Sports Media Digest- October 17, 2012

Tonight’s NFL Turning Point on NBCSN–  This week on NFL turning Point on the NBC Sports Network (NBCSN) host Dan Patrick will look at the key plays of the Patriots/Seahawks, Cowboys/Ravens, and the first six weeks of Washington’s Robert Griffin III.  Rodney Harrison and Tony Dungy will also look ahead to this Sunday’s Bengals-Steelers game.  NFL Turning Point airs tonight at 10:00p.m. ET.

TNT has PGA Grand Slam of Golf-  The big events of the PGA Tour are over, but TNT next week will have coverage as the three of the four winners of the major championships get together for the PGA Grand Slam of Golf.  Bubba Watson, Webb Simpson, and Ernie Els will join last year’s PGA Champion Keegan Bradley in the two-day competition from Bermuda.  Verne Lundquist, Ian Baker-Finch and Bill Kratzert will have the call live next Tuesday and Wednesday at 4:00p.m. ET.

Next ESPN 30 for 30 Film Debuts next Tuesday-  The next iteration of ESPN’s 30 for 30 documentary series will debut next Tuesday night at 8:00p.m. ET.  Benji looks back at the life of 17-year-old Benjamin “Benji” Wilson Jr.: a youngster from Chicago’s South Side, and America’s most talented basketball prospect.  Wilson was the first high school player in Chicago’s history to be ranked as No. 1 and his senseless murder the day before his senior season sent ripples through the city and the nation.

NBCSN Has U.S. Women’s Soccer-  The NBC Sports Network (NBCSN) will have coverage this weekend of the U.S. Women’s national soccer team match as they take on Germany next Tuesday, October 23rd at 7:30 p.m. ET live from Rentschler Field in East Hartford, Conn.  Arlo White, Kate Markgraf and Russ Thaler will have the call.

Figure Skating on NBC This Weekend– NBC Sports will have coverage of the 2012 Hilton Honors Skate America competition.  NHL announcer Mike Emrick will anchor the network’s coverage with analysts Scott Hamilton, Sandra Bezic and Tracy Wilson.  Andrea Joyce will handle off ice interviews.  Coverage will begin this Sunday on NBC at 4:00p.m. ET.

Boxeo Telemundo has Featherweight Title Fight– Boxeo Telemundo” will present the exclusive live broadcast of the World Boxing Organization (WBO)’s Latin Featherweight Title fight between the current champion, Puerto Rico’s Orlando Cruz and Mexico’s Jorge “The Ferocious” Pazos.  The bout takes place this Friday at 11:35 PM ET. René Giraldo will call the fight with commentary and analysis by sportscaster Jessi Losada.

ESPN the Magazine NBA Preview Issue–  ESPN the Magazine will be available this week with a look at a preview of the upcoming NBA Season.  Here is the cover:

Sports Illustrated Cover This Week- Here is the cover of this week’s edition of Sports Illustrated:

Sports Media Digest- September 26, 2012

Cari Champion Joins ESPN as Host of First Take– ESPN today announced that broadcast journalist Cari Champion will begin her duties as host of ESPN2’s First Take beginning this Monday, October 1st.  Champion has worked across the country covering network news, entertainment, and sports stories of national interest for ABC, CBS, NBC and other cable networks.  She comes to ESPN from the Tennis Channel, where she was an anchor and a courtside reporter.

CBS Sports Network Debuts UFL Action Tonight-  The CBS Sports Network will begin its coverage of the UFL tonight at 9:00p.m. ET with the Virginia Destroyers at the Las Vegas Locomotives.  Howard David, Jamie Dukes and Jackie Montgomery will be on the call.

Double Header College Football Action Saturday on NBCSN-  The NBC Sports Network (NBCSN) will carry two college football games this Saturday.  Action begins at Noon ET as Penn takes on Dartmouth with Randy Moss, Ross Tucker, and Carolyn Manno on site.  At 3:30p.m. ET James Verrett, Anthony Herron and Rashan Ali will call the Atlanta Football Classic featuring Florida A&M and Southern.

White Sox/Rays on Sunday MLB on TBS–  The final installment of Sunday MLB on TBS will take place this weekend as the Chicgo White Sox take on the Tampa Bay Rays.  Coverage begins at 2:00p.m. Et with Ernie Johnson, Ron Darling, and John Smoltz.

