Bob Costas

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. 128

Ken Fang of Fang’s Bites and I are riding solo for this week’s Sports Media Weekly.

We begin the show by looking back at the sports media coverage of the murder/suicide committed by Chiefs linebacker Javon Belcher.  We examine CBS’s decision not to mention the story until five minutes into its NFL Today telecast.  We also touch upon the controversy brought on by NBC’s Bob Costas for using his halftime commentary during Sunday Night Football to promote tougher gun control laws.

We switch to baseball and news that Fox Sports may be closer to gaining a rights deal with the Dodgers while also showing interest in buying Sports Time Ohio to secure the local rights to the Cleveland Indians.  It appears Fox is continuing to seek out more local baseball rights fees as a way to expand its national sports footprint.

We move to college football looking at CBS’s strong SEC ratings for the season, especially for the SEC Championship game, which was the most-watched college football game thus far this season.  We also look with a critical eye at a press release from ESPN promoting two awards to be won by members of the University of Notre Dame at the upcoming college football awards tomorrow night.  For some reason no other award winners were released by ESPN, just winners from Notre Dame.  ESPN wouldn’t be using this news as a way to hype its telecast of the BCS Championship game on January 7th would they?  Hmmmmmm…

We also look at how a Boston TV sports reporter has put himself out on a limb being the only one to report that the end to the NHL lockout may be near.

We examine why Sports Illustrated awarded its Sportsman of the Year to LeBron James, and the news that John Kruk will be the new third man in ESPN’s Sunday Night Baseball booth.

We finish the show with a discussion of ESPN’s inconsistency in crediting reporters who break stories who do not work at the Bristol campus.

Sports Media Digest- April 2, 2012

Two Hour Town Hall on College Athletics on Next Costas Tonight  The next edition of the NBC Sports Network’s Costas Tonight will feature a live town hall meeting discussing the state of college athletics.  Costas Tonight: Live from 30 Rock will take place in front of a live studio audience from iconic studio 8H at 30 Rockefeller Plaza, and will include an in-depth one-on-one interview with NCAA President Dr. Mark Emmert. Joined in a town hall setting by some of the top names in college sports, Costas will explore all of the headlines and critical issues facing college athletics, from academics to BCS realignment to Title IX.  The two hour event debuts Wednesday at 10:00p.m. ET.

Women’s Final Four Shows Slight Ratings Gains-  ESPN’s coverage of the NCAA Women’s Division I Final Four gave the network mixed ratings results.  The opener between Connecticut and Notre Dame registered a rating of 1.8, up six percent from 2011.  The nightcap between Baylor and Stanford gave ESPN a 2.2 rating, tied with game two from a year ago.

ESPN Has NBA Twin Bill Wednesday- ESPN is set to televise another NBA double header coming up this Wednesday night.  The opener at 8:00p.m. ET will feature the Oklahoma City Thunder at the Miami Heat.  Mike Breen, Hubie Brown and Lisa Salters will be on the call. In the nightcap, the Los Angeles Clippers  will “host” the Los Angeles Lakers.  The game will begin on ESPN at 10:30 p.m. ET with Mark Jones, Jeff Van Gundy and Heather Cox.

SiriusXM has Coverage of the Masters- SiriusXM Radio will be providing live coverage of this weekend’s Masters.  The hole-by-hole programming begins Thursday, April 5th and continues through Sunday, April 8th.  SiriusXM PGA TOUR Radio channel (XM channel 93, Sirius channel 208).  John Maginnes will host a special preview show, The Masters Today, Thursday and Friday from 11:00 am to 2:00 pm ET and Saturday and Sunday from 12:00 to 2:00 pm ET.  Immediately after the conclusion of each day’s play, SiriusXM’s Matt Adams will host Masters Review, giving listeners a full recap of the day’s action.

Tennis Channel to Encore its Top 100 Players of All Time Series-  On Saturday, April 7th, the Tennis Channel will re-air the five part series ranking the top 100 tennis players of all-time.  The two encore showings of 100 Greatest of all Time Presented by Ally Bank will run in its entirety from 11 a.m.-4 p.m. ET and again from 7 p.m.-midnight on Saturday.

