NBC has been slowly unveiling their 2014 Winter Olympics lineup in Sochi. We know Bob Costas will return to the anchor throne for NBC's network coverage in primetime and late night. We know Rebecca Lowe is in as the new NBCSN daytime host and that Lester Holt, Al Michaels, and Dan Patrick will also serve as anchors. In addition, former Olympian Nastia Liukin will serve as an NBC reporter and Maria Sharapova will serve as a correspondent to offer insight, analysis, and stories from Sochi.
This morning you can add three new names to that list of correspondents, including Sunday Night Football analyst Cris Collinsworth. The former Bengals receiver is on the short list of top NFL game analysts in the industry today and is one of NBC's leading sports personalities. Furthermore, Collinsworth is actually no stranger to Olympic broadcasts. Although he sat out 2012's London Olympics, he was part of NBC's coverage of the Vancouver and Beijing games in 2010 and 2008 respectively to offer commentary on the events of the games.
Along with Collinsworth, NBC has tapped two more Olympic broadcast veterans to return to their team for Sochi - Mary Carillo and Ato Boldon. Carrillo has been a mainstay in Olympic coverage for the peacock for going on two decades now, both as a late night anchor and as a correspondent often focusing on human interest stories involving the local culture of the host city. Her reporting work has come to be some of the most respected during each Olympic telecast. And, Carillo will have one of the more notable assignments for NBC during these games - exclusive interviews with Tonya Harding and Nancy Kerrigan, 20 years after the events of Lillehammer.
Boldon will be making his first appearance at the Winter Olympics for NBC after working the last two Summer Games as lead track and field analyst.
The trio adds a mix of Olympic experience and name recognition to an ever growing list of talent NBC will send into viewers' homes to convey the story of the Sochi Olympics.no comments
All Times Eastern
Mosconi Cup -- Fox Sports 2, 5 p.m.
CBS Sports Network is adding some new live programming to their regular schedule. The network announced that they will broadcast Boomer & Carton, the popular morning show from CBS RADIO’s WFAN studio in New York City, beginning in January. The four-hour show airs Monday through Friday between 6:00am and 10:00am ET.
This is a nice addition by CBS Sports Network. The show hosted by Boomer Esiason and Craig Carton adds a huge chunk of live daily programming. Boomer & Carton now gives CBS Sports Network a strong show to compete against NBC Sports Network's The Dan Patrick Show.
Dan Mason, president and CEO of CBS RADIO commented on the news:
"Boomer and Carton have created one of the industry’s best sports talk programs that captures all the drama and excitement of New York sports. Together we look forward to presenting the show to the CBS Sports Network audience of enthusiastic sports fans."
This is a great time for sports fans. If you happen to work near a television in the mornings, you suddenly have numerous live morning sports shows to choose from. It'll be interesting to see how Boomer & Carton performs compared to other televised radio shows, and how their ratings will compare to nemesis Keith Olbermann, but for now it's clear sports fans are the big winner.no comments
ESPN's coverage of the 2010 World Cup in South Africa was one of the best productions the self-proclaimed worldwide leader in sports or any other sports network has ever produced. ESPN has taken its coverage of global soccer to a position at the top of the sports world and soccer fans are looking forward to how the network will cover the 2014 World Cup that is now less than a year away.
Part of the anticipation for the 2014 World Cup is ESPN's roster of commentators, analysts, hosts, and reporters that will make the trip to Brazil to cover the action. Today ESPN announced their first set of World Cup analysts - ESPN mainstayes Alexi Lalas and Taylor Twellman, former EPL on ESPN lead analyst Steve McManaman, Euro 2012 analyst and former German captain Michael Ballack, and Argentine international Santiago Solari. Here's info from ESPN on each of their first five World Cup analysts:no comments
It's been a long time, way too long in fact, since we featured some good old fashioned First Take tomfoolery. Enter one half of Bristol's resident debate club, Stephen A. Smith. When discussing the Seahawks blasting the Saints on Monday Night Football, he repeatedly kept calling Seattle QB Russell Wilson "Russell Westbrook." Wilson is the Seahawks QB. Westbrook is the All-Star PG for the Thunder.
