Awful Announcing

Sports Media Weekly No. 150- Matt Yoder, Awful Announcing & Ian Eagle, CBS Sports, Tennis Channel

After a week away Ken Fang of Fang’s Bites and I are back for a fresh edition of Sports Media Weekly.

We are joined for a jam-packed news segment by Matt Yoder, managing editor of Awful Announcing.

We begin the show with a lengthy discussion of the layoffs underway at ESPN.  Reports indicate ESPN is planning to dismiss nearly 400 employees in response to the network not meeting corporate profit margins.

We dovetail the discussion to ESPN’s recent upfront presentation where it announced the completion of a new digital studio and plans for the SEC Network.  We also touch upon the announcement last week that ESPN has secured the exclusive U.S. rights to the U.S. Open tennis tournament beginning in 2015.

We then move to the news from Fox Sports of it’s hiring of Andy Roddick to serve as co-host of Fox Sports 1’s Fox Sports LIVE show which debuts this August.

We finish our news segment looking back at the life of U.S. Open champion and long time CBS golf analyst Ken Venturi.

Our second guest this week is Sports Media Weekly favorite Ian Eagle.  Ian is leaving this week for Paris to be part of Tennis Channel’s coverage of the French Open.  Ian shares stories of his work at the Open, his experience working this season broadcasting the Brooklyn Nets, plans for his return to the NFL with CBS, and his relationship with other graduates of Syracuse University.

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Sports Media Weekly No. 139- John Daly, The Daly Planet and Rennae Stubbs, Tennis Channel/ESPN

After missing last week it’s good to be back with another Sports Media Weekly program.

Ken Fang of Fang’s Bites and I start the show talking about Ken’s news that he will be writing for the Awful Announcing site.  Congratulations Ken!

We then move into the news this weekend that ESPN has retained the rights to the Big East Conference, but at a much reduced price.

We begin our coverage of the Daytona 500 with Ken’s piece about how Fox may still be trying to find a comfortable role for Erin Andrews.

Our first guest is John Daly of The Daly Planet.  Ken talks with John about all things Daytona 500…including how Fox covered the event and how the Fox networks and ESPN responded to the horrific crash at the Nationwide Series race Saturday that injured at least 28 people.

We shift our talk to tennis and Rennae Stubbs, analyst for the Tennis Channel and ESPN, among others.  Rennae was a six-time Grand Slam doubles and mixed doubles champion and one of the most successful women tennis players from Australia. We talk to Rennae about making the transition from the court to the booth, working for many different networks covering the sport, and whether the networks should provide more coverage of doubles and mixed doubles matches.

Sports Media Weekly Podcast No. 87- Matt Yoder, Awful Announcing

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

Ken and I start the show by talking about the official word that Jim Rome will be leaving ESPN later this month to join CBS.  Rome will start his new program called, what else, Rome, on April 4th.

Ken and I also talk about the weekend ratings for the NFL Wild Card games and numbers for Monday’s BCS Championship on ESPN.

Our guest this week is Matt Yoder, Managing Editor of Awful Announcing.  Awful Announcing was one of the first sports blogs devoted to sports media and Matt shares with us his work at the site.  Matt also gets into his (and Ken’s) sudden respect for Joe Buck since he’s been writing on Twitter, and his pick for the best NFL announcing team calling games this weekend.

Why Live Blog?

I consider myself pretty savvy when it comes to trends in technology and the sharing of information.  Heck, I started a blog, didn’t I?

But there is one aspect of blogging that I cannot entirely embrace…the practice of live blogging.

First of all, let’s all agree that live blogging is a misnomer.  Live blogging is by no means live.  I refuse to use the term any further.  Let’s call it what it is…event blogging or, in the world of sports, in-game blogging.   By the time a blogger pens an in-game post and it’s sent to the blog, appropriate time has passed to classify the information as old news. 

I’m not saying that event blogging doesn’t have its place.  If you’re a blogger at an exclusive event, or one that is not well attended,  providing insight from that event adds some exclusivity for the blogger.  The inside scoop if you will.

Much was made last spring when the NCAA came down on Brian Bennett of the Louisville Courier-Journal for providing in-game blogging of an NCAA Regional Baseball game involving the Louisville Cardinals.  Bennett had his credential revoked, with the NCAA claiming he violated a rule of providing “live” updates of an event to which he did not have the rights. 

What I find puzzling is in-game blogging of a sporting event like the World Series.  What information can one blogging from the event provide readers that they aren’t getting from the nationally televised broadcast of the game?  It makes no sense to me.

Looking at the four major newspapers that cover the Red Sox and the Rockies in Game 1, three of the four have blogs for the teams.  Both Boston papers, the Boston Globe and the Boston Herald, provided in-game blogging of the Sox’ 13-1 rout of Colorado.  In Denver, only the Denver Post provides a sports blog on the Rockies, but there was no in-game coverage of Game 1.

Back to Boston, Rob Bradford’s Herald Blog provided more than just what was happening on the field.  Bradford mixed in statistics and notes that was probably not noted by Joe Buck or Tim McCarver on Fox.  That’s great, but how many people were glued to their computer monitor waiting for these tidbits?  Bradford could have easily assembled those facts and posted them as part of the Herald’s online post game coverage.

The most disappointing in-game blogging came from the Boston Globe.  In its Extra Bases Blog, reporter Amalie Benjamin used the space to rehash what happened after each inning.  I’m sorry, that’s a waste of good bandwidth. 

The Herald, Globe, and Denver Post do a good job of using their blogs to provide the pre-game flavor at Fenway Park.  That’s cool.  You won’t get that information in too many places.  That has a purpose. 

The newspapers are not alone in providing this useless in-game blogging.  Many independent blogs also attempt the practice.  At least the reporters at the game can provide some insight into the action.  Independent bloggers often provide nothing in terms of pertinent information.  The independent bloggers often use this in-game blogging as a way to criticize and mock either the players, announcers, or both.  Again, why can’t they assemble this material for a comprehensive post-game post?  Why is the in-game aspect a draw?

As much as I don’t think in-game blogging is effective I would never say a blogger shouldn’t partake in the process.  I’m sure if there wasn’t an audience they wouldn’t do it.  It’s just not for me.