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Giants-Jets Third Highest Preseason Game On NFL Network

Monday’s rescheduled preseason game between the New York Giants and Jets scored an average of 1.78 million viewers on NFL Network, the third highest viewership for a preseason game in the network’s history.

The 2011 NFL preseason has been a hit for NFL Network with six of the top 10 all-time most-watched preseason games on the network airing this year.

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First UFC on FOX Card Only One Hour

Hours after formally announcing their new deal with FOX, details were released about the first UFC card on the broadcast network.

The UFC on FOX card on Nov. 12 from the Honda Center in Anaheim, Calif. will feature only two fights and last one hour, allowing sports fans to watch the Manny Pacquiao vs. Juan Manuel Marquez fight on pay-per-view from Las Vegas.

“We’ll be out of there before Pacquiao even walks to the ring,” UFC chairman and CEO Lorenzo Fertitta told the Las Vegas Sun. “This is going to be a perfect night for any fight fan. Get together with your friends, watch two big fights in the UFC and then change the channel to ride into the Pacquiao pay-per-view.”

 

Big Lead Sports Jumps To #4 Among Online Sports Properties

Big Lead Sports is moving on up the online sports properties digital ladder.

For the month of July, the independent online sports property surpassed 18 million unique visitors and landed the #4 spot among all online sports properties, according to comScore Media Metrix.

“We are very excited to become a top 4 online sports property,” said Chris Russo, CEO of Big Lead Sports. “The traffic success reflects the strength of our talented journalists who provide unique expertise and an independent perspective to sports coverage.  We believe that we can continue this momentum, given the new relationships we announced in the past month with Amar’e Stoudemire, Sirius XM, and TXN Sports.”

Below are the Top 15 online sports properties for the month of July:

Name Unique Visitors

1. Yahoo! Sports 48,020
2. ESPN 35,646
3. FOXSports.com on MSN 29,898
4. BIG LEAD SPORTS by FSV 18,443
5. Turner-SI Digital 17,442
6. MLB 17,414
7. NBC Sports 11,440
8. NFL Internet Group 11,203
9. CBS Sports 10,083
10 USA Today Sports Media Group 9,182
11. Sporting News on AOL 7,841
12. BLEACHERREPORT.COM 6,890
13. SB Nation 5,843
14. STACK Media 4,955
15. HuffPost Sports 4,396

Versus Airing Glenn Burke Story About First Openly Gay Player

Last fall Comcast SportsNet Bay Area premiered the biopic Out: The Glenn Burke Story, about the former Dodgers and A’s player who was the first openly gay baseball player. Versus will now be airing the movie nationwide on Tuesday, August, at 10 p.m. ET.

Burke’s sexuality was known by his teammates and club officials during his career, which ended in 1979, but it only come to the public’s attention during an interview in 1982. Some believe he was run out of the league because of his homosexuality, while others point to his .237 career average as the chief reason.

Following a car accident in 1987, Burke began abusing drugs and alcohol, and his life spiraled so out of control that he eventually became homeless. He died from complications associated with AIDS in 1995.

“It would be nice if viewers look at this film and take a personal assessment of their whole level of acceptance, not necessarily dealing just with the gay issue but acceptance overall,” said documentarian Doug Harris.

Desmond Howard Trashes The NCAA

The NCAA backlash has been gaining momentum and ESPN college football analyst Desmond Howard is the latest to speak out about the current state of collegiate athletics:

USA Today has Howard’s scathing comments:

“Any system that’s designed to utilize the likeness of anyone, and they can’t get a cent…is wicked, is exploitive and is bound to fail,” Howard said. “And that’s what we’re seeing right now. That’s why it is so off-balance. It’s going to get worse before it gets better. The road that they’re traveling is a road of failure and self-destruction. Because there’s no balance.”

Howard asked why players get zip from jersey sales and other commercial use of their images — while college football and basketball coaches pocket millions in salary and other goodies and school/conferences get billions for their TV, radio and other media rights. Read more

ESPN To Reair Rodriguez-Wolak Battle From Friday Night Fights

ESPN’s Friday Night Fights is re-airing their July 15 main event between Delvin Rodriguez and Pawel “Raging Bull” Wolak on ESPN2, ESPN Deportes and ESPN Classic. It will be the first non-regularly scheduled reair for ESPN’s Friday Night Fights.

