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Posts Tagged ‘New York Post’

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)

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Mary Carillo Joins Tennis Channel

Mary Carillo, who left ESPN in the middle of last year’s United States Open because of an undisclosed dispute, is joining the Tennis Channel for the French and U.S. Opens, where she will provide analysis, play-by-play, interviews and features. Carillo, who won a 2006 Sports Emmy Award and has been a commentator since retiring from tennis in 1980, will be paired on air with John McEnroe, a childhood friend with whom she won the 1977 French Open mixed-doubles championship.

“Tennis Channel just continues to impress everyone with the passion and knowledge they bring to covering this sport, and I really wanted to be a part of that,” said Carillo. “I’ve done things with them several times in the past but never as a member of their broadcast team. It will be great to get going with them at the French Open and contribute to the quality of work they’re producing.”

In 2010 Carillo became the first female recipient of the Dick Schaap Award for Outstanding Journalism. The WTA Tour, the governing body of women’s professional tennis, has twice awarded her its “Broadcaster of the Year.”

 

 

Gus Johnson Out At CBS Sports After 16 Years

The NCAA Tournament won’t be the same next year as Gus Johnson and CBS Sports have parted ways.

After 16 years together, the two sides were unable to reach a deal, according to Richard Deitsch of Sports Illustrated.

The news of Johnson’s departure from CBS comes the same day when the NFL Network announced Brad Nessler will replace Bob Papa in the booth. Johnson was a candidate for the position.

According to sources, Johnson and Fox Sports have discussed a possible role covering college football.

Johnson is scheduled to call the Shane Mosley vs. Manny Pacquiao fight Saturday night for Showtime PPV.

 

Breaking: Pac-10 To Announce Media Rights Deal With ESPN, Fox

The Pac-10 Conference has agreed to a 12-year, $2.7 billion media rights deal with ESPN and Fox, according to John Ourand and Michael Smith of the Sports Business Journal.

ESPN and Fox will split coverage of the Pac 10′s basketball tournament and new football championship game. Fox will carry regular season college football games on FSN and FX. FSN will also carry regular season college basketball games.

As of July 1, the conference becomes the Pac-12 when Colorado and Utah officially join.

The deal, which averages out to more than $225 million per year, is expected to be formally announced Wednesday.

Developing …

Will Anyone Watch College Gameday on Saturday?

ESPN’s College Gameday returns on Saturday with Tennessee’s women’s and men’s basketball teams taking on the Vanderbilt Commodores at 12 p.m. and 8 p.m., respectively. Here’s a question: Will anyone be watching, especially the men’s game?

The women’s game might draw okay ratings (for a women’s college bball game) because it has a couple things going for it. Tennessee is ranked No. 6. The game isn’t directly against the NFL playoffs. The women’s basketball audience is small, but presumably dedicated.

The men’s game, however, is another story completely. The Volunteers, who began the season ranked in the top 20, have struggled and aren’t very good. Their colorful coach, Bruce Pearl, will miss the game due to suspension. Vanderbilt is terrible.

But worst of all, the game will compete directly with the Green Bay Packers-Atlanta Falcons playoff game. If given the choice, any sports fan without an affiliation to Tennessee or Vanderbilt would watch that instead of a middling college basketball game.

Conclusion: Rece Davis, Jay Bilas, Digger Phelps, Hubert Davis, Bob Knight, Dan Shulman, and Dick Vitale will be talking to very few viewers. Not that it will change anything, of course.

Skip Bayless Does "The Dougie" On First Take

It was fun while it lasted.

But ESPN First Take contributor Skip Bayless officially killed “The Dougie.”

And not in a good way.

R.I.P.