Sports Media Weekly No. 174- John Ourand, Sports Business Journal

After a week off for the holiday Ken Fang of Fang’s Bites and I are back for another edition of Sports Media Weekly.

Joining Ken and me this week is John Ourand from Sports Business Journal.

We start the show by looking back at the big sports media story from a week ago, the news that Rogers Communications has won the sole national NHL media rights in Canada away from TSN and CBC.  We look at the impact the deal will have in Canada as well as what it may mean for sports rights deals here in the U.S.A.

We move on to the NFL and the news from Fox Sports that it has already sold its entire ad inventory for February’s Super Bowl XLVIII.  The news proves once again that football is king on TV and with sponsors.

We look back at the spectacular weekend of college football and, in particular, CBS’ coverage of the Alabama/Auburn Iron Bowl.  We all give kudos to CBS for its coverage of the game and striking the right tone both in pictures and in words from Verne Lundquist, Gary Danielson, and Tracey Wolfson.

As ESPN prepares for coverage of its final World Cup for a while we discuss the potential U.S. rights fee battle for the UEFA Champions League matches.  Fox Sports currently holds the rights, but ESPN and NBC are looking to snatch the package away.

We wrap the show by discussing Deadspin’s purchase of a baseball Hall of Fame vote and how that may shake out.

Sports Media Weekly No. 173- Brian Berger, Sports Business Radio

It’s been an interesting sports media week and we have it covered on Sports Media Weekly.

Joining Ken Fang of Fang’s Bites and me for the program this week is Brian Berger of Sports Business Radio.

We begin the program looking at the appearance late this afternoon of Alex Rodriguez on the Mike Francesa radio program on WFAN in New York.  Rodriguez sought the sympathetic ear of Francesa after storming out of his hearing today with an arbitrator over his 211 game suspension issued by Major League Baseball earlier this year.  Brian, who also works as a media consultant for athletes, chimes in on whether Rodriguez’ strategy will pay off for him in the court of public opinion.

Over to the the NFL next and Ken’s piece on Awful Announcing on the flex options that await the league’s media partners when the new television contracts take effect next year.

We then move to the news that CBS NFL game analyst Dan Dierdorf will be retiring at the end of the current NFL season after 30 years televising games for CBS and ABC.

College basketball may be seeing quite the change in coverage at the NCAA Final Four beginning next year as Turner Sports takes over televising the national semi-final games.  John Ourand at Sports Business Journal  has the details.

We wrap the news segment by looking at the news by NBC that Bob Costas will be adding late night hosting duties to his primetime gig at the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi.

Costas to Host Primetime and Late Night Sochi Olympics Coverage

It looks like NBC will be asking more from its biggest sports personality for the 2014 Sochi Olympics.  Today the network announced that Bob Costas will host both the network’s primetime and late night coverage of the Winter Games this February.

Costas will be serving as primetime host for the 10th time in Sochi.  He recently served as host of both primetime and late night telecasts in 2000.

“With unmatched experience in the host chair, Bob’s historical perspective and expertise will serve as a foundation for our Sochi coverage both in primetime and late night,” said Jim Bell, Executive Producer of NBC Olympics. “There is no one better than Bob to lead us in telling the stories of the athletes and competition that captivate fans around the world.”

“The Olympics are a unique television event,” Costas said. “They involve classic sports coverage, of course, but also many elements of storytelling and travelogue aspects that are not part of the usual sports broadcast. They are a three-week miniseries which, if done well, should bring viewers not only compelling athletic performances, but a sense of the host city and country, and an appreciation of what is a truly global gathering.”

Sports Media Weekly No. 172- Chad Finn, The Boston Globe & Ian Eagle, CBS Sports

The weather is beginning to turn cooler nationwide but we try to turn up the heat here on Sports Media Weekly (SMW)

Joining Ken Fang of Fang’s Bites and me for the news segment this week is Boston Globe sports media columnist Chad Finn.

