Coming up this week, the golf calendar really comes into focus as The Masters® takes place this week in Augusta, GA. ESPN will carry the first two rounds of the tournament on Thursday and Friday. The network also carries the Par 3 Contest on Wednesday as players get to have fun before the real thing starts the following day.
Mike Tirico will be the host for ESPN’s coverage in Butler Cabin. He’ll be joined by Curtis Strange. CBS will produce ESPN’s coverage and provide their announcers for the early rounds.
ESPN’s live coverage begins at 3 p.m. ET and will run until 7:30. Edited replays will run Thursday and Friday nights starting at 8 p.m. ET.
We have ESPN’s full coverage plans which will begin in earnest on Wednesday.
One of the great traditions of spring, the Masters Tournament at Augusta (Ga.) National Golf Club will kick off ESPN’s championship golf schedule for 2013. In its sixth year at the Masters, ESPN will air 4.5 hours of live Tournament play daily from the first two rounds, the traditional Par 3 Contest the day preceding the Tournament and four days of action on the ESPN 3D Network. Expansive news, information and analysis will appear on a variety of ESPN platforms in the U.S. and internationally, including television, radio, online and mobile devices.
ESPN and ESPN Deportes will air 4.5 hours of live first and second round action on Thursday, April 11, and Friday, April 12, from 3-7:30 p.m. ET with an edited encore presentation in prime time each night from 8-11 p.m. Live ESPN coverage will also be simulcast on ESPN3 and WatchESPN. The ESPN 3D Network will air three hours of live play from the first two rounds each day starting at 4:30 p.m. as well as live play from the Saturday and Sunday rounds at 4 p.m.
Prior to the live television windows Thursday and Friday, SportsCenter will air updates every 30 minutes beginning at 9 a.m. daily.
Mike Tirico will serve as host of ESPN’s Thursday and Friday telecasts and will conduct player interviews from Augusta National’s Butler Cabin with analyst Curtis Strange. CBS will again produce the telecasts with CBS’ golf announce crew also contributing to the coverage.
SportsCenter at the Masters
ESPN’s flagship news and information program SportsCenter will feature live updates from Augusta National Golf Club throughout the Masters Tournament beginning the afternoon of Monday, April 8.
On the first two days of play, Thursday and Friday, April 11-12, SportsCenter will bring viewers up to date from Augusta every 30 minutes with highlights, scores and interviews until ESPN’s telecast of live play begins at 3 p.m. each day. Included will be Thursday’s traditional ceremonial first tee shot with legendary golfers Arnold Palmer, Jack Nicklaus and Gary Player.
A one-hour SportsCenter at the Masters special will air Wednesday, April 10, at 5 p.m. on ESPN with a preview of the tournament. Host Scott Van Pelt will be joined by analyst Andy North and reporter Tom Rinaldi as well as ESPN.com national columnist Gene Wojciechowski and ESPN The Magazine columnist Rick Reilly. The SportsCenter special follows ESPN’s telecast of the Masters Par 3 Tournament from 3-5 p.m.
Several player press conferences will take place on Tuesday, April 9, and SportsCenter will air the news conferences of Rory McIlroy (9:30 a.m.), Tiger Woods (1 p.m.) and Phil Mickelson (2:30 p.m.).
Van Pelt and Mike Tirico will host SportsCenter reports from the Masters with North and Rinaldi and contributions from analysts Curtis Strange and Paul Azinger.
Wojciechowski will present a feature on 14-year-old Tianlang Guan, the youngest golfer ever to qualify for the Masters. The young phenom is shown during preparations in his native China, where Wojciechowski and an ESPN crew spent a week with him, and ESPN spent time with him as he first arrived at Augusta.
Also airing across multiple ESPN programs including SportsCenter will be Tirico’s conversation with Tiger Woods at the recent PGA TOUR event in Orlando.
The Masters on ESPN 3D
ESPN’s television coverage will include 12 hours of programming in 3D on the ESPN 3D network, with three hours daily from all four rounds of Tournament action. Thursday and Friday’s telecasts begin at 4:30 p.m. while the weekend telecasts begin at 4 p.m. Sean McDonough will host ESPN 3D’s telecasts of the first two rounds with analyst Paul Azinger, while Azinger will join host Mike Tirico and analyst Curtis Strange for the weekend rounds.
Masters Par 3 Contest
The fun and family-oriented Masters Par 3 Contest will air Wednesday, April 10, from 3-5 p.m. on ESPN and ESPN3. The Par 3 Contest, which began in 1960, was first televised by ESPN in 2008. On the telecast, Mike Tirico, Andy North and Curtis Strange will be joined by Tom Rinaldi, who will conduct interviews on the putting green.
The Masters on ESPN Deportes
ESPN Deportes, ESPN’s multimedia, Spanish-language sports brand dedicated to providing the widest variety of sports to the U.S. Hispanic sports fan, will have live television coverage of the first and second rounds of the Masters Tournament on Thursday and Friday, April 11-12, from 3-7:30 p.m. Francisco Aleman (analyst), Silvia Bertolaccini (play-by-play) and John Sutcliffe (on-course reporter) will call the action from Augusta National Golf Club.
In addition, ESPNDeportes.com, the No. 1 Spanish-language sports website among Spanish-preferred fans in the U.S., will offer extensive Masters coverage at its golf index page, including:
- Chats with the on-air experts.
- Various feature golf columns leading up to first-round play and post reports daily.
- Previews and analysis, including a hole by hole preview
- Nightly ESPN video wrap by ESPN Deportes’ golf experts on site.
- Daily blogs
- Real-time leaderboards
- Hole-by-hole analysis
- Daily tournament photo galleries and video highlights
- Daily polls
The Masters on Other ESPN Digital Platforms
All Masters programming on ESPN is also available on computers, smartphones, tablets and Xbox via WatchESPN, accessible to fans who receive their video subscription from an affiliate provider including Time Warner Cable, Bright House Networks, Verizon FiOS TV, Comcast Xfinity TV, Midcontinent Communications, Cablevision, Cox, Charter Communications and AT&T U-verse.
- News, reactions and columns from senior golf writers Farrell Evans and Bob Harig, national columnist Gene Wojciechowski and ESPN The Magazine columnist Rick Reilly.
- “Digital Drive,” an exclusive ESPN.com program hosted by Scott Van Pelt and Andy North, will be produced each night Wednesday-Sunday of Masters week.
- Live chat, featuring new “Scribble Live” application, moderated by golf reporter Michael Collins and ESPN The Magazine’s Sarah Turcotte.
- A new original digital comedy video with defending Masters champion Bubba Watson and Collins debuts April 4.
- Collins will hand out nightly grades for the top 10 players in the world plus other notable names.
- “Championship Central” on the ESPN.com/Golf index page focusing on the majors and the Presidents Cup.
- ESPN Golf Cast with an easy to use interface with scoring, video and social media elements.
- Links to Masters.com incorporating traffic roll-up of live feeds from Amen Corner, Holes 15 and 16 and the Featured Group 1 and Featured Group 2 channels.
- Pre-Tournament coverage began in mid-March with the “Road to The Masters” series tracking the latest news and historical reviews of the year’s first major. Included are more than 50 Masters Moments video highlights.
- Daily Masters coverage began April 1 with ESPN analyst Andy North ranking his best 10 shots in Masters history by a Masters winner. The video series began with the 10th ranking and will conclude Wednesday, April 10, with the No. 1 shot.
- Interactive elements including Best Ball Challenge and Masters conversation pages.
- Video clips from ESPN golf analysts Andy North, Curtis Strange and Paul Azinger.
- Photo Galleries
- Live scoring from Masters.com.
ESPN’s multi-screen, live event sports network will simulcast ESPN’s telecast of the Masters Par 3 Contest on Wednesday, April 10, from 3-5 p.m. and the first and second rounds of play on Thursday and Friday, April 11-12, from 3-7:30 p.m.
Additional coverage of the Masters on ESPN platforms:
Dan Davis will provide coverage through all four rounds of The Masters for ESPN Radio and ESPNRadio.com. His in-play reports will run during SportsCenter updates twice an hour. Davis will also guest on network talk shows. Additionally, the weekly Ian O’Connor Show (Sundays 7-9 a.m.) will originate from Augusta on April 14.
ESPNRadio.com will highlight player interviews, course analysis and up-to-the-minute updates of the Masters.
ESPN The Magazine
The “Photo” issue of ESPN The Magazine, on newsstands April 5, contains a two-page Masters preview by Scott Miller in the Playbook section. ESPN golf analysts Paul Azinger and Curtis Strange break down Holes 13, 14, 15 and 16 at Augusta National Golf Club.
This year 72 countries will see the Masters on ESPN platforms and can follow the event on ESPN television, online, mobile and broadband platforms.
- Latin America and the Caribbean (all four rounds and the Par 3 Contest coverage to 51 countries and more than 41 million households).
- For the first time ever, a live 30-minute preview show will air prior to all four rounds of the Masters in Spanish-speaking Latin America.
- In Canada, TSN will air the first two rounds of the Masters and the Par 3 Contest live with same day re-airs in primetime of the third and final rounds. RDS will carry all four rounds live in French and the TSN.ca digital platforms will stream exclusive live coverage of “Amen Corner,” a Featured Group of the day, plus holes 15 and 16. TSN’s television networks reach approximately 15 million households.
- In Northern Africa and the Middle East – excluding Israel – all four rounds and the Par 3 Contest will be televised to 21 countries.
- The Par 3 Contest, all four rounds of the Masters and exclusive broadband coverage of “Amen Corner,” a Featured Group of the day and holes 15 and 16 will be live on ESPN Play in Spanish-speaking Latin America and on ESPN Play via the WatchESPN platform in Brazil. Additionally, for the first time, a mobile/tablet version of ESPN Play will be available in Panama, Colombia, Ecuador, Mexico, Venezuela, Argentina, Uruguay, Jamaica and Trinidad & Tobago.
ESPN Classic will feature a tribute to the Masters in the days leading up to ESPN’s live coverage of the event with 43 hours of special programming. The tribute begins Tuesday, April 9, at 8 p.m. ET with an airing of highlights of the 1963 Masters won by Jack Nicklaus, on the 50th anniversary of that tournament, and will run straight through until 3 p.m. on Thursday, April 11, when ESPN’s live coverage of the 2013 Masters begins. Following the airing of the 1963 event, other Masters that are celebrating important anniversary dates also will air before the tribute airs highlights from every Masters played since 1960, starting chronologically with the 1960 Masters at 1:30 a.m. on Wednesday, April 10.
The Masters Tournament – Augusta National Golf Club, Augusta, GA
(all times Eastern)
Day/Date Program Time Networks Wed., April 10 Masters Par 3 Contest 3 p.m. ESPN, ESPN3, WatchESPN SportsCenter at the Masters 5 p.m. ESPN, WatchESPN Thu., April 11 First Round 3 p.m. ESPN, ESPN Deportes, ESPN3, WatchESPN First Round 4:30 p.m. ESPN 3D First Round (encore) 8 p.m. ESPN, WatchESPN Fri., April 12 Second Round 3 p.m. ESPN, ESPN Deportes, ESPN3, WatchESPN Second Round 4:30 p.m. ESPN 3D Second Round (encore) 8 p.m. ESPN, WatchESPN Sat., April 13 Third Round 4 p.m. ESPN 3D Sun., April 14 Final Round 4 p.m. ESPN 3D
That will do it for this post.
This Sunday, ESPN will air the Women’s Final Four on Sunday. It begins at 6 p.m. ET with the NCAA Women’s Final Four Special hosted by Kevin Negandhi with analysts Carolyn Peck and Kara Lawson.
Then at 6:30 p.m., Dave O’Brien and Doris Burke will call the National Semifinals with Rebecca Lobo and Holly Rowe roaming the sidelines. The first game will be Louisville vs. Cal followed by UConn and Notre Dame for the fourth time this season.
We have details of the coverage below.
Emerging Band Krewella Films Intro Music Video
18th year of exclusive coverage on ESPN; 11th year covering all 63 games
ESPN’s NCAA Women’s Final Four Coverage from New Orleans Arena, New Orleans
National Semifinals – Sunday, April 7: No. 5 Louisville vs. No. 2 California at 6:30 p.m. ET; No. 1 Connecticut vs. No. 1 Notre Dame at 8:30 p.m.
National Championship – Tuesday, April 9: Winner of Semifinal Games at 8:30 p.m.
* – All three games will be simulcast on WatchESPN
Final Four Coverage Plans
- ESPN teamed with the electro-trio music band Krewella for the intro to the network’s coverage
- The band shot the video with their hit song “Alive” for hundreds of people in a New Orleans’ Bourbon Street setting at Full Sail University in Winter Park, Fla.
