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Sports Media Digest- August 15, 2013

WatchESPN App for IOS Gets Major Update

ESPN announced today that its WatchESPN IOS application for iPhones and iPads has undergone a major upgrade.

In addition to watching live feeds from ESPN, ESPN2, ESPN3, ESPNU and ESPN Goal Line/Buzzer Beater, the app has new enhancements- including what’s called Live Toolbar, which presents stats, scores and ESPN.com on-demand clips – all while still viewing the streaming video.

“The catalyst for this latest update to the WatchESPN App was content discovery and interactivity. Video is at the very core of what ESPN does best, and the addition of scores, stat and robust highlights and clips complement the fan viewing experience,” said Damon Phillips, Vice President, WatchESPN & ESPN3. “Through constant innovation, we’re able to serve fans not only with what they want right now, but with what we anticipate they’ll want in the future.”

The new app is available today from the IOS App Store.

ESPN FC Sees Significant Growth In its First Year

ESPN FC is celebrating its first anniversary by touting its traffic numbers online.

ESPNFC.com is averaging 5.1 million unique visitors per month, making it the no. 1 soccer-specific site in the U.S.

The anniversary coincides with the debut of ESPN FC on ESPN2 in the U.S., which airs its one-hour editions on Sundays at 12 a.m. ET and 30-minute editions on weekdays at 5:30 p.m.

“Our commitment and dedication to ESPN FC to cover the world’s most popular sport globally and across all screens remains as strong as ever,” said Bimal Kapadia, senior director, ESPN FC.  “We look forward to serving fans a unique show and new digital products and services in the coming months leading up to the biggest event in football, the 2014 FIFA World Cup in Brazil.”

“The numbers over the past year show how fans have come to know ESPN FC as a trusted source of information for the latest news and coverage from around the world of football,” said James Martin, deputy editor, ESPN FC.  “We have made and continue to make a concerted effort to hire a high-caliber group of global contributors to join our already stellar editorial newsroom.”

Rotoworld to Become a Fantasy Football Information Brand on NBC Sports Radio

NBC Sports and Rotoworld,  the internet’s highest-trafficked fantasy sports information site, have struck a deal where the website will bring exclusive fantasy football information to listeners of NBC Sports Radio.

“Rotoworld has always been my go-to fantasy source for news and information and I couldn’t be more excited, as a true fantasy fan and player, to welcome this partnership,” said Chris Corcoran, Dial Global’s EVP/GM Sports Programming. “The fantasy space is massive and continues to grow at an enormous pace. Our exclusive programming will help feed this extremely loyal fantasy fan base.”

“This is a natural extension for Rotoworld, as sports radio has long been a popular platform for fantasy sports players,” said Brett Vandermark, Director, Fantasy Content, NBC Sports Digital/Rotoworld. “Combined with the recent launch ofFantasy Football Live – Thursday Night! on NBC Sports Network, this agreement allows fantasy players to access Rotoworld on virtually every platform — audio, television, print, mobile and of course, the web.”

An on-demand specialty shows will be hosted by NBC Sports Radio anchor and Rotoworld contributor Kay Adams, a fantasy sports expert. The twice weekly (Tuesday and Friday) exclusive, 60-minute NFL-related fantasy show begins airing on NBC Sports Radio the week on August 26th.  They can be found on the NBC Sports Radio on-demand network, including NBCSportsRadio.com and the mobile app NBCSportsRadio.

Sports Media Weekly No. 160- Ken Schott, Schenectady Daily Gazette, David Wanger, Fox Sports & David Berson, CBS Sports

We have another jam-packed version of Sports Media Weekly this week.

Joining Ken Fang of Fang’s Bites and me for our news segment is Ken Schott, TV-Radio Columnist for the Schenectady Daily Gazette.

We begin the show looking at the upcoming launch this Saturday of Fox Sports 1.  We all give our opinion as to what we can expect from the new sports network as well as looking at the prospect of Fox Sports 1 reaching its goal of launching in 90 million homes with the news that Time Warner Cable, DirecTV and Dish Network have signed carriage agreements today with Fox.

