In this week's edition of Sports Business Journal, John Ourand and John Lombardo report that the NBA wants to begin talks this summer with its two TV partners, ESPN and Turner Sports about new deals. Now the two deals with the incumbents expire after the 2015-16 season, but the NBA wants to strike while the iron is still hot. Knowing that Major League Baseball, the NFL and most of the major BCS college conferences saw huge rights deals over the last few years, the NBA wants to join in before the rights bubble bursts.
In addition, with an increased field of national cable sports networks, the NBA knows there will be more interested parties in its games than when the last TV contract was signed in 2007. ESPN has been with the NBA since 2002 and Turner's partnership dates back to the mid-1980's when the NBA was originally on TBS.
With the talks beginning this summer, the NBA hopes to have a new contract in place by the time current NBA Commissioner David Stern transitions to new Head Honcho Adam Silver next summer.
Like the NFL, the NBA saw record ratings in 2011-12, but a slight decrease in the 2012-13 season. That will not temper the enthusiasm of the bids for the NBA. As he leaves, Stern is hoping to at least double the $930 million in rights fees the league receives from ESPN and Turner. And you know neither company will allow one of their signature sports properties go without a fight.
So with that, let's handicap the new rights deal and see where the chips may fall.no comments
When the Bruins defeated the Maple Leafs in overtime on Patrice Bergeron's goal, completing an epic Game 7 comeback in the first round of the Stanley Cup Playoffs, my first thought was this: I wonder if Jack Edwards survived.
The Bruins play by play man is a little crazy (he even admits to that in his Twitter bio) and growing in legend as a Hawk Harrelson level homer. The man lives and dies with the Bruins, so for his personal health I'm glad the Bruins pulled off the victory.
Sometimes his craziness leads to WTF moments like comparing Matt Cooke of the Pens to Sirhan Sirhan, but other times Jacko strikes just the right balance between genuine excitement and genuine craziness. Naturally, Patrice Bergeron's game-winner would produce something memorable from Edwards, and I'm willing to wager no Game 7 winning goal has been called like it was a valiant hero slaying a monstrous dragon:
"With the point of the dagger at their throats, they rip it out of Toronto's hands and kill the beast!!!"
The beautiful part about this call is I can picture Jack Edwards in the booth taking his pen and trying to stab his statistician in the heart in a fit of bloodthirsty, jubilant rage. If rage can be a jubilant thing, that is.
UPDATE: Thanks to the comments section, here's the video reaction. Not quite stabbing his statistician, but close enough to make it a classic.
Ed Note: This article first appeared at Bloguin's national NBA blog Crossover Chronicles.
One of the biggest stars in music today is aggravated with a certain NBA playoff team choosing to play his music to pump up their home fans. Seattle based rapper Macklemore was informed by a Twitter follower that the Oklahoma City Thunder was playing his latest hit, "Can't Hold Us", to excite the home fans in the arena. Macklemore's response was less than enthusiastic...no comments
All Times Eastern
Louisville at Ohio State -- Big Ten Network, 6:30 p.m.
College Football Live -- ESPN, 3:30 p.m.
Stage 10: Cordenons to Altopiano del Montasio -- beIN Sport, 9:30 a.m.
Tour of California
Stage 3: Palmdale to Santa Clara -- NBC Sports Network, 5 p.m.
English Premier League
Arsenal vs. Wigan Athletic -- Fox Soccer, 2:30 p.m.
Reading vs. Manchester City -- Fox Soccer Plus, 2:53 p.m.
The thrill of victory is great, but the agony of defeat always makes for better and juicier headlines. Take the Toronto Sun for instance and their reaction to the hometown Maple Leafs blowing a 4-1 3rd Period lead in Game 7 against the Boston Bruins, losing 5-4 in overtime. "The Choke's On Us" might be a little harsh considering Toronto did fight back from a 3-1 series deficit to force the Game 7... but with the Leafs' recent run of futility, Toronto is going to embrace this collapse like they are the hockey embodiment of Sergio Garcia.
On the bright side, it's Blue Jays season or something.
H/T Toucher and Richno comments
Monday, May 13
G4: Miami Heat @ Chicago Bulls (TNT 7PM) Marv Albert, Steve Kerr
G4: Oklahoma City Thunder @ Memphis Grizzlies (TNT 9:30PM) Dick Stockton, Chris Webber
Tuesday, May 14
G4: New York Knicks @ Indiana Pacers (TNT 7PM) Kevin Harlan, Reggie Miller
G5: Golden State Warriors @ San Antonio Spurs (TNT 9:30PM) Matt Devlin, Mike Fratello
Wednesday, May 15
G5: Chicago Bulls @ Miami Heat (TNT 7PM) Marv Albert, Steve Kerr
G5: Memphis Grizzlies @ Oklahoma City Thunder (TNT 9:30PM) Dick Stockton, Chris Webber
Thursday, May 16
G5: Indiana Pacers @ New York Knicks (TNT 8PM) Kevin Harlan, Reggie Miller
G6* San Antonio Spurs @ Golden State Warriors (ESPN 10:30PM)
Friday, May 17
G6* Miami Heat @ Chicago Bulls (ESPN 7PM)
G6* Oklahoma City Thunder @ Memphis Grizzlies (ESPN 9:30PM)
Saturday, May 18
G6* New York Knicks @ Indiana Pacers (ESPN 8PM)
Sunday, May 19
G7* Chicago Bulls @ Miami Heat (TNT TBA) Marv Albert, Steve Kerr
G7* Golden State Warriors @ San Antonio Spurs (TBA)
G7* Memphis Grizzlies @ Oklahoma City Thunder (TBA)
Monday, May 20
G7* Indiana Pacers @ New York Knicks (TNT 7PM) Kevin Harlan, Reggie Miller
H/T Sammy!no comments
Remember when ESPN appeared to be like The Brain of the old WB animated series, Pinky and the Brain, on a mission to take over the world? Well unlike the Brain, ESPN seemed to be on its way with networks in Asia, Africa, Europe as well as Central and South America.
You could travel to the UK and watch ESPN for the English Premier League, the FA Cup as well as some of ESPN's USA programming. ESPN Star Sports in India gave viewers cricket, soccer, tennis and the Olympics. It seemed where there was a TV set and a pay provider, ESPN would find its way there.
But over the last half-year, ESPN has been quietly selling some of its international channels. Months after losing the UK rights to the English Premier League to BT Sport, the Worldwide Leader decided to sell its channels in England and Ireland to BT for an undisclosed amount of cash. ESPN will still have an online presence in the UK, but its broadcast rights to various events will revert to BT. The moves have already influenced some of the on-air talent as Rebecca Lowe, a host for ESPN UK will move to NBC in June to host English Premier League games here and the beloved Ian Darke will call EPL games for BT in the UK.no comments
There once was a man named Reilly,
His work used to be regarded highly.
He once was quick as a pistol,
Then got hired by Bristol.
He was a good writer,
He once could be proud.
But now he writes jokes,
that make me curse aloud.
Money became his muse,
So recycled columns he did use
And he'll continue to collect his paycheck wryly.
He fell off the wagon,
Although he keeps braggin,
Even when he keeps writing quite dryly.
He bloviates poetically,
Though he does poorly phonetically,
Inventing words to fit his awful rhyme,
Reilly wasticated all of our time.
They put him on shows,
Now his work blows,
And God only knows,
How much lower he goes.
Rick Reilly has spent
Many years at the top
Which is rather amazing
When he produces such slop.
Never call him a quitter,
Because he breaks news on Twitter.