ABC Sports

Sports Media Digest- April 9, 2013

NBA Basketball this Week on ESPN and ABC-  ESPN will have a NBA double header tomorrow night and will produce the NBA game Sunday on ABC.  Tomorrow at 8:00p.m. ET Mike Breen, Jon Barry and Doris Burke will call the Nets at Celtics.  At 10:30p.m. ET the Spurs take on the Nuggets with Dave Pasch and Hubie Brown on the call.    On Sunday at 1:00p.m. ET Breen, Burke and Jeff Van Gundy will call the Bulls at the Heat.

Baseball this Week on ESPN-  ESPN will have two Major League Baseball games this week.  Tomorrow night on ESPN2 at 7:00p.m. ET the Yankees take on the Indians with Dave O’Brien, Aaron Boone and MArk Mulder on the call.  ESPN’s Sunday Night Baseball returns with weekend as Dan Shulman, John Kruk, Orel Hershiser and Buster Olney call the Orioles at Yankees at 8:00p.m. ET.

Notre Dame Football Coach Brian Kelly Next SiriusXM Town Hall-  SiriusXM Radio has announced that its next Town Hall sports interview will feature Notre Dame head football coach Brian Kelly.  SiriusXM’s Notre Dame Town Hall with Brian Kelly will air on SiriusXM College Sports Nation, channel 91 Thursday, April 18th at 6:30p.m. ET. The Town Hall broadcast will be moderated by former Notre Dame football great Tim Brown.

Louisville Championship on the Cover of Sports Illustrated-  The Louisville Cardinals and their national championship is the focus of this week’s cover of Sports Illustrated:
SI 4-15-13

Sports Media Digest- April 1, 2013

CBS and Turner Continue Strong NCAA Tourney Numbers-  Despite the fact that three of the regional final games were blowouts, CBS and Turner are averaging 9.7 million viewers, up 11% over 2012 and the highest in 19 years.  The average rating is 6.3, up 9% from last year.  Sunday’s regional final games had an average audience of 12.8 million viewers, up 31% over 2012.

NBA Double Headers on TNT Tuesday and Thursday-  TNT will televise NBA double headers tomorrow and Thursday.  Tomorrow at 8:00p.m. ET the Knicks take on the Heat with Kevin Calabro, Greg Anthony and David Aldredge on the call.  At 10:30p.m. ET Kevin Harlan, Reggie Miller, Chris Webber and Craig Sager have the call of the Mavericks and Lakers.  Thursday at 7:00p.m. ET The Bulls take on the Nets with Marv Albert, Mike Fratello and Nischelle Turner.  At 9:30p.m. ET Harlan, Miller and Sager return as the Spurs travel to the Thunder.

NBA Action on ESPN-  ESPN will televise four NBA games this week.  Wednesday at 7:00p.m. ET the Knicks take on the Hawks with Dave Pasch and Jon Barry on the call.  ESPN has a double header Friday with the opener at 8:00p.m. ET as the Bobcats host the Heat with Mark Jones and Hubie Brown.. At 10:30p.m. ET the Rockets take on the Trailblazers with Dave Pasch and Flip Saunders at the mic.  The Heat are back on the air Saturday as they take on the 76ers in Philadelphia with Jones and Barry on site.

ABC NBA Double Header Sunday-  ABC will televise another double header as part of its Sunday Showcase this weekend.  The opener tips-off at 1:00p.m. ET as the Knicks take on the Thunder with Mike Tirico, Hubie Brown, and Heather Cox on the call.  At 3:30p.m. ET Mike Breen and Jeff Van Gundy will broadcast the Clippers and the Lakers.

Sports Media Digest- March 12, 2013

USA-Canada WBC Telecast Most-Watched Non-Playoff Game Ever on MLB Network- The MLB Network reports that Sunday’s USA-Canada World Baseball Classic game earned an average audience of 726,000 viewers, making the most-watched non-postseason game ever on the channel.  All WBC games last Friday through Sunday drew an average of 252,000 viewers, the most-watched weekend in the network’s history.

