Cranking Out Some Friday Megalinks

Ok, linkage at my BSMW site has been really scarce over the last month and a half and I apologize for that. My schedules have been quite busy and it’s been tough to sit down for the time it takes to gather the links. I hope that changes over the next month or so.

Here are the Weekend Viewing Picks for you.

National

Sports Illustrated’s Richard Deitsch speaks with the people at the Poynter Institute who are the ESPN Ombudsman.

Nate Davis at USA Today’s The Huddle has the Miami Dolphins not so enthusiastic about being on Hard Knocks this season.

Michael Hiestand of USA Today talks with ESPN’s Sean McDonough who will undergo brain surgery later this year.

Ira Boudwell of Bloomberg Businessweek says ESPN is getting out of the high school sports business saying it’s not broad enough.

Yahoo’s Adrian Wojnarowski says this week’s blowout between David Stern and Jim Rome proves that the NBA Commissioner needs to go.

John Ourand of Sports Business Daily says Fox Sports San Diego is launching an ad campaign against Time Warner Cable which has still not picked up the regional sports network.

Good Morning America’s and former ESPN SportsCenter host Robin Roberts says she will beat the rare blood disorder that will require a bone marrow transplant.

Michael O’Connell of the Hollywood Reporter notes that the NBA Finals are pacing ABC to good ratings this week.

At Broadcasting & Cable, Tim Baysinger writes that this week’s Dream Team documentary gave NBA TV its best viewership ever.

Mike Reynolds at Multichannel News says GolTV scored with this week’s soccer international friendly match between Brazil and Argentina.

Toni Fitzgerald of Media Life reports that NBC will debut two new sitcoms right smack dab in the middle of the Olympics.

Ed Sherman at the Sherman Report looks at the geriatric broadcasting team calling the NBA Finals for ESPN Radio.

Glenn Davis at SportsGrid notes that even after the winning the Stanley Cup this week, the Los Angeles Kings still aren’t getting respect from the local media.

Former Deadspin editor A.J. Daulerio returns to his former stomping grounds to do a massive takedown of Jay “The Rat” Mariotti.

Also from Deadspin, John Koblin writes that there doesn’t seem to be a clamoring for Erin Andrews beyond ESPN.

Jason Dachman of Sports Video Group says NBA TV and NBA Entertainment are appealing to the hardcore basketball fan for their Finals coverage.

Jason McIntyre of The Big Lead says Sports Illustrated could be laying off part of its staff.

Matt Yoder at Awful Announcing has tweets from people who hated Chris Berman on the U.S. Open yesterday.

Sports Media Watch notes that this year’s Stanley Cup Final did not resonate with viewers.

SMW also has some various ratings news and notes.

CNBC’s Darren Rovell writes that Brooklyn Nets gear is selling very well.

MediaRantz tells us that Sean Salisbury will be getting a new internet radio gig.

UPDATE, 4:30 p.m.: Time for more linkage here.

East and Mid-Atlantic

At SB Nation, BSMW Fearless Leader Bruce Allen writes about golfer David Duval taking a turn in the broadcast tower at the U.S. Open.

Bill Doyle of the Worcester Telegram & Gazette discusses Johnny Miller holding court for NBC at the U.S. Open at the Olympic Club in San Francisco this week.

Newsday’s Neil Best talks with ESPN college baseball analyst Kyle Petersen who will be introducing many Long Islanders to the College World Series today.

Phil Mushnick of the New York Post goes after the Yankees for pricing out fans from the “Beautiful People” seats at Yankee Stadium.

Jerry Barmash at Fishbowl NY notes that SNY will unveil the all-time Mets team at a gala event on Sunday.

Ken McMillan of the Middletown (NY) Times Herald-Record says the US Women’s National Soccer Team will be on TV and the web this weekend.

Ken says local Time Warner Cable subscribers will have access to the new Pac-12 Networks this summer.

