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Sports Media Weekly No. 177- 2013 Year in Review

Welcome to the final edition of Sports Media Weekly, not only for 2013 but for the foreseeable future.

Ken Fang of Fang’s Bites and I use this final program to look back at some of the notable sports media stories for 2013 and what we can expect for 2014.

Among the items up for discussion:

The launch of Fox Sports 1;
Rights fees for the U.S. Open and Canadian NHL changing hands;
The return of Keith Olbermann to ESPN;
NCAA Basketball coverage changes coming in 2014;
Ratings, ratings, ratings;
The passing of Pat Summerall and Ken Venturi and the retirement of Tim McCarver and Dan Dierdorf;
Looking ahead to 2014 with the Winter Olympics and the World Cup.

For the second portion of the show Ken pulled a fast one on me as he spoke with members of the media on what was supposed to be their look back at the year, but instead they directed their remarks elsewhere:

Richard DeitschSports Illustrated
Steve LaporeAwful Announcing
Dan LevyThe Bleacher Report
Paulsen, Sports Media Watch
Neil Best, Newsday
Joe Flint, LA Times
John Ourand, Sports Business Journal
Ian Eagle, CBS Sports
John Daly, The Daly Planet
Matt Yoder, Awful Announcing
Michelle Beadle, NBC

I want to thank everyone on that list for their kind remarks.  It means a lot.

I also want to thank all of you who have made Sports Media Weekly a successful four-plus year endeavor.  It is what I will miss the most as I suspend Sports Media Journal.

Have a great 2014.  All the best!

Sports Media Weekly No. 176- Ed Sherman, The Sherman Report

Only two editions of Sports Media Weekly remain and this week Ken Fang of Fang’s Bites and I are joined by Ed Sherman of The Sherman Report.

We begin the program looking at news that the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) may be taking a look at relaxing the blackout rules sports leagues impose on local television coverage of sports if the local’s team’s arenas are not sold out.

We next take a look at the college bowl season which gets underway this week and ESPN’s plans for what it calls a “Megacast” of the BCS Championship Game.

NBC today announced its 1,539+ hours of coverage for the Sochi Winter Olympics which begin in February.  In the news it was announced that all major events will be telecast live and then re-played in prime time–a move the three of us agree will benefit viewers and should not negatively impact NBC’s prime time ratings.

We wrap-up the news segment by looking at how ESPN has won a duPont Award for a segment on Outside the Lines while the show appears to be less of a priority in Bristol.

Ken and I will return on Monday, December 30th for our look back at the top sports media news of 2013 and what we can expect for the new year.

And yes, Ken and I do discuss my announcement of the closing of Sports Media Journal on January 1st.

Sports Media Weekly No. 175- Joe Flint, LA Times & Joe Tessitore, ESPN

The weather is frigid across much of the country so why not cozy up to the latest edition of Sports Media Weekly?

Ken Fang of Fang’s Bites and I are joined for our news segment this week by Joe Flint, media and entertainment reporter for the LA Times.

We dream of warm weather to start the show, talking about the news that ESPN will add Curt Schilling to its Sunday Night Baseball broadcast booth.  Schilling replaces Orel Hershiser, who will be joining the broadcast team for the Los Angeles Dodgers new regional sports network which will launch in 2014.

We move to the NFL, discussing the flexing of Bears/Eagles to NBC’s Sunday Night Football for week 16 while Patriots/Ravens moves to CBS at 4:25pm ET.  We also speculate as to which game will be flexed to SNF for the week 17 finale.

For the second straight week we talk Canadian sports media as it was announced that CTV and TSN will be the home for NFL football north of the boarder.

We end the news segment looking at the report by John Ourand at Sports Business Journal that Fox appears to be the front runner to retaining the rights to the UEFA Champions League matches here in the United States.

Our second guest this week is ESPN’s Joe Tessitore.  Ken speaks with Joe about his upcoming new role as lead studio host for the SEC Network which will launch late next summer.

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.

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.