Fox Sports/ECAC Lacrosse Reach Deal-  Fox Sports has reached a deal with the ECAC Conference to telecast conference Lacrosse matches.  The deal begins this season as the Fox Sports Networks will televise the ECAC Lacrosse semifinals on Thursday, May 2nd (5:00 PM ET and 8:00 PM ET) and finals on Saturday, May 4th (4:00 PM ET) live from Hobart College.  The games will also be available on FUEL TV and FOX College Sports.  Beginning in 2014 the ECAC Lacrosse tournament will air on Fox Sports 1.

Pro Bowlers Association and CBS Sports Network Sign Multi-Year Deal-  The CBS Sports Network will be the new home for the Professional Bowlers Association Tour (PBA).  The deal begins this summer,  with five two-hour telecasts from four PBA Summer Swing events, and concludes with a GEICO PBA Summer King of the Swing special event featuring the top five competition points leaders from the Summer Swing events.

NBA on TNT-  TNT will have another NBA double header this Thursday.  The opener begins at 8:00p.m. ET as the Dallas Mavericks take on the San Antonio Spurs.  Ian Eagle, Mike Fratello and David Aldridge are on the call.  At 10:30p.m. ET Kevin Harlan, Chris Webber and Craig Sager will call the New York Knicks at Portland Trail Blazers.

ABC has Single NBA Game This Sunday-  Only one NBA game is on tap this Sunday as part of ABC’s NBA Sunday Showcase.  The Knicks will take on the Clippers beginning at 3:30p.m. ET with Mike Breen, Jeff Van Gundy and Lisa Salters on site.

Blackhawks on SI Cover-  The sterling start to the NHL season by the Chicago Blackhawks has placed them on this week’s cover of Sports Illustrated:
SI Cover 3-18-13

Sports Media Digest- February 26, 2013

Final Ratings Show Daytona 500 Most Watched Since 2008-  Fox Sports today released the final viewership numbers for Sunday’s Daytona 500.  The final rating came in at 9.9 with an average audience of 16.7 million viewers, the best since 2008.  The final rating was 24% and the audience up 22% from last year.

Rich Eisen to Host Combine Special-  The NFL Network announced today that it will produce a special around the NFL combine.  Rich Eisen will host The Rich Eisen Combine Special tomorrow night at 9:30p.m. ET.  The program will look back at this week’s combine as well as a  review of Ed Reed’s red carpet performance for the network at the Oscars.

NBA Action Sunday in ABC and ESPN-  ABC Sports will have a NBA double header Sunday afternoon while ESPN has NBA action Sunday Night.  Coverage in ABC begins at 1:00p.m. ET as Mike Breen, Jeff Van Gundy and Lisa Salters call the Heat at the Knicks.  At 3:30p.m. ET Mike Tirico, Hubie Brown and Heather Cox have the call as the Thunder take on the Clippers.  At 8:00p.m. ET Dave Pasch and Doris Burke will be on site as the Bulls take on the Pacers.

College Hoops Double Header Tomorrow on CBS Sports Network-  The CBS Sports Network will televise a college basketball double header tomorrow night.  AT 8:00p.m. ET St. Josephs will take on St. Louis with Brad Johansen and Steve Wolf on the call.  At 10:00p.m. ET San Diego State takes on New Mexico with Dave Ryan, Steve Lappas and Doug Gottlieb.

NASCAR Nationwide Series This Weekend on ESPN-  Following the season opener at Daytona, ESPN has coverage of the next stop in the NASCAR Nationwide Series this weekend from Phoenix.  Action gets underway Saturday at 4:00p.m. on ESPN2 with  Allen Bestwick,  Dale Jarrett and Andy Petree in the booth; Dave Burns, Jamie Little, Dr. Jerry Punch and Vince Welch in the pits; and Nicole Briscoe, Rusty Wallace, Ricky Craven and  Brad Daugherty handling pre and post race duties.