We follow last week’s news of Fox securing the rights to USGA events by discussing the report that Fox is looking to tap Greg Norman as the network’s lead analyst when it begins coverage of USGA events in 2015.

We move on to the world of NBC Sports as we look forward to the network’s coverage of the English Premier League.  The new season begins Saturday with NBC televising all league games across a myriad of networks.

We then look at the breaking news from The Big Lead that Jason Whitlock will soon be returning to ESPN in a multi-platform role.  Another case of a former disgruntled ESPN employee coming back home.

We conclude our news segment looking at how a local New York capital region sports talk show host got swindled by an impostor posing as former Yankee and current minor league coach Shane Spencer.

Ken had the opportunity this week to speak with two sports network executives.  Ken first talks with Bill Wanger, Senior Vice President of Programming and Research at Fox Sports.  The two discuss the launch this Saturday of Fox Sports 1.

Ken then speaks with David Berson, President of CBS Sports.  Among the topics Ken and David touch upon is how the CBS Sports Network plans to compete with ESPN, NBC Sports Network and Fox Sports 1.

Dial Global Secures Exclusive U.S. Radio Rights to English Premier League

Dial Global has reached a deal to become the exclusive U.S. radio rights holder for the English Premier League.

Here are the details from Dial Global PR:

Dial Global, the largest independent national audio media company in the U.S., today announced an exclusive terrestrial, three-season partnership with talkSPORT, the world’s biggest sports radio station based in London, U.K., to broadcast live coverage of Barclays Premier League, FA Cup and Capital One Cup.  The partnership includes play-by-play commentary of nearly 400 soccer matches per year, in both English and Spanish languages, on a soon-to-be-announced digital platform as well as weekend morning Barclays Premier League games of the week throughout the season for domestic radio stations which will all feed an avid and rapidly growing soccer fan base across the U.S.

As Global Audio Partner of the Barclays Premier League, talkSPORT has unparalleled access to the news, stories and people at the heart of the world’s most exciting soccer league. Last season’s programming included exclusive interviews with Manchester United striker Wayne Rooney, Chelsea goal-scoring record breaker Frank Lampard and Liverpool hero Jamie Carragher, among many others.

“On the heels of reaching a major milestone with our 300th NBC Sports Radio affiliate, we couldn’t be more excited to be the resource delivering top-rate soccer coverage to a rabid fan base across the country,” said Paul Caine, Dial Global CEO.  “This partnership is another major step forward for Dial Global as we continue to bolster the strength of our sports offering through powerful programming, content and cross-platform promotions in audio, digital and mobile.”

Listeners will have access to talkSPORT’s official play-by-play commentary which will be broadcast live from the UK; an exclusive weekly Barclays Premier League preview show; a weekly highlights show; live interviews, and English-language documentary programming featuring profiles of sporting figures and Barclays Premier League clubs.

“In just the past year, since becoming the Global Audio Partner for the Premier League, we have witnessed a groundswell of demand for live soccer commentary around the world,” said Scott Taunton, Chief Executive, talkSPORT. “We are thrilled to be working with Dial Global who is just as passionate and committed as we are about delivering the best and most exciting soccer coverage to the ever increasing number of fans in the U.S. market.”

Sports Media Weekly No. 158- Chad Finn, The Boston Globe & Peter King, Sports Illustrated

Ken Fang of Fang’s Bites and I are back for another edition of Sports Media Weekly.

We are joined for our news segment this week by Chad Finn, sports media columnist for The Boston Globe.

We begin the program by looking at the announcement this week that NBC Sports and Yahoo! Sports will be collaborating on two new TV and online sports video projects, one of which debuts tomorrow.  The inclusion of rich media content is becoming more and more prevalent online and we agree that we’ll likely see more being produced by broadcast and web partners.

On a related note we look at the move by media outlets to create exclusive online content featuring their sports writing superstars.  Bill Simmons and ESPN began the trend with Grantland and now Peter King at Sports Illustrated and Peter Gammons are creating fresh content marketed around their personal brands.

