pete Dougherty of the Albany Times Union says CBS has made one announcement for its SEC football schedule for the fall.
Jonathan Tannenwald of Philly.com talks with Gus Johnson about him calling soccer games.
Dan Steinberg at the Washington Post’s DC Sports Bog is amused at boring and extremely verbose ESPN.com columnist Gregg Easterbrook’s fears about DC NFL Team QB Robert Grifffin III’s play in the rain. I used to love Easterbrook’s TMQ columns, but they now grate on me. Can’t read them anymore.
Barry Jackson at the Miami Herald has some South Florida sports radio moves.
Jerry Garcia at the San Antonio Express-News goes over the Sports Emmy winners.
Mel Bracht from The Oklahoman says the Thunder continue to set local ratings records.
Mel says TNT’s Charles Barkley is squarely in the Thunder’s camp.
Robert Feder at Time Out Chicago says the Chicago Sun-Times have put sexist columnist Joe Cowley on what’s called “Final Notice.”
Paul M. Banks at Chicago Sports Media Watch did not like how one female TV host kept hitting on St. Louis Cardinals World Series hero David Freese during a morning show segment.
Scott D. Pierce of the Salt Lake Tribune has TNT’s Kenny “The Jet” Smith discussing the Utah Jazz’s future.
Bruce Dowbiggin of the Toronto Globe and Mail isn’t too thrilled about having the Maple Leafs on the next season of HBO’s 24/7.
Sports Media Watch says the Manchester Derby scored for ESPN on Monday.
Steve Lepore at Puck The Media says CNBC is doing well with the NHL Stanley Cup Conference Semifinals.
Dave Kohl at the Broadcast Booth has a look at the sports radio scene across the country.
Normally I don’t link to Bleacher Report slideshows and it’s one of the things I’ve disliked about the site for a long time, but I will link to the 20 Hottest Redheads slideshow only for the fact that they used a pic that I posted of Jen Royle from last year’s Five Women Who Make Me Stop Flipping The Remote post. Actually that pic came from Jen herself so they should really credit her and not me.
And that’s going to do it.
ESPN aired its first ever weekday English Premier League game and despite protests from viewers who would have rather watched something else, the ratings show that the decision to air the Manchester Derby between rivals Manchester City and Manchester United was a good one.
Overall, the game that saw the Citizens beat the Red Devils, 1-0 received an 0.8 rating and an average audience of 1.033 million viewers making it the most watched EPL game on US cable television in history and it was on a weekday afternoon no less.
Perhaps this will lead to more EPL weekday games on ESPN as they either have been aired on ESPN2 or ESPN Deportes. It all depends on whether ESPN is part of the EPL US TV mix as the rights are up after this season.
Here’s the press release.
Most-watched EPL match on ESPN Deportes
Monday’s Manchester derby, a 1-0 home win for Manchester City over Manchester United in a 2011-2012 Premier League showdown, was seen on ESPN by an average of 1.033 million viewers (832,000 television homes), based on a 0.8 rating, making it the most-watched Premiership telecast on U.S. cable television, according to Nielsen.
The Manchester derby telecast out-delivered the previous high, an ESPN2 telecast of Arsenal vs. Chelsea, seen by an average of 610,000 viewers on Monday, Dec. 27, 2010.
The five most-viewed Premiership matches on U.S. cable TV:
Date Matchup Viewers – P2+ Network Mon, April 30, 2012 Manchester City vs. Manchester United 1,033,000 ESPN Mon., Dec. 27, 2010 Chelsea vs. Arsenal 610,000 ESPN2 Sat., Feb. 11, 2012 Liverpool vs. Manchester United 588,000 ESPN2 Sun., Feb. 6, 2011 Liverpool vs. Chelsea 579,000 FOX Soccer Mon., Dec. 13, 2010 Arsenal vs. Manchester United 570,000 ESPN2
Additionally, Monday’s Manchester City vs. Manchester United match was the most-viewed Premier League telecast on ESPN Deportes, the Spanish-language sports network which began featuring EPL matches in August 2010. The match earned a 4.0 Hispanic coverage rating, representing 205,000 Hispanic households (273,000 Hispanic viewers, P2+). The previous high on ESPN Deportes delivered a 2.5 Hispanic coverage rating, 127,000 households, (183,000 Hispanic viewers) for Blackburn vs. Man United on April 2, 2012.
ESPN3 and WatchESPN
On ESPN3 and WatchESPN, an average minute audience of nearly 87,200 people watched the Manchester derby via computers, smartphones, tablets and Xbox, and logging a total of 13.1 million minutes across platforms.
ESPN announces this morning it has launched a new soccer site called “ESPN FC” which now is devoted to the upcoming Euro 2012 tournament, the second biggest soccer tournament in the world after the World Cup. ESPN FC will eventually house all of ESPN’s soccer resources including Soccernet.
