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Posts Tagged ‘Chris Broussard’

SportsNewser: ESPN Betting Big On SportsCenter, As Fox Sports 1 Looms

Sports media juggernaut ESPN held its upfront presentation in New York City this morning. Yankees closer Mariano Rivera and Soccer star Landon Donovan joined executives in the Best Buy Theater to pitch advertisers on spending big bucks with the Disney-owned company.

ESPN president John Skipper opened up the show by talking about “the elephant in the room” as the elephant mascot for the University of Alabama walked behind him.

“Several broadcast companies have decided–in the early 2010s–that there might be something to this whole national sports network thing,” Skipper quipped, referencing the NBC Sports Network, CBS Sports Network and the upcoming Fox Sports 1. After the event, Skipper told a group of reporters that while he embraces the competition, he thinks ESPN is still in driver’s seat.

“They are going to be in the business, we don’t expect this to be over and done, but what we do expect is to compete vigorously,” Skipper said. “What Fox does have is more live rights. Fox has more to start with, but again, in any comparison between our collection of assets and their collection of assets, we have a significantly broader, and better, portfolio.”

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McEnroe: Tennis Needs Hard Knocks Treatment

During a teleconference call Thursday to promote his July 14 World Team Tennis Match against longtime rival Jimmy Connors, John McEnroe said tennis could benefit from the type of Hard Knocks treatment that HBO has used to give fans an inside look at the training camps of NFL teams like the New York Jets.

“We need [intense] marketing to boost interest among casual fans,” McEnroe said. “We need a Hard Knocks for tennis. We need people to see inside [the sport]. to really see what players say and do.”

No doubt this template could be extremely popular — if the tennis players being covered were Maria Sharapova, Ana Ivanovic or Caroline Wozniacki. But watching men hit hundreds of balls in practice, or traveling solo around the world with occasional interactions with their coaches and families? Hard to see how that’d be compelling theater. If the subject were McEnroe back his hey day, screaming at umpires and winning titles, it’d be a different story. But no men’s player nowadays holds that kind of personal interest for casual fans. Well, maybe Andy Rodddick, but a Hard Knocks production would probably need to include large doses of supermodel Brooklyn Decker, his wife, to keep people’s attention.

(H/T Big Lead Sports)

Nonprofit Orginzation Wants To End Sports Blackouts

SportsFans.org, a nonprofit organization, is asking the Federal Communications Commission to put an end to sports blackouts.

“Sports fans have become a political football in retransmission consent disputes,” the filing said. “In the recurring smack-down negotiations between big broadcasters and big pay-TV companies, games are pulled right before the action starts, leaving fans in the cold. Fans who are vital to the success of sports and who have contributed through multiple public and private expenditures are treated like fumbled pigskins.” Read more

Jim Nantz Guest-Hosting B&C HOF

CBS Sports anchor Jim Nantz will serve as a special guest-host during the 2010 Broadcasting & Cable Hall of Fame ceremony, joining MC Regis Philbin. Nantz and Philbin will be presenting awards to 10 inductees, as well as NBC’s “Today,” which is the TV show being inducted this year. Among the inductees is CBS News & Sports president Sean McManus.