espnW

ESPN Nine for XI Feature

ESPN Films and espnW to Collaborate on Women’s Documentary Series

Based on the success of its 30 for 30 documentary series, ESPN announced today that ESPN Films will work in conjunction with espnW to produce Nine for IX, a documentary series focused on captivating stories of women in sports told through the lens of female filmmakers.

The films will debut July 2 on ESPN and the films will air over consecutive Tuesday evenings at 8pm ET. Robin Roberts and Jane Rosenthal are serving as executive producers.

“ESPN Films is always looking to advance sports storytelling by working with the most dynamic voices and Nine for IX gives us a terrific opportunity to highlight women’s sports stories through the eyes of an incredible collection of directors,” said Connor Schell, vice president of ESPN Films.  “We are confident that fans of 30 for 30 will enjoy these creative, story-driven documentaries from an impressive roster of Oscar-nominated, and Emmy/Peabody-Award winning female filmmakers.”

“espnW is a voice for the woman who loves sports and, as we continue to grow, we are developing new and powerful ways to engage women with compelling stories that live across ESPN’s multimedia platforms,” said Laura Gentile, vice president of espnW.  “Through Nine for IX and the expanded content on espnW.com, we are spotlighting the athletes, coaches and teams that have defined women’s sports for a generation.”

From ESPN PR, here is the list of projects which will be part of the series:

Venus Vs. (Ava DuVernay)

Everyone knows about the swing.  Everyone knows about the swagger.  But what most Americans don’t know about Venus Williams is how she changed the course of her sport.  In a stunning case that captured the attention of the European public beginning in 2005, Williams challenged the long-held practice of paying women tennis players less money than their male counterparts at the French Open and Wimbledon.  With a deep sense of obligation to the legacy of Billie Jean King, Williams lobbied Parliament, UNESCO and Fleet Street for financial parity.  Indeed, it was her poignant op-ed piece in The London Timesthat convinced many people that the tournament organizers at Wimbledon were “on the wrong side of history.”  The boys clubs at Roland Garros and Wimbledon finally relented in 2007.  In fact, it was at Wimbledon that year that Venus became the first women’s champion to earn as much as the men’s (Roger Federer).  So to her seven major championships, another victory can be added.

Pat XO (Lisa Lax and Nancy Stern / Produced by Robin Roberts)

On April 18, 2012, Pat Summit, the winningest coach in the history of the NCAA basketball, did the unimaginable and announced her resignation from the University of Tennessee.  On the very same day, her son Tyler was named assistant coach of the Marquette’s women’s basketball team, his first job out of college.  While the sports world reeled from the news of Pat’s early on-set Alzheimer’s, the coach and her son quietly set out to beat this challenge just as they had every other – with grace, humor and most of all, each other.  Pat XO tells the remarkable story of Pat Summit as it’s never been told before.  This raw, authentic portrait takes the camera from the filmmaker’s hands and places it into those who know her best.  With Tyler as the lead storyteller, moving recollections are shared by assistant coaches, players like Chamique Holdsclaw, Tamika Catchings and Michelle Marciniak, fellow coach Geno Auriemma, and such admirers as Peyton Manning and Kenny Chesney.  The archival footage and statistical records woven into the film provide their own insights into a woman who cared about winning, but also about elevating her players and her university.  If it’s possible to do justice to Pat Summitt, Pat XO does it.

The Diplomat (Jennifer Arnold and Senain Kheshgi)

At the height of the Cold War, Katarina Witt became one of East Germany’s most famous athletes. Trained in an ice rink that gave rise to socialist heroes, Witt dominated her field by winning six European skating titles, five world championships and back-to-back Olympic gold medals to become arguably the world’s best figure skater.  Known as “the most beautiful face of socialism” her success gave her a unique status in East Germany.  It also triggered constant surveillance by the Stasi, East Germany’s notorious secret police force. This film chronicles how Witt, one of the greatest skaters of all time, fought for her future in socialist East Germany, how she faced the great changes that occurred after the fall of The Berlin Wall and, ultimately, how she ended up both a beneficiary and victim of the East German regime.

Runner (Shola Lynch)

Mary Decker obliterated opponents and records with blazing speed and a starving hunger to win. She dominated her sport, holding U.S. records in every distance from 800 to 10,000 meters, and she did it all without the Olympics.  She was too young in ’72, hurt in ’76 and shut out by the U.S. boycott in ’80.  As Sports Illustrated’s cover “Sportswoman of the Year” in 1983, she was ready: 1984 was the target, with the Olympics in Los Angeles and her skills at their 25 year-old peak.  But the story leads to a single shocking moment in the 1984 Games, with Mary writhing on the ground in physical pain and emotional heartbreak, with the whole world watching.

No Limits (Alison Ellwood)

As a teenager, Audrey Mestre suffered from scoliosis, but in those formative years, she discovered a passion for the ocean.  It offered her a sense of freedom, and the burdens she faced on dry land soon dissipated as she slipped below the surface.  In the final stages of her PH.D., Mestre was drawn to Cabo San Lucas where she became infatuated with free-diver Pipin Ferreras, a Cuban defector whose dives had put him at the forefront of the sport.  The two became a couple and Mestre followed the elusive, often raucous Pipin on his almost spiritual quest to push his limits underwater.  Soon enough, Mestre moved from support team member to ardent free-diver and then to a world-class competitor who outshone her husband.  In 2002, after news arrived that a rival female diver named Tanya Streeter had successfully gone to a record-breaking 525 feet, Pipin began preparations for Mestre to make a 561-foot dive off the coast of the Canary Island.  Having completed practice dives even deeper in the weeks leading up to the record attempt, Mestre was prepared.  But because of a fateful decision before the dive, Mestre never resurfaced alive.