The site will include videos, all of its soccer information and be accessible for fans of the beautiful game all over the world. Not only will it have an online site, but it has been optimized for mobile and tablets as well.
We have the press release and the new logo for ESPN FC below.
ESPN, Inc. this week will introduce ESPNFC, a new multi-language and multi-country brand for soccer fans around the world across TV, radio, print, online, print and mobile. Just in time for the 2012 UEFA European Football ChampionshipTM, the new offering will bring together all of ESPN’s soccer properties and house them under one universally recognized name. Over time, ESPNFC will add global and regional contributors to ensure coverage of all news and developments 24/7, regardless of where they happen in the world. Online and on mobile, ESPNFC will have the ability to detect where a fan is accessing content, and deliver locally relevant content for that region and serve that content in the native language. ESPNFC will also provide unique, customizable digital opportunities for marketers who can work with ESPN to reach sports fans on both a global and regional scale using ESPN’s worldwide sales teams.
John Skipper, President, ESPN, Inc. and Co-Chairman, Disney Media Networks, said: “ESPN is solidifying its dedication to soccer year-round with the launch of ESPNFC. It represents one of ESPN’s most significant global commitments to the sport and leverages the core strength of what ESPN does well – serve sports fans. In short, ESPNFC is the definitive source for soccer coverage worldwide.”
Beginning this week, fans can experience a preview of ESPNFC with branded content online and on mobile platforms specific to the EURO 2012 tournament in Poland and Ukraine. Later this year online and on mobile – around the start of new soccer seasons around the world – ESPNFC will expand to encompass all major leagues and competitions worldwide. ESPNFC will also be integrated into ESPNdeportes.com, which serves the Spanish-speaking community in the US, and across soccer content on many of ESPN’s global TV, radio and print platforms. The company will also rename its signature global multi-platform soccer debate and discussion show to ESPNFC PressPass (from ESPNsoccernet PressPass), reflecting the new brand.
Throughout the EURO 2012, ESPNFC will provide comprehensive coverage of one of the leading international soccer competitions, including live TV coverage, on-demand video highlights, studio programming clips, news, analysis and commentary, real-time scores, stats and more. Its new global news-gathering operations will organize a worldwide network of ESPN writers and analysts covering the latest news and developments around the clock, including contributions from former England manager Glenn Hoddle plus tournament coverage with team previews of all 16 teams, stadium profiles and tactical insight supported by a EURO 2012 Blog Network of all countries competing.
Inside ESPNFC, fans can access Live MatchHQ, a re-imagined and enhanced version of GameCast which provides the live game experience for those who are not able to watch the game live. It also provides data-driven content from the live experience, including real-time scores and stats, highlights, message boards and more – all in one place. Additionally, ESPNFC will feature its comprehensive EURO 2012 Top 40 Player Rankings with contributions from ESPN soccer experts Ian Darke, Steve McManaman, Alexis Lalas, Taylor Twellman, Shaka Hislop, Gabriele Marcotti, John Brewin, Andy Brassell, Derek Rae, Tommy Smyth, Robbie Mustoe and others. During the tournament, PressPass will run seven days a week with companion segments and social media integrations.
EURO 2012 on ESPN Platforms
ESPN TV networks will combine to televise more than 200 hours of live coverage of the EURO 2012 with all 31 matches available in high definition, with additional coverage carried on ESPN3, WatchESPN, ESPN Deportes Radio and ESPN Mobile TV:
ESPN & ESPN2: Every ESPN and ESPN2 match will feature 15-minute pregame, halftime and a postgame shows. The opening match will feature a 30-minute pregame program, while the quarterfinal through final matches will each include 45 minutes of pregame content. A live, 30-minute UEFA EURO 2012 Report show will air in-between matches from June 8-15.
ESPN Deportes: The Spanish-language home of the EURO 2012 in the United States will provide the most-comprehensive coverage of the event with more than 6.5 live hours on days with two match windows, from June 9 – 15. Highlights from Fuera de Juego include a 30-minute pregame show beginning at 11:30 a.m.; a halftime program; a 30-minute program aired in-between matches; and a special one-hour postgame at 5 p.m. Daily coverage will be on ESPN Deportes SportsCenter at 6 p.m., Juego Cruzado at 7 p.m. and Cronometro at 7:30 p.m. On opening day, Friday, June 8, the pregame program will expand to one hour beginning at 11 a.m., and on Sunday, July 1, the title match will be preceded by a 90-minute pregame show. (Note: On days with single match windows, coverage will begin at 2 p.m. ET)
ESPN Digital Platforms: ESPN3, ESPN’s live multi-screen sports network, will simulcast all 31 matches in Spanish and English. All matches will be available for replay on ESPN3 shortly after completion and archived through the end of the calendar year (Dec. 31, 2012). Fans will also be able to go to WatchESPN to catch all the ESPN, ESPN2 and ESPN3 live match action online at WatchESPN.com or on smartphones and tablets via the WatchESPN app. The service – available to video subscribers of Time Warner Cable, Bright House Networks and Verizon FiOS TV – gives fans the ability to watch ESPN’s live networks, no matter where they are. A total of 25 matches will also be made available live on ESPN Mobile TV.
