I hope those of you in the Mid-Atlantic states are ok after Hurricane Sandy. I’m lucky to still have power after yesterday’s gusts in Southern New England. I know many are not. Hopefully you’re ok after Sandy and you can start getting back to normal. Let’s do some linkage for you.
Michael Hiestand of USA Today talks about the World Series’ ratings.
Ed Sherman at The Sherman Report wonders why the World Series ratings continue to decline.
Ed goes behind the scenes with ESPN’s Monday Night Football.
Ed has an interview with Jay “The Rat” Mariotti.
Michael O’Connell from the Hollywood Reporter says the World Series ratings fell from last year, but still won their respective nights.
Tim Baysinger of Broadcasting & Cable notes the 2012 World Series fell way below its previous record low.
Tim looks at NBC’s deal with the English Premier League.
Mike Reynolds from Multichannel News talks with MLB Network head honcho Tony Petitti about obtaining the rights to the next two World Baseball Classics.
Mike says Univision has signed the rights to the CONCACAF Gold Cup soccer tournament.
Brian Steinberg of Advertising Age talks about the World Series’ low ratings.
Toni Fitzgerald of Media Life says Fox won Sunday night with an NFL overrun and the World Series.
Newsday’s Neil Best notes that WFAN begins its FM simulcast on Friday.
NBA on TNT voice Marv Albert writes in the New York Times about welcoming the Nets to Brooklyn.
Ken Schott from the Schenectady Gazette says Fox has changed the NFL game being sent to the Capital Region for the second consecutive week.
Pete Dougherty of the Albany Times Union has the college football TV schedule for Week 10.
Pete has the NFL TV schedule for Weeks 9 and 10.
Ken McMillan from the Middletown (NY) Times Herald-Record notes the MLS Playoffs start this Wednesday.
Jim Williams of the Washington Examiner talks with NBA TV’s Chris Webber about the Wizards.
Tom Jones in the Tampa Bay Times reviews the weekend in sports television.
David Barron of the Houston Chronicle looks at the weekend ratings.
Mel Bracht of The Oklahoman says a former Sooner basketball player will be the analyst for several Oklahoma games this season.
Dusty Saunders at the Denver Post is a fan of NBC’s Tony Dungy.
Jon Wilner of the San Jose Mercury News notes that the West Coast Conference gets a TV deal.
EPL Talk looks at the new NBC Sports-English Premier League deal.
Matt Yoder from Awful Announcing analyzes what airing English Premier League games means for NBC and NBC Sports Network.
The EPL also made a new rights deal in Canada.
Sports Rantz looks at some radio and sports broadcasts affected by Hurricane Sandy.
And that will be it for now.
Been so busy lately that it’s been effecting the blog. Sorry about that. This weekend was planned for me again, so I really couldn’t post too much around the personal events. It also meant I couldn’t watch any of The Masters® or any baseball. The only things I could watch was The Amazing Race and Mad Men so you could tell what type of weekend it was.
One of these days, I’ll be able to have a normal weekend where I can post what I like.
Anyway, you don’t care about my life or problems, you want links and that’s what I’ll provide.
Michael Hiestand of USA Today looks at CBS’ coverage of The Masters®.
Mike Foss of USA Today’s Game On has old fossil Fox’s Tim McCarver railing against social networking.
Writing for the Indiana University National Sports Journalism Center, Eric Deggans of the Tampa Bay Times says journalists can lead the way to change Augusta National’s sexist policies.
Joe Posnanski writes his last column for Sports Illustrated.
Sports Illustrated’s Richard Deitsch talks with ESPN NBA analyst Jeff Van Gundy who freely admits who he’s supporting in the Stan Van Gundy/Dwight Howard conflict that arose last week.
John Consoli from Broadcasting & Cable writes about Fox handing over a majority of its Saturday primetime hours this year to Fox Sports.
Toni Fitzgerald of Media Life Magazine says Fox Sports will fill Saturday primetime with existing properties such as college football, MLB, NASCAR, NFL preseason and UFC.
John Ourand of Sports Business Journal explains how Fox Sports came to program a majority of Saturday nights for the network.
Mike Reynolds at Multichannel News reports that Dish Network has picked up the Univision Sports channel.
Sam Thielman of Adweek says NBC will go all out to measure viewing habits on all platforms during the Summer Olympics.
Nat Ives of Advertising Age reports that the poorly promoted NFL Magazine will be shuttered after four issues.
Karen Hogan of Sports Video Group looks at TBS’ plans for Sunday Afternoon Baseball.
The Big Lead explores ESPN kicking out the Colonial Athletic Association from BracketBusters college basketball event after the conference signed a new contract with NBC Sports Group.
Timothy Burke at Deadspin has a screengrab of ESPN’s Sunday Night Baseball crew with $78 worth of the new Texas Rangers 2 foot long hot dogs.
Boston Sports Media Watch celebrates 10 years. It’s a great site and Bruce Allen has been very kind to me over the years.
To Phil Mushnick at the New York Post who enjoyed a Tiger-fee Masters.
Ken Schott from the Schenectady Gazette has the NHL Conference Quarterfinal schedule.
Jim Williams at the Washington Examiner looks at the Broadway play on Larry Bird and Magic Johnson.
Bob Molinaro at the Virginian-Pilot feels ESPN is being petty by booting the CAA out from BracketBusters.
The Tampa Bay Times’ Tom Jones gives his two cents on the the weekend in sports television.
Jessica Lipscomb and Victoria Macchi of the Naples (FL) Daily News says the host of an Outdoor Channel/ESPN2 fishing show was killed in a plane crash last week.
Dan Caesar at the St. Louis Post-Dispatch tells us to get ready for a lot of hockey.
Dusty Saunders at the Denver Post says CBS got the job done at The Masters®.
Kelly Lyell of The Coloradoan has Colorado State University disappointed about the end of the mtn.
Scott D. Pierce of the Salt Lake Tribune says it’s no surprise of the demise of the mtn.
Mark Anderson of the Las Vegas Review-Journal writes that the fall of the mtn. was just a matter of time.
Dan Hayes of the North County Times says the San Diego Padres ownership picture is becoming much clearer and that should lead for the formal approval of the team’s rights deal with Fox Sports.
Tom Hoffarth of the Los Angeles Daily News has the sports calendar for this week.
Raju Mudhar of the Toronto Star puts a lid on two traditional Original Six NHL rivals who won’t be in the postseason.
Sports Media Watch discusses Fox Sports and the Olympic Trials in primetime plus the end of the mtn. in a news and notes post.
Steve Lepore at Puck The Media mostly likes what he sees with NBC Sports Group’s scheduling for the NHL Conference Quarterfinals.
Joe Favorito talks about the latest NHL Playoff beard promotion, continuing activation for the Geico Gekko and promotion for the Family Circle Cup.
And we’re done now.
I don’t know why they’re mighty, but they’re here. Let’s get to them.
USA Today’s Mike McCarthy looks at Super Bowl Media Day which will be covered from all angles on both ESPN and NFL Network.
Preston Bounds from Sports Business Daily lists the top 11 most marketable NFL players. Your humble blogger is quoted in the story.
At the Poynter Institute, Kelly McBride takes both the New York Times and Yale Daily News to task for their handling of the Patrick Witt alleged sexual assault story.
Michael O’Connell of the Hollywood Reporter writes that the NFL Pro Bowl gave NBC a Sunday primetime win over weak competition.
Anthony Crupi of Adweek notes that marketers and star players are for the most part, a winning combination.
Tim Nudd from Adweek looks at the advertiser rundown for Sunday’s Super Bowl on NBC.
Tim loves the extended Honda Ferris Bueller-themed Super Bowl ad.
Back to Crupi who delves into the April launch of Univision Deportes.
Adweek talks with Jim Rome about his move from ESPN to CBS.
At the Indiana University National Sports Journalism Center, Eric Deggans of the Tampa Bay Times says social media campaigns can enhance and also detract from the Super Bowl viewing experience.
The Nielsen Wire blog looks at the spending trends for Super Bowl ads over the last five years.
Ken Kerschbaumer of Sports Video Group notes that NFL Network is gearing up for a very busy Super Bowl Week.
Patrick Burns of Deadspin breaks down ESPN SportsCenter’s coverage from last week.
At All Things Digital, Peter Kafka says it’s ESPN that’s weighing down your cable bill.
Peter Abraham of the Boston Globe writes that NESN has made additions to its Red Sox broadcast team.
Here’s a rarity, Phil Mushnick of the New York Post giving praise and today he’s dishing it out to Knicks radio voice Spero Dedes.
Bob’s Blitz has caught WFAN’s Mike Francesa in a lie regarding his Super Bowl XLVII prediction.
From the Albany Times Union, Pete Dougherty notes that former Indianapolis Colts GM Bill Polian has signed with SiriusXM to co-host some radio shows.
Tom Jones at the Tampa Bay Times looks back at the weekend in sports television.
Cleveland Plain-Dealer ombudsman Ted Diadun discusses the reassignment of Browns beat writer Tony Grossi after a private tweet about Browns owner Randy Lerner went public.
The Waiting for Next Year blog looks at the Plain-Dealer decision.
Also from the Plain-Dealer, Bill Lubinger writes about how local TV rights money is playing a huge role in baseball free agency signings.
Dusty Saunders from the Denver Post notes that MLB Network has plucked Root Sports’ Alana Rizzo for a national gig.
Tom Hoffarth at the Los Angeles Daily News has the sports calendar for this week.
Friend of Fang’s Bites Jackie Pepper is heading to the Super Bowl.
John Daly of the Daly Planet looks at NASCAR taking over operation of its website from Turner Sports.
John also looks at the future of NASCAR’s Nationwide Series on ESPN.
Sports Media Watch has the overnight ratings of the NHL All-Star Game and Australian Open finals.
Joe Lucia at Awful Announcing says UFC on Fox’s ratings may have gone down from its November debut, but they’re still good in the desired demographic.
That will do it.
Time for the Fang’s Bites Sports Media Year in Review. The year isn’t big enough for a Top Ten, but it is big enough for a Big Dozen. Let’s get to the list and we’ll count down from 12 and also have some Honorable Mentions.
12. ESPN The Book
One of the most anticipated books of the year for the sports media was “Those Guys Have All the Fun: Inside the World of ESPN” co-authored by Tom Shales and James Andrew Miller. Some of the more salacious and sensational stories were leaked and released before its publication. But when all was said and done, the tome was more of a detailed history lesson of how ESPN was created and rose to become the biggest content provider in sports media. The book became a New York Times best seller and is being made into a major motion picture by 20th Century Fox.
11. ESPN vs. NBC
The battle lines have already been drawn between the two networks, but with owner, Comcast, merging its cable sports properties of Versus, Golf Channel and the Comcast SportsNet regional affiliates under the NBC Sports Group, the Peacock is positioning itself to become a major competitor to ESPN. NBC Sports has already obtained Major League Soccer and horse racing, increased NHL content, announced an Olympic presence and will create a Sunday NFL pregame show for Versus which will be rebranded this weekend.
ESPN is not sitting back aggressively expanding its college sports portfolio and keeping Monday Night Football.
With MLB, NASCAR and the BCS up for bid in 2012, NBC Sports could be strengthened with more content for its cable properties or ESPN could continue its monolithic path to World Domination.
10. UFC Signs With Fox
Mixed Martial Arts went mainstream with the Ultimate Fighting Championships signing an 8 year, multi-million dollar contract with Fox. The first UFC bout on Fox in November didn’t last very long, but it did do well in the key male demographics. Starting in January, UFC programming will be seen on various Fox platforms including FX and Fuel. Both sides expect to reap huge benefits and I would not doubt to see UFC get big bids for its second network contract in eight years.
9. Long-time Executives Leave Their Respective Networks
Just before NBC Sports was about to present its bid for the Olympics, Emperor Dick Ebersol resigned over a contract dispute. While observers thought it would leave NBC Sports vulnerable, it still won the rights for four Olympiads and kept Sunday Night Football. While he may have clashed with the new Comcast administration, Ebersol’s legacy on the network over two decades cannot be diminished. He is still working for NBC as a consultant on Sunday Night Football and will assist on the 2012 London Olympics.
HBO Sports President Ross Greenburg resigned in July after being with the network for 33 years. Under his tenure, Greenburg increased HBO’s commitment to documentaries and created the successful 24/7 reality series, not just focusing on the network’s signature sport of boxing, but reaching out to NASCAR and the NHL. Greenburg is now producing content for both NBC Sports and the NHL.
And George Bodenheimer announced late this year that he would leave as President and become Chairman of the Alleged Worldwide Leader. He’ll be succeeded by Vice President of Content John Skipper. Bodenheimer steered ESPN into high definition and helped to create ESPN 3D. Plus, he was able to make Monday Night Football into a cable series after 35 years as a network TV mainstay. Bodenheimer, who I’ve jokingly labeled the ESPN Dictator will no longer be in a day-to-day role with ESPN.
8. NBA/NFL Lockout Coverage
Two sports leagues stressed out their fans by making them wait out negotiations over collective bargaining agreements with their players. Instead of anticipating the draft or schedule releases, coverage over labor talks dominated sports media. As negotiations dragged on, reporters were camped out waiting for the latest news which came out as quickly as toothpaste being pushed out of a tube.
NFL Network and ESPN went wall-to-wall with non-stop coverage as a deal neared. The same for NBA TV.
Both leagues finally hashed out agreements and brought labor peace. Eventually, the NFL only lost a preseason game after a ten year CBA with its union. The NBA wasn’t as lucky as almost two months of its schedule was lost and it had to proceed with a reduced 66 game schedule.
7. ESPN/Univision Lose the World Cup to Fox/Telemundo
Honestly, who saw this coming? ESPN’s signature global sports event has been the World Cup. It’s been carrying the event since 1994. Univision’s history with the World Cup dates back to 1978. Both networks have been known for carrying the World’s biggest soccer games. However, that will change in 2015 when Fox and Telemundo take over the English and Spanish language US rights respectively for two Men’s and Women’s World Cups through 2022.
ESPN and Univision were simply outbid by Fox and NBC, the owner of Telemundo. One could argue that the World Cup whose ratings have been steadily going up became a desired property thanks to ESPN’s and Univision’s coverage.
ESPN and Univision get one more World Cup to bid farewell to FIFA and that will be in Rio in 2014.