Ken Schott at the Schenectady Gazette says NBC Sports Group has announced the 2012 Summer at Saratoga schedule.

Pete Dougherty at the Albany Times Union talks with Jim Rome who marks his 16th year in New York’s Capital Region.

Pete says one of harness racing’s famous races changes networks this year.

Keith Groller of the Allentown (PA) Morning Call profiles a local cable TV sports reporter who is filling a double role this summer.

Keith has more on her in his blog.

In Press Box, Dave Hughes of DCRTV.com writes that a decision on the Washington Nationals TV rights has been delayed.

South

Barry Jackson from the Miami Herald has some NBA Finals Game 2 postgame reaction as well as Jon Barry saying he’s not a Miami Heat Hater.

David Barron of the Houston Chronicle says Fox Sports Houston was well-prepared and staffed for Wednesday’s perfect game thrown against the Astros by Matt Cain of the San Francisco Giants.

Mel Bracht at The Oklahoman writes that ESPN on ABC was all over the non-foul call against the Thunder’s Kevin Durant during Game 2 of the NBA Finals.

The Oklahoman rounds up what sports reporters are saying on Twitter about the NBA Finals.

Midwest

John Kiesewetter at the Cincinnati Enquirer says an all-star high school football game will be shown locally this weekend.

Bob Wolfley of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel writes that ESPN is dropping its high school sports operation.

Bob criticizes Jim Rome for his questioning of NBA Communist China Sympathizer David Stern.

Paul M. Banks at Chicago Sports Media Watch says Cubs announcers Len Kasper and Bob Brenly were silent when comedian Jeff Garlin brought up trading Alfonso Soriano.

Paul Christian of the Rochester (MN) Post-Bulletin notes the rare occurrence of the U.S. Open and the NBA Finals going head-to-head on TV this Father’s Day.

Dan Caesar from the St. Louis Post-Dispatch writes that viewers of Fox Sports Midwest may need a scorecard to tell who’s in the Cardinals TV booth over the next few days.

Dan notes that next week will mark a decade since the passing of Jack Buck and Cardinals pitcher Darryl Kile.

West

Chadd Cripe of the Idaho Statesman says this fall’s Boise State-Southern Mississippi game will get the Fox treatment.

Scott D. Pierce of the Salt Lake Tribune says Utahans are nervous about getting the Pac-12 Networkcomparing it to their experience with the ill-fated the mtn.

John Maffei of the North County Times writes that Fox Sports San Diego has set its sights squarely on Time Warner Cable.

Jim Carlisle at the Ventura County Star says ESPN’s NBA Countdown show seems to work fine without a host.

Jim talks with NBC’s Johnny Miller about the U.S. Open.

Jim has his weekend viewing picks.

Melissa Rohlin of the Los Angeles Times says Game 2 of the NBA Finals drew a good overnight number for ABC.

Tom Hoffarth of the Los Angeles Daily News talks with former Kings voices about the Stanley Cup victory.

Tom has some more in his blog.

Canada

The Toronto Globe and Mail’s Bruce Dowbiggin blames both Jim Rome and David Stern for their ugly exchange this week.

The Toronto Sports Media Blog says the NBA and NHL Commissioners are taking it on their chins this week.

And that’s going to do it.

Let’s Do The Friday Megalinks Again

Linkage has been scarce around the Fang’s Bites site this week, but I should be able to get a good set of megalinks in today as we head into NCAA Tournament Selection Sunday. You deserve the links and I thank you for your patience as I’ve been working around some server problems on my main site this week and been busy which has prevented me from putting them on the Fang’s Bites BSMW site.

As usual, you can check the Weekend Viewing Picks for all weekend sports and entertainment recommendations.

Let’s get to the linkage.

National

Michael Hiestand of USA Today profiles ESPN’s bracketologist Joe Lunardi who got a big endorsement from Louisville’s Rick Pitino this week.

Erik Spanberg at Sports Business Journal looks at Major League Soccer hoping for big returns from its new contract with NBC Sports.

