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Host Thinks Kobe Bryant Added ‘Sizzle’ During Sexual Assault Case

ESPN’s Skip Bayless offered a sure-to-be controversial opinion Monday morning on “First Take.” Bayless suggested that NBA superstar Kobe Bryant benefited from 2003 sexual assault allegations brought against him in Eagles, Colorado.

Remember Kobe pre-Eagle, Colorado? He failed in his first sneaker deal because he was just too clean cut and I think it was Adidas that had him first, correct me if I’m wrong, but he couldn’t sell sneakers because he didn’t have enough edge. But then post-Eagle, Colorado it brought a little attention to him… like it gave him a little bit of… sizzle.

Co-host Cari Champion seemed visibly appalled by Bayless’ comments. “First Take” was recently in the news when co-host Stephen A. Smith sparked a controversy by saying that women must do a better job not instigating domestic violence.

In September 2004, prosecutors dropped the charges against Bryant after his accuser refused to testify and a civil trial was settled out of court. Bryant lost multiple sponsorships during the ordeal.

(h/t AwfulAnnouncing)

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Bob Costas Isn’t a Fan of Derek Jeter’s Website

RobinTeamBCMediabistroTV caught up with several TVNewsers at the Broadcasting & Cable Hall of Fame awards last night. Megyn Kelly and Bob Costas co-hosted the event, which included Robin Roberts (at left with her “Good Morning America” family) among the inductees.

On the red carpet, we got interviews with Costas and former New York Yankees manager Joe Torre who have differing opinions about Derek Jeter‘s new sports site called The Players’ Tribune.

“If that’s going to be the only way that the public ever hears from public figures, in this case ballplayers, then I think in the long run, it’s not a good thing,” Costas tells us. WATCH:

Olbermann’s Task: ‘Destroy’ Fox Sports 1

Keith-Olbermann_article_story_mainKeith Olbermann sat down with Sports Illustrated’s Richard Deitsch to discuss his show, its rivals and whether or not he misses delivering political news.

It’s been about 14 months since the former MSNBC host returned to ESPN which was, not coincidentally, about the same time that Fox debuted its 24/7 sports network, Fox Sports 1. The typically polarizing Olbermann explains that ESPN was looking to steal the thunder of Fox Sports 1’s launch.

Then there was the strategic usefulness relative to Fox Sports [1]. In case there was anything actually happening there, the goal was to make sure it didn’t. My task, my assignment, was to basically smother them before they hatch. Destroy the eggs!

Olbermann elaborated when asked if the eggs are destroyed, “I take no credit for it because my experience with them [Fox Sports] having done the same thing at the other end of it, being with Fox Sports Net in 1999 and 2000 and 2001, suggests to me that anything they have achieved is entirely their own doing. But there was a certain quality of strategy for ESPN, as in: ‘let’s make this move now.’ And it got as much attention as their launch did.”

Olbermann followed up with candid remarks about being supported by ESPN management, his relationship with Dan Patrick and his need to “feed the trolls” on Twitter. He even pays a compliment to George W. Bush.

Mike Francesa Falls Asleep During Live Broadcast

Mike Francesa, who has been a mainstay on WFAN in New York City, has his daily radio show simulcasted nationally on Fox Sports 1. But it must’ve been a long week for the veteran sports talk host who dozed off briefly during a live broadcast Friday.

Francesa has been with WFAN since 1987 and is best known for his show “Mike and the Mad Dog” which he co-hosted with Chris Russo. He was accused of a similar mistake in 2012 when it appeared he dozed off during an interview with WFAN’s Sweeny Murti. Read more

Is There a Media Crusade Against the NFL?

On MediaBuzz Sunday, Howard Kurtz tackled whether the media has unfairly targeted the NFL in the aftermath of the Ray Rice and Adrian Peterson domestic violence incidents.

“I like football, I like watching football, I grew up playing football on the street…but I think it’s been appalling what the National Football League has done,” Kurtz said. “Not that we should hold the NFL to a higher standard, but we should hold it to some decent standard of behavior for players who do this kind of thing off the field. I think this is no longer a news story. I think this has become a cultural moment.”


