Ok, so this is way after 9 p.m., but at least I’m here doing the links on a Friday night for you. As usual, we preview the weekend viewing.
Weekend Viewing Picks
This is one of those lazy weekends where there are a lot of events, but not a lot of buzz as we have baseball, boxing, the College World Series, motorsports, Olympic trials and soccer.
Interleague play continues as MLB heads into the first day of summer. WGN has the Crosstown Rivalry on Saturday between the White Sox and Cubs at 1 p.m. Fox will split the country Saturday between the Cardinals-Red Sox and Indians-Dodgers at 3:55 p.m. On Sunday, TBS covers the Cards-Red Sox at 1:30 p.m. and ESPN’s Sunday night game will be the White Sox-Cubs at 8 p.m.
The College World Series in Omaha, NE will have two games on Saturday and ESPN has both of them. Georgia and Stanford starts at 1 p.m. Then in primetime, Fresno State takes on North Carolina at 7 p.m.
The Euro 2008 soccer tournament will have its last two semifinalists after this weekend. On Saturday, the Netherlands takes on Russia (ABC) and on Sunday, Spain and World Cup Champion Italy square off (ESPN). Both games will be on the air at 2:30 p.m.
The U.S. Olympic trials are underway and NBC will have coverage of Diving and Gymnastics this weekend. The Diving trials will be seen on both Saturday (3:30 p.m.) and Sunday (3 p.m.). And since NBC will show a heavy menu of Gymastics at the Olympics in Communist China, it will have extensive coverage of the men’s finals (Saturday at 4:30 p.m.) and the women’s finals (Sunday in primetime at 7 p.m.) which should include the 16 year old sensation Shawn Johnson.
The PGA Tour without Tiger Woods, limps into Cromwell, CT and the Travelers Championship. CBS has third and final round coverage at 3 p.m. both Saturday and Sunday.
Plenty of racing this weekend. The NASCAR Nationwide Series is in Milwaukee for something called the Camping World RV Rental 250. ESPN2 has it Saturday in primetime at 8:30. The NASCAR Sprint Cup Series heads to Infineon Raceway in California for the Toyota/Save Mart 350, Sunday afternoon at 5.
The Indy Car Racing League has the Iowa Corn Indy 250 (who comes up with these names?) which ABC will carry Sunday at 1:30 p.m.
Fox will have same day coverage of the Formula 1 French Grand Prix, Sunday at 1.
Now to your links.
We have some late breaking news. Sam Schechner, Matthew Futterman and Merissa Marr of the Wall Street Journal report that the NFL and ESPN are talking about a joint venture which would combine the NFL Network and ESPN Classic. Stay tuned.
Jon Lafayette of TV Week says the talks between the two parties are quite serious.
USA Today’s Michael Hiestand writes that NBC will have gymnastics legend Bela Karolyi with Bob Costas during this weekend’s U.S. Gymastics Olympics Trials.
East and Mid-Atlantic
David Scott of the Boston Sports Media Watch looks at the coverage of the Celtics celebration this week.
Nancy Marrapese-Burrell of the Boston Globe previews ESPN2′s coverage of Wimbledon which begins on Monday.
Newsday’s Neil Best writes in his Friday column that tennis has a chance to grab summer viewers now that Tiger Woods is not playing golf. From his blog, Neil expands on the Friday column and talks about ESPN2′s revamped tennis scoreboard that will debut at Wimbledon. Neil has the ESPN press release which outlines the new ESPN SportsCenter morning anchor lineup which begins in August. And Neil writes that NBC’s Johnny Miller has apologized for comments made about U.S. Open runner-up Rocco Mediate.
Richard Sandomir of the New York Times says NBC Sports is remaining loyal to Notre Dame despite poor ratings last season.
The New York Post’s Phil Mushnick feels SNY’s announcers looked the other way as former Mets manager Willie Randolph was enabling his team’s lazy play. Justin Terranova of the Post has five questions for SNY’s Darryl Strawberry. And Justin talks with ESPN2′s Patrick McEnroe about Wimbledon.
Ken McMillan of the Times Herald-Record says WCBS-AM sports anchor Kevin Connors is heading for the Worldwide Leader.
Laura Nachman writes that Philadelphia’s Fox 29 let go of its sports director shortly after he returned from a car accident.
Tim Lemke of the Washington Times says the real winners of the U.S. Open were NBC and Callaway Golf.
Doug Nye of The State says the U.S. Open 18 hole playoff on Monday gave viewers a moment to remember.