- The video incorporates in-tournament highlights plus specialty shots of the four advancing teams and audio from top players and coaches telling the stories of each team
- ESPN3 will carry the postgame celebration, trophy presentation and the net cutting
- Pregame locker room access, in-game head coach interviews and halftime player interviews, along with on-set studio interviews with special guests
- Conversation about women’s basketball through twitter via @espnW and the #NCAAFF hashtag:
- Behind-the-scenes photo gallery of athletes, teams and scenes throughout the tournament at espnW.com/tourneyphotos
- ESPN’s “photo booth,” which captured video of the teams for use during the 2012 Final Four telecasts returns with all four teams, plus “meet the player” video intros from the booth
- New segments from conversations between ESPN analyst/reporter Rebecca Lobo and Notre Dame’s Skylar Diggins, as well as ESPN analyst Bob Knight and Connecticut’s Geno Auriemma
- Additional features to run throughout the weekend on all four teams, including a look at the personality of UConn’s Stefanie Dolson’s, respect for Notre Dame’s Muffet McGraw and the mentor/mentee relationship between Notre Dame’s Skylar Diggins and Jewell Loyd
- First-year host Kevin Negandhi, Kara Lawson and Carolyn Peck positioned on a low-level set inside the arena during ESPN’s studio coverage of the semifinals Sunday and the National Championship Tuesday
- Dave O’Brien works his fourth Women’s Final Four as the play-by-play announcer, joined by eight-year Final Four veteran analyst Doris Burke
- Lobo returns as a reporter with added responsibilities – as an on-court analyst reporting on special aspects of each game, conducting on-court interviews with players and coaches, and joining the studio coverage
- Holly Rowe is back for her eighth year as a sideline reporter and Bob Holtzman provides updates for SportsCenter live from New Orleans
- Several technologies used during the Final Four telecasts include:
- NAC High-Motion camera that utilizes three chip technology to produce great light sensitivity and flicker reduction and can be used to record exceptional slow motion replays
- Brenda VanLengen, ESPN play-by-play announcer, operating an ART System (telestrator device) for the third consecutive year; it is also used on ESPN’s Monday Night Football and NBA telecasts
- The virtual hot zone/shot chart tracking the team’s progress throughout the games
- 21 game cameras, with the ability to have 23 different positions, plus four cameras focused on the in-arena set:
- Four point-of-view cameras – select location in the arena
- Three robotic cameras – one overhead and two below the rim
- One radio frequency Steadi-Cam and one JIB
- Two Super slo-mo’s – including the NAC High-Motion camera
ESPN Final Four Commentators
Kevin Negandhi (First-year host): Negandhi joined ESPN in September 2006 as an anchor for ESPNEWS and currently works the 9 a.m. edition of SportsCenter with Hannah Storm. He enters his first-year as a women’s basketball studio host. Negandhi got his start covering women’s basketball while attending college at Temple, where he was a 1997 graduate.
Kara Lawson (Eighth-year analyst): Lawson is in her 10th year as an analyst for ESPN. She works men’s and women’s college basketball games and as a studio analyst. Lawson led University of Tennessee to three straight Final Fours and was a two-time All-American. She won a gold medal with the 2008 U.S. Women’s Basketball Olympic Team in Beijing and will be entering her 11th season with the WNBA – winning a league title in 2005 and currently playing for the Connecticut Sun.
Carolyn Peck (Fifth-year analyst): Peck originally joined ESPN in 2001 as a college and professional basketball analyst, including men’s and women’s college basketball, WNBA and NBA. She continues as a game analyst on men’s and women’s college hoops and the WNBA, as well as a studio analyst. Peck won the 1999 NCAA Championship title as the head coach at Purdue University – becoming the first African-American coach in women’s basketball to do so. She is also the former head coach at the University of Florida and the WNBA’s Orlando Miracle. Peck was a student-athlete at Vanderbilt University.
Doris Burke (Eighth-year game analyst; 11th overall): Burke began covering basketball for ESPN in 1991, and currently is an analyst on men’s and women’s games and the NBA, as well as a sideline reporter for select telecasts. Burke was a basketball player at Providence College and was named a NCAA 2012 Silver Anniversary Award recipient.
Dave O’Brien (Fourth-year play-by-play): O’Brien joined ESPN in 2002 as a play-by-play announcer working Major League Baseball, college basketball and NBA telecasts. In 2010, O’Brien added the Women’s Final Four to his announcing responsibilities. He is also the radio play-by-play announcer for the Boston Red Sox. A Boston native, O’Brien attended Syracuse University.
Rebecca Lobo (Sixth-year reporter): Lobo joined ESPN in 2004 as a WNBA and women’s college basketball analyst and reporter. She won an NCAA Championship in 1995 with the University of Connecticut where she was a National Player of the Year and an All-American. In addition, Lobo won a gold medal with the 1996 U.S. Women’s Basketball Olympic Team during the Atlanta Olympics and played in the WNBA for seven seasons.
Holly Rowe(Eighth-year reporter): Rowe began working ESPN telecasts in 1995, and joined on a regular-basis in 1998. She primarily covers college football, men’s basketball and softball as a reporter, as well as the NBA and WNBA. Rowe has also provided play-by-play commentary for women’s college basketball, softball and volleyball. She is a graduate of the University of Utah.
Bob Holtzman: Holtzman joined ESPN in 2000 as a reporter, primarily handling stories featured in the network’s award-winning news and information franchise – SportsCenter, Sunday NFL Countdown, Monday Night Countdown, Outside the Lines, Baseball Tonight, NBA shows, ESPNEWS and others. Holtzman graduated from the University of Kansas.
The site will continue to highlight stories surrounding the Final Four.
- In-depth and on-site coverage of each team, including features and video analysis from Kate Fagan, Graham Hays, Michelle Smith and Mechelle Voepel
- Women’s Final Four Live – a live chat throughout the semifinals and championship game, featuring tweets and analysis from ESPN’s analysts and espnW contributors
- Final Four predictions leading into the weekend from espnW’s on-the-ground team
- Blogs from players still participating in the tournament including Notre Dame’s Diggins, UConn’s Dolson, Cal’s Layshia Clarendon and Louisville’s Shoni Schimmel
- A Final Four Primer with the X’s and O’s of the games and position-by-position breakdowns by Bracketologist Charlie Creme
- “Top Moments in UConn/Notre Dame History” including links to top archived games
- Beth Mowins and Debbie Antonelli continue their season-long espnW podcast series with a preview and review of the Final Four
- Full coverage of the NCAA Salute on Parade and the All-America award ceremonies
SportsCenter will present in-depth coverage of the NCAA Women’s Final Four with on-site set presence featuring Negandhi, Lawson and Peck. Holtzman will provide on-site SportsCenter reports. Features expected to run include: The Notre Dame-Connecticut rivalry; Does Muffet McGraw get enough respect; Louisville players look back – in their own words – at their historic upset over Baylor; Diggins’ film session with Lobo; Diggins’ Sport Science piece; What does being a freshman at Connecticut mean; and UConn’s Kaleena Mosqueda-Lewis’ art of shooting.
Women’s Final Four Specials
NCAA Women’s Final Four Special: The 30-minute Women’s Final Four preview show hosted by Negandhi, Lawson and Peck from the New Orleans Arena in New Orleans will precede the National Semifinals Sunday, April 7, at 6 p.m. on ESPN and WatchESPN.
Crunch Time: Women’s Tournament: The two-hour show will air Tuesday, April 9, at 4 p.m. on ESPNU and WatchESPN will revisit the last few minutes of the best and most exciting games of the NCAA Championship.
The Experts: NCAA Women’s Championship Special: An hour-long round-table show Tuesday, April 9, at 5 p.m. on ESPNU and WatchESPN, with Negandhi, Lawson, Peck, Lobo and Burke. The all-star crew will discuss and debate the strengths and weaknesses of both teams playing for the title and give an inside track to victory.
College Basketball Live: Women’s National Championship Special: The 90-minute special, hosted by Matt Schick and analysts Nell Fortner and Brooke Weisbrod, on Tuesday, April 9, at 6 p.m. on ESPNU and WatchESPN will highlight and preview the Women’s National Championship title game.
NCAA Women’s Championship Special: ESPN and WatchESPN will begin its National Championship game coverage with an hour-long preview special, also hosted by Negandhi, Lawson and Peck, from the New Orleans Arena Tuesday, April 9, at 7:30 p.m.
NCAA Division I Women’s Final Four Schedule (subject to change)
Date Time (ET) Shows & Games/Commentators Networks Sun, Apr 7 6 p.m. NCAA Women’s Final Four Special
Kevin Negandhi, Kara Lawson & Carolyn Peck
ESPN/WatchESPN 6:30 p.m. National Semifinal Game 1 (New Orleans, La.):
No. 5 Louisville vs. No. 2 California
Dave O’Brien, Doris Burke, Rebecca Lobo & Holly Rowe
ESPN/WatchESPN 8:30 p.m. National Semifinal Game 2 (New Orleans, La.):
No. 1 Connecticut vs. No. 1 Notre Dame
ESPN/WatchESPN Tue, Apr 9 4 p.m. Crunch Time: NCAA Women’s Championship ESPNU/WatchESPN 5 p.m. The Experts: NCAA Women’s Championship
Kevin Negandhi, Kara Lawson, Carolyn Peck, Doris Burke & Rebecca Lobo
ESPNU/WatchESPN 6 p.m. College Basketball Live: NCAA Women’s Championship
Matt Schick, Nell Fortner & Brooke Weisbrod
ESPNU/WatchESPN 7:30 p.m. NCAA Women’s Championship Special
Kevin Negandhi, Kara Lawson & Carolyn Peck
ESPN/WatchESPN 8:30 p.m. National Final (New Orleans, La.):
Dave O’Brien, Doris Burke, Rebecca Lobo & Holly Rowe
WatchESPN continues its coverage of the NCAA Division I Women’s Basketball Championship heading into the Final Four and up to the NCAA National Championship game on Tuesday. All 63 games in the tournament are accessible online at WatchESPN.com, on smartphones and tablets via the award-winning WatchESPN app and through ESPN on Xbox LIVE to Gold members. Additionally, ESPN3 will carry the post-game celebration live exclusively following the conclusion of the Championship game. WatchESPN is available in 55 million households nationwide to fans of an affiliated video provider, including Time Warner Cable, Bright House Networks, Verizon FiOS TV, Comcast Xfinity TV, Midcontinent Communications, Cablevision, Cox, Charter and AT&T U-verse.
ESPN International networks will offer the national semifinals and title game to fans on ESPN Africa, ESPN America (Europe), ESPN Brazil HD, ESPN Caribbean, ESPN Latin HD, ESPN Latin North, ESPN Latin South, ESPN Middle East and ESPN Pac Rim.
ESPNFrontRow.com will once again provide behind-the-scenes features centered on ESPN’s coverage of the Women’s Final Four. Highlights include a unique look at the Krewella intro shoot, ESPN’s game integration of espnW and the Twitter life of star reporter Holly Rowe.
ESPN Classic will feature a marathon of games featuring past champions, plus a day-long series of previous Connecticut vs. Notre Dame matchups.
ESPN Classic NCAA Women’s Basketball Championship Schedule
Date Time (ET) Game Sun, Apr 7 7:30 a.m. Knight & Auriemma: A Coaches Conversation 8 a.m. 2001 BIG EAST Championship Final: Notre Dame vs. Connecticut 10 a.m. 2001 NCAA National Semifinal: Connecticut vs. Notre Dame Noon 2012 NCAA National Semifinal: Connecticut vs. Notre Dame 2 p.m. 2013 BIG EAST Championship Final: Connecticut vs. Notre Dame 6 p.m. 2013 Regular-Season 3-Overtime Game: Connecticut at Notre Dame Tue, Apr 9 Midnight 2003 NCAA National Championship: Tennessee vs. Connecticut 2 a.m. 2000 NCAA Women’s National Championship: Connecticut vs. Tennessee 7 a.m. 2009 NCAA National Championship: Louisville vs. Connecticut 9 a.m. 2011 NCAA Women’s National Championship: Notre Dame vs. Texas A&M 11 a.m. 2008 NCAA Women’s National Championship: Stanford vs. Tennessee 1 p.m. 2004 NCAA Women’s National Championship: Connecticut vs. Tennessee 3 p.m. 2010 NCAA Women’s National Championship: Stanford vs. Connecticut 5 p.m. 2012 NCAA Women’s National Championship: Notre Dame vs. Baylor
That is it.
Next week is Opening Week for Major League Baseball. ESPN and ESPN2 will combine to air seven games over a four day span.
ESPN will have the Opening Night Game this Sunday night between new American League West Division rivals Texas and Houston. The new Sunday Night Baseball announcing crew of Dan Shulman, Orel Hershiser and John Kruk will call that game as well as the San Francisco Giants at Los Angeles Dodgers contest at Dodger Stadium less than 24 hours later.
The new Monday Night Baseball crew of Dave O’Brien, Rick Sutcliffe and Aaron Boone along with insider Tim Kurkjian will call the blood rivalry of Yankees-Red Sox at 1 p.m. ET on Monday, April 1.
ESPN’s new Wednesday Night Baseball concept will have various play-by-play announcers including Sean McDonough with analysts who have a connection to the teams playing that night like Curt Schilling doing a Red Sox or Doug Glanville on a Phillies game.
We have the ESPN announcement.
New Monday Night Baseball Booth & Wednesday Night Baseball Rotating Booth to Debut Opening Day
ESPN Radio’s Mike & Mike in the Morning at MLB Fan Cave; First Take at NYC’s Hard Rock Cafe
ESPN’s new Sunday Night Baseball team – Dan Shulman, John Kruk and Orel Hershiser with reporter Buster Olney – will debut on the exclusive national telecast of MLB Opening Night on Sunday, March 31, at 8 p.m. ET when the Texas Rangers visit the Astros, in Houston’s American League debut. Immediately following the game, the ESPN crew will travel to Los Angeles to call their second game in less than 24 hours – the defending World Series Champion San Francisco Giants at the Los Angeles Dodgers, Monday, April 1, at 4 p.m. ET
New Monday Night Baseball Booth
ESPN’s new Monday Night Baseball crew – Dave O’Brien, Rick Sutcliffe and Aaron Boone with reporter Tim Kurkjian – will make their season debut Monday, April 1, when the New York Yankees host the Boston Red Sox at 1 p.m. on ESPN. The Monday Night Baseball crew will also provide commentary Wednesday, April 3, for the second game of the Red Sox-Yankees season-opening series on ESPN2 at 7 p.m.
New Wednesday Night Baseball Rotating Booth
This season, ESPN will debut a new rotating Wednesday Night Baseball commentator lineup led by Sean McDonough, which will include a variety of play-by-play announcers and analysts from ESPN’s deep roster of MLB personalities. Commentators will be assigned to Wednesday Night Baseball telecasts based on a relevant connection to the game. On Opening day, McDonough will team with analyst Mark Mulder and reporter Doug Glanville to call the Philadelphia Phillies at Atlanta Braves on ESPN2 at 7 p.m. on ESPN2.
SportsCenter’s Steve Levy will provide play-by-play commentary for the St. Louis Cardinals at Arizona Diamondbacks Opening Day game, April 1, at 10 p.m. on ESPN2. Levy will be joined by analyst Nomar Garciaparra and reporter Pedro Gomez.
