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SMWeekly177

Sports Media Weekly No. 177- 2013 Year in Review

Welcome to the final edition of Sports Media Weekly, not only for 2013 but for the foreseeable future.

Ken Fang of Fang’s Bites and I use this final program to look back at some of the notable sports media stories for 2013 and what we can expect for 2014.

Among the items up for discussion:

The launch of Fox Sports 1;
Rights fees for the U.S. Open and Canadian NHL changing hands;
The return of Keith Olbermann to ESPN;
NCAA Basketball coverage changes coming in 2014;
Ratings, ratings, ratings;
The passing of Pat Summerall and Ken Venturi and the retirement of Tim McCarver and Dan Dierdorf;
Looking ahead to 2014 with the Winter Olympics and the World Cup.

For the second portion of the show Ken pulled a fast one on me as he spoke with members of the media on what was supposed to be their look back at the year, but instead they directed their remarks elsewhere:

Richard DeitschSports Illustrated
Steve LaporeAwful Announcing
Dan LevyThe Bleacher Report
Paulsen, Sports Media Watch
Neil Best, Newsday
Joe Flint, LA Times
John Ourand, Sports Business Journal
Ian Eagle, CBS Sports
John Daly, The Daly Planet
Matt Yoder, Awful Announcing
Michelle Beadle, NBC

I want to thank everyone on that list for their kind remarks.  It means a lot.

I also want to thank all of you who have made Sports Media Weekly a successful four-plus year endeavor.  It is what I will miss the most as I suspend Sports Media Journal.

Have a great 2014.  All the best!


SMWeekly176

Sports Media Weekly No. 176- Ed Sherman, The Sherman Report

Only two editions of Sports Media Weekly remain and this week Ken Fang of Fang’s Bites and I are joined by Ed Sherman of The Sherman Report.

We begin the program looking at news that the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) may be taking a look at relaxing the blackout rules sports leagues impose on local television coverage of sports if the local’s team’s arenas are not sold out.

We next take a look at the college bowl season which gets underway this week and ESPN’s plans for what it calls a “Megacast” of the BCS Championship Game.

NBC today announced its 1,539+ hours of coverage for the Sochi Winter Olympics which begin in February.  In the news it was announced that all major events will be telecast live and then re-played in prime time–a move the three of us agree will benefit viewers and should not negatively impact NBC’s prime time ratings.

We wrap-up the news segment by looking at how ESPN has won a duPont Award for a segment on Outside the Lines while the show appears to be less of a priority in Bristol.

Ken and I will return on Monday, December 30th for our look back at the top sports media news of 2013 and what we can expect for the new year.

And yes, Ken and I do discuss my announcement of the closing of Sports Media Journal on January 1st.


SMWeekly175

Sports Media Weekly No. 175- Joe Flint, LA Times & Joe Tessitore, ESPN

The weather is frigid across much of the country so why not cozy up to the latest edition of Sports Media Weekly?

Ken Fang of Fang’s Bites and I are joined for our news segment this week by Joe Flint, media and entertainment reporter for the LA Times.

We dream of warm weather to start the show, talking about the news that ESPN will add Curt Schilling to its Sunday Night Baseball broadcast booth.  Schilling replaces Orel Hershiser, who will be joining the broadcast team for the Los Angeles Dodgers new regional sports network which will launch in 2014.

We move to the NFL, discussing the flexing of Bears/Eagles to NBC’s Sunday Night Football for week 16 while Patriots/Ravens moves to CBS at 4:25pm ET.  We also speculate as to which game will be flexed to SNF for the week 17 finale.

For the second straight week we talk Canadian sports media as it was announced that CTV and TSN will be the home for NFL football north of the boarder.

We end the news segment looking at the report by John Ourand at Sports Business Journal that Fox appears to be the front runner to retaining the rights to the UEFA Champions League matches here in the United States.

Our second guest this week is ESPN’s Joe Tessitore.  Ken speaks with Joe about his upcoming new role as lead studio host for the SEC Network which will launch late next summer.


SMWeekly174

Sports Media Weekly No. 174- John Ourand, Sports Business Journal

After a week off for the holiday Ken Fang of Fang’s Bites and I are back for another edition of Sports Media Weekly.