Universal Sports Television Announces Distrbution Deals-  Universal Sports Network has announced that it has reached a distribution deal with Bend Broadband and Wave Broadband.  Those carriers have subscribers in west coast cities including San Francisco; Sacramento, Calif.; Rocklin, Calif.; Seattle; Portland, Ore.; and Bend, Ore. In addition, subscribers of Local Tel in Spokane, Wash. will also gain access to the network under a new agreement with the distributor.  Universal Sports partners with NBC to provide Olympic-related sports programming in the United States.

Sports Media Digest- February 1, 2012

Costas To Host Live Town Hall Session in Indianapolis-  NBC’s Bob Costas will host a live town hall meeting tomorrow night looking at the state of the NFL.   Costas Tonight: Live From the Super Bowl will feature interviews with NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell as well as NFL owners and players.  The program will air on the NBC Sports Network from 8:00p.m. to 10:00p.m. ET tomorrow night.

Super Bowl Edition of NFL Turning Point Tomorrow Night-  The NBC Sports Network will air a special edition of NFL Turning Point tomorrow night at 10:00p.m. ET.  This weeks edition will look at the turning points throughout the season fpr the Gianta and Patriots leading up to Super Bowl XLVI.

NFL Creates App for Super Bowl XLVI-  The NFL has announced that it has created a special app for Android and iOS that chronicles the New York Giants’ and New England Patriots’ road to the big game and will be updated with Super Bowl XLVI highlights and other fratures after the game.  The app costs $2.99 before the Super Bowl,  less than half of the post-game price.

Pro Football Hall of Fame Announcement on NFL Network-  NFL Network will have exclusive coverage of the announcement of the inductees into the 2012 class of the Pro Football Hall of Fame.  Road to Canton: Pro Football Hall of Fame: Class of 2012 will air Saturday, February 4th at 5:30p.m. ET.  Fran Charles will host alongside Hall of Fame quarterbacks Dan Fouts and Warren Moon.

Rovell to Host Post-Super Bowl Hangout on Google +-  CNBC Sports Business Reporters Darren Rovell will be hosting a Google + Hangout the day after the Super Bowl to discuss the game’s advertisements.  On February 17th Rovell will unveil the findings of which ad was rated the best by fans on his program CNBC SportsBiz: Game On.  CNBC is working with Google’s You Tube Ad Blitz to measure ad responses.

TNT has Exclusive Announcement of 2012 NBA All- Star Starters-  TNT will be the place to find out who will be named to the 2012 NBA All-Star starting teams.  Coverage begins prior to the network’s NBA double header tomorrow night at 7:00p.m. ET with Ernie Johnson, Charles Barkley, Shaquille O’Neal, Kenny Smith and Chris Webber.

NBA TV Continues to Score Well in With Viewers-  NBA TV continues to see an increase in viewership through the first month of the season.  Through the first 34 games of the regular season, NBA TV is averaging 391,000 total viewers and 306,000 total households,up 74% and 78% respectively, compared to the same time last year.  So far this season, three games have been three of the top five most-watched games ever on the network. Those are Lakers/Clippers January 14th, Bulls/Clippers December 30th, and Clippers/Lakers January 25th.

UFC on Fox Scores Well with Key Demographics-  Last Saturday’s UFC action on Fox gave the network ratings wins within its key demographics for the event.  Fox won the night with a 2.4 rating for Adults 18-49 and a 2.5 rating foir Adults 18-34.  The telecast averaged 4.7 million viewers.

Sports Media Weekly Podcast No. 79- Eric Deggans, St. Petersburg Times

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

The top story remains the media coverage of the Penn State scandal.  Ken and I discuss the fine job done by Bob Costas in interviewing former Penn State Defensive Coordinator Jerry Sandusky while taking CBS to task for promoting what proved to be a non-interview between Armen Ketayian and Sandusky accuser Mike McQueary.

