Sports Media Digest- September 26, 2013

Steve Sabol to be Next Profile on NFLN’s A Football Life

The NFL Network (NFLN) has announced that the next edition of its documentary series A Football Life will profile the life of former NFL Films President Steve Sabol.  Sabol passed away last year after a battle with cancer.

Steve Sabol: A Football Life will feature footage from classic NFL Films movies and interviews, family photos and old films of Steve, and time spent at home and with his family. Additionally, throughout the show, NFL Films employees read thousands of emails which were sent to Steve following his seizure in 2011, and individuals who Steve reached out to and inspired share their memories. It is a film about Steve told by those who knew him best – family, friends, co-workers – and those who didn’t know him at all.

Following the documentary Rich Eisen will narrate A Football Life: Backstory, a 30-minute show that provides a deeper look into the life and story of Steve Sabol.

Steve Sabol: A Football Life debuts Tuesday, October 1st, at 9:00p.m. ET.

NBCSN To Launch New NHL Programs

In preparation for the new NHL season, NBC Sports Network (NBCSN) announced it will launch two new NHL programs. Both will debut on Wednesday, October 9th beginning at 10:30p.m. ET.

NHL Rivals will delve into the history between many of the teams featured on NBCSN’s Wednesday Night Rivalry matchups, as told by current and former players, broadcasters and writers.

NHL Top 10, which will premiere each week following NHL Rivals, will examine some of the most timeless debates hockey fans have discussed for decades. The weekly countdown program will run the gamut of hockey “bests,” including top goal-scorers and U.S.-born players, as well as the toughest places to play in the NHL and top Olympic moments. It will feature commentary and analysis from current and former players, broadcasters and writers.

ESPN Reports Ratings and Viewership Increases for Sunday Night Baseball

The Sunday Night Baseball series on ESPN is over for the season and the network reports a gain in ratings and viewership over 2012.

Sunday Night Baseball on ESPN averaged a 1.3 U.S. household rating, up eight percent from a 1.2 rating in 2012. Additionally, Sunday Night Baseball averaged 1,896,000 viewers, which is up six percent compared to 1,784,000 in 2012.

Larry King, Colin Cowherd, and Jeremy Schapp Tabbed to Fill In for Olbermann

ESPN announced today a slate of guest hosts who will fill-in for Keith Olbermann on his weeknight program on ESPN2 when he takes a leave of absence to work as a studio host for TBS’ coverage of the Major League Baseball post season.

The network announced that former CNN host Larry King will host the show from October 1st through October 3rd. Jeremy Schapp will host from October 8th through October 10th while ESPN Radio host Colin Cowherd will host from October 15th through October 17th.

Olbermann is designed specifically around Keith’s one-of-a-kind personality so having a guest host like Larry, who can deliver a similar level of editorial expertise and intellectual commentary to entertain sports fans, fits the bill perfectly,” said Norby Williamson, executive vice president, programming and acquisitions.  “Larry is so popular and well-known to television viewers but being able to bring them his unique perspective on sports topics is a new twist and we’re excited to have him.”
“I am a great admirer of Keith Olbermann who I think is the quintessential sports host,” said King.  “Sports have always been my avocation – they’re part of my being.  Having the chance to come back to my hometown of New York and host Keith’s show for several days is a terrific joy for me and a return to my first love.”
“Both Jeremy and Colin have distinctive personalities and points of view that will bring a different perspective to the program while Keith is away,” said Jamie Horowitz, vp of original programming and production.  “While we’ll certainly miss Keith in the coming weeks, we’re also looking forward to producing some fun and entertaining shows for sports fans with our guest hosts.”

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