ESPN On Demand: Every match will be made available in full the day it airs. Additionally, ESPN Deportes On Demand will make a highlight of every game available, in addition to full length matches from Spain and Portugal.
ESPN Caribbean: Will distribute the EURO 2012 as part of ESPN’s broad multimedia rights agreement with the Union of European Football Associations (UEFA) for the UEFA European Football Championships(tm) until 2017. The EURO 2012 will air on the ESPN Caribbean and ESPN2 Caribbean networks, and on ESPNPlay.com, the recently launched broadband player servicing the region. Coverage will include all 31 EURO 2012 matches. Additional coverage will include pre-match, halftime and post-match programming, news and highlights shows on match days, unlimited re-air rights across all networks and media platforms, magazine programs, and more.
ESPN The Magazine: Hitting newsstands on May 18, a EURO 2012 preview section will be included in the World Football issue featuring Wayne Rooney on the cover with story written by renowned soccer writer David Winner. The issue includes contributions from ESPN’s Leander Schaerlaeckens and Roger Bennett with scouting reports of the 16 teams, analysis of who will/won’t win, breakout players, stats and more. Other featured content will include:
- Josh Dean on the apparent suicide of former Welsh manager Gary Speed and what it reveals about the English game and nationalism in soccer;
- Bennett on one of the most dramatic moments in all of sports, the penalty-kick shootout, via graphics, heat charts and text blurbs;
- Brett Forrest on the proliferation of soccer match-fixing and betting scandals around the world and Luke Cyphers with a sidebar on corruption within FIFA;
- Wayne Drehs on former US coach Bob Bradley and his current role as coach of the Egyptian national team;
- Sebastian Garcia Q&A with Neymar, Brazil’s hottest prospect and future star of Europe, with additional coverage from Cyphers and Doug McIntyre on the state of the US men’s national team heading into friendly with Brazil;
- Jordan Brenner on what US sports can draw from the way international soccer works; and
- McIntyre breaking down where in the world Americans are playing abroad, as well as a feature on why the Seattle Sounders are America’s best-run soccer franchise.
ESPN Fantasy: Fans will also be able to engage with the EURO 2012 via two fantasy games launching specifically around the tournament. EURO 2012 Bracket Predictor allows fans to predict the teams that will advance out of each of the four groups, in addition to picking the winner of the seven knockout phase matches throughout the Finals in a bracket-style format. Additionally, EURO 2012 Manager challenges fans to select a roster of goalies, defenders, midfielders and forwards from the participating countries. Rosters can be changed a total of five times throughout the tournament, with points awarded according to the scoring system.
Let’s do some linkage today. Been doing pretty good in providing links this week and I don’t want to stop.
Starting with Michael Hiestand of USA Today, he talks with ESPN bloviator Chris Berman who compares himself to Ted Williams, then tries not to compare himself to Ted Williams, claims he doesn’t pay attention to criticism when he clearly does and then makes no sense about cameras. Yes, I’m showing my anti-Chris Berman bias.
Tom Weir of USA Today’s Game On writes that Jose Canseco’s Twitter account is back up and running. Oh joy.
At The Sherman Report, Ed Sherman looks at some classic anti-Mel Kiper rants from ESPN’s past coverage of the NFL Draft.
Sports Business Daily notes that Los Angeles Lakers nutjob Metta World Peace was a no-show on Conan O’Brien TBS program after his 7 game suspension for elbowing Oklahoma City Thunder forward James Harden.
John Ourand of Sports Business Journal writes about Fox’s deal with Golden Boy Promotions that will put live fights on Fuel and Fox Deportes.
Michael Bradley at the Indiana University National Sports Journalism Center says NHL ratings are up significantly for the Stanley Cup Playoffs, which seemingly condones violence on the rink.
Tim Baysinger at Broadcasting & Cable notes that ABC’s ratings for the NBA are up 10% over last year despite the lockout that wiped out the first month of the season.
Mike Reynolds from Multichannel News says the Stanley Cup Playoffs are good to the NBC Sports Network.
Multichannel News says Speed has renewed the rights to the 24 Hours of LeMans road race.