Barry Jackson in the Miami Herald says ESPN is revamping its lineup for the NBA Draft next week.
Dave Darling of the Orlando Sentinel says we’re truly in the Dog Days of Summer.
David Barron of the Houston Chronicle says Bela Karolyi is a natural for TV.
Mac Engel writes in the Fort Worth Star-Telegram that sportscasting legend Pat Summerall has been in the hospital this week.
Over to the Daily Oklahoman where Mel Bracht tells us that ESPN SportsCenter anchor Jon Anderson has a new gig for ABC. In his notebook, Mel talks about NBC extending its deal to televise Notre Dame football games through the 2015 season. And here are Mel’s weekend viewing picks.
Bob Wolfley of the Milwaukee Journal says local viewers did watch the NBA Finals.
Brian Vanochten of the Grand Rapids (MI) Press discusses the Big Ten Network-Comcast deal struck late Thursday afternoon.
The Chicago Tribune’s Teddy Greenstein also talks about the BTN-Comcast agreement. And Greenstein writes about the NBC Sports-Notre Dame five year contract extension. Teddy adds that Sun-Times columnist Jay Mariotti blasts his fellow newspaper colleagues and White Sox manager Ozzie Guillen in an interview that aired Friday night. And Teddy has his weekend viewing picks.
Judd Zulgad of the Minneapolis Star Tribune says a former local sports anchor has non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma. And Judd reports that Minnesota Vikings safety Darren Sharper is one of 20 current players who attended the NFL broadcasting boot camp.
Paul Christian writes in the Rochester (MN) Post-Bulletin that the pressure is on Charter Communications to come up with a deal with the Big Ten Network now that Comcast is in the fold.
Mark Alesia of the Indianapolis Star says Comcast viewers will be able to watch the Big Ten Network on expanded basic for eight months, but beyond that is anyone’s guess.
Scott D. Pierce of the Deseret (UT) Morning News says ABC’s cameras caught too much of the Celtics’ swearing on Tuesday night.
John Maffei from the North County Times says the U.S. Olympic Trials begin in earnest this weekend.
Jim Carlisle of the Ventura County Star feels the networks will be hurting with Tiger Woods’ absence.
Greg Johnson and Sam Farmer of the Los Angeles Times says the talks between ESPN and the NFL could finally resolve the league’s battle with the major cable operators. John Scheibe writes that NBC is joining forces with the online World Championship Sports Network to show more Olympic sports.
John Ryan of the San Jose Mercury News wonders if Notre Dame football is must see TV anymore.
William Houston of the Toronto Globe and Mail outlines CBC’s plans for its contest to replace Hockey Night in Canada’s theme which went to CTV last week.
The Canwest News Service says Canadians are being asked to put their best foot forward in the CBC contest.
CBC says the winner will receive $100,000.
Marija Dukic of Media in Canada says TSN is ready to pick up the entire CFL package that was once shared with CBC.
Paul J. Gough of the Hollywood Reporter discusses the ESPN early morning SportsCenter lineup.
Mike Reynolds of Multichannel News reports that Euro 2008 is pulling decent ratings for ESPN2 and its online service, ESPN360. Reynolds adds that Fox Sports Net will air a 13 part series on Baseball’s Golden Age.
CNBC’s Darren Rovell wonders if Michelle Wie will ever live up to her endorsements.
Awful Announcing has the network announcing assignments for baseball this weekend.
Joe Favorito says the Women’s Tennis Association is conducting a major rebranding campaign.
That’s going to do it for now. I have a lot of catching up to do. Later.
I have to be at a jobsite today so I’m going to give you the links and primetime & late night viewing picks.
Awful Announcing has the news of Milwaukee Brewers radio voice Bob Uecker’s yacht being damaged by a freighter yesterday. No one was on board the yacht at the time of the accident.
Newsday’s Neil Best says NBC Sports and Notre Dame University are about to announce an extension of their college football TV contract. More from Neil later in the blog.
David Mayo of the Grand Rapids (MI) Press thinks Euro 2008 has been boring. I disagree, but that’s Mayo’s opinion.
Leonard Shapiro of the Washington Post asks several “wouldn’t it be nice” questions regarding the sports media.
Geoffrey Fowler, Stacy Meichtry and Matthew Futterman combine for an article in the Wall Street Journal about the conflict between TV broadcasters (including NBC) and Olympic organizers regarding censorship issues in Communist China.