Sports Illustrated’s Richard Deitsch explores NBC’s new approach to airing soccer and reviews ESPN’s new documentary on Magic Johnson.

Karen Hogan at Sports Video Group looks at ESPN’s innovative plans for MLS games this season.

Lindsay Flans of the Hollywood Reporter says A-List celebrities have caught Linsanity fever.

And the Reporter provides a seating chart of where celebrities sit at Madison Square Garden to get a glimpse of Jeremy Lin.

At the Indiana University National Sports Journalism Center, Michael Bradley feels the mid-major conferences sacrifice regular season integrity in exchange for TV exposure with their post-season tournaments.

CNBC’s Darren Rovell is recovering after his alma mater, Northwestern, played its way out of the NCAA Tournament this week.

Joe Favorito says even in this day and age, the little guy can make a splash in sports marketing.

Sports Media Watch has some ratings news and notes.

SMW notes that NBC Sports will replace the departed Wimbledon with the Tour de France this summer.

Ben Koo of Awful Announcing says ESPN Films is suffering from an identity crisis.

Steve Lepore at Puck The Media says NBC’s innovation in hockey production is now extending to the soccer pitch.

Dave Kohl at the Broadcast Booth isn’t a fan of speculation.

At Yahoo’s Ball Don’t Lie blog, Dan Devine says Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban made a gay joke at Bill Simmons’ expense with him present.

Erik Malinowski of Deadspin says Cuban has apologized for making that remark.

East and Mid-Atlantic

The Boston Globe’s Chad Finn looks at CBS/Turner’s plans for the NCAA Tournament.

BSMW Fearless Leader Bruce Allen at SB Nation Boston says the Boston Herald will miss Patriots beat reporter Ian Rapoport as he departs for NFL Network.

George Cain at Sports of Boston compares and contrasts the two sports radio stations ratings.

Bill Doyle of the Worcester Telegram & Gazette says different generations watch sports differently.

Paul Devlin of the New Canaan (CT) Patch talks with ESPN High Grand Poobah of News Vince Doria.

Newsday’s Neil Best talks with Magic Johnson about ESPN’s documentary on his HIV announcement 20 years ago.

Neil notes the opening of a new Broadway play on the rivalry between Magic and former Boston Celtics star Larry Bird.

Neil says it’s time for our annual search to find truTV for the NCAA Tournament.

Phil Mushnick of the New York Post goes after the “gang mentality” in football.

The Post’s Justin Terranova has five questions for NFL Network analyst Brian Baldinger.

Jerry Barmash at Fishbowl NY notes that MSG Network is about to unveil a new baseball-centric show.

Chris Boyle at the Merrick (NY) Patch says two alumna of a local high school, now ESPN personalities, made a visit to their old stomping grounds.

Pete Dougherty at the Albany Times Union notes that Buffalo Sabres games are back on MSG after a technical glitch prevented fans from seeing their games for two weeks.

Pete talks with Uncle Verne Lundquist of CBS who’s going into his 49th year of broadcasting.

Ken McMillan of the Middletown (NY) Times-Herald Record says a local man has been chosen to take part in this year’s MLB Fan Cave.

Keith Groller of the Allentown (PA) Morning Call talks with ESPN’s Mike Tirico who says he’ll miss working with Ron Jaworski every Monday Night.

Jim Williams of the Washington Examiner speaks with tennis Hall of Famer and ESPN analyst Chris Evert.

South

Luke DeCock of the Raleigh News & Observer says for the first time, viewers in the ACC footprint can see ESPN’s coverage of the ACC Tournament.

Barry Jackson of the Miami Herald likes watching the ESPN/ABC NBA studio show.

David Barron at the Houston Chronicle notes that Comcast SportsNet Houston is getting ready for its fall launch.

And David expands on his column on CSN Houston in his blog.

Mel Bracht of the Daily Oklahoman has a few Sooner State sports media news and notes.

