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Parcells and Rice Officially Join ESPN as NFL Analysts

Former NFL head coach Bill Parcells and Hall of Fame wide receiver Jerry Rice are officially joining ESPN as NFL analysts, the World Wide Leader announced. Parcells, who most recently served as an executive with the Dolphins, will make his 2011 debut on next week’s Monday Night Countdown. He has worked as an analyst for ESPN on several occasions in the past, in between coaching and executive positions with Dallas and Miami. The two-time Super Bowl-winning coach will reunite with Chris Berman, Tom Jackson, Keyshawn Johnson, and Chris Mortensen on Countdown. During the season he will make regular Sunday NFL Countdown appearances and contribute a pair of SportsCenter Special shows, Super Bowl Confidential and Draft Confidential, similar to the 90-minute Bill Parcells Draft Confidential from earlier this year.

Gotta admit, Parcells is good TV, and should be insightful and biting with his commentary, not least because he must be done with working in NFL front offices at this point. Right? I mean, he’s retired, just like Brett Favre.

Monday’s preseason game features the Jets, who Parcells led to the 1998 AFC Championship Game, and the Texans. The premiere of regular-season MNF features the Jets and the Dolphins, who Parcells recently left in tip-top shape. He’s beloved by Miami fans.

“Over my years in football, I’ve had the good fortune of building terrific relationships with some of the folks at ESPN,” Parcells said. “Some of them are familiar faces to the viewers and some are smart and talented people behind the scenes. I look forward to working with many of those same people again and sharing my opinions and perspective with viewers throughout the NFL season.”

Rice, who holds NFL records for receptions, touchdown receptions and receiving yards, is scheduled to start his duties on Sept. 15. He will appear on NFL Live, SportsCenter and ESPN’s Audibles show, which will air Thursday nights this fall. On Audibles, Rice will be banter with his former Niners teammate Steve Young.

“I am excited to begin this new chapter of my life working for ESPN as an NFL analyst, ” Rice said. “Throughout my career, I recognized ESPN was the best place to go for NFL information and analysis and I am honored to join their great team. For my part, I am going to work as hard as humanly possible to bring viewers the best insights and opinions on issues around the league.”

Parcells and Rice join Eric Mangini, Hugh Douglas and Damien Woody as recent additions to ESPN’s NFL coverage.

“Bill Parcells and Jerry Rice are two of the NFL’s all-time greats and have five Super Bowl rings between them,” said Norby Williamson, ESPN executive vice president, production. “They are among the most respected names in the game, and we’re thrilled fans will have the opportunity to hear their insights as part of ESPN’s comprehensive NFL coverage.”

5 Things You Need to Know This Week: America, It's Just Like Us!

In this week’s episode of “5 Things You Need to Know This Week,” we avoid eye contact with Michele Bachmann, make a music video for Kanye West and Jay-Z, ask James Earl Jones for his take on the Iowa straw poll, and, overall, do our best to cheer everybody up.

For more videos, check out Mediabistro.tv, and be sure to follow us on Twitter: @mediabistroTV Thanks for watching!

England-Holland Soccer Friendly Postponed Due to London Riots

Wednesday’s scheduled friendly between England and Holland at Wembley Stadium in London has been postponed due to widespread rioting in the English capital.

Football Association Chairman David Bernstein said authorities advised him about postponing the match.

“We have received clear advice that due to the sporadic and widespread nature of the unrest there are significant concerns in relation to the available emergency service resource to safely police the fixture,” Bernstein said at a news conference.

“In light of these concerns … the authorities have advised us that under the terms of our safety certificate we are unable to host the fixture or guarantee the safety of visiting supporters or the teams.

“The Dutch FA (KNVB) were informed of the decision prior to their scheduled departure from Holland and we thank them for their co-operation and support during this difficult period,” Bernstein added.

English players released a statement agreeing with the decision.

“We have all seen the terrible pictures on television and the most important thing at this time is the safety of the fans and the general public.

“At this time the whole squad would like to appeal for calm and an end to this disorder.”

Rioting began three days ago after police shot and killed a 29-year-old father of four in an anti-firearms operation. Gangs of youths have since rampaged through the streets, smashing store windows, looting stores and setting fires.

(Photo: The Guardian)

ESPN Hires Jerry Rice as Analyst

Richard Deitsch of Sports Illustrated is reporting that ESPN has hired Hall of Fame wide receiver Jerry Rice as an analyst, and that Rice will appear on NFL Live, SportsCenter and ESPN’s Audibles show, which will air Thursday nights this fall. On Audibles, Rice will be banter with his former Niners teammate Steve Young.

Rice, who holds NFL records for receptions, touchdown receptions and receiving yards, is scheduled to start his duties on Sept. 15. He is a bad man.