Branded (Heidi Ewing and Rachel Grady)

Anna Kournikova was never the greatest tennis player in the world.  In fact, she never rose higher than No. 8 on the WTA world singles rankings.  But her looks and willingness to capitalize on them made her the most famous tennis player on the planet and ultimately, a pioneer for fellow women athletes who understand that sometimes, sex sells.  Sports is supposed to be the ultimate level playing field, but in the media and on Madison Avenue sometimes looks matter more than accomplishments.  This film explores the double standard placed on women athletes to be the best players on the field and the sexiest off them.  Branded explores the question: can women’s sports ever gain an equal footing with their male counterparts or will sex always override achievement?

Let Them Wear Towels (Annie Sundberg and Ricki Stern)

Lisa Olson was just trying to do her job as a reporter for the Boston Herald in 1990 when a group of New England Patriot players sexually harassed her in their locker room by exposing their genitals and making lewd and vulgar comments.  Even though a subsequent NFL investigation concluded that Olson had been “degraded and humiliated,” the 25-year-old continued to be tormented by Patriot fans—so much so that she temporarily moved to Australia to resume her career.  In the meantime, the story touched off a national debate about the presence of female journalists in the male sanctum of the clubhouse.  That debate should have been settled 12 years earlier, when Melissa Ludtke of Sports Illustratedsuccessfully challenged Major League Baseball after she was kept out of the New York Yankees locker room.  Why had equal access for women reporters remained such a hot-button issue?  That question is asked in Let Them Wear Towels, a history and examination of females working in the man’s world of the locker room.  Through interviews with such pioneer women as Ludtke, Claire Smith, Lesley Visser and Jane Gross, you’ll hear stories of raw behavior and humorous retaliation, angry lawsuits and remarkable resolve.

Swoopes (Hannah Storm)

Sheryl Swoopes has famously been labeled as the female Michael Jordan.  Actually, she’s far more interesting.   On the court, she was nearly as dominant as Michael: a national championship with Texas Tech, three Olympic gold medals, three MVP awards and four consecutive championships with the Houston Comets of the WNBA, the league she helped start.  She even had a Nike shoe named after her, the Air Swoopes.  Off the court, she gave birth in the middle of her first WNBA championship season, divorced her high school sweetheart, and became the highest-profile athlete in her sport to declare she was gay.  She has struggled with love, family, money and lack of recognition, but she has never lost her spirit.  In this portrait, viewers will meet someone who’s not the everyday superstar, a woman who has defied a multitude of labels, including “old” – in August 2011, Swoopes, at 40, hit a buzzer-beater to end the Tulsa Shock’s 20-game losing streak.

The ‘99ers (Erin Leyden / Produced by Julie Foudy)

The world of women’s sports was kicked upside down on July 10, 1999.  Before a sold-out crowd of more than 90,000 at the Rose Bowl and an estimated 40 million Americans watching on television, the women’s soccer team reached a cultural and athletic pinnacle with its penalty-kick shoot-out victory over China to win the Women’s World Cup.  These players were more than the ponytailed poster girls celebrated by mainstream media.  As told through the voice of longtime team captain, Julie Foudy, viewers get an inside look at the strong team ethic and rare “do for each other” mentality that propelled them to victory that day and turned the team into a cultural touchstone.  With unprecedented access, the film uses candid, behind-the-scenes footage shot by the players themselves during the tournament to present a unique portrait of the women who irrevocably changed the face of women’s athletics.  Reuniting key players from the 1999 squad and talking with current U.S. players as well, the film examines how women’s soccer – and women’s sports as a whole – has changed since that epic day at the Rose Bowl.

 

Sports Media Digest- June 18, 2012

ABC/ESPN Continue to See Strong Ratings for NBA Finals-  Through three games of the NBA Finals, ABC Sports/ESPN are seeing the highest ratings for the games since 2004.  Thus far the three games have averaged a 11.3 rating, up 5% over 2011.  Last night’s Game three earned a 10.4 overnight rating, with Oklahoma City coming in at 41.9 and Miami at 29.6.  The final rating average for the three games was 9.7, up seven percent over a year ago.  Game Four is tomorrow night.

Costas Tonight Returns Wednesday on NBCSN-  The next edition of Costas Tonight will air Wednesday at 9:00p.m. Et on the NBC Sports Network (NBCSN).  Guests will include John McEnroe, Bill Maher, and L.A. Kings goalie Jonathan Quick.

David Stern to be Guest on CBS Sports Network’s One2One-  The CBS Sports Network will produce a 30-minute interview program featuring NBA Commissioner David Stern.  One2One: David Stern will air tomorrow night at 8:00p.m. ET. Ian Eagle will serve as host.

Cardinals/Tigers on Wednesday Night Baseball-  The week’s ESPn Wednesday Night Baseball will feature a rematch of the 2006 World Series as the Cardinals travel to Detroit to take on the Tigers.  Dave O’Brien, Nomar Garciaparra, and Pedro Gomez have the call on ESPN2 at 7:00p.m. ET.

espnW to Launch Digital Mosaic in Washington-  As part of the celebration of the 40th anniversary of the passage of Title IX, espnW will publicly unveil a digital mosaic featuring the largest-ever collection of women and girls’ sports images—all submitted by the athletes themselves at the Newseum in Washington, DC.  The unveiling will take place this Thrusday, June 21st, at 9:30 a.m. ET.