Melissa J. Perenson of PC World talks about the thousands of hours of steaming online coverage of the Summer Olympics from Communist China.
Phillip Hersh of the Chicago Tribune says it’s a good thing NBC purchased a stake in World Championship Sports Network.
Neil Best of Newsday writes that when NBC takes over WCSN tonight, it will show the U.S. Gymnastics trials live.
NBC Sports begins its coverage of the U.S. Olympic Trials in earnest this weekend.
Charles Elmore of the Palm Beach Post says golf TV ratings are likely to take a hit without Tiger Woods.
Richard Sandomir of the New York Times says the networks will now learn how big the “Tiger Effect” will be this summer.
CBS Sports previews its coverage of the Travelers Championship.
Matt Egan of Fox Business News says the PGA Tour will definitely feel the loss of Tiger Woods.
Chuck Caree of the Wilmington (NC) Star News says it’s time for Time Warner Cable to add MASN.
Claire Atkinson of the New York Times talks about the new global ad campaign being conducted by the Women’s Tennis Association.
The PGA of America and Golf Channel are teaming up on a series of one hour specials in and around the PGA Championship, the PGA Grand Slam of Golf and other events.
Brian Cook of the AOL Fanhouse blog says while people are happy that the Big Ten Network and Comcast are about to sign a deal, he cautions people to look at the fine print.
This link comes courtesy of Bruce Allen of Boston Sports Media Watch. Adam Reilly of the Boston Phoenix looks at why some mainstream media types are so angry at (or jealous of) bloggers.
That does it for now.
I’ve found a few more links this afternoon.
First, Sports Illustrated’s Michael Bamberger chronicles for Golf.com how NBC produced the U.S. Open playoff.
Tim Lemke of the Washington Times says America hardly got any work done on Monday as people watched the U.S. Open.
John Ryan of the San Jose Mercury News writes that local NBC affiliate KNTV almost had a Heidi moment during a dramatic moment during the U.S. Open.
The Sports Media Watch says even on a Monday afternoon on the East Coast, people still watched the U.S. Open 18 hole playoff.
CNBC’s Darren Rovell says the 18 hole playoff drew a 30 year ratings high.
Ray Frager of the Baltimore Sun writes in his Medium Well blog that local viewers preferred golf over basketball on Sunday.
Newsday’s Neil Best says SNY thoroughly covered the Mets’ firing of Willie Randolph as it happened late Monday night/early Tuesday morning.
John Dempsey of Variety says NBC Universal has big plans for the WCSN website which will be rebranded as Universal Sports.
Here are NBC Universal’s plans in airing the Olympics on its various TV and cable networks plus online coverage.
Joe Favorito talks about how sports teams and leagues are making good use of digital space.
Awful Announcing says ESPN’s newest marketing campaign might scare some people. It is quite creepy.
The Big Lead had a live chat with Dan LeBatard.
That’s it for now.
We have a wide range of links today.
Let’s start with Michael Hiestand of USA Today who looks over the ratings of selected events from the weekend.
Newsday’s Neil Best feels NBC came through during its coverage of the U.S. Open. In his blog, Neil says he was impressed with one of Johnny Miller’s first-guesses on Saturday. Neil wonders why WNBC-TV had to break in with a tornado warning for outside the city during U.S. Open coverage. Unrelated to golf, Neil tells us that HBO will be running two Olympics-related documentaries including one tonight. Finally, Neil feels ESPN Classic should air the controversial Game 6 of the 2002 NBA Western Conference Finals.
Two things from Richard Sandomir of the New York Times. First, he feels NBC focused too much on Tiger Woods and his injured knee. And Richard discusses NBC Universal’s purchase of a majority stake in WCSN.
Paul J. Gough of the Hollywood Reporter also talks about WCSN going into the NBC Universal fold.
Ken Schott of the Schenectady Gazette is also tired of meteorologists interrupting the U.S. Open.
George M. Thomas of the Akron Beacon Journal says there was plenty of TV drama at the U.S. Open over the weekend.
Ryan Wilson of the AOL Fanhouse blog feels we’ll see more primetime golf thanks to the ratings of the U.S. Open this past weekend.
Keith Groller from the Allentown (PA) Morning Call says the U.S. Open was ratings gold.
CNBC’s Darren Rovell says the “Tiger Effect” hit Wall Street yesterday. And Darren wonders if the new Livestrong.com website will be successful.
