On my way to New York for the Fox Sports 1 unveiling and I’m going to try to do some links with the limited wifi that Amtrak has provided. It’s not the best, but it’ll do for what I need today.
Let’s begin with Sports Illustrated’s Richard Deitsch who along with Matt Yoder from Awful Announcing, John Ourand from Sports Business Journal and Randy McClure of Rush the Court, conducted a sportscaster draft for the NCAA Tournament. Fascinating stuff.
At Awful Announcing, Matt Yoder explains the reasoning behind his draft picks.
In the shameless plug department, I have a post at AA on “What if” Keith Olbermann returns to ESPN. That is a huge “what if,” by the way.
On this site, I ask “What Can We Expect From Fox Sports 1 and 2?”
David Lieberman of Deadline has a Fox official telling its investors that Fox Sports 1 and 2 are expected to lose money at first, but it’s all about the long-term with the new channels.
Georg Szalai of the Hollywood Reporter says Fox is downplaying expectations about Fox Sports 1 competing with ESPN.
At $ports Biz USA, Mike McCarthy talks with Jay Glazer about his new Fox Sports 1 show.
Ed Sherman of The Sherman Report says ESPN is reminding Fox about who has a 33 year head start in the all-sports cable business.
Richard Sandomir and Amy Chozick in the New York Times have an extensive look at the new Fox Sports venture.
Even with Fox starting a new network to compete with ESPN, it still has formed an Unholy Alliance with the Alleged Worldwide Leader. John Ourand of Sports Business Journal has the story.
Addy Dugdale at Fast Company looks at the new Fox Sports 1.
Good article from Paulsen at Sports Media Watch on how SportsCenter has drifted into the abyss. I was thinking about using a Matrix reference, but I’ve used them up on Twitter.
Jason Lisk of The Big Lead profiles ESPN college basketball analyst Sean Farnham who will get a plum assignment at the ACC Tournament next week.
Jason McIntyre of The Big Lead tweets that Tom Rinaldi and his traveling piano have been re-signed by ESPN.
Will Leitch from Sports on Earth feels a Keith Olbermann return to ESPN is not a good idea.
Michael Hiestand from USA Today has the weekend sports ratings.
Mark Blaudshun in A Jersey Guy reports that the remnants of the old Big East plan to play its first postseason tournament without Syracuse, Pittsburgh and the Catholic 7 in Hartford. Good choice.
Mike Reynolds at Multichannel News says ESPN Deportes will continue carrying Mexican League soccer.
Dieter Kurtenbach from the South Florida Sun Sentinel says 11 months after joining Miami’s WQAM, controversial talk show host Dan Sileo has been fired.
Mel Bracht in The Oklahoman notes that the Thunder are featured twice this week on TNT.
John Kiesewetter of the Cincinnati Enquirer says University of Kentucky athletics has signed a promotional deal with Time Warner Cable.
Robert Feder of TimeOut Chicago writes that a former Windy City sportscaster refused to take part in a farewell to two long-time news anchors.
Tom Hoffarth of the Los Angeles Daily News has five things he learned from the weekend.
Joe Favorito says World Tennis Day on Monday helped to give the sport a global boost.
Back to Paulsen at Sports Media Watch, he notes that the PGA Tour experienced its fourth straight week of ratings declines.
And let’s end with one of the silliest moments on ESPN from Monday. Greg Wyshynski of Yahoo’s Puck Daddy notes that ESPN’s Stephen A. “A is for Awkward” Smith didn’t realize that ties were eliminated from the National Hockey League in 2004.
That will end the links for today. As long as I have wifi or 3G access (I know, 4G LTE users are laughing at me), I’ll provide tweets and a live blog on the Fox Sports 1 press event and upfronts today in New York. If communication is cut off, then all bets are off, but I’m willing to go out on a limb that we’ll have wifi access somehow, at least for the press conference this afternoon.
Keep your RSS, Twitter and any other syndication feeds updated.
We have another preview clip of the Manti Te’o interview that will air on Katie Couric’s nationally syndicated program. It airs today. Check your local listings for time and channel.
In this clip, Manti Te’o tells Katie about the time that the now-fake Lennay Kekua came out of her fake coma.
EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW AIRS THURSDAY, JANUARY 24
In his first on-camera interview, Manti Te’o speaks to Katie Couric for her nationally syndicated daytime talk show, “Katie,” joined by his parents, Brian and Ottilia Te’o in their first television interview. Below you will find an advance excerpt from Katie’s conversation with Manti, which will broadcast Thursday, January 24.
KATIE” IS NATIONALLY SYNDICATED. CHECK LOCAL LISTINGS OR CLICK HERE TO USE OUR ONLINE STATION FINDER.>
Katie Couric: “I understand you would fall asleep holding the phone. Or with the phone next to you connected to this individual and then when you woke up, you would talk to this person. I hope you have rollover minutes by the way.”
Manti Te’o: “Mobile to mobile. Mobile to mobile.”
KC: “But I mean…why would you do that?”
MT: “It goes back to what my parents taught me. To always be there for somebody when they need help.”
KC: “She came out of her coma when she was on the phone with you, or when the phone was next to her. What did you hear on the other end of the line?”
MT: “Well, obviously it was just breathing at first, and it was one of those where she was just breathing and…then she started to whisper my name. And I jumped for joy. I was like, ‘She is out! She is talking!’ I kind of, I was a little confident and I was like, ‘See they were right, I… do help her.’”
ABC and Disney Television have released clips of Notre Dame linebacker Manti Te’o talking with Katie Couric for her nationally syndicated show. The interview airs Thursday daytime. As they say, check your local listings. I have seen the two clips that have been released to television stations. I still don’t know if Te’o is telling the truth, but at this point, I’m past the point of caring.
As a public service, I post the clips and transcripts that have been released, plus a couple of pictures.
Here’s what Katie Couric’s show has released thus far.
EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW AIRS THURSDAY, JANUARY 24
In his first on-camera interview, Manti Te’o speaks to Katie Couric for her nationally syndicated daytime talk show, “Katie,” joined by his parents, Brian and Ottilia Te’o in their first television interview. Below you will find advance excerpts from their conversation, which will broadcast Thursday, January 24.
KATIE” IS NATIONALLY SYNDICATED. CHECK LOCAL LISTINGS OR CLICK HERE TO USE OUR ONLINE STATION FINDER.
1) MANTI TE’O SPEAKS OUT
KATIE COURIC: “You stuck to the script. And you knew that something was amiss Manti.”
MANTI TE’O: “Correct.”
MT: “Well, if…anybody put yourself in my situation. Katie, put yourself in my situation. I, my whole world told me that she died on September 12th. Everybody knew that. This girl, who I committed myself to, died on September 12th. Now I get a phone call on December sixth, saying that she’s alive and then I’m going to be put on national TV two days later. And to ask me about the same question. You know, what would you do?
2) BRIAN TE’O SPEAKS OUT
KC: Now many people writing about this are calling your son a liar. They are saying he manipulated the truth, really for personal gain.
BRIAN TE’O: people can speculate about what they…think he is. I’ve known him twenty-one years of his life. And he’s not a liar. He’s a kid.
That will do it.
On the surface, this seems a bit strange that Manti Te’o would have his first on-camera interview with a person who doesn’t have a sports background. But when you look underneath the surface, you realize that there are connections between Te’o and Katie Couric.
First, Katie Couric will have the first on-camera interview with Notre Dame linebacker Manti Te’o. As you know, ESPN’s Jeremy Schaap conducted an off-camera session with Te’o late Friday night.
Now, Couric’s show announces today that Katie will interview Te’o and his parents that will air on Thursday across the country in many markets (mostly ABC) as the show is syndicated.
As far as that connection, Brian Stelter of the New York Times reports that both Couric and Te’o are represented by CAA so now you know the rest of the story.
As they say, check your local listings for time and channel for Katie.
Unlike the Oprah Winfrey interview with Lance Armstrong, we have a press release for the Te’o interview.
Katie Couric’s Interview With Manti , Brian, and Ottilia Te’o To Broadcast Thursday, January 24 on “Katie”, Exclusive Previews to Broadcast Across ABC News Platforms
Katie Couric has scored the first on-camera interview with Manti Te’o for her nationally syndicated daytime talk show, “Katie.” Couric will sit down with Te’o and his parents, Brian and Ottilia Te’o, who are speaking out for the first time on camera. The Notre Dame football star and Heisman Trophy runner-up has claimed he is the victim of a hoax, after it was revealed that his girlfriend never existed, and her death was faked. Their conversation will broadcast on “Katie” on Thursday, January 24 (check local listings/ or www.katiecouric.com). Couric will preview exclusive content and her own original reporting across ABC News platforms.
“KATIE” IS NATIONALLY SYNDICATED. CHECK LOCAL LISTINGS OR CLICK HERE TO USE OUR ONLINE STATION FINDER.
There you have it.
This week has been Bizarro World in sports. First, there was word that Oprah Winfrey had interviewed disgraced cyclist and admitted PED user Lance Armstrong, a two and a half hour interview that would air over two nights. Then mid-week, we learned through Deadspin about Notre Dame linebacker Manti Te’o's girlfriend hoax that was perpetuated for two years. And no matter how far the story progressed, the more confusing it became.