We move to Boston sports media next, looking at how the Boston media handled the Aaron Hernandez arrest and the response by the Patriots.  We then delve into news of the launch next Monday of an online radio venture produced by the Boston Herald.

We finish the segment reflecting on the trail blazing career of Steve Bornstein, who pioneered television coverage of the NFL and will be retiring as head of the NFL Network next year.

We head back to the NFL and Ken’s interview with Sports Illustrated’s Peter King.  Ken talks to King about what it took to pull together his new NFL website on SI, MMQB.

SiriusXM to Conduct College Football Training Camp Tour

Beginning tomorrow SiriusXM Radio will begin a tour of college football training camps.  All shows will air on SiriusXM College Sports Nation, channel 91

The following roster of talent from SiriusXM Radio will be live on site:  former players Eddie George and Gino Torretta; former college coaches Rick Neuheisel, Houston Nutt and Gene Chizik; longtime Dallas Cowboys pro personnel executive Gil Brandt; and college football insiders Jack Arute, Mark Packer, Bill King and Chris Childers.

Here is the schedule of the SiriusXm College Football Training Camp Tour:

2013 SiriusXM College Sports Nation Camp Tour Schedule: (All times ET)

Thu, Aug. 1:      Clemson University, Clemson, SC
3-6pm, Hosts: Mark Packer & Eddie George

Fri, Aug. 2:        University of South Carolina, Columbia, SC
3-6pm, Hosts: Mark Packer & Eddie George

Mon, Aug. 5:     University of Nebraska, Lincoln, NE
12-3pm, Hosts: Mark Packer & Houston Nutt

University of Oregon, Eugene, OR
6-9pm, Hosts: Chris Childers and Rick Neuheisel

Tue, Aug. 6:      Kansas State University, Manhattan, KS
12-3pm, Hosts: Mark Packer & Houston Nutt

Wed, Aug. 7:     University of Oklahoma, Norman, OK
12-3pm, Hosts: Mark Packer & Houston Nutt

University of Louisville, Louisville, KY
3-6pm, Hosts: Chris Childers & Eddie George

Thu, Aug. 8:      University of Texas, Austin, TX
3-6pm, Host: Mark Packer, Gil Brandt & Gene Chizik

Fri, Aug. 9:        Texas A&M University, College Station, TX
12-3pm, Hosts: Mark Packer & Gene Chizik

Mon, Aug. 12:   University of Notre Dame, South Bend, IN
12-3pm, Host: Jack Arute & Gene Chizik

Tue, Aug. 13:    University of Alabama, Tuscaloosa, AL
12-3pm, Hosts: Jack Arute & Eddie George

Wed, Aug. 14:   Louisiana State University, Baton Rouge, LA
12-3pm Host: Jack Arute

Thu, Aug. 15:    Florida State University, Tallahassee, FL
12-3pm, Host: Jack Arute

University of Georgia, Athens, GA
6-9pm, Host: Bill King & Gino Torretta

Fri, Aug. 16:      Stanford University, Stanford, CA
6-9pm, Hosts: Mark Packer & Rick Neuheisel

Mon, Aug. 19:   Texas Christian University, Fort Worth, TX
12-3pm, Hosts: Jack Arute & Gene Chizik

UCLA, Los Angeles, CA
3-6pm, Hosts: Mark Packer & Houston Nutt

Tue, Aug. 20:    Ohio State University, Columbus, OH
12-3pm, Host: Jack Arute and Eddie George

USC, Los Angeles, CA
6-9pm, Hosts: Mark Packer & Houston Nutt

Wed, Aug. 21:   University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI
12-3pm, Hosts: Jack Arute & Gene Chizik

Schedule is subject to change.

 

ESPN Audio Announces College Football Game Schedule

ESPN today released its slate of college football games which will be available on ESPN Audio platforms.

All regular season and championship games will be available on ESPN Radio, ESPNRadio.com and ESPN Radio mobile app. Bill Rosinski will describe the action while David Norrie serves as color analyst.

