We begin the program by looking at the announcement this week that NBC Sports and Yahoo! Sports will be collaborating on two new TV and online sports video projects, one of which debuts tomorrow. The inclusion of rich media content is becoming more and more prevalent online and we agree that we’ll likely see more being produced by broadcast and web partners.
On a related note we look at the move by media outlets to create exclusive online content featuring their sports writing superstars. Bill Simmons and ESPN began the trend with Grantland and now Peter King at Sports Illustrated and Peter Gammons are creating fresh content marketed around their personal brands.
We move to Boston sports media next, looking at how the Boston media handled the Aaron Hernandez arrest and the response by the Patriots. We then delve into news of the launch next Monday of an online radio venture produced by the Boston Herald.
We finish the segment reflecting on the trail blazing career of Steve Bornstein, who pioneered television coverage of the NFL and will be retiring as head of the NFL Network next year.
We head back to the NFL and Ken’s interview with Sports Illustrated’sPeter King. Ken talks to King about what it took to pull together his new NFL website on SI, MMQB.
We top off the show looking at the news yesterday of NBC Sports getting back into the business of televising NASCAR races beginning in 2015. The panel saw this as a good move for NBC and a sad note for ESPN, which had been televising NASCAR events since the early 1980’s.
We shift to a column by John this week questioning whether we are at a time of a sports rights fees bubble and whether it will burst anytime soon.
The talk then took us into a discussion of the threat later tonight (as this is posted) of Time Warner Cable dropping CBS programming as the pair battle over carriage fees.
We begin the show with the official news today of the return to ESPN of Keith Olbermann. Olbermann will host a nighttime program at 11:00p.m. ET on ESPN2 beginning August 26th. We discuss how the reunion of Olbermann and ESPN, which seemed impossible just a few months ago, came to fruition. We also delve into how the re-hire of Olbermann is ESPN’s way to divert attention from the launch next month of Fox Sports 1.
Speaking of Fox Sports 1 we look at the report in Sports Business Journal that Fox may be having a difficult time reaching its desired home penetration of 90 million homes when Fox Sports 1 debuts on August 17.
We wrap the segment by critiquing Fox’s promotional video, aired during last night’s MLB All-Star Game, touting the launch of Fox Sports 1; the make-up of the Regis Philbin Fox Sports 1 program, and the flat ratings for last night’s Mid-Summer Classic.
Our second guest this week is Peter Burns of Mile High Radio. Peter joins us to discuss the collaboration announced last week that his morning radio program will be simulcast on the Denver Post website and that he, the paper, and KCDO TV have begun production on a nightly 30-minute local sports program.
We begin the news portion of the show by looking back at reports that viewership over at ESPN for the second quarter was at its lowest for that quarter in seven years.
We then look ahead to next week’s Major League Baseball All-Star Game on Fox, not to the action that will be taking place on the field but to the planned 90 second promo Fox is set to debut touting next month’s launch of Fox Sports 1.
With the start of NFL training camps on the doorstep comes news from CBS Sports that it will produce a weekly four hour pre-game show this fall on the CBS Sports Network (CBSSN). We all agree that as long as NFL is king and you have broadcast rights, adding NFL programming may be better than what is already available on CBSSN.
We then move to Ken’s piece in Awful Announcing on plans by two newspapers to get into the electronic media business on their websites.
We begin the show by looking back at the events this week where an Atlanta sports talk morning show crossed the line in producing a skit featuring former New Orleans Saints player Steve Gleason, who is suffering from ALS. The trio were fired as a result of their poor judgement.
We move to the NBA Finals as we all give our thoughts of the coverage thus far on the part of ESPN and ABC. We also delve into the chess match that has been playing out each game between sideline reporter Doris Burke and Spurs head coach Gregg Popovich.
We then move to NFL news; namely the announcement that the Cincinnati Bengals will once again be spotlighted on HBO’s Hard Knocks and the news that former NFL executive Scott Pioli will be joining the cast of NBC’s Football Night in America.