Ken and I also praise ESPN for its coverage of last weekend’s Nebraska/Penn State game, the first in 46 years without former coach Joe Paterno on the sidelines.

We also touch upon the ratings for the first UFC on Fox match, the debut of Brad Nessler and Mike Mayock on the NFL Network, and the prospects of NBC Sports Network now that former HBO Sports President Ross Greenburg is on board to produce documentaries and Costas’ new program.

Our guest this week is Eric Deggans, media writer for the St. Petersburg Times as well as writer for the Indiana University National Sports Journalism Center. We spend most of our talk with Eric discussing the media coverage of the Penn State story, but also spend some time on his work for the paper and the university.

Sports Media Weekly Podcast No. 78, Gail Sideman, Publiside

Thanks again for joining us for this week’s edition of the Sports Media Weekly Podcast.

Ken Fang of Fang’s Bites and I lead off the show talking about the media coverage of the scandal which has arisen at Penn State University on its handling of the allegations against former defensive coordinator Jerry Sandusky.

Other topics on the table include the NFL Network’s game coverage beginning tomorrow night and the prospects of the new announcing team of Brad Nessler and Mike Mayock; Bob Costas’ expanded role with the NBC Sports Network; UFC’s long awaited debut on Fox; ratings for last weekend’s #1 vs. #2 match-up between LSU and Alabama; the legacy of Joe Frazier; and the 10th anniversary of Pardon the Interruption.

We continue the discussion of the Penn State story with Gail Sideman, Owner and Publicist at Publiside, a publicity and media relations firm.  We talk to Gail about how the university has failed in controlling its message during this scandal as well as what it, and other institutions, can do to prevent such catastrophic events from snowballing out of control in the future.

Costas and Michaels to Share Mic on MLB Network

The MLB Network has announced that Al Michaels and Bob Costas will share announcing duties on an upcoming game in July.

The pair will call the New York Mets at San Francisco Giants contest on July 8th.  This is the first time the pair will call a game together.  It will also mark the first MLB broadcast by Michaels since 1995.

Costas and Michaels will also make an appearance on the SNY telecast (Mets) and Comcast SportsNet Bay Area (Giants) local telecast that evening.

MLB Network also announced its slate of live games for July.  Here is the schedule:

Fri., July 1 7:00 p.m. Or: New York Yankees
San Francisco Giants
@
@
New York Mets
Detroit Tigers
Sat., July 2 8:00 p.m. Or: San Francisco Giants
Boston Red Sox
@
@
Detroit Tigers
Houston Astros
Mon., July 4 1:30 p.m. Or: Toronto Blue Jays
Houston Astros
@
@
Boston Red Sox
Pittsburgh Pirates
6:30 p.m. Or: New York Yankees
Philadelphia Phillies
@
@
Cleveland Indians
Florida Marlins (6:00 p.m.)
Tues., July 5 10:00 p.m. Or: San Diego Padres
Detroit Tigers
@
@
San Francisco Giants
L.A. Angels of Anaheim
Thurs., July 7 1:00 p.m. Colorado Rockies*** @ Atlanta Braves
7:00 p.m. Or: Tampa Bay Rays
Baltimore Orioles
@
@
New York Yankees
Boston Red Sox
Fri., July 8 10:00 p.m. Or: New York Mets
Seattle Mariners
@
@
San Francisco Giants*
L.A. Angels of Anaheim
Sat., July 9 7:00 p.m. Or: Cincinnati Reds
Baltimore Orioles
@
@
Milwaukee Brewers
Boston Red Sox
Thurs., July 14 7:00 p.m. Or: New York Yankees
Cleveland Indians
@
@
Toronto Blue Jays
Baltimore Orioles
Fri., July 15 7:00 p.m. Or: Boston Red Sox
New York Yankees
@
@
Tampa Bay Rays
Toronto Blue Jays
Sat., July 16 7:00 p.m. Or: St. Louis Cardinals
Washington Nationals
@
@
Cincinnati Reds
Atlanta Braves
Tues., July 19 8:00 p.m. Or: Philadelphia Phillies
Atlanta Braves
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@
Chicago Cubs
Colorado Rockies (8:30 p.m.)
Thurs., July 21 12:00 p.m. Or: St. Louis Cardinals
San Diego Padres***
@
@
New York Mets
Florida Marlins
7:00 p.m. Or: New York Yankees
Detroit Tigers
@
@
Tampa Bay Rays*
Minnesota Twins (8:00 p.m.)
Fri., July 22 7:00 p.m. Or: Atlanta Braves
San Diego Padres
@
@
Cincinnati Reds
Philadelphia Phillies
Sat., July 23 9:00 p.m. Or: Milwaukee Brewers
Colorado Rockies
@
@
San Francisco Giants
Arizona D-backs (8:00 p.m.)
Tues., July 26 7:00 p.m. Or: San Francisco Giants
Seattle Mariners
@
@
Philadelphia Phillies
New York Yankees
Thurs., July 28 12:30 p.m. Or: New York Mets
Florida Marlins
@
@
Cincinnati Reds
Washington Nationals
7:00 p.m. Or: San Francisco Giants
Pittsburgh Pirates
@
@
Philadelphia Phillies*
Atlanta Braves
Fri., July 29 8:00 p.m. Or: Boston Red Sox
San Francisco Giants
@
@
Chicago White Sox
Cincinnati Reds (7:00 p.m.)
Thurs., July 23 8:00 p.m. Or: San Francisco Giants
Baltimore Orioles
@
@
Cincinnati Reds
New York Yankees (Gm 2, 7 p.m.)