Eventually, Te’o agreed to an interview, however, no video cameras were allowed, hampering any chance of discerning his emotions, his reaction to questions, any inflection. While some audio excerpts were released, they certainly were not the same as video.
But let’s backtrack to the Lance Armstrong interview with Oprah Winfrey. If Armstrong thought he would regain the respect of the American people by doing the interview, he was certainly mistaken. In the first 90 minutes that aired on Thursday, Armstrong came off as wooden, unfeeling and unemotional. Winfrey did her best to draw him out, but as we have seen in the past, Armstrong wants to have control of the situation and he looked as if he had rehearsed his answers, trying to keep to a script and not allowing to himself to be human.
In addition, when asked about the people he had hurt along the way of winning seven tainted Tour de France titles, Armstrong did not seem remorseful. He didn’t seem to be apologetic to his former masseuse whom he branded a whore and a drunk. And he also failed at an attempt at humor in saying he did not call Betsy Andreu, the wife of a former teammate, fat.
In the second hour that was unveiled Friday, Armstrong finally showed some humanity and remorse, especially in discussing how he had revealed his lies to his son and twin daughters. However, any chances of forgiveness quickly dissipated when he lied about being clean in the 2009 and 2010 Tours (refuted by evidence from the US Anti-Doping Agency) and denied a claim from USADA that Armstrong tried to donate money to the agency despite evidence to the contrary.
Winfrey did reasonably well. She showed that she had done her research on the subject and did maintain control throughout the interview. There were times when she could have asked some follow-ups to Armstrong, but overall, I thought she handled the entire interview decently.
Reaction to Armstrong has not been kind. Of course, Betsy Andreu on CNN’s Anderson Cooper said she didn’t see any remorse from him. CNN legal analyst Jeffrey Toobin called Armstrong’s interview “a big mistake” and wondered what exactly he was trying to accomplish.
While many supporters will still point out what Armstrong has meant to the cancer survivors, any positives he has done have been outweighed by the immense negatives to the people lives he has destroyed and the lie he maintained for so many years. Plus saying he deserved to have the USADA competitive ban lifted won’t win him much support. Overall, Armstrong gave us more questions to the answers he gave and left viewers with a bad taste in their mouths.
Now, onto Manti Te’o whose first interview came late Friday night with ESPN’s Jeremy Schaap. While Schaap called Te’o credible in his denials that he was not in on the girlfriend hoax, we have only seen various pictures released by ESPN and a few pieces of audio. And while Te’o sounds convinced that he’s wasn’t part of the scam, the inconsistencies of his answers to the timeline and questions about Lennay Kekua only raise more doubt.
The idea not to bring cameras to the interview came from Te’o's camp which is being led by the Creative Arts Agency, not Notre Dame. It left Schaap having to recap what was said in two long rambling segments, a 16 minute block at 1 a.m. ET on ESPN’s SportsCenter and 13 minutes at 2 a.m. ET. And while Schaap did his best to try to provide information as best as he could remember, three ledes were buried. One, that Ronaiah Tuiasosopo apologized to Te’o via Twitte, two that Te’o didn’t believe Kekua was a hoax until this week and three, Te’o tailored his stories about Kekua to the media to fit whatever they wanted.
Schaap was left in a difficult position in trying to recap everything as best as he could. But Te’o's people did not do him any favors by allowing a camera in the room. If the interview were done strictly for print or online, this would have been a different situation, but for a TV network, by not having video, it makes Te’o look as if he’s hiding something. Schaap is a credible reporter and by saying he believes Te’o, that gives the young man a decent leg to stand on, but it still leaves doubt for those who want to believe him.
I understand ESPN capitulating to Te’o's request in wanting the interview, but they were handicapped in not having a camera and not by not having the ability to record the entire interview on audio tape. By being allowed to release only various audio excerpts, it makes it appear as if Te’o's PR team was in control. Certainly, Te’o's team did not do him much good by not advising him to go on-camera to make his message more credible.
The answers from the 21 year old NFL hopeful only leaves more questions behind and until he gives an on-camera interview, people will remain skeptical.
It’s been a strange week for sports journalism. We need some more perspective on this before we see the true impact of what these interviews have meant for the sports media.
ESPN has just announced that Notre Dame linebacker Manti Te’o has conducted an off-camera interview with Jeremy Schaap that will be posted on ESPN.com and be made public on SportsCenter after midnght ET. ESPN public relations tweeted this picture showing Schaap, Te’o and part of Te’o's public relations team at a conference table with no video cameras present.
To have this coming out late Friday night is a great way to bury the story. Certainly not ESPN’s fault here. Te’o's people making him to an off-camera interview isn’t helping either, but strange time to be having this come out. It would be more serving for him to do an on-camera interview, but maybe this is part of an agreement for one later. We’ll see.
UPDATE, 12:20 a.m.: Josh Krulewitz of ESPN public relations has this statement on the parameters of the interview.
On ESPN Te’o interview: We had no parameters on questions. While no tv cameras were permitted and use of audio was limited, we can use anything from the interview across our outlets.
This has been a rather bizarre 24 hour period trying to follow this Manti Te’o story.
I’m going to provide some linkage for you.
Timothy Burke and Jack Dickey at Deadspin provide some information on what the media missed on the Manti Te’o fake girlfriend story.
Ty Duffy at The Big Lead says it’s time for the sports media to stop putting athletes on pedestals.
TMZ is on the case of the Manti Te’o fake girlfriend. You know what it did with Tiger Woods.
Jackie Pepper talks with a Notre Dame player who acknowledges that the team knew that Manti Te’o's girlfriend was a lie all along.
In Outkick the Coverage, Clay Travis chronicles how Manti Te’o's fake girlfriend broke the internets last night.
Ed Sherman in The Sherman Report praises Deadspin’s story on Manti Te’o, but with one caveat.
Jim Romenesko has statements from the South Bend Tribune’s executive editor in response to readers’ questions in regards to its story on Te’o back in October.
Todd Spangler of Broadcasting & Cable says the Oprah Winfrey Network will stream tonight’s interview with Lance Armstrong as will several cable and satellite providers.
Juliet Macur of the New York Times has several questions that Oprah should have asked Lance Armstrong.
Newsday’s Neil Best says the New York Islanders pending move to Brooklyn hasn’t affected the team’s broadcasters. Yet.
Pete Dougherty of the Albany Times Union says YES generates the ratings.
Tom Hoffarth of the Los Angeles Daily News talks with CBS Sports Radio’s Doug Gottlieb.
Sports Media Watch notes that Fox scored with Seattle-Atlanta.
SMW says last Saturday’s Packers-49ers game was the lowest-rated NFL Divisional Playoff game on Fox in four years.
SMW tells us that last Saturday’s Ravens-Broncos scored for CBS, but was still down from last year’s comparable NFL playoff game.
That will conclude the linkage for now.
If you’re still confused over the entire Manti Te’o story, ESPN’s Jeremy Schaap explains the entire situation complete with past interviews with the Notre Dame defensive star. Now, Schaap was originally scheduled to interview Te’o today, however, it appears the entire Q&A session has been scrapped. Schaap would have done a thorough job.
Here’s a 3:42 video from ESPN and Schaap.
I would have liked to have seen Te’o explain himself, but I have to think that public relations handlers are prepping him and won’t allow him to do an interview until they believe he’s ready.
I keep getting bogged down with family stuff. I’m going to try and provide some linkage now.
Deadspin’s Timothy Burke and Jack Dickey have the story of the day exposing the inspirational Manti Te’o's girlfriend story as one huge hoax.
Matt Yoder at Awful Announcing has Twitter reaction to the Te’o girlfriend hoax.
Michael Hiestand talks with ESPN’s Stuart Scott about his cancer recurrence.
Michael asks who has to more to gain from this week’s interview, Lance Armstrong or
Scott M. Gleeson at USA Today’s Game On blog notes that Brent Musburger’s favorite Miss Alabama, Katherine Webb, will cover Super Bowl XLVII for Inside Edition.
Speaking of Brent, TMZ caught up with him as he was at an airport to talk about ESPN’s apology over his comments on Ms. Webb.
George Winslow of Broadcasting & Cable notes that ESPN Deportes is venturing into social media.
Todd Spangler from Multichannel News says Google says Time Warner Cable is withholding its Metro Sports network from Google’s TV service in Kansas City.
David Gianatasio of Adweek writes that Nike’s new ad featuring Rory McIlroy and Tiger Woods taps a familiar theme.
Simon Dumenco from Advertising Age facetiously speculates on what Lance Armstrong revealed to Oprah Winfrey.
Brandon Costa at Sports Video Group says NBC and local regional sports networks are scrambling to hire crews and production trucks for a hastily scheduled National Hockey League season.
ESPN.com’s Kristi Dosh, the Sports Biz Miss, says NHL teams are offering perks to lure fans back to the arena.
Newsday’s Neil Best says the TV networks are glad to see the National Hockey League back.
