Thursday Sports Media Notebook

As the linkage has been lacking, I’m going to try a new feature. In addition to an occasional sports media thoughts post, I’m going to attempt to make this a regular feature. This will incorporate some linkage and some thoughts. Think of it like Peter Gammons’ baseball notes column, but not as extensive.

As I said, I hope this will be a regular feature and I hope you will like it. You may incorporate some snark so if you think I go overboard, certainly let me know in the comments.

Let’s begin.

Sports Illustrated’s Richard Deitsch issued his 2012 Media Awards. There are some I agree with, others like Joe Buck of which I disagree. But again, that’s his list. I can always provide my own if I can overcome my laziness.

Rob Parker of ESPN (perhaps not for long) issued an apology for his incendiary comments on Robert Griffin III during last week’s First Take. It’s a bit late and rings like someone trying to save his job. ESPN announced today that it has suspended Parker for 30 days and disciplined others involved in the show for allowing the comments to re-air not just one more time, but twice. I’m still bewildered how the controversial comments not only aired in an immediate replay, but also during the euphemistically titled “Best of First Take” in the same day which tells me the producers were not only on board, but also in a disconnect, not thinking the comments were anything out of the ordinary.

Last month, it appeared that the Los Angeles Dodgers and Fox were on the verge of signing a new deal that would make the team very rich in a long-term media rights deal. However, there are a few holdups including satisfying MLB and avoiding another round in U.S. bankruptcy court. An interesting note is that Fox would gain the rights to the Dodgers, create a new regional sports network and have it run by Dick Clark Productions which is owned by DC NFL team owner Daniel Snyder. No matter what happens, it’ll make the Dodgers very wealthy and in the upper echelon of media rights payments from Fox.

We won’t know the NFL Week 17 primetime game until either this Sunday evening or Monday midday. That’s because the Week 17 Sunday night game is not chosen by the league until then. Only one flex for Sunday Night Football this season and that’s this week’s San Francisco-Seattle game which replaced Chargers-Jets. The obvious choice for primetime in Week 17 would be Washington at Dallas, but Cowboys GM & owner Jerry Jones himself says he doubts that it would be flexed. Last year, Cowboys-Giants were flexed into the last game of the season slot. If the NFL wants Dallas-Washington in primetime, I would think that’s where it will go. Plus, NBC would love to have RGIII in primetime.

On this date, NBC decided to conduct an experiment that has not been tried since. It aired the New York Jets at Miami Dolphins game at the Orange Bowl without announcers. The game was played on a Saturday afternoon, and the Jets (like today) were nothing to write home about so NBC made an announcement that it was going announcer-free for the entire game. NFL ’80 pregame host Bryant Gumbel came in and out of commercial breaks to summarize what had happened. NBC employed some enhanced graphics during the game and tried to use extra microphones to bring the sound of the game home to viewers. However, when it was all said and done, many reporters said the game needed announcers and all games have employed them since.

Sports Business Journal has Sports Illustrated’s Richard Deitsch, the Baltimore Sun’s David Zurawik and The Big Lead’s Jason McIntyre talking about the Sunday NFL pregame shows.

SI tennis reporter extraordinaire Jon Wertheim has some interesting news about next year’s US Open in Flushing Meadow. If successful, expect this format to continue. If not, you’ll see CBS wanting to pay less for the tournament or it will move to ESPN2. I’ve said that the US Open should move back a week and end on Labor Day to avoid inclement weather and NFL conflicts in the second week, but no one seems to listen.

Former U.S. Olympian and noted distance runner Suzy Favor-Hamilton was a high-priced Las Vegas escort? Yes, it’s true. It has nothing to do with sports media, but I’ve always had a crush on Suzy Favor-Hamilton.

As I mentioned, I hope to do this regularly for you if I’m not able to do links for you. Let me know what you think.

Ken Fang

About Ken Fang

Ken has been covering the sports media in earnest at his own site, Fang's Bites since May 2007 and at Awful Announcing since March 2013. He provides a unique perspective having been an award-winning radio news reporter in Providence and having worked in local television. Fang celebrates the three Boston Red Sox World Championships in the 21st Century, but continues to be a long-suffering Cleveland Browns fan.

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