6. NBC Sports Group Keeps The NHL
Fending off a spirited bid by ESPN, NBC signed a 10 year deal to keep the NHL in the fold in a combined network and cable bid. After pledging to increase games on cable and also give fans national access to all postseason games on its platforms, NBC Sports Group was able to keep the NHL rights. Now the NHL has a permanent place to call its home and NBC has firmly committed to hockey which pleases the sport’s fans to no end.
And please, let’s not mention that ESPN would be better for the NHL.
5. ESPN’s Influence on College Sports including The Longhorn Network
It’s amazing to see how much inventory ESPN has collected in college sports. Not only has it signed the ACC, Big Ten, Pac-12, SEC, several non-BCS conferences and a few individual schools to long-term contracts, it also has created the Longhorn Network for the University of Texas. The whole concept of the Longhorn Network has led to massive upheaval among the BCS conferences with Texas A&M leaving the Big 12 and heading to the SEC, the Big East’s Pittsburgh and Syracuse leaving for the ACC and other schools wanting to leave their leagues for bigger exposure and more ESPN cash.
And not only does ESPN have a hand in these chess games (despite massive denials), it has to cover all of this leading to conflicts of interest. And while ESPN pays megabucks for the NFL, its roots are firmly entrenched in college sports as we have seen with its new contract with the NCAA to air several championships.
ESPN also owns a whole host of bowl games and college basketball tournaments all of which are needed inventory for programming. By owning the games, ESPN doesn’t have to pay a rights fee. Crowds aren’t needed because ESPN makes money once the ads are sold and fees are paid by the cable and satellite providers.
ESPN’s influence in college sports will be a story that will followed for several years to come.
This story became a story thanks to SportsbyBrooks and social networking. Without these two combinations, an ESPN internal suspension might not have been noticed, reported and scrutinized. This all began with then-ESPN.com college football writer Bruce Feldman co-authored a book with former Texas Tech football coach Mike Leach. In the book, Leach alleged that then-ESPN college football analyst Craig James had a hand in his firing from the school over treatment of James’ son.
Feldman says he informed his bosses that he was writing a book with Leach and got their blessing. When the book was released, ESPN suspended Feldman. It was there that blogs and social networking got involved. SportsbyBrooks reported that Feldman was suspended. ESPN denied it. Other college football writers who follow Feldman on Twitter noticed he wasn’t tweeting. The story boomeranged on ESPN. It didn’t end until Feldman left ESPN for CBS Sports.
But this whole story made observers wonder why ESPN chose to hang its hat with James.
3. CBS, ESPN, Fox and NBC Renew the NFL at a Hefty Price
Starting in 2014, the NFL will receive an estimated $5 billion in rights fees from its TV partners. That’s a huge increase from the current amount from the four networks. In addition, all of the current packages will remain with the current networks so there will be no upheaval as in the past three NFL TV contracts.
All of the networks except for ESPN have signed on for 9 years. ESPN reupped for 8. ESPN looks like it will enter the postseason with a Wild Card Playoff game. NBC gains a Thanksgiving Night game, a Divisional Playoff game and more flex scheduling. CBS and Fox also get some flex scheduling to boost their ratings.
And with CBS, Fox and NBC paying on the average of $1 billion each, the NFL has fattened its war chest. Expect another partner for a Thursday Night Football package to be announced sometime in 2012.
The NFL is the ratings king and the money is proof.
2. NBC Keeps the Olympics at a Hefty Price
There were indications before the bidding for the 2014/16 Olympics that NBC was vulnerable (see #9 above). Long-time NBC Sports Emperor Dick Ebersol had left. ESPN and Fox showed indications that they wanted to take the Games away from NBC which had been broadcasting the Olympics since 1988. It looked like the International Olympic Committee was poised go with another TV partner. But when all was said and done, NBC had ponied up $4.38 billion for four Olympiads from 2014 through 2020 and the Olympics were firmly under the NBCUniversal umbrella.
What happened? ESPN bid for only one set of Olympics, 2014/16 and Fox made two separate bids and came close at $3.4 billion. However, when it came time to step up, NBC did and kept the Games in a very spirited bid to the IOC.
After losing money on the 2010 Winter Olympics, NBC’s parent company, Comcast claims it will be profitable on the four set of Games. That remains to be seen.
1. Penn State/Syracuse Media Coverage
Scandal once again dominated the sports media. However, in the case of Penn State, it wasn’t sports writers who uncovered the alleged molestation of young boys by former defensive coordinator Jerry Sandusky. Taking the lead in the coverage was the Harrisburg Patriot-News and in particular, crime reporter Sarah Ganim. Also, Penn State’s student newspaper, the Daily Collegian didn’t sit tight either reporting the story. The national media finally caught up and Bob Costas’ interview of Sandusky on NBC’s Rock Center raised eyebrows. And while ESPN tried its best to report the story, it was way behind. The Sandusky scandal will continue as it goes to trial and it won’t be going away any time soon.
As for the Syracuse story on the alleged molestations by former Syracuse assistant coach Bernie Fine, ESPN had a tape of Fine’s wife, Laurie, talking to one of the accusers. The problem was, it was 8 years old and ESPN gave the appearance that it sat on the story. While network bosses tried to explain their decision, some accused ESPN of not giving what they had to the police. No matter of the explanations, ESPN’s role in this story will be debated and whatever it says won’t be enough for some critics.
There were lessons learned in the reporting of both scandals. We learned that local reporters on the ground will always have an advantage over national correspondents. And we learned that while ESPN has a good stable of reporters, it can’t be everywhere.
- ESPN Fires Ron Franklin
- CBS/Turner 1st Partnership on the NCAA Tournament is Successful
- NFL Films Founder Ed Sabol Inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame
- ESPN Nabs Wimbledon from NBC
- Los Angeles Lakers Sign Long-Term Deal to Create a Regional Sports Network With Time Warner Cable
- Los Angeles Dodgers Fight with Fox Over Media Rights
- Gus Johnson Leaves CBS for Fox
- Women’s World Cup Scores For ESPN
- Hank Williams, Jr. Pulled From Monday Night Football
- Matthew Barnaby Loses ESPN Gig
Coming up before the year is over, Best and Worsts in Sports Broadcasting in 2011 and Predictions for 2012.
Ok, back from New York after attending “Blogs with Balls 4″ at the Bloomberg world headquarters on Lexington Avenue. I’ll have a recap of the event later today. But I’ll give you some links since I was unable to blog yesterday.
Mike Reynolds of Multichannel News says MLB Network has signed several cable providers for its new Video on Demand service.
Mike writes that Univision has signed former NBC Sports Executive Producer David Neal as its head of sports production.
At the Indiana University National Sports Journalism Center, Eric Deggans from the St. Petersburg Times writes that Fox made a huge mistake by making up Chicago Tribune headlines and portraying them as real.
SportsGrid has Fox Sports’ official apology made during Fox NFL Sunday.
Adam Rittenberg of ESPN.com says College GameDay heads to Wisconsin this Saturday.
A couple of screengrabs from Timothy Burke at his Mocksession site. First, here’s Erin Andrews wearing a coonskin cap on the set of ESPN’s College GameDay.
And we have a look at the monsoon in Charlotte that caused the Bank of America Stadium field to become a quagmire during the Jacksonville-Carolina game.
At Sporting Madness, Andrew Bucholz recaps one of the Blogs with Balls 4 panels during which ABC’s Josh Elliot did not have some nice things to say about his former employer, ESPN.
Brandon Costa of Sports Video Group looks at Raycom’s new HD production truck.
Phil Mushnick of the New York Post decries the personal seat license.
Dick Weiss of the New York Daily News notes that the Big East’s rejection of a huge ESPN offer for TV rights paved the way for Pittsburgh and Syracuse to leave the conference.
Jim Wiliams of the Washington Examiner writes that this isn’t the first time the SEC was thinking expansion of the conference.
Mel Bracht of the Daily Oklahoman rates the top 5 Sooner State announcing teams.
Nina Metz of the Chicago Tribune reviews the ESPN Films documentary on the Steve Bartman incident from 2003.
David Haugh of the Tribune has Fox’s Joe Buck denying that Bears QB Jay Cutler is being singled out by the networks for criticism.
The Toronto Sports Media Blog says a noted Toronto Globe and Mail columnist may be leaving for a TV career.
Sports Media Watch has some various ratings news and notes.
SMW has a few more news and notes.
And that’s where I’ll end it for now.
I’m going to post as many links as I can. It’s part of the day where I could be leaving at any time. Let’s do this.
Michael Malone of Broadcasting & Cable looks at Universal Sports moving from an over-the-air/cable multichannel to an all-cable network.
Multichannel News reports that Univision has renewed its rights with the NFL as the official Hispanic broadcaster of the league.
Self Magazine had ESPN’s Erin Andrews do a CrossFit photo shoot. As usual, she looks great.
Karen Hogan at Sports Video Group notes that the New York Football Giants have developed their own mobile app.
CNBC’s Darren Rovell says student road trips are going to be big losers if the college sports conference super shuffle continues.
Darren writes that the Interactive Fan Cam can become a big revenue stream for college sports.
At the Poynter Institute, Jason Fry says the rules for sports journalism in covering teams have changed dramatically in the last few years.
Newsday’s Neil Best talks with the head of programming for NBC Sports/Versus about upgrading the cable channel’s programming.
Neil says the New York Giants return to hosting Monday Night Football for the first time since ABC had the package.
Pete Dougherty of the Albany Times Union has the Week 3 college football TV schedule.
Ken Schott from the Schenectady Gazette says Turner Sports has grabbed the Coaches vs. Cancer college basketball tournament for truTV.
Ken says NHL Network will air 32 preseason games starting next week. Hockey’s back!
Jim Williams of the Washington Examiner talks with an ESPN programming executive about how the WNBA is doing on the network.
Tom Jones from the St. Petersburg Times spends a couple of minutes with ESPN’s Kirk Herbstreit.
Mel Bracht from the Daily Oklahoman writes that ESPN college football analyst David Pollack might be on the fast track to getting more work with the network.
Mel asks David to preview Saturday’s Oklahoma-Florida State game which will be aired on ABC.
Bob Wolfley of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel previews a new ESPN college football studio show.
Bob has Kirk Herbstreit talking about Wisconsin’s quarterback.
Bob notes that the Green Bay Packers will get the attention of the Sunday NFL pregame shows this week.
Tom Hoffarth of the Los Angeles Daily News has this week’s NFL TV schedule for SoCal.
Tom previews tonight’s NFL Films doc on Patriots coach Bill Belichick.
And I’m told we’re shutting down for the day. I’ll be back later with more stuff.
I’m hoping to get this entire Megalink session finished in one sitting. It’s been a crazy day thus far. Of course, all of your weekend sport and entertainment programming are featured in the Weekend Viewing Picks.
Let’s get to the linkage now.
Michael Hiestand of USA Today speaks with noted baseball announcing author Curt Smith who has written another book about the subject.
USA Today’s Mike McCarthy has ESPN’s Desmond Howard criticizing the current college athletics system which does not allow for students to get paid.
Sports Illustrated’s Stewart Mandel talks with Pac-12 Commissioner Larry Scott about the details of the conference’s new TV networks.
Mike Barnes of the Hollywood Reporter writes that Golf Channel and CBS will have the honors of airing Tiger Woods’ return to golf next weekend.
Michael Malone at Broadcasting & Cable criticizes WPRI-TV in Providence for recreating golf highlights and passing it off as it actually happened.
Thomas Umstead from Multichannel News says boxing is still a big part of HBO Sports.
Todd Spangler at Multichannel says ESPN will redesign its live streaming site for Xbox 360 users.
Timothy Burke of SportsGrid has the video of Dan Patrick joining old SportsCenter partner Keith Olbermann on Current’s Countdown program to talk about casting the potential ESPN Movie.
Marcus Vanderberg at SportsNewser notes that ESPN’s John Clayton still hasn’t grasped this Twitter thing yet.
Cam Martin of SportsNewser writes that Rory McIlroy called out a BBC golf commentator and had quite the Twitter battle.
CNBC’s Darren Rovell says Knicks and Rangers fans will have the opportunity to see their team’s players go from the court/ice to the locker room and vice versa.
The Big Lead speaks with actor Dan Lauria about bringing his Broadway role of coach Vince Lombardi “home” to Green Bay this weekend.
Sports Media Watch says viewership declined for the last week of Copa América on Univision as glamor teams Brazil and Argentina lost before the semifinal round.
SMW notes that the ratings jumped for the WNBA All-Star Game on ABC last weekend.
Joe Favorito says Baseball’s governing body is now using social media to its advantage.
Bob’s Blitz has an interesting story of a former cameraman and ESPN director who got a lucky cell phone and has been living the life of a celebrity.
Ben Koo of Awful Announcing notes that the Pac-12 Networks will further fragment sports on cable.
Overseas, this is big news. John Plunkett of the London Guardian says BBC Sport is letting go of most of its Formula 1 contract and satellite provider Sky Sports will pick up a lion’s share of races starting next year. That would be as if Fox decided to allow DirecTV to take over most of the NASCAR contract.
Ben Gallop of BBC’s motorsports division explains why the decision was made.
East & Mid-Atlantic
Chad Finn of the Boston Globe feels melancholy over the loss of HBO’s Hard Knocks, a victim of the NFL lockout this season.
At SB Nation, Kat Hasenauer Cornetta says women are still trying to get a foothold in the Boston sports media.
Newsday’s Neil Best says Derek Jeter finally opened up a bit in the HBO documentary that premiered this week.
At the New York Post, Phil Mushnick warns to be careful what you wish for in wanting replay review in baseball.
Mike Battaglino of the Post notes that there will be no edition of Hard Knocks this season.
Justin Terranova writes that the NFL TV’s partners were never worried about losing games to the lockout.
A couple of more stories from the Post. Tim Bontemps from the Post says Derek Jeter agreed to do the HBO documentary on his quest for 3,000 hits so his future children could see him at work.
Justin has five questions for the producer of the HBO Jeter documentary.
Pete Dougherty at the Albany Times Union writes that the premiere of NBC’s Summer at Saratoga series did quite well.
On Thursday, Pete, the lovely Rachel Cohen of the Associated Press and your humble blogger were invited to ESPN to talk to several of the network’s production staff and then interview Norby Williamson, the network’s Vice President of Studio and Event Production. Pete has a story on that visit.
