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Posts Tagged ‘Eric Shanks’

SportsNewser: March Madness To Cable, Underwood, Fox Sports Hires From Canada

FS1′s Dan O’Toole and Jay Onrait

It is a big day in the world of sports media, with three big news items about three different sports divisions.

First, Turner Sports and CBS Sports have announced that the March Madness NCAA Final Four and NCAA Championship Game will move to cable, with Final Four games on TBS starting next year, and the Championship Game in 2016. CBS and TBS will switch off the Final Four and Championship Games through the remainder of the long-term deal through 2024.

“Since the inception of our partnership, I don’t think we could have envisioned such a seamless collaboration between our two companies both in front of and behind the cameras,” said David Levy, president of Sales, Distribution and Sports for Turner, in a statement.

NBC Sports is making a major change to “Sunday Night Football,” bringing in Carrie Underwood to perform “Waiting For Sunday Night,” the official theme song of the program.

Finally, Fox Sports took the sports world by storm this week by naming Jay Onrait and Dan O’Toole as the primary highlight team for “Fox Sports Live,” the daily sports news show to launch on Fox Sports 1 later this year.

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News Corp. Betting Big On ‘Fox Sports 1′

There is no denying that ESPN is the 800 pound gorilla of sports TV networks. Executives at Fox Sports know this.

“ESPN, quite frankly, is a machine,” says Billy Wanger, the head of programming for Fox Sports. “We are coming in trying to take on the establishment; it is no different than what happened with Fox News, or Fox Broadcasting back in the 80s. We are going to have to scratch and claw our way all the way to the top.”

Shanks was talking about Fox Sports 1, the upcoming national cable sports channel that News Corp. is launching in August. News Corp. COO Chase Carey called it “the worst kept secret in TV,” but it is no longer a secret. At a lavish upfront for media buyers in midtown yesterday afternoon and evening, executives at News Corp. formally unveiled the channel.

The beating heart of sports TV is live games, and FS1 will be coming out of the gate with the strongest lineup outside of Bristol, CT. Major League Baseball games–including playoff games–will be available on the channel, as will NASCAR races, UFC fights, college football and basketball and UEFA and World Cup soccer.

“We believe that right now the market for sports is–I don’t want to say vast–but it is,” News Corp. senior VP and Fox Sports founding president David Hill says. “There is a huge percentage of the population for whom sports is vitally important, for whom sports is the best entertainment there is.”

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USA Today's Danny Sheridan Compares Bloggers to Cockroaches

During a highly anticipated radio interview yesterday with Paul Finebaum, Danny Sheridan of USA Today was expected by many to divulge the name of the “bag man” who purportedly delivered the money necessary to bring Cam Newton to Auburn. Sheridan did not name the person, claiming he never promised to do so. When Finebaum said that Sheridan would be raked over the coals by media commentators, Sheridan was unmoved, and went off on a tangent about bloggers who (cliche alert) mostly live in their mother’s basements. He likened them to cockroaches who aren’t man enough to say something and put their name to it.

To recap, people were paying particular attention to what Sheridan had to say yesterday because he claimed to know something, but then refused to divulge the name because he says he didn’t want someone to lose their job. In unrelated news, I know the real identity of D.B. Cooper, but don’t want to reveal his name because someone might lose their job. Come back tomorrow, though, maybe I’ll troll for more attention change my mind.

(H/T to Sportsgrid)

WFAN Bests Lupica and ESPN 1050

Mike Lupica, Daily News (N.Y.) columnist and czar of the Sunday Sports Reporters on ESPN, was expected to join ESPN 1050 in New York, go head to head with Mike Francesa of WFAN, and spark a ratings surge for the World Wide Leader. Instead Arbitron reports that ESPN’s numbers fell from May to June, from 1.o to 0.9, while WFAN’s rose from 2.6 to 2.8.