“These two fighters exemplified what professional boxing athletes should be: conditioned, determined and passionate about their sport,” said Doug Loughrey, ESPN director of programming and acquisitions. “These boxers gave 100% of themselves by consistently over-coming adversity not only for those in attendance, but a worldwide audience on ESPN’s Friday Night Fights. Their combined performance is exactly what makes this sport so great. We are already looking at schedules for this fall for a potential rematch on ESPN.” Read more

Gruden's QB Camp With Pryor Airs Next Thursday

Former Ohio State quarterback Terrelle Pryor‘s appearance on Jon Gruden‘s QB Camp will air next Thursday, June 30th, at 9 p.m. on ESPN and then at 10 p.m. on ESPN2, ESPN’s Adam Schefter has tweeted.

Mike Mayock of the NFL Network recently forecasted Pryor as a middle-round selection in next month’s NFL supplemental draft and as a Wildcat possibility. “I would set the over/under line on the fourth round,” Mayock said.

“He can be a package quarterback Year 1 while you develop his skills set,” Mayock said. “Is he raw? Absolutely. Does he have a lot to work on? Yes, he does. That doesn’t even get into all the intangibles off the field.”

Those intangibles include leaving Ohio State after reportedly receiving off-the-field benefits, part of a widespread culture of NCAA violations that led to the resignation of coach Jim Tressel. We’re guessing Gruden doesn’t devote much time to those elements of Pryor’s background, and instead focuses on his inability to accurately and consistently deliver the football to receivers on the run.

Announcer Mark Jackson Finalist For Warriors Job

Former player and current ESPN/ABC basketball analyst Mark Jackson is a finalist for the Golden State Warriors’ head coaching job, according to Matt Steinmetz of Comcast SportsNet Bay Area.

Jackson is considered an intriguing candidate in some circles. Despite having no head coaching experience, he is frequently mentioned when jobs come open, and he has expressed a desire to coach.

Jackson played 17 seasons in the NBA and ranks third on the all-time assists list. He was known for his court smarts, leadership and getting the most out of his ability. Jackson has a strong presence, but as a tactician and X-and-O guy — very little is known.

Jackson is in competition with about a half dozen other candidates to replace Keith Smart, whose contract was not renewed. Among the other candidates reportedly under consideration are Dwane Casey, Lawrence Frank and Brian Shaw.

Sail Away as Puma's New PR Manager

Ready to let your career set sail? Puma is looking for a PR manager to drive the communications effort for its entry into the 2011-2012 Volvo Ocean Race. This will involve developing communications planning and global strategy for the PUMA Sailing category and the PUMA Ocean Racing Team.

If hired, you will be the on-site press officer generating coverage on PUMA’s participation in the race. You’ll be handling all media inquiries, generating media content and managing media events surrounding the event. The gig is based in Boston, Mass., where you will be stationed until November 2011. From then through July 2012, the position will be entirely transient and follow the race legs to 10 worldwide ports.

To be considered, you’ll need 6-10 years of public relations experience, with a focus in major global sporting events. You should have top-notch writing skills, and be adept at managing media and talent. There is clearly extensive travel involved, so the ideal candidate should be able to thrive in any situation. Do you think you have what it takes to land this unique opportunity? Apply here.

For more openings and employment news, follow The Job Post on Twitter @MBJobPost.

Legendary 'Monday Night Football' Sportscaster, Dallas Cowbows Quarterback Don Meredith Dies at 72

Legendary NFL color commentator and Dallas Cowboys quarterback Don Meredith has died at the age of 72.

In the world of sports media, Meredith is best known for his work on ABC’s “Monday Night Football,” where he worked alongside Frank Gifford and Howard Cosell. He also covered NFL games for NBC Sports.

As a player, Meredith was considered one of the Cowboys greats, and was inducted into the team’s “Ring of Honor” in 1976.

One thing is for sure, there are few sportscasters as well known and as well-liked as Don Meredith. The industry has lost one of its most familiar voices.

For more on Meredith, see the excellent coverage from the Dallas Morning News.

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