Pete Domowitch of the Philadelphia Daily News writes about the contentious relationship between NFL Network and NFL Films.
To the Washington Post’s DC Sports Bog and Dan Steinberg who notes that local talk show host John Riggins isn’t optimistic about DC NFL team coach Mike Shanahan’s chances this year.
Jim Williams of the Washington Examiner says MLB Network will be all over the Trading Deadline this weekend.
Jared Hunt from the Charleston (WV) Daily Mail profiles CBS golf producer Lance Barrow as he helms the network’s broadcasts of the Greenbrier Classic this weekend.
Cindy Watts of The Tennessean talks about country star Kenny Chesney writing and performing the theme song for a new ESPN series.
David Barron of the Houston Chronicle says NFL Films founder Ed Sabol is deservedly getting the NFL Films treatment in a new documentary celebrating his induction into the Pro Football Hall of Fame.
David talks about the lack of a Hard Knocks series this season.
Rick Cantu and Kirk Bohis of the Austin (TX) American-Statesman says ESPN approached several high schools about putting their games on the Longhorn Network.
Mel Bracht from the Daily Oklahoman talks with ESPN college football analyst Kirk Herbstreit about the upcoming season.
Mel finds the real reason why Herbstreit chose to move his family away from his native Columbus, OH to Tennessee.
Michael Zuidema from the Grand Rapids (MI) Press talks with former NFL’er and current TV analyst Ray Bentley about the 1987 NFL strike.
Bob Wolfley at the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel finds some interesting Brewers anecdotes in the new Curt Smith book.
Brian Hamilton of the Chicago Tribune interviews ESPN’s Kirk Herbstreit.
Over to the Rochester (MN) Post-Bulletin where Paul Christian notes that ex-Minnesota Golden Gopher coaches keep finding their way to television.
Brian T. Smith of the Salt Lake Tribune says former Utah Jazz player Matt Harpring has made the successful transition to the TV booth.
John Maffei of the North County Times understands why Mexican government ads must be played on a local sports radio station, but it doesn’t mean he has to like them.
Tom Hoffarth at the Los Angeles Daily News looks at the new batch of ESPN Films documentaries that will be released later this year.
Tom has Fox Sports/MLB Network insider Ken Rosenthal still being wary of Twitter.
Tom talks with Pac-12 Commissioner Larry Scott about his whirlwind tenure that has left the league with a pocketful of riches.
Tom has more on the Pac-12 Network announcement aftermath.
Bruce Dowbiggin at the Toronto Globe and Mail says the father of new Blue Jay Colby Ramus is using the local media to blast St. Louis Cardinals manager Tony LaRussa.
And that will do it for today.
Let’s go for your links today.
Starting with Richard Deitsch of Sports Illustrated, he explores whether the Women’s World Cup can find an audience and he also scolds Pierre McGuire.
Steve Weiberg of USA Today says a group of former college athletes is suing ESPN and CBS plus other networks for using their likenesses on commercials, promos and classic programming without their permission. This is going to be a very interesting case.
Sergio Non of USA Today says Spike’s replay of an old UFC event beat a new UFC card airing on Versus in the ratings on Sunday.
Wayne Friedman of MediaPost looks at the NFL seeking yet another TV package to help drive up revenue.
George Winslow of Broadcasting & Cable writes that NBA Digital saw record traffic for the Draft last week.
Mike Reynolds from Multichannel News says the Sportsman Channel continues to gain HD access on Comcast systems in the South.
Mike says a couple of presenting sponsors of ESPN’s self-aggrandizing ESPY Awards are back for another year.
Anthony Crupi at Adweek tells us that TNT still has a few spots open for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Race at Daytona this Saturday.
Louisa Ada Seltzer of Media Life says the Women’s World Cup is a top draw on TV this week.
Cam Martin of SportsNewser says Fang’s Bites fave Bethanie Mattek-Sands has issued a challenge to the Larry Brown Sports blog.
Kevin Arnovitz of ESPN’s True Hoop NBA blog network notes that the league’s techies and social media gurus are possibly looking at websites without the likenesses of any of its players in case a lockout becomes reality. Thanks to Marcus Vanderberg of SportsNewser for the link.
Dan Fogarty from SportsGrid notes that ESPN is stocking up on attractive blond female sportscasters.
CNBC’s Darren Rovell talks with DirecTV Football Cop C.J. Hunter a.k.a. Eli Manning.
Dave Seminara of the New York Times’ Straight Sets blog isn’t a big fan of having to shuffle around NBC and ESPN2 to find the Wimbledon match he wants to watch.
Newsday’s Neil Best looks at Tiki Barber’s attempted NFL comeback.
And Neil has more with Tiki in his blog.
The Washington Post’s Dan Steinberg in the DC Sports Bog has the results of a local magazine’s sports media poll.
Ed Sherman at Crain’s Chicago Business notes that former Cubs and Nationals manager Jim Riggleman will be a guest analyst for the Cubs-White Sox series on Comcast SportsNet.
The Idaho Press-Tribune notes that CBS Sports Network gets an important pickup in Big Sky country and for fans looking to watch Boise State football.
Brian Murphy of the Idaho Statesman says CBS Sports Network will be added to a digital tier which means customers will have to pay extra to see it.
Joe Flint of the Los Angeles Times says the NFL is going full speed ahead with a new TV package.
Tony Manfred of the Business Insider Sports Page says Comcast hopes to use a Thursday Night NFL Football package to challenge ESPN.
Jim Barthold of Fierce Cable talks about Comcast desperately wanting to pick up the NFL for Versus.
Barry Janoff of The Big Lead says when athletes tweet, they engage their fans.
The Canadian Sports Media Blog says the Pierre McGuire-to-NBC story is just about official.
Sports Media Watch notes that the USA-Mexico Gold Cup Final captured plenty of viewers on Univision.
SMW says the NBC Sports Group has yet to settle on a new name for Versus.
SMW has some announcing recommendations for MLB’s TV partners.
Joe Favorito says it’s time for the Yankees Old Timers Game to shuffle into a new era and bring in a “new generation” of old timers.
Awful Announcing’s Bob Bender is not a fan of ESPN’s coverage of the Women’s World Cup or of women’s soccer in general. And the USA played North Korea today, not China.
And I’ll end it there for today.
Yup, time for the Friday megalinks. As long as I don’t get interrupted, I should be able to do this all in one shot for you.
Your Weekend Viewing Picks have a whole lot of sports and entertainment programs so take a gander and see what suits your fancy.
To the links.
USA Today’s Michael Hiestand talks about ex-Florida coach Urban Meyer diving headfirst into being a college football TV analyst for ESPN.
Nate Davis at USA Today’s The Huddle blog notes that ex-NFLer’s and current TV analysts Michael Strahan and Warren Sapp don’t take much stock in Tiki Barber’s comeback.
Also in USA Today, Devra Maza talks with Hall of Fame baseball announcer Bob Wolff about his memories calling Don Larsen’s perfect game in the 1956 World Series.
The Hollywood Reporter notes that Los Angeles Lakers forward Ron Artest is seeking to change his name to “Metta World Peace” while his wife, Kimsha is being cast for the new edition of VH1′s “Basketball Wives”.
Jon Weisman of Variety says David Feherty’s new show gave Golf Channel its most watched premiere in the history of the network.
Marcus Vanderberg at SportsNewser notes that Wednesday’s Mexico-Honduras Gold Cup semifinal match was the highest rated primetime sporting event ever on Univision.
Sports Media Watch has some various news and notes.
Matt Yoder at Awful Announcing has the new DirecTV Football Cops ad featuring the Manning brothers.
East and Mid-Atlantic
Chad Finn of the Boston Globe talks with WEEI’s Dale Arnold who had to watch the Bruins championship run while being mostly on the sidelines.
Rich Fahey of the Globe says former Bruins TV host Tom Larson followed through on a 30 year promise to shave his beard.
Richard Sandomir of the New York Times says with a lockout looming, the NBA Players Association is standing firmly behind its leadership.
Phil Mushnick in the New York Post has praise for ESPN’s Bobby Valentine and Orel Hershiser, but has to somehow temper it.
The Post’s Brett Cyrgalis has four questions for Mets radio voice Howie Rose.
Newsday’s John Jeansonne looks at how John McEnroe was perceived as a player and perceived now as an analyst.
The Albany Times Union’s Pete Dougherty says two local TV reporters were able to catch up with Jimmer Fredette after the NBA Draft.
Pete says Jimmermania kept fans watching the NBA Draft for about an hour.
Keith Groller of the Allentown (PA) Morning Call looks at the new CBS Sports Network contract with the Patriot League.
In Press Box, Dave Hughes talks about the programming changes at one Baltimore sports radio station.
Dave says the Washington City Paper is firing back at DC NFL Team owner Daniel Snyder in his efforts to sue the publication.
Tom Jones at the St. Petersburg Times feels ESPN should not be leading the charge to move the Rays out of Tampa Bay.
William Brethertont of the Marietta (GA) Daily Journal says an Atlanta Beat Women’s Professional Soccer star will be on ESPN’s Women’s World Cup coverage.
Dan Murtaugh of the Mobile (AL) Press-Register says Tennis Channel will focus on a local program that benefits young women and weaves in a tennis exhibition to help raise funds.
David Barron at the Houston Chronicle recognizes one sports anchor’s longevity in the market.
Berry Tremel at the Daily Oklahoman says FX’s early college football schedule is all-Oklahoma, all the time.
John Kiesewetter of the Cincinnati Enquirer notes that Thom and Marty Brennaman don’t seem to have time to work together in the Reds broadcast booth.
Bob Wolfley at the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel says Packers linebacker A.J. Hawk will be swinging a golf club on NBC’s celebrity golf tournament next month.
Bob says local overnight ratings for the NBA Draft on ESPN were strong.
Ed Sherman in Crain’s Chicago Business has this week’s winners and losers in sports business and media.
Dan Caesar of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch says a local sports anchor is pinch hitting on the news side this month.
And Dan has a few news and notes.
Scott D. Pierce at the Salt Lake Tribune looks at Urban Meyer moving to the TV booth on college football Saturdays for ESPN.
Richard Eng of the Las Vegas Journal-Review explores the decision of former Triple Crown caller Tom Durkin to step down this year.
John Maffei of the North County Times says this weekend is a big one for soccer fans.
Jim Carlisle of the Ventura County Star notes that the Los Angeles Lakers will have different voices for next season.
Tom Hoffarth of the Los Angeles Daily News reports that Lenny Dykstra is now tweeting.
Tom also has a column on Captain Blowhard’s Grantland site.
Jack Humphreville of City Watch LA takes a look at Frank McCourt’s embattled ownership of the Dodgers and the collapse of his rich rights deal with Fox.
Bruce Dowbiggin of the Toronto Globe and Mail has yet another mediocre media column this week. I’m close to dropping him from the megalinks.
The Toronto Sports Media blog notes the one year anniversary of a huge lineup change on one local sports radio station.
And that’s going to do it for today.
On this rainy Wednesday in Southern New England, let me do some links. I hope the weather where you are is dry and sunny.
I’ll start today off with John Ourand of the Sports Business Journal who says Comcast may have appeared to have overbid for the Olympics, but it may pay off in the long run.
USA Today’s Michael Hiestand talks with Dick Enberg who’s calling his final Wimbledon this year.
Dan Fogarty at SportsGrid has video of Dick Enberg discussing “bloody blue balls” at Wimbledon and his on-air partner, Chris Evert making the perfect response.
SportsGrid also has the HBO Real Sports segment with Tiki Barber that was quite compelling TV.
Patrick Rishe of Forbes says Mark Cuban owning the Los Angeles Dodgers needs to happen soon.
At the Indiana University National Sports Journalism Center, Eric Deggans from the St. Petersburg Times writes that Barber is on a media redemption tour while David Feherty is learning the ropes in another manner.
Kirk Honeycutt of Reuters reviews the ESPN Films documentary on transsexual tennis player Renee Richards. The film was shown at the Los Angeles Film Festival and will premiere on ESPN in the fall.
Lacey Rose at the Hollywood Reporter writes that HBO has assembled some All-Star production talent to develop a new drama based on the early life of Mike Tyson.
Andrea Morabito of Broadcasting & Cable says CBS Sports Network has signed a multiyear deal with the Patriot League for various sports.
Anthony Crupi of Adweek says the NFL’s TV partners are hopeful after hearing negotiations to end the league’s lockout are making substantial progress.
One thing to come out of the talks between the NFL and the Players Association is a full 16 week Thursday Night Football schedule that could begin in 2012. Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk explains what that means for the players and fans.
Jeff Fedotin at the National Football Post claims this guy, Jon Gruden of ESPN’s Monday Night Football, has the potential to be this generation’s John Madden. That remains to be seen.
Eric Spanberg of the Christian Science Monitor reviews the ESPN book.
The Lost Letterman blog has video of ESPN’s Erin Andrews confronting a fan at last year’s College World Series. I like Erin’s spirit in this and the guy was being an asshole.
Congratulations to ESPN.com baseball writer Jonah Keri who will be writing the quintessential history of the Montreal Expos.
Richard Sandomir from the New York Times says there are plenty of marketing opportunities surrounding the 3,000th hit of Yankees shortstop Derek Jeter.
Jack Bell of the Times talks about legendary women’s soccer star Mia Hamm joining espnW to provide analysis on the Women’s World Cup.
At the New York Observer, Kat Stoeffel talks with ESPN Radio New York’s Jared Max about his decision to come out.
Matthew Margolis from the East Hampton (NY) Patch writes that a young actor got to do some voiceover work for ESPN’s Little League World Series coverage.
Pete Dougherty of the Albany Times Union writes that Jimmer Fredette’s YouTube channel has a big following.
Mark Wogenrich at the Allentown (PA) Morning Call explores the new deal between CBS Sports Network and the Patriot League for four sports.
Jack Bogaczyk of the Charleston (WV) Daily Mail feels it was smart of the Big East to turn down ESPN’s $1 billion offer to get a feel for the marketplace.
The Naples (FL) Daily News reports that locally, the U.S. Open scored well in the ratings.
Bob Wolfley of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel notes that a local sports radio morning drive host has been let go.
