Let’s do your Friday megalinks while I have some time.
Your Weekend Viewing Picks give you everything you need to know on sports and entertainment.
Now to your links.
Steve Wieberg of USA Today looks at how the new deal between CBS/Turner and the NCAA came to fruition for an expanded NCAA Tournament.
Michael Hiestand of USA Today explores the ripple effects of CBS/Turner winning the rights to a 68 team field NCAA Tournament.
Dave Kindred, writing for the Indiana University National Sports Journalism Center yearns to be a young sportswriter again.
Dan Levy of On The DL writes in The Sporting News’ Sporting Blog about the winners and losers in Thursday night’s NFL Draft coverage.
CNBC’s Darren Rovell looks at the sports business winners and losers of the NFL Draft.
Darren says a Division II football player could be a big steal of the Draft.
Michael David Smith of Pro Football Weekly says the ratings for the NFL Draft on ESPN and NFL Network blew away the NBA Playoffs on TNT.
Sports Business Daily has an extensive look at CBS Sports recruiting Turner Sports to assist in keeping the NCAA Tournament away from ESPN.
Georg Szalai of the Hollywood Reporter writes about the combined CBS/Turner bid that won a long-term deal to air the NCAA Tournament starting next year.
David Tanklefsky and John Eggerton of Broadcasting & Cable look at Turner Sports joining the NCAA Tournament party.
Mike Reynolds from Multichannel News writes about Turner taking the plunge to become an NCAA Corporate Partner.
Anthony Crupi of Mediaweek looks at CBS sharing the NCAA Tournament rights with Turner Sports.
And Toni Fitzgerald of Media Life Magazine also writes about CBS/Turner teaming up for the NCAA Tournament.
Sports Media Watch notes that the NFL Draft was a hit in primetime on Thursday.
SMW notices that the Pittsburgh Penguins and Washington Capitals are top draws during the NHL Playoffs on Versus.
SMW says the NHL Playoffs on NBC got off to a great start last weekend.
SMW says the NBA Playoffs on TNT, ESPN and ABC are up slightly in the ratings from last year.
And SMW states that last week’s Mets-Cardinals 20 inning marathon on Fox got the exact same ratings as when the Yankees were blown out 22-4 for the same week last season.
Steve Lepore at Puck The Media has the viewership of the NHL Playoffs on Versus for the first 7 nights.
Maury Brown at the Biz of Baseball writes that MLB.TV’s internet out of market package will now be available on Sony’s PS3 platform in HD.
East and Mid-Atlantic
Richard Sandomir of the New York Times writes about the upcoming changes in the NCAA Tournament as CBS Sports and Turner Broadcasting team up to air the event next year.
Bob Raissman of the New York Daily News hates the NFL Draft going into primetime, but then again, Raissman hates just about everything.
Phil Mushnick of the New York Post feels NFL Commish Roger Goodell is blind.
Pete Dougherty of the Albany Times Union says the primetime NFL Draft needed some sprucing up.
Alan Pergament of the Buffalo News writes that NFL Network’s Mike Mayock nailed the Bills’ first round draft pick once again.
DCRTV.com’s Dave Hughes writing in Press Box says former Baltimore sports talk show host Anita Marks is back in town, but not for a job.
Jim Williams of the Washington Examiner says CBS and Turner are partners for the NCAA Tournament for the long haul.
Barry Jackson of the Miami Herald looks at the CBS/Turner partnership for the NCAA Tournament.
Tom Jones of the St. Petersburg Times says former Tampa Bay Bucs QB Shaun King is joining a local sports radio station.
Barry Horn of the Dallas Morning News has the local ratings for the NFL Draft and Dallas-San Antonio.
David Barron of the Houston Chronicle explores the new CBS/Turner agreement with the NCAA.
Mel Bracht of the Daily Oklahoman also writes about the expanded NCAA Tournament on CBS/Turner.
Mel has details of the new CBS/Turner contract with the NCAA.
John Kiesewetter of the Cincinnati Enquirer says Fox Sports Ohio airs spring football on Saturday.
Kyle Nagel of the Dayton Daily News did not enjoy watching the NFL Draft in primetime.
Bob Wolfley of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel feels the NCAA got it right by expanding to four teams for the men’s basketball tournament.
Ed Sherman in Crain’s Chicago Business has the winners and losers in sports business and media.
Dan Caesar of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch talks about a local sportscaster who’s battling health problems.
Dan writes about the NFL TV analysts raving about the Rams’ selection of Oklahoma QB Sam Bradford.
Jay Posner from the San Diego Union-Tribune says the NCAA Tournament got it right by expanding to 68 teams rather than 96.
John Maffei of the North County Times says the San Diego Chargers are primetime TV darlings this season.
Jim Carlisle of the Ventura County Star notes the real story about the NCAA Tournament is not about the field expansion, but the expansion of TV channels airing the games.
Jim adds that the Los Angeles Kings’ postseason play is scoring for Fox Sports West.
Joe Flint of the Los Angeles Times laments cable busting into the NCAA Tournament.
Tom Hoffarth of the Los Angeles Daily News discusses why a 68 team field for the NCAA Tournament is good for fans and why having Turner airing games is a win-win for viewers.
Tom also has a story in today’s Daily News on the CBS/Turner partnership for the NCAA Tournament.
Tom says last night’s NFL Draft coverage turned into “Where’s Jimmy Clausen?”
Tom also has his weekly media news and notes.
Tom is amazed at the number of college football bowls game for the upcoming season.
Bruce Dowbiggin of the Toronto Globe and Mail writes that NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman’s sometimes maudlin treatment of the media gets him no favors with reporters.
Chris Zelkovich in the Toronto Star notes another Canadian has been hired by ESPN.
William Houston in Truth & Rumours critiques the performance of CBC’s Bob Cole and Gary Galley during the Ottawa-Pittsburgh triple overtime thriller.
We’ll end it there.
Earlier today, Bruce mentioned in the morning links that Comcast SportsNet will be busy tonight covering the Celtics, the Red Sox, the Patriots Draft and the Bruins all live during its SportsCentral progrram. Well, I’ll be at CSN headquarters to see how the staff will cover the events and I’ll be live blogging at the Fang’s Bites at BSMW site as well as live tweeting at my Twitter account.
Tonight’s visit to Comcast SportsNet is part of a larger story I’m writing on local sports coverage and you’ll see that down the road on Fang’s Bites at BSMW.