Tony Manfred of the Business Insider Sports Page has video of Chelsea’s goal that put them in the UEFA Champions League Final, but the best part was Gary Neville’s on-air orgasm for Sky Sports.
Jim Edwards of the Business Insider Sports Page looks into NBC’s reasons for an almost $1 million price tag for a 30 second ad for its Thanksgiving Night NFL game.
Matt Yoder of Awful Announcing has Mike “Doc” Emrick in the latest edition of his podcast.
Matt has great video of some awkward banter between SportsCenter anchors Steve Weissman and Sage Steele. Poor Sage.
CNBC’s Darren Rovell tells us that Shake Shack could be in more MLB parks around the country.
Leah Michaels of GoLocal Providence says ESPN’s Chris Berman was at his alma mater to honor Brown University’s athletic director.
All Access has Fox Sports Radio’s coverage plans for the NFL Draft.
Steven Beardsley of Stars and Stripes says NFL Network will feature cutaways during the NFL Draft to a battalion of troops based in Germany.
Kevin Paul Dupont in the Boston Globe provides a brief history on the greatest tradition in sports, the hockey handshake at the end of every playoff series.
In the New York Post, Phil Mushnick reports that ESPN Radio is close to deal with the New York Yankees that would put the team on FM after ten years of being on WCBS-AM.
Richard Sandomir of the New York Times looks at the ratings for the NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs.
Newsday’s Neil Best says the ESPN and NFL Network made the right call in not spoiling draft picks before they’re announced.
Pete Dougherty at the Albany Times Union says we’re still waiting for the start times for the NHL Games 7 on Thursday.
Rick Bozich of the Louisville Courier-Journal says he listened to the radio on Saturday over waiting for Fox to switch to Philip Humber’s perfect game.
Glenn Guilbeau in the Monroe (LA) News Star has New Orleans Saints interim coach Joe Vitt blasting ESPN for its latest story on the team.
KBTX in College Station, TX says Fox Sports Southwest received record ratings for the Pudge Rodriguez retirement ceremony before Monday’s Yankees-Rangers game.
George M. Thomas in the Akron Beacon Journal tells us that the networks are all over the NFL Draft.
Philip Hersh of the Chicago Tribune says swimmer Missy Franklin has become of the face of NBC’s Olympic promotional campaign.
Robert Kurson at Chicagoside Sports explains why after 25 years, he no longer listens to sports radio.
Matt Solinsky of the Desert (CA) Sun writes that Time Warner Cable and Fox Sports San Diego continue carriage talks that would put Padres games back on the provider.
Jamie Sturgeon of the Financial Post has CBC vowing in an increasingly expensive world to keep Hockey Night in Canada.
Steve Lepore at Puck The Media talks about NBC Sports Group’s ratings for the NHL Playoffs on Monday.
Sports Media Watch explores ABC’s second straight year for record NBA TV ratings.
Joe Favorito looks at how sports brands can tap into National Train Day next month.
And that will put a wrap on the links.
After ESPN2 established itself as the network for early Saturday morning and occasional Monday afternoon English Premier League games, ESPN proper, the actual Mothership will air an EPL match of its own and it will be a doozy.
On Monday, April 30, ESPN will air the first place showdown between Manchester United and Manchester City. Coverage starts at 2:30 p.m. ET wit the match starting a half-hour later. Ian Darke and Steve McManaman call the game.
Manchester United is on top of the English Premier League table with 83 points. Manchester City is in second with 80 and a win puts them in a tie with the Red Devils. A win by Manchester United gives them a nice 6 point cushion with two matches to play.
We have the ESPN preview below.
ESPN Deportes Expands Coverage with 30-minute Los Capitanes Beginning at 2 p.m.
ESPN will present the live English-language telecast of Manchester City vs. Manchester United, the most-anticipated and potentially title-deciding matchup of the 2011-12 English Premier League, from Etihad Stadium in Manchester, England, on Monday, April 30, at 2:30 p.m. ET (kick at 3 p.m.), it was announced today.
Previously scheduled on ESPN2, the Manchester derby will mark the first time a weekday Premier League match will be aired on ESPN. The match will be preceded by the daytime live edition of ESPN’s flagship news and information program – SportsCenter.
“Given the magnitude of this match, we wanted to take advantage of the live SportsCenter lead-in to incorporate our on-site resources in previewing what will be the biggest match of the season in the English Premier League,” said Brian Kweder, ESPN senior director, programming and acquisitions.
In addition, ESPN Deportes’ Spanish-language coverage of the match will include a 30-minute special edition of Los Capitanes, the commentary program hosted by José Ramón Fernández and other legendary sports journalists, as they discuss and debate the latest sports news, information and issues. ESPN3, the live multi-screen sports network, will carry the live presentation of the match in both English and Spanish.