Jerry Barmash of FishbowlNY writes that MSG Network is ramping up for the 2013 NHL season.
Ken Schott from the Schenectady Daily Gazette says thanks to the scheduling, there will be no New York Rangers blackouts in the Capital Region this season.
Pete Dougherty of the Albany Times Union has compiled the 2013 NHL TV schedule for the Capital Region.
David Zurawik of the Baltimore Sun notes that this weekend’s Ravens-Patriots AFC Championship Game will get Super Bowl treatment from CBS.
In the Washington Post, Dan Steinberg in the DC Sports Bog has the transcript of WaPo columnist Sally Jenkins sitdown with PBS’ Charlie Rose about Lance Armstrong.
For her part, Jenkins says she’s not mad at Armstrong.
The Washington Examiner’s Jim Williams has ESPN’s Chris Evert being bullish on Serena Williams’ chances to sweep the Grand Slams this year.
David Barron of the Houston Chronicle says a long-time local sportscaster ends his TV tenure tomorrow.
Mel Bracht of The Oklahoman says the AFC Divisional Playoffs topped the local ratings.
Bob Wolfley at the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel has a local sportscaster leaving for Chicago.
Danny Ecker of Crain’s Chicago Business writes that the Chicago NHL Team has renewed its radio deal with WGN.
Joe Flint from the Los Angeles Times reports that Fox may convert Fox Soccer into an entertainment channel.
And that’s going to do it for now.
It didn’t last long, but it certainly made an impression. It made so much of an impression that it led to a parody Brent Musburger twitter account, “Creepy Brent”. Musburger’s harping on the girlfriend of Alabama Crimson Tide quarterback AJ McCarron, current Miss Alabama Katherine Webb left viewers very uncomfortable. And with cameras cutting away to her at least three times in the first half, I’m surprised Webb and her family didn’t seek an injunction on shots of her for the rest of the game.
ESPN has issued a statement apologizing for Musburger’s remarks. While it doesn’t mention any disciplinary action (it didn’t need any), it does say he does understand that he went too far.
Here’s the statement issued by ESPN from today.
We always try to capture interesting storylines and the relationship between an Auburn grad who is Miss Alabama and the current Alabama quarterback certainly met that test. However, we apologize that the commentary in this instance went too far and Brent understands that.
That’s going to do it.
It’s been way too long since you’ve seen linkage on this site. This has been the main mission of Fang’s Bites since the beginning, but too often, I get roped into doing family stuff and it prevents me from getting on here until late.
I hope to rectify that. So without further delay, here’s the linkage.
I’ll begin with Sports Illustrated’s Richard Deitsch who looks at tonight’s ESPN production of the BCS National Championship Game and he breaks news that former Red Sox manager Bobby Valentine will co-host a daily NBC Sports Radio show.
From The Sherman Report, Ed Sherman talks with ESPN’s Brent Musburger about retirement.
John Ourand of Sports Business Journal says thanks to its parent company buying into YES Network, Fox Sports will have the rights to as many as 18 New York Yankees games for its national MLB broadcasts (for now, subscription required).
Tripp Mickle of Sports Business Daily writes that DirecTV is dropping NASCAR Hot Pass due to the high cost and low demand.
ESPN’s Darren Rovell reports that the “Catholic 7″, the breakaway basketball schools from the Big East, is negotiating a megabucks deal with Fox Sports.
Nathan Savin Scott of USA Today lists the best sports commercials of 2012.
Mike Reynolds at Multichannel News says tonight’s BCS Championship Game could set an all-time viewership record for ESPN and cable TV.
The extremely warped Anthony Crupi (he’ll even admit this) of Adweek writes that the NFL’s regular season ratings were down slightly from last year, but it delivers an audience unlike any other programming.
Friend of Fang’s Bites Michael McCarthy at Advertising Age notes that college football is close to passing baseball as the nation’s second most popular sport.
Natalie Zmuda of Ad Age says Pepsi wants to make you, yes you, part of its Super Bowl ad.
Mark J. Miller at BrandChannel notes how a Nike ad campaign helped to nudge the NHL into ending its lockout.
Toni Fitzgerald from Media Life Magazine wonders if the ratings will return for the NHL now that its lockout has been resolved.
SBNation’s Steve Lepore reports that Michelle Beadle’s new show, The Crossover, will replace NBC Sports Talk later this month.
David Rogers over at Awful Announcing scolds NHL Network for not covering one second of the end of the lockout.
At the Indiana University National Sports Journalism Center, Wheat Hotchkiss (I like this name) delves into ESPN’s production of the BCS National Championship Game in South Flordia.
EPL Talk reviews Fox’s first-ever broadcast of an FA Cup game.
Will Leitch at Sports on Earth says NBC Sports Network’s ratings may be low, but at least it’s trying to be the anti-ESPN.
Chad Finn from the Boston Globe writes about Bobby Valentine’s new foray into daily sports radio.
Brian Stelter at the New York Times says rising sports fees are causing cable providers to drop lower performing channels.
Phil Mushnick of the New York Post needs to stop watching television.
Newsday’s Neil Best says there’s too much sports television and radio for the average fan to keep track of. Well put, Neil.
Pete Dougherty of the Albany Times Union says Golf Channel has had to adjust its schedule for the weather-delayed Tournament of Champions.
Ken McMillan of the Middletown (NY) Times Herald-Record says CBS Sports Radio has a home in the Hudson Valley.
Keith Groller with the Allentown (PA) Morning Call talks with an Eastern Pennsylvania native who’s been covering Notre Dame for the last six years.
David Zurawik of the Baltimore Sun feels CBS did not get the job done covering yesterday’s Colts-Ravens game.
David says yesterday’s Colts-Ravens game received the highest rating in the Charm City since last year’s Super Bowl.
Dan Steinberg from the Washington Post’s DC Sports Bog has the national media reaction to DC NFL Team head coach Mike Shanahan’s decision to keep quarterback Robert Griffin III on the field despite him seemingly being hurt until an injury that ended his game.
Dan says a local sports radio morning show now gets an opportunity on TV.
Tom Jones at the Tampa Bay Times has the winners and losers in the NHL Lockout.
Barry Jackson of the Miami Herald has some info from ESPN on tonight’s BCS National Championship Game.
Mike Herndon of the Birmingham (AL) News says ESPN could not have asked for a better matchup in the BCS National Championship Game.
Jon Solomon of the Birmingham News looks into the behind-the-scenes for ESPN’s telecast of Alabama-Notre Dame.
David Barron with the Houston Chronicle says Saturday’s Bengals-Texans local rating matched last year’s Wild Card playoff game number.
David writes that former Houston Astros broadcaster Alan Ashby will return to the team as its TV analyst on Comcast SportsNet.
WDIV-TV in Detroit had the suspended Rob Parker from ESPN’s First Take in his first TV interview since he was taken off the air for his comments on DC NFL Team QB Robert Griffin III (starts at 6:15). h/t to Richard Deitsch for the link.
Dusty Saunders of the Denver Post says a Rocky Mountain region sportscaster has plenty of memories that include the Broncos.
Joe Flint of the Los Angeles Times writes that the NFL’s ratings have slipped a bit from last season, but they still remain king of all television.
Tom Hoffarth of the Los Angeles Daily News has the five things he learned from the weekend.
Tom also has the SoCal sports calendar for this week.
Bruce Dowbiggin from the Toronto Globe and Mail asks with the NHL Lockout over, what’s in it for the fans?
Sports Media Watch notes that the overnight rating for the Cincinnati-Houston NFL Wild Card Game on NBC was up from last year.
SMW says NBC’s nightcap of Vikings-Packers was down slightly from last year.
SMW tells us that Seattle-Washington had the third highest overnight for an NFL Wild Card game since 1999.
And for Indy-Baltimore on CBS, the overnight number was very good.
And that’s going to be it for now.
Time for the look back at the Year in Sports Media in 2012. Lots of great stuff. The year has been very interesting and we have seen a lot of things.
Just doing a Top Ten is never enough for the Year in Review. It’s always an even dozen with some honorable mentions mixed in.
Let’s go over what were the Sports Media Stories of 2012.
12. Embrace Debate Leads To Rob Parker Suspension
One of the silliest stories in 2012 was ESPN’s commitment to debate programming. Two shows were revamped to accommodate more debate among ESPN personalities, First Take and Numbers Never Lie. Due to outrageous statements made on First Take, mostly by Skip Bayless, the show received lots of attention and increased ratings. But the pressure to stand out may have caught up with Rob Parker who questioned whether DC NFL Team quarterback Robert Griffin III’s authenticity.
It led to Parker’s suspension and allegedly more oversight over the shows. We’ll see if it leads to some more control and fewer outrageous statements.
11. Steve Sabol (1942-2012)
One of the pioneers in sports television passed away in 2012. Steve Sabol’s impact on the National Football League’s popularity through NFL Films cannot be measured. With his father Ed, the Sabols brought fans closer to the game by thinking outside the box. Games weren’t just regular contests, they became movies with Hollywood production values and full orchestrations. Instead of showing games from high in the stadium, NFL Films went to field level and made extreme closeups of the players. In addition, Ed and Steve introduced slow motion photography to sports.
