Podcasts

SMWeekly163

Sports Media Weekly No. 163- Mike McCarthy, Ad Age & Tracy Wolfson, CBS Sports

We have a full agenda for this weeks Sports Media Weekly  program.

Joining Ken Fang of Fang’s Bites and me for our news segment is sports business reporter Mike McCarthy of Ad Age.

We begin the show with news from the NFL, which saw a total of 108 million viewers watch action from week one, the largest combined audience to watch the first week of the regular season ever.

We follow by looking at some of the new NFL Sunday pre-game shows and how, despite the rising number of these programs, viewers never seem to get enough of the NFL.

Next we bring up the news that Peter King of SI and Bill Simmons of ESPN will no longer refer to the Washington NFL football team as the Redskins, joining those who feel the name is offensive to the Native American community.  We discuss how, and who, could tip the scales in forcing the NFL and Redskins owner Daniel Snyder to change the team’s name.

With Time Warner and CBS resolving their issues over carriage fees just before the beginning of the NFL season, we hypothesize whether the NFL will be a factor as ESPN and the Dish Network head toward their contract expiring on September 30th.

We move to baseball and the impact the Yankees, and the suspension-appealing Alex Rodriquez, will have on the buzz around this post-season if they are able to secure one of the two American league Wild Card spots.

We conclude the news segment looking at the investigative report by Sports Illustrated on the Oklahoma State football program and whether these pieces ever have legs in exposing broader problems in the college ranks.

In the second half of the show Ken talks with CBS Sports reporter Tracy Wolfson.  Tracy will be working perhaps the two top football games of the week; the SEC match-up between Alabama and Texas A&M and the Manning Bowl featuring Peyton and Eli Sunday in New York.

SMWeekly162

Sports Media Weekly No. 162- Matt Yoder, Awful Announcing & James Andrew Miller, Author

After a week away Ken Fang of Fang’s Bites and I co-host a split version of Sports Media Weekly.

I take the reigns at the beginning of the show for our news segment which this week features Matt Yoder of Awful Announcing.

Matt and I preview the upcoming NFL season and the glut of studio programs across multiple sports networks.

We look back at the debut of Olbermann on ESPN2 and how Keith is making a compelling effort to divert viewers from the traditional late-night sports highlight shows.

We move onto the practice of ESPN and others to either fabricate stories to boost viewership, or in the case of Mark May and Skip Bayless, make-up facts about the Notre Dame/Michigan rivalry that do not exist.

Matt and I wrap up the segment looking at the New York sports media’s disdain for Jets coach Rex Ryan and the slow ratings start for Fox Sports 1

Ken takes over the second half of the show by interviewing author James Andrew Miller.  The pair discuss the movements at ESPN, including the behind-the-scenes re-acquisition of Olbermann.

SMWeekly161

Sports Media Weekly No. 161- Ed Sherman, The Sherman Report & ESPN Media Day Interviews

We have multiple guests on this week’s edition of Sports Media Weekly.

Joining Ken Fang of Fang’s Bites and me for our news segment is Ed Sherman of the Sherman Report.

Our top story of the week is still evolving as it was announced late today that ESPN is backing our of its partnership with PBS’ Frontline show in producing an investigative documentary on concussions in the NFL.  ESPN claims the move is over a lack of editorial control on the project.  We speculate that there must have been a major disagreement between the parties.  We will follow the story as it progresses.

We then look at last Saturday’s launch of Fox Sports 1.  The three of us agree that as much as people want to send out flash judgments of what they’ve seen over the first five days on the air, it’s better to judge the success of the network over the long haul.

We wrap-up the news segment by reviewing my trip yesterday to ESPN as part of the network’s Media Day.  We discuss the state of ESPN, particularly through the words of ESPN President John Skipper, who held an hour-long Q&A session with reporters over lunch.

The day at ESPN also included panels on college football, the NFL, and a look at ESPN’s new digital studio, which will host SportsCenter beginning next year.

The second half of the show features my interviews with four members of ESPN:

  • SVP of Programming, College Sports Burke Magnus on the upcoming college football season
  • SVP of Content, Digital and Print Media Rob King on the network’s online properties
  • NFL Live host Trey Wingo
  • SportsCenter anchor Steve Levy who is celebrating his 20th year at the network

PROGRAMMING NOTE-  There will no Sports Media Weekly program next week.  Ken and I will return after Labor Day.