Doug Moe at the Wisconsin State Journal speaks with Randall Mell of the Golf Channel.
Sandra Guy in the Chicago Sun-Times looks at the new street-level studios for ESPN Radio Chicago.
Tom Hoffarth of the Los Angeles Daily News talks about Dick Enberg’s final fortnight at Wimbledon.
Matthew Fleischer of Fishbowl LA writes that ESPN WNBA analyst Rebecca Lobo tweeted about her plane’s emergency landing while heading to SoCal this week.
Bruce Dowbiggin at the Toronto Globe and Mail notes that Americans will get a nice dose of the CFL on the NFL Network.
George Dickie of zap2it talks with David Feherty about his new Golf Channel show.
Sports Media Watch says the CONCACAF Gold Cup has been a ratings hit for Univision and its sister network, Galavision.
SMW says the NHL Winter Classic goes back to primetime on January 2.
The Big Lead says Friend of Friend’s Bites Michelle Beadle is single once again. Sorry, Michelle, I had to put this one in.
The Sports Tube has an appreciation of Dick Enberg who’s making his final rounds at Wimbledon and the US Open this year.
That will do it.
It’s been a busy day for me as I’ve been working on the story on NBC approving plans for a Stanley Cup Final Viewing Party at TD Garden in Boston. Amazing how things fall into place on a story like that. But still working to confirm on the Bruins and Garden end of the story. Once that happens, the story will be complete.
Let’s do links while I can.
Sports Business Daily notes that the NBA Finals finished as the 2nd most watched NBA Finals since 2004, but still finished below last year’s Celtics-Lakers series.
The Sporting News picks up a story from the Sports Business Journal’s Tripp Mickle about Fox’s increased ratings for NASCAR this season.
Sarah Kuta of the Associated Press Sports Editors page notes that economic realities have hit newspaper sports coverage quite hard.
Ken Campbell of the Hockey News gives us this item that hockey charlatan Pierre McGuire is being offered a full-time position at NBC/Versus (scroll down).
Greg Wyshynski of Yahoo’s Puck Daddy has the overnight ratings from Monday night’s Game 6 of the Stanley Cup Final.
At the Indiana University National Sports Journalism Center, Jason Fry shares his thoughts on the launch of Grantland.
Fox Sports’ Brian Lowry says the Miami Heat’s crash and burn in the NBA Finals is not what the script doctor ordered.
Georg Szalai of the Hollywood Reporter writes that ESPN Classic will become home to ESPN Films’ 30 for 30 documentaries and all future projects.
Anthony Crupi from Adweek says ABC scored with the NBA Finals.
And Toni Fitzgerald at Media Life also writes about the NBA Finals’ ratings.
Matt Hegerty of the Daily Racing Form says this year’s Belmont Stakes received higher ratings on NBC than last year’s race on ABC.
Cam Martin at SportsNewser notes that ESPN NFL analyst Tedi Bruschi unveiled Patriots coach Bill Belichick’s media rules.
Ben Axelrod of SportsGrid notes that today is the “24th Anniversary” of the Keith Hernandez spitting incident made famous on Seinfeld.
David Goetzl of MediaPost says the NFL Network is tapping the podcast for actual programming.
ESPN.com’s David Ubben talks with Big 12 Commissioner Don Beebe about the new revenue distribution and the TV appearance formula for member schools.
Richard Lawler from Engadget HD looks at the expansion in programming at ESPN 3D.
CNBC’s Darren Rovell says tickets for Game 7 of the NHL Stanley Cup Final are a hot commodity due to the lack of a secondary ticket market in Vancouver.
Richard Sandomir of the New York Times notes that NBA Finals Game 6 brought in the viewers as compared with last year.
Richard says a LeBron James critic writing a book on the Miami Heat star got the happy ending he was hoping for.
Pete Dougherty at the Albany Times Union has the Wimbledon TV schedule.
Pete says Fox NASCAR analyst Darrell Waltrip will be inducted into the sport’s Hall of Fame later this year.
Evan Weiner in the New Jersey Newsroom says LeBron James’ attack of his critics shows us what’s wrong with sports.
Ray Fittipaldo of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette says a recent reairing of Super Bowl XIV gave him an appreciation of Pat Summerall as a play-by-play man.
Dan Steinberg of the Washington Post’s DC Sports Bog notes that DC United’s TV ratings are way, way up this season.
Del Milligan of the Lakeland (FL) Ledger says get ready for plenty of TV coverage from the U.S. Open.
Barry Horn of the Dallas Morning News says Game 6 of the NBA Finals brought in record ratings locally.
Fox Sports Southwest will air the Dallas Mavericks victory parade this week.
Mel Bracht of the Daily Oklahoman writes that the local ABC affiliate saw a ratings record for the NBA Finals.
John Kiesewetter of the Cincinnati Enquirer notes that the local minor league hockey team returns to radio next season.
Mark Snyder at the Detroit Free Press says former Michigan football coach Rich Rodriguez heads to the broadcast booth for the upcoming season.
Bob Wolfley of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel writes that the NBA Finals did not do as well locally as compared to last year.
Bob says Packers coach Mike McCarthy revealed in a radio interview that he had his players sized for Super Bowl rings the night before the game!
Robert Feder from Time Out Chicago says the Tribune is losing its media critic (and a good resource for Fang’s Bites as well).
Ed Sherman of Crain’s Chicago Business continues his talk with White Sox analyst Steve Stone.
Mark Faller of the Arizona Republic isn’t a fan of the Longhorn Network ads.
Tom Hoffarth of the Los Angeles Daily News notes that one website recognizes Pac-12 Commish Larry Scott as a pretty powerful guy.
The Toronto Sports Media Blog notes that CBC Hockey Night in Canada Radio host Jeff Marek is quite in demand now that his contract is up.
The Canadian Sports Media Blog reviews the first two weeks of Canadian sports television.
Steve Lepore at Puck The Media notes that an estimated 12 million people watched Stanley Cup Final Game 6 across the US and Canada.
Sports Media Watch says Gold Cup Soccer is gathering a strong audience for Univision’s networks.
TV Technology notes that NBC/Versus tapped a Swiss company for its telestrator graphics on the Stanley Cup Final.
Ryan Ballengee of Pro Golf Talk has the video of a new Golf boy band that debuted on Golf Channel.
Emma Carmichael of Deadspin talks about her time working for the NBC Olympics unit.
Ty Duffy of The Big Lead reviews “Those Guys Have All The Fun: Inside the World of ESPN”
And that will end the links.
If you know about Univision, you know that was a play on its signature show, “Sabado Gigante”. The National Football League has made Univision its official Hispanic media partner and it means the network which is growing by leaps and bounds will have a presence at the Super Bowl. Earlier this year, it was announced that Univision would power the NFL’s Spanish language website and now, we have this press release informing us about this expanded partnership.
THE NATIONAL FOOTBALL LEAGUE & UNIVISION COMMUNICATIONS SCORE WITH NEW CROSS-PLATFORM PARTNERSHIPUnivision Delivers Unique NFL Experience as Official Hispanic Media Partner of Select Super Bowl XLV Events; Agreement Expands NFL Coverage Across Univision’s PlatformsUnivision Communications Inc., the leading Spanish-language media company in the United States, and the NFL announced today that they have expanded their existing partnership to deliver a unique football and entertainment experience to Hispanic fans in the U.S. In addition to serving as the official Spanish-language network radio broadcaster of the NFL and jointly developing and operating the official Spanish-language website of the NFL (www.nfl.com/espanol), Univision will be the Official Hispanic Media Partner of select NFL events surrounding Super Bowl XLV in Dallas. Additionally, the NFL will have increased coverage across Univision’s market leading media platforms.“Univision is committed to becoming the premiere sports destination for U.S. Hispanics, and this expanded partnership with the NFL, America’s most popular sports league, allows us to further deliver on this promise across platforms,” said Joe Uva, president & CEO of Univision Communications Inc. “As the Official Hispanic Media Partner of select Super Bowl XLV events, we will be providing our audience with a dynamic, 360 degree experience around some of the most entertaining events which occur during America’s most popular sports weekend.”“We are pleased to expand our partnership with Univision, America’s leading Hispanic media company,” said NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell. “We’ve had the most-watched start to an NFL season ever among Hispanic viewers. Our partnership with Univision across multiple platforms highlights our commitment to connect with the NFL’s passionate and growing Latino fan base.”Univision is the Official Hispanic Media Partner of the “Sonidos Pepsi Super Bowl Fan Jam” concert; “Tazón Latino Presentado por Pepsi,” a flag football game featuring former NFL players and Latino celebrities; and the NFL Experience, pro football’s interactive theme park that annually precedes the Super Bowl.“Sonidos Pepsi Super Bowl Fan Jam” (TeleFutura) and “Tazón Latino” (Univision Network) will air as television specials Super Bowl weekend. Univision will provide coverage of all the Super Bowl XLV activities across all of its platforms.In addition to the Super Bowl XLV related events, Univision will launch an NFL segment in “Republica Deportiva” (Sports Republic), the network’s number one sports/entertainment program, and twice-weekly segments in “Contacto Deportivo” (Sports Contact), the only nightly Spanish-language sports highlights and recap program in the U.S. broadcast on TeleFutura. These segments will connect audiences with the content of www.nfl.com/espanol to expand on the unique, 360 degree fan experience delivered by Univision.
Since 2008 Univision Interactive Media and the NFL have worked together on developing the Spanish-language website, which they rebranded earlier this year. NFL.com/espanol is the official Spanish-language website of the NFL, providing the most in-depth information on the NFL and bringing Spanish-language video highlights of NFL games to a worldwide audience. In addition to video highlights and photo galleries of players and teams, the site includes up-to-date stats, exclusive news from around the league, live radio broadcasts, top 10 plays of the week, one-on-one player interviews, an inside look at all 32 NFL teams, and a customized version of Fantasy Football.
We’re done for the moment.
I had to go to work early and I’m still there now so I’m not in any capacity to see any NFL action at this time. I will try to sneak in some linkage this afternoon.
Mike Reynolds at Multichannel News talks about five Telemundo stations banding together to air their first live NFL game tonight.
Mike also looks at Univision teaming up with the NFL to launch a new Spanish-language website.
Jay Glazer of Fox Sports says the NFL has informed its employees of its plans which includes pay cuts in case of a lockout next year.
The Inside the Games Olympics blog says NBC Sports plans to air 200 hours of coverage from the 2012 London Games, a 25% increase from the Communist China Olympics.
At the Indiana University National Sports Journalism Center, Dave Kindred hopes that legendary sportswriter Frank Deford is wrong when he declared long form sports narrative dead.
Doug Farrar at Yahoo’s Shutdown Corner blog writes that the San Francisco 49ers have removed the KPIX sports anchor who got into a heated interview with coach Mike Singletary. The 49ers and KPIX are in an agreement to do a weekly segment and the team has full editorial control which is very dangerous.
Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk says the Houston Texans, after lobbying to be on this year’s Hard Knocks, are now lobbying not be on next year.
In the New York Daily News, Bob Raissman says Giants safety Antrel Rolle made waves during a scheduled weekly appearance on WFAN.
Phil Mushnick at the New York Post would like ESPN to get rid of the three man booth.
At SB Nation New York, Steve Lepore of Puck The Media writes that the Jets and Giants are helping to drive the NFL ratings engine.
Bob Smizik of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette says the local ESPN Radio affiliate is in the process of ending all local talk shows in favor of national programming.
Jim Williams of the Washington Examiner notes that ESPN debate shows Pardon the Interruption and Around the Horn move to new studios in ABC News’ headquarters in DC.
Brian Mull from the Wilmington (NC) Star profiles native Win McMurray of Golf Channel.
Evan Grant with Barry Horn of the Dallas Morning News says the Texas Rangers’ new ownership plans to forge a new long-term relationship with Fox Sports Southwest keeping the team on the channel for many years to come.
Victor Godinez of the Morning News says there’s not a rush to buy 3-D TV sets.
Jerry Garcia at the San Antonio Express-News says the local CBS affiliate averted a crisis from being lifted from the local Time Warner Cable lineup and no NFL games today.
Mel Bracht of the Daily Oklahoman liked Bob Davie’s analysis of the Oklahoma-Cincinnati game on ESPN2 last night.
Bob Wolfley of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel says America really does love them Cowboys.
The Ogden (UT) Standard-Examiner picks up a profile of UFL on Versus announcer Craig Minervini who doesn’t hide from his WWE past.
Tom Fox at the Idaho Press-Tribune says College Gameday was a big hit in Boise yesterday.
Katy Moeller and Chadd Cripe of the Idaho Statesman say over 13,000 fans attended College Gameday’s tour stop at Bronco Stadium early Saturday.
Michael Deeds of the Statesman writes that Boise State fans showed their support to America.
The San Francisco Chronicle gives us a partial transcript of a Comcast SportsNet Bay Area interview with Hall of Famer Willie Mays.
Jon Wilner at the San Jose Mercury News says Saturday’s Stanford-Oregon game is being moved from an ESPN late night contest to a primetime start on ABC.
Phil Barber of the Santa Rosa (CA) Press Democrat went behind the scenes with the ESPN Monday Night Football production crew.
Cliff Kirkpatrick from the Corvallis (OR) Gazette-Times says some Oregon State fans represented the Beavers during College Gameday.
John Hunt at The Oregonian says College Gameday is headed to Eugene, OR this Saturday.
Sports Media Watch has a few news and notes today.
I think we’ll end it there. The NFL pregame quotage is coming in. That’ll be posted next.
Slept in this morning so I’m getting a late start on things.
Mike Reynolds from Multichannel News talks about ESPN hiring Ian Darke to be its Voice of Soccer.
John Eggerton of Multichannel writes that WWE’s Smackdown moves from broadcast to cable next Friday.
Adam Hochberg of the Poynter Institute says the NHL is considering pulling back access to bloggers hearing complaints from mainstream media members last season.
Marcus Vandenberg of SportsNewser says Univision and the NFL are teaming up to launch a new website geared towards the Hispanic market.
CNBC’s Darren Rovell asks if it will be worth the time for ESPN to shadow LeBron James during the NBA preseason.
Richard Sandomir of the New York Times talks with director Ken Burns about his “10th Inning” sequel to his PBS “Baseball” documentary.
Pete Dougherty of the Albany Times Union has the ESPN MLB schedule for the rest of the season.
