Bringing You Some Friday Megalinks

Ok, seeing some good stories on this Friday and it appears that I’m staying in the office today so I can give you a full set and not have to leave for another site. Let’s git ‘er done!

We start as always with the Weekend Viewing Picks which are getting busier with each passing weekend as we get closer to football. And in September, you’ll have College Football Viewing Picks and the NFL Viewing Picks to go along with the weekend picks so you can expect to see those every Friday from September through the end of both football seasons.

Let’s do the linkage.

National

Michael Hiestand and Mike McCarthy of USA Today debate whether networks really need to use ex-jocks to be analysts.

R. Thomas Umstead of Multichannel News reports that HBO PPV will air the Manny Pacquaio-Juan Manuel Marquez fight with replays of the 24/7 documentary series airing on CNN. Interesting.

Mike Reynolds from Multichannel says Comcast is going after DirecTV for what it says is a deceptive ad campaign by the satellite provider for offering “free” NFL games.

Toni Fitzgerald of Media Life Magazine looks at how Kraft used its Macaroni & Cheese brand to help warm up football fans tailgating in cold weather cities.

Jason Fry in the Indiana University National Sports Journalism Center gives some tips on starting up a digital sports journalism program.

At NFL.com, Adam Rank gives his top six favorite features from NFL Films as founder Ed Sabol goes into the Pro Football Hall of Fame this weekend.

Glenn Davis of SportsGrid is giddy over Stephen Colbert taking over MLB’s Twitter account for all day today.

Cam Martin of SportsNewser has the latest New Era Red Sox-Yankees ad featuring notorious Yankees fan Alec Baldwin and Red Sox fan John Krasinski. This ad called “One Hitter” is the best of the series thus far.

Karen Hogan of Sports Video Group says NASCAR.com is expanding its online RaceView program from Sprint Cup only to three Nationwide Series races.

Sports Media Watch notes that the ratings for the MLS All-Star Game on ESPN2 went up slightly from last year.

Joe Favorito talks about motorsports trying to tap into the New York market.

Barry Janoff of The Big Lead notes that Pepsi is returning to advertise in the Super Bowl by using the winner of Fox’s X Factor contest into NBC’s broadcast.

Brady Green at Awful Announcing reports a story that we’ve been following closely here, that Versus may make a big commitment to college hockey.

AA also introduces its Fan Forum where you get a voice on the blog.

In Sports TV Jobs, ESPN’s Clay Matvick talks about what it takes to be a play-by-play announcer.

Kristi Dosh, the SportsBizMiss, notes how big a business college sports is in the Business of College Sports.

Law professor Roger Groves writes in Forbes that the Pac-12 deal while lucrative, may end up costing college sports in the long run.

East and Mid-Atlantic

To the Lewiston (ME) Sun Journal and Randy Whitehouse who writes that the Maine Sports Network has carved a niche for itself by broadcasting local high school sports and talk shows to a hungry audience.

Chad Finn of the Boston Globe talks about the rebranding of Versus to fit the NBC Sports Group.

At Boston Sports Media Watch, Ryan Hadfield has some local media musings.

Richard Sandomir of the New York Times writes about the ailing NFL Films team of Ed and Steve Sabol who are holding on to see Ed finally make it to the Pro Football Hall of Fame.

Newsday’s Neil Best says the Yankees-Red Sox rivalry hasn’t lost any of its luster to ESPN or Fox.

Neil says MSG Network has finalized a deal with Spero Dedes for him to call New York Knicks games on radio.

The New York Post’s Phil Mushnick is filled with hatred for the entire world today.

Marc Berman at the Post says MSG is overlooking a recent DWI arrest in hiring Dedes.

Justin Terranova in the Post has five questions for CBS/TNT golf analyst Ian Baker-Finch.

In the Albany Times Union, Pete Dougherty would like YES to stop airing a certain smoking cessation ad.

