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