Midwest

Jeff Moss at Detroit Sports Rag has a field of 64 to decide the Worst Detroit Sports Media Personality.

Bob Wolfley of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel says CBS and Turner are enjoying their NCAA Tournament partnership.

Ed Sherman at Crain’s Chicago Business has his weekly winners and losers in sports business and media.

Dan Caesar of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reviews the one week experiment of Joe Buck and Tim McKernan co-hosting a radio show that could turn into something bigger down the road.

Dan says don’t expect too many changes for this year’s NCAA Tournament coverage on CBS and Turner Sports.

West

John Maffei at the North County Times writes that if NCAA Tournament coverage ain’t broke, then CBS and Turner aren’t going to fix it.

John says Fox Sports San Diego is set to launch any day now, provided MLB approves the Padres’ deal to air games on the network.

Jim Carlisle of the Ventura County Star says the success of the CBS/Turner NCAA Tournament consortium surprised officials at both companies.

Jim says Peyton Manning’s former coach, Tony Dungy now of NBC, feels San Francisco would be a good fit for him.

Tom Hoffarth of the Los Angeles Daily News looks at Magic Johnson’s life-changing announcement, 20 years later.

Tom explores how Time Warner Cable will present LA Galaxy games while it’s still in the process of launching its new SoCal regional sports network.

Tom has a few items that didn’t make his weekly media column.

Percy Allen of the Seattle Times notes that ESPN will air next year’s Pac-12 Basketball Championship Game.

Canada

Rosie DiManno of the Toronto Star says CBC’s Don Cherry and Toronto Maple Leafs GM Brian Burke are acting like a couple of spoiled divas in their public spat.

And that’s going to do it for today. Enjoy your sports weekend.

Cranking Out The Friday Megalinks

Let’s do some Friday linkage for you.

MLB Postseason starts up really in earnest with four games on Saturday. College Football in full swing and the NFL completes its first month of games on Sunday. Your Weekend Viewing Picks have everything you need to know in sports and primetime programming.

To the linkage.

National

Michael Hiestand of USA Today writes that Fox Sports’ NASCAR coverage will be known for having the Brothers Waltrip next year.

Mike Reynolds of Broadcasting & Cable writes that Turner Sports will be all over the League Division Series for the first four days of the MLB Postseason.

Adweek has a graphic showing how much time we spend on watching football.

Bill Cromwell of Media Life Magazine writes that TBS and Fox should see good ratings for the MLB Postseason based on an exciting final night of the season on Wednesday.

Nelli Andreeva of Deadline reports that ESPN is developing an ABC sitcom based on Boston sports fans. That’s going to go over well.

Bill Hofheimer in ESPN’s Front Row blog talks with ESPN’s Jon Gruden about calling a “home game” this Monday.

Jim Romanesko of the Poynter Institute looks at the despicable reaction of Buffalo Bills fans to a column written by a female sportswriter at the Albany Times Union.

Bob’s Blitz has video of WFAN’s Mike Francesa attempting to add on the air.

Brandon Costa at Sports Video Group looks at ESPN placing microphones on various players and coaches during the WNBA Finals.

Brandon chronicles a wild Wednesday night at MLB Network.

CNBC’s Darren Rovell looks at the advantages or lack of thereof having a bigger payroll in MLB.

The Sports Biz Miss Kristi Dosh tells us that despite not making the playoffs, the Atlanta Braves and the Boston Red Sox still get a share of the postseason pie.

The Sports Media Watch looks at how the tumultuous Final Night of the MLB season led to a ratings bonanza for ESPN.

SMW says for the MLB season, ESPN’s ratings went up slightly.

SMW says TBS’ ratings for the MLB regular season were flat compared with last year.

Joe Favorito looks at how Dick Vitale has made himself into a viable brand.

The Daly Planet delves into the changes with the Fox Sports NASCAR crew.

