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Posts Tagged ‘US Open Tennis’

ESPN Airs Real 'Friday Night Lights,' Bothers Locals

Sometimes, seeing how the TV sausage is made is not the most pleasant experience. Take the example of the fine folks of Folsom, California which hosted ESPN last week when the network televised a high school matchup between Folsom and nearby Grant.

The coaches, players and local media were excited… until they got a taste of what TV is all about:

“The national exposure is great for the kids and the fans, but being told exactly what you could have on your sideline, like water buckets, is new to me,” Grant coach Mike Alberghini said. “During a game, I’m in a tunnel vision of thought and anger, but this was (different).

It may be new to him, but that is how ESPN-and most other TV networks-operate. Did the network inconvenience some people? Perhaps, but what ESPN did was not all that bad.

A commenter on the story nailed it:

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Mediabistro Job Fair

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Eight More Years for Major League Soccer and Adidas

Major League Soccer and adidas announced an eight-year partnership Monday that will provide the soccer league with $200 million between now and 2018. It replaces the pair’s agreement that ran through 2014. The dollar amount includes apparel as well as increased investments in youth development, specifically the Generation adidas and home grown talent programs.

What does this mean for MLS? Ultimately, it’s a good thing. The money isn’t huge – consider vendors sold $3.2 billion worth of NFL-licensed merchandise in 2007 alone – but there’s a growing market for uniforms. (French star Thierry Henry’s New York Red Bulls jersey recently replaced David Beckham’s as the league’s bestseller and will sell 50,000 kits this year.)

What’s more interesting, perhaps, is the battle between adidas and Nike for future profits involving soccer in America. Both companies understand this is a growth market and are angling to get their fair share. While adidas shores up its relationship with MLS, Nike and the US Soccer Federation are partners… at least through 2014. After that, who knows.

Chuck Klosterman Returns to the Pages of GQ

In GQ‘s September issue (yes, the Lebron one), Chuck Klosterman writes a short piece about the National Football League called “Five brilliant ideas to make America’s best game even better.”

It’s a classic Klosterman-y (Klosterman-esque?) list, full of incremental changes that would make a difference such as “Tweak the enforcement of pass interference” and “Microscopically increase the success of the onside kicks.” (And stop talking about Brett Farve, which is completely supported from this quarter.)

It’s also a return to the pages of the men’s magazine and something of a coup for Jim Nelson and the Conde Nast crew. Klosterman, an Esquire columnist until last year, wrote about the band Pavement for GQ in March. His latest appearance could signal a continued switch of allegiance.

Then again, it might mean GQ got him on the phone, said they needed 500 words about the future of the NFL, and they were paying $3 per word. Two hours later, viola.

Regardless, welcome back, Chuck. Now go fix baseball.

Report: Dick Ebersol Takes a Tour of Golf Channel

NBC Sports & Olympics chairman Dick Ebersol was seen taking a tour of Golf Channel’s headquarters last week, according to Sports Business Journal‘s John Ourand.

Why is that important? It seems to signal that once Comcast (which owns Golf Channel) completes its acquisition of NBC, that Ebersol will be the one leading the new company’s sports division, which would include NBC Sports, Golf, and Versus.

Ourand also writes about a somewhat surprising development: the regional sports networks will probably not fall under Ebersol’s jurisdiction:

It appears unlikely that Comcast’s regional sports networks would be grouped with the national sports networks. Rather, sources say, Comcast seems to be leaning toward grouping the RSNs with NBC’s owned-and-operated stations.

That is a surprising decision, but one that will liklely make the NBC local stations much happier.

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Shaquille O'Neal Wants a Sketch Comedy Show

Shaquille O'NealThis needs to happen. In an interview with Broadcasting & Cable editor-in-chief Ben Grossman, newly minted Boston Celtic Shaquille O’Neal says that when he retires from basketball, he wants his own TV show.

Not a sports show mind you, but a comedy show.

When I asked what he would want to do, he said he has one idea firmly in mind. “Honestly? I would love to do a Dave Chappelle-type show,” he said.

Shaq’s very own sketch comedy show. And he wants to write and act in it. So, network execs, if you think Shaq can bring the funny, here’s your chance to go get him.

As Grossman notes in the column, O’Neal is a seriously funny dude, so a sketch comedy show might actually have a shot at being watchable.

Grossman also asks O’Neal about “The Decision,” the ESPN program starring his former teammate LeBron James:

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