Ken Schott from the Schenectady Gazette two local broadcasters share a milestone today.
Greg Connors of the Buffalo News reports that Cablevision is once again playing hardball with HD feeds of MSG Network to its competitors.
Jim Williams of the Washington Examiner writes that mobile TV provider FLO TV will distribute 200 college football games to its subscribers.
Tom Jones at the St. Petersburg Times notes that Rays-Yankees delivered knockout ratings to Sun Sports once again.
Barry Horn from the Dallas Morning News says a potentially 0-3 Cowboys team is drawing interest from the networks.
John Kiesewetter from the Cincinnati Enquirer says Bengals linebacker Dhani Jones (who has been doing a lot of TV work) joins a local TV station.
John says Fox Sports Ohio will be live from the Reds clubhouse when they clinch a playoff spot.
Chadd Cripe of the Idaho Statesman says College Gameday’s producer is raving about Boise as a location for the pregame show.
Katy Moeller of the Statesman live blogged the College Gameday atmosphere from Bronco Stadium.
Bruce Dowbiggin of the Toronto Globe and Mail writes that it’s been a bad year for golf on TV.
Sports Media Watch has a story that bears watching. CBS’ NFL Today beat Fox NFL Sunday for the second week in a row.
SMW has its weekend ratings predictions.
SMW has other ratings news and notes.
SMW says ABC has seen its college football ratings go down in the young season.
SMW notes that CBS’ SEC football debut was down from a year ago.
Dan Levy at Press Coverage raves about ESPN’s signing of Ian Darke.
Joe Favorito says despite being out of the pennant race, the Detroit Tigers are finding ways to branch out into the community and extend their brand.
Awful Announcing notes the debut of the new ESPN show called “Audibles” and the debut of Herman Edwards’ crazy Argyle socks.
And we’ll end it there for today. Look for the College Football Game of the Day highlights later.
Been busy this week shuffling between two offices and while I’m trying to tie up a few things from last month, I’ll do a few links for you.
USA Today’s Michael Hiestand says ESPN is pulling out the stops to cover this week’s Open Championship.
Sports Illustrated’s Richard Deitsch has his Media Power Rankings for June/July.
Jason Whitlock at Fox Sports has his facetious take on “The Decision.”
Fox Sports’ Brian Lowry feels All-Star Games in every sport need some punching up.
John Ourand and Terry Lefton of the Sports Business Journal have a good feature story on the rivalry between ESPN’s Baseball Tonight and MLB Network’s MLB Tonight.
Tripp Mickle of the SBJ says World Cup sponsors are pleased by the early results of their activation.
Tripp and John look at the short-term and long-term effects of the high World Cup TV ratings.
Mark Walsh in MediaPost says both ESPN and Univision saw increases in online viewing for the World Cup.
Sommer Saadi in Bloomberg Businessweek writes that while the TV ratings were good, neither ESPN nor Univision made money from the World Cup.
Lauren Goode of the Wall Street Journal says the World Cup helped to bring viewers to ESPN’s Mobile TV, but the numbers are small compared to other media.
Shira Ovide of the Journal writes that Turner Sports is ready to take on ESPN on the web.
Writing for the Indiana University National Sports Journalism Center, the St. Petersburg Times’ Eric Deggans says ESPN’s “The Decision” blurs the line between promotion and journalism.
Milton Kent of Fanhouse looks at the anemic All-Star Game ratings.
Rich Thomaselli of Advertising Age speaks with the agent who helped to bring the LeBron James Decision into live TV fruition.
CNBC’s Darren Rovell says LeBron James did not take as much of a hit on his brand from “The Decision” as you would think.
Darren also looks at the New York Islanders signing a new cupcake deal.
Ben Grossman of Broadcasting & Cable says ESPN’s World Cup coverage gave the International Olympic Committee notice that it could cover an international event.
Glen Dickson of B&C looks at the company that provided worldwide streams of the World Cup for various media outlets.
R. Thomas Umstead of Multichannel News says DirecTV has increased its coverage of the Open Championship for subscribers.
Mike Reynolds at Multichannel writes that ESPN and Univision saw their biggest-ever audiences for the World Cup.
Todd Spangler in Multichannel tells us to get ready for another cable retransmission fight, this one between Time Warner and Disney which includes ESPN.
Katy Bachman of Mediaweek writes that Michael Irvin will begin a new syndicated radio show on July 25.
Toni Fitzgerald from Media Life Magazine looks at the precipitous ratings drop for this year’s MLB All-Star Game.
Michael Whitmer of the Boston Globe says the LPGA Tour is being mistreated by its TV partners.
Dan Shaughnessy from the Globe mourns the passing of Jack Craig who was the nation’s first sports media TV and Radio critic for the newspaper.
Bill Doyle from the Worcester Telegram & Gazette laments the loss of the Open Championship from over the air TV.
Ken Belson and Richard Sandomir of the New York Times look at the Yankees’ plans to honor former public address announcer Bob Sheppard and owner George Steinbrenner this weekend.
Phil Mushnick of the New York Post says it was hard to root for Steinbrenner based on his past and how he treated people.
From the New York Daily News, Bob Raissman says a big part of Steinbrenner’s legacy is the YES Network.
Pete Dougherty from the Albany Times Union says the four NCAA Tournament play-in games will be aired on truTV under the new CBS/Turner contract.
Pete puts the MLB All-Star Game ratings drop squarely on the shoulders of Walking, Talking Conflict of Interest Bud Selig.
In Press Box, Dave Hughes of DCRTV.com talks to John Riggins whose show returned to MASN this month.
Leonard Shapiro of the Washington Post says “The Decision” calls ESPN’s integrity into question yet again.
Dan Steinberg in the Post’s DC Sports Bog says Verizon Fios will be adding MASN2 in HD.
Jim Williams of the Washington Examiner talks with an ESPN exec about its first start-to-finish coverage of the Open Championship.
Dustin Long of the Hampton Roads Virginian-Pilot says ESPN’s NASCAR analyst Rusty Wallace has apologized for calling driver Kyle Busch “a dumbass” after last week’s Nationwide race in Chicago.
Barry Jackson of the Miami Herald says Michael Irvin’s syndicated radio show will be heard in South Florida later this month.
Sarah Talalay in the South Florida Sun Sentinel says Dolphins owner Steve Ross could be the beneficiary of some tax breaks … in New Jersey.
Jeremy Fowler of the Orlando Sentinel profiles Erin Andrews’ sideline replacement on ESPN’s Thursday night college football package, Jenn Brown.
Corrie MacLaggan from the Austin American-Statesman says a local ESPN Radio host has been off the air since May due to his candidacy for the State legislature.
In the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, Bob Wolfley talks about the Brewers’ ranking in a poll naming their favorite baseball team and the All-Star Game TV ratings.
Ed Sherman in Crain’s Chicago Business says White Sox owner Jerry Reinsdorf had a unique relationship with Yankees owner George Steinbrenner.
Philip Hersh of the Chicago Tribune writes that the US Olympic movement owes a huge debt of gratitude to George Steinbrenner.
Bob Mayhall in the St. Louis Globe-Democrat reports that Missouri Tigers football voice Mike Kelly will call Kansas City Chiefs exhibition games next month.
Dan Caesar from the St. Louis Post-Dispatch notes that the Cardinals will be all-cable next season.
Tom Hoffarth of the Los Angeles Daily News previews the second season (what?) of Shaq Vs.
Chris Zelkovich of the Toronto Star says Sunday’s World Cup Final cleaned up in the ratings for CBC.
Sports Media Watch looks at the 50 most watched sports programs on broadcast and cable TV through the half year.
I don’t follow the ESPY’s and have never watched them, but The Big Lead did and has a nice roundup of red carpet pictures of the various hot chicks who were in attendance.
Joe Favorito says Netball is approaching its Centennial and could be finding a global audience and more importantly, some sponsors.
Matthew Coller at the Biz of Hockey has the NCAA Frozen Four locations for 2013 and 2014.
Dave Kohl at the Major League Programs blog says having Michael Irvin start his syndicated radio show in Miami is a good fit for both parties.
SportsbyBrooks found ESPN hottie Michelle Beadle (and a candidate to appear in this year’s Five Women Who Can Make Me Stop the Remote) in a bar after the ESPY’s.
And we’ll end it there.
Ok, we have the LeBronathon coming up tonight. Lots of stories ragging on “The Decision” so let’s get to them. Why wait?
USA Today’s Mike Lopresti is sick of LeBron and ESPN.
Sports Illustrated’s Richard Deitsch who appeared on the Dan Patrick Show this morning has his take on the whole LeBronathon.
Sports business writer Evan Weiner says the marriage of LeBron and ESPN sets a bad precedent.
Brian Steinberg of Advertising Age writes that ESPN sold its soul to the Devil in order to get the LeBronathon on the air.
Milton Kent from Fanhouse says ESPN lost some integrity by giving LeBron James an hour of airtime. I think ESPN lost its integrity a long time ago.
Milton has an ESPN executive defending its decision to air “The Decision.”
CNBC’s Darren Rovell says the stock market is betting that LeBron James becomes a New York Knick.
Darren says James can make more money in Miami than Cleveland due to Florida not having an income tax.
Paul J. Gough of the Hollywood Reporter has media analysts scratching their heads over the demands made by LeBron James’ management team to get an hour of airtime on ESPN.
Stuart Levine from Variety says the LeBronathon is a study in excess.
Mike Reynolds of Multichannel News looks at the unique time buy that led to “The Decision” on ESPN.
Ryan Berenz from Channel Guide Magazine isn’t happy about hyping “The Decision.”
Richard Sandomir of the New York Times looks at ESPN’s granting LeBron James one hour of airtime tonight.
Harvey Araton of the Times asks if James deserves the ESPN airtime.
Also from the Times, Lynn Zinser mocks the reporters using anonymous sources trying to be first in the LeBron story.
Phil Mushnick of the New York Post hates the idea of ESPN giving a program to James. Of course he does, but he’s right.
Ken Schott from the Schenectady Gazette says ESPN has sold its soul to accommodate LeBron James.
Jim Williams of the Washington Examiner has details of “The Decision.”
Tom Jones of the St. Petersburg Times has his take on ESPN providing LeBron James airtime.
Barry Jackson of the Miami Herald provides the nuts and bolts on the LeBronathon.
Josh Robbins in the Orlando Sentinel has Magic coach Stan Van Gundy’s opinion on the whole LeBron malarkey.
Mark Bradley from the Atlanta Journal-Constitution says we can’t hide from the LeBronathon.
Jerome Solomon of the Houston Chronicle there’s some genius behind the LeBron decision.
Also from the Chronicle, David Barron writes that the one hour special is feeding James’ ego.
To the Detroit News and Vincent Goodwill who doesn’t like LeBron/ESPN marriage.
Ed Sherman in Crain’s Chicago Business feels the LeBronathon is feeding James’ ego.
Phil Rosenthal of the Chicago Tribune says the one hour special actually fails to maximize James’ brand.
In the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, Bob Wolfley says “The Decision” is ego-driven.
Bob Mayhall of the St. Louis Globe-Democrat notes that “The Decision” is the ultimate reality show for Cleveland, Chicago, New York and Miami.
Mark Heisler in the Los Angeles Times feels LeBron James is making a spectacle of himself.
Scott Collins and Joe Flint of the Times says “The Decision” is big for ESPN as well.
Drew Magery of Deadspin calls out LeBron James.
The great SportsbyBrooks looks at how freelancer Jim Gray helped to plant the seed with James’ camp to bring “The Decision” to fruition.
Dave Kohl of the Major League Programs blog feels the LeBronathon is not really news.
Now to non-LeBronathon stories.
ESPN Ombudsman Don Ohlmeyer talks about the network dealing with the vuvuzelas for the World Cup.
Sean Leahy in USA Today’s The Huddle blog says free agent wide receiver Terrell Owens is putting the blame squarely on ESPN as to why he hasn’t been signed as of yet.
Glen Dickson in Broadcasting & Cable talks about the cable providers picking up YES’ 3-D telecasts of Mariners-Yankees this weekend.
Anthony Crupi of Mediaweek notes that despite the USA losing early in the World Cup knockout round, ratings on ESPN and ABC for the quarterfinals were strong.
Mediaweek’s Mike Shields says the World Cup has led many fans to head to their cell phones to watch.
Yinda Adegoke of Reuters says the World Cup has exceeded all expectations for ESPN.
Toni Fitzgerald of Media Life Magazine writes that Univision isn’t just about the World Cup.
Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk reports that former Giants linebacker Antonio Pierce has joined ESPN’s army of NFL analysts.
Jessica Heslam from the Boston Herald says former SNY and WHDH-TV reporter Julie Donaldson is back on the air freelancing for Comcast SportsNet Mid-Atlantic. Donaldson resigned from WHDH in 2008 after some personal matters were revealed during a domestic abuse case.
Jackie Majerus in the Bristol (CT) Press says ESPN is going to get a tax break for a new child day care facility
Pete Dougherty of the Albany Times Union says MSG Network will carry five New York Knicks NBA Summer League games next week.
Gary Dulac and Colin Dunlap of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette has NBC’s Dottie Pepper raving about the Oakmont course that’s the home of this year’s US Women’s Open.
Back to Jim Williams of the Washington Examiner who has details of the ESPN/ACC 12 year rights deal.
Doug Roberson of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution also has a look at the ESPN/ACC contract.
Eric Snyder of the Nashville Business Journal says the NHL’s Predators have signed a new deal to put more games on Fox Sports Tennessee and SportSouth.
John Kiesewetter in the Cincinnati Enquirer writes that a local sports radio producer will become the voice of a local minor league hockey team.
The Sports Media Watch says the AT&T National with Tiger Woods out of contention did not do well for CBS Sports.
Emmett Jones in Sports Business Digest says Facebook might be sponsoring the English national soccer team.
And we’ll end it there.
After eight days of watching World Cup coverage on both ESPN, ESPN3.com, Univision and Univision.com and listening to ESPN Radio, it’s time to give a review of the multimedia coverage of one of the World’s Greatest Sports Events. I’ll break it down by Studio, Game, Online and Radio.