(H/T to Bob’s Blitz)

ESPN's Rose Pleads Guilty to Drunk Driving

ESPN basketball analyst Jalen Rose pleaded guilty to drunk driving today, admitting to the judge that he drank six martinis on the night of March 11 before he veered off a snowy road in Michigan and rolled his Cadillac Escalade. When police arrived, Rose insisted he hadn’t been drinking, but roadside and hospital tests proved Rose’s blood-alcohol was above the legal limit. He came clean to the judge on Tuesday.

“I’m embarrassed to say I had six drinks that evening,” Rose said softly.

When the judge asked how large the drinks were, Rose replied: “I’m embarrassed to say probably too big.”

He faces up to 93 days in jail, a $500 fine and court costs when he’s sentenced July 27.

(Source: ESPN)

(Photo: The Smoking Gun)

Red Bull Launching U.S. Lifestyle Magazine

Red Bull, the energy drink that’s carved out a nice niche sponsoring extreme sports athletes and events, has launched a glossy lifestyle magazine in the United States that will premiere its June issue later this week.

The Red Bulletin, which is already published in nine countries, features San Francisco Giants pitcher Tim Lincecum on the cover.

“For most other brands, the commitment is just to the product,” says Raymond Roker, associate publisher of The Red Bulletin and founder of URB magazine, who will oversee the U.S. magazine. But Red Bull’s aim, he says, “is to have a rich conversation with our audience.”

The magazine will target the valuable 18- to 34-year-old male demographic. The question is, do those guys read newspapers, where the majority of the magazines will be featured as an insert?

The AZ Central reports, “The $4.99 magazine will have 75,000 copies available on newsstands. It’s also available by subscription at $12 for 12 issues. But on the third Sunday of each month, the majority of the copies will be tucked inside five Sunday newspapers: Los Angeles Times, Chicago Tribune, New York Daily News, The Miami Herald and The Houston Chronicle. One media buying executive says the brand’s multimedia dream looks more like a pipe dream. Red Bull’s youthful target is the wrong customer to hit with a print product — particularly one that’s inside newspapers, says Debbie Sklar, vice president of print at Horizon Media.

“Are 18- to 34-year-olds really reading newspapers?” Sklar asks.

But some advertisers have bought in. Among those in the first, 100-page issue: EA Sports, Dyson vacuum and Zappos.

Michael Vick A No-Show For ESPN First Take

Michael Vick is elusive on and off the field.

The Philadelphia Eagles quarterback canceled a scheduled appearance on ESPN First Take on Friday from Disney’s Hollywood Studios in Orlando.

If you ask the Eagles or Vick’s spokesperson, he was never asked to appear on the program.

ESPN allegedly setup the interview through the Maxwell Football Club, who was giving Vick an award for his comeback season.

“I did not receive any media requests from ESPN’s for Michael’s appearance,” said Chris Shigas, Vick’s spokesperson. “No one ever asked Michael Vick, the Philadelphia Eagles or my agency for an interview request. Apparently, ESPN set up this interview with the Maxwell Football Club without Michael’s knowledge.” Read more

TNT Wins With Boston Celtics-Los Angeles Lakers Broadcast

It was a big night for the NBA. Reggie Miller Ray Allen broke the league’s three-point record, the Los Angeles Lakers showed toughness, and TNT scored with the Boston Celtics-Lakers telecast.

Overnights for the game were up 65 percent from last year’s Orlando Magic-Cleveland Cavilers tilt. In fact, the match was the fourth-most-watched telecast of the season on TNT, “behind only Heat/Celtics on Opening Night (5.6), Heat/Cavaliers on December 2 (5.0), and Rockets/Lakers on Opening Night (3.5).” (By comparison, the first Lakers/Celtics match earned a 5.0 on ABC on a Sunday afternoon.)

In a way, the ratings shouldn’t be a big surprise since this was a bit of a perfect storm. Sports fans are in the Super Bowl hangover period, starved for good action. It doesn’t get much better than the two best teams in the NBA who happen to be the league’s biggest rivals as well. Add the Reggie Miller intrigue and you have yourself a ratings bonanza.