The Influencer Economy has a look into Blogs with Balls 4 and the future of sports media.

East and Mid-Atlantic

Chad Finn at the Boston Globe (this is the last day I’ll be able to link to Chad as his columns go behind the dreaded paywall starting October 1) writes about NESN viewers unable to see analyst Dennis Eckersley on the last day of the season.

Bill Doyle of the Worcester Telegram & Gazette writes that Globe columnist Dan Shaughnessy shares some blame in the Red Sox collapse.

Newsday’s Neil Best talks with TBS’ Brian Anderson who steps into the network’s lead spot for the MLB Postseason.

Justin Terranova of the New York Post has five questions for NBC Football Night in America analyst Rodney Harrison.

Pete Dougherty of the Albany Times Union writes that a new local sports talk show host isn’t spending any time discussing any local topics.

Ken McMillan at the Middletown (NY) Times Herald-Record writes about local radio stations picking up MLB League Division Series games.

To the New Jersey Newsroom where Evan Weiner says the college conference shuffle is making fans roll their collective eyes.

In the Allentown (PA) Morning Call, Keith Groller writes that MLB will have a hard act to follow in the postseason after a compelling final night of the regular season.

Laura Nachman says Comcast SportsNet will be all over the Phillies in the MLB Postseason.

In Press Box, Dave Hughes of DCRTV.com writes that sections of the Baltimore Sun’s sports website will go behind the dreaded paywall.

South

The Florida Times-Union reports that the Jacksonville Jaguars have avoided a blackout for Sunday’s game against the New Orleans Saints.

To the St. Petersburg Times where Tom Jones says Sun Sports got big ratings for the Tampa Bay Rays’ march to the playoffs this week.

David Barron of the Houston Chronicle writes that MLB Network was all over the twists and turns from the final night of the regular season.

Mel Bracht of the Daily Oklahoman has his news and notes.

Midewest

John Kieswetter of the Cincinnati Enquirer reports that a local CBS affiliate will provide halftime highlights during Bengals games at Paul Brown Stadium.

John writes that Saturday’s Cincinnati-Miami game will be seen live online and on local TV on tape delay.

Michael Zuidema of the Grand Rapids (MI) Press talks with Tigers TV voice Mario Impemba about the team’s chances of advancing in the MLB Postseason.

Bob Wolfley of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel speaks with Brewers TV voice Brian Anderson about getting the top gig for TBS for the playoffs.

Bob has a couple of quotes from CBS’ Phil Simms about Sunday’s Denver-Green Bay game.

To Crain’s Chicago Business and Ed Sherman who writes that Nebraska’s addition to the conference can only help the Big Ten Network.

Ed has his winners and losers in sports media and business.

In the Rochester (MN) Post-Bulletin, Paul Christian talks with former Minnesota coach Tim Brewster who’s now patrolling the sidelines for Gus Johnson and FX’s college football game of the week.

Jennifer Mann of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports that Cardinals TV voice Dan McLaughlin has been arrested on DUI charges for the second time this year.

Dan Caesar of the Post-Dispatch writes that Fox Sports Midwest has suspended McLaughlin indefinitely.

West

Bill Center in the San Diego Union-Tribune reports that the Padres expect to bring back its TV booth, but no word on the team’s radio announcers or new TV contract for next season.

The Union-Tribune says Sunday’s Chargers game against the Dolphins will be blacked out.

John Maffei of the North County Times says the Padres hope to have a new TV deal (with Fox Sports Net) in place by the New Year.

At the Ventura County Star, Jim Carlisle writes that Wednesday’s MLB season finale was Must See TV.

Jim says despite being on a losing team, the Los Angeles Dodgers’ Matt Kemp is in the center of the MVP debate among TV analysts.

Tom Hoffarth of the Los Angeles Daily News looks at Jenn Brown’s endorsement deal with GNC.

Tom says Bill Macdonald’s full-time days with Fox Sports West are over.