ESPN’s TV coverage:
- Ian Darke and Steve McManaman will provide English-language commentaries;
- ESPN UK’s Darrell Currie will handle pitch-side reporting;
- José Hernández and Tato Noriega (analyst) will call the match in Spanish language on ESPN Deportes;
- On Los Capitanes: Fernández, Rafael Puente, Héctor Huerta, Ángel García Toraño and Barak Fever.
About Monday’s Manchester Derby:
With three match days remaining in the season, Manchester United sits atop the Premiership standings with 83 points from 35 matches. Manchester City is a close second at 80 points, and Monday’s Manchester City derby will likely decide the winner of one of the most-coveted trophies in professional league soccer.
- The two teams have scored the most goals in the league – Manchester City (87) and Manchester United (86).
- They have also conceded the fewest goals: Manchester City (27) and Manchester United (32).
- Manchester City seeks its third English league title, first since 1968.
- Manchester City is undefeated (16-0-1) at home this season and is unbeaten in 27 straight league home games. Its last loss was to Everton in December 2010.
- Defending champion Manchester United would be the first team to win 20 English titles.
Let’s do some megalinks on this Friday. My apologies for the lack of posts yesterday. The site was swamped with people linking to my post on How to Avoid Paying the $3.99 Fee For March Madness Live and it was down for most of the day. We seem to be ok today, although the site was down for a short stretch in the morning. But we’re back up now and time for some megalinks on this Friday.
The Weekend Viewing Picks are up and running. Lots of sports as the winter NCAA Championships including the basketball tournaments are underway.
Let’s get to your links.
Michael Hiestand from USA Today praises CBS/Turner for bringing the NCAA head of men’s basketball officiating back to explain controversial calls.
Reid Cherner of USA Today’s Game On blog remembers a great NCAA Tournmament buzzer beater from 1981 as called by NBC’s Marv Albert.
Sports Business Daily notes the overnight ratings for Thursday’s games from the NCAA Tournament were down, but still considered a win for CBS/Turner.
Matt Carmichael from Advertising Age tells us which two schools were Googled the most during yesterday’s NCAA Tournament action.
Dan Fogarty at SportsGrid has the absolutely hilarious video of a WGN morning news anchor trying to amp up the volume at ESPN’s Dick Vitale while technical difficulties arise.
Karen Hogan from Sports Video Group writes that the National Invitation Tournament may be the NCAA Tournament’s ugly sister, but it still gets major treatment from ESPN.
To Matt Yoder at Awful Announcing who notes another Twitter feud involving CNBC’s Darren Rovell, this one with Bomani Jones.
Sports Media Watch says Thursday’s 2nd round NCAA Tournament games received slightly lower overnight ratings from the year before.
Dave Kohl of The Broadcast Booth wants to know why name calling in sports radio is a more punishable offense than inaccurate reporting.
Greg Wyshynski of Yahoo’s Puck Daddy asks if the NHL’s new Stanley Cup ad campaign to replace the great “History Will Be Made” promos can be as successful.
Laura Northrup of the Consumerist wonders why NBA League Pass hasn’t adjusted to Daylight Savings Time?
All Access says ESPN Deportes Radio in Chicago has picked up the Spanish rights to the White Sox.
La Liga Talk has learned that Al Jazeera has obtained the US TV rights to Spain’s La Liga from Gol TV.
East and Mid-Atlantic
The Boston Globe’s Chad Finn talks with ESPN’s Dick Vitale.
At SB Nation Boston, Boston Sports Media Watch’s Bruce Allen says social networking may have created spoiled fans.
Tazina Vega from the New York Times says the NHL is hoping to lure viewers by airing all of its Stanley Cup Playoff games on various NBC Sports platforms.
Phil Mushnick of the New York Post feels the CBS/Turner NCAA Tournament collaboration has become the Home Shopping Network. Whatever.
The Post’s Justin Terranova talks with CBS/Turner analyst Clark Kellogg.
Justin has 5 questions for MSG Network NBA analyst Kelly Tripucka.
Dan Steinberg at the Washington Post’s DC Sports Bog notes that the Onion has skewered the DC NFL Team.
Jim Williams of the Washington Examiner talks with a Turner Sports Interactive executive on how Twitter is incorporated into this year’s NCAA Tournament coverage.
Barry Jackson of the Miami Herald says NBC will air this fall’s Miami-Notre Dame football game in primetime.
David Barron from the Houston Chronicle notes that CBS/Turner’s Charles Barkley criticized Baylor’s ugly neon yellow uniforms.
David has the CBS/Turner announcing assignments for Saturday’s NCAA Tournament action.
Mel Bracht from The Oklahoman notes that Cox Cable subscribers can access the NCAA March Madness Live app for free provided they authenticate.