On Opening Day, Mike & Mike in the Morning will air live on ESPN Radio and ESPN2 from the MLB Fan Cave in New York from 6-10 a.m. The popular morning program will also visit the Omni Dallas on Friday, April 5, and the Cubby Bear in Chicago on Monday, April 8, as part of an MLB Opening Day Tour.
First Take will emanate from the Hard Rock Café in New York City on Opening Day beginning at 10 a.m. on ESPN2.
On Sunday, March 31, ESPN will air a special two-hour Baseball Tonight at 6 p.m. leading into Opening Night. Baseball Tonight airs at 12 p.m. on ESPN and again at 1 a.m. on ESPN2 on Opening Day. New Baseball Tonight commentators Alex Cora and Manny Acta will join Barry Larkin, Curt Schilling, Aaron Boone, Doug Glanville, Tim Kurkjian and Karl Ravech throughout the week.
“Who’s on First?”
On Sunday, SportsCenter and Baseball Tonight will present a piece recognizing the 75th anniversary of Abbott & Costello’s “Who’s on First?” skit featuring Late Night host Jimmy Fallon and several Major League players acting out their own versions of the classic.
ESPN MLB season-opening schedule
Date Time (ET) Game / Commentators Networks Sun, Mar 31 6 p.m. Baseball Tonight
Karl Ravech, Alex Cora, Barry Larkin, Curt Schilling, Tim Kurkjian
ESPN, WatchESPN 7:30 p.m. Beisbol Esta Noche
Candy Maldonado, Carolina Guillen, Manny Acta
ESPN Deportes 8 p.m. Opening Night Baseball on ESPN: Texas Rangers at Houston Astros
ESPN: Dan Shulman, John Kruk, Orel Hershiser, Buster Olney
ESPN Radio: Jon Sciambi, Chris Singleton
ESPN Deportes: Ernesto Jerez, Luis Alfredo Alvarez
ESPN Deportes Radio: Renato Bermudez, Jose Francisco Rivera
ESPN, ESPN Deportes, ESPN Radio, ESPN Deportes Radio, WatchESPN Mon, Apr 1 12 p.m. Baseball Tonight
Karl Ravech, Barry Larkin, Curt Schilling
ESPN, WatchESPN 1 p.m. Opening Day Baseball on ESPN: Boston Red Sox at New York Yankees
Dave O’Brien, Rick Sutcliffe, Aaron Boone, Tim Kurkjian
ESPN, WatchESPN 4 p.m. Opening Day Baseball on ESPN: San Francisco Giants at Los Angeles Dodgers
ESPN: Dan Shulman, John Kruk, Orel Hershiser, Buster Olney
ESPN Radio: Jon Sciambi, Chris Singleton
ESPN, ESPN Radio WatchESPN 7 p.m. Opening Day Baseball on ESPN: Philadelphia Phillies at Atlanta Braves
Sean McDonough, Mark Mulder, Doug Glanville
ESPN2, WatchESPN 10 p.m. Opening Day Baseball on ESPN: St. Louis Cardinals at Arizona Diamondbacks
Steve Levy, Nomar Garciaparra, Pedro Gomez
ESPN2, WatchESPN Tue, Apr 2 1 a.m. Baseball Tonight
Karl Ravech, Aaron Boone, Alex Cora
ESPN2, WatchESPN Wed, Apr 3 12:30 a.m. Baseball Tonight
Adnan Virk, Manny Acta, Doug Glanville
ESPN2, WatchESPN 7 p.m. Boston Red Sox at New York Yankees
Dave O’Brien, Rick Sutcliffe, Aaron Boone, Tim Kurkjian
ESPN2, WatchESPN 10 p.m. San Francisco Giants at Los Angeles Dodgers
Jon Sciambi, Nomar Garciaparra, Pedro Gomez
That’s going to do it.
The National Invitation Tournament is back to allow 32 teams that didn’t make the NCAA Tournament an opportunity to have some postseason play.
The ESPN family of networks will air the entire tournament culminating with the semifinals and finals at Madison Square Garden on April 2 and April 4, respectively. Bob Wischusen will call the games at MSG. He’ll be joined by Bill Raftery for the semis and Bob Knight on the final.
In addition, we have more Bill Walton. His assignments for ESPN are not done yet. He’ll work the Stephen F. Austin-Stanford game with Dave Flemming on Tuesday for ESPN2.
Let’s take a look at what we have for the first round of the NIT on the ESPN family.
Exclusive coverage of the entire 76th National Invitation Tournament (NIT) begins on Tuesday, March 19, at 7:30 p.m. on ESPN, and continues across ESPN, ESPN2, ESPNU and ESPN3 with coverage of all 31 games. In addition to 5 exclusive ESPN3 games during the first round, every game will be available on WatchESPN.
The NIT Semifinal games from Madison Square Garden will air on ESPN2, Tuesday, April 2,beginning at 7 p.m., and The NIT Championship will follow on Thursday, April 4 at 9 p.m. on ESPN. Play by play commentator Bob Wischusen will be joined by analysts Bill Raftery for the semifinals and Bob Knight for the final game of the tournament.
The 32-team field for the oldest tournament in college basketball was announced Sunday, March 17, during the ESPNU NIT Selection Show and includes teams representing 22 conferences, led by the ACC, Pac-12 and SEC with three selections each. First Round action airs from campus sites with the No.1 seeds Alabama, Southern Mississippi and Virginia competing at home. Defending National Champions, Kentucky, also joins the field as a No. 1 seed, but will play on the road at Robert Morris in Pittsburgh – Coach Calipari’s hometown – due to the unavailability of Rupp Arena.
Seven teams in the 2013 field played in the 2012 tournament, including the defending NIT Champions, Stanford. Three teams are making their first appearance in the tournament – Charleston Southern, Mercer and Norfolk State. St. John’s is making its 29th appearance, the most all time. Eight teams in this year’s field have previously won an NIT title, including St. John’s, which has won a record six championships. Stanford has a chance to join St. John’s (1943, 1944) and South Carolina (2005, 2006) as the only teams to repeat.
2013 NIT First Round Schedule:
Date Time (ET)
Network Tue, March 19
NIT First Round: Niagara at Maryland
Mike Patrick & LaPhonso Ellis
NIT First Round: St. John’s at Saint Joseph’s
Mike Crispino & Bob Valvano
NIT First Round: Louisiana Tech at Florida State
Rich Hollenberg & Paul Biancardi
NIT First Round: Kentucky at Robert Morris
Bob Wischusen, Jimmy Dykes & Allison Williams
NIT First Round: Northeastern at Alabama
John Saunders & Bob Knight
NIT First Round: Norfolk State at Virginia
Mitch Holthus & Cory Alexander
NIT First Round: Ohio at Denver
Mark Neely & Corey Williams
NIT First Round: Washington at BYU
Roxy Bernstein & Sean Farnham
NIT First Round: Stephen F. Austin at Stanford
Dave Flemming & Bill Walton
Wed, March 20
NIT First Round: Indiana State at Iowa
Carter Blackburn and Dan Dakich
NIT First Round: Charlotte at Providence
Jason Benetti & Tim Welsh
NIT First Round: Stony Brook at UMass
Doug Sherman & Malcolm Huckaby
NIT First Round: Mercer at Tennessee
John Saunders & Bob Knight
NIT First Round: Long Beach State at Baylor
Mark Jones & Fran Fraschilla
NIT First Round: Charleston Southern at Southern Mississippi
Roy Philpott & Joe Dean
NIT First Round: Detroit at Arizona State
Joe Davis & Miles Simon
That’s it for this post.
Let’s do some linkage. I need to do this more than twice a week.
Sports Illustrated’s Richard Deitsch looks at the potential replacements for Jon Gruden in the Monday Night Football booth should he decide to leave as rumored.
John Ourand of Sports Business Journal has a plethora of subjects in his latest media column.
Rachel Bachman of the Wall Street Journal says the expansion of the Big Ten to the Atlantic seaboard is purely for television.
Andy Fixmer and Scott Soshnick at Bloomberg report on a story that bears watching, YES Network will retain the media rights to the New York Yankees through 2042 which opens the door for News Corp. to buy a stake in the channel.
Andy and Alex Sherman from Bloomberg write about Fox opening the door for Fox Sports 1.
Alicia Jessop at Forbes writes that the NBA will stream D-League games on YouTube.
Anthony Crupi at Adweek tells us that NBC is garnering big ad rates for its Thanksgiving Night NFL game.
A story from the weekend, Awful Announcing’s Joe Lucia notes that CBS/Sports Illustrated/Turner’s Seth Davis apologized for calling UFC “homoerotic”.
Todd Spangler from Multichannel News notes that ESPN has rebooted its “Watch ESPN” Xbox 360 app.
Toni Fitzgerald at Media Life says NBC’s Sunday Night Football killed the competition in primetime.
Ed Sherman at The Sherman Report says the NFL game experience doesn’t compare to watching it on your TV.
Jordan Rabinowitz of SportsGrid has video of NASCAR Sprint Cup Champion Brad Keselowski drinking on SportsCenter after celebrating his win.
The lovely Kristi Dosh at ESPN.com says both Rutgers and Maryland are in desperate need of the TV money that both institutions will receive as members of the Big Ten Conference.
Ryan Hannable of Boston Sports Media Watch speaks with WEEI’s Glenn Ordway.
Tony LaRoce in the Providence Journal talks with Providence College basketball radio voice John Rooke about a book he’s written about Rhode Island radio.
Richard Sandomir and Amy Chozik of the New York Times write that News Corp.’s stake in YES could value the network as high as $3 billion.
Nate Silver of the New York Times looks at the geography of college football fans across the country and delves into the crazy conference realignment.
Newsday’s Neil Best checks on the progress of Madison Square Garden’s “transformation.”
Pete Dougherty of the Albany Times Union says Time Warner Cable airs an AHL game on Friday.
David Zurawik in the Baltimore Sun writes that the Big Ten’s TV acumen will help Maryland in the long run.
In the Washington Post’s DC Sports Bog, Dan Steinberg has ESPN’s Scott Van Pelt, a noted Maryland alum, weighing in on the Maryland to the Big Ten move.
Jim Williams of the Washington Examiner speaks with Jim Rome about his new Showtime series.
Stephen F. Holder of the Tampa Bay Times says the Bucs have a long way to go if the team wants to sell out its game against Atlanta and avoid a local TV blackout.
David Barron of the Houston Chronicle says former Astros analyst Jim Deshaies is a candidate for the Cubs TV job.
David says overtime helped push the Texans’ ratings upwards in Houston.
The Indianapolis Star transcribed some of the things ESPN’s Bob Knight said during last night’s Indiana-Georgia game. It marked the first time Knight had called an Indiana game for ESPN.
The Chicago Tribune has an infographic on how many TV viewers each school in the Big Ten can bring to the table.
Dusty Saunders of the Denver Post says Altitude has had to make a programming adjustment without the Colorado Avalanche this season.
Tom Hoffarth of the Los Angeles Daily News has five things he learned from the weekend.
SportsRantz looks at the reported morning show for CBS Sports Radio.
Classic Sports TV and Media explores when was the actual first college football primetime broadcast.
Tony Manfred at the Business Insider Sports Page notes that this week’s Sports Illustrated cover is basically an ad for adidas.
Sports Media Watch says CBS saw rating increases for its NFL windows on Sunday, but the late games are the second-lowest rated for this season.
SMW notes NBC’s Sunday Night Football wasn’t as big a draw with Ravens-Steelers.
And that will do it for today.
To the ESPN family of networks’ schedule for the 2012-13 basketball season. Overall, ESPN, ESPN2 and ESPNU will air 38 conference games, 14 of which to be divided among ESPN/ESPN2 and the rest on ESPNU.
The games will air primarily on Wednesday, Thursday and Saturday nights. This season begins an 11 p.m. ET game on ESPN2 Wednesdays except for two weeks in January when the networks airs the Australian Open.
Take a look at the schedule below.
ESPN’s 2013 Pac-12 men’s college basketball regular-season schedule will feature 38 conference games across ESPN, ESPN2 and ESPNU. Overall, ESPNU will televise 24 of the matchups.
ESPN and the Pac-12 are beginning a new 12-year agreement for extensive conference action through 2024-25. As part of the deal, ESPN will add men’s regular-season basketball across ESPN, ESPN2 and ESPNU, primarily on Wednesday, Thursday and Saturday nights, including in new 11 p.m. ET (8 p.m. PT) Wednesday telecasts (except Jan. 16 and 23). ESPN also receives the rights to one Pac-12 Men’s Basketball Tournament quarterfinal and semifinal game, and the championship every other year beginning this season.
Viewers can also watch live ESPN, ESPN2 and ESPNU game action online at WatchESPN.com or on smart phones and tablets through the WatchESPN app. The service – available to customers of Time Warner Cable, Bright House Networks, Verizon FiOS TV and Comcast Xfinity TV – gives fans the ability to watch ESPN’s live networks, no matter where they are.