In the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, Bob Wolfley writes that local viewers watched the NBA Finals over golf.
Jim Carlisle of the Ventura County Star writes that ABC is thrilled that the NBA Finals is going to six games.
Jeff Rice from the Centre (PA) Daily Times says a Big Ten Network-Comcast deal is due any time now. We’ve been hearing this for months. Just sign the deal and get it done.
Ted Cox of the Chicago Daily Herald says Pat Foley is happy to be back calling Blackhawks games. Len Ziehm of the Sun-Times says Foley is thrilled to return to the Blackhawks after spending the last two seasons with the American Hockey League’s Chicago Wolves.
If you’ve been watching Euro 2008 like I have, then you’ll be interested in the announcing schedule on the ESPN family of networks for this week. Awful Announcing his it for you.
And Nicholas Deleon of the CrunchGear blog likes ESPN’s Axis feature that has been shown on its Euro 2008 coverage.
Jessica Heslam of the Boston Herald has ESPN.com’s Jemele Hill apologizing for an anti-Celtics column.
Scott Powers from the Orlando Sentinel talks about the rebranding of Disney’s Wide World of Sports complex to involve the ESPN name.
William Houston of the Toronto Globe and Mail says CBC is still bitter over losing the rights to the Hockey Theme to CTV. And Houston reports that TSN NHL analyst Glenn Healy is leaving for a post with the NHL Players Association.
Did you know Katie Couric had a channel on YouTube? Now you do.
That will do it.
Because I had to cut my last entry short, I will give you some more links tonight.
ESPN outlines its coverage for Wimbledon which will start later this month.
Take some time and read The Biz of Baseball’s State of Major League Baseball 2008 authored by various writers, authors, bloggers and baseball execs. If you love baseball, you’ll find this a fascinating read. Maury Brown of The Biz of Baseball says people from all around baseball are mourning Tim Russert.
Ken McMillan of the Times Herald-Record (NY) writes that NBC Universal will aggressively market its new purchase of World Championship Sports Network as a new cable channel. WCSN is for the most part a broadband service.
I did not link to this yesterday. Joe Favorito had a very nice entry on Father’s Day and athletes who change their citizenship to participate in the Olympics.
Sports Illustrated’s Richard Deitsch remembers NBC’s Tim Russert.
From Richard, AJ Dalerio of Deadspin talks with former ESPN Radio, Fox Sports Radio and Sporting News Radio host Tony Bruno.
Dave George of the Palm Beach Post wonders if there’s a sporting event that TV doesn’t or won’t cover.
On the Olympics front, the Associated Press reports some progress between the networks that will broadcast the games in Communist China and organizers over security concerns and various restrictions placed on the broadcasters.
Michelle Greppi of TV Week talks to CBS News and Sports President Sean McManus about his father, Jim McKay.
Emilie Deutsch writes in the New York Times about Jim McKay’s interview with Fidel Castro back in 1991. Emilie produced and directed the interview for ABC Sports.
Mark Snyder of the Detroit Free Press says a deal between the Big Ten Network and Comcast is imminent.
The Minnesota Timberwolves have announced they have re-signed their TV broadcast team to new deals.
Teddy Greenstein of the Chicago Tribune writes that the Blackhawks have welcomed back Pat Foley as the team’s TV play-by-play voice.
Enjoy Weeds and Secret Diary of a Call Girl on Showtime. Good night.
Well, it was Father’s Day yesterday and it was time to take dad out for lunch. I was out of the house for most of the day which meant I could not blog yesterday, but I’m back now and let’s get to the links.
Michael Hiestand of USA Today says putting the U.S. Open in primetime paid off for NBC.
Phil Mushnick of the New York Post says Charlie Jones’ death reminds him of NBC unceremoniously letting him go after losing NFL TV rights in 1997.
Newsday’s Neil Best writes in his blog that the USGA should eliminate its Monday 18 hole playoff. And Neil is grateful that Tiger Woods gets his work done before sunset.
CNBC’s Darren Rovell writes that Tiger will wear the same shirt for the 18 hole playoff that he did for the 4th round of the U.S. Open yesterday.
Pete Dougherty of the Albany Times Union says the overnight ratings for the 3rd round of the U.S. Open on NBC were very good for a Saturday night.
And the Sports Media Watch says the U.S. Open helped NBC win Saturday night’s primetime race.
Here’s the NBC press release about the Saturday primetime ratings for the U.S. Open.