Inaugural Navy-Marine Corps College Hoops Classic to Air on NBCSN-  NBC Sports announced today that the inaugural Navy-Marine Corps Classic will take place Friday, November 9th aboard the USS Bataan, at Mayport Naval Air Station in Jacksonville, Fla and be telecast on the NBC Sports Network (NBCSN).  The debut game will feature Georgetown and Florida with tip-off at 9:00p.m. ET. Proceeds from the Navy-Marine Classic will go directly to benefit local military affairs efforts

NBCSN has Pair of MLS Matches This Weekend–  The NBC Sports Network (NBCSN) will televise two MLS matches this week.  On Friday at 8:30p.m. ET the Chicago Fire take on Sporting Kansas City.  J.P. Dellacamera, Brian Dunseth and Rob Simmelkjaer have the call.  Saturday at 9:00p.m. ET Arlo White, Kyle Martino, and Russ Thaler will be at the mic as the Vancouver Whitecaps host the Seattle Sounders.

First 30 for 30 Short Debuts Today on  ESPN has announced that the first 30 for 30 Short is now available for viewing on Grnatland.  The first film is Arnold’s Blueprint, a 12-minute film focusing on Arnold Schwarzenegger’s teenage years in the Austrian Army.

mun2 To Air Three Fútbol Estelar Games–  mun2 will be the home of  Deportes Telemundo’s Fútbol Estelar this Friday, September 28 at 10:30 p.m. EST/7:30 p.m. PST, with an exclusive live broadcast of Club León vs. current CONCACAF Champions Club de Fútbol Monterrey. Fútbol Estelar is Telemundo’s outstanding presentation of Liga MX’s Summer soccer tournament Apertura, featuring the Emmy-award winning commentator Andres Cantor and Sammy Sadovnik. mun2 will air two other matches next week.

HBO has Boxing After Dark Triple Header-  HBO Sports will air a trio of matches this weekend as part of its Boxing After Dark series. Beginning at 9:30p.m. ET Edwin Rodrigues takes on Jason Escalera, Luis Del Valle batttles Vic Darchinyan and Alex Perez fights Antonin Decarie.  Bob Papa, Max Kellerman and Roy Jones Jr. will be ringside.

This Week’s Sports Illustrated Cover-  Here is the cover of Sports Illustrated for this week:

Sports Media Digest- August 8, 2012

Audience for Olympics Returns Over 30 Million-  NBC Sports reports that the viewership for last night’s prime time Olympics coverage was 30.1 million viewers,  making it the highest second Tuesday of a non-U.S. hosted Games in 36 years.  Last night’s rating was 17.6, 8% higher than the 2008 Beijing Games and 12% higher than 2004 in Athens.

Olympic Soccer Match Gives Telemundo Highest Weekday Viewership-  Telemundo’s Olympic telecast yesterday of the Mexico/Japan soccer match gave the network is highest viewership in the 12:00p.m. to 2:00p.m. ET daypart.  The audience averaged 1.4 million total viewers and 713,000 adults 18-49.

CBS Sports Coverage of the PGA Championship-  CBS Sports is set to televise golf’s final major, the PGA Championship.   CBS will have live coverage of the final two rounds Saturday and Sunday beginning at 2:00p.m. ET each day.  Jim Nantz will anchor the network’s coverage along with Sir Nick Faldo.  Ian Baker-Finch will call the action at the 17th hole, Gary McCord at the 16th hole, Peter Oosterhuis at the 15th hole, Verne Lundquist at the 14th hole and Bill Macatee at the 13th hole.  David Feherty and Peter Kostis will serve as on-course reporters.  Macatee and Feherty will host a late night wrap-up of Thursday and Friday’s action following Late Night with David Letterman.

NBCSN Has MLS Action this Friday and Next Wednesday-  Following its coverage of the Olympics this Friday, the NBC Sports Network (NBCSN) will have MLS action as the Houston Dynamo travel to take on the New York Red Bulls.  Kick-off is 8:00p.m. ET. NBCSN will also have MLS action next Wednesday at 7:00p.m. ET as the Los Angeles Galaxy take on the Columbus Crew.  John Strong will work play-by-play alongside former MLS player and Olympian Brian Dunseth. Brent Harris will serve as studio host on site in New York and Columbus on Friday and Wednesday, respectfully.

Sports Media Digest- August 1, 2012

Wash, Rinse, Repeat in Terms of Olympics Viewership for NBC- 38.7 million viewers tuned in to NBC’s prime time coverage of the Olympics last night, making it the most watched non-US hosted first Tuesday ever. The network earned a 21.8 rating, the best number for a Tuesday night since the 2002 Salt Lake City Games.  Through 5 days, 168.1 million Americans have watched the Olympics on the networks of NBCUniversal, ahead of Beijing’s 167.8 at the same point through the Games.  Through the first Tuesday of the London Olympics, NBC is averaging 35.6 million viewers, the most of any non-U.S. Summer Olympics since the 1976 Montreal Olympics.

