Ken from the Fang’s Bites blog with your Friday megalinks once again.
This marks the final weekend of Olympics action and it’s really time for the Games to end. I enjoyed the Games really up until Wednesday when I started to get burned out on the Mary Carillo puff pieces, the tape delay of track & field and stories about Tiki Barber, whether he muttered or didn’t mutter the “c” word during an MSNBC Olympic update show. It’ll all be over by this Sunday and we won’t have to worry about a Summer Olympics until 2012, but we will have to deal with the Vancouver Winter Olympics in 2010, but that’s a ways away.
Of course, the last weekend of the Olympics from Communist China dominate the Weekend Viewing Picks.
Among the action coming up on Saturday are live coverage of gold medal matches in men’s basketball (2:30 a.m. on NBC), boxing (shown between 12:30 a.m. – 5 a.m), men’s marathon (7:30 p.m.), men’s soccer (midnight, CNBC), and baseball (USA/Telemundo, 6 a.m.). Tape delayed coverage on NBC includes the men’s 4 x 400 relay in track (Saturday, primetime) and men’s diving.
Finally on Sunday, NBC delays the Closing Ceremonies for primetime although I’m sure someone will have them streaming live on the internet sometime around 8 a.m. 7NBC in Boston and NBC10 in Providence have the broadcasts.
The Red Sox are up in Canada to take on their AL East nemesis, the Toronto Blue Jays. NESN has tonight’s game at 7, then Saturday and Sunday, the games are on at 1 p.m.
Fox Sports has regional coverage of three games Saturday at 3:55 p.jm. including Tampa Bay at the White Sox. The regional divide, announcing assignments and probable starters can all be seen here. On Sunday, TBS has the Rays-White Sox at 2 p.m., WGN has the Cubs in action against Washington at Wrigley Field at 2:10 p.m. and ESPN’s Sunday Night Baseball has the Dodgers taking on the Phillies at 8 p.m.
The Patriots with or without Tom Brady limp into Gillette Stadium to take on the Philadelphia Eagles tonight. WCVB carries the Patriots Television Network broadcast with the venerable Don Criqui and verbose Randy Cross calling the game with Mike Lynch on the sidelines. The game starts at 7:30 tonight.
In other exhibition action, CBS has two games, one tonight which has the battle of Texas, Houston at Dallas at 8. Then on Saturday night, CBS beams Pittsburgh and Minnesota, also at 8. The NFL Network jumps in Sunday night with the Indianapolis Colts hosting Buffalo again at 8.
The Little League World Series in Williamsport, PA finally finishes this weekend. ESPN and ABC combine for coverage. On Saturday, ABC has a championship doubleheader starting with the International Championship between Japan and Mexico which starts at 12:30 p.m. Then the US Championship pits Lake Charles, LA against Waipahu, HI at 3:30 p.m. On Sunday, the 3rd place game is on ESPN at noon followed by the LLWS Championship Game on ABC at 3:30 p.m.
NASCAR heads to Bristol, TN for the Nationwide and Sprint Cup Series. Tonight, it’s the Food City 250, Saturday night at 8. On Saturday, it’s primetime again for ESPN as the Sharpie 500 gets underway also at 8 p.m.
Formula 1 racing heads to Valencia, Spain for the European Grand Prix. Speed Channel has coverage of qualifying this Saturday morning at 8, then the actual race, Sunday morning at 7:30.
For golf, the LPGA Tour’s Safeway Classic is covered by ESPN2, Saturday at 4 p.m. and Sunday at 3:30 p.m. The first leg of the PGA Tour’s FedEx Cup which no one can understand begins with The Barclays. This will mark the end of CBS’ golf coverage for the year. The Barclays gets underway on CBS with 3rd round coverage on Saturday at 3 p.m. On Sunday, final round coverage begins at 2 p.m.
The last tennis tournament before the U.S. Open begins on Monday concludes on Saturday. CBS has the women’s final of the Pilot Pen from New Haven, CT at 1 p.m. ESPN2 has the men’s final at 7 p.m.
And the Travers Stakes, horse racing from Saratoga Springs, New York will be seen on ESPN this Saturday at 4:30 p.m.
Now let’s do your links.
USA Today’s Michael Hiestand writes that the Olympics will end with a bang on Sunday.
The Sports Business Daily/Journal’s Olympics website reports that NBC’s ratings for Wednesday were below Athens for the comparable night.
CNBC’s Darren Rovell looks at some of the most marketable sports names over the years.
The Sports Media Watch says Michael Phelps’ success has brought swimming more exposure for the next four years. On Wednesday, Awful Announcing had a clip of Usain Bolt’s record breaking 200 meter win before NBC showed the race and SMW talks about how the network used its muscle to have Google shut down AA for a short period. And the blog says NBC had its lowest rated night of the Olympics on Thursday.
