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Posts Tagged ‘Ernie Johnson’

No Game? No Problem! Networks Plan Super Bowl Programming

The Super Bowl is the biggest television event in the United States. 67 million people watched the 2012 election results roll in across 13 networks last November. For comparison: last year’s Super Bowl on NBC averaged over 111 million viewers.

This year the Big Game is on CBS, but that isn’t stopping the other networks from trying to get a piece of the action.

CNN will have a Super Bowl pre-game show on Saturday at 4 PM. “Kickoff in New Orleans: A CNN-Bleacher Report Special,” will be co-hosted by Turner Sports anchor Ernie Johnson and the newly-hired Rachel Nichols. CNN says that it will add daily sports updates to CNN and HLN, and will use the Bleacher Report brand-name for all sports programming going forward. Bleacher Report was acquired by Turner Sports last year.

NBC’s “Today” is launching a segment this month called “Today’s Field Trips,” which will see Al Roker and Natalie Morales travel to different cities every Friday. Shocker: this Friday is the first edition, and they are going to Baltimore and San Francisco, the home of the two teams playing in the Super Bowl. They will be hanging out with NFL fans.

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Kobe Bryant Wouldn't Be Caught Dead Doing This

Dancing on Ellen is not helping your image, brah. Not at all.

NCAA Tournament Ratings Up 17 Percent Through First Week

Through the first week of games, the 2011 NCAA Tournament is tied with 1993 and 1991 as the best overall tournament-to-date average ratings in metered markets since the tournament expanded coverage to all live games.

The overall tournament average-to-date is a 6.2 rating/14 share, up 17 percent from a 5.3 rating/12 share from CBS Sports’ 2010 coverage of March Madness.

Yesterday’s coverage combined for an overnight household rating/share of 7.3/14, up 14 percent from a 6.4/13 from last year. Those numbers ties with a 7.3/17 in 1998 as the highest rating for the first Sunday of the NCAA Tournament in metered markets since a 7.5/19 in 1994.

March Madness Ratings: Best Thursday Overnight Ratings in 20 years for CBS, Turner

The first full day of March Madness coverage delivered the best Thursday overnight ratings since 1991 for CBS Sports and Turner Sports, the companies say.

Coverage on CBS, TBS, TNT and TruTV combined to deliver a 5.7 rating/13 share Thursday, compared to a 4.6 rating/11 share in overnights last year.

The biggest growth was during the day, with the first window (12-4:15PM) up 42% from last year, and the second window (3-6:45PM) up 46%. The evening/primetime windows delivered higher ratings than daytime, but saw slightly less growth, improving by 8% (7-9:45PM) and 12% (9:15PM-12:30AM).

English Papers Have Clearly Never Watched An NFL Pregame Show

While reading up on our favorite new controversy – England’s sexist broadcast team debacle – we stumbled across a gem in the Guardian. The following comes from a story about how soccer commentators across the pond struggle to say anything intelligent.

In American sport the talking heads who fill the gaps between games are emboldened by their masters to be provocative as well as highly detailed in their technical analysis. The result is entertainment plus enlightenment (plus earache, sometimes). Here, in football, there is no ante-room between the end of a playing career and the start of a life in broadcasting, which is television’s fault.

We are laughing!

And then there’s someone defending Andy Gray and Richard Keys. Read more

The Chargers Attempt To Address The Blackout Issue

In what could be a sign of things to come, the San Diego Chargers will drop ticket prices on 6,500 seats in 2011.

The Chargers had three blackouts during the 2010 season including their home opener against the Jacksonville Jaguars.

Dropping in price are the View Level endzone tickets, which cost $63 last season. Starting in 2011, they will be $54 and make up nearly 10 percent of Qualcomm Stadium’s seating. Read more

Train Conductor Chooses Family Over NFL

Keith Fitzhugh always wanted to play in the NFL. He’s had a taste – spending parts of two training camps with the New York Jets and time with the Baltimore Ravens – but he’s never been able to stick around.

So when the former team called on Tuesday to ask if the safety would join their roster for Sunday’s game to help replace injured Jim Leonhard and James Ihedigbo, he had a decision to make.

He turned them down.

Fitzhugh, who landed a full-time job as a train conductor in Norfolk Southern railroad, told the team thanks but no thanks.

The 24 year old is living at home, helping his parents pay their bills because his father can’t work and his mom can’t bring in enough money.

“I know the Jets have a great opportunity of making the Super Bowl, and that’s one dream that every child has is to play sports and make it to the Super Bowl or get to the World Series,” he said. “But, there’s a time when you have to think, ‘Hey, you’ve only got one Mom and Dad.’ They won’t be here forever, and while they’re here, you’ve got to cherish that time.”

If that doesn’t get you in the Christmas spirit, nothing will.

Trying to Solve the NFL's Headhunter Problem

The fallout from the weekend’s spate of brutal hits continues to hit newspapers around the country. The New York Post‘s Steve Serby offers another outraged column, while The New York Times William C. Rhoden suggests a 30-yard penalty for vicious hits.

Good idea, expect it won’t fix anything.

Former New England Patriots safety Rodney Harrison – who delivered big hits that earned him the reputation as a dirty player – spoke with his NBC colleague Peter King about what will actually motivates a player.

“You didn’t get my attention when you fined me five grand, 10 grand, 15 grand,” Harrison said. “You got my attention when I got suspended… You have to suspend these guys. These guys are making millions of dollars. The NFL [has to say], ‘We’re going to really protect our players. We’re going to suspend these guys, not one game, but possibly two or more games.’”

Suspensions speak. Fines, not so much.

Our personal favorite suggestion was offered up by this idea from Reuters correspondent Simon Evans:

Mel Kiper Denies Claims In Sports Illustrated Story

And here comes the fallout from George Dohrmann‘s Sports Illustrated story.

ESPN is looking into Mel Kiper’s relationship with NFL agent Gary Wichard as described by Josh Luchs in this week’s SI cover story on agent tampering in college football.

In the article, Luchs claims Kiper worked with Wichard in order to persuade potential clients by using his NFL draft rankings as incentive for players to sign.

(No wonder those draft ranking arguments with Todd McShay are always so heated).

“Conversations with players, which are occasionally facilitated by agents, are a valuable way to get to know the players,” Kiper responded in a statement. “These conversations have never compromised my integrity, and my 32-year record supports that.”

Luchs stood by his claim of Kiper’s involvement on Mike and Mike in the Morning on Wednesday.

“What Mel did do in these situations, whether he realizes it or not, he allowed himself to be used in the recruiting process,” Luchs said.

This will likely be the first of many folks to publicly deny the allegations described in Dohrmann’s story.

Stay tuned.

Getty Images Photographer Wins Shot of the Season

Mike Hewitt has a new trophy for his mantle: Barclays Shot of the Season Award for 2010. The Getty Images photog caught Darren Bent’s shot deflecting off a beach ball and into Pepe Reina’s goal.

“I remember driving up to Sunderland from my home in Brighton hoping for something dramatic – the beach ball certainly made the trip worthwhile!” he said.

Bradley Ormesher won Barclays Photographer of the Season 2010. Some of his shots are after the jump. Read more

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