Sports Media Digest- February 5, 2013

Johnson to Call Soccer for Fox Sports-  Fox Sports announced today that Gus Johnson will call his first soccer match for the network tomorrow.  Johnson will have the play-by-play for the UEFA Champions League Round of 16 match between Real Madrid and Manchester United at 2:00 PM ET.  Johnson is being groomed to call the FA Cup and UEFA Champions League Finals, May 11 and 25, respectively, on Fox.  Johnson has experience broadcasting soccer, working MLS games on radio.

Vitale to Work Final Four Games for ESPN International-  ESPN announced today that, for the first time, Dick Vitale will broadcast NCAA Final Four games.  Vitale will work with Brad Nessler on ESPN’s coverage of one National Semi-Finals and Finals on ESPN International.  Jay Bilas will be alongside Nessler for the other National Semi-Final game.  The telecasts will reach sports fans in 150 countries and territories across 35 television and broadcast networks outside the United States.

ESPN to Add Additional Half-Hour of First Take Afternoons For a Month-  Whether it’s an experiment or the forshadowing of things to come, ESPN announced today it will produce an additional live, half-hour of First Take to air afternoons on ESPN.  The new program will debut this Thursday at 3:30p.m. ET and feature host Cari Champion and  commentators Skip Bayless and Stephen A. Smith.  For the time being the program will air weekdays until March 8th.

TNT NBA Double Header Thursday-  Here is a look at this Thursday’s NBA double header on TNT:  Action begins at 8:00p.m. ET as the Lakers take on the Celtics with Marv Albert, Steve Kerr, and Craig Sager on the call.  The nightcap at 10:30p.m. ET will feature the Bulls at Nuggets with Kevin Harlan, Reggie Miller, and Marty Snider.

Tirico To Pull Double Duty ESPN/ABC NBA Coverage Sunday-  ABC and ESPN will televise three NBA games this Sunday, with Mike Tirico and leading the play-by-play for two of them.  The opener is at 1:00p.m. ET as Tirico will be joined by Hubie Brown and Heather Cox as the Knicks host the Clippers on ABC.  At 3:30p.m. ET ABC will telecast the Lakers at HEat with Mike Breen, Jeff Van Gundy, and Lisa Salters.  At 8:00p.m. ET over on ESPN Tirico will be joined by Jon Barry as ESPN provides coverage of the Spurs at Nets.

The Making of SI Swimsuit Issue to Air on Travel Channel-  Sports Illustrated and the Travel Channel have announced that the network will air a one hour behind-the-scenes look at the making of this year’s Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue.  Sports Illustrated®: The Making of Swimsuit ’13 – 7 Continents, 17 Wonders, premieres Sunday, February 17 at 8:00 p.m. ET/PT.

CBS Sports Network College Hoops Through Thursday-  The CBS Sports Network will four college basketball games between now and Thursday night.  Tonight will feature a women’s game: at 7:00p.m. ET Notre Dame takes on Villanova with Brent Stover and Debbie Antonelli on the call.  CBSSN will air two men’s games  tomorrow night, beginning at 8:00p.m. ET as St. Louis takes on Fordham with Tom McCarthy and Steve Wolf;  followed at 10:00p.m. ET with Ted Robinson, Steve Lapas, and Lauren Garnder calling Colorado State at Nevada.  John Sadak and Julianne Viani will be courtside Thursday at 9:00p.m. ET for another women’s match-up as UMass takes on St. Louis.

SI Super Bowl Recap Cover-  Here is the cover of Sports Illustrated this week looking back at Super Bowl XLVII:

SI Cover 2-11-13

Sports Media Digest- December 26, 2012

ESPN/ABC See Strong NBA Numbers for Christmas-  ESPN announced today that its five game NBA slate on ESPN and ABC yesterday earned strong ratings numbers.  The opener on ESPN between the Celtics and Nets earned a 2.7 overnight rating, the same number as the early game in 2011. The Knicks/Lakers telecast on ABC, had an overnight rating of 5.9, up 11% from the same game last year.  The Thunder/Heat on ABC generated a 6.0 overnight rating, making it the fourth highest-rated NBA regular-season game ever on the network. Game four on ESPN, the Rockets and Bulls drew a 1.7 rating, up 21% over 2010.  The finale last night, the Nuggets at Clippers earned a 2.0 rating, up 54% over 2010.