In 2011, Ed Sabol was elected to the Pro Football Hall of Fame. It would behoove voters to induct Steve sometime soon to join his dad.
10. Big Media Taps Into New Media
2012 saw Turner Sports purchased the much-criticized and now-improving Bleacher Report, USA Today buying Big Lead Sports and NBC Sports aligned itself with Yahoo! Sports. This is more than getting pageviews and improving comScores, this is about expanding portfolios and attracting younger audiences. According to comScore, Yahoo! has been the most popular sports news site for several years outpacing ESPN.com. Bleacher Report may get criticized for its multiple and questionable slideshows, but its hiring of some respected editors and writers have increased the quality of the site to the point where Turner Sports purchased the site for beaucoup bucks. And I have to make this disclaimer, Fang’s Bites is an independently-owned blog that is affiliated with USA Today Media Group. We will see more purchases in 2013.
9. NASCAR Renews with Fox
Fox Sports was the first of NASCAR’s TV partners to renew its ties with the sport taking the first half of the Sprint Cup season. For an estimated pricetag of over $2.4 billion through 2022, Fox remains with NASCAR in a relationship that dates back to 2002. Fox is expected to put some of its races on its new all-sports channel, but we’ll get to that later. And expect live on-streaming in this new contract. However, NASCAR’s ratings are a question-mark, but bidding for the second half in 2013 is expected to bring even more money. It’s all going to be quite an interesting year for NASCAR.
8. NBC Steals English Premier League and Formula One From Fox
October turned out to be a good month for NBC Sports Group as far as acquisitions were concerned. It first obtained the rights to Formula 1 as Fox gave just a nominal bid. Then a couple of weeks later, it emerged as the frontrunner to the English Premier League and then won out over a concerted combined bid from ESPN/Fox. While NBC Sports Network won’t be known as a college sports destination or for MLB, perhaps it can become an international sports channel with the EPL, Formula 1 and Olympic Sports. NBC Sports Network will have some sports to watch year-round with the English Premier League, Formula 1, MLS and the NHL (when it finally returns).
7. NFL Network Picks Up Its Last Two Holdouts
Since 2010, NFL Network has been gaining momentum in picking up carriage agreements with the major cable providers. It finally was able to sign deals in 2012 with its last two remaining holdouts, first Cablevision in August and then the very last one, Time Warner Cable in September. Thanks to the increased audience, NFL Network’s Thursday Night Football package had record ratings for its new 13 game schedule. It was a struggle for NFL Network to get all eight major cable and satellite providers on board, but after eight years, it finally got it done.
6. MLB New TV Contracts For A Lot of $$$
It started in August when ESPN renewed rights for its three nights of baseball games, a return to postseason and an increased amount of games for a total of $5.6 billion over eight years. Then in October, MLB announced deals with Fox and Turner for a combined $6.8 billion through 2021, providing them with TV Everywhere rights, postseason deals and a package of regular season games. For Fox, it allows the network to put games on its anticipated all-sports cable channel, but again, more on that later.
5. CBS & NBC Announce New Sports Radio Networks
2012 brought two new national networks to the sports talk radio scene. Within two days of each other, NBC Sports Radio and CBS Sports Radio were announced by both companies and with respective partners Dial Global and Cumulus Radio. NBC Sports Radio has been airing limited weekend programming since September, however, CBS Sports Radio chose to wait until this month to begin full operation with a 24/7 lineup. Both have a long way to go to match the firepower and the reputation of ESPN Radio that has been on the scene since the early 1990′s, however, CBS has hired familiar names like Jim Rome, Doug Gottlieb, John Feinstein, Scott Ferrall and Dana Jacobson. NBC will wait until the NCAA Final Four to finalize its weekday lineup. No matter the case, ESPN Radio finds itself with some formidable competition to join Yahoo! Sports Radio and Fox Sports Radio for listeners.
4. ESPN Free Agency
We had some big names leave the ESPN nest, Erin Andrews, Steve Berthiaume, Michelle Beadle, Cindy Brunson, Doug Gottlieb, Dana Jacobson, Michael Yam to name a few, but many stayed including Scott Van Pelt. This seemed to be quite the year for free agency for ESPN. In some cases, the network chose not to renew and wave goodbye to those departing, others decided not to return for other opportunities while in others, ESPN went out of its way to make sure its desired talent stayed. For the first time, ESPN was transparent in making statements about its free agency signings or departures. In the past, it had issued terse statements when media inquiries were made.
3. Fox Spending Spree
As the year-end was approaching, Fox Sports through its parent, News Corp., went on a spending spree unlike any other in sports media. It not only set up an all-sports cable channel for operation in 2013 (again, more on this later), but it bought into the YES Network which will eventually lead into a majority share of the New York Yankees regional sports network and fully purchased Sports Time Ohio for the Cleveland MLB Team. In addition, Fox is reportedly close to signing a long-term deal with the Los Angeles Dodgers for its media rights. News Corp. had money to spend with the company splitting off its publishing holdings into a separate company and of course, the proverbial fiscal cliff where tax credits were about to change. Will we see more of Fox’s financial muscle in 2013? I think that’s a safe bet.
2. The Emergence of Fox Sports 1 and Fox Sports 2
While NBC Sports Network was attempting to bid for major sports properties, Fox Sports was quietly forming its cable sports strategy for 2013 and beyond. We began hearing rumblings about Fox rebranding Speed into an all-sports channel that would be named “Fox Sports 1″ then at the end of the year, the company’s Fuel channel would also be rebranded as “Fox Sports 2″.
In its new contracts with MLB, NASCAR, the Pac-12, UFC and other sports properties it signed in 2012, Fox had a provision to put games and events on Fox Sports 1. As part of its new contract with Major League Baseball, Fox Sports can place 40 regular season games on cable as well as several postseason games. We should expect a number of NASCAR Sprint Cup races on FS1 and most likely see some UFC events as well.
The strategy is in place. Let’s see how it’s enacted in 2013 and beyond.
1. NBC’s Olympics Both Fail and Succeed
Up until the London Olympics begin in late July, NBCUniversal had been downplaying both ratings and financial expectations stating that it expected to lose money and the ratings for a tape delayed event would not be as good as in 2008 when events were carried live from Communist China. Somewhere along the way, something happened. NBC broke even financially on the Olympics and they became the most watched event in US television history. That was the successful part.
The failure was the tape delayed aspect when many viewers wanted to watch events live. The #NBCFAIL hashtag on Twitter quickly spread like wildfire during the first weekend of the Olympics. In addition, online streaming was sluggish and haggard. But even with the delays and streaming problems, Americans still watched in droves. When the games were said and done, NBCUniversal could pat itself on the back.
Struggles of new regional sports networks to gain carriage agreements.
NHL Does Well; But Shoots Itself in the Foot with the Lockout
Tim Tebow Overload
ESPN Continues Dominance in College Sports
As the linkage has been lacking, I’m going to try a new feature. In addition to an occasional sports media thoughts post, I’m going to attempt to make this a regular feature. This will incorporate some linkage and some thoughts. Think of it like Peter Gammons’ baseball notes column, but not as extensive.
As I said, I hope this will be a regular feature and I hope you will like it. You may incorporate some snark so if you think I go overboard, certainly let me know in the comments.
Sports Illustrated’s Richard Deitsch issued his 2012 Media Awards. There are some I agree with, others like Joe Buck of which I disagree. But again, that’s his list. I can always provide my own if I can overcome my laziness.
Rob Parker of ESPN (perhaps not for long) issued an apology for his incendiary comments on Robert Griffin III during last week’s First Take. It’s a bit late and rings like someone trying to save his job. ESPN announced today that it has suspended Parker for 30 days and disciplined others involved in the show for allowing the comments to re-air not just one more time, but twice. I’m still bewildered how the controversial comments not only aired in an immediate replay, but also during the euphemistically titled “Best of First Take” in the same day which tells me the producers were not only on board, but also in a disconnect, not thinking the comments were anything out of the ordinary.
Last month, it appeared that the Los Angeles Dodgers and Fox were on the verge of signing a new deal that would make the team very rich in a long-term media rights deal. However, there are a few holdups including satisfying MLB and avoiding another round in U.S. bankruptcy court. An interesting note is that Fox would gain the rights to the Dodgers, create a new regional sports network and have it run by Dick Clark Productions which is owned by DC NFL team owner Daniel Snyder. No matter what happens, it’ll make the Dodgers very wealthy and in the upper echelon of media rights payments from Fox.
We won’t know the NFL Week 17 primetime game until either this Sunday evening or Monday midday. That’s because the Week 17 Sunday night game is not chosen by the league until then. Only one flex for Sunday Night Football this season and that’s this week’s San Francisco-Seattle game which replaced Chargers-Jets. The obvious choice for primetime in Week 17 would be Washington at Dallas, but Cowboys GM & owner Jerry Jones himself says he doubts that it would be flexed. Last year, Cowboys-Giants were flexed into the last game of the season slot. If the NFL wants Dallas-Washington in primetime, I would think that’s where it will go. Plus, NBC would love to have RGIII in primetime.