Here is the ESPN Audio college football schedule:

Date Time (ET) Game
Thu, Aug 29 4 p.m. North Carolina at No. 8 South Carolina
Sat, Aug 31 4:30 p.m. Virginia Tech at No. 2 Alabama (from Atlanta, GA)
Sat, Sep 7 9:30 p.m. Washington State at No. 23 USC
Sat, Sep 14 TBD Boston College at No. 23 USC
Thu, Sep 19 6:30 p.m. No. 12 Clemson at NC State
Sat, Sep 21 TBD Utah State at No. 23 USC
  TBD Tennessee at No. 11 Florida
Thu, Sep 26 6:30 p.m. Virginia Tech at Georgia Tech
Sat, Sep 28 TBD Texas A&M at Arkansas
Sat, Oct 5 TBD No. 16 LSU at Mississippi State
Thu, Oct 10 9:30 p.m. Arizona at No. 23 USC
Sat, Oct 12 TBD No. 24 Northwestern at No. 25 Wisconsin
Sat, Oct 19 TBD No. 18 TCU at No. 15 Oklahoma State
Sat, Oct 26 TBD Utah at No. 23 USC
Sat, Nov 2 TBD Miami at No. 14 Florida State
Sat, Nov 9 TBD Mississippi State at No. 6 Texas A&M
Thu, Nov 14 6:30 p.m. Georgia Tech at No. 12 Clemson
Sat, Nov 16 TBD No. 5 Stanford at No. 23 USC
  TBD No. 2 Alabama at Mississippi State
Sat, Nov 23 TBD California at No. 5 Stanford
  TBD No. 3 Oregon at Arizona
Sat, Nov 30 TBD No. 19 UCLA at No. 23 USC
  TBD No. 14 Florida State at No. 11 Florida
Sat, Dec 7 7 p.m. Dr. Pepper ACC Championship Game (from Charlotte, NC)
  7 p.m. Pac 12 Championship Game

ESPN Radio Unveils Early NFL Broadcast Schedule

Earlier this year ESPN Radio announced it will broadcast a single NFL game each week during the regular season.  The network today announced its early slate of games..

Sean McDonough, Bill Rosinski, Marc Kestecher and Ryan Ruocco will provide play by play. Herm Edwards, Bill Polian, Damien Woody and Shaun O’Hara will serve as analysts.

Here is the early season schedule, beginning with one pre-season broadcast:

Date Time (ET) Game
Sat, Aug 24 6 p.m. New York Jets at New York Giants
Sun, Sept 8 1 p.m. Tennessee Titans at Pittsburgh Steelers
Sun, Sept 15 1 p.m. Minnesota Vikings at Chicago Bears
Sun, Sept 22 1 p.m. New York Giants at Carolina Panthers
Sun, Sept 29 1 p.m. Pittsburgh Steelers at Minnesota Vikings
Sun, Oct 6 1 p.m. Philadelphia Eagles at New York Giants

The remaining schedule will be released at a later date. ESPN announced earlier this year that it had signed individual multi-year agreements with the New York Giants, New York Jets, New England Patriots, Pittsburgh Steelers and Miami Dolphins for out-of-market Sunday afternoon syndication rights.

Sports Media Digest- June 6, 2013

ESPN Sees Record Ratings for NCAA Baseball Regionals–  ESPN reports that it has received record viewership for the 16 NCAA baseball regionals held last weekend.  Overall, ESPN2 and ESPNU combined to reach 11,680,000 viewers for its game telecasts. In addition, fans watched more than 96,600,000 live and replay minutes of Regionals action on the ESPN3 and WatchESPN platforms.

Women’s College World Series Sees High Ratings in Tennessee and Oklahoma- ESPN reports that the recently completed Women’s College World Series delivered impressive ratings in Knoxville and Oklahoma City, the home markets of two teams.  Knoxville had ratings of 11.9 for game one and 7.8 for game 2.  Oklahoma City has ratings of 6.6 in game one and 6.7 in game two.  Nationally the game drew an average audience of 1.2 million viewers for game one and 1.3 million viewers for game two.