ESPN, ESPN2 and ESPNU 2013 Pac-12 Men’s Basketball Schedule
Dates, times and television listings subject to change
Date Time (ET) Game Network Thu, Jan 3 8 p.m. Colorado at Arizona ESPNU 10 p.m. Stanford at USC ESPNU Sat, Jan 5 9:30 p.m. Washington at Washington State ESPNU Wed, Jan 9 11 p.m. Washington at California ESPN2 Thu, Jan 10 9 p.m. Arizona at Oregon ESPN or ESPN2 10 p.m. USC at Colorado ESPNU Sat, Jan 12 9:30 p.m. Arizona at Oregon State ESPNU Thu, Jan 17 9 p.m. Oregon State at UCLA ESPNU 11 p.m. Oregon at USC ESPNU Sat, Jan 19 9 or 11 p.m. Utah at Washington ESPNU Thu, Jan 24 9 p.m. UCLA at Arizona ESPN2 10 p.m. Stanford at Colorado ESPNU Sat, Jan 26 8:30 p.m. USC at Arizona ESPNU Wed, Jan 30 11 p.m. Oregon at Stanford ESPN2 Thu, Jan 31 9 p.m. Arizona at Washington ESPN or ESPN2 10 p.m. Oregon State at California ESPNU Sat, Feb 2 9 p.m. Arizona State at Washington ESPNU Wed, Feb 6 9 or 11 p.m. Stanford at Arizona ESPN2 Thu, Feb 7 9 p.m. Washington at UCLA ESPN or ESPN2 10 p.m. Colorado at Oregon ESPNU Sat, Feb 9 9 p.m. Stanford at Arizona State ESPNU Wed, Feb 13 11 p.m. Oregon at Washington ESPN2 Thu, Feb 14 9 p.m. UCLA at California ESPN or ESPN2 11 p.m. USC at Stanford ESPNU Sat, Feb 16 4 p.m. UCLA at Stanford ESPN or ESPN2 9 p.m. Arizona State at Colorado ESPNU Wed, Feb 20 11 p.m. Washington at Arizona ESPN2 Thu, Feb 21 9 p.m. California at Oregon ESPNU 11 p.m. Stanford at Oregon State ESPNU Sat, Feb 23 TBD Washington at Arizona State ESPNU Wed, Feb 27 11 p.m. Colorado at Stanford ESPN2 Thu, Feb 28 9 p.m. Utah at California ESPNU 11 p.m. Oregon State at Oregon ESPNU Sat, Mar 2 9 p.m. Saturday Primetime: Arizona at UCLA * ESPN 5 p.m. Colorado at California ESPNU Wed, Mar 6 11 p.m. Stanford at California ESPN2 Thu, Mar 7 9 p.m. Oregon at Colorado ESPNU 11 p.m. Oregon State at Utah ESPNU Thu, Mar 14 11:30 p.m. Pac-12 Tournament: Quarterfinal #4 ESPNU Fri, Mar 15 11:30 p.m. Pac-12 Tournament: Semifinal #2 ESPN or ESPN2 Sat, Mar 16 11 p.m. Pac-12 Tournament: Championship ESPN
* College GameDay will originate from site
Let’s do a few links for you.
Michael Hiestand of USA Today looks at the local MLB TV ratings.
Mike Ozanian from Forbes explains what the new national MLB TV deals mean for the upcoming bids for the Los Angeles Dodgers TV rights.
Georg Szalai of the Hollywood Reporter has an NBC Sports executive defending its decision not to air live coverage of the Paralympics.
ESPN Ombudsman Jason Fry at the Poynter Institute discusses ESPN taking credit for the work of others and standardizing its editorial policies.
Speaking of Ed, he wonders if this season will be the last for the partnership of Chicago White Sox TV announcers Ken Harrelson and Steve Stone.
Jill Goldsmith from Variety discusses the new carriage deal between Disney and Cablevision that includes WatchESPN, Longhorn Network and other ESPN platforms.
Broadcasting & Cable reports on Golf Channel’s record viewership for the third quarter of 2012.
Dan Daly from Sports Video Group explores how Fox and Turner are preparing to pick up audio during the MLB Postseason.
ESPN’s Kristi Dosh looks at the next Manchester United cash deal.
ESPN’s Darren Rovell wonders how much Master Swindler Curt Schilling can receive for selling his bloody sock. I live in Rhode Island and I’m an angry taxpayer on the hook thanks to Curt’s 38 Studios deal.
Rocco Pendoia at The Street wonders if national sports radio can generate revenue for CBS.
Jordan Rabinowitz at SportsGrid has the painful video of actor Liam Neeson’s appearance on ESPN’s SportsCenter as Mike Hill asked him about Tim Tebow. You can only imagine the results.
Newsday’s Neil Best talks with SiriusXM’s Chris Russo.
Jerry Barmash at FishbowlNY says YES has received its best ratings in two years for the last two Red Sox-Yankees games.
The Schenectady Gazette’s Ken Schott says local sports anchor Andrew Catalon will call UConn women’s basketball on SNY this season.
Pete Dougherty at the Albany Times Union has the Week 5 NFL TV schedule for the Capital Region.
Ken McMillan of the Middletown (NY) Times Herald-Record looks at the SNY UConn Women’s basketball schedule.
Tom Luicci of the Newark Star-Ledger talks with ESPN analyst John Congemi about Saturday’s UConn-Rutgers game.
Keith Groller at the Allentown (PA) Morning Call says IndyCar racing returns next year to Pocono Raceway, but in a shorter form and with ABC televising the race over NBC Sports Network.
David Zurawik of the Baltimore Sun has a slideshow in which he gives grades to the MASN Orioles broadcasters for this season.
David notes the O’s home finale’s ratings on MASN almost doubled from the last season.
In the Washington Post, Dan Steinberg wants to know why former WaPo columnist Michael Wilbon trashed DC in ESPN The Magazine.
Dan also responds to Michael’s trashing of him.
David Barron at the Houston Chronicle says the final day of the Astros season meant saying goodbye on both TV and radio.
Darnell Mayberry of The Oklahoman writes that several Oklahoma City Thunder players were gripped by ESPN’s “Broke” 30 for 30 documentary.
John Kiesewetter of the Cincinnati Enquirer says the Reds set a ratings record on Fox Sports Ohio.
In the Los Angeles Times, Joe Flint writes about the Disney carriage deal with Cablevision.
Joe Eskanazi of San Francisco explains how the Bleacher Report became so big.
John Carvalho at ChuckOliver.net delves into the feud between South Carolina football coach Steve Spurrier and a newspaper columnist.
Andrew Kameka of Mobile Play says WatchESPN is now adding support for Apple AirPlay through iOS6.
Dave Kohl has some various sports media thoughts in The Broadcast Booth.
I’m going to end it there.
As we approach the 2012 NFL regular season, let’s take a look at the online streaming plans for the League’s TV partners. Believe it or not, online real-time streaming of games began back in 2007 when DirecTV released its Supercast app for computers (for Internet Explorer only!) and allowed subscribers to its NFL Sunday Ticket service to watch the Sunday afternoon games online. At that time, streaming to mobiles was just in its infancy and the quality on a 3G network was horrible.
The following year, NBC announced it would stream its entire Sunday Night Football schedule online.
Since then, the NFL has taken baby steps in streaming. DirecTV’s Sunday NFL Ticket has expanded to mobiles and tablets as well as a gaming platforms. ESPN’s Monday Night Football now streams on the WatchESPN service, but only for authenticated subscribers of Bright House, Comcast, Time Warner Cable and Verizon Fios systems. And the NFL has provided mobile streaming rights to Verizon meaning only customers of the cell phone provider can watch Sunday, Monday and Thursday Night Football on their devices.
With the new TV contracts signed at the end of last year, the NFL’s broadcast and cable partners have limited streaming rights. I’ve asked several networks about their streaming plans and I’ll provide answers, where applicable, on how this season shapes up online, on mobiles and on tablets.
- CBS — No streaming plans.
- DirecTV — NFL Sunday Ticket streamed online, mobiles and on tablets. Also on participating gaming consoles.
- ESPN — Monday Night Football streamed online and on tablets at WatchESPN only for authenticated cable customers (Bright House, Comcast, Time Warner, Verizon Fios)
- Fox — No streaming plans.
- NBC — Sunday Night Football streamed online at NBCSports.com also available on tablets through browsers. Not available through the NBC Sports Live Extra app.
- NFL Network — Thursday Night Football streamed on mobiles through NFL Live on Verizon devices only. Awaiting word if there will be streaming on tablets this season.
Sunday and Monday Night Football are streamed on mobiles through NFL Live on Verizon devices only.
While Super Bowl XLVI was streamed through NBCSports.com only on computers, there’s no word yet whether CBS will receive permission to stream Super Bowl XLVII. It had sought to stream Super Bowl XLIV in 2010, but was turned down by the league. We’ll see if the NFL decides to allow CBS to show the Super Bowl online in 2013.
This came into the Fang’s Bites inbox last week, but due to my family commitments, I couldn’t post it until now. This is from ESPN regarding its 2012 college football schedule. This adds 68 games to an already extensive schedule. These include contests from the Big East, Big Ten, Mid-American, SEC, Sun Belt and WAC.
Some of the contests include Texas A&M’s first-ever game as a member of the Southeastern Conference. There will also be 8 Big Ten home games in the first three weeks of the 2012 season.
In addition, ESPN will air Penn State at Ohio marking the debut of new Nittany Lion coach Bill O’Brien, marking the first time that Joe Paterno will not be overseeing the PSU program dating back to 1966.
Here’s what ESPN is saying about its schedule.
ESPN continues to build its extensive 2012 college football schedule, adding 68 games across ABC, ESPN, ESPN2, ESPNU and ESPN3. The matchups involve home games from the SEC, Big Ten, BIG EAST, Mid-American, Sun Belt and Western Athletic conferences. The announcement also includes the MEAC/SWAC Challenge and six ESPNU Thursday night telecasts from the two prominent HBCU (Historically Black College/University) leagues.
In the first three weeks, ESPN will televise games from all 11 Football Bowl Subdivision conferences plus BYU, Notre Dame and Navy. Additional selections, including home games from the SEC, Pac-12 and Big 12, will be announced in the upcoming weeks.
Every game will also be available via WatchESPN, which delivers live access to ESPN, ESPN2, ESPNU and ESPN3 on PCs, smartphones and tablets to fans who receive ESPN’s linear networks as part of their video subscription from Comcast, Time Warner Cable, Bright House Networks or Verizon FiOS TV.
- Five additional season-kickoff games on Thursday, Aug. 30: the opening night will be highlighted by an ESPN doubleheader beginning with South Carolina at Vanderbilt at 7 p.m. ET followed by the previously announced Washington State at BYU game at 10:15 p.m. ESPNU will televise Texas A&M’s first game as a member of the Southeastern Conference when the Aggies visit defending Western Athletic Conference champion Louisiana Tech at 7:30 p.m.
- Eight home Big Ten Conference games in the first three weeks of the season, highlighted by a 3:30 p.m. game on ABC and ESPN2 each Saturday: Southern Mississippi at Nebraska (Sept. 1), Air Force at Michigan (Sept. 8) and Navy at Penn State (Sept. 15).
- Including two previously announced games, ESPN networks will cover the debut of eight head coaches with their new team in the first weekend: Tim Beckman (Illinois), Terry Bowden (Akron), Paul Chryst (Pittsburgh), Ellis Johnson (Southern Miss), Bill O’Brien (Penn State) and Kevin Sumlin (Texas A&M); previously announced games include Larry Fedora (North Carolina against Elon Saturday, Sept. 1, at 12:30 p.m. on ESPN3) and Mike Leach (Washington State at BYU Thursday, Aug. 30, at 10:15 p.m. on ESPN).
- ESPN’s telecast of Penn State against Ohio (Saturday, Sept. 1, at noon) will mark the debut of Nittany Lions head coach Bill O’Brien, the school’s first new head coach in 46 years.
- Three defending conference champions in the opening weekend: Louisiana Tech (WAC), Northern Illinois (MAC) and Southern Mississippi (Conference USA).
- ESPNU will televise three games involving Big Ten teams on the first two Saturdays of the season, including a doubleheader from the state of Illinois on September 1: Western Michigan at Illinois at noon followed by Iowa vs. Northern Illinois from Chicago’s Soldier Field at 3:30 p.m. ESPNU will also televise Michigan State at Central Michigan on September 8 at 3:30 p.m.
- Multiple games involving teams ranked in a preseason College Football Live preseason top 25 poll.
ESPN will provide the most extensive multiplatform college football coverage with more than 450 regular-season and postseason games, concluding with the Discover BCS National Championship, across ABC, ESPN, ESPN2, ESPNU, ESPN3, ESPN Regional Television, ESPN Radio, ESPN 3D, ESPN Mobile, ESPN GamePlan and ESPN Goal Line. In addition to game action, ESPN will deliver news, analysis, features and highlights across College GameDay, College Football Live and multiple other television shows as well as ESPN.com, ESPN Radio and ESPN The Magazine.