We wrap the show looking at the NHL Stanley Cup Finals; the viewership success for NBC and the NBC Sports Network as well as the local media reaction in both Chicago and Boston to the success of the Blackhawks and Bruins.
We start the show looking at the average ratings for ABC and ESPN through the first three games of the NBA Finals. We then look at the expectations of the NHL and NBC as the NHL Finals between the Bruins and Blackhawks gets underway tonight.
The next round of job cuts at ESPN began today. Among those let go was Howie Schwab, long time ESPN researcher and former participant in the Stump the Schwab program which ran from 2004 through 2006. We react to the move, which appears to be having an impact on those still in Bristol.
Our second guest this week is Jason Kint, Senior Vice President and General Manager of CBS Sports Interactive, the digital arm of CBS Sports. Ken spends time with Jason talking about the varied offerings by CBS online as well as the future of digital sports programming.
We begin the show looking at the news that the NFL is moving the date of next year’s NFL Draft to May. This will benefit the league’s broadcast partners ESPN and the NFL Network who’ll be able to charge more for advertising during the ratings “sweeps” month.
We then move into the realm of ESPN Radio with its announcement that it will provide out-of-market coverage of five NFL teams’ games beginning this fall. ESPN also made news this week with the hiring of southern U.S. sports radio legend Paul Finebaum.
We move on to discuss how the hiring of Robert Lipsyte as the new ombudsman at ESPN may, or may not, result in any significant changes at the World Wide Leader.
Our second guest this week is Bob Socci, current radio voice for the Pawtucket Red Sox, who will soon become the new radio voice of the New England Patriots, replacing the legendary Gil Santos. Bob discusses his good fortune in getting both the PawSox and Patriots jobs in a matter of weeks. Socci will be leaving the PawSox in July to begin his work in Foxboro.
We begin the show with a lengthy discussion of the layoffs underway at ESPN. Reports indicate ESPN is planning to dismiss nearly 400 employees in response to the network not meeting corporate profit margins.
We dovetail the discussion to ESPN’s recent upfront presentation where it announced the completion of a new digital studio and plans for the SEC Network. We also touch upon the announcement last week that ESPN has secured the exclusive U.S. rights to the U.S. Open tennis tournament beginning in 2015.
We then move to the news from Fox Sports of it’s hiring of Andy Roddick to serve as co-host of Fox Sports 1’s Fox Sports LIVE show which debuts this August.
We finish our news segment looking back at the life of U.S. Open champion and long time CBS golf analyst Ken Venturi.
Our second guest this week is Sports Media Weekly favorite Ian Eagle. Ian is leaving this week for Paris to be part of Tennis Channel’s coverage of the French Open. Ian shares stories of his work at the Open, his experience working this season broadcasting the Brooklyn Nets, plans for his return to the NFL with CBS, and his relationship with other graduates of Syracuse University.
Ken Fang of Fang’s Bites and I are riding solo for this week’s edition of Sports Media Weekly.
We begin the show looking at the announcement this week by CBS Sports and Turner Sports on the telecast responsibilities of each for the NCAA Men’s College Basketball Tournament through the year 2024. TBS will be televising games deeper in the tournament beginning next year while CBS has the national championship games in 2014 and 2015.
We then look at the move by Fox Sports to hire TSN Sportscentre star anchors Jay Onrait and Dan O’Toole as its anchors for its nightly highlight show Fox Sports Live which will debut on Fox Sports 1 when it launches on August 17th.
We discuss the solid viewership numbers posted by NBC for this past week’s Kentucky Derby and the news that Carrie Underwood will take over for Faith Hill as the musical lead-in to NBC’s Sunday Night Football beginning this fall.
Ken and I wrap-up the show by comparing our Sports Emmy picks with the results from last night’s award ceremony in New York.
PROGRAM NOTE- Ken and I will not be producing a program next week. The show will return on Wednesday, May 22nd.