Jon Gruden

Sports Media Digest- March 28, 2012

Golf Channel Has Most Watched Quarter Ever-  The Golf Channel has announced that viewership in the first quarter of 2012 was its most watched ever.  The network reports that it reached a total of 25 million viewers from January through March.  All segments of its programming, from tournament coverage to studio shows, have seen ratings increases over 2011.  Ratings records have been set at seven of the 14 PGA Tour events so far in 2012.

Sweeney Joins MLB Network as Analyst-  The MLB network has announced that is has hired former five time all-star Mike Sweeney to its roster of baseball analysts.  Sweeney joins the roster of MLB Tonight analysts tonight at 9:00p.m. ET.

Gruden’s QB Camp Opens Friday With Andrew Luck- This year’s edition of Gruden’s QB Camp opens this Friday as the former NFL head coach looks at the prospects of Stanford quarterback and projected #1 pick Andrew Luck.  The 30-minute special debuts Friday at 7:00p.m. ET.  The next edition of Gruden’s QB Camp will take place Monday at 9:00p.m. with his look at Heisman Trophy Winner Robert Griffin III.

NBCSN Has MLS Action Friday and Saturday-  NBC Sports Network (NBCSN) will have live coverage of Major League Soccer this Friday night and Saturday.  Friday’s action kicks-off at 7:30p.m. ET with F.C. Dallas at D.C. United.  Saturday night’s match features the New Englnad Revolution at the L.A. Galaxy.  Arlo White and Kyle Martino will call both games with Russ Thaler handling pre-game, halftime, and post-game duties.

CBSSports.com is the Backbone for All Eight Men’s and Women’s Final Four Teams-  The CBSSports.com College Network is partnering to run the athletic websites of the final four teams in the men’s and women’s Division I tournament.  The CBSSports.com College Network produces approximately 150 official athletic sites for colleges and universities across the United States

Snowboarding Returns to NBC Sports This Weekend-  NBC Sports will be providing coverage of snowboarding’s Red Bull Supernatural this Saturday at 1:00p.m. ET.  Sal Masakela returns as host.

Universal Sports to Televise World Table Tennis Championships on Pay-Per-View– Universal Sports will be producing the 2012 ITTF World Team Table Tennis Championships from Dortmund, Germany, with live pay-per-view coverage available through DIRECTV, DISH, and AvailTVN.  UniversalSports.com will stream 70 hours of action from Rounds 4 and 5, the 1/8 Finals, Quarterfinals, Semifinals and Finals between March 28 and April 1. The site’s three levels of subscriptions include a single day package for $19.99, the Semifinals and Finals (final two days) for $34.99 or the full five-day package for $79.99.

Jon Gruden’s QB Camp Returns to ESPN next Month

For the third straight year ESPN Monday Night Football analyst Jon Gruden will be sitting down one-on-one with some of the best quarterbacks coming out of college entering the NFL. 

Gruden’s QB Camp will involve the Super Bowl winning coach sitting down and analyzing film with this year’s top quarterback prospects.

Gruden’s QB Camp begins March 31st.  Here is the schedule:

Date Time (ET) Network Show
Sat., March 31 7 p.m. ESPN SportsCenter Special: Gruden’s QB Camp – Andrew Luck
Mon., Apr. 2 9 p.m. ESPN SportsCenter Special: Gruden’s QB Camp – Robert Griffin III
Wed., Apr. 11 5 p.m. ESPNU Gruden’s QB Camp – Russell Wilson
Thurs., Apr. 12 5 p.m. ESPNU Gruden’s QB Camp – Kellen Moore
Mon., Apr. 16 5 p.m. ESPNU Gruden’s QB Camp – Kirk Cousins
Tues., Apr. 17 5 p.m. ESPNU Gruden’s QB Camp – Case Keenum
Wed., Apr. 18 8 p.m. ESPNU Gruden’s QB Camp – Brandon Weeden
Thurs., Apr. 19 5 p.m. ESPNU Gruden’s QB Camp – Brock Osweiler
  7 p.m. ESPN SportsCenter Special: Gruden’s QB Camp – all 10 QBs (one-hour)
  10 p.m. ESPN2 SportsCenter Special: Gruden’s QB Camp – all 10 QBs (re-air)
Mon., Apr. 23 5 p.m. ESPNU Gruden’s QB Camp – Nick Foles
Tues., Apr. 24 5 p.m. ESPNU Gruden’s QB Camp – Ryan Tannehill

ESPN, Jon Gruden Come to Terms on Five-Year Extension

ESPN has announced that it has entered into a five year contract extension with Jon Gruden to keep him broadcasting Monday Night Football (MNF).  His new deal is effective September 2012.

Gruden became part of the MNF team in September of 2009.  In his first two seasons at the mic Gruden has earned two Emmy Award nominations for Best Analyst.

“Our Monday Night Football crew is special, and to have the opportunity to continue to be a part of this team, working these big-time NFL prime time games every week on ESPN, I’m fired up,” said Gruden in a press release.

“Jon has made a remarkable transition from Super Bowl-winning head coach to one of the premier football analysts in our business.” said Norby Williamson, executive vice president, production.  “His long-term commitment to ESPN will continue to elevate our Monday Night Football presentation and we look forward to finding even more opportunities to take advantage of his passion for football and unique insights into the game.”

Over his time at ESPN Grudent has also called a number of college football bowl games for both ESPN and ESPN Radio.

Photo Courtesy ESPN

Kornheiser out, Gruden in at MNF

Former Buccaneers and Raiders coach Jon Gruden is replacing Tony Kornheiser in the Monday Night Football booth, ESPN announced today.

In a news release, Kornheiser said he is stepping down because of his well-known fear of flying.

“When I looked at the upcoming schedule, it was the perfect storm that would’ve frequently moved me from the bus to the air.  I kept looking at the schedule the past month and wanted to find a way to quietly extricate myself,” said Kornheiser, co-host of ESPN’s Pardon the Interruption and a former Washington Post columnist.

Kornheiser lasted three years on MNF, and after each season, rumors spread of his departure from sharing broadcast duties with Mike Tirico and Ron Jaworski.

Sometimes it seemed I was only one who enjoyed Kornheiser’s MNF work. He drew lots of bashing by fans, particularly among the anonymous helmet-heads of the Internet who just couldn’t stand having a sportswriter talk about football. However, as Jaworski said in ESPN’s news release: “He sees the game from the outside in, and I see the game from the inside out.” That was why the two of them worked well together.

Here is the ESPN news release:

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