Newly Announced ESPN 2012 College Football Telecasts (additional selections will be announced later):
Date Time (ET) Game Network Thu, Aug 30 7 p.m. South Carolina at Vanderbilt ESPN 7 p.m. Central Florida at Akron ESPN3* 7 p.m. Eastern Michigan at Ball State ESPN3* 7:30 p.m. Texas A&M vs. Louisiana Tech (from Independence Stadium – Shreveport, LA) ESPNU 7:30 p.m. Massachusetts at Connecticut ESPN3 & BIG EAST Local Package Fri, Aug 31 TBD Villanova at Temple ESPN3* Sat, Sep 1 Noon Ohio at Penn State ESPN Noon Northwestern at Syracuse ESPN2 Noon Western Michigan at Illinois ESPNU 3:30 p.m. Southern Mississippi at No. 17 Nebraska ABC & ESPN2** 3:30 p.m. Iowa vs. Northern Illinois (from Solider Field – Chicago) ESPNU 6 p.m. Youngstown State at Pittsburgh ESPN3* 7 p.m. Tennessee-Chattanooga at South Florida ESPN3* Sun, Sep 2 Noon MEAC/SWAC Challenge Presented by Disney: Bethune-Cookman vs. Alabama State (from Florida Citrus Bowl Stadium – Orlando) ESPN Sat, Sep 8 Noon Central Florida at No. 20 Ohio State ESPN2 Noon Maryland at Temple ESPNU Noon NC State at Connecticut ESPN3 & BIG EAST Network 3:30 p.m. Air Force at No. 10 Michigan ABC & ESPN2** 3:30 p.m. No. 12 Michigan State at Central Michigan ESPNU 3:30 p.m. Indiana at Massachusetts ESPN3* 3:30 p.m. Howard at Rutgers ESPN3 & BIG EAST Local Package 7 p.m. Memphis at Arkansas State ESPN3* 7 p.m. Louisiana-Lafayette at Troy ESPN3* TBD Texas Tech at Texas State TBD Thu, Sep 13 7:30 p.m. Mississippi Valley State at Southern ESPNU Sat, Sep 15 Noon California at No. 20 Ohio State ABC Noon Arkansas State at No. 17 Nebraska ESPN, ESPN2 or ESPNU Noon No. 19 Virginia Tech at Pittsburgh ESPN, ESPN2 or ESPNU 3:30 p.m. Navy at Penn State ABC & ESPN2** 3:30 p.m. North Carolina at Louisville ABC & ESPN2** 7 p.m. Rice at Louisiana Tech ESPN3* 7 p.m. Delaware State at Cincinnati ESPN3* 7 p.m. Mississippi State at Troy ESPN3* 8 p.m. Colorado State at San Jose State ESPN3* Wed, Sep 19 7 p.m. Kent State at Buffalo ESPNU Thu, Sep 20 7:30 p.m. Arkansas Pine Bluff at Alabama State ESPNU Sat, Sep 22 Noon Massachusetts at Miami (OH) ESPN3 & MAC Game of the Week 2 p.m. Connecticut at Western Michigan ESPN3* 3:30 p.m. Gardner-Webb at Pittsburgh ESPN3* 4:30 pm South Florida at Ball State ESPN3 7 p.m. Louisville at Florida International ESPNU or ESPN3 7 p.m. Southern Mississippi at Western Kentucky ESPN3* 8 p.m. New Mexico at New Mexico State ESPN3* TBD Kansas at Northern Illinois ESPNU or ESPN3 Thu, Sep 27 7:30 p.m. Morgan State at North Carolina A&T ESPNU Sat, Sep 29 Noon Buffalo at Connecticut ESPN3 & BIG EAST Network Noon Ball State at Kent State ESPN3 & MAC Game of the Week 8 p.m. UNLV at Utah State ESPN3* TBD Nevada at Texas State TBD Sat, Oct 6 Noon Buffalo at Ohio ESPN3 & MAC Game of the Week 7 p.m. UNLV at Louisiana Tech ESPN3 & WAC Syndication Sat, Oct 13 4 p.m. Utah State at San Jose State ESPN3 & WAC Syndication Thu, Oct 18 7:30 p.m. Hampton at NC Central ESPNU Sat, Oct 20 Noon Northern Illinois at Akron ESPN3 & MAC Game of the Week 1 p.m. Army at Eastern Michigan ESPN3* 3:30 pm Pittsburgh at Buffalo ESPN3 7 p.m. Idaho at Louisiana Tech ESPN3 & WAC Syndication TBD Cincinnati at Toledo ESPNU or ESPN3 Thu, Oct 25 7:30 p.m. Delaware State at Morgan State ESPNU Sat, Oct 27 Noon Northern Illinois at Western Michigan ESPN3 & MAC Game of the Week 3:30 pm Kent State at Rutgers ESPN3 & BIG EAST Local Package Sat, Nov 3 4 p.m. Texas-San Antonio at Louisiana Tech ESPN3 & WAC Syndication TBD Western Michigan at Central Michigan ESPN3* Sat, Nov 10 3:30 p.m. Navy at Troy ESPN3* Sat, Nov 17 Noon Rutgers at Cincinnati ESPN3 & BIG EAST Network Noon Kent State at Bowling Green ESPN3 & MAC Game of the Week Thu, Nov 22 4 p.m. Tuskegee at Alabama State ESPNU Sat, Nov 24 3 p.m. Idaho at Utah State ESPN3 & WAC Syndication
* ESPN3 exclusive game
** Reverse mirror in which ESPN2 will regionalize two games on ABC to markets not receiving the telecasts
More college football stuff coming up.
This from ESPN, we learn that the WatchESPN app, available to Bright House, Comcast Xfinity, Time Warner and Verizon Fios subscribers will now be made available to the Xbox Live platform. Now only those Xbox Live Gold members who get their pay television from the above mentioned cable providers will be able to access the dedicated linear ESPN, ESPN2, ESPNU and ESPN Buzzer Beater/Goal Line channels.
WatchESPN will be available on Xbox Live later this year and they’ll be able to watch whatever is on ESPN and its TV networks on Xbox.
Let’s look at the ESPN press release below.
Video subscribers to Time Warner Cable, Bright House Networks, Verizon FiOS TV and Comcast Xfinity TV will have access to ESPN networks on the Xbox 360 console
As part of Microsoft’s keynote at E3 in Los Angeles, ESPN and Microsoft today announced they have expanded their relationship for ESPN on Xbox LIVE to add WatchESPN as part of the service. The extended agreement will deliver authenticated versions of ESPN, ESPN2, ESPN3, ESPNU and ESPN Buzzer Beater/Goal Line to Xbox LIVE Gold members who receive their video subscription from Time Warner Cable, Bright House Networks, Verizon FiOS TV or Comcast Xfinity TV.
Beginning later this year, ESPN on Xbox LIVE will deliver HD-quality live programming and events from WatchESPN through its unique interactive sports viewing experience. Fans will be able to access popular shows like SportsCenter, SportsNation, First Take, NFL Live, Baseball Tonight, College GameDay and others as well as live events from the NFL, MLB, NBA, soccer, tennis, golf, motor sports and more.
All Xbox LIVE Gold members will be able to access customized ESPN.com video-on-demand clips and sports highlights. Additional features include personalized sport and team settings, split screen viewing, voice and gesture control with the power of Kinect for Xbox 360, the ability to set reminders, receive live alerts, breaking news from ESPN BottomLine and more.
Launched in April 2011, WatchESPN delivers live access to ESPN, ESPN2, ESPNU, ESPN3 and ESPN Buzzer Beater/Goal Line on PCs, smartphones and tablets to fans who receive ESPN’s linear networks as part of their video subscription from Time Warner Cable, Bright House Networks, Verizon FiOS TV or Comcast Xfinity TV. The service is now available to approximately 40 million households nationwide, and the app has been downloaded more than 8.9 million times since its launch and is steadily growing. It is available free for Android devices from the Google Play store and for Apple devices from the App Store, as well as online via WatchESPN.com.
That is it.
Back to work for many of you after the Memorial Day holiday. Because of my crazy schedule, I didn’t get to enjoy it, but you don’t care about that. Let’s do links.
John Ourand of Sports Business Journal reports that Cox Communications has dropped the New Orleans Hornets allowing Fox Sports to swoop up the rights.
Mike Reynolds from Multichannel News takes a look at the US TV coverage of the French Open.
Georg Szalai of the Hollywood Reporter writes that UK’s Channel 4 plans extensive coverage of the 2012 London Paralympics which will be held two weeks after the Summer Olympics.
Tim Nudd of Adweek reviews the latest WatchESPN spot.
Alex Weprin of TVNewser reports that HBO’s Real Sports host Bryant Gumbel will co-host Live with Kelly next week.
Evan Weiner at Examiner.com explains how NBC’s huge rights fee effectively ended Qatar’s bid for the 2020 Olympics.
Ed Sherman from The Sherman Report interviews legendary sportswriter Frank Deford.
Ed writes that USA Today’s Sports section is changing its reporting strategy.
Media Rantz remembers the Marv Albert arrest 15 years later. Disclosure: I’m quoted in this very well-researched article.
Will Brinson at CBSSports.com writes that Showtime/NFL Films has quietly dumped Warren Sapp from “Inside the NFL”, however, he remains on NFL Network.
Evan Sporer of SportsGrid has the great video of a soldier home from Afghanistan surprising his daughters at Sunday’s Minnesota Twins game. It has nothing to do with sports media. I’m just a huge sucker for reunion videos.
Chadd Scott at ChuckOliver.net explores how TV money has led to the “Wal-Martization” of college football.
Joe Lucia at Awful Announcing notes that former ESPN college football crackpot Craig James is running below “Undecided” in the Texas U.S. Senate Republican primary. Always a good place to be when trying to run a successful campaign.
Bob’s Blitz says former Miami sports radio talker Sid Rosenberg has a new gig.
The New York Post’s Phil Mushnick actually heaps praise this morning. And he does it to Hall of Fame hockey voice Mike Emrick.
Ken Schott from the Schenectady Gazette says Time Warner Cable will air some local high school lacrosse playoff games.
Pete Dougherty of the Albany Times Union notes that the NBA Draft Lottery will air from New York’s Times Square for the first time ever.
Ken McMillan at the Middletown (NY) Times Herald-Record writes that apparently NFL Network will no longer air CFL games.
Ken adds that there’s no New York City radio home of the 2012 Olympics as of yet.
Ken provides the Compass Media college football schedule for the 2012 season.
And Ken has the Sports USA college football schedule as well.
Tom Jones from the Tampa Bay Times looks back at the weekend that was in sports television.
Barry Jackson of the Miami Herald notes that embattled South Florida sports radio talk show Sid Rosenberg is about to start a new gig.
David Barron from the Houston Chronicle says a local sports radio station is about to acquire a rival FM station.
Jerry Garcia from the San Antonio Express-News says TNT’s Shaquille O’Neal spent some time talking to a local TV station and defending his co-hort Charles Barkley.
Roy Bragg of the Express-News says the Chuckster was glad to meet the peeps in San Antonio on Monday.
Paul M. Banks at Chicago Sports Media Watch has some linkage of his own to provide.
Scott D. Pierce at the Salt Lake Tribune talks with Utah Jazz TV voice Craig Bolerjack.
Dusty Saunders of the Denver Post looks at the mtn.: The Final Days.
Tom Hoffarth of the Los Angeles Daily News notes that a hockey primer from 1993 still holds true today.
Steve Ladurantaye from the Toronto Globe and Mail writes that Rogers and TSN are smelling blood and plan to bid for CBC’s Hockey Night in Canada package.
Bruce Dowbiggin of the Globe and Mail says Rogers Sportsnet has snatched IndyCar rights away from TSN.
The Canadian Sports Media blog looks at the silly PR hockey wars being conducted by Rogers Sportsnet and TSN.
Sports Media Watch gives us the overnight ratings for the Indianapolis 500 on ABC.
Steve Lepore at SB Nation’s Puck The Media predicts the ratings for this year’s Stanley Cup Final.
Joe Favorito says things are looking good at NBC Sports.
Jordan Golson at MacRumors talks with ESPN’s NASCAR pit reporter Dave Burns about using an iPad for his reports.
That’s going to do it for now.
Last night in New York, industry publications Sports Business Journal and Sports Business Daily handed the annual Sports Business Awards. They go to leaders in various categories such as Sports Executive, Sports Team, Sports League, Best in Sports Media, Best in Sports Television, Best in Digital Sports Media, etc.
Fox Sports, ESPN and Major League Baseball won multiple awards in the categories in which they were nominated. Nice to see the Boston Bruins win as Sports Team of the Year.
Also former NFL Commissioner Paul Tagliabue was bestowed a Lifetime Achievement Award for his contribution to sports and his work in the National Football League, leading it into an extremely profitable period.
We have the list of winners from Sports Business Daily/Sports Business Journal.
Boston Bruins Honored as the Sports Team of the Year
Paul Tagliabue Recognized with a Lifetime Achievement Award
New York, N.Y. – The best in sports business were honored Wednesday night with the fifth annual Sports Business Awards, which included the presentation of the Lifetime Achievement Award to Paul Tagliabue, former commissioner of the National Football League.
The awards, which recognize excellence and outstanding achievement in the sports industry for the period from March 1, 2011 through February 29, 2012, were presented by Street & Smith’s SportsBusiness Journal and SportsBusiness Daily, the two leading publications on the business of sports. The Sports Business Awards were presented at a live ceremony held Wednesday, May 23 at the New York Marriott Marquis at Times Square.
“We are pleased to honor the leaders and visionaries who are driving the sports industry with our fifth annual Sports Business Awards,” says Richard Weiss, publisher of the SportsBusiness Journal and SportsBusiness Daily. “The winners and nominees being honored tonight represent the individuals, companies, agencies and media at the forefront of the sports industry.”
Awards were presented in 15 categories. Winners were chosen by a committee of outside panelists and members of the editorial staff of the SportsBusiness Journal/Daily. Selected from 77 nominees, the winners included:
Lifetime Achievement – Paul Tagliabue
Sports Executive of the Year – Roger Goodell, National Football League
Athletic Director of the Year – Mark Hollis, Michigan State University
Sports Team of the Year – Boston Bruins
Sports League of the Year – Major League Baseball
Sports Event of the Year – 2012 Humana Challenge
Best in Sports Media – Fox Sports
Best in Sports Television – Fox Sports
Best in Digital Sports Media – ESPN Digital Media
Best in Talent Representation and Management – Wasserman Media Group
Best in Corporate Consulting, Marketing and Client Services – The Marketing Arm
Best in Property Consulting, Sales and Client Services – IMG
Best in Sports Event and Experiential Marketing – Major League Baseball/Fan Cave
Sports Sponsor of the Year – Bridgestone
Sports Facility of the Year – Amway Center
Best in Sports Technology – ESPN’s WatchESPN
Please visit the web site for articles on the winners and nominees – www.sportsbusinessdaily.com/Journal/Issues/2012/05/21/Events-and-Attractions/2012-SBA-Nominees.aspx
Lifetime Achievement Award – Paul Tagliabue
The commissioner of the NFL for 17 years (1989-2006), Paul Tagliabue presided over an extended period of labor peace and revenue growth. Under his leadership, the league grew from 28 to 32 teams and revised its divisional alignment. At that time, it secured the largest television contracts in entertainment history. More than 20 stadiums were constructed under his watch and he expanded the NFL’s global reach.
With a commitment to diversity, inclusion and education, Tagliabue enacted the Rooney Rule, named in honor of former Pittsburgh Steelers chairman Dan Rooney. The rule requires each team to interview at least one minority candidate for head coaching and key front office vacancies.
Following his retirement from the NFL, Tagliabue lead and independent panel to review the governance of the U.S. Olympic Committee. He is currently a partner at the law firm of Covington and Burling.
Tagliabue received his Lifetime Achievement Award from former Pittsburgh Steelers chairman Dan Rooney. In 1975, Rooney was named president of the Steelers, taking over the reins from his father. In 2000, he was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame, joining his father Art to form only the second father-son tandem to be inducted. Over the years, he played key roles in the league’s labor deals and its diversity initiatives.