This is an area where ESPN excels. By bringing in Bob Ley, Mike Tirico and Chris Fowler, ESPN has three experienced hosts who can be both traffic cop and can offer strong opinions. Bob Ley has a tendency to offer analysis during his stints which is what the analysts are for, but you know that Bob loves soccer and loves hosting this event. His best moments have been with Alexi Lalas.
Mike Tirico is to ESPN as Bob Costas is to NBC. He’s very versatile and he allows his analysts to shine.
Chris Fowler is an excellent host whether it be on college football, tennis and now in soccer. Again, he hands the ball to his partners so they can offer analysis and he gets out of the way.
ESPN has hired a Who’s Who of Soccer for analysis. They might not be household names in the United States, but for worldwide soccer fans, the network brought in an All-Star team of coaches and players to analyze the World Cup.
Of the analysts, only Alexi Lalas is American and he has been on ESPN’s coverage over the few years so he’s been familiar on soccer telecasts. ESPN hired Ruud Gullit, Steve McManaman, Jurgen Klinsmann and Roberto Martinez to join Lalas in the studio. Guillit and McManaman have done soccer TV work in the UK and Martinez is the current coach of Wigan in the English Premier League. All five have done quite well, although Martinez has had a little trouble finishing his thoughts in the time constraints of TV. However, ESPN has built an excellent studio team and I give this area of ESPN’s coverage an A.
I’ve been watching Univision’s coverage since 2002 and Fernando Fiore has been Univision’s host for the event since that time. He does a tremendous job in doing the highlights and introducing segments. Fiore is truly in his element.
And before the World Cup pregame, there’s Republica Deportiva with a live band, Las Senadoras, a live studio audience and lots of dancing. This is how every sports pregame show should be presented. Highlights interspersed with high energy and dancing. And of course, there are Las Senadoras, Carolina, Alba and Natalia. I joked to a Fox Sports PR person that Las Senadoras should be hired for Fox NFL Sunday.
Seriously, the World Cup pregame for Univision, Viva El Mundial, is done very well with plenty of analysis, interviews and highlights. Univision has been doing this event for a long time and it shows. If my understanding of Spanish was better, I would give this a higher grade, but for presentation and production values, I give Univision a B for its pregame. Republica Deportiva gets an A just for its high energy alone.
Both ESPN and Univision rely on the world feed provided by the host broadcaster so the game presentation is the same as far as that is concerned. However, where the two differ is on the announcers and the actual quality of the video. I’ll grade them on this.
In 2008 when ESPN picked up the rights to the Euro Cup, the network utilized Derek Rae and Adrian Healey on play-by-play and Andy Gray and Tommy Smyth on analysis. The coverage was well received by soccer fans. Seeing this, ESPN went one step further and hired a mostly British crew for the calls of the World Cup. Martin Tyler was brought in from Sky Sports’ English Premier League coverage, Ian Darke also from Sky Sports, Rae and Healey round out the play callers. Analysis is done by John Harkes, the lone American on this crew, Efan Ekoku of the BBC, Ally McCoist and Robbie Mustoe.
I’ve always enjoyed Derek Rae on ESPN. Healey is ok and Darke and Tyler are veteran announcers. However, Tyler who is very good on the EPL, is too dull for my tastes on the World Cup. I know it’s the British stiff upper lip and all, but he hardly raises his level during an exciting play. I don’t mean he has to go Screamin’ Gus Johnson on us, but he doesn’t get too high or too low. Darke did call a very good game for USA-Slovenia and captured the right mood when the US was coming back.
Harkes does very good analysis and I’m happy to hear him call important games. I’m also happy not to have Marcelo Balboa on this World Cup. He was absolutely horrible in 2006. I haven’t had too many problems with the other analysts except for Ally McCoist whose Scottish accent is very difficult to understand at times.
I know many of you are annoyed with the vuvuzelas that are prominent on every game in South Africa, but I got used to them last year during the Confederations Cup. They don’t annoy me, but ESPN has really filtered them down to the point where they’re hardly noticeable.
I give ESPN a B for the announcing crews.
I don’t have names unfortunately, but the Univision crews sound like they’re having conversations during the games which is something I can’t say for the ESPN crews. In addition, who can’t love the “GOOOOOOOOOLLLLLL!!” calls? There seems to be more spirit and character in the play-by-play in the Univision coverage. The vuvuzelas are not filtered as much as ESPN. They are quite prominent, but again, I don’t have a problem with them as many viewers around the world have. Due to the energy level which is much higher than ESPN’s, I give Univision an A.
Another reason to watch Univision HD is the quality of the video. It’s brighter and clearer than ESPN HD. I often watch the pregame on ESPN then watch the game on Univision.
I’ve been listening to games in my car thanks to ESPN’s iPhone, iPad and iPod Touch World Cup app. While pricey at $7.99, this app gives you live game audio, plenty of in-game video and lots of stories. It’s worth the price especially if you’re away from a TV.
The team of JP Dellacamera and Tommy Smyth call each USA game along with the major matches of each day. I wish JP had been tapped for TV, but his calls on radio are very good. He and Tommy are in Bristol, CT calling games off a monitor, but that will change in the Round of 16 as they will be in South Africa on-site. JP and Tommy are the best of the three teams on radio. JP identifies where the ball is at all times and does not make it feel that he’s calling games off a TV.
On the other hand, Glenn Davis and Kyle Martino do a horrible job in giving the listener the time remaining, how much stoppage time is left and identifying where the ball is. Davis calls the game as if we’re watching, which we’re not. Plus, Davis has said on several occasions, “You’re watching the World Cup on ESPN Radio,” or “You’re watching and listening to the World Cup on ESPN Radio.” Glenn, we’re listening. We can’t watch. You’re watching and you’re supposed to be describing the action for us.
The third team, Ross Dyer and Shep Messing, is average.
ESPN Radio’s team gets a B minus as the two teams other than JP and Tommy bring the quality down.
ESPN’s online service can only be seen by internet service providers that have made deals with the Alleged Worldwide Leader. While not every ISP has a deal, those that do not only have access to ESPN’s game broadcast in English, but also to those in Portuguese, Japanese and other languages. My problem is the picture is quite small and difficult to see. While you can go to full screen mode, it’s not made for those at work. Due to this problem, my grade for ESPN3.com is C.
When you log into Univision.com, an ad plays right off the bat, but this is a minor inconvenience. You can integrate Facebook and discuss the game with other people, but you certainly don’t have to. And the ad background is constantly changing. Again, these are all minor inconveniences. The video quality is excellent. The size of the picture is large meaning you don’t have to squint as with ESPN3. And the picture is in HD which is quite welcomed on this end. Due to the quality and size of the picture, Univision’s live streaming gets an A.
So overall, ESPN’s grade is B.
Univision gets an A minus.
Went out last night for my friend’s 40th birthday party and let me say it was a rather raucous caucus. Singing, dancing, drinking, yelling, screaming and fighting, a good time was had by all. Well, maybe no fighting, but the other parts did occur.
Anyway, late start on the links today. Let’s get to them.
Later today, I’ll do a review on the first three days of the World Cup coverage on both ESPN and Univision. Expect that sometime tonight.
To the links and we start with Mike Reynolds of Multichannel News who writes that Univision had an excellent start to the World Cup more than doubling the ratings of ESPN on the opening day of the event.
Mike adds that NBC’s excellent ratings for the clinching game of the Stanley Cup Final paves the way for the rights renewal talks with the NHL.
Rachel Cohen of the Associated Press writes the NHL’s rise in the ratings comes at a good time for the league’s TV negotiations.
TVbytheNumbers says more people watched the World Cup kickoff concert on Univision than on ESPN2.
David Bauder of the Associated Press says ESPN did not attempt to dumb down its World Cup telecasts.
Yinka Adegoke of Reuters says both ESPN and Fox Soccer Channel hope to reap the ratings benefits after the World Cup.
The Nielsen Wire blog notes that Nike is not an official World Cup sponsor, but has managed to get some recognition thanks to some guerrilla marketing.
Overseas in the UK, ITV was airing the USA-England World Cup match yesterday and inexplicably, the HD feed suddenly went to commercial in the 4th minute. That was when Steven Garrard scored his goal putting England ahead. When ITV came back, it was just in time for Garrard’s celebration. You can imagine the ire of the viewers. Those watching the Standard Definition feed did not have any problems.
Matt Lawless of the London Daily Mail chronicles what happened.
The Sun says ITV really screwed up.
Anita Singh from the London Telegraph writes that about a million and a half viewers were affected by the glitch.
James Meikle of the London Guardian says an on-air apology was met with anger.
UK World Cup co-rightsholder BBC is a public broadcaster and does not run commercials so had the game aired on that network, there would not have been any commercial glitch.
Bob Raissman of the New York Daily News says a holdout by Jets cornerback Darnell Revis is being played to the maximum for HBO/NFL Films which is airing Hard Knocks from the team’s training camp in August.
Friend of Fang’s Bites Steve Lepore at Puck The Media is writing the media column at SBNation’s New York site and he tells us five things YES Network does better than its counterpart, SNY.
Keith Gabriel in the Philadelphia Daily News writes that ESPN’s World Cup coverage is heavily slanted with a British accent.
Jeff Schuler of the Allentown (PA) Morning Call says MLB is trying its hand at a televised draft.
Jim Williams of the Washington Examiner talks with ESPN World Cup host Bob Ley about the network’s efforts to bring the event’s flavor to the United States.
Bob Wolfley at the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel tries to temper the excitement into Stephen Strasburg.
KCTV in Kansas City is reporting that the Big 12 is proposing a new Big 12/Pac 10 TV network in an attempt to keep the Pac 10 from poaching the remaining 10 members of the Big 12.
John Henderson of the Denver Post says the conference shifts in the Pac 10 and Big 10 are all being done for television.
Chad Cripe from the Idaho Statesman writes that the Mountain West is hoping to increase its rights fees by bringing in Boise State into the conference.
Artie Gigantino of the San Francisco Examiner enjoys ESPN/ABC’s NBA broadcasting crew.
Joe Flint of the Los Angeles Times says NBC affiliates are worried they will lose big tickets sports events if the Comcast purchase of the network goes through.
Tom Hoffarth of the Los Angeles Daily News says Abby Sunderland and her family are rays of shining light.
Tom scolds the second guessers in the Abby Sunderland story.
Katie Baker at Deadspin looks into the media maelstrom that Abby Sunderland’s rescue has become.
The Sports Media Watch has its weekend ratings predictions.
SMW notes that ABC got big numbers for USA-England yesterday.
We’re done for today.
Yesterday, I just wasn’t in the mood to blog after putting up a few press releases. It’s time to do some blogging now because it’s important that you get linkage and fresh material as much as possible. Don’t want to be dormant for too long. By the way, whatever happened to Awful Announcing? It’s like Brian Powell suddenly disappeared.
Anyway, some big things tonight for your sports viewing including the Major League debut of Stephen Strasburg for the Washington Nationals. It’s so big that MLB Network will air what would have been a meaningless game against the Pittsburgh Pirates. And MLB Network is sending the big guns, Bob Costas, John Smoltz and Jim Kaat to call the game. While Strasburg has had plenty of hype going into this game, he’s been living up to it thus far. Locally, Pittsburgh will have the game on FSN Pittsburgh and DC will see it on MASN2. Game time is 7 p.m. East/4 p.m. West.
And there’s Game 3 of the NBA Finals. Change of venue as the series shifts East to the TD Garden in Boston as the Lakers and Celtics square off. The series is tied at 1 apiece. ABC has the game starting at 9 p.m. East and 6 p.m. West. There is a pregame show starting at 8:30 p.m., but Stuart Scott is hosting so watch at your own risk.
Let’s do your links.
Sports Business Daily says ABC received a final rating of 9.2 for NBA Finals Game 2 and over 15 and a half million viewers.
The SBD says Yahoo! has signed soccer star David Beckham as an international spokesman.
Michael Smith of Sports Business Journal says NASCAR has given up on creating a “NASCAR Wives” reality show.
Michael Hiestand from USA Today has the ratings from various weekend events.
CNBC’s Darren Rovell says the TV math doesn’t add up for expansion by either the Big 10 or Pac 10.
Darren says tonight’s debut for Stephen Strasburg is worth a lot of money for the Washington Nationals.
Sports Illustrated’s Richard Deitsch has his Sports Media Power Rankings for May.
At the Indiana University National Sports Journalism Center, Eric Deggans of the St. Petersburg Times notices there’s media apathy towards women’s sports.
Dan Wetzel of Yahoo! Sports has a great column on how the Big 12 by teaming up with the Big 10 and Pac 10 to reject a college football playoff in 2008, is now on the verge of being cannibalized by both conferences.
Rick Kissel of Variety notes that sports performed well in the TV ratings on Sunday.
Jon Lafayette from Broadcasting & Cable says the NHL is getting hot on TV at the right time.
Jon talks with NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman about his TV partners, NHL Network and his league’s TV ratings.
Mike Reynolds of Multichannel News writes that Univision has scored various platform deals just as the World Cup is set to get underway.
Lucia Moses of Mediaweek says Sports Illustrated has lured away a once-rising star at Conde Nast publications to become the first woman to head sales at the magazine.
Katy Bachman also of Mediaweek writes that Nielsen is planning to launch a new service during the World Cup using BlackBerry devices as mobile diaries.
Toni Fitzgerald from Media Life Magazine says the NHL’s ratings surge continues into the Stanley Cup Final.
The New York Post’s Michael Starr breaks news that SNY is in talks with 2 TV stations to take over their nightly sports reports.
Richard Sandomir of the New York Times writes that ESPN and Univision are hoping to tap into increased interest in the World Cup.
Richard adds last Saturday’s Belmont Stakes garnered some its lowest ratings ever.
Over to Bob Raissman at the New York Daily News who enjoys former Knicks coach Jeff Van Gundy’s commentary on ESPN/ABC.
Ken McMillan of the Hudson Valley Times Herald-Record reports that a New York-Penn League minor league baseball team will get a new radio announcer when its season begins later this month.
Jim Williams of the Washington Examiner says MASN2 will expand its Nationals pregame show to an hour tonight for the Stephen Strasburg debut.
Ed Sherman from Crain’s Chicago Business writes that Chicago is helping to drive the NHL’s increased ratings.
Ed adds the White Sox will honor Hawk Harrelson for his 25 years of service as a broadcaster.
The Chicago Tribune notes that after a window was damaged at its facilities, WGN Radio decided to re-do it with a Blackhawks logo.