Tom looks at TBS’ coverage of the MLB Postseason.

Tom wonders why the NFL pulled back the 1st half Thursday Night Football package from the table.

Canada

In the Toronto Globe and Mail, Bruce Dowbiggin says MLB got a shot in the arm on Wednesday.

The Canadian Sports Media Blog writes that TSN has locked up curling on TV in Canada through the end of the decade.

And that’s going to do it. I may have a few more links later tonight.

Friday Megalinks Just For You

Let’s do some linkage.

The Weekend Viewing Picks give you everything to you need for your viewing pleasure.

Let’s do this.

National

Michael Hiestand of USA Today writes that primetime is the right time for college football.

Tripp Mickle of Sports Business Daily reports that ESPN has sold out its ad inventory for its new NASCAR non-stop initiative which will allow fans to see continuous race action while commercials run.

Mike Reynolds of Multichannel News says NFL Network used some creative methods in Boston to promote its Bill Belichick documentary.

If you watched the Belichick documentary, then you probably know about the best scene which was the coach yelling at the Baltimore Ravens’ Derrick Mason who was trash talking. Dan Fogarty of SportsGrid has the video.

Brandon Costa from Sports Video Group notes that Sports Illustrated has released a new Football Rivals mobile app.

Sports Media Watch says ABC is doing well with college football in its first two weeks of the season.

SMW notes that last Saturday’s Notre Dame-Michigan game on ESPN in primetime did better than the previous week’s Fighting Irish game on NBC.

SMW says last week’s NASCAR race in Richmond garnered a four year ratings high for ABC.

Tony Manfred of the Business Insider Sports Page says sports bars got hit the hardest by DirecTV’s NFL Sunday Ticket technical difficulties last week.

Steve Lepore from Puck The Media has NHL Network’s preseason schedule that begins next week.

Joe Favorito says sports brands are now jumping into the corn field maze craze.

Awful Announcing has this week’s network TV on-screen typos.

Parade talks with ESPN’s Erin Andrews.

East and Mid-Atlantic

Chad Finn from the Boston Globe writes about some ex-Patriots players who have made the transition to TV.

Jessica Heslam of the Boston Herald talks about 98.5 The Sports Hub winning the prestigious Marconi for Best Sports Station in the country over a former winner, WEEI.

Bill Doyle at the Worcester Telegram & Gazette praises the NFL Films documentary on Bill Belichick.

The New York Times’ Richard Sandomir looks at a rare film that followed the late Yankees announcer Phil Rizzuto and other ex-Pinstripers to Austria for an exhibition game in 1994.

Daniel E. Slotnick of the Times writes that former New York Jet and broadcaster Sam DeLuca has passed away.

Newsday’s Neil Best talks with statistician Steve Hirdt about his career and getting to work a “home” game for this week’s edition of Monday Night Football.

Neil says SNY is fortunate to have the Jets as a partner to help viewers forget about the Mets.

Phil Mushnick of the New York Post is angry at everyone.

The Post’s Justin Terranova has five questions for YES analyst Ken Singleton.

Jerry Barmash in Fishbowl NY writes that MSG Network brings back its signature hockey studio show for another season.

Pete Dougherty of the Albany Times Union notes that local sports anchor Andrew Catalon gets a call-up to the NFL on CBS in October.

Ken McMillan of the Middletown (NY) Times Herald-Record talks with MLB Network’s Brian Kenny about why he left ESPN after almost a decade and a half.

Ken has more with Brian Kenny in his column.

Ken is tired of NHL Network rerunning last season’s playoffs.

South

Serena Moyle of the Tallahassee (FL) Democrat profiles ESPN’s Erin Andrews as she’s in town for the Oklahoma-Florida State game.

David Barron of the Houston Chronicle says you watched the NFL in droves last week.

David says ESPN is treating Longhorn Network differently than its other entities.

Mel Bracht from the Daily Oklahoman writes that Longhorn Network will pick up one Oklahoma State basketball game.

