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Grabbing ESPN’s Alexi Lalas Signals Fox Has ‘Big and Bold’ Plans for Soccer


On Monday night, ESPN soccer analyst Alexi Lalas, the former U.S. men’s national team soccer player, announced he would be leaving the network in January to join rival Fox Sports. Lalas said Fox made him an offer he simply couldn’t resist, including a chance to be part of the network’s plans to grow the American soccer audience. “Talking to the executives at Fox, there was a real desire to do something big and bold when it comes to soccer on television over the next eight years,” Lalas told Sports Illustrated‘s Richard Deitsch.

In his interview with SI, Lalas talked about the extensive coverage deals Fox has secured, including Major League Soccer, the Champions League, FA Cup, and the 2018 World Cup. But Lalas hinted he may have been disappointed in ESPN’s efforts to match the Fox deal:

Interestingly, when asked whether ESPN could have done anything more to retain him, Lalas said, “absolutely.”

“Look, this was not me saying I don’t want to be at ESPN,” Lalas said. “I love ESPN. This was an opportunity that came along that was so much more than what ESPN could offer — and when I say more I am not just talking money-wise. Collectively, [Fox] had so much more to offer and when ESPN didn’t [offer that], the choice became easier.

Update: Fox Sports has made the announcement:

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President Obama: ‘I Spend Most of My Time Watching ESPN in the Morning’

Barack ObamaPresident Barack Obama was a guest on ESPN’s “The Herd” with Colin Cowherd this morning. Obama started with a plug for the Obamacare website and how it’s working these days, but he went to on to discuss sports, his viewing habits and not wanting to hear political talk on TV.

“I spend most of my time watching ESPN in the morning. I get so much politics; I don’t, you know, want to be inundated with a bunch of chatter about politics during the day,” President Obama told ESPN radio.

Obama went on to say, “SportsCenter, when I work out in the morning, gives me a pretty good sense of what’s going on. I can’t sit down and watch an entire game, except maybe the Super Bowl or the NBA Finals. Or the World Series, I might be able to sit down and one day watch the whole game.”

Maybe Obama should find a few minutes to check out “What’s Your Show?” on SportsCenter.

Fox Sports’ Jay Glazer, ESPN at War Over Johnny Manziel Scoop

Cleveland Browns QB Johnny Manziel is among the most polarizing athletes in America and his popularity is even causing a stir between sports newsers. Fox Sports’ Jay Glazer, who is widely regarded as one of the most credible reporters on all-things NFL, claims that ESPN is stealing his work and the drama is unfolding on Twitter.  The whole thing is reminiscent of the Charlie Gasparino vs. Ron Insana Twitter beef from last month, but not quite as personal.

Despite being a celebrity, Manziel was simply a backup as recently as last week. Incumbent starter Brian Hoyer’s recent struggles caused plenty of speculation that Johnny Football would be taking over. Glazer’s tweeted confirmation that a change has been made and he was even on live TV when it all went down.

ESPN picked up on the news and didn’t immediately credit Glazer. ESPN eventually gave Fox Sports partial credit on Twitter, but declined to mention Glazer by name. Read more

My First Big Break: Keith Olbermann


As a kid, Keith Olbermann would daydream of being a TV broadcaster. The only question was: sports or news? After nearly 40 years in the business, Olbermann has done both, with gigs at CNN, Fox Sports, MSNBC, twice, and ESPN, twice. As it turns out, the guy who gave Olbermann his “First Big Break” in TV would give him another break later on.

ESPN’s Keith Olbermann Calls For NFL Commish Roger Goodell’s Job… Again

2GoodellESPN’s Keith Olbermann has attacked NFL commissioner Roger Goodell on a regular basis since the league botched the handling of Ray Rice‘s domestic abuse situation. Since the NFL and ESPN are partners, and the league will do anything it can to “protect the shield,” it is awfully bold for Olbermann to take such a strong stance against the commissioner. But being bold is sort of Olbermann’s thing.

According to The New York Times, the NFL’s contract with ESPN to broadcast Monday Night Football is worth $15.2 billion dollars though 2021. With so much cash on the line, its somewhat surprising that ESPN is allowing Olbermann to bash Goodell.

In the five minute monologue, Olbermann questions a variety of Goodell’s recent actions. The lack of punishment for the Ravens asking victim Janay Rice to publicly apologize, Goodell lying about his June 16 meeting with Janay and even turning Ray Rice into a victim are a few of the reasons why KO feels the commissioner should step down.

Check out the entire monologue, after the jump.  Read more

Peter King Picks Wrong Time to Use ‘Indictment’ on Twitter

Peter King of Sports Illustrated, MMQB and NBC Sports had extremely bad timing on Twitter last night. At 9:20 pm ET, minutes before the grand jury decision that Darren Wilson would not be indicted was being announced in Ferguson, King sent the following tweet:

He would apologize four minutes later, claiming he did not mean to tie in the Ferguson news with football. Read more

Rich Eisen’s Stolen Production Truck Found (Well, Most Of It)

20141023_EisenShowStolenTruckEven in anything-goes South Florida, it’s not easy to hide a 48-foot television production truck. The multi-million dollar rig, in town for DirecTV and CBS Sports’ Rich Eisen to do the Thursday night Miami Dolphins-Buffalo Bills game, was stolen from a hotel parking lot. The Miami Herald reports Miami-Dade Police tracked it down, mostly intact, with only the truck’s cab missing.

No leads on suspects just yet, but the truck itself has popped up on Twitter:


What’s Your Show? ESPN’s SportsCenter


Since the launch of ESPN in 1979, SportsCenter has been the network’s flagship program. For the last 35 years, the program has transcended sports, providing highlights, news, commentary and feature stories while dominating American sports television. MediabistroTV recently traveled to Bristol, CT for a behind-the-scenes look at the groundbreaking program. Veteran SportsCenter anchor John Buccigross served as our tour guide as we asked: “What’s Your Show?”

To watch more mediabistroTV videos, subscribe to our our YouTube channel and follow us on Twitter: @mediabistroTV.

’60 Minutes’ Producer Runs Marathon, Meets Deadline

304NYC Marathon 2014

Credit: Andy Kiss

“60 Minutes” producer Coleman Cowan had a big weekend.

Not only did he run the NYC Marathon — in under three hours — he also worked to get a profile of Stanford University golf prodigy Mariah Stackhouse ready for tomorrow’s “60 Minutes Sports” on Showtime.

Cowan had a screening with EP Jeff Fager and executive editor Bill Owens this morning, leaving little room (or time) for error. When someone in the screening room mentioned Cowan’s impressive marathon time, Cowan had a simple reply: “That was the easy part.” Cowan’s story, a preview after the jump, was declared fit for air by Fager and Owens.

Cowan, who has run 23 long distance races, finished in 02:58:54, just a few seconds off his personal NYC best of 02:58:23 last year.

Read more

‘LeBron Effect’ Brings CNBC’s Morgan Brennan to Cleveland

304LebronLeBron James will play his first game in Cleveland tonight since heading back to the Cavaliers after “taking his talents” to South Beach in 2010. James’ return means big business for the city and CNBC’s Morgan Brennan is live in Cleveland throughout the day to cover it. The “LeBron effect” increases ticket sales, hotel reservation and web traffic, so CNBC is on the ground to cover the business angle of the biggest homecoming in sports.

From increased jersey sales to local restaurants thriving, the “LeBron effect” has a significant impact on the economy. According to Brennan’s report, Cuyahoga County projects a $50 million boost to the local economy. More jobs will be created to meet visitor demand and more taxes collected due to increased consumer spending on tickets and in local businesses.

Read more