Rotoworld Reaches One Billion Page Views-  NBC announced today that its online fantasy sports website, Rotoworld, surpassed one billion page views for the year on Saturday.  Rotoworld’s page views are up 25% over last year.

Sports Illustrated Cover this Week-  This week’s Sports Illustrated looks back at the best of 2012.  Here is the cover:

SI 12-31-12

ABC/ESPN has NBA Action on Christmas Day

NBA action is now tradition on Christmas Day and ESPN and ABC will televise five games this holiday.

Here is the complete schedule, along with announcer assignments on both television and radio:

Time (ET) Game Commentators Network(s)
12 p.m. NBA Christmas Special Presented by State Farm

Boston Celtics at Brooklyn Nets

ESPN: Mark Jones, Doris Burke, Chris Broussard

ESPN Deportes: Alvaro Martin, Carlos Morales

ESPN, ESPN Deportes, WatchESPN
2:30 p.m. KIA NBA Countdown Magic Johnson, Bill Simmons, Jalen Rose, Michael Wilbon ABC
3 p.m.

(ESPN Radio at 2 p.m.)

NBA Christmas Special Presented by State Farm

New York Knicks at L.A. Lakers

ABC: Mike Breen, Jeff Van Gundy, Heather Cox

ESPN Radio: Dave Flemming, Will Perdue

ESPN Deportes: Ricardo Ortiz, Manu Martin

ABC, ESPN Radio, ESPN Deportes
5:30 p.m. NBA Christmas Special Presented by State Farm

Oklahoma City Thunder at Miami Heat

ABC: Mike Tirico, Hubie Brown, Lisa Salters

ESPN Radio: Kevin Calabro, Dr. Jack Ramsay

ESPN Deportes: Alvaro Martin, Carlos Morales

ABC, ESPN Radio, ESPN Deportes
8 p.m. NBA Christmas Special Presented by State Farm

Houston Rockets at Chicago Bulls

ESPN: Dave Pasch, Jon Barry

ESPN Deportes: Ricardo Ortiz, Manu Martin

ESPN, ESPN Deportes, WatchESPN
10:30 p.m. NBA Christmas Special Presented by State Farm

Denver Nuggets at L.A. Clippers

ESPN: Mike Breen, Jeff Van Gundy, Heather Cox ESPN, WatchES
SMWeekly127

Sports Media Weekly No. 127- Jen Royle, Sports Reel Boston

Ken Fang of Fang’s Bites and I have recovered from our Thanksgiving hangovers and are raring to go with another version of Sports Media Weekly.

We begin the show looking at the college football scene, specifically ESPN’s agreement to televise the college football playoff championships when the series begins in January of 2015.

We stay with college football examining the impact Notre Dame’s undefeated season has had for ESPN and NBC in terms of increased ratings and the prospects for ESPN when the Irish play in the BCS National Championship game on January 7th.

Ken and I also look back at the success of the NFL on Thanksgiving, with the Redskins/Cowboys match-up being the most-watched television program thus far this fall.

We shift to sports radio and the announcement this week that Dana Jabobson, Tiki Barber, and Brandon Tierney have been tapped to host CBS Sports Radio’s morning show when the network launches on January 2nd.

We end our news segment by taking a look at the growth of original talk show programming mornings on sports networks.  The MLB Network, NFL Network, Golf Channel, and NBC Sports Network have all added morning shows during the past year.

Our guest this week is Jen Royle, former sports reporter in New York and Baltimore who has moved back home to Boston.  Jen talks about her new website, Sports Reel Boston, which launches at midnight tomorrow night.  Jen discusses about how the site will focus primarily on baseball and the Red Sox.  She describes how she’s been able to assemble a good roster of talent to write for the site, and how successful she’s been in getting the support she needs to launch this new venture.


