We spend a good portion of our segment looking at Fox’ coverage of the World Series. Fox has been promoting improved ratings over last year. But the ratings had no where to go than up after last year’s Fall Classic registered the lowest ratings in history.
We delve into the length of games and how those on the east coast have a difficult time staying up to watch games that end near midnight.
We also look back at how Fox’ practice of focusing on crowd shots between pitches cost them during Game Four when they missed the pick-off play at first in the bottom of the ninth inning which ended the ball game.
We wrap up the news segment looking at the tenth anniversary of the NFL Network and the report from the New York Times on how the NFL was looking to sell a stake in the network to ESPN.
Our second guest this week is long time ABC Sports producerDoug Wilson who has a new book out entitled The World was Our Stage: Spanning the Globe with ABC Sports. Ken talks with Doug about his many decades with ABC, including his recollection of his relationships with the likes of Jim McKay and Roone Arledge as well as his time working ten Olympic Games for the network.
We begin the news portion of the show by looking back at reports that viewership over at ESPN for the second quarter was at its lowest for that quarter in seven years.
We then look ahead to next week’s Major League Baseball All-Star Game on Fox, not to the action that will be taking place on the field but to the planned 90 second promo Fox is set to debut touting next month’s launch of Fox Sports 1.
With the start of NFL training camps on the doorstep comes news from CBS Sports that it will produce a weekly four hour pre-game show this fall on the CBS Sports Network (CBSSN). We all agree that as long as NFL is king and you have broadcast rights, adding NFL programming may be better than what is already available on CBSSN.
We then move to Ken’s piece in Awful Announcing on plans by two newspapers to get into the electronic media business on their websites.
Ken Fang of Fang’s Bites and I are back for another Sports Media Weekly program.
Joining us for our news segment this week is Ed Sherman of the Sherman Report.
We begin the show previewing tomorrow’s NFL Draft and the plans being put forth by NFL broadcast partners ESPN and NFL Network. Our discussions lead to reports that the NFL insiders at the networks will be more restrained in using Twitter to give away team picks before they are announced by NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell. Ed has written some great pieces on how two insiders will handle tweeting during the draft. The topic has definitely struck a nerve with some fans.
We then look at the prospects of the job new ESPN Omdudsman Robert Lipsyte will do when he assumes his role in June.
We finish our news segment by issuing our early thoughts on ESPN and TNT’s coverage of the NBA Playoffs.
Our second guest this week is Dale Arnold, studio host for Bruins telecasts on NESN and sports radio host at Boston’s WEEI. Ken speaks with Dale about last week’s bombing at the Boston Marathon and how the sports media took a break from sports and provided fans with an outlet to discuss the events of the week.
We begin the program by providing our reaction to the big announcement this week of the launch this summer of Fox Sports 1. Ken, Ed and I discuss the advantages Fox has in launching this new all-sports network, yet we all agree it will take some time before Fox Sports 1 will be considered a serious threat to the ESPN empire.
We continue our Fox Sports 1 talk by discussing the likelihood the new network will secure the rights to the revamped Big East basketball package once the “Catholic Seven” break from the current league and establish the new conference later this summer.
We wrap our news segment by looking back at the piece written by James Andrew Miller in last weekend’s New York Times on the attempts by Keith Olbermann to return to ESPN.
Ken had the opportunity to attend the Fox Sports 1 announcement on Tuesday and has three interviews for the second half of the show. Ken, along with other reporters, had the chance to speak with Fox Senior Executive Vice President David Hill on the state of Fox Sports; Regis Philbin who will host a late afternoon talk show on the new network; and Fox NFL rules analyst Mike Pereira.
We begin the show by looking at how differently CBS sports handled the death of Cowboys practice squad player Jerry Brown, who was killed while in a car driven by Cowboys nose tackle Josh Brent. We all agreed that CBS handled this event better than one week earlier when the network waited five minutes to discuss the murder/suicide involving Chiefs linebacker Jovan Belcher.
We then take a look at a proposal floated by NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell to expand the number of teams to make the playoffs, and the media implications that go along with it.
We discuss how the once-mighty Big East has fallen as its seven basketball-only teams threaten to leave the conference.
We look at the end of an era as The Sporting Newshalts its print edition and we look back at the career of Larry Merchant, who is stepping down from covering boxing for HBO Sports.
Our other guest is SMW favorite Michelle Beadle, formerly of ESPN, now of Access Hollywood and NBC Sports. We talk to Michelle about her experience at last night’s concert in support of the victims of Super Storm Sandy in New York City, her first Olympic assignments with NBC, and we get the scoop on the new daily studio show she will host on the NBC Sports Network beginning in late January…
We have an action packed Sports Media Weekly show this week.
Ken Fang of Fang’s Bites and I lead off the show with the news this week that Major League Baseball extended its television deals with Fox Sports, Turner Sports, and the MLB Network. We take another look at the beefy NFL ratings before we shift to the impressive level of talent that will soon be on the air on the upcoming CBS Sports Radio Network when it launches in January.
We wrap up our news looking at the impressive ratings for NBC for its coverage of the Ryder Cup. We are joined by Ed Sherman of The Sherman Report who was at Medinah over the last weekend. Ed recounts the atmosphere on the course, how the Ryder Cup brings media from around the world, and whether team golf has a chance of expending in the future.
We shift back to the NFL with our other guest, CBS, Turner, and Dial Global play-by-play voice Kevin Harlan. Kevin recounts his call two weeks ago Monday night of that crazy finish between the Packers and Seahawks which signaled the end of the replacement referees. Kevin goes through the play and shares a story of seeing side judge Lance Easley at the airport the morning after the game. We also talk to Kevin about the continued popularity of the NFL and his early schedule when the NBA tips-off next month.
We lead off the show by talking about yesterday’s news that ESPN and Major League Baseball reached an eight year contract extension for the network to continue carrying baseball. We talk about what the deal means to ESPN as well as the other networks (Fox, NBC, Turner) who will be involved in negotiating the rest of the MLB package before the end of next season.
As part of the baseball discussion we look at the rights fees that will soon be coming available (NASCAR and The Big East Conference to name two) and whether NBC Sports will make a play as part of its plans to expand the programming on the NBC Sports Network.
Ed then fills us in on an incident today involving Notre Dame football radio analyst Allen Pinkett.
We wrap-up the show by looking ahead to the college football season and, despite the ratings, our collective passive interest in the NFL preseason.