Olympics on Telemundo Registering Massive Viewership Gains-  The viewership for the 2012 Olympics on Telemundo is registering 69% growth in total viewers and 58% among adults 18-49 over the 2008 games in Beijing.  Overall Telemundo delivered a total cumulative viewership of 9.4 million viewers for the first three days, 12% more than the first three days of the Beijing Olympics.

Pac-12 Network Signs Carriage Agreements with Two Cable Carriers– The Pac-12 Network has announced that it has signed carriage agreements with Frontier Communications and Bend Braodband.  Frontier services subscribers in Washington and oregon while Bend Broadband also serves subscribers in Oregon.

Bridgestone Inviational PGA Event on CBS Sports–  CBS Sports continues its coverage of the PGA Tour this weekend with the Bridgestone Invitational.  Action will begin Saturday and Sunday at 2:00p.m. ET.  Jim Nantz will anchor coverage along with Sir Nick Faldo.  Ian Baker-Finch calls the action at the 17th hole,G ary McCord at the 16th hole and Peter Kostis at the 15th hole.   David Feherty serves as on-course reporter.

NFL Media Adds Schein to Staff-  NFL Media has announced that SiriusXM NFL Radio host Adam Schein has joined the NFL Media team.  Schein will be a regular contributor on and NFL Mobile.  Schein will continue his show on SiriusXM Radio as well as his duties covering the NFL on SNY-TV.

Telemundo’s Early Coverage of the Olympic Games

Telemundo Media, the official Olympics Spanish language broadcaster in the U.S., has come up with it’s plans for the start of the games.

Coverage begins tomorrow at 6:30a.m. ET and will feature a wide variety of sports of interest to Hispanics including boxing, swimming, gymnastics and especially soccer, featuring the qualifying matches of Mexico vs. Korea and Brazil vs. Egypt on Thursday, July 26; and Mexico vs. Gabon and Spain vs. Honduras on Sunday, July 29. Starting on Thursday, July 26.

Andres Cantor will serve as the main host for the network’s coverage of the games.

Fans will be able to view events online on and on Facebook on the fan and on Twitter @olimpiadastlmd.

Telemundo’s broadcast of the 2012 London Olympic Games during its first days will include the following: 

Thursday, July 26 
Starting at 6:30am ET/3:30amPT a 5pm ET/4pmPT

Olympic Soccer 
• Honduras vs. Morocco
• Mexico vs. Korea
• United Arab Emirates vs. Uruguay
• Egypt vs. Brazil

Saturday, July 28 
Starting at 8am ET/8amPT a 5pm ET/5pmPT

• Review of the Opening Ceremony 
• Swimming
• Volleyball
• Beach Volleyball
• Boxing

Sunday, July 29 
Starting at 7am ET/4amPT a 6pm ET/3pmPT

Olympic Soccer 
• Mexico vs. Gabon
• Senegal vs. Uruguay
• Spain vs. Honduras

• Swimming 
• Men’s Basketball
• Beach Volleyball
• Boxing
• Volleyball
• Tennis

Sports Media Digest- March 19, 2012

No Perfect Brackets Remain in ESPN’s Men’s and Women’s Tournament Challenges-  After the first three rounds of the Men’s NCAA Division I Basketball Championships and the first round of the Women’s Division I Basketball Championships, no one has a perfect bract as part of’s Tournament Challenges.  On the men’s side only three of the 6.5 million brackets picked the current sweet sixteen.  After one round in the women’s challenge, 53 brackets have only one miss.

ESPN to Provide Coverage of Luck, Griffin III Pro Days- ESPNU and ESPN3 will carry the Pro Day workouts of Stanford’s Andrew Luck and Baylor’s Robert Griffin III from Baylor (Wednesday, 12 p.m. ET) and Stanford (Thursday, 2 p.m.).  NFL analysts will provide updates on daily editions of SportsCenterNFL Live (4 p.m., ESPN) and NFL32 (6 p.m., ESPN2) throughout the week.

ESPN NBA Double Header Wednesday Night-  ESPN will have double header NBA action this Wednesday.  Coverage begins at 7:00p.m. Et as the Knicks visit the 76’ers.  Mike Breen and analyst Hubie Brown will provide commentary. In the nightcap, the Dallas Mavericks will host the Los Angeles Lakers at 9:30 p.m. ET.  Mike Tirico will call the game with analyst Jeff Van Gundy and reporter Heather Cox.

NBC Publishing and the Golf Channel Release Palmer e-Book- NBC Publishing and the Golf Channel have partnered on a new e-book edition by best selling author Thomas Hauser called Arnold Palmer: A Personal Journey.  Arnold Palmer: A Personal Journey is available for Kindle, iPad, iPhone, iPod Touch, and Nook.