We begin the show with what has been the most-talked about story over the last week, the developing saga of Dolphins’ offensive lineman Richie Incognito and his alleged bullying of teammate Jonathan Martin.  We look back at how the NFL’s network partners covered the story and the exclusive interview with Incognito by Fox Sports’ Jay Glazer.

We bring it back to Boston and get Chad’s take on how the Boston sports media handled covering the Red Sox this season under John Farrell compared to 2012 with Bobby Valentine.

We wrap the segment looking at the continued success for ESPN during its college basketball marathon, which aired over the last two days.  It’s an opportunity for ESPN to capitalize on promoting college basketball during a slow period between the end of baseball season and the end of the college and pro football seasons.

Our second guest this week is SMW fave Ian Eagle of CBS Sports, among other media entities.  Ken talks with Ian about his frenetic announcing schedule, his relationship with NBA broadcast partner Mike Fratello, his broadcasting idols, and his knowledge of 1980’s sitcoms.

Sports Media Weekly No. 171- Richard Sandomir, New York Times & Trenni Kusnierek, CSNNE

We have a pair of happy Boston Red Sox fans hosting this week’s Sports Media Weekly program.

Ken Fang of Fang’s Bites and I are joined for our news segment this week by Richard Sandomir of the New York Times.

We lead-off the show with a final look back at the World Series and Fox’ claim of higher ratings when, in fact, the viewership numbers are actually still on the decline.

Richard chimes in with a local New York sports media item in the announcement that the New York Mets next year will be calling WOR-AM it’s radio flagship home after a long stint on WFAN.

We return to Richard’s article with James Andrew Miller from a week or so ago on the 10th Anniversary of the NFL Network and the league’s attempt to sell a portion of the network’s stake to ESPN.  Richard adds some context and other insights to the piece.

We wrap the news segment by looking at how NBC is looking forward to a profitable Winter Olympic Games this February from Sochi after losing money at the Vancouver Games in 2010.

The second half of the show features Ken speaking with Trenni Kusnierek.  You may remember Trenni from her years at the MLB Network.  Ken talks with her about her expereinces there and her new role at Comcast SportsNet New England.

ESPN Unveils College Basketball Announcer Pairings

ESPN today announced its set of play-by-play and analyst pairings for the upcoming college basketball season.

Dick Vitale enters his 35th season as college basketball analyst and will be paired with Dan Shulman and Shannon Spake as the network’s lead broadcast team who will call its Saturday prime time telecasts.

ESPN’s signature studio show on Saturdays,  College Gameday, will once again be anchored by Rece Davis with analysts Digger Phelps and Jalen Rose.

Other analysts in the studio this season include Seth Greenberg, Andy Katz, Bruce Pearl, Jay Williams, Dan Dakich, Jimmy Dykes, Laphonso Ellis, Sean Farnham, Fran Fraschilla, Kara Lawson and Miles Simon.

ESPNU’s studio coverage will feature hosts Dari Nowkhah, Matt Schick and Anish Shroff with analysis from Dino Gaudio and Adrian Branch.

Hosts Zubin Mehenti and Chris Hassel will rotate in with analyst Tim McCormick (Saturday) and reporter Jeff Goodman (Wednesday) to anchor the ESPN Buzzer Beater network – which offers live cut-ins and highlights from numerous top college basketball games Saturdays from noon ET to 11 p.m. and Wednesdays from 7 p.m. to 11 p.m.

Here is the complete roster of play-by-play announcers and analysts for the upcoming college basketball season on ESPN:

Big Monday

Network Conference Play-by-play Analyst Reporter
ESPN ACC Sean McDonough Jay Bilas Jeannine Edwards
ESPN Big 12 Brent Musburger Fran Fraschilla Holly Rowe

Super Tuesday

Network Conference Play-by-play Analyst Reporter
ESPN Big Ten Mike Tirico Dan Dakich Samantha Ponder
ESPN SEC Brad Nessler Jimmy Dykes Shannon Spake
ESPN2 Big 12 Dave Flemming Miles Simon
ESPNU ACC Tom Hart Len Elmore
ESPNU SEC Joe Davis Dino Gaudio