 

 

Costas on the Ball

I know we are all tired of the Costas NOW program and the assertions of Buzz Bissinger and others about the state of sports media.   But please indulge me one more reference.

I happened to be listening to the radio early Saturday morning when I came upon Costas on the Radio, Bob Costas’ weekly radio venture.  He began the show by once again bringing up some points that he’s stated both on his HBO program and in other publications.  And the more I hear what he has to say the more I wholeheartedly agree.

He began by talking about how he was tuned into sports radio in St. Louis and the callers were viciously attacking Cardinals’ releiver Jason Isringhausen, to the point that the host said he was ashamed of the medium of sports talk radio.  That’s when Costas said the following:

“It’s not about the Internet or new technology or new media, it’s about this tone, and this approach wherever it’s found.  And it’s the tone of mindless, mean-spirited, ad homonym attacks and abuse, which more and more are part of general culture.  Politics we’ll talk about another time.  But in this case we’re talking about sports in particular.  You almost get the feeling with each passing day that sports is more and more the province of louts, bullies, cretins and creeps…that you can’t be a reasonable person and still be a sports fan.”

Costas then proceeded to talk about how youngsters, who become entrenched in team rivalries, get caught up in perpetrating the negative tone…

“It’s this atmosphere…you find it on sports talk radio, you find it, regrettably, along with all the good stuff, you find it regrettably on the blogs. You find it more and more in print because it’s seeped into the mainstream media.  This attitude not just of smarminess, but of flat-out abuse.  Where what’s fair or what’s true or what a reasonable person ought to want to say, either publically or privately, is right out the window.  And we just say anything we want… anyway we want… about anybody or anything.”  

Costas finally talked about the Sports Illustrated article dealing with abusive fans at sporting events and the comments about such by Michigan State basketball coach Tom Izzo.  He then finished his remarks…

“Is this really what we became sports fans for?  Is this really what it has to be?  Is it really just for louts, and creeps, and bullies and cretins?  I hope not.”

I could not have said it better myself.  And for those of you ready to jump down Costas’ throat, he did not say anything about infinging on people’s Freedom of Specch or that we should get rid of all blogs. 

As I have said already, despite Bissinger’s irrational tone, his point about how this type of content is the future of sports journalism troubles me…and possibly Costas, greatly.

You can hear Costas’ yourself from his May 24th-25th radio broadcast here.