Telemundo and mun2 will Air the CONCAF Pre- Olympic Soccer Tournament- Telemundo and mun2 will offer live, exclusive Spanish language coverage of the 2012 CONCACAF Olympic qualifying tournament beginning on March 22nd. The tournament will take place in Carson, California, Nashville, Tennessee, and Kansas City , Missouri with the national squads from Canada, Cuba, El Salvador, Honduras, Mexico, Panama, the United States and Trinidad and Tobago all vying for the 2 coveted Olympic spots.

Top Sports Media News Items of 2011

It’s tradition that news organizations look at the top stories of the year as December winds down.  Why should we be any different?  Here are what we consider the top sports media news stories for 2011:

Despite Lockout, NFL Thrives: The National Football League spent the first half of 2011 mired in a labor dispute which resulted in the owners locking out the players.  The impassed ended in July and the 2011 season was salvaged.  The work stoppage did nothing to quell the support for the NFL.  NFL games continue to be some of the highest rated programs each week, and the league re-newed television broadcast agreements with ESPN, NBC, CBS, and Fox which will bring in nearly $5 billion annual until 2022.  The only television deal yet to be finalized is one which may extend a Thursday night match-up each week of the season.

NBC Retains Rights to the Olympics Through 2020:  NBC will continue its run as the U.S. network of the Olympic Games after having secured the broadcast rights to the Summer and Winter Games through 2020.  NBC, ESPN, and Fox all put in bids to telecast the games, but the International Olympic Committee decided that its relationship with NBC, along with its $4.38 billion dollar bid, was worthy of the retention.

ESPN Loses the Rights to the World Cup to Fox: Despite losing the Olympics to NBC, it was widely assumed that ESPN would be able to retain its U.S. broadcast rights to the World Cup.  But when the rights to the men’s and women’s torunaments came up for bid this summer, ESPN was outbid by Fox, which will pay $400 for all evets beginning in 2015.  Telemundo was awarded the Spanish-language rights, at a cost of $600 million.  ESPN still has the rights to the men’s World Cup in 2014.

Changes at the Top of Network Sports Divisions: Some big news was made off-the-air as NBC and ESPN announced changes at the top of their sports organizational structures.  Long time NBC Sports Chairman Dick Ebersol resigned in May after 22 years at the helm.  He has been replaced by NBC Sports Group President Mark Lazarus.  Late last month it was announced that ESPN President George Bodenheimer was being promoted to ESPN Executive Chairman while Vice President of Content John Skipper will be promoted to President of ESPN.  That moves take place January 1st.

NBC Sports Extends its Reach in Competition with ESPN: After its merger with Comcast was complete, NBC Sports began making moves toward compteting with ESPN.  Along with its deals with the NFL and the Olympics, NBC extended its deal to air the NHL on its networks.  It also announced in August that Versus will be re-branded as the NBC Sports Network effective January 2nd.

Sports Networks Handle Sexual Abuse Scandals at Penn State and Syracuse: When accusations of sexual abuse of minors arose against former Penn State Defensive Coordinator Jerry Sandusky and former Syracuse Assistant Basketball Coach Bernie Fine, sports media outlets became news journalists.  Sports networks break news all the time, but it seemed that it was uncomfortable at times for these outlets to tackle these sensitive issues.  ESPN was also called to task for not reporting what it knew about Fine back in 2002.  These stories will definitley evolve in 2012.

ESPN Continues Its Dominance In Coverage of the NCAA:  2011 was another seminal year for ESPN in terms of its coverage of college athletics.  In August the network launched the Longhorn Network, the first network devoted to the sports of one educational institution.  Later in the fall ESPN also renewed its deal to televise 24 NCAA Championships through 2024.  Event though Fox Sports has made inroads in securing rights deals, especially with the Pac 12, ESPN remains the dominant force in telecasting college atheltics.

The Latest Book on the History of ESPN is Released Amid Much Talk: It was the most anticipated sports book release of the year, Those Guys Have All the Fun: Inside the World of ESPN by James Andrew Miller and Tom Shales.  Excerpts of the book leaked out up until its release in May, giving readers a look at some of the seedier moments behind-the-scenes in the history of the network.  In the end some were disappointed that there was not more sleeze, while those interested in television history in general, and ESPN in particular, found much to like in the book.  You can hear our two interviews with co-author Miller on the Sports Media Weekly Podcast here and here.