On this date, NBC decided to conduct an experiment that has not been tried since. It aired the New York Jets at Miami Dolphins game at the Orange Bowl without announcers. The game was played on a Saturday afternoon, and the Jets (like today) were nothing to write home about so NBC made an announcement that it was going announcer-free for the entire game. NFL ’80 pregame host Bryant Gumbel came in and out of commercial breaks to summarize what had happened. NBC employed some enhanced graphics during the game and tried to use extra microphones to bring the sound of the game home to viewers. However, when it was all said and done, many reporters said the game needed announcers and all games have employed them since.
Sports Business Journal has Sports Illustrated’s Richard Deitsch, the Baltimore Sun’s David Zurawik and The Big Lead’s Jason McIntyre talking about the Sunday NFL pregame shows.
SI tennis reporter extraordinaire Jon Wertheim has some interesting news about next year’s US Open in Flushing Meadow. If successful, expect this format to continue. If not, you’ll see CBS wanting to pay less for the tournament or it will move to ESPN2. I’ve said that the US Open should move back a week and end on Labor Day to avoid inclement weather and NFL conflicts in the second week, but no one seems to listen.
Former U.S. Olympian and noted distance runner Suzy Favor-Hamilton was a high-priced Las Vegas escort? Yes, it’s true. It has nothing to do with sports media, but I’ve always had a crush on Suzy Favor-Hamilton.
As I mentioned, I hope to do this regularly for you if I’m not able to do links for you. Let me know what you think.
This just in from ESPN, Rob Parker, the man who made incendiary comments about DC NFL Team quarterback Robert Griffin III on First Take, has been suspended by the network. After the racebaiting comments were aired not just once, not just twice, but three times last Thursday, ESPN said it had suspended Parker until further notice.
Just today, ESPN said it has suspended Parker for 30 days and other personnel on the show have been disciplined for not taking appropriate action to prevent the comments from airing again. ESPN admits that this was a mistake.
We have the full statement from ESPN.
ESPN has decided to suspend Rob Parker for 30 days for his comments made on last Thursday’s episode of First Take. Our review of the preparation for the show and the re-air has established that mistakes both in judgment and communication were made. As a direct result, clearly inappropriate content was aired and then re-aired without editing. Both were errors on our part.
To address this, we have enhanced the editorial oversight of the show and have taken appropriate disciplinary measures with the personnel responsible for these failures. We will continue to discuss important issues in sports on First Take, including race. Debate is an integral part of sports and we will continue to engage in it on First Take. However, we believe what we have learned here and the steps we have taken will help us do all that better.
We’ll continue to follow the story. I don’t think this is over.
In the wake of yesterday’s incendiary comments by Rob Parker on ESPN2′s First Take on Robert Griffin III, the network has taken disciplinary action and suspended him indefinitely. ESPN spokesman Mike Soltys tweeted this statement:
Following yesterday’s comments, Rob Parker has been suspended until further notice.We are conducting a full review.
— Mike Soltys (@espnmikes) December 14, 2012
Yesterday, Parker questioned whether Griffin was “a brother or a cornball brother” rendering the show’s cast speechless. What is interesting is that the producers of First Take decided to reair the comments later in the day in the “Best of” program so those who had not seen Rob Parker’s “take” on RGII live could see it on tape.
Parker has previously worked for Newsday and the Detroit Free Press. He was supposed to be featured in the weekend edition of First Take, but in the wake of this incident, it’s likely we won’t be seeing Parker for the foreseeable future.
Earlier today, ESPN2′s First Take was in the midst of one of its usual contrived debates when Rob Parker asked one of the most head-scratching questions whether DC NFL Team quarterback Robert Griffin III was “a brother or a cornbread brother?” Stephen A. Smith was incredulous and Skip Bayless was speechless. Not only was the statement aired live, but it re-aired again in the euphemistically titled “Best of First Take” later in the day.
Parker made things worse about questioning Griffin’s “blackness” for being a Republican and having a white girlfriend. It was bizarre television and why the show even re-aired the comments later in the day is beyond me. It shows that embracing debate can sometimes lead to outrageous statements when the participants try too hard to fill time and come up with a position on the fly.
ESPN has issued a statement through its cadre of public relations people. I have this tweet from ESPN spokesman Mike Soltys:
Have been asked for comment on Rob Parker comments: The comments were inappropriate and we are evaluating our next steps.
— Mike Soltys (@espnmikes) December 14, 2012
The whole thing reeks and I hope ESPN takes the appropriate action.
Time for some overdue sports radio thoughts. I apologize for the inconsistency in posting. I’ve been sick since last week and its hit me like a ton of bricks. It’s no fun not having a voice and certainly not good to feel wrecked every time I awake. I hope to get better soon, but this bug continues to linger.
But you visit to to get the latest news and some occasional reviews and thoughts so let’s provide some now while I can. As usual, they come in bullet form.
- With ESPN reportedly close to wrapping up a long term contract with the BCS for the new college football playoff that begins in 2014, it’s amazing to think how much money is being paid for the contract. Sports Business Journal reports that ESPN would give the BCS $500 million annually over a 12 year span for not just two semifinal games and the championship, but for three “contract” bowls that would include the Rose, Sugar (originally the new “Champions Bowl”) and Orange Bowls.
Not only does this keep the college football postseason in ESPN’s possession once the BCS system is done next year, but it also continues ESPN’s tight Kung-Fu grip on college football.
Now, the other networks including CBS and Fox do have rights to BCS conferences, but they have to deal with ESPN as a partner (Big 12, Pac-12 and SEC). There isn’t much that ESPN doesn’t have its hands on and if it doesn’t want to keep rights to a league, it won’t. But until the day occurs when ESPN will let a conference slip to another network (ahem, Big East), ESPN is going to have a major say in college football for a long time to come.
- It’s really strange when WFAN’s Mike Francesa can be a Voice of Reason, but in the case of ESPN’s Rick Reilly, Mikey was dead on. After the Monday Night Football game on ESPN between Kansas City and Pittsburgh, Reilly was seen on camera instructing postgame host Stuart Scott to give him credit for allegedly breaking the news of Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger’s shoulder injury on Twitter. However, as pointed out rather deftly by Deadspin’s Tim Burke, it had already been reported by his ESPN colleague, Adam Schefter, and as Francesa said, it was quite apparent to anyone watching ESPN that Big Ben was hurt.
Ever since Reilly went to ESPN, he has become a small fish in a very big lake. When he was at Sports Illustrated, he was a big fish in a small pond, so he was very noticeable. In fact, when he was at SI, one could surmise that he was the star of the magazine, writing the Point After on the back page.
But after being lured to ESPN for a lot of money, Reilly hasn’t found a signature role to stand out. His pieces on SportsCenter have been rather forgettable. ESPN has tried to employ him as an essayist at The Open Championship and major tennis events rather unsuccessfully. Do you remember his show “Homecoming” which ran for about twenty minutes? Of course you don’t.
I don’t know when Reilly’s contract with ESPN expires, it’s really not my concern, but when it does, the Powers That Be should ask for some of their money back because Reilly has been mailing it in for the past few years.
- You may not be familiar with the name of Dino Costa, but subscribers to SiriusXM are. Dino is the nighttime host on Mad Dog Radio. His Twitter feed is an interesting follow. And while I may disagree with some of his tweets, Costa is quite entertaining. And his radio show is a very good listen. If you have the opportunity to listen to him, by all means do so. Costa will tell you that he’s a good listen, but that’s fine.
Last week, Dino called into his boss’ show, Chris “Mad Dog” Russo, as the two have been feuding on-air, to tell him he (Russo) is a has-been. Mad Dog Radio’s Steve Torre tries to play peacemaker in this clip.
There are two trains of thought. Either this is real and the two are at war, or it’s another stunt that Mad Dog is attempting to pull off, but I don’t think Costa would fool his listeners and play them. In any event, Costa is quite good and if you have SiriusXM, give the man a try if you haven’t already.
- CBS has created a mash-up of Queen’s iconic “We Will Rock You” with the network’s NFL theme “Posthumus Zone” and it’s pretty good. Queen’s Brian May teamed up with Helmut VonLichten to form a re-mix. It will be CBS’ theme for Super Bowl XLVII in February. I didn’t know what to think when I saw the press release on Tuesday, but after giving a listen to the mash-up, I found that I liked it. Good job, CBS.
- Saw “Skyfall” over the weekend and loved it. As a James Bond fan, I loved the dark feel to this chapter. Daniel Craig has made Bond into his own and you can see he’s more comfortable in the role. Dame Judy Dench as “M” is tremendous. Javier Bardem was great as the villain and it will be nice to see Ralph Fiennes and Naomie Harris in future Bond films. There were some nice nods to the past while bringing the movie into the 21st Century. Great direction from Sam Mendes. Can’t wait for Bond 24.
And we’re done.
I thought I was tired of the “Call Me Maybe” parodies and covers, but this one from sports radio station KFAN in the Twin Cities in Minnesota may be the best to finally put a rest to all of them.
