Let’s do the linkage on this busy Monday where it appears the NFL will be back this week as the league and the NFL Players Association appear to have come together on a collective bargaining agreement that would last 10 years with no opt-out. We’re just waiting official word on everything.
I’ll provide linkage until I get the joint press release from the NFL and NFL Players Association.
Michael Hiestand of USA Today writes that TV analysts are predicting the first few weeks of the NFL year will be extreme chaos.
Toni Fitzgerald of Media Life Magazine says the NFL’s TV partners are ready to broadcast football.
Awful Announcing is down to the Final Four of its Joe Morgan Memorial Tournament.
In SportsNewser, Cam Martin has the official trailer for “Haywire” starring MMA babe Gina Carano. Yes, starring. And you won’t believe the cast of stars in the film.
Joe Favorito says with this being the 25th anniversary of the downfall of the USFL, it’s time for a league to explore playing spring football again.
To SportsGrid where Timothy Burke condenses this morning’s five hours of media overgushing on Brett Favre into 60 seconds. I hate Brett Favre.
Canadian sports network TSN provides 12 reasons for Canada to watch the 2012 Olympics.
CNBC’s Darren Rovell says the fantasy football business is hoping for a quick recovery now that the lockout is over.
Phil Mushnick of the New York Post hates Yankees voice John Sterling.
Neal Zoren from the Delaware County Times notes a Comcast SportsNet Philly reporter will be taking part in a celebrity bicycle race.
In the Washington Post’s Reliable Source column, it looks at Lindsay Czarniak planning a move to ESPN and a wedding at the same time.
From the Centreville (VA) Patch, Mary C. Stachyra talks with Lindsay about leaving the DC area and working at ESPN.
Tom Jones of the St. Petersburg Times chronicles an on-air argument between Tampa Bay Rays TV broadcasters DeWayne Staats and Brian Anderson.
Mike Herndon of the Mobile (AL) Press-Register says the Longhorn Network has thrown a monkey wrench into the Big 12′s wheels.
Richard Justice of the Houston Chronicle says the Longhorn Network isn’t worth the time or the trouble.
David Barron of the Chronicle provides some thoughts on the departure of Ross Greenburg from HBO Sports and a few other news and notes.
Jeff Potrykus from the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel writes that the media has given its picks for Big Ten division champs. Leaders and Legends. Are you serious?
Ed Sherman of Crain’s Chicago Business has a new appreciation for the Park formerly known as New Comiskey 20 years after it opened.
The Lincoln (NE) Journal Star says Time Warner Cable will put Big Ten Network on its standard service tier after the channel threatened to play hardball with Cornhusker games in the wake of originally being put on a digital sports tier.
Blair Kirkhoff of the Kansas City Star has Texas coach Mack “Big Daddy” Brown hopeful that the Longhorn Network can air state high school football games.
Andrew Logue of the Des Moines (IA) Register writes that the Longhorn Network has many Big 12 schools concerned about the conference’s future.
Dusty Saunders of the Denver Post says HBO’s Bryant Gumbel’s commentary on the US Women’s soccer team certainly gave him some food for thought.
Jeff Call of the Deseret (UT) News says ex-Brigham Young players are ecstatic about the school’s new contract with ESPN.
Bruce Dowbiggin in the Toronto Globe and Mail says CBS/Golf Channel analyst David Feherty is now the face of golf. Big, big, big stretch.
Raju Mudhar of the Toronto Star tries to make sense of the ESPN suspension/non-suspension of Bruce Feldman.
And that will do it for our links today. The players have unanimously ratified the NFL collective bargaining agreement meaning we have football once again. Thank goodness.
And I’ll be off Twitter, Facebook and Google + for the foreseeable future so this is where you’ll have to come to get the latest from me.
With the death of Chet Simmons on Thursday, I thought I would bring you some of the programs that he helped to bring into fruition as an executive at both ABC and NBC Sports, then as the first President of a fledgling cable sports network known as ESPN. Without his guidance, ESPN would have never got off the ground. He gave ESPN the broadcast standards that are still held today. You may not know the name of Chet Simmons, but his influence on NBC Sports in the 1970′s and ESPN in its early infancy cannot be forgotten. So today, we salute Chet Simmons and look at the programs he helped develop over the years.