Versus Reportedly Close to Deal to Televise College Hockey

College hockey fans may soon rejoice as Versus is reportedly close to a deal that will allow the channel to broadcast Division 1 games on Friday and Saturday nights, according to College Hockey News. Versus, which will be re-branding itself as NBC Sports Sports Network in January 2012, has reached agreement with some but not all of the five D-1 leagues and is expected to make a formal announcement once all the deals are complete.

CBS College Sports already has a similar arrangement with the leagues.

Working with national networks is tricky, because most of the leagues have existing local deals. Hockey East, for example, has a contract with New England Sports Network (NESN), the CCHA has a deal with Fox Sports Detroit, and the WCHA has one with Fox Sports North. In addition, individual schools have a variety of local deals. In most cases, it is written in those contracts that those local or regional networks have precedence – i.e. the first right to pick which games it wants to broadcast.

Video: Latest Red Sox-Yankees Ad Featuring Alec Baldwin and John Krasinski

This is the fourth New Era video featuring actors Alec Baldwin, a diehard Yankees fan, and John Krasinski, a loyal Red Sox rooter. Have to say, this is probably the weakest installment to date. The others have ranged from mildly humorous to hysterically funny, but this is just kind of nonsensical and lame. The Sox and Yankees are tied for first in the American League East and open a three-game set tonight in Boston.

Sir Alex Ferguson Tells Reporter to 'F*ck Off'

Manchester United coach Sir Alex Ferguson took exception to this story written by Daily Mail reporter Bob Cass in which a source says Ferguson is frustrated with the contract negotiations with Inter Milan midfielder Wesley Sneijder and is prepared to move on. So when the two crossed paths after Man U’s friendly win over Barcelona, Ferguson accosted Cass and said, “You and your paper can fuck off.”

I love the British for instances like this. Not only does a coach feel comfortable saying something that would lead SportsCenter in this country, but the reporter shrugs it off and goes about his business like it’s no big deal.

Comcast sues DirecTV over NFL ads

Comcast, the nation’s largest cable operator, filed a lawsuit Wednesday in Illinois against DirecTV, the nation’s largest satellite provider, alleging deceptive advertising in claiming that DirecTV subscribers are going to watch “free” football this season. They called DirecTV “a serial false advertiser,” which some people will probably take with a grain of salt, not least because Comcast has been accused of underhanded dealings with consumers themselves.

Here’s the main complaint from Comcast against DirecTV, courtesy of The Hollywood Reporter. (The bolding and underlining were made by Comcast, not us.)

“This is a false advertising case against a serial false advertiser. In the wake of the recent resolution of the NFL’s labor dispute, defendant DIRECTV has launched a multi-million-dollar multimedia advertising campaign, baiting consumers with the claim that DIRECTV’s popular NFL Sunday Ticket service — which ordinarily costs hundreds of dollars per year — is currently available for “free” or at “no extra charge.” Unfortunately for consumers the claim of “free” is an outright lie. As none of the ads disclose, the offer is not for free NFL Sunday Ticket service – the offer requires a two-year contract with hefty termination fees for early cancellation, with the NFL Sunday Ticket service automatically renewing in the second year at full price. DIRECTV has gone to great lengths to conceal this fact from consumers. Many of its ads, especially those aired on the radio, simply omit this critical fact altogether while DIRECTV’s television and Internet ads employ a carefully crafted scheme of purported disclaimers that were intentionally designed to deceive as many consumers as possible.”

Comcast is seeking DirecTV’s profits resulting from allegedly misleading misrepresentations, exemplary and punitive damages, legal costs, and an injunction. DirecTV, meanwhile, responded to the lawsuit by saying, “We believe that Comcast’s complaint is completely without merit and plan to defend ourselves vigorously.”

Surprisingly Comcast did not point out that satellite dishes on people’s houses looks kind of low rent.

Cubes: VIP Tour of Bloomberg TV

In this brand-new episode of “Cubes,” we get a VIP tour of Bloomberg’s Manhattan offices from Bloomberg TV correspondent Gigi Stone. Check out the video below…

For updates on future episodes of “Cubes,” be sure to follow us on Twitter: @mediabistroTV


Pacquiao-Marquez Will Have A PPV Home By This Weekend

Boxing fans should know which network will get the rights to the Manny Pacquiao-Juan Manuel Marquez Nov. 12 pay-per-view fight by this weekend, according to Top Rank CEO Bob Arum.

“Our goal is that we’ll vote on it by the end of the week,” Arum told BoxingScene.com.

HBO and Showtime are the two networks in the running. Pacquiao’s last fight against Shane Mosley was on Showtime and generated roughly 1.3 million pay-per-view buys thanks to promotion on CBS.

In order to sway Arum, HBO is offering to leverage their relationship with parent company Time Warner.

“The [package] that [HBO has] offered to us is something a year ago that nobody would’ve dreamed of,” Arum said. “If it was still the same [nonsense], we wouldn’t even be debating it. We would’ve already signed a contract with Showtime/CBS.”

 

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