Mel has some news and notes.

Gina Mizell of the Oklahoman says ESPN is keeping a close eye on Oklahoma State and Texas A&M for a potential College GameDay visit.

Midwest

John Kiesewetter of the Cincinnati Enquirer writes that Fox Sports Ohio expands its pregame show tomorrow to air highlights of Johnny Bench Night.

John says a local radio station has fired a long-time sports reporter and other parts of its staff.

Michael Zuidema of the Grand Rapids (MI) Press talks with a long-time Division II college football radio voice.

Bob Wolfley of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel says some local Time Warner Cable subscribers will have access to this Saturday’s Wisconsin game.

Bob explains why the Wisconsin game isn’t on TV.

Bob says the Brewers’ Prince Fielder will be seen in a profile on TBS Sunday.

Ed Sherman at Crain’s Chicago Business has his winners and losers in sports business and media.

Dan Caesar in the St. Louis Post-Dispatch says all of the Blues games will be televised for the first time ever.

West

Jay Drew of the Salt Lake Tribune writes that ESPN’s deal with BYU has now become a recruiting tool for the school.

Matt Solinsky of the Desert (CA) Sun says the NFL Network documentary on Patriots coach Bill Belichick is definitely “must see TV”.

John Maffei from the North County Times tries to discover what the holdup is for the San Diego Padres’ TV and radio rights.

Jim Carlisle at the Ventura County Star says Time Warner Cable has signed a long-term deal for California’s high school championships.

Lance Pugmire of the Los Angeles Times talks with the Fox NFL Sunday crew.

T.J. Simers of the Times writes that Vin Scully can cause trouble at home.

Also from the Times, Eric Sondheimer has details of the Time Warner deal with the California Interscholastic Federation.

Tom Hoffarth of the Los Angeles Daily News says Jay “The Rat” Mariotti is determined to get the last word on his tumultuous year.

Tom has some media moves that didn’t make his column.

Tom says MLB Network will air a special on statistics.

Canada

Bruce Dowbiggin of the Toronto Globe and Mail says an 8 year delay will help Steve Moore in his lawsuit against Todd Bertuzzi and the NHL stemming from an incident in Vancouver.

The Canadian Sports Media Blog notes that CBC’s Hockey Night in Canada has finally made some moves to fill some personnel holes.

And that’s going to conclude the links for this Friday.

Friday Megalinks Are Here

Time for some megalink action. This is turning out to be a busy day, but let me try to give you as many as I can. This being Memorial Day weekend, there’s plenty of sports action. Primetime viewing is kind of slim, but you can check out my Weekend Viewing Picks for the action.

Let’s get to the links. I’ll do as many as I can. I do have to leave early.

National

From yesterday’s Sports Business Daily, John Ourand speaks with outgoing NBC Sports President Ken Schanzer who is retiring at the end of the summer.

Mike Reynolds from Multichannel News and Broadcasting & Cable also writes about Ken Schanzer’s retirement from NBC Sports.

Multichannel notes that Time Warner Cable will have a presence to promote the Speed 2 channel at the Coca-Cola 600 NASCAR race in Charlotte this weekend.

USA Today’s Mike McCarthy and Michael Hiestand debate whether LeBron James as a villain is good for the NBA.

Mike McCarthy writes that former Chicago Bull Scottie Pippen caused an uproar on ESPN Radio this morning by saying LeBron James could be better than Michael Jordan.

Eric Deggans of the St. Petersburg Times writing for the Indiana University National Sports Journalism Center delves into the ESPN book.

Fox Sports notes that this week, Ken Rosenthal’s bowtie will honor our troops during this Memorial Day Weekend.

The Big Lead interviews New York Times NFL beat writer Judy Battista and talks about how she covers the lockout.

Dan Fogarty at SportsGrid notes that Nike tried to put the screws on TNT’s Charles Barkley to be nicer to LeBron James.

