Sports Media Weekly

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Sports Media Weekly No. 177- 2013 Year in Review

Welcome to the final edition of Sports Media Weekly, not only for 2013 but for the foreseeable future.

Ken Fang of Fang’s Bites and I use this final program to look back at some of the notable sports media stories for 2013 and what we can expect for 2014.

Among the items up for discussion:

The launch of Fox Sports 1;
Rights fees for the U.S. Open and Canadian NHL changing hands;
The return of Keith Olbermann to ESPN;
NCAA Basketball coverage changes coming in 2014;
Ratings, ratings, ratings;
The passing of Pat Summerall and Ken Venturi and the retirement of Tim McCarver and Dan Dierdorf;
Looking ahead to 2014 with the Winter Olympics and the World Cup.

For the second portion of the show Ken pulled a fast one on me as he spoke with members of the media on what was supposed to be their look back at the year, but instead they directed their remarks elsewhere:

Richard DeitschSports Illustrated
Steve LaporeAwful Announcing
Dan LevyThe Bleacher Report
Paulsen, Sports Media Watch
Neil Best, Newsday
Joe Flint, LA Times
John Ourand, Sports Business Journal
Ian Eagle, CBS Sports
John Daly, The Daly Planet
Matt Yoder, Awful Announcing
Michelle Beadle, NBC

I want to thank everyone on that list for their kind remarks.  It means a lot.

I also want to thank all of you who have made Sports Media Weekly a successful four-plus year endeavor.  It is what I will miss the most as I suspend Sports Media Journal.

Have a great 2014.  All the best!

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Sports Media Weekly No. 176- Ed Sherman, The Sherman Report

Only two editions of Sports Media Weekly remain and this week Ken Fang of Fang’s Bites and I are joined by Ed Sherman of The Sherman Report.

We begin the program looking at news that the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) may be taking a look at relaxing the blackout rules sports leagues impose on local television coverage of sports if the local’s team’s arenas are not sold out.

We next take a look at the college bowl season which gets underway this week and ESPN’s plans for what it calls a “Megacast” of the BCS Championship Game.

NBC today announced its 1,539+ hours of coverage for the Sochi Winter Olympics which begin in February.  In the news it was announced that all major events will be telecast live and then re-played in prime time–a move the three of us agree will benefit viewers and should not negatively impact NBC’s prime time ratings.

We wrap-up the news segment by looking at how ESPN has won a duPont Award for a segment on Outside the Lines while the show appears to be less of a priority in Bristol.

Ken and I will return on Monday, December 30th for our look back at the top sports media news of 2013 and what we can expect for the new year.

And yes, Ken and I do discuss my announcement of the closing of Sports Media Journal on January 1st.

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Sports Media Weekly No. 151- Brian Berger, Sports Business Radio & Bob Socci, New England Patriots

Another action-packed edition of Sports Media Weekly is upon us.

Ken Fang of Fang’s Bites and I are joined for our news segment by Brian Berger, host of Sports Business Radio.

We begin the show looking at the news that the NFL is moving the date of next year’s NFL Draft to May.  This will benefit the league’s broadcast partners ESPN and the NFL Network who’ll be able to charge more for advertising during the ratings “sweeps” month.

We then move into the realm of ESPN Radio with its announcement that it will provide out-of-market coverage of five NFL teams’ games beginning this fall.  ESPN also made news this week with the hiring of southern U.S. sports radio legend Paul Finebaum.

We move on to discuss how the hiring of Robert Lipsyte as the new ombudsman at ESPN may, or may not,  result in any significant changes at the World Wide Leader.

We end the segment by looking at plans by Sports Illustrated to produce a daily 30-minute talk show on SI.com beginning this Monday.

Our second guest this week is Bob Socci, current radio voice for the Pawtucket Red Sox, who will soon become the new radio voice of the New England Patriots, replacing the legendary Gil Santos.  Bob discusses his good fortune in getting both the PawSox and Patriots jobs in a matter of weeks.  Socci will be leaving the PawSox in July to begin his work in Foxboro.

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Sports Media Weekly No. 144- Ken Schott, The Daily Gazette & Dave Pasch, ESPN

Back with another edition of Sports Media Weekly with a college sports slant.

Ken Fang of Fang’s Bites and I are joined for our “Third Man In” news segment this week by Ken Schott, College Hockey and Sports TV and Radio columnist for The Daily Gazette in Schenectady, NY.  Ken just finished covering the NCAA Men’s Hockey Tournament in Providence.  He shares his experiences following college hockey in upstate New York and believes the national sports networks (other than ESPN) have an opportunity to expand coverage of NCAA hockey in the coming years.

We move to the NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament coverage on CBS and Turner by noting the high ratings for the regional finals last weekend despite three of the four games being blowouts.  We also re-examine CBS’s restraint in its coverage of the horrific injury suffered by Louisville’s Kevin Ware Sunday afternoon.

We stick with college basketball and the ESPN’s Outside the Lines report which showed practice footage of Rutgers head basketball coach Mike Rice verbally and physically abusing his players.  The national scrutiny of Rice’s actions led to his firing today.  We all feel the Rice story is one instance where ESPN did some solid reporting.

We wrap-up the segment looking at the beginning of the Major League Baseball season and the regular season debut last Sunday of John Kruk in the ESPN Sunday Night Baseball booth.

Our second guest this week is ESPN play-by-play man Dave Pasch.  Ken had the opportunity to speak with Dave about his work covering the NBA and college football and basketball for the network.  Ken gets into Dave working along side Bill Walton at the Pac-12 Tournament.  Dave also talks about his work as the radio play-by-play voice for the Arizona Cardinals.

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Sports Media Digest No 142- Greg Gumbel, CBS Sports

Ken Fang of Fang’s Bites rejoins me for this week’s Sports Media Weekly.

Ken and I begin the show looking at the beginning of the NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament and our expectations of the coverage by CBS and Turner Sports.

We then shift to the news this week that what is left of the Big East Conference has reached a media rights deal with ESPN while what will be the new Big East Conference finalized its deal today with Fox Sports.  We also comment on the announcement today that ESPN has reached a rights deal with the Mountain West Conference.

We wrap-up our news segment by taking a look at the just-announced list of Sports Emmy nominations released  by National Association of Television Arts and Sciences

Our guest this week is Greg Gumbel of CBS Sports.  Ken had the chance to speak with Greg about his work as studio host for the NCAA Men’s Basketball Championship.

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Sports Media Weekly No. 140- Ed Sherman, The Sherman Report & Fox Sports 1 Announcement

Your humble co-host is on the disabled list but was able to muddle through this edition of the Sports Media Weekly program.

Ken Fang of Fang’s Bites and I are joined during our news segment by Ed Sherman of the Sherman Report.

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.