Pete says NFL Network has confirmed talks with Time Warner Cable to possibly get carriage for this season.

Pete talks with player agent J.R. Rickert about having to squash inaccurate media reports about his clients.

Ken Schott at the Schenectady Gazette says NFL Network will have up to six live preseason on its air this month.

Laura Nachman says a Philly sports reporter is teaming up on a new book on the hapless 1972 Phillies.

In Press Box, Dave Hughes notes that Comcast SportsNet Mid-Atlantic has hired a new Capitals insider for TV and online appearances.

At the Washington Examiner, Jim Williams says the rebrand from Versus to NBC Sports Network is more than just a name change.

South

David Barron at the Houston Chronicle talks Texans with NFL Network’s Michael Lombardi.

Mel Bracht of the Daily Oklahoman notes that Cox has released its local high school football schedule.

Mel says Tulsa native Bob Carpenter may be looking for a new gig after MASN did not pick up his option to call Washington Nationals games.

Midwest

Josh Weir in the Canton (OH) Repository profiles NFL Films founder Ed Sabol as he enters the Pro Football Hall of Fame this weekend.

Josh writes that Ed’s relationship with the late NFL Commissioner Pete Rozelle changed the fate of the league and NFL Films.

Josh says Ed’s hiring of the late John Facenda as the voice of NFL Films added a mystique to the NFL.

Josh says Ed’s successor at NFL Films, his son Steve, has been ailing almost as much as Ed has.

And Josh writes that before Ed was a filmmaker, he was a very good swimmer at Ohio State.

Over to the Akron Beacon Journal, Jason Lloyd goes behind the scenes with CBS Sports as it airs this weekend’s coverage of the WGC-Bridgestone Invitational.

John Kiesewetter of the Cincinnati Enquirer says a former Bengals radio pregame host is returning to his position this season.

John has a little more on the story in his blog.

John says Fox Sports Ohio picks up an additional Cincinnati Reds game later this month.

Mark Snyder of the Detroit Free Press says ESPN will make next month’s Michigan-Notre Dame game into a big primetime affair.

Michael Zuidema of the Grand Rapids (MI) Press says Versus will air a documentary on MLB’s first openly gay player next week.

Bob Wolfley at the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel writes that the Green Bay Packers’ weekend scrimmage will be picked up on TV both locally and nationally.

Paul Christian of the Rochester Post-Bulletin says eight years after its creation, NFL Network finally gets picked up by Charter Communications.

In the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, Dan Caesar writes the NFL Network-Charter agreement was a compromise on where the channel would be placed.

Dan says the St. Louis Cardinals were kicked off Fox’s national MLB schedule to give the Pittsburgh Pirates a rare spotlight.

West

John Maffei in the North County Times says the NFL’s TV partners are hopeful viewers will watch preseason football.

Tom Hoffarth of the Los Angeles Daily News says Ed Sabol is worthy of the Pro Football Hall of Fame.

Tom wonders if Ed was actually a candidate to succeed the late Pete Rozelle as NFL Commish.

Ed looks at the sports media’s connection to this year’s class of 2011 for the Pro Football Hall of Fame.

Tom says ESPN has invented a quarterback rating statistic and wants everyone to know about it.

Canada

Bruce Dowbiggin of the Toronto Globe and Mail talks about a new reality series in which a former CFL’er is trying to make Canada’s bobsledding team.

The Canadian Sports Media Blog looks at CBC and Rogers Sportsnet teaming up to air two tennis tournaments this month.

And the Canadian Sports Media Blog lists the Gemini Award nominees in the sports categories. The Geminis are Canada’s version of the Emmys.

That will conclude the links today.

About Ken Fang

A former award-winning radio reporter, Ken Fang lives in Rhode Island and blogs at Fang's Bites and Fang's Bites at BSMW. You can also follow him on Twitter and Facebook. In addition to sports media, he is addicted to The Amazing Race and Mad Men.

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