Joining Ken and me this week is John Ourand from Sports Business Journal.

We start the show by looking back at the big sports media story from a week ago, the news that Rogers Communications has won the sole national NHL media rights in Canada away from TSN and CBC.  We look at the impact the deal will have in Canada as well as what it may mean for sports rights deals here in the U.S.A.

We move on to the NFL and the news from Fox Sports that it has already sold its entire ad inventory for February’s Super Bowl XLVIII.  The news proves once again that football is king on TV and with sponsors.

We look back at the spectacular weekend of college football and, in particular, CBS’ coverage of the Alabama/Auburn Iron Bowl.  We all give kudos to CBS for its coverage of the game and striking the right tone both in pictures and in words from Verne Lundquist, Gary Danielson, and Tracey Wolfson.

As ESPN prepares for coverage of its final World Cup for a while we discuss the potential U.S. rights fee battle for the UEFA Champions League matches.  Fox Sports currently holds the rights, but ESPN and NBC are looking to snatch the package away.

We wrap the show by discussing Deadspin’s purchase of a baseball Hall of Fame vote and how that may shake out.


SMWeekly173

Sports Media Weekly No. 173- Brian Berger, Sports Business Radio

It’s been an interesting sports media week and we have it covered on Sports Media Weekly.

Joining Ken Fang of Fang’s Bites and me for the program this week is Brian Berger of Sports Business Radio.

We begin the program looking at the appearance late this afternoon of Alex Rodriguez on the Mike Francesa radio program on WFAN in New York.  Rodriguez sought the sympathetic ear of Francesa after storming out of his hearing today with an arbitrator over his 211 game suspension issued by Major League Baseball earlier this year.  Brian, who also works as a media consultant for athletes, chimes in on whether Rodriguez’ strategy will pay off for him in the court of public opinion.

Over to the the NFL next and Ken’s piece on Awful Announcing on the flex options that await the league’s media partners when the new television contracts take effect next year.

We then move to the news that CBS NFL game analyst Dan Dierdorf will be retiring at the end of the current NFL season after 30 years televising games for CBS and ABC.

College basketball may be seeing quite the change in coverage at the NCAA Final Four beginning next year as Turner Sports takes over televising the national semi-final games.  John Ourand at Sports Business Journal  has the details.

We wrap the news segment by looking at the news by NBC that Bob Costas will be adding late night hosting duties to his primetime gig at the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi.


SMWeekly172

Sports Media Weekly No. 172- Chad Finn, The Boston Globe & Ian Eagle, CBS Sports

The weather is beginning to turn cooler nationwide but we try to turn up the heat here on Sports Media Weekly (SMW)

Joining Ken Fang of Fang’s Bites and me for the news segment this week is Boston Globe sports media columnist Chad Finn.

We begin the show with what has been the most-talked about story over the last week, the developing saga of Dolphins’ offensive lineman Richie Incognito and his alleged bullying of teammate Jonathan Martin.  We look back at how the NFL’s network partners covered the story and the exclusive interview with Incognito by Fox Sports’ Jay Glazer.

We bring it back to Boston and get Chad’s take on how the Boston sports media handled covering the Red Sox this season under John Farrell compared to 2012 with Bobby Valentine.

We wrap the segment looking at the continued success for ESPN during its college basketball marathon, which aired over the last two days.  It’s an opportunity for ESPN to capitalize on promoting college basketball during a slow period between the end of baseball season and the end of the college and pro football seasons.

Our second guest this week is SMW fave Ian Eagle of CBS Sports, among other media entities.  Ken talks with Ian about his frenetic announcing schedule, his relationship with NBA broadcast partner Mike Fratello, his broadcasting idols, and his knowledge of 1980′s sitcoms.


SMWeekly171

Sports Media Weekly No. 171- Richard Sandomir, New York Times & Trenni Kusnierek, CSNNE

We have a pair of happy Boston Red Sox fans hosting this week’s Sports Media Weekly program.

Ken Fang of Fang’s Bites and I are joined for our news segment this week by Richard Sandomir of the New York Times.

We lead-off the show with a final look back at the World Series and Fox’ claim of higher ratings when, in fact, the viewership numbers are actually still on the decline.