Previous recipients of the SportsBusiness Journal/Daily Lifetime Achievement Award are tennis great and women’s sports pioneer Billie Jean King in 2011; and longtime sports business executive Peter Ueberroth in 2009.
I’ll do some more linkage for you this evening. You’re owed it. Why not?
Thomas O’Toole from USA Today reports that Laurie Fine, the wife of ex-Syracuse assistant basketball coach Bernie Fine, is suing ESPN for libel saying a report ruined her reputation.
Barry Petchesky of Deadspin goes inside the lawsuit and notes that Fine is accusing ESPN of circling the wagons against her.
John Koblin from Deadspin says Fang’s Bites fave Charissa Thompson will replace the outgoing Michelle Beadle on ESPN2′s SportsNation.
Sports Illustrated’s Richard Deitsch speaks with ESPN’s Prince of Darkness John Skipper who fires some shots at NBC Sports Network.
Mike McCarthy of USA Today has NBC’s response to Skipper.
Tom Weir of USA Today says ESPN’s Adam Schefter threw a G*d D*mned reference at Mike and Mike in the Morning on ESPN Radio and ESPN2. That’s a lot of ESPN references in one sentence.
Mike Ozanian from Forbes says while sports TV advertising spending is up, the return of investment is not necessarily that good.
Andy Fixmer and Edmund Lee of Bloomberg Businessweek report that the networks are putting more sports programming in primetime to avoid DVR timeshifting.
Jon Lafayette of Broadcasting & Cable looks at NBCUniversal announcing Olympic coverage plans for three cable networks.
Mike Reynolds from Multichannel News reports that NBC Sports Network will air a cable TV record amount of Olympic coverage this summer.
Mike notes that ESPN is hoping to double its subscriber numbers for its WatchESPN app.
Meanwhile, Josh Lowensohn of CNET says hold the WatchESPN to Apple TV talk.
Billy Steele of Engadget reviews the new ESPN Radio iPad app.
Dan Fogarty at SportsGrid notes that Fox Sports West had an interesting “Key to the Game”.
Jim Williams of the Bleacher Report talks with Fox Soccer analysts on this Saturday’s Champions League Final.
Clare Atkinson from the New York Post reports that the networks are jacking up ad rates for the NFL including CBS for Super Bowl XLVII.
Ken Schott from the Schenectady Gazette notes that NBC Sports Network will cover the Indy 500 Time Trials this weekend.
Pete Dougherty of the Albany Times Union looks at the amount of Olympic coverage on three NBCUniversal cable networks.
Pete says NBC Sports golf reporter Dottie Pepper has co-authored a series of books bringing golf to kids.
Keith Groller at the Allentown (PA) Morning Call says a local cable TV sports reporter is fast becoming a regular on the high school scene.
Dan Steinberg from the Washington Post’s DC Sports Bog says a sports radio producer put Icy Hot on his manjunk.
Barry Jackson at the Miami Herald writes that TNT’s Charles Barkley is not a fan of Heat coach Erik Spoelstra.
Paul M. Banks at Chicago Sports Media Watch can’t believe Mike Francesa’s anti-Twitter stance.
Kent Youngblood at the Minneapolis Star Tribune says the new TV voice of the Minnesota Wild comes with some controversy.
Tom Hoffarth at the Los Angeles Daily News says the national media is beginning to take notice of the Kings’ playoff run.
Bud Withers of the Seattle Times writes that ESPN has moved the coaching debut of Mike Leach with Washington State to a Thursday night primetime game.
Jeff Morrow of the Tri-City (WA) Herald notes that ESPN Radio has returned to the local area.
Annie Fowler of the Herald says NHL Network will air the Memorial Cup in its entirety.
Ryan Yoder of Awful Announcing is still buzzing over Mike Francesa’s anti-Twitter rant from this week.
Sports Media Watch has some various ratings news and notes.
Steve Lepore at Puck The Media says the NHL on NBC could be moved on Saturday if Game 3 of the Eastern Conference Final goes into triple overtime.
Steve says the ratings Game 2 of the NHL Western Conference Final were down from last year.
Dave Kohl at the Broadcast Booth looks at various local radio ratings for baseball.
And that will be do it for tonight.
I’ve accumulated a lot of links. They’re slowing down my browser so let’s clear them so I can let my computer get back some memory. Lots of stuff going on.
Let’s start with ESPN stuff as it dominated the news today with its network upfront presentation to advertisers and also confirmed personnel moves.
First, Sports Media Watch talks about Scott Van Pelt reupping with ESPN.
The ESPN Front Row blog has a Q&A podcast with Van Pelt in which he explains why he decided to remain with the Bristolians.
Michael Hiestand of USA Today recaps today’s ESPN upfront presentation in New York.
Mike McCarthy of USA Today notes that with Michelle Beadle leaving ESPN, the network is now focusing on keeping Erin Andrews in the fold.
The Hollywood Reporter goes over some ESPN upfront news including its plans to bring back the 30 for 30 documentary series.
Stuart Levin from Variety also has a story on the new set of 30 for 30 docs.
Jeannie Poggi of Advertising Age also reviews ESPN’s upfronts.
Alex Weprin from TVNewser says ESPN and ABC News will co-produce an interview series to be fronted by Good Morning America’s Robin Roberts.
Mike Shields from Adweek says ESPN.com will now partner to sell ads.
Chad Scott at ChuckOliver.net explains how third tier media rights work in college sports.
Andy Fixmer and Alex Sherman at Bloomberg report on how ESPN may expand its WatchESPN app to Apple TV platforms.
Andy Fixmer of Bloomberg says CBS is ready to take the coveted 18-49 ratings title from perennial winner Fox with the airing of Super Bowl XLVII next season.
The great SportsbyBrooks tweets that Erik Kuselias’ move to NBC Sports Network from Golf Channel’s Morning Drive is being considered a demotion by network higher-ups. I had a feeling this was the case. Do you consider this tweet inane, Mike Francesa?
Ed Sherman from The Sherman Report enjoyed watching Survival Sunday on the Fox Sports platforms, but wondered why the most important English Premier League game was on another network.
Matt Yoder of Awful Announcing has four different calls of the same moment when Manchester City won the EPL title on Sunday.
John Ourand from Sports Business Journal writes about a now-defunct Twitter account that got under the skin of several sports network executives.
Earlier today, WFAN’s Mike Francesa
If you want to see Mike’s veins popping out during this rant, you can see it here on the YES Network website.
And while Francesa seemingly hates Twitter, Media Rantz points out that Francesa has an app where he does something similar to Twitter.
Bruce Jenkins from Sports Illustrated says Tennis Channel failed to serve the WTA Tour’s Madrid Open like it did with the ATP’s side of the same tournament.
Phil Allaway at Front Stretch looks at ESPN’s coverage of this past weekend’s NASCAR Nationwide Race.
BBC Sport has announced it will have 24 live HD streams dedicated to the Olympics this summer.
Mike Reynolds from Multichannel News says NBCUniversal has set the Olympics programming lineup for Bravo, CNBC and MSNBC.
John Eggerton at Multichannel News notes that a Federal Appeals Court has upheld an FCC ruling that Time Warner Cable did not discriminate against MASN when it refused to put the regional sports network on its North Carolina systems.
CNBC’s Darren Rovell says the college conference realignment game won’t be settled for at least another decade.
NESN goes behind the scenes with Jenny Dell and the network’s production team on what goes on during a typical Red Sox gameday.
Rich Elliot of the Connecticut Post has SNY’s president talking about the regional sports network’s plans to air UConn Women’s basketball next season.
Newsday’s Neil Best talks with NBC Sports’ Mike Emrick about calling his old team, the New Jersey Devils in the NHL Eastern Conference Final.
In the New York Times, Jay Schreiber talks about the last time the Devils and the New York Rangers met in the Eastern Conference Final and how he had to monitor the series without smartphones back then.
Richard Sandomir of the New York Times reports on ESPN’s plans to bring back 30 for 30.
Jerry Barmash from Fishbowl NY writes that MSG Network will provide of wraparound coverage of the NHL Eastern Conference Final.
Ken Schott at the Schenectady Gazette says YES Network will air a Yankeeography on David Wells this week.
Ken McMillan of the Middletown (NY) Times Herald-Record notes that MSG Network will begin airing the WNBA’s New York Liberty starting this weekend.
Bob Fernandez of the Philadelphia Inquirer says two local global conglomerates including Comcast expect to make some big money from the London Olympics.
Jonathan Tannenwald of Philly.com Sports goes behind-the-scenes with ESPN’s MLS production.
Jeff Barker from the Baltimore Sun says the Orioles and the Washington Nationals are waiting word from MLB on a decision on how much MASN should pay the Nats.
Over to Dan Steinberg at the Washington Post’s DC Sports Bog who writes that Comcast SportsNet Mid-Atlantic is making a change in its DC NFL team beat reporter.
Dan talks about former Post columnist Howard Bryant ranting against Washington Nationals ownership.
Mike Finger at the Houston Chronicle says the Longhorn Network may offer more Texas football games in another attempt to get carriage from state cable providers.
Mel Bracht in The Oklahoman writes that the Oklahoma City Thunder on TNT set another local ratings record.
In Chicago Sports Media Watch, Paul M. Banks goes over some hate mail.
Scott D. Pierce at the Salt Lake Tribune writes that Utahans should be able to see the Running Utes thanks to wider distribution of the Pac-12 Networks than the soon-to-be defunct the mtn.
Tuesday night, KNBC-TV did a story on the busy postseason in Los Angeles, but aired the wrong graphic for the Kings and showed the Sacramento Kings instead of the LA Kings. C’mon, man!
Martin Miller of the Los Angeles Times says ESPN upfront presentation showed the network was ready for some football.
Steve Lepore at Puck The Media is telling everyone that a New York Rangers-Los Angeles Kings Stanley Cup Final might not mean boffo ratings as some NHL observers are saying.
Jay Koot of Busted Coverage is disgusted by Erik Kuselias’ engagement to Morning Drive news reader Holly Sonders.
And that’s where we’ll end the links tonight.
Starting today, customers of Comcast’s Xfinity TV service can now download the WatchESPN App for iPad, iPhone and iPod Touch and see the linear ESPN, ESPN2, ESPNU, Buzzer Beater and Goal Line services. In addition, the WatchESPN app also has the ESPN3 internet channel which has soccer, tennis and other sports not seen on the ESPN TV channels.
Eventually, WatchESPN will also be available on XfinityTV.com. When Comcast customers download the app, they’ll be instructed on how to input their credentials so they can watch ESPN online.
ESPN says Android devices will be given access to WatchESPN in the next few months.
This is all part of a new 10 year carriage agreement signed between Comcast and ESPN’s parent, Walt Disney Company.
Here’s the press release.
WatchESPN Now Available to Comcast Xfinity TV Customers Through WatchESPN App and Soon on XfinityTV.com
Sports Fans Can Now Stream Live Networks Online and on iOS Devices at Home and On-the-Go
PHILADELPHIA and NEW YORK – May 8, 2012 – Comcast and The Walt Disney Company today announced that Xfinity TV subscribers can now access ESPN live streaming content via the award-winning WatchESPN app, WatchESPN.com and soon on Comcast’s XfinityTV.com at home or on-the-go. In time for the NBA post season, MLB’s regular season, Euro 2012 and the Tennis Grand Slams, customers who receive ESPN’s linear networks as part of their Xfinity video subscription can now stream these events and associated coverage live from ESPN, ESPN2, ESPN3 and ESPNU from the convenience of their iPads, iPhones and iPod touch devices, as well as online. Also, ESPN Goal Line and Buzzer Beater are available through WatchESPN and XfinityTV.com when those channels are in season. With the addition of Comcast’s Xfinity TV customers, WatchESPN is now available to 40 million subscribers.
“Through the launch of WatchESPN, as well as the overall multi-year Disney relationship we announced earlier this year, we are providing millions of customers the opportunity to get more sports and entertainment programming across multiple platforms,” said Matt Strauss, Senior Vice President, Digital and Emerging Platforms, Comcast Cable. “The launch of WatchESPN is the first of many launches that we will partner on with Disney, further reinforcing our TV Everywhere commitment.”
Added David Preschlack, executive vice president, Disney and ESPN Media Networks, “Customers want access to content wherever they are, and by working with Comcast, we’re making it possible. In just one year, we have doubled the distribution of WatchESPN. It’s a testament to the consumer demand for these products and the value proposition they deliver viewers.”
The free WatchESPN app includes a simple user interface that takes the current online viewing experience to the high-resolution, Multi-Touch displays of iPads, iPhones and iPod touch devices. Once a user downloads WatchESPN, they will receive instructions to enter their Comcast Xfinity credentials to access their favorite ESPN content on their device. The WatchESPN app is available free on the iTunes Store. Access on Android devices will follow in the coming months.
Xfinity TV will also integrate all of the content available through WatchESPN on XfinityTV.com and soon to the Xfinity app with tens of thousands of other entertainment choices. Today, Comcast’s Xfinity TV offers the most live sports and more than 75,000 TV shows and movies that are available anytime on Xfinity On Demand, XfinityTV.com and through the Xfinity TV app, as well as a suite of tools and features to personalize and manage viewing across screens.
New “Watch” products from Disney Channel, DisneyXD and Disney Junior will debut to Comcast’s Xfinity TV subscribers later this year. Similar to WatchESPN, these authenticated products will be accessible across a variety of platforms and devices both in-home and out-of-the-home.
The launch of WatchESPN and future Watch products with Comcast is part of a long-term, comprehensive distribution agreement between Comcast Corporation (Nasdaq: CMCSA, CMCSK) and The Walt Disney Company (NYSE: DIS) that was announced in January, 2012. The agreement will deliver Disney’s top quality sports, news and entertainment content to Comcast’s Xfinity TV customers into the next decade on televisions, computers, tablets and handheld devices. The new agreement enhances the multichannel business model and supports the companies’ mutual goal to deliver the best video content to customers across multiple platforms using the latest technology and cloud innovation. For the first time ever, Comcast’s Xfinity TV customers will be able to watch ESPN, ABC or Disney shows live or On Demand and across multiple screens. The companies also agreed to collaborate over the term of the deal to create new, innovative viewing experiences for Xfinity TV customers.