Tom Jones in the St. Petersburg Times’ Two Cents blog is not a fan of NBC’s Dan Hicks or seeing a lot of Tiger Woods.
Chip Towers of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution is enjoying the U.S. Open and the College World Series on TV.
John Ourand of the Sports Business Journal has a very nice article on CBS News and Sports President Sean McManus’ thoughts on his father, Jim McKay’s passing. And nice of the SBJ to make this available to everyone.
Jay Posner from the San Diego Union-Tribune says sports on demand whether it be on the internet or on TV is the future.
Teddy Greenstein of the Chicago Tribune breaks news that the Big Ten Network and Comcast are about to sign a deal for the channel to be on its cable systems in the Midwest.
Dusty Saunders from the Rocky Mountain News writes that Colorado Avalanche TV announcer Mike Haynes feels lucky to be alive.
ESPN.com’s Jamele Hill apparently wrote a column about Celtics fans that made references to Hitler and the Cold War. Not smart.
The EPL Talk soccer blog likes how ESPN paired Derek Rae and Andy Gray during Euro 2008 over the weekend.
Michael Starr of the New York Post says Fox and ESPN plan to make concerted efforts to get the 2014 and 2016 Olympics from NBC.
R. Thomas Umstead of Multichannel News reports that NBC Universal has bought a majority stake in World Championship Sports Network, a broadband service that shows Olympic sports.
Bob Fernandez of the Philadelphia Inquirer talks with Comcast SportsNet President Jon Litner about the network’s strategy. Also from the Inquirer, Michael Klein writes that Comcast has suspended Daily News columnist Bill Conlin for comments made on the network and Klein reports that when Conlin may not return when he’s eligible to come back (scroll down).
Chris Reidy of the Boston Globe has the video of a new Sovereign Bank ad showing NESN Red Sox analyst Jerry Remy playing air guitar. Last year, Remy was shown on NESN playing air guitar before an on-air stint and fell off a table. If you haven’t seen that now-famous incident, here it is:
Chris Zelkovich of the Toronto Star talk about a father and son making their work debut together.
Enjoy the U.S. Open playoff.
Once again, I have my day planned for me. I have to leave the house at 10 a.m., then stay at the office until 5 p.m. without any computer or internet access, then go get groceries, eat dinner and it’s 9 p.m. when I start blogging. This just won’t do. I’ll give you links, but my apologies for the tardiness of this post.
Jim Salisbury of the Philadelphia Inquirer says the late John Marzano always brought his tough Philly upbringing to the game of baseball. And the crew from Flyers Post Game Live remembered Marzano Saturday on Comcast SportsNet Philadelphia.
The increasingly bitter Bob Raissman of the New York Daily News writes that Billy Packer may be shown the door at CBS.
The always bitter Phil Mushnick of the New York Post says Personal Seat Licenses are nothing but a money grab. He’s actually right on the money there.
The never-bitter Neil Best of Newsday says NBC’s/TSN’s/NESN’s Mike Milbury isn’t afraid to speak his mind no matter what network he’s on. Neil has some more on Milbury in his blog.
Self-proclaimed hockey expert and perpetually bitter Stan Fischler writing for the Kingston (NY) Daily Freeman says the media is biased against the NHL.
The Sports Media Watch has its weekend ratings predictions.
Tim Lemke of the Washington Times writes in his blog that Danica Patrick’s win in Sunday’s Indy Japan 300 will have a big impact on Indy Racing.
After spending a week away from blogging, Christopher Byrne of the Eye on Sports Media site is back with a vengeance. He republishes a post in which he explained how Tiger Woods ruined the PGA Tour. Christopher tells us that WCSN.com will offer a free webcast of the Boston Marathon. In the New England region only, WBZ.com will also stream its TV coverage of the Marathon. And Chris has embedded the entire 2008 BCS National Championship Game involving LSU and Ohio State at his site.
David Barron of the Houston Chronicle will be going on vacation and in his blog, he previews some of the TV sporting events and primetime programs that will air during his absence. And David says Fox Sports’ Kevin Kennedy admitted his real age during the MLB pregame show yesterday.
Jerry McDonald of the San Jose Mercury News writes that the NFL Draft is going primetime.
Mark Curnette of the Cincinnati Enquirer says the NFL Draft has come a long way from its beginnings to a now-must see event.
Yvette Kim of the Sarasota (FL) Herald-Tribune writes that ESPN’s Dick Vitale is fulfulling a promise to his friend, the late Jim Valvano.