Fox Sports to Produce Two UFC Specials-  Fox Sports will produce two UFC specials, one in August and one in December, previewing bouts featuring fighters Mauricio “Shogun” Rua and Brandon “The Truth” Vera.  UFC’s Road to the Octagon, a one hour, in depth look at the fighters will air on Sunday July 29th (2:00-3:00 PM ET) and Sunday December 2nd (3:00-4:00 PM ET or 4:30-5:30 PM ET), days prior to their mnatches.

ESPN3 to Launch an espnW Channel

As part of the celebration of the 40th Anniversary of the passage of Title IX, ESPN will be launching a espnW channel as part of its offerings on ESPN3.  The launch, set for June 23rd, will carry 170 hours of live women’s events through July 31 via an ESPN3 player on espnW.com.

Here is the schedule:

Date Time (ET) Event Network(s)
Sat, Jun 23 10:00 a.m. AAU: Junior Girls National Volleyball Championships ESPN3
12:30 p.m. WNBA: Chicago Sky vs. Minnesota Lynx ESPN / ESPN3
1:00 p.m. National Pro Fastpitch: USSSA Pride vs. Carolina Diamonds ESPN3
1:30 p.m. AAU: Junior Girls National Volleyball Championships ESPN3
3:00 p.m. Honda Sports Awards ESPNU / ESPN3
3:30 p.m. AAU: Junior Girls National Volleyball Championships ESPN3
4:00 p.m. National Pro Fastpitch: USSSA Pride vs. Carolina Diamonds ESPN3
5:45 p.m. AAU: Junior Girls National Volleyball Championships ESPN3
7:00 p.m. USA Softball: Canada vs. USA ESPN / ESPN3
8:00 p.m. AAU: Junior Girls National Volleyball Championships ESPN3
9:00 p.m. WNBA: Los Angeles Sparks vs. Phoenix Mercury ESPN / ESPN3
Tue, Jun 26 11:00 a.m. AAU: Junior Girls National Volleyball Championships ESPN3
2:00 p.m. AAU: Junior Girls National Volleyball Championships ESPN3
4:30 p.m. AAU: Junior Girls National Volleyball Championships ESPN3
7:00 p.m. AAU: Junior Girls National Volleyball Championships ESPN3
7:00 p.m. WNBA: Seattle Storm vs. Washington Mystics ESPN2 / ESPN3
Wed, Jun 27 12:00 p.m. AAU: Junior Girls National Volleyball Championships ESPN3
3:00 p.m. AAU: Junior Girls National Volleyball Championships ESPN3
5:00 p.m. AAU: Junior Girls National Volleyball Championships ESPN3
7:00 p.m. AAU: Junior Girls National Volleyball Championships ESPN3
Thu, Jun 28 7:00 p.m. World Cup of Softball ESPN2 / ESPN3
9:00 p.m. X Games Los Angeles ESPN2 / ESPN3
Fri, Jun 29 4:00 p.m. X Games Los Angeles: Women’s Skate Street ESPN3
6:00 p.m. X Games Los Angeles: BMX Street ESPN3
7:00 p.m. World Cup of Softball ESPN / ESPN3
9:00 p.m. X Games Los Angeles ESPN / ESPN3
Sat, Jun 30 1:00 p.m. World Cup of Softball ESPN2 / ESPN3
3:00 p.m. X Games Los Angeles ESPN / ESPN3
4:00 p.m. X Games Los Angeles ESPN / ESPN3
5:00 p.m. X Games Los Angeles ESPN / ESPN3
6:00 p.m. X Games Los Angeles ESPN / ESPN3
7:00 p.m. World Cup of Softball ESPN / ESPN3
8:00 p.m. X Games Los Angeles: BMX Vert Final ESPN3
8:30 p.m. X Games Los Angeles: Women’s Motocross Racing (First 3 Heats) ESPN3
9:00 p.m. X Games Los Angeles ESPN / ESPN3
Sun, Jul 1 1:00 p.m. World Cup of Softball ESPN2 / ESPN3
3:00 p.m. X Games Los Angeles ESPN2 / ESPN3
5:00 p.m. X Games Los Angeles ESPN / ESPN3
9:00 p.m. X Games Los Angeles ESPN2 / ESPN3
Mon, Jul 2 9:00 p.m. World Cup of Softball: Championship ESPN2 / ESPN3
Tue, Jul 3 7:00 a.m. Wimbledon 2012 presented by IBM: Ladies Quarterfinals ESPN2 / ESPN3
8:00 a.m. Wimbledon 2012 presented by IBM: Ladies Quarterfinals ESPN / ESPN3
8:00 a.m. Wimbledon 2012 presented by IBM: Ladies Quarterfinals, Centre Court ESPN3
8:00 a.m. Wimbledon 2012 presented by IBM: Ladies Quarterfinals, Court 1 ESPN3
Wed, Jul 4 2:25 p.m. 2012 Nathan’s Hot Dog Eating Contest: Women’s Championship ESPN3
Thu, Jul 5 7:00 a.m. Wimbledon 2012 presented by IBM: Ladies Semifinals ESPN / ESPN3
8:00 a.m. Wimbledon 2012 presented by IBM: Ladies Semifinals, Centre Court ESPN3
4:00 p.m. U.S. Open: Women’s Golf Championship, First Round ESPN2 / ESPN3
Fri, Jul 6 4:00 p.m. U.S. Open: Women’s Golf Championship, Second Round ESPN2 / ESPN3
Sat, Jul 7 10:00 p.m. WNBA: Seattle Storm vs. Los Angeles Sparks ESPN2 / ESPN3
Sun, Jul 8 8:00 a.m. AAU: 8th Grade Division I High School Basketball Semifinal ESPN3
10:00 a.m. AAU: 8th Grade Division I High School Basketball Semifinal ESPN3
12:00 p.m. AAU: 8th Grade Division II High School Basketball Championship ESPN3
2:30 p.m. AAU: 8th Grade Division I High School Basketball Championship ESPN3
Tue, Jul 10 10:00 a.m. AAU: 11th Grade Showcase Silver High School Basketball Championship ESPN3
12:30 p.m. AAU: 8th Grade Showcase Gold High School Basketball Championship ESPN3
3:30 p.m. AAU: 9th Grade Division I High School Basketball Championship ESPN3
6:00 p.m. AAU: 10th Grade Showcase Gold High School Basketball Championship ESPN3
Wed, Jul 11 9:00 a.m. AAU: 11th Grade Showcase Gold High School Basketball Semifinal ESPN3
11:00 a.m. AAU: 11th Grade Showcase Gold High School Basketball Semifinal ESPN3
2:00 p.m. AAU: 11th Grade Showcase Gold High School Basketball Championship ESPN3
Thu, Jul 12 7:00 p.m. WNBA: Los Angeles Sparks vs. Indiana Fever ESPN2 / ESPN3
Sat, Jul 14 4:00 p.m. 2012 Emirates Airline U.S. Open Series: Bank of the West Classic, Semifinal #1 ESPN2 / ESPN3
10:00 p.m. 2012 Emirates Airline U.S. Open Series: Bank of the West Classic, Semifinal #2 ESPN2 / ESPN3
Sun, Jul 15 4:00 p.m. 2012 Emirates Airline U.S. Open Series: Bank of the West Classic, Final ESPN2 / ESPN3
6:00 p.m. AAU: 11th Grade Division I High School Basketball Championship ESPN3
Mon, Jul 16 5:30 p.m. USA Basketball: Brazil vs. USA ESPN2 / ESPN3
Wed, Jul 18 2:00 p.m. USA Basketball: USA vs. Great Britain ESPN3
Fri, Jul 20 11:00 p.m. 2012 Emirates Airline U.S. Open Series: Mercury Insurance Open, Quarterfinal #4 ESPN2 / ESPN3
Sat, Jul 21 11:00 p.m. 2012 Emirates Airline U.S. Open Series: Mercury Insurance Open, Semifinal #2 ESPN2 / ESPN3
Sun, Jul 22 5:00 p.m. 2012 Emirates Airline U.S. Open Series: Mercury Insurance Open, Final ESPN2 / ESPN3

