TVNewser Show TVSpy LostRemote AgencySpy PRNewser FishbowlNY FishbowlDC SocialTimes AllFacebook 10,000 Words GalleyCat UnBeige MediaJobsDaily

Basketball

Celtics Deal with CSNNE Includes Equity Stake

The Boston Celtics are reportedly on the verge of becoming the latest team to acquire an equity stake in the television station that broadcasts their games, as Sports Business Journal is reporting the team is preparing to extend the current broadcasting rights with Comcast SportsNet New England through the 2038 season while acquiring equity that could amount to a 20 percent share of the company.

The Celtics currently earn between $15 million and $20 million per year in rights fees from CSNNE, an average that is expected to rise significantly in a new deal.

The two sides first started talking about a long-term deal a year ago. Sources said that talks heated up just before the Los Angeles Lakers blockbuster 25-year RSN deal with Time Warner Cable was announced in February. That deal averages $200 million per year. Serious negotiations between the Celtics and Comcast then ensued this spring under the shadow of the league’s labor uncertainty.

The lockout has not cooled negotiations, but a formal agreement would probably not be announced until the labor unrest has ended.

The Houston Astros and Rockets own a combined 80 percent of CSN Houston, while the San Francisco Giants hold a 30 percent stake in CSN Bay Area. In Chicago, the White Sox, Cubs, Bulls and Blackhawks hold a combined 70 percent stake of CSN Chicago.

Results of Awful Announcing's First-Round Matchups

Awful Announcing is holding a tournament to determine who should replace Joe Morgan on its Mt. Rushmore of awful announcers. Morgan is being removed from the marquee because ESPN removed him from Sunday Night Baseball before this season. Here are the results of AA’s first-round pairings, which were assigned at random, followed by the second-round match-ups, which were settled on by taking the eight highest vote-getters in the first round and matching them up against the eight lowest vote-getters.

1) Skip Bayless d. Woody Paige 77.91% – 22.09%
2) Rick Reilly d. Hawk Harrelson 58.7% – 41.3%
3) Tony Siragusa d. Jack Edwards 71.55% – 28.45%
4) Thom Brennaman d. Jon Gruden 58.32% – 41.68%
5) Deion Sanders d. Mike Tirico 69.59% – 30.41%
6) Michael Irvin d. Dick Stockton 71.61% – 28.39%
7) Chris Berman d. Erik Kuselias 76.83% – 23.17%
8) Pierre McGuire d. Reggie Miller 57.62% – 42.38%
9) Craig James d. Mike Patrick 75.17% – 24.83%
10) Joe Theismann d. Mike & Mike 65.70% – 34.30%
11) Mark May d. Dave Lapham 65.07% – 34.93%
12) Jim Gray d. Jim Nantz 78.15% – 21.85%
13) Stephen A. Smith d. Stuart Scott 51.45% – 48.55%
14) John Sterling d. Matt Millen 58.69% – 41.31%
15) Joe Buck d. Chris Rose 72.53% – 27.47%
16) Colin Cowherd d. Bobby Valentine 88.47% – 11.53%

Seems like Stephen A. Smith and Stuart Scott are almost equally awful. It’s a shame that John Sterling drew Matt Millen in the first round, because Millen deserved to hang around for a while. Against a titan like Sterling, however, Millen’s awfulness pales in comparison. And really, is Tony Siragusa that much worse than Jack Edwards? We beg to differ.

Thursday – John Sterling v Skip Bayless
Thursday – Joe Buck v Deion Sanders
Friday – Chris Berman vs Mark May
Friday – Colin Cowherd v Joe Theismann
Saturday – Jim Gray vs Thom Brennaman
Saturday – Craig James vs Rick Reilly
Sunday – Michael Irvin vs Pierre McGuire
Sunday – Tony Siragusa v Stephen A Smith

We have a hunch that Joe Buck is going to be the last one standing, and will join Pam Ward, Dick Vitale and his broadcast partner Tim McCarver on the Awful Announcing logo.

Fox Sports Chief Named to Board of Stats LLC

Eric Shanks, chief operating officer of Fox Sports Media Group and overseer of Fox Soccer, SPEED, Fuel TV and FoxSports.com, has been named as the fourth board member of Stats LLC, a leading provider of sports statistics and content.

Shanks joins Tom Curley and Ken Dale of the Associated Press and Gary Ehrlich of Fox Sports Enterprises to complete the board of STATS, which is co-owned by the Associated Press and News Corp.

“STATS is one of the most innovative companies in sports today,” said Shanks. “I feel privileged to join this exciting and dynamic team, and look forward to providing my expertise wherever possible.”

STATS chief executive officer Gary Walrath said, “We are fortunate to have the leadership, vision and tremendous expertise of Eric Shanks as we continue to advance STATS’s mission to revolutionise the way sports contests are viewed, understood and enjoyed.”

Mike Francesa Ending Mike'd Up After Seven Years

Radio talk show host Mike Francesa is ending his WNBC-TV Sunday night sports show, Mike’d Up, according to Newsday.com.

Ratings were strong during its seven years on the air, but Francesa wanted to spend more time with his family on the weekends.

Since the end of the NFL season, Francesa has hosted only three shows.

WNBC-TV sports anchor Bruce Beck has replaced him in his absence. No word on what WNBC-TV will do with the timeslot.

