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 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.
The blockbuster story of the week came yesterday when Fox Sports won the rights to telecast USGA events under a 12-year deal which begins in 2015. NBC has had the rights for the USGA since 1995. In our discussion we speculate whether Fox paid too much for the rights (reported at $100 million) and how NBC will fare after 2014 when it will no longer be covering any of golf’s major tournaments. We also speculate as to how Fox will cover the sport, as the network has no track record of televising golf events.
Next we move to how the CBS/Time Warner Cable impasse is impacting the coverage of sports. We then look ahead one month when another carriage deal is up for renewal, ESPN’s contract with Dish Network. We all agree that the only losers in these fights are the consumers.
We wrap the show looking at the release of the NBA schedule this week and its impact on ESPN, TNT and NBA TV…and Keith Olbermann’s return to ESPN’s SportsCenter tonight to provide what’s called a “special essay” on Alex Rodriguez.
NBA All-Star Game Gets Second Highest Overnight Rating Since 2005- Last night’s NBA All-Star Game (ASG) on TNT registered an overnight rating of 5.4, making it the second highest rated ASG in seven years (5.9 in 2005). The game was up against the Academy Awards on ABC, which may have led to lower numbers. TNT’s Friday night telecast of the BBVA Rising Stars Challenge was the most-watched telecast in the event’s history, delivering a 1.7 rating and more than 2.7 million viewers. TNT’s All-Star Saturday Night delivered the third most-watched telecast in the 27-year history of TNT’s All-Star coverage with 6,237,000 total viewers.
Costas Tonight Program Debuts Thursday on NBCSN- The debut episode of Costas Tonight, a one-hour interview program hosted by NBC Sports’ Bob Costas will debut this Thursday night at 8:00p.m. on the NBC Sports Network (NBCSN). The guests for the program will be NBA Commissioner David Stern, NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman and professional boxer Floyd Mayweather, Jr. Costas produced a special edition of the program earlier this month at the Super Bowl in Indianapolis.
College Hoops Mid-Week on CBS Sports Network- The CBS Sports Network has three college basketball match-ups over the next two days. Tomorrow at 9:00p.m. ET CBS Sports Network has coverage of Xavier and Saint Louis. Tom McCarthy and Steve Wolf handle the call. The Network will have a doubleheader on Wednesday with Tulsa and UAB at 8:00p.m. ET with Dave Ryan and Pete Gillen on the mic then #17 UNLV takes on Colorado State at 10:00p.m. ET as Todd Harris and Steve Lappas announce.
Universal Sports Strikes Carriage Deal With Dish TV- Dish TV and Universal Sports have reached an agreement that calls for the network to provide Dish Network subscribers with Olympic sports coverage of qualifying, trials and highlights as well as other endurance and adventure sports programming. International Basic and Chinese Basic programming packages will be available on April 25th as part of DISH’s Multi-Sport package. Universal Sports will also provide content for DISHOnline.com, mobile devices and tablets.