Sports Media Digest- June 13, 2012

NBC Sports Reports a Successful Stanley Cup Playoffs-  NBC Sports reports that the 2012 Stanley Cup Playoffs, the first which all games were telecast nationally, NBC and NBC Sports Network combined to average 1.403 million viewers, up four percent vs. last year (1.355 million).  The NBC Sports Network alone averaged 1.030 million viewers, the highest audience for a single cable network since 2002 (ESPN; 1.295 million viewers).

SiriusSM Radio to Broadcast U.S. Open- SiriusXM Radio will have live coverage of the U.S. Open beginning tomorrow.  Live play-by-play, provided by ESPN Radio, will air Thursday and Friday (1:00 – 8:00 pm ET) on SiriusXM channel 85 and Saturday and Sunday (4:00 – 10:00 pm/conclusion ET) on SiriusXM channel 84.  Leading into the play-by-play, SiriusXM’s Matt Adams and Brian Katrek will host the U.S. Open Preview Show live from The Olympic Club (Thursday and Friday from 11:00 am to 1:00 pm ET; Saturday and Sunday from 1:00 to 4:00 pm ET).

SportsCenter and espnW to Unveil the Top 5 in the Top 40 Female Athletes-  ESPN’s SportsCenter and espnW will continue to count down the Top 40 Female Athletes of the past 40 years.  The top five will be revealed beginning next Monday during the 11:00 p.m. ET edition of SportsCenter.  Athletes to be profiled (in alphabetical order) are: Mia Hamm, Jackie Joyner-Kersee, Lisa Leslie, Martina Navratilova, and Annika Sorenstam.

E:60 and The Sporting Life with Jeremy Schaap will Murrow Awards-  ESPN has announced that the network has won two 2012 Edward R. Murrow Awards.  E:60 won the Outstanding Sports Reporting award in the Television Network category for “Angel in the Outfield”, the story of Christina-Taylor Green, a nine-year old Little League baseball player who was shot and killed in January, 2011, in Tucson, Arizona.  ESPN Radio’s The Sporting Life with Jeremy Schaap won the Audio Sports Reporting award in the Radio Network/Syndication Service category for the E:60 feature “Hero”, the story of boxer Francisco “Paco” Rodriguez, who died in Philadelphia in 2009 from injuries suffered in the ring.

NBCSN Has MLS on Sunday-  The NBC Sports Network (NBCSN) will feature the New York Red Bulls at the Chicago Fire on its MLS match of the week on Sunday.  Arlo White and Kyle Martino will call the game with Russ Thaler handling the pre-game, halftime and post-game segments.  Action begins Sunday at 5:00p.m. ET.

NBC Sports Group Signs Deal to Cover U.S. Pro Challenge Cycling-  The NBC Sports Group has reached a multi-year agreement to telecast the U.S. Pro Challenge, one of the largest cycling races in the world.  The deal, which lasts through 2014, will include 29 hours of race coverage over seven days beginning Monday, August 20. New for 2012, coverage on NBC has been extended to include two hours on Saturday, August 25 and Sunday, August 26, more than any other cycling domestic cycling event.  Phil Liggett and Paul Sherwen, the undisputed voices of cycling will be on site in Colorado to provide observations and insight for each day of NBC and NBC Sports Network’s coverage. Former cyclist Bob Roll will serve as the in-race reporter.