Simmons began his sports television career with an entity known as Sports Programs Inc. which would later evolve into ABC Sports in 1961. And with ABC, a 13 week summer replacement anthology series began known as Wide World of Sports. The replacement series did not off the air until 1997.
This is a promo that I think dates back to the late 1960′s or early 1970′s.
Here’s a longer version of the promo.
As you can see, Wide World spanned the globe to find the constant variety of sport, whether it be a track & field competition, tennis, surfing, Little League Baseball and the like. Here’s a close from 1983.
Simmons moved to NBC and was instrumental in keeping the network in the NFL, MLB, NCAA Tournament, Wimbledon and also helped to gain the 1980 Summer Olympics in Moscow. He also helped to develop NBC’s version of Wide World of Sports, SportsWorld. This is an open from 1987.
Here’s an open from the NFL on NBC from 1973. NBC had the AFC package on Sunday afternoons and alternated the Super Bowl every year with CBS. It also had a very good stable of announcers including Curt Gowdy, Jim Simpson, Jay Randolph, etc.
In the early 1970′s, Simmons helped NBC to secure the rights to the NHL and aired a Game of the Week plus the Stanley Cup playoffs. Here are the final seconds of Game 7 of the Philadelphia Flyers-New York Rangers and on the call were Tim Ryan and Ted Lindsay.
However, the NHL did not garner ratings for NBC (sound familiar?) and dropped the sport in 1975.
Throughout the 1970′s, NBC was the network for Major League Baseball and thus, the World Series. Here’s the open for Game 4 of the World Series between the Cincinnati Reds and Oakland A’s. The late Curt Gowdy opens the broadcast with a commercial billboard and then introduces the game. This is great stuff.
In 1979, Simmons moved to ESPN and helped to develop SportsCenter, the anchor of the network at the time. Here’s the very first SportsCenter broadcast on September 7, 1979, started by Lee Leonard who introduces George Grande at the anchor desk.
Among the people Simmons brought to ESPN from NBC included Jim Simpson, Paul Maguire and producer Scotty Connal. At ESPN, Simmons brought in Leonard and Grande whom you saw in the previous video. He also hired Bob Ley, Chris Berman, had a hand in hiring Cliff Drysdale and Dick Vitale. One of the early events Simmons obtained was the early round of the NCAA Tournament and here are two games which eventually led CBS to buy the Tournament outright and get the rights to the 63 games.
In 1981 in the Sweet Sixteen, BYU took on Notre Dame and ESPN showed this moment live to the country. Danny Ainge took the ball the length of the court to defeat the Fighting Irish coached by Digger Phelps. Ignore the intro and outro of BYU-TV.
In 1987, Princeton of the Ivy League and a #16 seed took on #1 seed Georgetown of the Big East at the Providence Civic Center. By this time, ESPN was well established in the NCAA Tournament and here are John Saunders and Dick Vitale talking about the game and highlights. The best part was Vitale’s stunned look at halftime when Princeton went into the locker room with the lead. Calling the game were the legendary Mike Gorman and Ron Perry.
Chet Simmons had the vision to air the NFL Draft, something which then-Commissioner Pete Rozelle was puzzled as to why anyone would be interested in doing so, but it turned out to be a truly made-for-TV event. Here’s a portion of coverage from 1983. George Grande, Bob Ley and Chris Berman are there for ESPN.
Simmons left ESPN in 1982 and became the first Commissioner of the United States Football League, originally a spring football entity and the first TV contracts were signed with ABC and ESPN. Here’s a game from 1984 between the Philadelphia Stars and Pittsburgh Maulers as called by ESPN original and former NBC Sports announcer Jim Simpson.
And here’s the USFL on ESPN open.
Simmons left the USFL after being forced out in 1984 and later became a consultant and professor. As you can see, Simmons’ legacy at three networks is a big one. And he cannot be ignored when looking at the history of sports television.