This song and subsequent video done by a producer for The Common Man show is so funny that I’m embedding it. In the wake of the controversy at the Green Bay-Seattle game, it’s just perfect. And the song will put an end to our coverage of the replacement referees until the next blow up which could occur as soon as Thursday night.
Anyway, enjoy the video. I’m going to be away for the rest of the night.
Back tomorrow morning unless something breaks.
As expected, the NFL released a statement on the controversial final play in the Green Bay Packers-Seattle Seahawks game on Monday night. As expected, the NFL held steadfast to the position that the call was correct and the result is final.
There’s nothing else to write. You can read the statement.
In Monday’s game between the Green Bay Packers and Seattle Seahawks, Seattle faced a 4th-and-10 from the Green Bay 24 with eight seconds remaining in the game.
Seattle quarterback Russell Wilson threw a pass into the end zone. Several players, including Seattle wide receiver Golden Tate and Green Bay safety M.D. Jennings, jumped into the air in an attempt to catch the ball.
While the ball is in the air, Tate can be seen shoving Green Bay cornerback Sam Shields to the ground. This should have been a penalty for offensive pass interference, which would have ended the game. It was not called and is not reviewable in instant replay.
When the players hit the ground in the end zone, the officials determined that both Tate and Jennings had possession of the ball. Under the rule for simultaneous catch, the ball belongs to Tate, the offensive player. The result of the play was a touchdown.
Replay Official Howard Slavin stopped the game for an instant replay review. The aspects of the play that were reviewable included if the ball hit the ground and who had possession of the ball. In the end zone, a ruling of a simultaneous catch is reviewable. That is not the case in the field of play, only in the end zone.
Referee Wayne Elliott determined that no indisputable visual evidence existed to overturn the call on the field, and as a result, the on-field ruling of touchdown stood. The NFL Officiating Department reviewed the video today and supports the decision not to overturn the on-field ruling following the instant replay review.
The result of the game is final.
After the controversial ending of last night’s Monday Night Football game on ESPN, you may have switched the channel or have gone to bed angry. Judging from the overnight ratings, a good chunk of the audience stayed to see the postgame coverage on SportsCenter. But in case you went to bed and missed the discussion, here’s Stuart Scott, Trent Dilfer and Steve Young discussing the Green Bay Interception That Wasn’t.
Overall, ESPN did a very good job in covering the aftermath from postgame comments from Packers coach Mike McCarthy and quarterback Aaron Rodgers, plus getting perspective from insiders Chris Mortensen, Adam Schefter and John Clayton along with analysis from its cadre of ex-NFL’ers.
Steve Young had the strongest comments about the NFL replacement referees after last week’s MNF game between Denver and Atlanta came through once again last night. And Trent Dilfer also said the game insulted our collective intelligence. Thanks to the people at ESPN for posting this clip on YouTube so it could be embedded.
And when the NFL issues its one and only statement about the game, I’ll post it here.
If you watched ESPN’s Monday Night Football to the end, then you’re probably buzzing about the last play which looked to be ruled incorrectly. On the last play of the game, Seattle Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson threw a Hail Mary pass to the end zone which appeared to be intercepted by the Packers’ M.D. Jennings, but was ruled simultaneous possession by the replacement officials and caught by wide receiver Golden Tate for a game winning touchdown. Before Jennings made the interception, Tate was seen pushing the Packers’ Sam Shields to the ground in an apparent offensive pass interference that wasn’t called.
This shot from ESPN on the final play showing one official signaling touchback and the other a touchdown says it all about the replacement officials who marred the outcome of the game.
The Packers as you can imagine were angry. This was video shot by NFL Network inside the Packers locker room as they watched the replay for the first time.
Finally, this is the call from the Packers Radio Network as Wayne Larrivee and Larry McCarren reacted to the decision.
This is going to be discussed for a long time. Hopefully, the regular officials will be back sooner than later.
UPDATE, 10:10 a.m.: The great people at Awful Announcing have found the Larrivee radio call in its entirety.
For the 5th year in a row, weather has forced the US Open to a Monday for the men’s final. Again, I’ll lobby the USTA to push the Open back a week to finish the tournament on Labor Day. I’ve written about this before, and it makes too much sense which is why it will never be done.
Anyway, due to horrible weather today, the men’s semifinal match between David Ferrer and Novak Djokovic had to stopped in the first set. Now the Open could have run both semis simultaneously to prevent this delay. The Open had already announced that the women’s final would be played on Sunday due to forecast rains tonight.
With the weather wreaking havoc on the last weekend again, here’s what the schedule will look like tomorrow. This comes directly from the US Open.
Saturday, September 8, 2012
(As of 9/8/12 at 5:10 p.m. ET)
Due to the severe weather forecast for this evening, we are postponing the Djokovic vs. Ferrer match until Sunday, September 9th at 11:00 a.m. ET.
The following information applies to all Individual ticket holders and Courtside, Loge and Promenade subscription tickets, as well as all Complimentary tickets and tickets purchased through any auction, resale or secondary outlet (including Individual session tickets purchased through the official US Open ticket exchange, the Ticketmaster ticket exchange or the TicketsNow ticket exchange).
If you are holding a Luxury Suite ticket, please check with your Suite Host.
Completion of Men’s Singles Semi-final
The Novak Djokovic vs. David Ferrer match will be completed on Sunday, September 9th at 11:00 a.m. ET – gates open at 10:00 a.m. ET.
Women’s Singles Final & rescheduled Women’s Doubles Final
The Serena Williams vs. Victoria Azarenka women’s singles final is rescheduled to Sunday, September 9th at 4:30 p.m. – gates open at 1:00 p.m. ET. Session #25 ticket holders are also invited to watch the Women’s Doubles Final in Louis Armstrong Stadium beginning at 1:30 p.m. ET.
Men’s Singles Final
The Men’s Singles Final is rescheduled for Monday, September 10th at 4:00 p.m. ET – gates open at 2:00 p.m. ET.
Match (Session #)
Remaining Men’s Singles Semi-finals
Women’s Doubles Final &
Women’s Singles Final (Session #25)
1:30pm ET –
4:30pm ET –
CBS – Women’s Singles Only
Men’s Singles Final
*Subject to change
No words. None. I hope Celeb Boutique was not aware of the shootings in Aurora, CO today, but even so, how can anyone make this type of tweet in the wake of the 12 people who died and 59 others who were injured?
— Celeb Boutique (@celebboutique) July 20, 2012
Bad. Just plain bad. That’s all for today.
Quietly announced Saturday by ESPN PR maven, Josh Krulewitz, Curt Schilling who has been embroiled in the 38 Studios mess in my home state of Rhode Island, will be on leave from the network for the foreseeable future.
ESPN mutually agreed w/ Curt Schilling to have him take a leave as he works thru business issues. We expect he’ll return later this season
— Josh Krulewitz (@jksports) June 16, 2012
Schilling has mostly been in hiding ever since his video game company went down in flames last month and laid off its entire staff. If you’re not aware, Schilling took a $75 million loan from the State of Rhode Island in 2010 to move his video game company, 38 Studios from Massachusetts to the Ocean State, and depending on whom you believe, either the State failed to guarantee Schilling tax cuts or the former Red Sox pitcher lied to the State about its bottom line leading to the collapse of the venture. And when the company could not pay back an installment on the loan, news of the potential collapse became front page news here in RI. Plus, there have been reports that have surfaced on financial mismanagement and potential lawsuits from both sides. No matter what, the State and its taxpayers have been left holding the bag.
So in the interim, Schilling will not appear on ESPN to analyze MLB and had he done so, ESPN would have been in the awkward role of having to ask him questions on the issue. So to avoid that, it appears both ESPN and Schilling have agreed not to have him appear on air for now.
We’ll see what the future brings for Schilling.
Let’s do some Friday megalinks. You’ve been owed some and I haven’t been able to do links for most of the week.
Of course, you have the Weekend Viewing Picks which provide plenty of college sports, soccer, baseball and the NBA and NHL postseason action.
Now let’s do your links.
Michael Hiestand of USA Today explores Jason La Canfora’s decision to leave NFL Network and bolt to CBS.
Media Rantz looks into the potential departure of Michelle Beadle from ESPN to NBC.
Sports Illustrated’s Richard Deitsch says E! will produce a special on New York Jets QB Tim Tebow.
Ed Sherman at The Sherman Report hears from a Fox Soccer executive on why the Fox Sports Media Group chose to air so many English Premier League games on the final day of the season.
Michael David Smith at Pro Football Talk writes that despite reports to the contrary, it appears that the New York Jets won’t make another appearance on HBO’s Hard Knocks this summer.
Eriq Gardner at the Hollywood Reporter says a group of fans have filed a class action lawsuit against MLB and its TV partners on the antiquated and silly blackout policy.
Yahoo’s Dan Wetzel says while the Minnesota Vikings will finally get their long-awaited stadium, one state legislator attempted to sneak a bill ending all local NFL blackouts. I think that was a great idea.