ESPN Skipper

The State of ESPN with President John Skipper

ESPN held its media today at the Bristol campus.  I was fortunate enough to attend and will be posting interviews over the next day or so.

One of the highlights of the day was a lunch-time Q&A session by ESPN President John Skipper.  Skipper took questions from the assembled media for over an hour and touched upon a number of topics…from the competition from Fox Sports 1, to the re-hiring of Keith Olbermann and Jason Whitlock, to the escalation of rights fees, and to the likelihood of live sports content migrating exclusively online.

Instead of picking out the highlights of Skipper’s comments I thought it best to post his entire Q&A session as a podcast.   The podcast is a long listen at over an hour, but gives us a good look at the state of ESPN.

SMWeekly160

Sports Media Weekly No. 160- Ken Schott, Schenectady Daily Gazette, David Wanger, Fox Sports & David Berson, CBS Sports

We have another jam-packed version of Sports Media Weekly this week.

Joining Ken Fang of Fang’s Bites and me for our news segment is Ken Schott, TV-Radio Columnist for the Schenectady Daily Gazette.

We begin the show looking at the upcoming launch this Saturday of Fox Sports 1.  We all give our opinion as to what we can expect from the new sports network as well as looking at the prospect of Fox Sports 1 reaching its goal of launching in 90 million homes with the news that Time Warner Cable, DirecTV and Dish Network have signed carriage agreements today with Fox.

We follow last week’s news of Fox securing the rights to USGA events by discussing the report that Fox is looking to tap Greg Norman as the network’s lead analyst when it begins coverage of USGA events in 2015.

We move on to the world of NBC Sports as we look forward to the network’s coverage of the English Premier League.  The new season begins Saturday with NBC televising all league games across a myriad of networks.

We then look at the breaking news from The Big Lead that Jason Whitlock will soon be returning to ESPN in a multi-platform role.  Another case of a former disgruntled ESPN employee coming back home.

We conclude our news segment looking at how a local New York capital region sports talk show host got swindled by an impostor posing as former Yankee and current minor league coach Shane Spencer.

Ken had the opportunity this week to speak with two sports network executives.  Ken first talks with Bill Wanger, Senior Vice President of Programming and Research at Fox Sports.  The two discuss the launch this Saturday of Fox Sports 1.

Ken then speaks with David Berson, President of CBS Sports.  Among the topics Ken and David touch upon is how the CBS Sports Network plans to compete with ESPN, NBC Sports Network and Fox Sports 1.

SMWeekly159

Sports Media Weekly No. 159- Brian Berger, Sports Business Radio

We have a shortened version of Sports Media Weekly this week, but it is jam-packed with news.

Joining Ken Fang of Fang’s Bites and me for the show is Brian Berger, host of Sports Business Radio.

The blockbuster story of the week came yesterday when Fox Sports won the rights to telecast USGA events under a 12-year deal which begins in 2015.  NBC has had the rights for the USGA since 1995.  In our discussion we speculate whether Fox paid too much for the rights (reported at $100 million) and how NBC will fare after 2014 when it will no longer be covering any of golf’s major tournaments.  We also speculate as to how Fox will cover the sport, as the network has no track record of televising golf events.

Next we move to how the CBS/Time Warner Cable impasse is impacting the coverage of sports.  We then look ahead one month when another carriage deal is up for renewal, ESPN’s contract with Dish Network.  We all agree that the only losers in these fights are the consumers.

We wrap the show looking at the release of the NBA schedule this week and its impact on ESPN, TNT and NBA TV…and Keith Olbermann’s return to ESPN’s SportsCenter tonight to provide what’s called a “special essay” on Alex Rodriguez.

SMWeekly158

Sports Media Weekly No. 158- Chad Finn, The Boston Globe & Peter King, Sports Illustrated

Ken Fang of Fang’s Bites and I are back for another edition of Sports Media Weekly.

We are joined for our news segment this week by Chad Finn, sports media columnist for The Boston Globe.

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’s Peter King.  Ken talks to King about what it took to pull together his new NFL website on SI, MMQB.