That’s it for this post.
The ESPN family of networks will once again be all over NASCAR with coverage of the entire Nationwide Series and the last 17 races of the Sprint Cup schedule including the 10 race Chase series.
Calling the races will be Allen Bestwick for the first part of the Nationwide Series and ESPN/ABC’s Sprint Cup schedule. Marty Reid will jump in to take over the second half of the Nationwide Series.
They’ll be joined by analysts Dale Jarrett and Andy Petree in the booth. The pit reporting crew will consist of Dave Burns, Jamie Little, Dr. Jerry Punch and Vince Welch.
Nicole Briscoe is back as host of the NASCAR Countdown prerace show with Rusty Wallace, Brad Daugherty with Ray Everham returning to the ESPN crew this season.
Here’s the press release.
ESPN’s coverage of the 2012 NASCAR season launches with a live, flag-to-flag telecast of the NASCAR Nationwide Series season-opening race at Daytona International Speedway on Saturday, Feb. 25, on ESPN. The telecast begins at noon ET with NASCAR Countdown. The 300-mile race’s green flag flies at 1:34 p.m.
All 33 races on the NASCAR Nationwide Series schedule this season will appear on ESPN, ESPN2 or ABC. ESPN also will televise the final 17 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races of the season, including all 10 races in the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup. Fourteen of the 17 races will air on ESPN, with three Saturday night races appearing on ABC. ESPN’s NASCAR Sprint Cup coverage begins July 29 at Indianapolis Motor Speedway while the Chase begins Sept. 16 at Chicagoland Speedway.
In addition to race coverage for both series, the networks also will televise practice and qualifying from select races, season preview and review programs and a special Chase preview. Races include NASCAR Countdown, a dedicated pre-race program, and comprehensive coverage of NASCAR appears on ESPN2’s NASCAR news and information program, NASCAR Now.
All of ESPN’s NASCAR television content is also viewable digitally through WatchESPN and WatchESPN.com, the groundbreaking online-accessible authenticated version of ESPN. WatchESPN is available on computers, smartphones and tablets through WatchESPN.com and the free WatchESPN app, which are accessible to fans who receive their video service from an affiliated provider.
ESPN’s team of announcers has five former NASCAR Sprint Cup champions in analyst roles in 2012, including 1999 champion driver Dale Jarrett and 1989 champion Rusty Wallace. Two-time champion crew chiefs Tim Brewer and Andy Petree also will offer expert analysis during the season while three-time champion crew chief Ray Evernham returns to ESPN this season after taking the 2011 season off.
Lap-by-lap announcer Allen Bestwick will join Jarrett and Petree in the booth for race telecasts, with pit reporters Dave Burns, Jamie Little, Dr. Jerry Punch and Vince Welch. From the ESPN Pit Studio, Nicole Briscoe will host NASCAR Countdown with analysts Wallace and Brad Daugherty, joined by Evernham for selected races, mostly in the second half of the season. Brewer will report from the Emmy-winning ESPN Tech Garage during race telecasts to help viewers better understand the technical and mechanical aspects of NASCAR racing.
Marty Reid will step into the lap-by-lap announcer position for NASCAR Nationwide Series telecasts once ESPN’s NASCAR Sprint Cup coverage begins, with Bestwick calling the Cup races. Reid also will call selected Nationwide Series races in the first half of the season while continuing his role as lap-by-lap announcer for ESPN on ABC’s telecasts of the IndyCar Series.
Wallace, Evernham and NASCAR Now analyst Ricky Craven also will help call some races from the booth as fill-ins for Jarrett and Petree. NASCAR Now co-hosts Mike Massaro and Shannon Spake will work as pit reporters for selected races as will Rick DeBruhl, a pit reporter on ESPN’s coverage of the IndyCar Series, and Jim Noble.
ESPN’s NASCAR race telecasts will be produced under the oversight of ESPN vice president, motorsports, Rich Feinberg and coordinating producer Kate Jackson. NASCAR Sprint Cup races and selected Nationwide Series races will be produced by Jamie Shiftan while Jim Gaiero will produce other Nationwide Series races. Richie Basile will be director.
ESPN’s multimedia approach to coverage of NASCAR touches multiple ESPN platforms, including ESPN, ESPN HD, ESPN2, ESPN2 HD, ABC, ABC HD, WatchESPN, ESPN.com, ESPN The Magazine, ESPN Classic, ESPN Deportes, ESPNEWS, ESPN Radio, ESPN International, ESPN Mobile, espnW and Jayski.com.
NASCAR race schedules for the ESPN Networks in 2012 are as follows:
2012 NASCAR SPRINT CUP SERIES SCHEDULE ON ESPN NETWORKS
July 29 Indianapolis Motor Speedway ESPN 1 p.m. Aug. 5 Pocono Raceway ESPN 1 p.m. Aug. 12 Watkins Glen International ESPN 1 p.m. Aug. 19 Michigan International Speedway ESPN 1 p.m. Aug. 25 Bristol Motor Speedway ABC 7:30 p.m. Sep. 2 Atlanta Motor Speedway ESPN 7:30 p.m. Sep. 8 Richmond International Raceway ABC 7:30 p.m. Sep. 16 Chicagoland Speedway ESPN 2 p.m. Sep. 23 New Hampshire Motor Speedway ESPN 2 p.m. Sep. 30 Dover International Speedway ESPN 2 p.m. Oct. 7 Talladega Superspeedway ESPN 2 p.m. Oct. 13 Charlotte Motor Speedway ABC 7:30 p.m. Oct. 21 Kansas Speedway ESPN 2 p.m. Oct. 28 Martinsville Speedway ESPN 2 p.m. Nov. 4 Texas Motor Speedway ESPN 3 p.m. Nov. 11 Phoenix International Raceway ESPN 3 p.m. Nov. 18 Homestead-Miami Speedway ESPN 3 p.m.
2012 NASCAR NATIONWIDE SERIES SCHEDULE
Feb. 25 Daytona International Speedway ESPN 1:15 p.m. March 3 Phoenix International Raceway ESPN2 4:30 p.m. March 10 Las Vegas Motor Speedway ESPN2 5 p.m. March 17 Bristol Motor Speedway ESPN 2 p.m. March 24 Auto Club Speedway ESPN 5:30 p.m. Apr. 13 Texas Motor Speedway ESPN2 8:30 p.m. Apr. 27 Richmond International Raceway ESPN2 7:30 p.m. May 5 Talladega Superspeedway ABC 3:15 p.m. May 11 Darlington Raceway ESPN2 7 p.m. May 20 Iowa Speedway ESPN 2 p.m. May 26 Charlotte Motor Speedway ABC 2:45 p.m. June 2 Dover International Speedway ESPN 2 p.m. June 16 Michigan International Speedway ABC 3:45 p.m. June 23 Road America ESPN 3:30 p.m. June 29 Kentucky Speedway ESPN2 7:30 p.m. July 6 Daytona International Speedway ESPN 7:30 p.m. July 14 New Hampshire Motor Speedway ESPN 3:30 p.m. July 22 Chicagoland Speedway ESPN 3 p.m. July 28 Indianapolis Motor Speedway ESPN 4:30 p.m. Aug. 4 Iowa Speedway ESPN2 8 p.m. Aug. 11 Watkins Glen International ABC 2:15 p.m. Aug. 18 Circuit Gilles Villeneuve ESPN 2:30 p.m. Aug. 24 Bristol Motor Speedway ESPN 7:30 p.m. Sept. 1 Atlanta Motor Speedway ESPN2 7 p.m. Sept. 7 Richmond International Raceway ESPN 7:30 p.m. Sept. 15 Chicagoland Speedway ESPN2 3:30 p.m. Sept. 22 Kentucky Speedway ESPN 4 p.m. Sept. 29 Dover International Speedway ESPN2 3:30 p.m. Oct. 12 Charlotte Motor Speedway ESPN2 7:30 p.m. Oct. 20 Kansas Speedway ESPN 3:30 p.m. Nov. 3 Texas Motor Speedway ESPN 7:30 p.m. Nov. 10 Phoenix International Raceway ESPN 4 p.m. Nov. 17 Homestead-Miami Speedway ESPN2 4:30 p.m.
That is all.
Just received a joint statement from Comcast and the Walt Disney Company on a wide ranging distribution agreement for Disney networks including ESPN. Since this is a sports media blog, we’ll focus on the sports part of this agreement.
Comcast subscribers will be able to access ESPN on their tablets through the Watch ESPN app. This increases access to the app from just Bright House Cable, Time Warner Cable and Verizon Fios subscribers to Comcast. Access is not available to Comcast yet, that’s expected in the very near future.
ESPN3, Full Court and GamePlan will now be seen on Comcast’s Sports and Entertainment tiers. We have the press release which also includes news about Disney’s entertainment content on Comcast.
THE WALT DISNEY COMPANY AND COMCAST CORPORATION ANNOUNCE A LONG-TERM, COMPREHENSIVE DISTRIBUTION AGREEMENT THAT ADVANCES THE SUCCESSFUL MULTICHANNEL BUSINESS MODEL
DEAL PROVIDES XFINITY TV CUSTOMERS BROAD ACCESS TO TOP SPORTS, NEWS AND ENTERTAINMENT CONTENT ACROSS MULTIPLE SCREENS IN AND OUT OF THE HOME
PHILADELPHIA AND BURBANK –– JANUARY 4, 2012 –– Comcast Corporation and The Walt Disney Company today announced a long-term, comprehensive distribution agreement that will deliver Disney’s top quality sports, news and entertainment content to Comcast’s Xfinity TV customers into the next decade on television, online, on tablets and handheld devices. The new agreement enhances the multichannel business model and supports the companies’ mutual goal to deliver the best video content to customers across multiple platforms using the latest technology and cloud innovation. For the first time ever, Comcast’s Xfinity TV customers will be able to watch ESPN, ABC or Disney shows live or on demand and across multiple screens. The companies also agreed to collaborate over the term of the deal to create new, innovative viewing experiences for Xfinity TV customers.
The networks and services covered by the agreement include: ABC, ABC Family, Disney Channel, Disney XD, ESPN, ESPN2, ESPNU, ESPN Deportes, ESPNEWS, ESPN Classic, ESPN Goal Line, ESPN Buzzer Beater, ESPN 3D, ESPN GamePlan, ESPN FullCourt and ESPN3; retransmission consent for seven ABC-owned broadcast television stations (WABC-TV New York, WLS-TV Chicago, WPVI-TV Philadelphia, KGO-TV San Francisco, KTRK-TV Houston, KTVD-TV Raleigh-Durham, and KFSN-TV Fresno) as well as more than 10 high-definition networks. Additionally, Comcast will launch Disney Junior, a new 24-hour basic channel for preschool-age children, parents and caregivers. Comcast will also provide its Xfinity TV customers with broad access to a suite of live Disney networks on an authenticated basis and expanded Xfinity On Demand content through Disney’s comprehensive TV+ initiative. In total, 70 services are covered by the broad scope of this new agreement. License fee schedules for different services under the deal will be phased in over time.
“Comcast was the first video provider to create technology that enabled us to deliver content to customers where and when they want it across any viewing experience,” said Neil Smit, President and Chief Executive Officer, Comcast Cable. “We are very pleased to have reached this unprecedented and innovative, long-term agreement with Disney which embraces the future of entertainment and allows Comcast to continue to bring our vision of TV Everywhere to Xfinity customers whether at home or on the go.”
Anne Sweeney, Co-Chairman, Disney Media Networks and President, Disney/ABC Television Group, added, “This landmark deal is a great example of what can be achieved when programmers and distributors collaborate and innovate together to meet the ever-evolving needs of consumers and enhance the viewing experience. By combining the best news, sports and entertainment content available today with cutting-edge technologies, we’re able to fully realize our comprehensive TV+ initiative, and introduce a brand new suite of authenticated services to Comcast subscribers.”
Added George Bodenheimer, Executive Chairman, ESPN, Inc., “Given the scope of assets Comcast and Disney/ABC/ESPN are making available to consumers, this agreement is unprecedented in our industry. It reinforces the value of the multichannel subscription and takes full advantage of new technologies, which serve all of our viewers.”
The extensive and expanded rights package for Comcast’s Xfinity TV customers includes rights across multiple platforms for:
- Comcast’s Xfinity TV customers will receive more ABC, ABC Family, Disney and ESPN content through their set-top-box and, at this time, Disney and ESPN content online, including:
- ABC On Demand, ABC’s fast-forward-disabled On Demand service, which currently features a selection of top-rated primetime entertainment programming, including episodes of such popular current ABC shows as “Castle,” “Grey’s Anatomy,” “Once Upon A Time,” “Private Practice” and “Revenge.” Full current seasons will be made available on a number of shows. Additionally, Xfinity TV customers will have access to a variety of ABC News programming as well as some local ABC owned-station content.
- ABC Family On Demand, which features a variety of top-rated full episodes, refreshed monthly, from such popular millennial favorites as “The Secret Life of the American Teenager,” “Switched at Birth,” and “Melissa & Joey.” Full current seasons will be made available on a number of shows. ABC Family original movies like “12 Dates of Christmas” will also be available.
- Disney-branded On Demand offerings, including Disney Channel On Demand, Disney Junior On Demand, and Disney XD On Demand. Refreshed each month, the Disney Channel On Demand offering will include episodes from such series as “Handy Manny,” “Mickey Mouse Clubhouse,” and “Jake and the Never Land Pirates” for preschoolers, as well as variety of episodes from “A.N.T. Farm,” “Good Luck Charlie,” “Wizards of Waverly Place,” and other popular series for older kids. Select episodes featured on Disney Channel On Demand will be available in innovative new offerings, such as playlists and monthly programming blocks, in addition to a number of episodes available in multiple languages. Disney Channel Original Movies such as “Lemonade Mouth,” “Geek Charming” and “Phineas and Ferb: Across the Second Dimension” will also be available. Disney XD On Demand features a variety of episodes from such series as the Emmy Award-winning animated hit “Phineas and Ferb.”
