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The Hockey News Issues Apology To Minnesota Wild Owners

The Hockey News issued an apology and retraction Wednesday to Minnesota Wild owners Craig Leipold and Phil Falcone for a story the website ran on June 9 titled: “Source: Craig Leipold to acquire additional 40 percent of Minnesota Wild if minority owner Philip Falcone forced out.”

“The story was erroneous concerning the proceedings of the United States Securities and Exchange Commission and the SEC’s plans or decisions with respect to Mr. Falcone or his company, Harbinger. We were also incorrect as to Mr. Falcone’s business plans and the potential sale of his minority ownership in the Wild and in stating that Mr. Falcone loaned Mr. Leipold the money with which he bought his interest in the Wild. Read more

Al Michaels Sees Two NFL Teams in LA

Once upon a time the city of Los Angeles was home to two NFL teams simultaneously, the Rams and the Raiders. Nowadays the city only supports one professional football team, USC. But the Trojans are on probation and just had to abdicate their 2004 BCS title, so to be accurate (and less flip) Los Angeles now supports no professional football teams. But that doesn’t stop NFL observers like NBC’s Al Michaels from picturing a Shangri-La scenario in which a billion-dollar stadium is constructed in Los Angeles and the cost is offset by two teams playing to a full house every Sunday in the fall.

“There’s no question in my mind that if a stadium gets built, they’ll start with one team but get another team. The league may not come out and say this overtly, but where would you rather play a Super Bowl than Los Angeles?” Michaels said. “It’s a great sports town, it’s always been a great sports town. People denigrate it because people leave a Dodger game early. Does that mean you’re not a great sports fan?”

(More or less.)

“It’s a great sports town. What really bothers me is that when I see it written that L.A. won’t support professional football because everybody is off surfing. So let me get this straight: In Southern California there’s like 15 million people or something, and they’re all out surfing, on a Sunday? When they say you won’t have enough support, I say excuse me, so you can’t sell 75,000 tickets on a Sunday? Of course you can.”


First Set Of Shows Announced For Longhorn Network

The first set of shows for the Longhorn Network were announced Wednesday at the National Cable and Telecommunications Association Cable Show.

The 24-hour University of Texas network launches on Aug. 26. A complete schedule of programs will be released later this summer but this is what’s on the agenda as of now:

  • Longhorn Extra (10 p.m. CT) – A nightly news and information show dedicated to the University of Texas. Every Monday through Friday, viewers will get highlights, updates, analysis, interviews, and behind the scenes looks at all 20 varsity sports teams. Read more

Golden State Warriors Name Mark Jackson Head Coach

ESPN broadcaster and former NBA point guard Mark Jackson was named the new head coach of the Golden State Warriors Monday evening.

According to Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! Sports, Jackson’s contract is three years guaranteed with a team option for a fourth. He’s expected to make over $6 million-plus over the three guaranteed years.

The 46-year-old will call the rest of the NBA Finals for ABC before assuming his new duties with the Warriors.

“I am really elated about this opportunity and I’m looking forward to the challenge of building the Warriors into a perennial contender,” said Jackson. Read more

Dallas-Miami Game 2 Earns 10.5 Overnight Rating

Game 2 of the NBA Finals between Dallas and Miami scored a 10.5 0vernight rating, the highest-rated program of the night in prime time.

Those numbers are down slightly from last year’s Game 2 of the NBA Finals between Boston and Los Angeles, which earned a 10.9 overnight rating. Despite the decline, Mavericks-Heat was the second highest-rated Game 2 in the last seven years.

Locally, the game earned a 35.1 metered market rating in Miami, the highest-rated NBA game ever locally (dating back to 2003). In Dallas, the game earned a 25.6 metered market rating.


Vancouver-Boston Sets Viewership Record In Canada

Not only did Game 1 of the Stanley Cup Final doing well in the United States, but Canada as well.

The opening game between Vancouver and Boston was the highest-rated NHL game in the history of CBC’s Hockey Night In Canada with an average audience of 5.6 million. Viewership peaked at 7.8 million viewers.

The previous record of 4.96 million viewers was set in 1994 during Game 7 of the Stanley Cup Final between the Canucks and New York Rangers.

Wednesday’s Game 1 also goes down as the second most-watched sports program on CBC, trailing only the 2002 Olympic Men’s Hockey Final (8.96 million viewers) between Canada and the United States.



Ratings for NBA Finals Game One Best Since 2004

Ratings for Game One of the NBA Finals between the Mavericks and Heat were up three percent over Game One of last year’s NBA Finals between the Lakers and Celtics, proving than more people care about Dallas and Miami than Los Angeles and Boston. (Or maybe it’s just fans in Cleveland have an incentive to watch the Finals this year?)

Last night’s opener generated a 10.7 overnight rating on ABC, the highest for a Finals opener since 2004 when the Pistons and Lakers garnered an 11.5 overnight rating, according to Nielsen. The 10.7 rating is up 15 percent compared to Game 1 of the 2006 Finals (9.3 overnight rating), when the Heat and Maverick also played.


Video: Memorial Service Held For Daryl Hawks

A memorial service was held Wednesday for sportscaster Daryl Hawks, who died while on assignment in Atlanta for NBC Chicago.

Funeral services for the 38-year-old were held last week in Williamsville, New York. The cause of death is still unknown.

Bill Buckner Filling In As Broadcaster For Tonight's Cubs-Red Sox Game

Bill Buckner, who’s remembered more as the guy who didn’t field Mookie Wilson‘s ground ball in Game 6 of the 1986 World Series than as the excellent long-time player with 2715 career hits, is filling in for Bob Brenly as a commentator on WGN-Ch. 9′s broadcast of tonight’s inter-league game between the Red Sox and Cubs, two teams he played for during his 20-year career.

Buckner is coach of the Brockton Rox of the Can-Am Independent League, a team located just 25 miles from Fenway Park in Boston. His road back to the area has been circuitous and trying, not least because the media hounded him in the years following the infamous World Series miscue.

“I’ve always liked New England in the summertime,” Buckner told the Chicago Tribune. “I know it took awhile to get to that point. I had a tough stretch with the media, but not the fans and the people who live here. They were great sports fans in Boston.”

Of his perspective on the Mookie Wilson ground ball and the torturous aftermath, the 61-year-old Buckner says, “You just deal with crap that comes up, and that’s what life is. Life’s tough, and you handle it. I’d do it all over again to get the opportunity to play sports and make a good amount of money. I was very fortunate. In real life, in real situations, what I had to go through is nothing.”

Denver Broncos Pass On HBO's Hard Knocks

You can add the Denver Broncos to the list of NFL teams that aren’t interested in HBO’s Hard Knocks.

“We appreciate the value of the show, but, at this time, we are going to pass,” team spokesman Patrick Smyth said.

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers declined HBO’s offer to have their training camp documented earlier this week.