12.20.06 Afternoon

I’ll be attempting another Celtics live blog tonight over at the FSN Celtics Central website.

WBZ-TV is going to be the only place you can watch start-to-finish live coverage of the 2007 Boston Marathon. WBZ-TV President and GM Ed Piette says “’BZ has a long and distinguished tradition of carrying this event in its entirety. When WCVB pulled out of the race, changing the dynamics of the coverage model, we very much wanted to figure out a way that WBZ could still bring the Marathon to viewers.”

WCVB pulled out of coverage due to production costs, (Something that was traditionally split among the stations) so WBZ worked with the BAA to come up with a coverage plan that would allow them cover the entire marathon, making them the only station with wire to wire coverage. This will mark their 27th year of providing full coverage. The 2007 Marathon will begin with the first wave of runners at 10:00 AM on Monday, April 16th.

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Rocky expert Bill Simmons has his review of the new Rocky Balboa movie. He’s not too high on it.

This week’s edition of The Media Circus looks at the disturbing reality that NBC actually did air the Michael Bolton Tribute on Ice this past weekend. They also recap “Crap that actually came from somebody’s mouth” from the weekend and have a couple of other items as well.

Via Deadspin, here is a post on UmpBump.com that has a little bit about Tomoyo Matsuzaka, wife of Daisuke.

Jim Williams looks at NASCAR and DirecTV taking race viewing to a whole new level in 2007.

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Boston Radio Watch on Entercom’s plans for Red Sox baseball and specifically WEEI:

WEEI will still retain a large presence with about 30-40 game package of Wednesday games and weekday afternoon broadcasts as well as Jimmy Fund Radiothon(Aug.17) game. WEEI will still have all the Sox access programming with team’s players and management. The reason for WEEI airing its Game of The Week on Wednesdays as opposed on any another day? Wednesday happens to be the last day in Arbitron’s weekly ratings survey which runs Thursday thru Wednesday. It’s all about recalling what you heard during the week before mailing back your diary on Thursday morning. And previous night’s game on WEEI may stick out better in people’s minds, especially if Dice-K threw a gem….

That crafty Jason Wolfe…

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Monday Night Football on ESPN is averaging a 10.0 rating and 9,224,000 homes (12,402,000 P2+) for 16 games in 15 weeks. These represent increases of 41%, 43% and 42%, respectively, compared to the first 15 weeks of last year’s ESPN Sunday Night Football (7.1 rating, 6.444 million homes, 8.733 million viewers).

Meanwhile, FOX continues to garner big numbers for their NFL games, as season-to-date, FOX Sports’ National Game is averaging a 14.2/27 in Households, standing as not only the highest-rated NFL window on television, but also the highest-rated program of any kind, in any daypart. Through eight Doubleheader Sundays, FOX’s National Game even out-rates the No. 1 show in prime time, Grey’s Anatomy, by + 2% (vs. 13.9). The National Game on FOX is also up +10% over last year’s 8-game average (12.9/24) and holds sizable advantages over the season averages of both CBS’s National Game (+11% vs. 12.8), and NBC’s Sunday Night Football (+27%, vs. 11.2).

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The frosty relations between the New England Patriots and the Boston Herald continued today as Richard Seymour dismissed a Michael Felger attempt at a question without even letting Felger get more than a few words out before asking for the next question.

The hostility likely stems from the back page of this morning’s Herald which proclaims that Ty Warren was a “more deserving” candidate for the Pro Bowl than Seymour:

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While Felger didn’t write the headline on the back page of the paper, his own article on the Pro Bowl selections made it clear that agreed with the spirit of the headline. Writing about the history of headscratching Pro Bowl selections, Felger writes:

The latest miss occurred yesterday, when Patriots defensive end Richard Seymour was selected to his fifth Pro Bowl in just his sixth year in the league.

Then a sentence or two later, Felger chimes in:

But the truth is that, for a variety of reasons, Seymour hasn’t even been the best defensive lineman on his own team this season. And again, we stress the this season part of the equation.

Now, what Felger writes may not be that much out of line. Ty Warren, by all accounts is having the best season of his life, and deserved to go to the Pro Bowl this season. I don’t think Seymour would disagree with that notion either. What likely bothers Seymour is the implication that he doesn’t deserve to go, or that the paper seems to feel the need to knock him down to lift Warren up.

However, this is just the latest in a series of little incidents between the Herald and the Patriots. There seems to be at least a couple of reasons for the tension, and Dale & Holley on WEEI today discussed this a little bit. There is of course the endless, over-the-top gossip column coverage, mostly of the head coach, but there has also been a more negative, aggressive, “edgy” approach being taken by the writers covering the team. This approach has resulted in confrontations with Corey Dillon and now Seymour, and as claimed by Dale & Holley, in Belichick seemingly becoming even more tight-lipped with the Herald reporters.

It used to be the Globe with Ron Borges and Nick Cafardo that was the bane of the Patriots existence. Now with Mike Reiss on the beat, and Borges contributing maybe one or two columns a week on the team, the roles seem to have been clearly reversed between the two papers.

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Here is the top 15 from Street & Smith’s SportsBusiness Journal 50 Most Influential People of 2006

  1. George Bodenheimer; President, ESPN/ABC Sports
  2. David Stern; Commissioner, NBA
  3. Bud Selig; Commissioner, MLB
  4. Dick Ebersol; Chairman, NBC Universal Sports and Olympics
  5. Roger Goodell; Commissioner, NFL
  6. David Hill; President, DirecTV Entertainment Group / Chairman, Fox Sports
  7. Tony Ponturo; VP of Global Media & Sports Marketing, Anheuser-Busch
  8. Brian France; President, NASCAR
  9. Phil Knight; Chairman, Nike
  10. Sean McManus; President, CBS Sports & CBS News
  11. Gary Bettman; Commissioner, NHL
  12. Tim Finchem; Commissioner, PGA Tour
  13. Gene Upshaw; Executive director, NFL Players Association
  14. Robert Kraft; Chairman and owner, New England Patriots
  15. Steve Bornstein; Exec VP of media, NFL / President and CEO, NFL Network

Robert Kraft was #12 last year.