It’s been quite some time since I have done late night links. Usually, I reserve late night for posting the press releases, but since I still don’t have a TV and there was a minimal amount of sports that I wanted to see, I was quite productive posting the release earlier tonight so I can do some linkage for you now.
We’ll start with ESPN Ombudsman Don Ohlmeyer to whom I’ll give credit for discussing the network’s handling of the Steve Phillips affair, the reporting of the Tom Cable domestic violence story, Bob Griese’s suspension and finishing off with the 30 for 30 documentary series. All quite candid and I was glad to see Ohlmeyer address the Phillips story, although I would have preferred if he had done it earlier.
Editor & Publisher reports that Chicago Sun-Times baseball writer Chris DeLuca has been promoted to the paper’s top spot in its sports department. Thanks to Indiana University’s National Sports Journalism Center for the link.
We’re finding out more about the creepy stalker who videotaped Erin Andrews in the nude not just once, but several times.
Rick Kissell of Variety writes that the NFL continues to dominate the network primetime ratings.
R. Thomas Umstead of Multichannel News says Monday Night Football steered ESPN to a cable primetime win last week.
Hibah Yousuf of CNNMoney.com writes that CBS is 90% sold for Super Bowl XLIV.
Toni Fitzgerald of Media Life Magazine tells us that the NFL continues to set ratings ablaze this season.
Jay Fitzgerald of the Boston Herald reports that the Celtics and Comcast are teaming up to provide Video On Demand programming
I’m not sure why, but NESN.com is offering a photo gallery of Heidi Watney.
The Lehigh (PA) Express-Times says Fox Sports Net and Gatorade are teaming up to air a special, recreating high school football rivalries across the nation.
Here’s the press release anouncing the program.
In the Washington Post’s DC Sports Bog, Dan Steinberg who’s been keeping track of the on-air Tony Kornheiser-Mike Wise radio feud says Mr. Tony decided to not to throw verbal barbs on Wednesday.
Tim Lemke of the Washington Times writes that FedEx Field isn’t just used for the DC NFL team exclusively anymore.
In his blog, Tim talks about how FedEx Field hopes to be the site of the FIFA World Cup Finals in either 2018 or 2022.
MASN has announced it will air some 200 college basketball games this season.
Jack Bogaczyk of the Charleston (WV) Daily Mail says the West Virginia-Rutgers Big East regular season finale will be aired by ESPN on December 5.
Barry Horn in the Dallas Morning News says Fox’s Terry Bradshaw is sharpening his claws on Cowboys wide receiver Roy Williams.
Also in the Morning News, Tim Colishaw looks at noted charlatan Bill Simmons’ book on the NBA.
John Kiesewetter of the Cincinnati Enquirer writes that Bearcats football brought in good ratings for ESPN last Friday.
Tom Hoffarth of the Los Angeles Daily News gives us an update on what’s up with the planned new USFL.
Carl Steward of the Oakland Tribune says DirecTV subscribers will be shut out of Saturday’s Cal-Stanford game as it will be shown on Versus.
To the Sports Media Watch and a few links from that blog.
The NFL on Fox continues to score this season.
Pats-Colts helped to steer NBC’s Sunday Night Football to higher reaches.
A lackluster Monday Night Football matchup gave the series its lowest ratings of the season.
The NBA on TNT is off to a fast start in the young season.
And a developing story, SMW says MLB plans to cut the number of off days during the postseason.
Steve Lepore from Puck the Media says Versus’ ratings for the NHL are all over the place.
Dave Kohl’s Major League Programs blog looks at some various sports media issues from the last week.
Lots of good links for you as we head into the wee hours of Thursday morning. I’ll be back with you later today.
After spending most of yesterday and this morning at the home office, I’m now at my regular place of work and can give you some links. It always throws me off when I’m at the home office and have to behave.