John E. Hoover from the Tulsa World says the Big 12′s new TV deals will ensure the survival of the conference.
John Kiesewetter of the Cincinnati Enquirer notes that Reds voice Marty Brennaman can be heard in a new UPS March Madness ad.
While Bob Wolfley of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel enjoys the NCAA Tounament, there are some things he can do without.
Ed Sherman at Crain’s Chicago Business announces he’ll no longer be writing his sports business and media blog for the publication.
Ed says he will be launching a new site on the sports media and I look forward to seeing it when it finally comes to fruition.
Brigid Sweeney of Crain’s Chicago Business notes that Bulls TV analyst Stacey King now has a new fashion line.
Paul Christian at the Rochester (MN) Post-Bulletin says the national Junior College championships can be seen online.
Dan Caesar of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch says the local CBS affiliate didn’t help matters by taking up a large portion of the screen during NCAA Tournament action for weather updates.
Bill Center at the San Diego Union-Tribune says maybe, maybe Fox Sports San Diego will launch on Saturday provided MLB approval comes that quickly.
Jim Carlisle of the Ventura County Star looks at the Erin Andrews network sweepstakes.
Jim says the NCAA Tournament has become predictable.
Jim has his weekend viewing picks.
Richard Horgan of Fishbowl LA says ESPN will not discipline its SoCal reporters for getting a big story wrong on the Dodgers ownership bid process.
We are going to end the links there. Not as many as in past weeks, but still a hefty amount. Enjoy your weekend.
Four years ago, ESPN laid the groundwork for its highly praised international soccer coverage by doing a bang-up job with Euro 2008 in Austria and Switzerland. While the games were called off a monitor in Bristol, CT, ESPN provided understated coverage that was widely praised. There was only one huge case of technical difficulty that affected the coverage not only in Bristol, but around the world.
But that incident asides, Euro 2008 gave ESPN a blueprint to cover the 2010 FIFA World Cup in South Africa and since then, soccer has had a home on the Alleged Worldwide Leader.
This year, ESPN will be all over Euro 2012 in Poland and Ukraine. This is the 2nd biggest international soccer competition after the World Cup.
There will be 16 teams vying for the European Football Championship title. Spain which won the 2010 World Cup also took the Euro 2008 title and looks to defend its championship.
Traditional soccer powerhouses England, France, Italy, the Netherlands, Germany, Portugal and Denmark will be among the 16 teams vying for the Euro 2012 Championship.
ESPN and ESPN2 will combine to air all 31 games of the tournament. This year’s coverage will include pregame, halftime and postgame studio programming.
ESPN Deportes will air 27 games throughout the month of June.
We have the ESPN press release.
All matches live and in High Definition; ESPN3 to Simulcast all Matches in English and Spanish on ESPN3
All 31 Matches on ESPN Deportes – 27 Live; Extensive Surround Programming on ESPN Deportes
ESPN networks will combine to televise more than 200 hours of live coverage of the UEFA European Football Championship 2012™ beginning Friday, June 8, through Sunday, July 1, in eight cities across Poland and Ukraine.
ESPN Deportes, the company’s Spanish-language sports network, will lead the three television networks (ESPN and ESPN2) with 106 hours of programming featuring 27 live matches and four tape-delayed telecasts on concurrent match windows. ESPN will present 22 matches and surround programming – pregame, halftime and postgame shows – totaling 62 hours, and ESPN2 will feature 33 hours of coverage with nine matches and surround programming, all live.
All 31 matches will be available in high definition and carried on ESPN3, WatchESPN, ESPN Deportes Radio, and 25 matches live on ESPN Mobile TV. This will be the first time the UEFA European Football Championship will be available on ESPN Deportes HD.
This will mark the most comprehensive coverage of the three-week competition in the United States. In 2008, ESPN2, ESPN, ESPN Classic and ABC combined to present live all 31 matches of the UEFA European Football Championship. ESPN Deportes, the Spanish-language home of the championship, also televised all 31 matches – five on tape-delay. Key programming highlights:
PREGAME, HALFTIME AND POSTGAME SEGMENTS
For the first time, ESPN match telecasts for the UEFA European Football Championship will include pregame, halftime and postgame studio segments. The pregame segments will include the teams walking onto the pitch, the national anthems and ceremonial handshakes – all symbolic traditions of signature international soccer competitions.
- ESPN/ESPN2: Every ESPN and ESPN2 match will feature a 15-minute pregame, halftime and a postgame shows. The opening and final matches will each have a 30-minute pregame program. ESPN’s flagship news and information program SportsCenter will air in-between matches on weekdays with two match windows.