 

Michael Irvin Appears On Cover Of Gay Men's Magazine

Former Dallas Cowboys wide receiver Michael Irvin appears on the August cover of Out magazine – a gay men’s publication.

Irvin’s brother, Vaughn, was gay and it was one of the reasons why he was a womanizer.

“And through it all we realized maybe some of the issues I’ve had with so many women, just bringing women around so everybody can see, maybe that’s the residual of the fear I had that if my brother is wearing ladies’ clothes, am I going to be doing that? Is it genetic?” Irvin said in Out. “I’m certainly not making excuses for my bad decisions. But I had to dive inside of me to find out why am I making these decisions, and that came up.”

Irvin not only supports gay marriage, but any athlete that wants to come out.

“If anyone comes out in those top four major sports, I will absolutely support him. … When a guy steps up and says, ‘This is who I am,’ I guarantee you I’ll give him 100 percent support.”

 

 

 

 

Nathan's Hot Dog Eating Contest Breaks Viewership Record

The 2011 Nathan’s Famous Fourth of July Hot Dog Eating Contest on ESPN was the most-viewed competition ever, averaging 1,949,000 viewers.

Viewership was up 16 percent compared to last year’s 1,677,000 viewers and the 1.3 rating is tied with 2006 and 2007 as the highest rating for the contest.

Uniques on ESPN3.com were up 189 percent and total minutes consumed were up 321 percent over last year.

Just imagine what the ratings will be if Kobayashi takes on Joey Chestnut next year.

 

Curt Flood HBO Documentary Premieres July 13

Curt Flood, whose pioneering fight against baseball’s reserve clause paved the way for the advent of free agency in the 1970s, is the subject of a 90-minute HBO documentary that will premiere July 13 at 9 p.m. ET.

The Curious Case of Curt Flood will examine his on-the-field accomplishments (three-time All-Star, seven-time Gold Glove winner, three-time World Series participant).

However, Curt Flood’s legacy has little to do with his on-field accomplishments. His biggest contribution was paving the way for modern free agency. After being traded from the Cardinals to Philadelphia Phillies in 1969, Flood refused to report to his new team, challenging the reserve clause that bound a player to a team in perpetuity.

The Supreme Court case that ultimately ensued would not end favorably for Flood, who sat out the entire 1970 season as his case moved through the judicial system. While he received little support from influential active players at the time, Flood’s actions brought valuable attention to the slave-like provisions of baseball’s reserve clause. Today, he is remembered as the man whose courage and sacrifice turned even major league bench players into millionaires.

Among the interviewees are Flood’s widow, his daughter, his sister, his friends, and former teammates and fellow players including Bob Gibson, Joe Torre and Tim McCarver. Flood was diagnosed with throat cancer in 1996 and passed away in 1997.

McEnroe: Tennis Should Get Rid of Warm-Ups

Tennis great John McEnroe, NBC’s lead analyst at Wimbledon, thinks the sport would benefit from eliminating pre-match warm-ups and letting the first ball hit be the first serve. Speaking to Michael Hiestand of USA Today, McEnroe said, “Some people might knock it having no warm-ups. But there’s more at stake in boxing – people’s lives are on the line – and you don’t see them jabbing each other a little bit before the fight.”

Maybe because punching people causes damage to both parties, whereas hitting a tennis ball back and forth tends to be less bloody. Really, it’s hard to see how eliminating warm-ups would benefit tennis at all. Would the tension be higher? I guess. But the first time a player pulls a hamstring, commentators would be bemoaning the absence of suitable warm-ups. It’s commendable that McEnroe wants to find ways to increase the popularity of his sport, but looking to boxing for inspiration seems like a non-starter.

BBC Introduces 'Grunt-Reducing' Technology at Wimbledon

Maria Sharapova would have a lot more fans (ya know, more than she already does) if watching her play tennis wasn’t as punishing on the ears as it’s easy on the eyes. Sharapova is one of the tennis world’s most notorious grunters, which makes watching her matches a trying affair. To keep you tuned in, the BBC has introduced technology called Wimbledon Net Mix, a device for the radio and Internet that lowers the volume of on-court sounds and raises the noise level of commentators; and they’re using it for the first time at Wimbledon.

The product is available for free on BBC Radio Player. For the time being it only allow listeners to adjust the sound on Centre Court matches.

For those watching on television, mute or changing the channel remain the top options to combat grunting.

 

 

Nathan's Hot Dog Eating Contest Returning To ESPN

ESPN will televise the Nathan’s Famous Fourth of July International Hot Dog Eating Contest Monday at 12 p.m. ET.

For the eighth consecutive year, ESPN will have all the action from Coney Island, N.Y. with Paul Page providing commentary along with Major League Eating’s Shea brothers (Rich and George) and Renee Herlocker.

(Word of advice: Tune in at 12:45 in time for the 10-minute contest.)

Prior to the men’s event, ESPN3.com will carry the first-ever Women’s Championship at 11:30 a.m.

Over the last five years, Nathan’s Famous Fourth of July International Hot Dog Eating Contest has averaged a 1.1 rating and nearly 1.5 million viewers.

Yes, 1.5 million viewers. Only in America.

 

 

 

 

<< PREVIOUS PAGENEXT PAGE >>