Sports Media Digest- November 28, 2012

Notre Dame/USC Most-Watched College Football Game in Six Years-  ESPN reports that last Saturday’s Notre Dame/USC college football match-up was the most-watched game of the season and the most-watched since 2006.  The game averaged 16 million viewers and a rating of 9.4, making it the most-watched Saturday night game on ABC ever and the most watched Notre Dame game since 1991.

Sunday Night Football Highest Primetime Rated Program of the Week- Once again Sunday Night Football (SNF) on NBC was the highest rated primetime program on network television for the past week.  The game was tops in adults, men and women 18-34, 18-49 and 25-54, total viewers, households and teens 12-17.  Through 12 weeks SNF has an average rating of 12.5 and 20.8 million viewers, two percent below 2011 (12.8, 21.2 million) and 2010 (12.8, 21.3 million).

NBC To Produce Notre Dame Special-  Off the heels of Notre Dame’s undefeated regular season, NBC Sports is producing a special looking back at the Fighting Irish’s season.  Undefeated: 2012 Notre Dame Football Season in Review, hosted by Liam McHugh will air Saturday, December 22 at 2 p.m. ET on NBC.

MLS Games on NBCSN Gives Network Viewership Boost-  The recently completed Major League Soccer (MLS) season on its new home on the NBC Sports Network (NBCSN) saw viewership 122% compared to the 2011 regular season of Fox Soccer Channel (151,000 average viewers vs. 68,000). Viewership was also up among male demos with Men 18-34 up 63% and Men 18-49 up 50%. Over the 41 total games (3 on NBC and 38 on NBCSN) 13.2 million total viewers tuned in, nearly five times Fox Soccer’s total audience for the 2011 season (2.7 million).

MLB Network Coverage at Baseball’s Winter Meetings-  The MLB Network is planning 25 hours of coverage next week of Baseball’s Winter Meetings in Nashville.  Each morning next Monday through Thursday Matt Vasgersian and Harold Reynolds  will host  Hot Stove beginning at 9:00 a.m. ET.  MLB Tonight will air each night from 3:00 p.m. ET and 6:00 p.m. ET with Greg Amsinger, Brian Kenny and Matt Yallof, analysts Larry Bowa, Peter Gammons, Dan Plesac and Reynolds, and insiders Jon Heyman, Ken Rosenthal and Tom Verducci.  On-site episodes of Intentional Talk, hosted by Kevin Millar and Chris Rose will air live at 5:00 p.m. ET from Monday through Wednesday.

Next ESPN 30 for 30 Short on Grantland Features The Arnold Palmer- The next 30 for 30 short is not available on Grantland.com looks at the history of The Arnold Palmer…not the golfer, but the drink he helped create.  You can see the short here.

Sports Illustrated Cover for This Week-  Here is the cover of this week’s edition of Sports Illustrated:

ESPN the Magazine Cover for This Week- Here is the cover of the next edition of ESPN the Magazine:

ESPN CFB Feature

ESPN Unveils College Football Announcing Teams

ESPN today released its list of announcer teams for the upcoming college football season.

The lead team will still consist of Brent Musburger and Kirk Herstreit on ABC Saturday Night Football.  Brad Nessler, Todd Blackledge and Holly Rowe will continue to work the Saturday ESPN College Football Primetime telecast.