- ESPN Deportes: The Spanish-language home of the UEFA European Football Championship 2012 in the United States will provide the most-comprehensive coverage of the event with more than 6.5 live hours on days with two match windows, from June 9 – 15. Highlights include a 30-minute pregame show beginning at 11:30 a.m.; a halftime program; a 30-minute program aired in-between matches; and a special one-hour postgame edition of Fuera de Juego at 5 p.m. Daily coverage will be on ESPN Deportes SportsCenter at 6 p.m., Juego Cruzado at 7 p.m. and Cronometro at 7:30 p.m. On opening day, Friday, June 8, the pregame program will expand to one hour beginning at 11 a.m., and on Sunday, July 1, the title match will be preceded by a 90-minute pregame show. (Note: On days with single match windows, coverage will begin at 2 p.m. ET)
- ESPN Deportes programming vice president Freddy Rolón discussed the network’s planned coverage of UEFA EURO 2012 on ESPN Front Row.
ESPN’s signature broadband network will provide live online simulcasts of all 31 matches in Spanish and English. The service will also feature ESPN and ESPN2’s English-language presentation of live pregame, halftime and postgame segments, as well as ESPN Deportes’ live surround programming around the 31 matches.
Additionally, all 31 matches will be archived and can only be accessed on ESPN3 through July 31, 2012, and non-exclusively through the end of the calendar year (Dec. 31, 2012). All matches will be available for replay on ESPN3 shortly after completion.
ABOUT UEFA EURO 2012
With 13 of the 16 national teams in the championship ranked among top 20 teams in the FIFA World Rankings, the UEFA European Football Championship is arguably the most prestigious and competitive international soccer tournament in the world. The first championship was in 1960, hosted by France.
Teams representing the 16 nations compete in the Championship. Of these, 14 earned spots in the three-week tournament following a two-year qualification process among 50 UEFA member nations while the host nations – Poland and Ukraine – received automatic berths.
Current 2010 FIFA World Cup champion, Spain, won the last European Championship – UEFA EURO 2008 – hosted by Austria and Switzerland.
UEFA EURO 2012 – Groups:
GROUP A GROUP B GROUP C GROUP D Poland (#70) Netherlands (#3) Spain (#1) Ukraine (#59) Greece (#14) Denmark (#10) Italy (#8) Sweden (#18) Russia (#13) Germany (#2) Republic of Ireland (#20) France (#17) Czech Republic (#29) Portugal (#6) Croatia (#9) England (#5)
Key matchups in the group stage:
- Netherlands vs. Germany (Wed., June 13 at 2:45 p.m.): Traditional European rivals and two of the top teams in the world playing in the second of three matches in Group B – the tournament’s “group of death”.
- Spain vs. Italy (Sun., June 10 at 12 p.m.): A matchup between the last two FIFA World Cup champions in their first Group C match, where both teams are favored to advance.
- France vs. England (Mon., June 11 at 12 p.m.): Traditional powers in European soccer entering the tournament with a recent history of underachieving in marquee tournaments.
- Germany vs. Portugal (Sat., June 9 at 2:45 p.m.): Germany has beaten Portugal in their last two matches – at the 2006 FIFA World Cup and UEFA EURO 2008. Each team needs a result in the first of their three Group matches.
Match schedule (Subject to change):
Date Time (ET) Match Site Networks Friday, June 8 12 p.m. Poland vs. Greece Warsaw ESPN/ESPN3/ESPN Deportes 2:45 p.m. Russia vs. Czech Republic Wroclaw ESPN/ESPN3/ESPN Deportes Saturday, June 9 12 p.m. Netherlands vs. Denmark Kharkiv ESPN/ESPN3/ESPN Deportes 2:45 p.m. Germany vs. Portugal Lviv ESPN/ESPN3/ESPN Deportes Sunday, June 10 12 p.m. Spain vs. Italy Gdansk ESPN/ESPN3/ESPN Deportes 2:45 p.m. Republic of Ireland vs. Croatia Poznan ESPN/ESPN3/ESPN Deportes Monday, June 11 12 p.m. France vs. England Donetsk ESPN/ESPN3/ESPN Deportes 2:45 p.m. Ukraine vs. Sweden Kiev ESPN/ESPN3/ESPN Deportes Tuesday, June 12 12 p.m. Greece