Sports Media Digest- June 7, 2012

Heat Celtics Game Six Tonight on ESPN-  The Boston Celtics can advance to the NBA Finals with a win tonight in Game Six of the Eastern Conference Finals.  ESPN has coverage beginning at 7:30p.m. ET with  Kia NBA Countdown with Magic Johnson, Jon Barry, Michael Wilbon and Chris Broussard.   Mike Breen, Jeff Van Gundy and Doris Burke have the call of the game at 8:30p.m..

TNT Sees Solid Ratings for Western Conference Finals-  The concluded six game NBA Western Conference Finals on TNT had an average rating of 5.0 and an average audience of 7.8 million viewers, up 16% and 13% respectively over coverage of the Western Conference Finals from 2011.  The Game Six finale last night had a rating of 6.0 and an audience of 9.4 million viewers up 30% and 16% from the network’s last Game Six of the conference finals in 2010.

French Open Championship Weekend on NBC-  NBC will begin its coverage of the championship rounds of the French Open beginning tomorrow.  From 11:00a.m. to 2:00p.m. ET tomorrow NBC will have live coverage of the Men’s Semifinals.   Coverage of the Women’s and Men’s Finals begin at 9:00a.m. ET Saturday and Sunday.  Ted Robinson anchors NBC’s coverage, joined by analysts John McEnroe and Mary Carillo.

SiriusXM Radio Has Live Coverage of Euro 2012-  SiriusXM Radio is the radio home of the 2012 UEFA European Football Championship.  SiriusXM will broadcast every match live, both in English and Spanish taking the feeds from ESPN Radio and ESPN Deportes Radio.  English-language broadcasts will air on Sirius channel 92 and XM channel 207.  When two matches are being played simultaneously, the second game will air on ESPN Xtra, SiriusXM channel 85. Listeners will get Spanish-language broadcasts of most matches.  Those games can be heard on ESPN Deportes Radio, SiriusXM channel 149. Coverage begins tomorrow.

SportsCenter and espnW to Continue its Look at the Top 40 Female Athletes-  ESPN’s SportsCenter and espnW will continue to count down the Top 40 Female Athletes of the past 40 years.  Next week #10 through 6 will be revealed beginning next Monday during the 11:00 p.m. ET edition of SportsCenter.  Athletes to be profiled (in alphabetical order) are: Bonnie Blair, Nadia Comaneci, Chris Evert, Steffi Graf, and Serena Williams.

NCAA Track and Field Championships on ESPNU-  This Saturday ESPNU will have live coverage of the 2012 NCAA Track and Field Championships.  ESPN3 will have six hours of live, exclusive coverage from Day 2 and 3: Today, June 7, beginning at 6:15 p.m. ET and Friday, June 8, beginning at 6:30 p.m. ET.

Sports Media Digest- May 31, 2012

Hines Ward Joins NBC Sports Stable of Analysts-  NBC Sports Group has announced that former Steelers wide receiver Hines Ward  has joined the company as a football analyst.  Ward will be a regular contributor on Football Night in America; serve as an analyst every Saturday on NBC’s and NBC Sports Network’s college football studio programming with Liam McHugh and Doug Flutie; and will regularly appear on NBC SportsTalk withMike Florio and Peter King to preview and recap the week in the NFL.

Hibbert to Join NBA TV GameTime Friday-  Indiana Pacers’ center Roy Hibbert will be p[art of the crew of NBA TV’s GameTime program tomorrow night.  Hibbert will join host Rick Kamla and analyst Steve Smith at 7:00p.m. ET as they preview the night’s NBA action.

ESPNU to Televise NBA Draft Combine-  Following in the footsteps of the NFL Network, ESPNU will be televising the activity at the NBA Draft Combine, to be held Jene 7th and 8th in Chicago.  The eight hours of coverage over will begin each day at 10:00a.m. ET. Ryen Russillo will host the two-day event with analysis from the network’s college and NBA experts. Analysts Fran Frascilla and Jay Williams will contribute their in-depth knowledge of each draftees college skill set, while Andy Katz reports from the court.

Neuheisel Joins SiriusXM Radio College Football Crew- Former college football coach Rick Neuheisel is joining the analyst crew at SiriusXM Radio.  Neuheisel will host multiple shows each week on SiriusXM College Sports Nation, channel 91.  He’ll make his debut Monday, June 4, on SiriusXM’s College Football Playbook (weekdays, 12:00 – 3:00 pm ET) with Jack Arute.  He can also be heard hosting SiriusXM’s College Sports Today (weekdays, 9:00 am – 12:00 pm ET) with Mark Packer.

Next Costas Tonight Set for Monday-The next edition of Costas Tonight will debut this Monday night following Game three of the Stanley Cup Finals on NBC Sports Network.  Guests scheduled to appear include New York Jets Head Coach Rex RyanNew York Rangers Coach John Tortorella and I’ll Have Another’s trainer Doug O’Neill.

CBS has Coverage of the Memorial Tournament this Weekend- CBS will have coverage Saturday and Sunday of the Memorial Tournament.  Jim Nantz, Sir Nick Faldo, Ian Baker-Finch, Gary McCord, David Feherty and Peter Kostis call the PGA action Saturday beginning at 3:00p.m. ET and Sunday at 2:30p.m. ET from Muirfield Village Golf Club in Dublin, Ohio.