CBS’s Coverage of FedEx St. Jude Classic–  CBS Sports continues its coverage of the PGA Tour this weekend with the telecast of the FedEx St. Jude Classic from Memphis.  Coverage on begins Saturday ans Sunday at 3:00p.m. ET.  Bill Macatee and Ian Baker Finch call the action from the 18th tower  while Peter Oosterhius calls the action at the 17th hole and David Feherty at the 16th hole.

ESPN Sets Jimmy Classic Match-Ups–  ESPN has announced the line-up of games for next season’s Jimmy V Men’s and Women’s Basketball Classics.  The men’s games will be played Tuesday, December 17th on ESPN as Cincinnati faces Pittsburgh followed by Florida against Memphis.  The women’s games take place the same day on ESPN2 with Connecticut at Duke.

Hoyts to Receive Jimmy V Perseverance Award at ESPY’s–  ESPN has announced that the father-son duo of Dick and Rick Hoyt will receive the Jimmy V Perseverance Award at this year’s ESPY’s.  Rick, now 51, was born with cerebral palsy and though unable to use his hands or legs he and his 73-year-old father have run in more than 1,000 endurance events—including triathlons and marathons—with Dick pushing his son in a custom-made running chair.

SiriusXM At the Belmont–  SiriusXM Radio is the satellite radio home of this weekend’s Belmont Stakes.  Race coverage begins Saturday at 5:00 pm ET on Sirius channel 93, XM channel 209, and on channel 961 on the SiriusXM Internet Radio App and online at SiriusXM.com.

Friday Night Fights on ESPN2– This week’s edition of Friday Night Nights on ESPN2  feature former Lightweight world-title challenger “The Gladiator” John Molina Jr. (25-2, 20 KOs) and undefeated Lightweight Andrey Klimov (15-0, 8 KOs) in the 10-round main event.  Joe Tessitore and Teddy Atlas will be at ringside with Todd Grisham as studio host.  Pablo Viruaga and Delvin Rodriguez will call this week’s fights for ESPN Deportes’ Viernes de Combates (Friday Night Fights) with Claudia Trejos and Leopoldo Gonzalez in the studio.  The telecast begins at 10:00p.m. ET.

Three Covers of Sports Illustrated this week– Sports Illustrated has three covers this week, two celebrating the NHL Playoffs and the third featuring the San Antonio Spurs:
SI 6-10-13a SI 6-10-13b SI 6-10-13c

ESPN’s Coverage of the U.S. Open

ESPN is preparing for its coverage of next week’s U.S. Open.

ESPN will televise the first two rounds of the tournament from 9 a.m. – 3 p.m. and 5-7 p.m. ET on Thursday and Friday, June 13-14.

Chris Berman will host the television coverage.  Mike Tirico and Paul Azinger will handle the call from the 18th green.  The rest of the team includes Curtis Strange (hole announcer) and Andy North (on-course reporter), World Golf Hall of Famer Judy Rankin and two-time major winner Dottie Pepper  (on-course reporters). Other hole announcers will be Scott Van Pelt, Terry Gannon and Sean McDonough, while Bill Kratzert also will report from the course. Reporter Tom Rinaldi will conduct player interviews.

SportsCenter will also be on hand at Merion throughout the tournament.  Scott Van Pelt and John Anderson will host the programs with analyst Andy North and reporter Tom Rinaldi.  Analysts Paul Azinger and David Duval and ESPN.com national columnist Gene Wojciechowski also will contribute to the SportsCenterreports.  Regular editions of SportsCenter will have reports from the U.S. Open hosted by Mike Tirico on the hour beginning Tuesdayof the championship week.

ESPN Radio will also have coverage of the tournament based on the following schedule:

ESPN Radio’s Four-Round U.S. Open Coverage (All Times Eastern)

Thursday, June 13 10 a.m. – 4 p.m.
Friday, June 14 10 a.m. – 4 p.m.
Saturday, June 15 2-8 p.m.
Sunday, June 16 2-8 p.m.