Phil Rosenthal of the Tribune writes that Stanley Cup Final Game 5 was not only a win for the Blackhawks, but also for the local ratings.
Chris Jenkins from the San Diego Union-Tribune talks with former UCLA voice Dick Enberg about his friend, John Wooden.
Tom Hoffarth of the Los Angeles Daily News says Wooden’s final book is being moved to a July publication date.
Diane Pucin of the Los Angeles Times notes that ratings for live sports events continue to rise.
William Houston at Truth & Rumours says a Toronto sports radio reporter was suspended for doing his job.
Bruce Dowbiggin of the Toronto Globe and Mail also writes about the reporter’s suspension.
The Sports Media Watch notes that despite not having big names in the French Open women’s final, NBC still garnered decent ratings.
SMW says the ratings for the final round of the Memorial Tournament on CBS were down from last year, but still decent.
SMW has various ratings news and notes.
And SMW says Game 4 of the Stanley Cup Final on Versus actually fell from last year.
Steve Lepore at Puck The Media says NBC and CBC’s ratings are up for the Stanley Cup Final from last year.
Greg Wyshynski at Yahoo’s Puck Daddy has found the Stanley Cup Champions winning gear.
And we’re done. Back later.
Got busy plus shuffling between two offices prevented me from doing linkage. I’ll do it now as I try to find a cool place in my house to blog. The humidity is killing me tonight.
Anyway, let’s get to the links.
Jason Fry at the Indiana University National Sports Journalism Center writes that the New York Yankees are missing out on reaching a truly local audience.
Michael Hiestand of USA Today notes that NBC’s audience for Game 2 of the Stanley Cup Final on Monday was quite good.
In his first column as FoxSports.com sports media critic, Variety’s Brian Lowry discusses how today’s NBA TV announcers don’t come close to matching the late Chick Hearn of the Los Angeles Lakers.
CNBC’s Darren Rovell gets on the NBA for having just eight champions over the last 30 years while other leagues have spread the wealth around.
Darren speaks with Sacramento Kings co-owner Joe Maloof about his ventures.
Darren says there won’t be an NBA free agent summit as had been promoted last week.
Todd Spangler from Multichannel News writes that FLO TV will provide all 64 of ESPN’s World Cup to AT&T Mobile TV subscribers.
Mike Reynolds of Multichannel says AT&T U-Verse subscribers will be able to get Univision’s World Cup coverage on demand and a multiview application.
Glen Dickson from Broadcasting & Cable reports that ESPN will be offering live multiplatform coverage of the World Cup.
Toni Fitzgerald of Media Life Magazine says Game 2 of the Stanley Cup Final led NBC to a younger demographics win on Monday.
Diego Vasquez of Media Life Magazine writes that a sponsor could have its message seen for as many as five days during the MLB All-Star Game festivities.
Channel Guide Magazine has an online World Cup Viewing Guide.
Sarah Mahoney from the Mediapost Raw blog says ESPN is the most powerful brand in New England outranking several traditional regional brands like Dunkin’ Donuts, Samuel Adams and Ben & Jerry’s.
The Boston Business Journal picks up a story from John Lombardo of sister publication, Sports Business Journal, that ad sales for the NBA Finals are outpacing last year’s.
Jack Bell of the New York Times says there are a bunch of World Cup iPhone/iPod Touch apps available at the iTunes store.
Richard Sandomir of the Times says The Big Lead has been purchased by Fantasy Sports Ventures for a figure in the “low seven figures.” A piece of disclosure: Fang’s Bites is part of the Fantasy Sports Ventures network. If The Big Lead is worth in the “low seven figures,” Fang’s Bites certainly must be worth somewhere in the “low single figures.” Seriously, congratulations to Jason McIntyre who has been running The Big Lead since 2006. Jason’s become a friend and I’m glad to see a fellow blogger hit it big.
In a mild upset, Phil Mushnick of the New York Post actually praises YES for using restraint after Cleveland Indians pitcher David Huff was hit in the head by a line drive by Alex Rodriguez.
Ken Schott of the Schenectady Gazette and suffering Philadelphia Flyers fan notes that the NHL Stanley Cup Final is doing well for NBC.
Keith Groller of the Allentown (PA) Morning Call writes that this is an exciting time to be a Philly sports fan.
Sarah Talalay of the South Florida Sun Sentinel says the Florida Marlins are selling unused tickets from Roy Halladay’s perfect game on Saturday for face value.
Randy Riggs from the Austin (TX) American-Statesman tells us that two early season Texas Longhorn games will be picked up by ABC.
In Crain’s Chicago Business, Ed Sherman writes that the Blackhawks’ ratings are drifting close to rarefied Bears territory.
Lewis Lazare of the Chicago Sun Times says NBC affiliate WMAQ could not be happier with the Blackhawks’ ratings.
Austin Meek of the Topeka (KS) Capital-Journal says the annual Kansas-Kansas State football game will be moved to a Thursday night to accommodate Fox Sports Net.
Tom Hoffarth of the Los Angeles Daily News has your June sports calendar.
Tom wonders how Larry King managed to get the first national interview with potential free agent LeBron James.
And Tom says Dodgers voice Vin Scully is immortalized in a new song.
William Houston of Truth & Rumours says his former newspaper, the Toronto Globe and Mail will be outsourcing its copy editing to an Australian-owned entity and he also looks at the Stanley Cup Final ratings in both the US and Canada.
The Sports Media Watch says the overnight ratings for the Indianapolis 500 fell to a record low for the second year in a row.
SMW says the NASCAR Coca-Cola 600 also hit its lowest overnight rating in a decade.
SMW notes that the NBA Western Conference Finals finished out on a down note.
SMW says the same thing happened with the NBA Eastern Conference Finals.
SMW has some various news and notes.
And SMW has various stuff on some sports media personalities.
Steve Lepore at Puck The Media has a comparison of Stanley Cup Final postgame coverage betweeen Versus and NHL Network.
Steve looks inside NBC’s tremendous overnight rating for Game 2 of the Stanley Cup Final.
Steve also has the media awards for this year’s inductions to the Hockey Hall of Fame.
Greg Wyshynski at Puck Daddy has the video of Don Cherry being the Phantom of the Opera before Game 2 of the Stanley Cup Final.
Maury Brown at the Biz of Baseball says the Washington Nationals are ratcheting up the marketing effort for Steven Strasburg when he finally makes his major league debut later this month.
EPL Talk has ESPN/ABC’s promo for the England vs. USA World Cup matchup.
That’s going to do it.
Been busy at work today and expecting a busy late afternoon and evening. I’m squeezing in some linkage while I can.
First, USA Today’s Michael Hiestand briefly discusses the impending ESPN/ACC deal plus looks at the ratings for some of the weekend sports events.
Brian Steinberg of Advertising Age says at the network upfront presentations this week, marketers are already looking to buy ads on NFL and college football broadcasts before buying on network primetime programs.
Mike Shields from Mediaweek writes that ESPN is looking to automatically roll an ad as soon as a viewer logs onto ESPN3.com giving an advertiser prime space.
Radio industry newsletter All Access says an ESPN Radio/Deportes combo in San Diego has not paid employees for months. Not one month, but several months.
Eric Deggans of the St. Petersburg Times writing in the Indiana University National Sports Journalism Center gives us an inside look at the ESPN Innovation Lab in Orlando.
CNBC Sports Producer Tom Rotunno subbing for Darren Rovell takes a look at the effect LeBron James is having on the rest of the NBA Playoffs now that the Cleveland Cavaliers have been eliminated from the postseason.
Georg Szalai from the Hollywood Reporter recaps ESPN’s upfront presentation in New York today.
David Tanklefsky of Broadcating & Cable says UFC has signed a deal to put the upcoming UFC 114 event as well other fight cards on Roku in the future.
Thomas Umstead from Multichannel News says cable operators are calling for a Floyd Mayweather-Manny Pacquaio pay per view fight and soon.
Diego Vasquez in Media Life Magazine speaks with a Univision programming executive about the ratings expectations for the World Cup.
Richard Sandomir of the New York Times says Versus is finding an audience for the NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs.
Stuart Elliot of the Times has his take on ESPN’s upfront presentation.
The New York Daily News’ Bob Raissman feels SNY’s Gary Cohen and Keith Hernandez played blind on Sunday. Whatever Bob.
Keith Groller from the Allentown (PA) Morning Call says the Philadelphia Flyers have captured Eastern Pennsylvania’s attention as the TV ratings prove.
Tim Lemke says two months after being excited by the launch of Bloomberg Sports’ baseball analytical fantasy program, his mood about it is very tempered.
Jim Williams of the Washington Examiner explores what it would mean to Maryland to enter the Big Ten conference.
Tom Jones of the St. Petersburg Times feels Fox Sports’ Chris Myers went overboard with some comments on the Dan Patrick Show yestesrday.
Ed Sherman of Crain’s Chicago Business says the Blackhawks cleaned up in the ratings on Sunday for the local NBC affiliate.
Ed talks with a Bay Area sports radio host about the relevance of the San Jose Sharks in the local market.
Tom Hoffarth of the Los Angeles Daily News talks about ESPN’s Chris Berman getting a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.
In Truth & Rumours, William Houston writes that hockey drew the first six spots in Canada’s national weekend TV ratings.
Sports Media Watch notes that last night’s Game 1 of the Phoenix Suns-Los Angeles Lakers series dropped in the ratings from last year.
SMW says NASCAR on Fox failed to impress on Sunday.
SMW talks with NBA Digital Senior Vice President and General Manager Bryan Perez about NBA TV and other league-owned networks.
Jason Fry writes in Deadspin that Captain Blowhard after threatening to leave the Mothership, really had no other place to go and will most likely return to ESPN when his contract is up.
At Puck The Media, Steve Lepore says Sunday’s ratings for the Blackhawks win over San Jose were down slightly from last year.
Steve also has Versus’ plans in case tonight’s Montreal-Philadelphia game goes into overtime and spills into Chicago-San Jose.
That will do it for now.
I’m home waiting for the boiler repairman so you’re getting linkage early today which is good for you.
Starting with Michael Hiestand of USA Today who says HBO Sports continues to churn out documentaries despite increased competition from ESPN.
CNBC’s Darren Rovell says the movie “Jerry McGuire” needs to be updated.
Leneli Liggayu of Broadcasting & Cable says the Stanley Cup Playoffs are giving NHL.com a big boost.
Mike Reynolds from Multichannel News writes that Versus continues to rack up the ratings for the NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs.
Mike recaps the Sports Emmys from Monday.
Katy Bachman of Mediaweek says Univision Radio has signed a rights deal with the Miami Dolphins for Spanish language play-by-play of their games.
In the Sporting News’ the Sporting Blog, On The DL’s Dan Levy looks at MLB.com’s new policy of banning its beat writers from tweeting non-baseball issues.
The Nielsen Wire blog says the San Francisco Giants and Oakland A’s get the most positive buzz online from their fans.
Mark Blaudschun of the Boston Globe writes that Boston College is replacing its basketball voice.
Richard Sandomir of the New York Times says ESPN seems to have a love affair with the Mets.
Will Leitch of New York Magazine explains why the MLB.com Twitter policy is not good for anybody.
Pete Dougherty in the Albany Times Union has the updated NBA Playoffs TV schedule for the next few days.
Jim Williams of the Washington Examiner says DC is ready for a full day of hype for tonight’s Game 7 between the Montreal Canadiens and the Washington Capitals.
Doug Farrar of the Washington Post enjoyed watching the NFL Network’s coverage of the Draft.
Lisa de Moraes of the Post says ESPN’s Draft coverage was a big winner in primetime on Thursday.
Sarah Talalay of the South Florida Sun-Sentinel writes that the Miami Dolphins are returning to their original Spanish language flagship radio station.
Shannon Owens of the Orlando Sentinel says ESPN’s Tim Legler feels the Magic’s Dwight Howard should get more respect.
Barry Horn of the Dallas Morning News says a Metroplex sports radio producer who tweeted a slur over the weekend has been fired from his job.
Barry has more on the story.
Jeanne Jakle of the San Antonio Express-News has the story from the Alamo City’s side.
Ed Sherman from Crain’s Chicago Business writes that Blackhawks fans may not get to see much of their team on Comcast SportsNet during the 2nd round series against Vancouver.
Kyle Koster of the Chicago Sun-Times looks at MLB.com’s Twitter policy.
Tom Haudrcourt of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel writes about Brewers voice Bob Uecker needing heart surgery forcing him to miss up to 12 weeks of games.
Randy Peterson and Rick Brown of the Des Moines Register get ESPN’s Dick Vitale and Jay Bilas to react to the hiring of Fred Hoiberg as the new Iowa State men’s basketball coach.
Tom O’Neil of the Los Angeles Times says HBO took in the most Sports Emmy Awards on Monday.
From the Toronto Globe and Mail, Bruce Dowbiggin writes that TSN is happy to have a Game 7 to air tonight.
Will Brinson of Fanhouse says NBC Sports President Dick Ebersol got under ESPN’s skin by making a joke at the network’s expense during the Sports Emmy Awards.
Steve Lepore at Puck The Media tries to sort out the TV possibilities for the NHL TV partners in the 2nd round of the Stanley Cup Playoffs.
Sports Media Watch has the weekend overnight ratings.
The lovely Rebecca Glass at This Purist Bleeds Pinstripes gives her thoughts on the MLB.com Twitter policy.
Emmett Jones from Sports Business Digest says the MLB.com Twitter policy sets the league back after making great strides in social media.
That’s going to do it for now.
Let’s do some linkage for you on the day before the real action on the NCAA Tournament begins. I tried watching last night’s Arkansas-Pine Bluff vs. Wofford game, but I just couldn’t. It was tough. So I went to Lost which was a bit more exciting.
To the links.
USA Today’s Michael Hiestand talks to the CBS executive in charge of putting the tip times together for the NCAA Tournament.
The Nielsen Wire blog looks at Tiger Woods’ return to golf and what it means for the ratings for The Masters.
In Mediapost, Wayne Friedman writes that CBS and ESPN won’t see any more money with increased viewership in The Masters because advertising has already been sold and inventory is limited by the Augusta National Country Club.
Anthony Crupi in Mediaweek says ESPN and CBS should see increased ratings for The Masters with Tiger’s return and the PGA Tour should benefit as a result.
