We've reached that time of year when networks reach out to important advertisers at their "upfront" presentations. For ESPN, this means a glamorous event in New York where some of the network's most important personalities schmooze with athletes and sell advertisers (and the media gathered) on why the network is still the greatest thing not just since sliced bread, but the advent of loaves of bread as well. You'll never see a more positive, more sustained PR push than a network upfront.
More importantly for us, upfronts are also venues where networks will unveil new programming, technological, and innovative ideas and may even break some news amidst the pomp and circumstance. We're here to break down the interesting revelations from ESPN's Upfront yesterday for you... without the Cheez-It people shamelessly fawning over Kirk Herbstreit.
(In case you're wondering, yes that is something that actually happened yesterday.)no comments
April 29, 2013. It's a day that will live forever in the LGBT community. That's when Jason Collins came out publicly in Sports Illustrated. It's also the same day that ESPN NBA insider Chris Broussard went on Outside the Lines to say that he was against homosexuality and called it a life in "open rebellion to God."
Two weeks after that declaration, ESPN President John Skipper said at ESPN's Upfront in New York City that it was a mistake for Broussard to give his personal feelings when he should have been reporting the story. In a brief Q&A with reporters at the ESPN Upfronts in New York on Tuesday, Skipper said:no comments
As the host of Outside the Lines, Bob Ley is the face of ESPN's strongest journalistic and investigative efforts. He's also the face of goofy screengrabs, but that only adds to his appeal. Yesterday morning on his highly entertaining Twitter feed, Ley shared a note from a viewer wondering if Joe Paterno was in fact faking his own death in a grand Happy Valley conspiracy.no comments
All Times Eastern
College Football Live -- ESPN, 3:30 p.m.
Stage 11: Cave del Predil to Erto -- beIN Sport, 9:30 a.m.
Tour of California
Stage 4: Santa Clarita to Santa Barbara -- NBC Sports Network, 5 p.m.
On the Range: Byron Nelson Championship -- Golf Channel, 8 p.m.
If there's one thing I can't resist posting, it's Manny being Manny videos. Perhaps my favorite highlight in the history of sports is Manny Ramirez and his DIVING LEFT FIELD CUT OFF of former Red Sox teammate Johnny Damon. Without a doubt it is the single funniest thing I've ever seen happen on a baseball diamond, and that includes Randy Johnson killing a bird. Let's reminisce, shall we!
Thankfully, with Ramirez in Taiwan, the Manny being Manny highlights have not stopped making their way across the Pacific. Just watch this "slide" into second base as Ramirez comes up juuuuuuuuust a bit short.
Of course, I don't speak Taiwan, but I assume the announcers aren't laughing at Manny Ramirez. They're laughing with him.no comments
Hockey fans are programmed to pound the glass. Why do they do that? Maybe it's to produce as much noise as possible or maybe it's to try to distract the opponent while supporting your team. No one really knows. If you frown on it, you've probably never done it. The lone issue is that broadcasts usually pick up the noise, resulting in an annoying sound that lasts throughout the game.
At least it's not as bad as what happened to the CSNNE studio after Boston's epic Game 7 victory. With their studio set up right outside the TD Garden, Boston fans poured out in front of the stadium and out in front of the studio. As Tony Amonte and Michael Felger offered their thoughts on the game, fans came up to the studio's windows and rattled them much as they would to the glass inside the Garden.
A big win mixed with a big crowd and big windows is a recipe for hilarity. Cut these fans a break. They're just doing what comes naturally.
(H/T The Nosebleeds)no comments
ESPN held their Upfront in New York today, selling advertisers on the network and announcing new programming and initiatives in a glitzy display full of pomp and circumstance. We'll have a full recap of all the developments and announcements tomorrow, but perhaps the most interesting news from the upfront was the revelation of a new studio show on ESPN2 entirely dedicated to world soccer.
ESPN will be bringing their ESPNFC online brand to television with a 30 minute highlights and news show running Sunday-Thursday on ESPN2 and launching August 11th. A timeslot was not officially revealed, but hopefully it will be given a decent spot in ESPN's mid-afternoon lineup alongside the NFL Lives and College Football Lives of the world. Here's more highlights about ESPNFC's move to TV from the ESPN release...no comments
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