Perhaps we should be easy on Stephen A., I mean, in fairness their last names do both start with the letter "W." But First Take hasn't turned Wilson into a debate point yet like they have Westbrook, so it's easy to understand why that might be a default name to shout out in the First Take carnival. At least he didn't call him Russell Tebow.
(Vine via yusko11)no comments
Reality survival shows took a unique turn in the last year when Discovery Channel launched its new series Naked and Afraid. The series takes prospective Les Strouds in a pair of one male and one female and sends them out into the wild to survive for 21 days. The hook of the program, is that the male and female are completely and utterly naked. Since this is Discovery and not Cinemax, the participants are covered with blurred lines when patches of leaves fall short of FCC standards.
Why send two crazy people out into the wilderness completely naked? Well, nudity equals ratings and interest. And, there are people that are just insane enough to want to do it. For the new season in December, three of those insane people will be NFL veterans - Ravens WR Torrey Smith, Titans KR Leon Washington, and Patriots DE Andre Carter. The series announced the NFL episodes on its Twitter page.no comments
In his storied career, CBS' Verne Lundquist has had the opportunity to be at the microphone for many iconic events. Since becoming a network announcer in 1974, he's called the NCAA Tournament, the NFL, three Olympics, The Masters, the PGA Championship, and of course, SEC football. And lest we forget about his appearance in Happy Gilmore
Over the years, Uncle Verne has said the 1986 Masters during which he called Jack Nicklaus' birdie putt at the 17th hole (Yes, SIR!), the greatest single sporting event he has witnessed. He added that the 1992 NCAA Tournament Eastern Regional Final between Kentucky and Duke with Christian Laettner's winning shot was his second favorite event.
Shortly after this year's Iron Bowl between Alabama and Auburn, Lundquist said the game tied for second with Kentucky-Duke. Well, with a chance to breathe and think about what happened, Verne has reconsidered.no comments
The UFC Network is here! Well...kind of.
On Monday, John Morgan of USA Today reported that the UFC would be creating a digital television network that would feature live and on-demand fight programming - including next month's live card from Singapore.
According to Morgan, the digital network will allow the UFC to air fight cards in foreign markets - specifically in Asia, Europe, and Australia - in prime time, as opposed to the current model of airing them live in America and at an inconvenient hour in the card's home market. For instance, the main card of Friday's fight card in Australia airs live in America at 9 PM EST - but in Australia, the main card will be taking place and airing live approximately at noon on Saturday. You can see how this would be problematic for the local market.no comments
The new Los Angeles Dodgers RSN backed by Time Warner Cable is looking to be a powerful outfit. After rumors they were ready to pinch ESPN Sunday Night Baseball analyst Orel Hershiser comes a report from the Los Angeles Times that the network has already signed former Red Sox and Dodgers infielder Nomar Garciaparra from Bristol:
"Nomar Garciaparra has been hired as a new commentator by the Dodgers, according to a person familiar with the situation who spoke on the condition of anonymity.
Garciaparra, who was born in Whittier and went to Bellflower St. John Bosco High School, spent three seasons playing for the Dodgers and has been an ESPN analyst for the last four years.
Garciaparra is expected to do pre- and post-game commentary and be utilized on both the television and radio broadcasts. Roles are still being defined.
The Dodgers are also pursuing ex-Dodger Orel Hershiser to be an announcer and the future broadcasting face of the team, according to USA Today. Hershiser is also currently with ESPN, though is contract will soon expire."
Garciaparra joined ESPN in 2010 and had appeared on Baseball Tonight, SportsCenter, and as a game analyst periodically. This likely says more about the power and the money of the Dodgers network than it does ESPN, although it's rare to see someone move from Bristol to a regional network.
Given the fact that the Time Warner Dodgers network will have several billion dollars to splash around, they can afford to spend and spend big on talent. Nomar is certainly a big name acquisition who was certainly in the upper third of ESPN MLB analysts in terms of facetime at the network. The fact that Garciaparra is only going to serve in a studio capacity means the door is open to add more top flight announcers like Orel Hershiser.
Perhaps more than anything, this deal shows the rising power of regional sports networks and the millions and billions that are pouring into the industry at the local level.no comments