SportsCenter and espnW to Continue its Look at the Top 40 Female Athletes-  ESPN’s SportsCenter and espnW will continue to count down the Top 40 Female Athletes of the past 40 years.  Next week #15 through 11 will be revealed beginning next Monday during the 10:00a.m. ET edition of SportsCenter.

U.S. Men’s Soccer Takes on Canada in “Friendly” on NBC Sports Network- The NBC Sports Network will provide live coverage of the next “friendly” featuring the U.S. Men’s Soccer team.  Arlo White, and Kyle Martino will call the action as the U.S. takes on Canada in Toronto. Russ Thaler will host the pre-game, halftime and post-game segments.  The match takes place Sunday at 7:00p.m. ET.

Episode Three of 24/7: Pacquiao/Bradley this Saturday-  HBO Sports will air the third episode of its 24/7 series previewing the championship fight involving Manny Pacquiao and Timothy Bradley, Jr. 24/7: Pacquiao/Bradley premieres Saturday at 9:45p.m. ET.

Sports Media Digest- May 23, 2012

ESPN Announce Analysts Assigned to Euro 2012-  ESPN has announced a slate of English and Spanish speaking analysts who will take part in the network’s coverage of the UEFA Euro 2012 soccer tournament. Steve McManaman will serve as lead English analyst with play-by-play man Ian Darke.  Robbie Mustoe will work alongside Adrian Healey while Taylor Twellman and Kasey Keller will work with Derek Rae.  On ESPN Deportes Herman Pereyra will be paired with Jorge Ramos.  Rafa Puente will work with veteran commentator Fernando Palomo.  Jose Antonio Noriega will be paired with Ricardo Ortiz.

ESPN3 Player Now Available on SECDigitalNetwork.com-  ESPN announced today that it has launched the ESPN3 player on the SEC’s official website. SECDigitalNetwork.com.  Fans will be able to access live SEC events from ESPN3 including this week’s SEC Baseball Tournament.

SportsCenter and espnW to Continue its Look at the Top 40 Female Athletes-  ESPN’s SportsCenter and espnW will continue to count down the Top 40 Female Athletes of the past 40 years.  Next week #20 through 16 will be revealed beginning next Monday during the 10:00a.m. ET edition of SportsCenter.

Shaqtin’ a Fool on NBA TV-  NBA TV will feature a special 30 minute edition of Shaqtin’ a Fool, the popular series of pieces produced on TNT’s Inside the NBA and NBA.com.  Hosted by Jared Greenberg with O’Neal and Dennis Scott, the show will highlight the best and most outrageous moments from players, fans, mascots, and coaches during the 2011-2012 NBA season.  The show will air Monday, May 28th at 7:00p.m. ET.

Three Soccer Matches This Weekend on NBCSN-  The NBC Sports Network (NBCSN) will be telecasting three soccer matches over the upcoming weekend.  The action starts Saturday afternoon at 2:30p.m. ET with coverage of MLS action between the Houston Dynamo and Los Angeles Galaxy.  NBCSN will then have coverage of the U.S. Men’s National Team as it takes on Scotland in a “freindly” beginning at 8:00p.m. ET Saturday.  MLS action returns on Sunday at 4:30p.m. ET with the San Jose Earthquakes at Sporting KC. Arlo White  and Kyle Martino  will call the U.S. Men’s National game in Jacksonville. Veteran soccer commentator JP Dellacamera  and former MLS player Brian Dunseth will call the MLS coverage with Ivan Carter.

NBC Has Red Bull Motocross-  NBC will air the next stop in the Red Bull Signature Motocross Series.  The Red Bull X-Fighters Glen Helen will air tghis Saturday at 2:00p.m. ET.  Sal Masekela will serve as host.

Sports Media Digest- April 30, 2012

NBC Continues to See High Ratings for Stanley Cup Playoffs-  NBC Sports reports that thie first two telecasts of the second round of the Stanley Cup Playoffs averaged a 1.7 overnight rating, the best for weekend coverage of the second round in eight years, and up six percent over last year.  Sunday’s Devils/Flyers match-up came in with a 1.9 rating while Saturday’s Capitals/Rangers game registered a 1.5 mark. The playoffs continue tonight with two games.  At 7:30p.m. on NBC Sports Network Rick Peckham and Eddie Olczyk have the call of game two between the Capitals and Rangers.  At 9:00p.m. ET on CNBC the Blues host the Kings with Dave Strader and Brian Engblom at the mic.

Record Viewership for the NFL Draft on NFL Network- The NFL Network (NFLN) reports that an average of 757,000 viewers tuned in to the three days of the NFL Draft, a record for the network and up 34% over 2011.  The NFL’s digital media platforms — including NFL.com, NFL Mobile Only From Verizon and other NFL mobile products — set a record with its three-day draft coverage as unique visitors jumped 46 percent compared to last year

Second Installment of Top 100 NFL Players of 2012 this Wednesday on NFLN-  The NFL Network will be counting down players 90-81 in its The Top 100: Players of 2012 series thie Wednesday at 8:00p.m. ET.  Following at 9:00p.m. ET host Lindsay Rhodes will be joined by Kurt Warner, Brian Billick, Warren Sapp and Solomon Wilcots on The Top 100: Players of 2012 – Reactions Presented by Buffalo Wild Wings to discuss and debate the latest group of players to be revealed.