Tim Arango of the New York Times explores the issue of who actually owns sports media coverage.
David Lauderdale of the Hilton Head (SC) Island Packet talks with CBS Sports’ lead announcer Jim Nantz.
That’s it. I’ll be back on Monday.
I was at a jobsite all day and didn’t get home until after 4:30 p.m. so you didn’t get them at your regular time, but better late than never.
Starting off with a couple of posts from David Scott of Boston Sports Media Watch. He first wrote Wednesday about dueling press releases from Comcast SportsNet and NESN in regards to their World Series coverage. Next, Scott has some odds and ends in his regular Friday post.
John Powers of the Boston Globe writes about the different starting times for the World Series on Fox.
Michael Hiestand of USA Today writes about Fox preparing for its NFL broadcast in London and what ESPN is doing to pump the Breeders’ Cup.
Richard Sandomir of the New York Times isn’t enamored with the product placement in the World Series.
Bob Raissman in the New York Daily News says Hank Steinbrenner is a chip off the old block.
Phil Mushnick in the New York Post is in a hating mood. He rails against Yankees President Randy Levine and Fox Sports’ Matt Vasgerian.
Newsday’s Neil Best gives praise to SNY for its Yankees coverage, but notes that ESPN SportsCenter outrates the channel in New York. And we give you some blog posts from Best from last night into today. First, Best reports that UFC has renewed its contract with Spike TV. Best has an addendum to his column about the newsgathering operations for WFAN and 1050 ESPN Radio. Neil notes that Tennis Channel has removed “The” from its name. And Best showing his Yankees bias says Red Sox fans are the most annoying on earth. It’s the other way around, Neil.
CNBC’s Darren Rovell talks about the ridiculous World Series Taco Bell promotion that was overplayed on Fox the last two nights. And Darren writes about the reach of Allstate Insurance with its advertising on college football through the BCS and the netting behind the goalposts.
Ray Frager of the Baltimore Sun has a bunch of stuff in his Friday column including comments on Rick Reilly leaving Sports Illustrated for ESPN and Joe Torre’s overall popularity. In his Medium Well blog, Frager wonders why the World Series doesn’t get more play on Baltimore radio.
From The State newspaper in South Carolina, Doug Nye has some TV notes. His weekend TV Best Bet is South Carolina at Tennessee on ESPN. And Nye’s Friday column talks about Gamecock fans being angry at ESPN’s choosing not to show the South Carolina-Arkansas game on November 3.
The Miami Herald’s Barry Jackson writes about the tough obstacles facing WQAM in the wake of losing the Dolphins and the soon-to-be-departed Hank Goldberg.
The South Florida Sun-Sentinel picks up an Associated Press story about the challenges Fox Sports is facing by televising the first NFL regular season game in London which of course, involves the Dolphins.
Cary Estes of the Orlando Sentinel writes about the SEC college basketball media day on Thursday in which the coaches complained about a lack of TV exposure (what?). And Dave Darling of the Sentinel also writes about the “trade” of Rick Reilly for Dan Patrick between ESPN and Sports Illustrated.
From the Houston Chronicle, David Barron writes that there was more interest this year in Game 1 of the World Series than last year.
To the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel’s Bob Wolfley who gives us some of the things that will be shown during ESPN’s Monday Night Football broadcast involving Packers and Broncos.
The Minneapolis Star-Tribune’s Judd Zulgad says the Twins couldn’t be happier with first year radio flagship staion, KSTP.
Dusty Saunders of the Rocky Mountain News says Game 1 of the World Series was a hit for Fox both nationally and in Denver.
Scott D. Pierce of the Deseret (UT) Morning News says the Mountain West Conference could have had a deal to put the mtn. on Dish Network in the seven states that encompass the conference’s market, but decided to hold out for a national deal and now, it’s not on Dish, DirecTV or Comcast.
Jay Posner of the San Diego Union-Tribune has three stories today. One we now know is outdated, but I’ll link to it anyway. Posner writes that the Texans-Chargers game would be televised into the San Diego no matter where it’s played and we now know it’ll be at Qualcomm Stadium this Sunday. Posner says the USC-Oregon game will be on FSN Prime Ticket, a channel not available to San Diego cable subscribers. And as usual, Posner gives the ratings for last weekend in San Diego.
John Maffei of the North County Times writes that San Diego sports reporters turned over to news to help report on the megafires this week and Maffei also reviews the news coverage as well.