Those are what we feel were to top sports media stories of 2011.  There were plenty of others, including the controversies at ESPN over the firing of Ron Franklin and the “suspension” of Bruce Feldman, Gus Johnson leaving CBS for Fox, The launch of Bill Simmons’ Grantland, Bob Costas and Al Michaels sharing the mic for a Major League Baseball game, and the NCAA tournament games being shared by CBS and Turner Sports.

Needless to say the sports media beat is now a 24/7 endeaver and we’ll continue to do our best, within our resources, to bring you what’s making news within the industry.  Please let me know what you think of SMJ and how we can improve.  Thank you for your continued support and we wish you all the best for 2012!

Fox, Telemundo Secure Rights to World Cup Events From 2015-2022

Fox Sports and Telemundo have won the rights from FIFA to telecast the 2018 and 2022 World Cups.

According to reports in the Wall Street Journal, Fox will pay in excess of $400 million for the rights while Comcast, Telemundo’s parent company, will pay $600 for the Spanish language rights.  The deal includes the rights to all FIFA World Cup events beginning in 2015.  Along with the men’s tournament, Fox and Telemundo will also provide coverage of the 2019 Women’s World Cup.

Included in the Fox deal are rights to online content and radio broadcasts from the tournaments.

“We are truly honored for FIFA to award the Fox Sports Media Group these extremely important rights.” said Fox Sports Media Group Chairman David Hill, “The FIFA World Cup and Women’s World Cup are two of the world’s biggest competitions. It is our privilege to be entrusted with these rights in the United States from 2015 through 2022.”

ESPN, which holds the rights to the 2014 World Cup, was considered the frontrunner heading into the bidding process.

SMJ Inbox- March 21, 2011

It’s a new week…let’s take a peak into what’s been gathering in the Sports Media Journal inbox…

More Big Numbers for CBS/Turner After Week One of Tournament- Over the first week of the NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament, CBS and Turner Sports have seen an average rating of 5.5, a 15% increase over CBS’ lone coverage in 2010.  The average audience on CBS, TNT, TBS, and truTV was 8.4 million viewers, up 14% over last year.  That average viewership is the highest for the tournament in 17 years.  Sunday’s third round coverage garnered a rating of  6.6, a 16% increase over 2010 and the highest since 2000.

March Madness on Demand Seed Big Numbers Through First Week- The success of the NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament is also translating into big numbers of online viewers.  The March Madness on Demand product has had 26.7 million visits in the first week of the tournament, a 47% increase over 2010.

ESPN Tournament Challenge Sees Lack of Bracket Success- ESPN reports that only one of the 5.9 million brackets filled out in it’s Tournament Challenge contest had 15 of the 16 teams still in the tournament.  No one selected this year’s Sweet 16.  By the way, President Obama sits at 7,549 in the ranking of all brackets.  Not bad.

ESPN Announces MLB Schedule for Opening Weekend- ESPN has announced that it will televise six MLB games to begin the 2011 season.  Here is the schedule and announcer line-up:

Thursday, March 31, 1 p.m. Detroit at N.Y. Yankees
Sean McDonough, Rick Sutcliffe, Aaron Boone, Tim Kurkjian, Buster Olney

4 p.m. San Diego at St. Louis
Dave O’Brien, Nomar Garciaparra, Pedro Gomez

8 p.m. San Francisco at L.A. Dodgers
Dan Shulman, Orel Hershiser, Bobby Valentine, Wendi Nix
ESPN,, ESPN Mobile TV, ESPN Radio

Friday, April 1st, 1 p.m. Houston at Philadelphia
McDonough, Sutcliffe, Boone, Kurkjian

4 p.m., Boston at Texas
Shulman, Hershiser, Valentine, Olney
ESPN,, ESPN Mobile TV, ESPN Radio

Saturday, April 2nd, 3 p.m. San Diego at St. Louis
ESPN Radio

Sunday, April 3rd, 8 p.m. San Francisco at L.A. Dodgers
Shulman, Hershiser, Valentine, Nix, Olney

Telemundo Announces World Cup Qualifying Match Extension- The NBC Sports Group has announced that Telemundo has extended its agreement to televise the Mexican National Team’s away World Cup qualifying matches through 2013.  Legendary announcer Andres Cantor will be on the call.

ESPN Announces Schedule of 2011 Women’s FIFA World Cup- ESPN has set-up its schedule of matches in this summer’s FIFA Women’s World Cup in Germany.  You can find the entire schedule here.

NFL Network Looks at Top 100 Players of 2011- After the completion of the 2011 NFL Draft, the NFL Network will present The Top 100: Players of 2011, a look at the top players of today, as selected by the players themselves.  The program will debut Saturday, April 30th at 8:00pm ET.