ESPN Radio’s Preview & Review Shows

Thursday, June 13 2013 U.S. Open Preview Special 1 a.m. & 4 a.m.
Friday, June 14 First Round Recap Special 4 a.m.
Saturday, June 15 Second Round Recap Special 1 a.m. & 4 a.m.
Sunday, June 16 Third Round Recap Special 1 a.m. & 4 a.m.
Monday, June 17 2013 U.S. Open Recap Special 4 a.m.

Commentators contributing to ESPN Radio’s live coverage from Merion include: Doug Bell, Bill Kratzert, Dennis Paulson,Bill Rosinski, Curtis Strange and Bob Wischusen. Kevin Winter will host U.S. Open studio programming featuring a preview and recap shows from all four rounds.

U.S. Open action will also be available on ESPN3 and WatchESPN.

NBA Finals on ABC and ESPN

Now that the NBA Conference Finals are complete, ESPN and ABC are set the for NBA Finals which begin Thursday night on ABC.

Mike Breen will call the action along side Jeff Van Gundy and reporter Doris Burke.  former referee Steve Javie will be courtside throughout the series to offer insights.

All games will be preceded by Kia NBA Countdown with Earvin “Magic” Johnson, Jalen Rose, Bill Simmons and Michael Wilbon.

From ESPN PR, here are some of the technical elements for this year’s television coverage:

The Finals on ABC production highlights:
– new broadcast open celebrating the greatest players and moments from The Finals;
– in-game interviews with coaches, along with each coach being “wired” for sound;
– pre-game and halftime locker room access;
– I-MOVIX cameras presenting dramatic slow motion replays from unparalleled vantage points;
– 36 high-definition video cameras;
– SkyCam” providing aerial views of the action;
– utilization of eight Super Slo Mo cameras.

The NBA Finals will also be available on ESPN Radio, ESPN3, WatchESPN and in Spanish on ABC via SAP and  ESPN Deportes. Mike Tirico and analyst Hubie Brown will calll the action on ESPN Radio with ESPN NBA Insider Marc Stein as sideline reporter.

On ESPN Deportes Alvaro Martin will lead the coverage with analysis of Coach Carlos Morales and special guest, former Argentina National Team Point Guard Alejandro Montecchia. Sebastian Christensen will serve as sideline reporter for all games while Claudia Trejos will anchor the coverage from the ESPN Deportes Miami studios.

Here is the schedule for the NBA Finals:

The Finals schedule

Date Time (ET) Game / Show Networks
Tues. Jun 4 9 p.m. NBA Finals Preview ESPN, WatchESPN
Thurs. Jun 6 9 p.m. San Antonio Spurs at Miami Heat(Gm. 1) ABC, ESPN Radio, ESPN3, WatchESPN, ESPN Deportes
Sun. Jun 9 8 p.m. San Antonio Spurs at Miami Heat(Gm. 2) ABC, ESPN Radio, ESPN3, WatchESPN, ESPN Deportes
Tues. Jun 11 9 p.m. Miami Heat at San Antonio Spurs (Gm. 3) ABC, ESPN Radio, ESPN3, WatchESPN, ESPN Deportes
Thurs. Jun 13 9 p.m. Miami Heat at San Antonio Spurs (Gm. 4) ABC, ESPN Radio, ESPN3, WatchESPN, ESPN Deportes
Sun. Jun 16 8 p.m. Miami Heat at San Antonio Spurs (Gm. 5) * ABC, ESPN Radio, ESPN3, WatchESPN, ESPN Deportes
Tues. Jun 18 9 p.m. San Antonio Spurs at Miami Heat(Gm. 6) * ABC, ESPN Radio, ESPN3, WatchESPN, ESPN Deportes
Thurs. Jun 20 9 p.m. San Antonio Spurs at Miami Heat(Gm. 7) * ABC, ESPN Radio, ESPN3, WatchESPN, ESPN Deportes