In the Los Angeles Times, Christine Daniels has her Sound and Vision column which attacks Fox for its silly virtual ads during the World Series.
Tom Hoffarth of the Los Angeles Daily News profiles FSN’s Andrew Siciliano who does a great job anchoring the DirecTV Red Zone Channel which is part of the NFL Sunday Ticket’s Superfan service. And Hoffarth gives us a story on the NHL Network which is finally making its debut in the US on Comcast, DirecTV, Dish Network, Time Warner Cable, Cox and other subscription TV services.
Jim Carlisle from the Ventura County Star writes that Fox traded out less MLB postseason games in its latest TV contract and it’s paid off with hgher ratings. And in his notebook, Carlisle writes that the Lakers will open the NBA season on TNT.
William Houston of the Toronto Globe and Mail has a story on the top paid Canadian sportscasters. And Houston says Leafs TV ignored a big developing story involving the Maple Leafs. Finally, Houston writes that Greg Zaun is doing a good job analyzing the MLB Postseason on Rogers Sportsnet.
And Chris Zelkovich of the Toronto Star writes about Dan Schulman picking up NBA play-by-play work on ESPN which means he will drop Sunday Night Baseball on ESPN Radio which is unfortunate.
Over to the 38Cliches blog and LC says the petition requesting WRKO and the Red Sox to dump Glenn Geffner is still going strong.
To the Sport Media Watch blog and it states that while Game 1 of the 2007 World Series had a huge ratings jump from last year, it still is low compared to other Games 1. And Paulsen notes that with Game 2 in the books, the numbers for the World Series are still trending low.
Yet, with the lower ratings for Game 2, Fox still won the night.
The Biz of Baseball website says that Comcast is extending its hours in Boston so customers can pick up HDTV boxes for the World Series.
The Orbitcast blog which covers the Satellite Radio industry says that Sirius will pick up the audio from World Championship Sports Network for the World Cup Skiing Season.
That’s it for now. The Megalinks are up and I’m happy. I’ll give you Saturday links and NFL Picks tomorrow.
What a sporting weekend. Major League Baseball could not have asked for a better final weekend to the regular season You had the clinching of the American League East by the Red Sox. There was the complete collapse of the New York Mets and the charge by the Philadelphia Phillies to take the National League East. The Chicago Cubs clinched the NL Central Division. San Diego failed to clinch the Wild Card despite the opportunity to win it on its own and the Colorado Rockies won 13 of its last 14 games to force a one game playoff tonight.
For MLB, the sad note was seeing the end of the Atlanta Braves era on TBS. For 30 seasons, there was the comfortable feeling knowing that if your local team wasn’t on TV, the Braves would be. And before ESPN got into MLB, the way to watch baseball on a national level every night was either to watch the Cubs on WGN or the Braves on TBS. While TBS will still have baseball every Sunday starting next season, it will be a national package of games.
We grew accustomed to seeing Skip Carey, Pete Van Wieren, Ernie Johnson, Sr., John Sterling, then Don Sutton, Joe Simpson and Chip Carey joining Skip and Pete. Fans enjoyed the chemistry between Skip and Pete. And the rise of the Braves coincided with the cable explosion in the 1980′s and by the time the Braves started their 10 year dominance of the National League, TBS was there to chronicle it. From a high of 152 games a season to the 75 games it did this year, watching the Braves on TBS became a comfortable fit like an old slipper. Unfortunately, as times change, so do philosophies and TBS feels the Braves are no longer a good fit. This will leave a team with a national fan base without an outlet to watch the games. The Braves say they’ll look for ways to reach fans in the Southeast, but for fans across the country who can’t afford MLB Extra Innings on cable or satellite or on the internet, yesterday’s final game on TBS was a very sad day. I know I’ll miss watching the Braves.
As for the NFL, you couldn’t find a weekend that could match what we saw yesterday. Brett Favre breaks Dan Marino’s touchdown record. The Detroit Lions score a record 34 points in the 4th quarter to beat a woeful Chicago Bears team. My Cleveland Browns put a big hurt on the Baltimore Ravens and there was Oakland’s Daunte Culpepper going into Miami to show what he could do when healthy.
US golf showed it was alive and well with the Presidents Cup and raucous crowds helped the atmosphere in Montreal.
And HBO got a nice present when Jermain Taylor was upset his defense of his middleweight crown by Kelly Pavlik.