- Disney Channel’s subscription Video On Demand service, which offers on demand access to select episodes before they air, will now be available to Xfinity TV customers who receive Disney Channel, a service that Comcast will offer to these customers for no additional fee.
- Expanded on demand content from ESPN, including content from ESPN Deportes and ESPN’s award-winning original content from ESPN Films.
- The subscription On Demand service “Disney Family Movies,” which features a selection of classic and contemporary feature films and animated shorts from The Walt Disney Studios.
- Xfinity TV customers will receive broad access to existing authenticated products like WatchESPN, as well as upcoming authenticated products, including WatchDisneyChannel, WatchDisneyXD and WatchDisneyJunior. These services will give Comcast’s Xfinity TV customers more opportunities to access live and video on demand content, both in-home and out-of-home, on their computers, smartphones, tablets and gaming consoles.
- Xfinity TV customers will also receive the recently announced Disney Junior, a new 24-hour basic channel for children ages 2-7, parents and caregivers. Upon its debut in 2012, the new channel will feature animated and live action programming that blends Disney’s unparalleled storytelling and beloved characters with learning, including early math, language skills, healthy eating and lifestyles, and social skills.
- Comcast also obtained rights to air certain content from ESPN3, ESPN FullCourt and ESPN GamePlan on Comcast’s Xfinity Sports Entertainment Package.
And that does it.
Sunday is the beginning of ESPN’s new policy to go all-in with NASCAR which means going double box when it goes to break, an ad in one box and the race in another meaning fans won’t miss any action. It’ll begin with the Sprint Cup Race in Chicago and will continue for the rest of the season.
Fans have been clamoring for this as they feel they miss key moments of the race when it’s in commercial. Now ESPN can run its ads and fans can eat their cake too by seeing the cars continue to make four lefts around the track.
And this is also the first weekend for subscribers of Time Warner Cable, Bright House and Verizon FiOS to be able to see the race online on the WatchESPN app. So plenty of NASCAR firsts this weekend on ESPN’s platforms.
NASCAR NonStop Commercial Format to Debut in Chicagoland Race
With new production and technological elements debuting this week in coverage of the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup, ESPN is taking its multiplatform NASCAR programming and content to the next level.
ESPN’s telecasts of the 10 races in the Chase will have a new look with the introduction of NASCAR NonStop, a split-screen commercial format that will bring more racing action to viewers. The format will show the advertisement on the left side of the screen and a continuation of racing action on the right side. ESPN’s scoring ticker will continue to move across the top of the screen, allowing NASCAR fans to follow the running order of the race during the breaks. NASCAR NonStop will take effect at or near the halfway point of the race, with the first half of the race presented in the traditional commercial break format.
And for the first time ever, all of ESPN’s NASCAR television content is now viewable digitally through WatchESPN and WatchESPN.com, the groundbreaking online-accessible authenticated version of ESPN. WatchESPN is available on computers, smartphones and tablets through WatchESPN.com and the free WatchESPN app, which are accessible to fans who receive their video service from an affiliated provider.
“ESPN has a history of taking a leadership position in finding new ways to serve sports fans and NASCAR NonStop and WatchESPN are extensions of that philosophy,” said Julie Sobieski, ESPN vice president, programming & acquisitions.
Other new elements for ESPN’s coverage of the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup:
NASCAR Now — The weekend wrap-up edition of ESPN2’s daily NASCAR news and information program NASCAR Now has returned for the Chase. The program will air on Sunday nights after the nine Sunday afternoon races in the Chase. The one-hour race morning edition of NASCAR Now will continue to air on the morning of all NASCAR Sprint Cup races for the rest of the season. Both programs will also be viewable digitally on WatchESPN. NASCAR fans should check their local listings for the times of both weekend programs.
ESPN Radio – ESPN NASCAR analyst Dale Jarrett will appear each Friday morning at 9:50 a.m. ET on ESPN Radio’s Mike and Mike in the Morning program (6-10 a.m. ET M-F, simulcast ESPN2) during the 10 weeks of the Chase. Analyst Rusty Wallace will appear each Thursday afternoon at 3:35 p.m. on ESPN Radio’s The Scott Van Pelt Show (1-4 p.m. M-F, simulcast ESPNEWS).
ESPN.com — In addition to the enhanced coverage ESPN.com will provide via WatchESPN, the site will include seven-day-a-week analysis of all things related to the Chase. NASCAR Now will provide up-to-date coverage Monday-Friday, including the daily “NASCAR Now Minute.” Race day video highlights from SportsCenter as well as analysis from the ESPN booth crew will round out ESPN.com’s video offerings.
ESPN.com writers Terry Blount, Ed Hinton, David Newton, Ryan McGee, Marty Smith and Matt Willis will lead coverage with insightful columns, features and blogs while on-air analysts Ricky Craven, Jamie Little, Rusty Wallace, Dale Jarrett, Andy Petree and Brad Daugherty are committed to providing ESPN.com-only analysis with podium picks as well as a weekly fact/fiction look at issues in NASCAR.
And that will close up the blog for the night.
Let’s give you a few more links on this late Thursday.
Alex Ben Block of the Hollywood Reporter talks with Fox Sports El Jefe del Mundo David Hill about the Los Angeles Dodgers ownership saga and NFL TV coverage.
The Associated Press looks at some changes coming for the Coaches vs. Cancer college basketball classic including a new TV home.
Sam Mamudi of Marketwatch.com says Fox is hoping for decent ratings for its English Premier League schedule which starts this Sunday.
Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk writes that New York Jets cornerback Darrelle Revis calls being miked up for tonight’s NFL Turning Point on Versus, “X-rated.”
Cameron Kittle of the Nashua (NH) Telegraph profiles a Granite State company that provides production TV trucks for networks all over the country.
Daniela Forte of the Litchfield County (CT) Times says ESPN and Cablevision have teamed up for a new educational initiative in one Constitution State town.
Justin Terranova of the New York Post has a few thoughts on three sports media stories.
Dustin Long of the Virginian-Pilot says ESPN’s deal to put NASCAR races on its WatchESPN app lasts through the 2014 Sprint Cup season.
Joe Flint of the Los Angeles Times writes that CBS CEO Les Moonves expects to pay more for the NFL in its next contract, but not at the rate that ESPN paid for Monday Night Football.
Bill Dwyre of the Times blames the Longhorn Network for breaking up the Big 12.
Tom Couzens in the Sacramento Bee wonders if increased rights fee will make ESPN a pay cable channel.
Tony Manfred of the Business Insider Sports Page says DirecTV is refunding all NFL Sunday Ticket customers for major problems with its mobile and TV services.
Dave Kohl at the Broadcast Booth says ESPN’s personalities are making news instead of reporting it.
And that will conclude our linkage.
Let’s do some links on this Wednesday. It’s going to be busy for me later on and I’ll be away from internet access for a bit this afternoon so I’m going to the links now.
USA Today’s Michael Hiestand looks at the circuitous path NFL Network RedZone host Scott Hanson took to getting to getting his national gig.
Mike McCarthy of USA Today talks with former ESPN’er Brian Kenny who jumps to MLB Network next week.
Kim Hart at Politico writes that smaller cable companies are digging their lines in the sand to battle ESPN after it signed its huge Monday Night Football megadeal.
Tom Van Riper at Forbes says the next mountain the NFL has to climb is getting more distribution for the NFL Network.
Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk says Dan Patrick will host NFL Turning Point when it premieres on Versus tomorrow night.
Michael Smith at Sports Business Journal writes that Hyundai through IMG College has signed a deal to sponsor 24 universities.
At Variety, Rick Kissell says NBC used the NFL to roll to a primetime ratings victory last week.
Mike Reynolds at Broadcasting & Cable notes that ESPN’s opening week Monday Night Football doubleheader was down in the ratings from last year’s double dip.
Anthony Crupi of Adweek says both CBS and Fox drew strong numbers for the opening Sunday of the NFL.
Toni Fitzgerald from Media Life discusses the higher ratings for the U.S. Open Men’s Final on CBS Monday.
Glenn Davis of SportsGrid looks at a new book that claims that when she was a sports reporter, former Alaska Governor Sarah Palin nailed Michigan’s Glen Rice at the Great Alaska Shootout tournament in the late 1980′s. There are many jokes here. You can insert them if you wish.
Richard Sandomir of the New York Times writes that a portion of the country never got to see the U.S. Open’s Men’s Final thanks to several local CBS affiliates not picking up the match.
Pete Dougherty of the Albany Times Union has the NFL Week 2 schedule.
From the Virginian-Pilot, Dustin Long writes about NASCAR races finally being made available online through the WatchESPN apps.
John Daly at the Daly Planet says it’s about time that NASCAR has made this move.
Jack Bogaczyk of the Charleston (WV) Daily Mail talks with former coach Rich Rodriguez who’s now working with CBS Sports Network.
Kevin Scarbinsky of the Birmingham (AL) News calls a conflict of interest penalty on ESPN for assigning Urban Meyer to this Saturday’s Auburn-Clemson game on ABC.
Tyler Dunne of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel says ESPN’s SportScience will feature the kickoff return of Green Bay Packer Randall Cobb this week.
Ed Sherman in Crain’s Chicago Business says ESPN Radio Chicago is now on the street.
Ed says while Mike Ditka got a role in Entourage’s series finale, so did his agent.
Ed writes that Jay “The Rat” Mariotti has a new book, but it’s only available for the Kindle platform.
Scott D. Pierce of the Salt Lake Tribune talks with ESPN’s Ed Cunningham who will work this Saturday’s Utah-BYU game.
Tom Hoffarth of the Los Angeles Daily News says Jay Mariotti sent him a copy of his book.
Tom talks with CBS Sports Network sideline reporter Brooke Collins who’s picking up the pieces after her dream marriage was cut way too short.
Ben Koo of Awful Announcing handicaps the race to get the rights to the first half of Thursday Night Football.
The Toronto Sports Media Blog has some late breaking local sports radio news.
Joe Favorito looks at NHL teams trying to find new revenue streams.
And that will do it for us today.
NASCAR fans who had been complaining that they could not see races online will now be able to do so via ESPN’s apps. NASCAR, Turner Sports which manages NASCAR.com and ESPN have announced that the popular RaceBuddy online companion to the races will be made available to WatchESPN. In addition, the rest of ESPN’s NASCAR schedule will be on WatchESPN which is available online, mobile phones and tablets. Previously, anyone who wanted to see NASCAR while they were away from their TV was pure out of luck.
This development will give subscribers to participating cable providers Time Warner Cable, Bright House and Verizon FiOS access to the WatchESPN app and NASCAR races. This does not effect ESPN3.com as races will still not be made available there.
The press release.
NASCAR, Turner Sports and ESPN to Make RaceBuddy and WatchESPN Available to Fans for the First Time Ever During the Chase
Heading into the start of the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup, NASCAR, ESPN and Turner Sports, which manages NASCAR.COM, announced today details of a new partnership that will provide race fans with a never-before-seen digital viewing experience during the sport’s postseason run. NASCAR.COM’s RaceBuddy product will be available for the first time ever during the Chase while NASCAR content will appear for the first time ever in ESPN’s WatchESPN.com platform and WatchESPN app.
RaceBuddy, NASCAR.COM’s popular, interactive live video product, will feature two mosaics with a mix of eight in-car and stationary cameras positioned around the track for the nine Chase races airing on ESPN. Fans wanting to watch ESPN’s live telecast on their computer, smartphone or tablet will now be able to do so through ESPN’s groundbreaking application, WatchESPN and WatchESPN.com.
“Enhancing the viewing experience and improving the sport’s digital and social presence for our millions of fans, at the track, at home and everywhere in between, is a goal we never lose sight of,” said Marc Jenkins, NASCAR’s vice president of digital media. “Being able to offer this series of interactive products during the Chase will further engage our fans with a robust digital presence that will forever change how the championship points battle is consumed.”
RaceBuddy on NASCAR.COM, which debuted in 2008 and has predominantly served as an enhancement to the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races on TNT, will return on September 18 for the Geico 400 from Chicagoland Speedway (ESPN, 2 p.m. ET). In addition to the two mosaics with a total of eight camera angles, RaceBuddy on NASCAR.COM will continue to offer DVR Functionality, the Enhanced LIVE Leaderboard and RaceView’s position tracker.
“Turner Sports is delighted to partner with NASCAR and ESPN to expand the award-winning RaceBuddy on NASCAR.COM to the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup,” said Matthew Hong, senior vice president and general manager, sports operations, Turner Sports. “Feedback from fans has been that they wish RaceBuddy were available for additional races outside the TNT portion of the season, so we’re proud to be able to bring them ‘ChaseBuddy’ and extend the interactive and immersive experience of RaceBuddy to nine playoff races.”
WatchESPN and WatchESPN.com, which give sports fans access to 24/7 live programming from ESPN, ESPN2, ESPN3 and ESPNU, will, for the first time ever, exclusively feature the live ESPN telecasts of NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races. WatchESPN is available on computers, smartphones and tablets through WatchESPN.com and the free WatchESPN app, which are accessible to fans who receive their video service from an affiliated provider.
Also, ESPN2’s daily NASCAR news and information program, “NASCAR Now”, will be available on multiple devices to NASCAR fans for the first time ever through WatchESPN and WatchESPN.com. Telecasts of NASCAR Nationwide Series races on ESPN and ESPN2 will also be available. ESPN first launched an online-accessible authenticated version of ESPN in October, 2010.
The Chase races will air on ESPN at 2 p.m. ET, with the exception of the Bank of America 500 on Oct. 15 (ABC, 7:30 p.m. ET) and the final three races of the year, all of which will air on ESPN at 3 p.m. ET.
“Our mission is to serve sports fans anytime, anywhere, and with WatchESPN and our new partnership with NASCAR and Turner, we can now extend that mission by making our NASCAR programming available to race fans wherever they might be,” said Julie Sobieski, ESPN vice president, programming and acquisitions. “I can’t think of a more perfect time to launch this than the beginning of the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup.”