CNBC’s Darren Rovell says the big winner at The Masters will those be holding the coveted badges to get into Augusta National to see Tiger.
And Darren gives us an idea what a 96 team NCAA Tournament bracket would look like.
Lisa Olson in Fanhouse says the last six months for Erin Andrews have been a nightmare.
Cameron Frye wonders if two and a half months are enough for Michael David Barrett, the man convicted of stalking Erin.
Eric Fisher in Sports Business Daily reports on the purchase of the Citizen Sports Network by Yahoo.
Claire Atkinson of Broadcasting & Cable says Univision is close to selling out its ad inventory for the World Cup.
Richard Sandomir writes in the New York Times that the New York Giants and New York Jets are in a battle to sell out seats in their new stadium.
Richard says team owners have to work harder in these economic times to make money.
Bob Raissman from the New York Daily News feels CBS’ announcing team won’t be talking much about Tiger Woods’ ordeal during The Masters.
Phil Mushnick in the New York Post says Tiger Woods at The Masters will be must-see TV.
Pete Dougherty of the Albany Times Union has the Thursday NCAA Tournament schedule for the local CBS affiliate.
Pete says Time Warner Cable will pick up the New York State girls’ high basketball championship games.
Laura Nachman says Comcast SportsNet Philadelphia and the Philly CBS station will both air NCAA Tournament specials.
Jim Willams in the Washington Examiner writes that Tiger Woods will be lampooned on South Park tonight.
Jim writes that Lance Armstrong’s return to cycling this year will be aired on Universal Sports this weekend.
Barry Horn of the Dallas Morning News has Thursday’s NCAA Tournament TV schedule for the Metroplex.
Barry has Friday’s TV schedule and notes one glaring omission.
Barry has more on the aforementioned omission.
John McClain of the Houston Chronicle says the Texans are lobbying to be on HBO’s Hard Knocks later this year.
The Chronicle’s David Barron writes about another media feud, this one between CNN’s Roland Martin and ESPN’s Rick Reilly, and adds a few NCAA Tournament notes.
And David is not in favor of the University of Houston playing two home football games on Friday nights in direct competition with high school games.
John Kiesewetter of the Cincinnati Enquirer writes that the local CBS affiliate and its digital station will be able to show twice the action during the 1st round of the NCAA Tournament.
Ed Sherman in Crain’s Chicago Business urges Tiger Woods to speak to the media before The Masters gets underway.
Ed explains why Tiger chose The Masters to make his return to golf.
Tom Hoffarth of the Los Angeles Daily News notices a trend among sports teams to blanket their fans.
Chris Zelkovich in the Toronto Globe says the Vancouver effect is producing a ratings mixed bag for Olympic sports.
Amanda Bruno at Batter-up with Bruno notes that the Boston Globe sports section as well as one of its writers have won Associated Press Sports Editors Awards.
The Sports Media Watch has the weekend overnight ratings.
SMW says Tiger Woods is returning to the PGA Tour at the right time as last weekend’s stop in Florida dropped by over 40% in the ratings.
SMW notes that a good lead-in from the SEC Championship on Sunday gave the Celtics-Cavs good ratings for ABC.
Joe Favorito explores Spongetech which bought sponsorships with teams and venues last year and now is under Federal investigation for faulty business practices.
At Puck The Media, Steve Lepore lists the dates of NHL playoff action on NBC.
Steve investigates why the local ratings for Sunday’s Washington-Chicago game on NBC were low.
We’ll end it there.
After helping Dad to meet the deadline, I’m now free to do some links for you. Let’s get to them.
Starting with the Sports Business Daily, the publication takes a look at how the U.S. Supreme Court’s ruling in the NFL v. American Needle case could have widespread effects on the league’s labor negotiations.
Writing for the Indiana University National Sports Journalism Center, Jason Fry says the Washington Times made a huge mistake in not maintaining at least an online sports presence when it cut its entire sports staff.
Michael Hiestand of USA Today writes that despite some uncompetitive games this weekend, the NFL still draws eyeballs to the screen.
The Associated Press reports that CBS has actually dropped rates for Super Bowl XLIV.
Lauren Hatch of the Silicon Alley Insider says the rate drop has only happened once before.
David Goetzl of MediaPost says the Super Bowl will see some new advertisers this year.
Aimee Picchi of Daily Finance notes there will be more commercial time to fill in the Super Bowl.
Claire Atkinson from Broadcasting & Cable says NBC used $42 million worth of ad time in Super Bowl XLIII to promote its late night lineup of Jay Leno at 10 p.m. and Conan O’Brien at 11:35 p.m. which is now seen as a big waste of money.
CNBC’s Darren Rovell writes that U.S. Open champ Kim Clijsters has signed a new shoe and apparel deal with Fila.
The New York Post’s Phil Mushnick who hated everybody including small children on Sunday is certainly not in a better mood today after berating NBC for its coverage of the Jets-Cincinnati game.
Pete Dougherty of the Albany Times Union writes that NBC and USA Network will air six Kentucky Derby prep races leading up to the “Run for the Roses.”
Jim Williams of the Washington Examiner says the Ravens made a statement against the Patriots on Sunday.
Tom Jones of the St. Petersburg Times looks at the Pete Carroll to Seattle decision and NBC’s production of the Jets-Cincinnati NFL Wild Card playoff along with several other subjects from the weekend.
The Dallas Morning News’ Barry Horn says the Eagles-Cowboys game earned great ratings especially in the Metroplex.
Ed Sherman of Crain’s Chicago Business has a look at the local company that’s spearheading the U.S. Supreme Court case against the NFL.
Bob Wolfley at the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel writes that Fox’s analysts were at a loss for words to describe the lack of defense in the Green Bay-Arizona game.
To the Denver Post and Dusty Saunders who writes that the NFL continues to rack up the ratings.
Tom Hoffarth of the Los Angeles Daily News has your SoCal sports calendar for the week.
In the Seattle Post-Intelligencer, Casey McNerthney writes that the original radio voice of the Super Sonics, Bob Blackburn, passed away last week.
Bruce Dowbiggin in today’s Toronto Globe and Mail rates the Sunday NFL pregame shows.
Chris Zelkovich of the Toronto Star misses NBC’s Cris Collinsworth on the early Saturday Wild Card playoff game.
Bill Gorman of TVbytheNumbers says the NFL overrun helped to guide Fox to a primetime win last night.
Len Berman has his top 5 sports stories at the Huffington Post.
Mike Woitalia of Soccer America notes that a dispute between Univision and Telemundo prevented the US from playing a “friendly” match against Mexico in the Rose Bowl.
John Daly of the Daly Planet looks at History Channel’s Madhouse short track racing reality series.
The 700 Level blog looks at a Northwestern University computer program that would generate a story based on the box score and written play-by-play of a game. That’s a bit scary.
And that’s going to do it for today.
Ok, time for the megalinks. I’ve been procrastinating so these are very late, but better late than never.
As usual, we go over the Weekend Viewing Picks.
The 4th of July weekend is perfect for Breakfast at Wimbledon and we know that an American will will win the Ladies Final on Saturday, either Venus or Serena Williams. On Sunday, Andy Roddick, an upset winner over Scotsman Andy Murray on Friday will try to foil Roger Federer’s attempt to break Pete Sampras’ record of total Grand Slam titles. NBC carries both matches at 9 a.m. on Saturday and Sunday.
Baseball storms towards the All-Star Game in St. Louis a week from this coming Tuesday and there are plenty of games on national television, starting with regional coverage on Fox. The list of games along with announcing assignments and regional splits in the case of Fox are all in the “Baseball for Your Holiday Weekend” post.
Another event in Europe begins on Saturday and that’s the month-long Tour de France. It starts in Monaco this year and ends in Paris as usual. This year’s edition has higher interest for Americans as Lance Armstrong returns to the event that he has won 7 consecutive times from 1999 through 2005. Versus starts its extensive coverage Saturday morning at 9:30 and will have “enhanced coverage” in primetime.
NASCAR heads back to Daytona for its traditional 4th of July race. This year’s race is called the Coca Zero 400 and TNT carries it Saturday night at 8.
The PGA Tour is in Maryland and the Congressional Country Club for the Tiger Woods-hosted AT&T National. Golf Channel and CBS team up for 3rd and final round coverage throughout the weekend.
Other programming of note, NFL Network begins an America’s Game marathon, its excellent documentary series on Super Bowl winners. All 42 documentaries to date will be aired beginning Saturday morning at 6 and running all the way to Monday morning at 6.
The entire Weekend Viewing Picks can be seen here.
Now the links:
Mike Reynolds of Multichannel News says Versus is along for the ride as Lance Armstrong returns to the Tour de France on Saturday.
Mike says Univision’s family of networks and Fox Soccer Channel will cover the Gold Cup throughout the weekend.
Joe Favorito writes that two indoor soccer leagues only stood to hurt the franchises.
Maury Brown of the Biz of Baseball writes that for the most part, fans are forgiving of Manny Ramirez.
UPDATE, 8:15 a.m.: I fell asleep with the computer on, which is never a good thing. Time to resume. I’ll also add Saturday links here as well.
The Sports Media Watch says it appears the All England Lawn and Tennis Club preferred having attractive women on Centre Court at Wimbledon.
The great College Sports on TV site is putting together the viewing guides for the entire college football season and you can check it out here.
East and Mid-Atlantic
Over to Richard Sandomir of the New York Times who writes that NBC had its own ideas for the Andy Roddick-Andy Murray match at Wimbledon despite it being in progress when the network hit the air.
Richard talks about a new website that keeps track of an athlete’s Tweets so you don’t have to.
The New York Daily News’ Bob Raissman takes the opportunity to bash Mets manager Jerry Manuel.
Pete Dougherty of the Albany Times Union talks to a local sports radio program director who’s happy to have stayed in the area after he lost his TV gig.
Ken Schott of the Schenectady Gazette is one of an increasing amount of writers who feel that ESPN may not be all that good for the NHL. I agree.
Laura Nachman provides two possible replacements for the late sports anchor Gary Papa.
Jim Williams of the Washington Examiner says NBC did not do itself any favors by delaying yesterday’s Andy Roddick-Andy Murray match at Wimbledon.
Jim talks with Versus’ Phil Liggett and Paul Sherwin about the Tour de France.
The Miami Herald’s Barry Jackson says sports radio WQAM is looking at Sid Rosenberg to fill a high profile time slot.
David Barron from the Houston Chronicle says two more local sports anchors have lost their jobs.
Barry Horn of the Dallas Morning News says the Cowboys’ Marion Barber might be media shy, but a segment on ESPN will show that he has a big heart.
Barry says Breakfast at Wimbledon remains one of the best traditions on TV.
Mel Bracht of the Daily Oklahoman says NBC is ready to serve another double dose of Breakfast at Wimbledon. Mel writes that ESPN Radio’s Colin Cowherd comes to TV for a new show. Mel has his media notebook.
Bob Wolfley from the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel says Fox Sports ramps up for Mannywood.
Paul Christian of the Rochester (MN) Post-Bulletin writes that we’ve grown into Breakfast at Wimbledon over the last 30 years.
Scott D. Pierce of the Deseret (UT) News feels sports anchors should not be openly rooting for local teams.
Jay Posner of the San Diego Union-Tribune writes about Fox Sports putting the national spotlight on Manny Ramirez’s return from his steroids suspension.
John Maffei of the North County Times says baseball isn’t your only sports viewing option on this holiday weekend.
Diane Pucin of the Los Angeles Times has Fox Sports Prime Ticket’s Steve Lyons talking about Manny. Diane writes that Vin Scully did not give Manny a free pass. Diane says Vin was matter-of-fact when Manny went 0 for 3 last night.
From the Los Angeles Daily News, Tom Hoffarth says the media is all about Manny this weekend. Tom has more on this in his blog. Tom says tennis fans have a legitimate gripe against NBC for its mishandling of Wimbledon this week (including a link to Fang’s Bites, thank you, Tom). Tom also looks at the week in blogging.
That’s it. I won’t be around for the rest of the day, but I will be back on Sunday. Enjoy your holiday.
Let me give you some links from the Sunday papers. I’m a bit tired this morning, but you don’t want to hear that so let me get to the linkage.
Neil Best of Newsday writes about the 40th Anniversary of the venerable Madison Square Garden.
The New York Daily News’ Bob Raissman feels HBO canceled the wrong show.
Phil Mushnick of the New York Post has a nice, heartfelt tribute to retiring Associate Sports Editor Dick Klayman.
Jim Williams of the DC/Baltimore Examiner writes that the DC media is scrambling to cover the Redskins’ announcement of its new head coach today.
The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel’s Bob Wolfley has some news and notes today.
The CNN Money site picks up a story that ESPN and a couple of other countries are interested in Setanta Sports, a network that has the TV rights to the English Premier League and is a pay per view channel here in the States. Michael Kleinman of the Daily Telegraph in London says Setanta put itself on the block after an unsolicited takeover bid came to surface.
Dave Weekley of the Charleston (WV) Gazette says ESPN2 is showcasing women’s basketball today in the name of cancer research.
Michael Grant of the Louisville Courier-Journal writes about ESPN’s College Gameday coming to the Louisville campus yesterday and the good-natured ribbing Jay Bilas took from the fans at Freedom Hall.
Mike Reynolds of Multichannel News writes that Univision had higher ratings for the US-Mexico soccer match than ESPN2 which carried the game at the same time.
The Kansas City Star’s Jeffrey Flanagan says FSN’s Frank White will call the Royals games as he sees them. The Topeka (KS) Capital-Journal talks about the increase of local programming on FSN Kansas City.
Chris Zelkovich of the Toronto Star writes about the legacy of the 1988 Calgary Winter Games on the Canadian Olympic movement.
Bill Redekop of the Winnepeg Free Press writes about the CBC coming to Manitoba for its 8th Annual Hockey Day in Canada broadcast yesterday. Patrick Maloney of the London Free Press decided to see what the hockey day was like in London, Ontario while the CBC focused on Winkler yesterday.
While yesterday was a celebration of hockey in Canada, Jeff Z. Klein and Lew Serviss write in the New York Times that enthusiasm for the sport is waning in the Southeast region as attendance and TV ratings are down.
That will do it. If there are any updates, I’ll put them here.