SportsCenter to Unveil Top 40 Female Athletes of Past 40 Years-  As part of its celebration of the 40th anniversary of the passage of Title IX, ESPN SportsCenter will be providing profiles of the top 40 female athletes over the past 40 years.  In conjunction with espnW, SportsCenter will unveil a female athlete weekdays during the 10:00 a.m. ET edition of the show.  The top 10 will be uncovered during the 11:00p.m. ET SportsCenter beginning on June 11th.

UFC Returns to the Fox Networks-  UFC will be back on the networks of Fox this weekend.  Here is the schedule:
Thursday, May 3 2:00 PM ET- UFC on FOX Press Conference (FOXSports.com)
Friday, May 4 4:00 PM ET- UFC Weigh-In on FUEL TV (FUEL TV/FOXSports.com)
Saturday, May 5 5:00 PM ET- UFC Prelims on FUEL TV (FUEL TV/FOX Deportes)
Saturday, May 5 8:00PM ET-  UFC ON FOX: DIAZ VS. MILLER (FOX/FOX Deportes/FOX Sports Radio)
Saturday, May 5 10:00 PM ET- UFC Postfight Show on FUEL TV (FUEL TV)
Saturday, May 5 10:00 PM ET- UFC Postfight Show with MMA Expert Larry Pepe (FOX Sports Radio)

ESPN Plans to Cover the Women’s Final Four

ESPN has the exclusive television rights to telecast the NCAA Women’s Division I Basketball Championship. And it plans additional coverage at this weekend’s Final Four in Denver.

Game coverage will be led on the court by Dave O’Brien and Doirs Burke, with Holly Rowe and Rebecca Lobo working the sidelines.  Trey Wingo will host the pre-game, halftime, and post game shows with analysts Carolyn Peck and Kara Lawson.

ESPN will employ 21 cameras for the event at the Pepsi Center.  It will be incorporating innovations which has not been part of its women’s telecasts to date.  Among them are; virtual shot clocks on the court; super-slow-motion cameras, and a microphone on the lead referees for the semi final and final game.

ESPN.com and espnW.com will continue to have continuing coverage of the teams right through the end of the tournament.

Television coverage begins this Sunday at 6:00p.m. ET Here is the full schedule on ESPN, ESPNU, and ESPN3:

Date Time (ET) Telecast Networks
Sun, Apr 1 6 p.m. NCAA Women’s Final Four Special Presented by Capital One ESPN / ESPN3
  6:30 p.m. National Semifinal:
No. 1 Connecticut vs. No. 1 Notre Dame
ESPN / ESPN3
  8:30 p.m. National Semifinal:
No. 1 Stanford vs. No. 1 Baylor
ESPN / ESPN3
Tue, Apr 3 3 p.m. Crunch Time: Women’s Tournament ESPNU
  5 p.m. The Experts: NCAA Women’s Tournament Special ESPNU
  6 p.m. College Basketball Live: Women’s National Championship Special ESPNU
  6 p.m. College Basketball Live: Women’s National Championship Special ESPNU
  7:30 p.m. NCAA Women’s Championship Special Presented by Capital One ESPN / ESPN3
  8:30 p.m. National Championship ESPN / ESPN3
ESPN NCAA Women Feature

NCAA Division I Women’s Basketball Tournament Schedule on ESPN

ESPN will have exclusive coverage of the 2012 NCAA Division I Women’s Basketball Tournament.  All 63 games of the tournament will be televised across ESPN, ESPN2, ESPNU, ESPN3 and ESPN FULL COURT – beginning Saturday, March 17 and concluding at the NCAA National Championship game Tuesday, April 3 in Denver.

ESPN will be cognizant of the regional significance of each game and will reduce the urge to switch from a game in the event of a blowout.  During the first two rounds ESPN2 does plan to network plans to “whip-around” or switch to the best action from different games for viewers in the majority of the nation (except in the home markets of the competing teams). Select games will be made available to a full national audience on ESPNU.

Trey Wingo will anchor the studio coverage of the tournament.  He’ll be joined by Kara Lawson and Carolyn Peck.

espnW will be providing extensive coverage of the tournament online.

Here is the complete Women’s Basketball Championship schedule, with announcer assignments:

Date Time (ET) Matchup Networks
Sat, Mar 17 11 a.m. First RoundNo. 9 Princeton vs. No. 8 Kansas State (Bridgeport, Conn.)

Pam Ward & Rebecca Lobo

No. 15 Navy vs. No. 2 Maryland (College Park, Md.)

Bob Wischusen & LaChina Robinson

No. 9 Texas vs. No. 8 West Virginia^ (Norfolk, Va.)

Mark Jones & Mary Murphy

No. 12 Eastern Michigan vs. No. 5 South Carolina (West Lafayette, Ind.)

Brenda VanLengen & Stephen Bardo

ESPN2 HD / ESPN3
  Approx. 30 minutes after end of 11 a.m. games First RoundNo. 16 Prairie View vs. No. 1 Connecticut

(Bridgeport, Conn.)

No. 10 Michigan State vs. No. 7 Louisville^

(College Park, Md.)

No. 16 Hampton vs. No. 1 Stanford (Norfolk, Va.)

No. 13 South Dakota State vs. No. 4 Purdue

(West Lafayette, Ind.)

ESPN2 HD / ESPN3
  4 p.m. First RoundNo. 15 McNeese State vs. No. 2 Kentucky

(Ames, Iowa)

Clay Matvick & Krista Blunk

No. 15 UT-Martin vs. No. 2 Tennessee^ (Chicago, Ill.)

Jon Sciambi & Brooke Weisbrod

No. 11 Dayton vs. No. 6 Arkansas (College Station, Texas)

Carter Blackburn & Tamika Raymond

No. 11 Gonzaga vs. No. 6 Rutgers (Spokane, Wash.)