Mike Reynolds of Multichannel News/Broadcasting & Cable writes the long-anticipated Time Warner Cable Los Angeles Lakers-centric regional sports network will launch in October.
At Adweek, Anthony Crupi writes that Fox has sold out its ad inventory for the UEFA Champions League Final.
Thomas Pardee of Advertising Age says social media is changing the way we watch sports.
In the Indiana University National Sports Journalism Center, Eric Deggans of the Tampa Bay Times says there are times when the N-word should to be published in full.
Eric Goldschein at SportsGrid says CBC Hockey Night in Canada host Ron MacLean stretched his analogy too far in comparing the 9/11 First Responders to NHL players this week.
Jason Dachman of Sports Video Group looks at NBC/Golf Channel’s joint production of this week’s Players Championship.
Brandon Costa of SVG explores ESPN’s expanded multiplatform rights for NCAA Championships.
And SVG tells us about the Big East Conference’s in-house production of the league’s Baseball Tournament.
Kristi Dosh at ESPN.com looks into the dollars and cents of the major college sports TV rights contracts.
Patrick Rishe at Forbes says while the ACC signed a rich contract with ESPN, it still doesn’t compare to the Pac-12′s huge megadeal.
My Twitter Trophy Wife, Amanda Rykoff chronicles her day spent at the MLB Fan Cave for espnW.
Paulsen at Sports Media Watch crunches the numbers behind the ratings rise for the NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs and the lower for the NBA Playoffs.
Joe Lucia of Awful Announcing also looks into the ratings for the NBA and NHL Postseasons.
Jason McIntyre of The Big Lead notes the disturbing arrest of the PA Announcer for the Oklahoma City Thunder.
Dave Kohl at The Broadcast Booth looks at some of the sports media stories that are irking him this week.
East and Mid-Atlantic
I haven’t been able to address the death of Carl Beane, the Red Sox public address announcer. Carl was a radio reporter in Western Massachusetts and also free-lanced for ESPN Radio, CBS Radio, Fox Sports Radio to report on various NFL and college games. He died this week when he suffered a heart attack and crashed his car. He was 59. It seemed everyone in New England had some connection to Beane. I’ll give you some of the stories that have been written about him this week.
David Scott at ESPN’s Front Row PR blog gets reaction from people at the network who knew him.
Gordon Edes at ESPN Boston says Beane felt he was born to be the Fenway Park public address announcer.
WEEI’s Mike Petraglia writes about his personal connection to Beane.
Julian Benbow of the Boston Globe says the Red Sox paid tribute to Beane at last night’s game by not having anyone do the PA.
Amanda Bruno of the Springfield Republican writes that Beane was a role model and mentor to her.
To other stories now, heading back to the Globe, Chad Finn says the ACC got its huge deal and it will affect member school Boston College in many ways.
Chad says former Red Sox voice Jerry Trupiano is getting some familial help in trying to get the Houston Astros radio gig.
Desmond Connor of the Hartford Courant says the Big East’s interim commissioner is hopeful his conference can cash in on the recent big spending by ESPN and other networks.
The New York Times’ Richard Sandomir talks with the legendary Vin Scully.
Richard profiles the person behind a fake Walt Frazier Twitter account.
Jack Bell of the Times interviews Fox Sports President Eric Shanks about Sunday’s unprecedented English Premier League coverage.
Phil Mushnick of the New York Times rails over player unions defending their membership for the wrong reasons.
The Post’s Justin Terranova talks with NBC’s Pierre McGuire.
Justin has five questions for TNT’s Kenny Smith.
Jerry Barmash at Fishbowl NY says a former local sports reporter is returning to her roots with Time Warner Cable’s Southern California network.
Pete Dougherty at the Albany Times Union says technical difficulties plagued a local radio broadcast of the Yankees.
Pete says many of NBC/Golf Channel’s cameras will be focused squarely on one hole at the Players Championship this week.
Ken McMillan at the Middletown (NY) Times Herald-Record explores the new SNY deal to air UConn women’s basketball games.
At the New Jersey Newsroom, Evan Weiner asks if high school football is doomed.
Keith Groller of the Allentown (PA) Morning Call watched the train wreck of former NFL wide receiver Terrell Owens appearing on Dr. Phil this week and being confronted by his multiple baby mommas.
Dan Steinberg at the Washington Post says MLB Network compared the swings of the late Mickey Mantle and the Nationals’ Bryce Harper.
David Barron from the Houston Chronicle says a new local sports radio morning host comes with some baggage from his old job.
David says Comcast and ESPN cut a deal this week for subscribers to watch the network online.
Mel Bracht of The Oklahoman notes that Fox Sports Oklahoma will air specials next week on the state’s two major college football programs.
John Kiesewetter of the Cincinnati Enquirer notes that the Reds TV and Radio ratings are up this season.
Paul M. Banks of Chicago Sports Media Watch explores the Cubs’ Kerry Wood blowing up at the local media this week.
Paul Christian at the Rochester (MN) Post Bulletin looks at NBC’s coverage of The Players Championship.
Dan Caesar of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch writes that a local sports anchor gets to talk news on the radio.
John Maffei of the North County Times says the local media plans to cover Junior Seau’s public memorial today.
Jim Carlisle at the Ventura County Star notes that outgoing flagship TV station KCAL gave another farewell to the Los Angeles Lakers this week.
Jim looks at the 17th hole at the TPC Sawgrass which will get plenty of attention on NBC/Golf Channel at the Players Championship.
Jim provides his weekend viewing picks.
Tom Hoffarth of the Los Angeles Daily News looks at Time Warner Cable’s new sports channels.
Tom tries to give Kings fans missing their local TV voices a silver lining.
Jon Wilner at the San Jose Mercury News goes over the latest developments at the Pac-12 Networks.
Bruce Dowbiggin at the Toronto Globe and Mail says CBC’s Ron MacLean had to clarify his 9/11 remarks before Game 6 of the New York Rangers-Washington Capitals series.
The Canadian Sports Media Blog has the announcing assignments for both CBC and TSN in the NHL Conference Final round.
And we are done. Enjoy your sports weekend.
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.
Yesterday, Deadspin published a story on an ESPN.com freelance writer who was seemingly hired sight unseen after writing for a gambling website. The over 5,000-word story by John Koblin details how this writer, Sarah Phillips, got entangled into a scheme to purchase or in the case of the Deadspin story, outright steal Facebook and Twitter parody accounts in the guise of creating a sports comedy site. Shortly after Deadspin posted its story about Sarah Phillips, ESPN.com canned her and then all types of stories came out on her schemes to buy up the accounts and also how she with a partner attempted to scam people out of money. In addition, this Sarah Phillips not only misrepresented herself, she tried to conceal her identity by using another person’s pictures as Larry Brown Sports discovered.
Not only is Deadspin continuing to update its story, but it’s finding out more information on Phillips.
Aaron Nilsen writes how he was scammed by Phillips out of his Twitter account and how her partner attempted to threaten him.
Ben Koo from Awful Announcing then looks at Phillips buying up a popular Twitter parody account to filter traffic to her sports comedy website.
And then Ben investigates Phillips’ mysterious partner, Nilesh Presad, who seems to be the mastermind behind the scams.
Sawley Vickrey of Larry Brown Sports suggests that Phillips may have started to scam people to cover her own gambling debts.
Wherever this leads, I’m sure we haven’t heard the last of her. And one thing she should learn from all this is that when the internet goes against you, the world can be a very lonely place.
The only thing I can think of that can describe this whole story is OMC’s How Bizarre. Indeed how bizarre, how bizarre.
I need to clear my brower of links I was hoping to get to sometime over the last few days. Since I couldn’t do the Friday megalinks or any Saturday morning linkage, I’ll do some Sunday evening leftover links.
Consider this the Sunday entrée to the beginning of the workweek. I honestly don’t know what that means.
Here’s some linkage for you to chew on.
Brian Lowry of Fox Sports is not a fan of Shaquille O’Neal on TNT.
Mike Farrell of Multichannel News writes that Time Warner Cable is hoping to obtain more sports properties for its new Southern California regional sports network.
Mike Reynolds from Multichannel says the first round of the 2012 NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs was the most watched on record.
Andrea Morabito of Broadcasting & Cable reports that no talent hack Ryan Seacrest will be haunting NBC Sports as well as NBC News in an all-new, all-encompassing contract with NBCUniversal.
Tim Baysinger at B&C says ESPN’s ratings for the First Round of the NFL Draft were up double digits from the year before.
Sam Laird at Mashable writes that social media is influencing sports in many ways.
To Sean Newell of Deadspin who looks at the strange Twitter meltdown of Chicago Sun-Times reporter Joe Cowley who went all-sexist on female pilots and one of his co-workers.
Ed Sherman of The Sherman Report writes that former CBS and ABC Sports essayist Jack Whitaker is receiving a long overdue honor from the Sports Emmys on Monday.
Ryan Yoder from Awful Announcing reviews the good and the bad of ESPN’s First Round coverage of the NFL Draft.
Joe Lucia of AA does the same for NFL Network.