Wednesday Night Hoops

Network Conference Play-by-play Analyst
ESPN2 ACC Bob Wischusen LaPhonso Ellis
ESPN2 Pac-12 Dave Pasch Bill Walton
ESPNU American Jason Benetti Tim Welsh
ESPNU Big 12 Clay Matvick Darrin Horn
ESPNU Pac-12 Beth Mowins Jon Crispin

Thursday Night Showcase Presented by Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups                         

Network Conference Play-by-play Analyst
ESPN or ESPN2 Big Ten Joe Tessitore Sean Farnham
ESPN or ESPN2 SEC Rece Davis Bob Knight
ESPN or ESPN2 Pac-12 Dave Pasch Bill Walton
ESPN or ESPN2 American Mike Patrick/Dave O’Brien Various analysts
ESPNU West Coast Roxy Bernstein Jarron Collins/Corey Williams


Network Conference Play-by-play Analyst
ESPNU MAAC Doug Sherman Tim McCormick
ESPNU Horizon Jim Barbar Malcolm Huckaby


Network Conference Play-by-play Analyst Reporters
ESPN Saturday Primetime Dan Shulman Dick Vitale Shannon Spake
ESPN Big Ten Bob Wischusen Dan Dakich
ESPN Big 12 Jon Sciambi Fran Fraschilla
ESPN ACC Dave O’Brien Doris Burke
ESPN SEC Mark Jones Jimmy Dykes
ESPN/ESPN2 American Mike Patrick Len Elmore
ESPN2 Atlantic 10 TBD TBD
ESPN2 West Coast Beth Mowins Kara Lawson
ESPN2 MVC Rich Hollenberg Mark Adams
ESPNU American Adam Amin Brooke Weisbrod
ESPNU SEC Tom Hart Jon Sundvold
ESPNU Big 12 Anish Shroff Tim Welsh


Network Conference Play-by-play Analyst Reporter
ESPNU ACC Carter Blackburn Jay Williams Allison Williams
ESPNU Pac-12 Roxy Bernstein Corey Williams

ESPN Regional Television (ERT)

In addition, ESPN Regional Television will produce and syndicate games from the SEC and Big 12:

SEC TV Play-by-Play Analysts
Wednesday and Saturday Dave Baker, Dave Lamont, Clay Matvick, Mike Morgan or Dave Neal Barry Booker, Joe Dean, Daymeon Fishback, Kyle Macy or Jon Sundvold
Big 12 Network Play-by-Play Analysts
Saturday andselect weekdays Dave Armstrong, Doug Bell, Mitch Holthus or Brad Sham Reid Gettys, Stephen Howard, Bryndon Manzer or Chris Piper

Sports Media Weekly No. 170- Ed Sherman, The Sherman Report & Doug Wilson, Sports Producer

We have World Series fever on this week’s edition of Sports Media Weekly.

Ken Fang of Fang’s Bites and I are joined for our news segment this week by Ed Sherman of The Sherman Report.  We taped our segment prior to the Red Sox’ World Series-clinching win last night in Game Six.

We spend a good portion of our segment looking at Fox’ coverage of the World Series.  Fox has been promoting improved ratings over last year.  But the ratings had no where to go than up after last year’s Fall Classic registered the lowest ratings in history.

We delve into the length of games and how those on the east coast have a difficult time staying up to watch games that end near midnight.

We also look back at how Fox’ practice of focusing on crowd shots between pitches cost them during Game Four when they missed the pick-off play at first in the bottom of the ninth inning which ended the ball game.

We wrap up the news segment looking at the tenth anniversary of the NFL Network and the report from the New York Times on how the NFL was looking to sell a stake in the network to ESPN.

Our second guest this week is long time ABC Sports producer Doug Wilson who has a new book out entitled The World was Our Stage: Spanning the Globe with ABC Sports. Ken talks with Doug about his many decades with ABC, including his recollection of his relationships with the likes of Jim McKay and Roone Arledge as well as his time working ten Olympic Games for the network.