Dave Flemming & Sean Farnham

ESPN2 HD / ESPN3
  Approx. 30 minutes after end of4 p.m. games First RoundNo. 10 Iowa State vs. No. 7 Green Bay^ (Ames, Iowa)

No. 10 BYU vs. No. 7 DePaul (Chicago, Ill.)

No. 14 Albany vs. No. 3 Texas A&M (College Station, Texas)

No. 14 Idaho State vs. No. 3 Miami (Fla.)

(Spokane, Wash.)

ESPN2 HD / ESPN3
Sun, Mar 18 Noon First RoundNo. 9 Florida vs. No. 8 Ohio State^ (Bowling Green, Ohio)

Cara Capuano & Abby Waner

No. 12 Fresno State vs. No. 5 Georgetown

(Chapel Hill, N.C.)

Beth Mowins & Stephanie White

No. 9 Iowa vs. No. 8 California (Notre Dame, Ind.)

Dave O’Brien & Doris Burke

No. 13 Marist vs. No. 4 Georgia (Tallahassee, Fla.)

Justin Kutcher & Nell Fortner

ESPN2 HD / ESPN3
  Approx. 30 minutes after end ofNoon games First RoundNo. 16 UC-Santa Barbara vs. No. 1 Baylor^

(Bowling Green, Ohio)

No. 13 Sacred Heart vs. No. 4 Georgia Tech

(Chapel Hill, N.C.)

No. 16 Liberty vs. No. 1 Notre Dame (Notre Dame, Ind.)

No. 12 Florida Gulf Coast vs. No. 5 St. Bonaventure

(Tallahassee, Fla.)

ESPN2 HD / ESPN3
  5 p.m. First RoundNo. 13 UTEP vs. No. 4 Penn State (Baton Rouge, La.)

Bob Picozzi & Rosalyn Gold-Onwude

No. 14 UALR vs. No. 3 Delaware^ (Little Rock, Ark.)

Holly Rowe & Fran Fraschilla

No. 10 Middle Tennessee State vs. No. 7 Vanderbilt (Nashville, Tenn.)

Dave Pasch & Debbie Antonelli

No. 14 Creighton vs. No. 3 St. John’s (Norman, Okla.)

Marc Kestecher & Kayte Christensen

ESPN2 HD / ESPN3
  Approx. 30 minutes after end of5 p.m. games First RoundNo. 12 San Diego State vs. No. 5 LSU (Baton Rouge, La.)

No. 11 Kansas vs. No. 6 Nebraska (Little Rock, Ark.)

No. 15 Samford vs. No. 2 Duke (Nashville, Tenn.)

No. 11 Michigan vs. No. 6 Oklahoma^

(Norman, Okla.)

ESPN2 HD / ESPN3
Mon, Mar 19 7 p.m. Second Round (Bridgeport, Conn., College Park, Md., Norfolk, Va., West Lafayette, Ind.) ESPN2 HD / ESPN3
  9:30 p.m. Second Round (Ames, Iowa, Chicago, Ill., College Station, Texas, Spokane, Wash) ESPN2 HD / ESPN3
Tue, Mar 20 7 p.m. Second Round (Bowling Green, Ohio, Chapel Hill, N.C., Notre Dame, Ind., Tallahassee, Fla.) ESPN2 HD / ESPN3
  9:30 p.m. Second Round (Baton Rouge, La., Little Rock, Ark., Nashville, Tenn., Norman, Okla. ESPN2 HD / ESPN3

^ – Full national telecast – not part of Regionalized/Home Market Protection

 

2012 NCAA Division I Women’s Basketball Championship Presented by Capital One Regional & Final Four Schedule (Subject to change)

Date Time (ET) Games Networks
Sat, Mar 24 Noon (Des Moines, Iowa)Beth Mowins, Stephanie White & Samantha Steele ESPN HD / ESPN3
  2 p.m. (Des Moines, Iowa)  ESPN HD / ESPN3
  9 p.m. (Fresno, Calif.)Dave Pasch, Debbie Antonelli & Heather Cox ESPN HD / ESPN3
  11:30 p.m. (Fresno, Calif.) ESPN2 HD / ESPN3
Sun, Mar 25 Noon (Raleigh, N.C.)Pam Ward, Rebecca Lobo & Allison Williams ESPN HD / ESPN3
  2:30 p.m. (Raleigh, N.C.) ESPN2 HD / ESPN3
  4:30 p.m. (Kingston, R.I.)Dave O’Brien, Doris Burke & Holly Rowe ESPN2 HD / ESPN3
  7 p.m. (Kingston, R.I.) ESPN2 HD / ESPN3
Mon, Mar 26 7 p.m. (Des Moines, Iowa)  ESPN HD / ESPN3
  9 p.m. (Fresno, Calif.) ESPN HD / ESPN3
Tue, Mar 27 7 p.m. (Raleigh, N.C.) ESPN HD / ESPN3
  9 p.m. (Kingston, R.I.) ESPN HD / ESPN3
Sun, Apr 1 6:30 p.m. National Semifinal (Denver, Colo.)Dave O’Brien, Doris Burke, Rebecca Lobo & Holly Rowe ESPN HD /ESPN3
  9 p.m. National Semifinal (Denver, Colo.) ESPN HD / ESPN3
Tue, Apr 3 8:30 p.m. National Final (Denver, Colo.)Dave O’Brien, Doris Burke, Rebecca Lobo & Holly Rowe ESPN HD / ESPN3