Here are the changes and additions to this year’s crews (from ESPN PR):

  • Three new commentator teams will call ABC Saturday afternoon broadcasts:
  • Chris Spielman, an analyst on ESPN’s Saturday noon telecast, will pair up with Sean McDonough and reporter Quint Kessenich this season. Spielman and McDonough previously worked together on Saturday and Friday games from 2006-08.
  • Ed Cunningham, a Saturday afternoon game analyst for four years before taking on ESPN2’s Saturday night game last year, will work with Mike Patrick and reporter Jeannine Edwards.
  • Danny Kanell will move from an ESPNU night game to work with announcer Bob Wischusen, who returns to the ABC Saturday afternoon game, and new reporter Maria Taylor.
  • ESPN’s Thursday and Friday night games will also have familiar faces in new roles:
  • Analyst David Pollack and reporter Samantha Steele will join returning announcer Rece Davis and analyst Jesse Palmer on ESPN’s Thursday night game.
  • Carter Blackburn will move from Saturday games to call the weekly Friday series with returning analyst Rod Gilmoreand new sideline reporter Jemele Hill. Hill has been an ESPN.com national columnist where she has also appeared on ESPN television programs since 2006.
  • Joe Tessitore and Matt Millen will serve as the announcers for a new package of additional Saturday night games, primarily on ESPN. Shannon Spake or Shelley Smith will report from the sidelines. Tessitore previously worked Friday night games with Rod Gilmore while Matt Millen was the analyst on Saturday afternoon ABC games with Sean McDonough.
  • Each of the ESPN, ESPN2 and ESPNU Saturday noon telecasts will include new pairings:
  • Brian Griese and reporter Jenn Brown will join returning commentator Dave Pasch on ESPN’s noon game. Last year, Griese was the analyst on the ESPNU Saturday night telecast and Brown was the reporter on the Thursday ESPN College Football Primetime series.
  • New analyst Joey Galloway, a former Ohio State and NFL veteran wide receiver, will call ESPN2’s weekly noon series with returning commentator Beth Mowins.
  • The new announce team of Tom Hart and analyst John Congemi will work the ESPNU noon telecast. Congemi previously called ESPN Regional Television’s BIG EAST Network games and Hart is new to ESPN.
  • ESPN2 and ESPNU Saturday night telecasts will include analysts in new roles:
  • Brock Huard, who worked select ESPN and ABC Saturday games last season, will pair up with Mark Jones on a weekly ESPN2 prime-time game.
  • Matt Stinchcomb, an ESPNU studio analyst last year, will move to the ESPNU prime-time game with Clay Matvick and reporter Allison Williams.

Here is the list of announcer pairings for the 2012 college football season on the networks of ESPN and ABC:

Game Telecast Play-by-play Analyst Reporter
Saturday Night Football (on ABC) Brent Musburger Kirk Herbstreit TBA
ESPN College Football Primetime (Saturday) Brad Nessler Todd Blackledge Holly Rowe
ESPN Saturday Prime Time Joe Tessitore Matt Millen Jessica Mendoza, Shelley Smith or Shannon Spake
ESPN2 College Football Primetime (Saturday) Mark Jones Brock Huard Jessica Mendoza or Shelley Smith
ESPNU Saturday Prime Time Clay Matvick Matt Stinchcomb Allison Williams
ESPN College Football Primetime (Thursday) Rece Davis Jesse Palmer and David Pollack Samantha Steele
ESPN and ESPN2 Friday Carter Blackburn Rod Gilmore Jemele Hill
ABC Saturday Afternoon Sean McDonough Chris Spielman Quint Kessenich
ABC Saturday Afternoon Mike Patrick Ed Cunningham Jeannine Edwards
ABC Saturday Afternoon Bob Wischusen Danny Kanell Maria Taylor
ESPN College Football (Saturday afternoon) Dave Pasch Brian Griese Jenn Brown
ESPN2 College Football (Saturday afternoon) Beth Mowins Joey Galloway
ESPNU Saturday Afternoon Tom Hart John Congemi
ESPNU Saturday Afternoon Anish Shrof Dan Hawkins
ESPNU Thursday (HBCU) Joe Davis Jay Walker  
ESPNU Late Saturday (HBCU) Joe Davis Jay Walker
ESPN Radio Bill Rosinski David Norrie Joe Schad
SEC Network (ESPN Regional Television syndicated games) Dave Neal Andre Ware Cara Capuano
BIG EAST Network (ESPN Regional Television syndicated games) Eamon McAnaney David Diaz-Infante Paul Carcaterra