vs. Czech Republic Wroclaw ESPN/ESPN3/ESPN Deportes 2:45 p.m. Poland vs. Russia Warsaw ESPN/ESPN3/ESPN Deportes Wednesday, June 13 12 p.m. Denmark vs. Portugal Lviv ESPN/ESPN3/ESPN Deportes 2:45 p.m. Netherlands vs. Germany Kharkiv ESPN/ESPN3/ESPN Deportes Thursday, June 14 12 p.m. Italy vs. Croatia Poznan ESPN2/ESPN3/ESPN Deportes 2:45 p.m. Spain vs. Republic of Ireland Gdansk ESPN2/ESPN3/ESPN Deportes Friday, June 15 12 p.m. Ukraine vs. France Donetsk ESPN2/ESPN3/ESPN Deportes 2:45 p.m. Sweden vs. England Kiev ESPN2/ESPN3/ESPN Deportes Saturday, June 16 2:45 p.m. Czech Republic vs. Poland Wroclaw ESPN2/ESPN3/ESPN Deportes 2:45 p.m. Greece vs. Russia Warsaw ESPN/ESPN3/ESPN Deportes at 5:30 p.m. Sunday, June 17 2:45 p.m. Portugal vs. Netherlands Kharkiv ESPN/ESPN3/ESPN Deportes 2:45 p.m. Denmark vs. Germany Lviv ESPN2/ESPN3/ESPN Deportes at 5:30 p.m. Monday, June 18 2:45 p.m. Croatia vs. Spain Gdansk ESPN/ESPN3/ESPN Deportes 2:45 p.m. Italy vs. Republic of Ireland Poznan ESPN2/ESPN3/ESPN Deportes at 5:30 p.m. Tuesday, June 19 2:45 p.m. England vs. Ukraine Donetsk ESPN/ESPN3/ESPN Deportes 2:45 p.m. Sweden vs. France Kiev ESPN2/ESPN3/ESPN Deportes at 5:30 p.m. Thursday, June 21 2:45 p.m. Quarterfinal I – 1A vs. 2B Warsaw ESPN/ESPN3/ESPN Deportes Friday, June 22 2:45 p.m. Quarterfinal II – 1B vs. 2A Gdansk ESPN/ESPN3/ESPN Deportes Saturday, June 23 2:45 p.m. Quarterfinal III – 1C vs. 2D Donetsk ESPN2/ESPN3/ESPN Deportes Sunday, June 24 2:45 p.m. Quarterfinal IV – 1D vs. 2C Kiev ESPN/ESPN3/ESPN Deportes Wednesday, June 27 2:45 p.m. Semifinal I – Winners QF I vs. QF III Donetsk ESPN/ESPN3/ESPN Deportes Thursday, June 28 2:45 p.m. Semifinal II – Winners QF II vs. QF IV Warsaw ESPN/ESPN3/ESPN Deportes Sunday, July 1 2:45 p.m. Final – Semifinal Winners Kiev ESPN/ESPN3/ESPN Deportes
*** ESPN Deportes match coverage will begin at 11:30 a.m. and 2:30 p.m.
*** ESPN and ESPN match coverage begins at 11:45 a.m. and 2:30 p.m.
That will do it.
On Super Bowl Sunday, the biggest rivalry in the English Premier League takes place. Chelsea hosts Manchester United at Stamford Bridge. This marks the second live English Premier League game on Fox in three weeks. Two weeks ago on the day of the NFC Championship, Fox aired Manchester United-Arsenal attracting 1.3 million viewers.
Rob Stone will host the game from the Fox Sports studios in Los Angeles. He’ll be joined by analyst Eric Wynalda and alleged phone hacker Piers Morgan.
We have more from our friends at Fox Sports.
Chelsea and Manchester United Face-Off in Heated Clash of Storied Clubs in “Game Before The Game” Sunday at 10:30 AM ET
CHELSEA HOSTS MAN U LIVE ON FOX – Super Bowl Sunday kicks off on FOX with live English Premier League coverage of Chelsea hosting Manchester United at Stamford Bridge Sunday, Feb. 5 at 10:30 AM ET on FOX. The match marks the second live English Premier League game in two weeks on U.S. broadcast television. On Jan. 22, FOX drew 1.3 million viewers nationwide when Manchester United defeated Arsenal 2-1; the most-watched live EPL match on broadcast or cable television.
Coverage on FOX begins from Studio A in Los Angeles with Rob Stone alongside FOX Soccer analyst and former U.S. Men’s National Team forward Eric Wynalda and CNN talk show host and soccer enthusiast Piers Morgan.
This matchup features the two clubs that have dominated the Premier League in the 21st Century. Stars Frank Lampard, Didier Drogba of Chelsea and Ryan Giggs and the expected return of Wayne Rooney highlight a United side that are tied with local rivals Manchester City, atop the Premier League Standings.
The day begins on FOX Soccer, America’s premier soccer destination, with coverage of Newcastle v Aston Villa at 8:25 AM ET. Goals On Sunday at 1:00 PM ET features highlights from both matches.
Viewers can join the social conversation on Twitter surrounding the matches by using #GameB4Game, and by visiting https://twitter.com/foxsoccer, www.facebook.com/foxsoccer, and www.facebook.com/foxsports
*All times Eastern