You can’t forget about the upsets in college football starting with South Florida over West Virginia Friday night, spilling into Saturday as Oklahoma was beat by Colorado, K State putting a big licking on Texas and Auburn beating defending national champion, Florida.
You couldn’t ask for a better sporting weekend. And this week, the League Divisional Series begin and they do so under some great momentum. Let’s get to the links.
USA Today’s Michael Hiestand says the loss of the New York Mets from the playoffs has caused TBS to change some of its announcing team assignments. Ray Frager in his Baltimore Sun blog has highlights of comments made by Cal Ripken from a media conference call conducted by TBS.
Neil Best of Newsday says one of those changes includes TBS scooping up SNY’s Ron Darling who became available after the Mets were eliminated yesterday.
The New York Post’s Phil Mushnick says SNY’s Darling and Keith Hernandez criticized the Mets at the right moment.
Jim Williams of the DC/Baltimore Examiner says TBS gets its postseason underway with the Rockies-Padres one game playoff tonight. And the Padres will allow fans to watch the game at Petco Park.
Paul Sullivan of the Chicago Tribune says Cubs broadcasters, both current and past, will have a heavy influence on TBS’ coverage of the League Divisional Series.
Chuck Caree in the Wilmington (NC) Morning Star talks about the end of the Braves on TBS.
From the Wilmington (DE) News Journal, Delaware viewers will be glad to know that Comcast is adding TBS HD to its lineup today. The Consumerist says even though Comcast has added TBS HD to a bunch of cities, Chicago is not one of them.
Dusty Saunders in the Rocky Mountain News says the playoff push of the Colorado Rockies gave Denver fans a dilemma whether to watch baseball or the Broncos playing against the Colts.
CNBC’s Darren Rovell discusses what the New York Mets really lost when it played itself out of the MLB postseason.
The Houston Chronicle’s David Barron reviews the sporting weekend in his Four DVR’s, no waiting blog.
John Ryan in the San Jose Mercury News writes that the NFL pregame shows had a lot of love for Brett Favre.
The Multichannel News reports that the Big Ten Network signed a deal with RCN Cable giving it access to homes in Chicago, Phildelphia and parts of the Lehigh Valley in Pennsylvania.
Daniel Kaplan of Business First has an article on MSNBC.com about the NFL selling ads space on its teams’ websites, keeping the money while the teams keep the space.
ESPN and World Championship Sports Network have signed an agreement for WCSN to provide a 24/7 feed of Olympic sports on ESPN360.
The Toronto Star’s Chris Zelkovich writes that longtime Maple Leafs analyst Harry Neale is leaving the team to join the Buffalo Sabres’ TV team. And Zelkovich says NBC seemed to go overboard to say Canadians love hockey during the Presidents Cup coverage from Montreal.
That’s it for now.
Let’s give you a few more links today.
Joseph Whip blogs about HDTV and he criticizes NBC for taking bandwidth away from its picture and thus, causing pixelation. Whip blames the Weather Plus subchannel for this.
The LA Times’ Larry Stewart talks with country star Faith Hill about recording “I’ve Been Waiting All Day for Sunday Night” for NBC Sports.
Tom Hoffart of the LA Daily News has more in his Farther Off the Wall blog on FSN picking up the re-air of the Appalachian State-Michigan game from the Big Ten Network.
Mike Battaglino of the New York Post catches up with Bud Collins who says he’s been busier than ever since being unceremoniously fired by NBC earlier this year. Bud also said to Battaglino that in addition to doing work for ESPN for its Grand Slam tournaments, Bud will also contribute to the Tennis Channel and I find that to be good news.
Mike Reynolds of the Multichannel News outlines some of the changes coming at ESPN, some of which I have already mentioned in this blog.
LC in the 38 Cliches blog is happy to have Dave O’Brien back in the Red Sox radio booth, but he points out that with Obie out for 10 games doing various ESPN assignments, his point of references for the Red Sox is out of whack. Hopefully that changes next season and we won’t have to deal with long stretches of Glenn Geffner. No Geffner, not a little, no Geffner will go a long way with us Red Sox fans who have had to suffer with his talking incessantly off notecards, rushing through live reads of commercials and just making inane points. By the way, LC was worried that Dave would be going to China to call the FIFA Women’s World Cup later this month, and I can assure him that Dave is not going to the Far East.
From the Toronto Star, Chris Zelkovich writes about Canada’s first all-sports radio station, The Fan 590 turning 15 today.
Primetime Viewing Picks coming. I can’t wait for next week when I can finally select some good network fare for you.