A couple to tell you in the interim. I almost was a guest on Fox News yesterday as Shepard Smith was covering the whole Rick Pitino abortion mess that finally broke on Tuesday. FNC was looking for New England reaction. Unfortunately, just as I about to accept their invitation, Fox News booked another guest. Perhaps down the road, I’ll have another chance to go on. If I do, you’ll be the first to know.
I’m also trying to listen to the on-air stream for Boston’s new sports radio station, WBZ-FM, 98.5 The Sports Hub. As scheduled, the stream went on just before 1 p.m. today, but because so many people are trying to listen to the debut, the server crashed and I missed the first minutes of Michael Felger & Tony Massarotti’s debut. Around ten minutes in, the stream came back, but it cut in and out. I’m not a fan of Michael Felger, but perhaps this can be a good alternative to the 800 lb. sports radio gorilla, WEEI. We shall soon see.
Now, let’s give you some links.
Tripp Mickle of the Sports Business Daily talks about NBC extending its rights deal with USA Gymnastics.
CNBC’s Darren Rovell says LeBron James has not been worth the money Nike paid him.
Darren points out that the backboard at which Michael Jordan shot his last shot with the Chicago Bulls is now up for auction.
Darren looks at the creative way the New Jersey Nets are marketing opposing players.
Last thing from Darren. In this video, Darren looks at the sign of the economic times, a local NFL game blackout in San Diego due to slow ticket sales.
Newsday’s Neil Best talks about YES expanding its in-market streaming of live games to Verizon Fios. Yankees games were first streamed on Cablevision systems.
Neil says Mike Francesa and Chris Russo have completed one full year without the other.
Thomas Grillo of the Boston Herald looks at the beginning of WBZ-FM.
Johnny Diaz of the Boston Globe writes about today’s debut of 98.5 The Sports Hub.
Ben Collins of the Globe talks about one of the bigger stories in New England to happen last night, the return of Jerry Remy, albeit a short one, to Fenway Park and the NESN booth.
Sean McAdam of the Boston Herald says one of the battles for Remy this season has been with depression following his cancer surgery.
Ian Browne of MLB.com says Jerry still plans on returning to NESN this season, but is not sure exactly when.
The Sports Media Journal’s Keith Thibeault has another interview in his series of talks with NFL play-by-play men. The latest installment is with Buffalo Bills playcaller John Murphy.
Laura Nachman gives us the Eagles Television Network announcing crew.
A few articles from new Friend of Fang’s Bites, Jim Williams of the Washington Examiner.
He says the TNT and PGA.com will be all over the PGA Championship this week.
Jim says Ravens fans will be able to watch tonight’s game against the Redskins on MASN2 and WBAL.
And Jim writes that Redskins fans will also have two outlets to watch the game tonight.
Joey Johnston of the Tampa Tribune talks about former Buccaneers coach Jon Grudin making his ESPN debut tonight.
John Kiesewetter of the Cincinnati Enquirer enjoyed watching Hard Knocks.
Ed Sherman of Crain’s Chicago Business explores the consolidation of the Tribune Company’s sports departments in Chicago and Los Angeles.
Ed says Chicago Comcast subscribers now have access to ESPN360 online.
Tom Hoffarth of the Los Angeles Daily News writes that the USFL is actually attempting a comeback.
Chris Dufrense of the Los Angeles Times says the Pac 10 Conference is close to an agreement with the Alamo Bowl.
Chris Zelkovich of the Toronto Star tells Canadians that English Premier League games can still be seen on Setanta Sports Canada.
Christopher Byrne of the Eye on Sports Media talks with an associate commissioner at the SEC about its new media and ticket holder policy.
Christy Hammond of the Sports PR Blog says it appears the SEC will tweak the media policy after some backlash.
The Sports Media Watch notes that the T.O. Show saw another increase in viewing last week.
SMW says Tiger Woods helped the Bridgestone Invitational’s ratings on Sunday.
And the SMW has some idle news and notes.
Maury Brown of the Biz of Baseball says now that baseball won’t be in the Olympics in 2016, MLB is now focusing on the World Baseball Classic.
The lovely Kristine Leahy has The Five on WEEI.com.
Ok, you’ve missed the links long enough. I’m done for now.