Back to Matt from AA, apparently Tim McCarver fancies himself an expert on climate change
From the Tampa Bay Times, Eric Deggans reviews ESPN’s coverage of the NFL Draft for the Indiana University National Sports Journalism Center.
Jason Dachman from Sports Video Group has ESPN optimistic that its Los Angeles studios will put itself in a unique position to cover the Lakers and Clippers in the NBA Playoffs.
CNBC’s Darren Rovell wonders if Indianapolis Colts QB Andrew Luck can ever match Peyton Manning’s marketability.
Providence’s WJAR-TV and Cox Communications announce a new partnership that will simulcast the NBC affiliate’s local newscasts and also put Cox Sports RI’s programming on a new cable channel.
Amy Chozick and Nick Wingfield of the New York Times explore the growing world of TV mobile and tablet apps which include the soon-to-be released NBC Olympics iPad app.
Richard Sandomir of the New York Times profiles actor Peter Scolari who plays three important roles in the Magic/Bird Broadway play.
Breaking a ban of linking to Bob Raissman of the New York Daily News who has an interesting story regarding Yankees voices John Sterling and Suzyn Waldman and whether they’ll be leaving if the team changes flagship radio stations after this season.
The New York Post’s Phil Mushnick has no hope for our society. Lighten up, Phil. Time to travel to Moldova or Johannesburg. Somewhere you don’t have to watch sports anymore.
Jerry Barmash at Fishbowl NY says MSG Network’s ratings for Game 7 of the Ottawa Senators-New York Rangers series were the best since the 1994 Stanley Cup-clinching game on the network.
Bob Cooney of the Philadelphia Inquirer writes that the 76ers are leaving long-time home WIP and switching to ESPN Radio Philadelphia.
Crossing Broad says the Sixers’ move came as a surprise.
Jim Williams at the Washington Examiner talks with Jim Rome and his new CBS home.
Laura Newberry of the Orlando Sentinel says Golf Channel has become a Central Florida mainstay.
David Barron of the Houston Chronicle writes that the Rockets are not only moving to a new TV home next season, but are currently looking for a new radio flagship station as well.
Mel Bracht of The Oklahoman transcribes Mike Tirico’s call of Kevin Durant’s winning shot for the Oklahoma City Thunder against the Dallas Mavericks on Saturday.
The Cincinnati Enquirer says one local cable provider will pick up NFL Network, but it’s not Time Warner.
Paul M. Banks at Chicago Sports Media Watch says the Sun-Times’ Joe Cowley may be headed towards a suspension.
Danny Ecker at Crain’s Chicago Business says the Bulls generated their highest regular season TV ratings since the Michael Jordan years.
Dan Caesar of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch says scheduling of playoff games never has the fans in mind.
Scott D. Pierce of the Salt Lake Tribune says ESPN gave the Utah Jazz the benefit of the doubt in its series opener.
Bruce Dowbiggin of the Toronto Globe and Mail says CBC got the job done in choosing its NHL Playoff series for the Conference Semifinal round.
Peter Adler from the Edmonton Journal says the Oilers’ documentary series Oil Change which runs on NHL Network should return for a third season
Howard M. Alperin of Midwest Sports Fans asks why CBSSports.com doesn’t include soccer coverage?
Greg Wyshynski of Yahoo’s Puck Daddy has TSN’s top hockey bloopers of the 2011-12 season.
That’s a lot of leftover linkage. Glad I was able to clear this out before Monday.
Why not do some links while I can?
We begin with USA Today and the national NFL TV schedule for this upcoming season.
Carolyn Giardana with the Hollywood Reporter writes that NBC will utilize Avid Technology systems to develop video feeds for the London Summer Olympics.
George Winslow at Broadcasting & Cable says NESN has selected Sony to manage its video content.
Mike Reynolds of Multichannel News writes that NBC is utilizing the “TV Everywhere” initiative to stream the Olympics live to mobiles, tablets and computers.
Mike talks with MLB Network President and CEO Tony Petitti about the new “Strike Zone” feature and what the network has in store for the next 12 months.
MediaRantz looks at the reaction from sports broadcasters upon learning that American Bandstand and New Year’s Rockin’ Eve host Dick Clark had died.
Fox Sports’ Ken Rosenthal reports that a baseball panel will settle a dispute between the Baltimore Orioles and the Washington Nationals over how much MASN should pay the Nats for their media rights. The Nats’ rights are undervalued compared to what other teams are currently being paid.
A.J. Perez of Fox Sports talks with sports documentarian Sean Pamphilon whose audio of former defensive coordinator Gregg Williams is front-and-center of the New Orleans Saints Bountygate scandal.
Ed Sherman at the Sherman Report feels sportswriters are unappreciated by the Pulitzer Prize committee. I agree.
Matt Yoder of Awful Announcing gets together with Sports Illustrated’s Richard Deitsch, Sports Business Journal’s John Ourand, Dan Patrick Show Executive Producer Paul Pabst to hold the first ever NFL Media Fantasy Draft. Great stuff from AA.
Dan Fogarty of SportsGrid says the NFL wants ESPN and the NFL Network to stop spoiling draft picks.
Andrew Gauthier of TVSpy notes that a long-time sports anchor in Sioux City, IA is moving a seat to the right to become his TV station’s news anchor.
Gavin O’Malley at MediaPost says even though it’s not an Olympics rightsholder, Fox is making a commitment to cover the Olympics online.
David Goetzl of MediaPost writes that in this increasingly DVR timeshifting world, viewers still want to see their sports live and not delayed.
Timothy Burke at Deadspin noticed that a Miami TV station showed the wrong logo when reporting on the Florida Panthers win over the New Jersey Devils the other night.
Greg Wyshynski at Yahoo’s Puck Daddy finds that Hockey Night in Canada’s PJ Stock is endorsing Depends adult diapers in Canada????
The great Judy Battista of the New York Times talks with the NFL schedule maker Howard Katz who can’t please everyone.
Steven Silver at Philadelphia Magazine’s Philly Post blog wonders if national announcers are biased against the city as some fans perceive.
In Press Box, Dave Hughes of DCRTV.com profiles one Baltimore sports radio host who has changed stations, but vows to continue doing what he’s been doing.
Chris Korman of the Baltimore Sun says the Washington Nationals are looking to get more money from the Baltimore Orioles majority-owned MASN.
Jim Williams of the Washington Examiner talks with Capitals TV voice Joe Beninati about the team’s series with the Boston Bruins.
Chuck Carroll at CBS Washington looks at Britt McHenry’s decision to stay at WJLA-TV instead of taking a job with Fox Sports San Diego. Britt was also a candidate to replace Heidi Watney on NESN and Kim Jones on YES.
Tom Jones in the Tampa Bay Times talks with hockey charlatan Pierre McGuire about the perceived increased disrespect in the NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs.
Mel Bracht of The Oklahoman says ESPN’s Skippy Bayless was ripping the Oklahoma City Thunder this week.
Bob Wolfley of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel writes that NFL Network has another Top 100 show.
Howard Sinker of the Minneapolis Star Tribune gave ESPN a try to get a different perspective on the Minnesota Twins.
Scott D. Pierce of the Salt Lake Tribune says Utah Jazz broadcasters Craig Bolerjack and Matt Harpring make no bones about rooting for their team, but don’t call them homers.
Rob Katowski of the Las Vegas Review-Journal says a proposed merger between the Mountain West and Conference USA could still happen as long as the two leagues agree on sharing TV rights.
Tim Sullivan with the San Diego Union-Tribune writes that the impasse between Fox Sports San Diego and Time Warner Cable is preventing Padres fans from seeing their team.
Sports Media Watch says ESPN has a tapped a man no one has ever heard of to host The ESPY’s.
SMW notes that former Portland Trail Blazer and NBA analyst Steve “Snapper” Jones has been plagued by massive health issues.
SMW has some ratings news and notes.
Steve Lepore at Puck The Media says Game 2 of the Florida Panthers-New Jersey Devils series did very well for NBC Sports Network last Sunday.
Steven Morocco and John Morgan of MMA Junkie write that UFC wants a similar TV deal in the UK as it has with Fox in the States.
EPL Talk looks at Fox going all out for the English Premier League’s final day of the season next month.
Guyism notes that twice this week, MASN Nationals reporter Kristina Akra got soaked with Gatorade.
And that’s going to do it. Found more links than I thought I would and that’s very good for you.
Earlier this week, we learned that when NBCUniversal was in the midst of signing no talent hack Ryan Seacrest, Brian Stelter of the New York Times reported that the American Idol host would be getting a role on the Olympics.
Then this morning on NBC’s Today show, Seacrest in an interview with Matt Lauer announced his new role at NBC will involve some work with the morning show, but also on the Olympics. While Seacrest himself didn’t come out with it, we’ve now learned through Washington Post TV critic Lisa de Moraes that he will be getting a role in NBC’s primetime coverage of the London Games. That apparently means he will be co-hosting with Bob Costas.
Yesterday, I speculated on the hosts for NBC’s coverage this July and hoped that Seacrest would not be in primetime. Well, one of my greatest fears has surfaced.