John Eggerton of Broadcasting & Cable reports that the Olympics also dominated NBC Nightly News, more than any other network newscast.
Larry Barrett of Multichannel News says the former “Bachelor”, Jesse Palmer joins ESPN’s Thursday Night college football crew.
Toni Fitzgerald of Media Life Magazine writes that the Beijing Games now ranks second after Lillehammer in 1994 as the most watched Olympics in history. And Toni reports that the only major demographic that’s not into the Olympics are girls aged 12-17.
Clifford Coonan of Variety says the International Olympic Committee is proud to have opened the viewing to online platforms.
Daisy Whitney of TV reports that NBC did not rake in the cash from online ad revenue for its Olympics website.
CBS says the lovely beach volleyball gold medalists Misty May-Treanor and Kerri Walsh make their first late night appearance on the Late Show with David Letterman on Wednesday. And CBS Sports has announced the announcer pairings for the 2008 NFL season. A good pickup for CBS is Dan Fouts who was with ESPN/ABC for the last ten seasons.
East and Mid-Atlantic
David Scott has some good words for Michael Felger in the first week of operation for the new WEEI.com.
Barbara Matson of the Boston Globe is not happy with NBCOlympics.com.
Phil Mushnick of the New York Post writes that the YES Network’s Michael Kay made some strange comments about replay in baseball.
The spiteful Bob Raissman of the New York Daily News complains about the New York Jets giving favorable treatment regarding Brett Favre to 1050 ESPN Radio and WFAN while slighting beat reporters and cable partner SNY on which Raissman regularly appears and the Daily News is a partner.
Newsday’s Neil Best has CBS being giddy over having Brett Favre and the Jets on their network for most of the NFL season. In his blog, Neil likes Ato Boldon’s commentary on track & field. And Neil has an item on John McEnroe which did not make it into his column.
Ray Frager of the Baltimore Sun says NBC wants to ride the Michael Phelps wave for as long as it can.
Tim Lemke from the Washington Times says Gene Upshaw’s death has left the NFL Players Association in limbo.
Scott D. Pierce of the Deseret (UT) Morning News says maybe it’s not a bad thing for the national college football analysts to disrespect Brigham Young University.
Jay Posner from the San Diego Union-Tribune talks about ESPN horse racing analyst Randy Moss (not to be confused with the Patriots’ Randy Moss) picking up work with the NFL Network. Jay says the Sporting News picked the Chargers to win the Super Bowl, but nary a Charger to be on the cover. And Jay has the ratings for San Diego over the last week.
John Maffei of the North County Times feels track & field is getting the short stick on NBC’s Olympics primetime coverage.
Tom Hoffarth of the Los Angeles Daily News talks with FSN West’s Lindsay Soto who’s doing yeoman’s work for NBC in Communist China. And Tom has more with the lovely Lindsay in his extensive media notes in his blog.
Brent Hunsberger of The Oregonian’s Playbooks & Profits blog says this has not been a good Olympics for Nike.
Doug Nye of The State in South Carolina says he’ll have plenty of non-Michael Phelps memories of the Olympics. And Doug says ESPN has set its crew for the South Carolina-NC State game next Thursday.
Barry Jackson of the Miami Herald doles out his medals to NBC’s announcers for the Olympics.
Dave Darling of the Orlando Sentinel says NBC did a solid job in broadcasting the Games.
Barry Horn from the Dallas Morning News says NBCOlympics.com has had plenty of visitors during the 17 Days of Glory.
Jeff Caplan of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram reports that long-time Mavericks analyst Bob Ortegel returns to TV after being on radio for a year.
Mel Bracht of the Daily Oklahoman talks about the NBA possibly streaming live local games to your computer. Here’s Mel’s media notes. And Mel has his weekend viewing picks.
George M. Thomas of the Akron Beacon Journal does not like a new DVD documentary on the late Ohio State coach Woody Hayes.
Ted Cox of the Chicago Daily Herald says NBC gets a silver medal for its Olympics coverage.
Paul Christian of the Rochester (MN) Post Bulletin says the clock is running out on NBC’s Olympics broadcasts.
Jeffrey Flanagan of the Kansas City Star writes about infamous “Boom Goes the Dynamite” anchor Brian Collins who after his disastrous sportscast has managed to find work in Texas. And Jeffrey writes about a Dan Patrick/Sports Illustrated interview with ex-decathlete Bruce Jenner.
Chris Zelkovich of the Toronto Star prefers watching CBC’s live coverage of the Olympics over NBC’s production of taped primetime program.
William Houston from the Toronto Globe and Mail says Ron McLean’s reveal about his mother’s death was poignant and telling.
That’s it. Have a good weekend.