Richard chimes in with a local New York sports media item in the announcement that the New York Mets next year will be calling WOR-AM it’s radio flagship home after a long stint on WFAN.

We return to Richard’s article with James Andrew Miller from a week or so ago on the 10th Anniversary of the NFL Network and the league’s attempt to sell a portion of the network’s stake to ESPN.  Richard adds some context and other insights to the piece.

We wrap the news segment by looking at how NBC is looking forward to a profitable Winter Olympic Games this February from Sochi after losing money at the Vancouver Games in 2010.

The second half of the show features Ken speaking with Trenni Kusnierek.  You may remember Trenni from her years at the MLB Network.  Ken talks with her about her expereinces there and her new role at Comcast SportsNet New England.


SMWeekly170

Sports Media Weekly No. 170- Ed Sherman, The Sherman Report & Doug Wilson, Sports Producer

We have World Series fever on this week’s edition of Sports Media Weekly.

Ken Fang of Fang’s Bites and I are joined for our news segment this week by Ed Sherman of The Sherman Report.  We taped our segment prior to the Red Sox’ World Series-clinching win last night in Game Six.

We spend a good portion of our segment looking at Fox’ coverage of the World Series.  Fox has been promoting improved ratings over last year.  But the ratings had no where to go than up after last year’s Fall Classic registered the lowest ratings in history.

We delve into the length of games and how those on the east coast have a difficult time staying up to watch games that end near midnight.

We also look back at how Fox’ practice of focusing on crowd shots between pitches cost them during Game Four when they missed the pick-off play at first in the bottom of the ninth inning which ended the ball game.

We wrap up the news segment looking at the tenth anniversary of the NFL Network and the report from the New York Times on how the NFL was looking to sell a stake in the network to ESPN.

Our second guest this week is long time ABC Sports producer Doug Wilson who has a new book out entitled The World was Our Stage: Spanning the Globe with ABC Sports. Ken talks with Doug about his many decades with ABC, including his recollection of his relationships with the likes of Jim McKay and Roone Arledge as well as his time working ten Olympic Games for the network.


SMWeekly169

Sports Media Weekly No. 169- Tom Hoffarth, LA Daily News

With Ken Fang of Fang’s Bites and I being avid Red Sox fans, we hope you can understand why we have an abbreviated version of Sports Media Weekly this week on the doorstep of game one of the World Series.

Our guest this week is Tom Hoffarth, sports media columnist for the Los Angeles Daily News.

We begin the show discussing this year’s Fall Classic, the last for Fox Sports analyst Tim McCarver.  The three of us acknowledge that McCarver may not be as sharp an analyst as he once was, but I, for one, applaud his long broadcasting career.

We next tap into Tom’s expertise in asking whether the Dodgers have taken some of the luster off the Lakers shine as being the most-favored professional team in southern California.

We resume our talk from a few weeks ago about the naming controversy surrounding the Washington Redskins by examining how much damage ESPN College Football Gameday analyst Lee Corso may have caused by appearing in war paint and native American dress in picking Florida State to beat Clemson last Saturday.

We conclude the show looking at the final pieces of ESPN’s NBA Countdown being put in place with the announcement that Sage Steele will serve as host of the Friday and Sunday editions of the show.


SMWeekly168

Sports Media Weekly No. 168- Paulsen, Sports Media Watch

Ken Fang of Fang’s Bites and I have an abbreviated version of Sports Media Weekly this week.

Ken an I are joined this week by Paulsen of Sports Media Watch.

We begin the show by tapping into Paulsen’s vast knowledge of ratings numbers as we dissect the reported success to date of Fox and TBS during their coverage of Major League Baseball’s playoffs.

We do the same with the NFL, which, although still king of the hill in ratings, is seeing decreases in viewership on some networks thus far over 2012.  In our discussion we also bring up the report in the Wall Street Journal that the NFL may be looking at adding an additional Thursday Night game to the schedule.

We move on to the changes ESPN has been making to the NBA Countdown crew, led by the departure last week of Magic Johnson.

We wrap the show by looking at how ESPN and Turner have been trying to get out of telecasting NASCAR in 2014, the last year of its contract before NBC and Fox take over the rights exclusively in 2015.