James Brown: ‘I Challenge the NFL Community and All Men’ to Confront Domestic Violence

BrownDuring the pregame to CBS’ first NFL Thursday night game this week, studio announcer James Brown had a message for both the NFL and men in light of the ongoing Ray Rice suspension fallout.

“I challenge the NFL community and all men to seriously confront the problem of domestic violence,” Brown said during CBS’ pregame show.

“This problem is bigger than football…but wouldn’t it be productive if this collective outrage, as my colleagues have said, can be channeled, to truly here and address the long suffering cries for help of so many women, and as they said, do something about it?”

Brown went on to address longstanding discriminating sports vernacular against women, like, “you throw the ball like a girl,” as being part of the problem (watch after the jump). Brown, a longtime sports broadcaster, recently shared with us his first big break in the business.

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With Ray Rice News, James Brown and Scott Pelley Kick-Off Thursday Night Football

PelleyBrownInstead of Rihanna and Jay-Z opening CBS’s premiere Thursday Night Football, CBS’s James Brown and Scott Pelley did the honors.

“Circumstances surrounding the evolving Ray Rice story is where we must begin,” Brown said at the top of the 7:30pmET pre-show, then tossing to “CBS Evening News” anchor Scott Pelley in New York who updated viewers on the case.

CBS had planned to run a segment featuring Rihanna singing the Jay Z song “Run This Town,” but that was cut in lieu of the Rice news. A few minutes later, “CBS This Morning” anchor Norah O’Donnell joined Brown on set in Baltimore. O’Donnell interviewed NFL commissioner Roger Goodell earlier this week, but since then new news has come out that Rice told Goodell he hit his then-fiancee, that February night in Atlantic City, videotaped evidence of which thrust the story back on the front page this week.

As for CBS’ first Thursday Night Football (8-11pmET), the network is thrilled with the ratings outcome. The overnight ratings show a primetime household rating/share of 12.9/22, +215% higher than the comparable CBS primetime programming a year ago. This was CBS’ best primetime Thursday delivery since May 18, 2006.

Tim Tebow Joins ‘Good Morning America’ as Contributor

TebowRobertsWith football dominating much of the news this week, “Good Morning America” is adding another former NFL star to its roster.

Tim Tebow will join “GMA” as a contributor on Monday, September 15, the network announced today. Tebow will launch the “Motivate Me Monday” series for the morning show, spotlighting individuals and their “amazing stories of triumph,” according to the network.

The former Florida Gator, who is also an analyst for ESPN’s SEC Network, will appear in-studio and in towns across America as part of the “GMA” series.  Tebow’s addition adds to the morning show’s athletic ranks. Former New York Giants star—and co-host of “Live! with Kelly and Michael”—Michael Strahan joined the show earlier this year.

Roger Goodell: ‘I Don’t Know How TMZ or Any Other Website Gets Their Information’

GoodellIn an interview with “CBS This Morning” co-anchor Norah O’Donnell, NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell addressed how TMZ—and not the NFL—got its hands on elevator footage showing Ray Rice hitting his then-fiancee.

“I don’t know how TMZ or any other website gets their information,” Goodell said. “We are particularly reliant on law enforcement, that’s the most reliable, that’s the most credible, and we don’t seek to get that information from sources that are not credible.”  Goodell said the NFL asked for the same videotape TMZ secured on “several occasions.” He also didn’t rule out the possibility of Ray Rice returning to the NFL in the future.

Last night, TMZ executive producer Harvey Levin told Greta Van Susteren he doubted Goodell’s defense.  ”Why on earth does he not think the casino [where the incident occurred] video, which is the basis for what the police have in the first place; why does he suggest that the casino isn’t as credible as the police? The police got it from the casino.”

WATCH:

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My First Big Break: James Brown

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To borrow a football term, CBS Sports NFL studio host James Brown‘s first big break was a bit of a hail mary. At a 1970s audition to announce for the then-NBA Washington Bullets, Brown took it upon himself to land a big interview. “They were impressed that I brought the team star over on his day off and conducted a pretty decent interview,” Brown told us.

Even with the occasional on-air fumble along the way, Brown has never become complacent. “I still work just as hard now, if not harder, as I did back then getting started.” Beginning tomorrow, James Brown adds hosting “NFL Thursday Night Kickoff” to his CBS schedule.

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