SportsbyBrooks says ESPN management told its hosts what to ask James Andrew Miller about the book he co-authored on the Alleged Worldwide Leader.

Matt Yoder of Awful Announcing has a review of “Those Guys Have All The Fun: Inside the World of ESPN”.

Alyson Shontell of the Business Insider Sports Page says former Versus host Jenn Sterger is now working for an internet TV startup company.

Sports Media Watch says the NHL on Versus saw a ratings high for Boston-Tampa Bay on Wednesday.

SMW notes that the NBA Finals gets its earliest start in 25 years.

And SMW says the NHL Stanley Cup Final avoided conflicting with the NBA Finals.

Dave Kohl at Major League Programs has some complaints on broadcasters not providing the starting lineups when they’re supposed to.

Len Berman has his Top 5 stories of the day.

East and Mid-Atlantic

Mark Blaudshun of the Boston Globe reports that the Big East Conference has rejected ESPN’s “Best offer” to continue their 32 year relationship.

Chad Finn of the Globe says Bruins fans are finally getting the media coverage they’ve been yearning for.

Bill Doyle of the Worcester Telegram & Gazette notes that the local minor league baseball team gets a new media distribution to fans and it’s not what you might think.

Fred Contrada at the Springfield (MA) Republican reports that ESPN.com writer Howard Bryant has been sentenced to probation stemming from a domestic assault case back in February.

Phil Mushnick from the New York Post wants to know what Mets owner Fred Wilpon knew about Ponzi scheme scumbag Bernie Madoff and when did he know it.

The Post has five questions for Fox Soccer Channel analyst Eric Wynalda about Saturday’s UEFA Champions League Final.

Pete Dougherty of the Albany Times Union says soccer continues to try to gain a foothold in the American psyche.

DCRTV’s Dave Hughes has his latest Baltimore-DC media roundup in Press Box.

In the Washington Post’s DC Sports Bog, Dan Steinberg finds an interesting Tony Kornheiser-John Feinstein tidbit from the ESPN tome.

Dan also recaps a couple of interviews DC NFL team owner Daniel Snyder conducted on Thursday.

Jim Williams of the Washington Examiner talks about the retirement of NBC Sports President Ken Schanzer a week after his boss, Dick Ebersol resigned.

Jim speaks with Fox Sports’ Curt Menefee about hosting the UEFA Champions League Final on Saturday.

South

The Miami Herald’s Barry Jackson goes over some of the more interesting tidbits from the ESPN book.

Greg Augman of the St. Petersburg Times writes about ESPN’s Desmond Howard blasting black college athletes for a sense of entitlement.

Mike Bianchi of the Orlando Sentinel laments the probable end of the long-term relationship between Florida State University and Sun Sports.

Jeff Wilson of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram says Texas Rangers TV voice John Rhadigan was replaced Thursday and will return to hosting the pregame show on Fox Sports Southwest.

David Barron from the Houston Chronicle has his take on the ESPN book that has had the sports media talking.

In the Daily Oklahoman, Mel Bracht talks with ousted Rangers voice John Rhadigan.

Mel notes the local ratings for the series-clinching Game 5 of the NBA Western Conference Finals.

Mel despite losing the series, the Thunder’s Russell Westbrook impressed ESPN’s Jeff Van Gundy.

Midwest

Cincinnati Enquirer media writer John Kiesewetter says local sports talk show host Andy Furman is on the fast track for a possible new national gig.

John has a few more things on Furman in his blog.

The Waiting For Next Year blog loves Cleveland Browns voice Jim Donovan as do I.

Michael Zuidema at the Grand Rapids (MI) Press says ESPN/ABC is hoping some extra pomp and circumstance at the Centennial Indy 500 will draw viewers this year.

Bob Wolfley at the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel writes that the Indianapolis 500 just ain’t what it used to be.

Ed Sherman in Crain’s Chicago Business has his usual winners and losers today.

Ed explains what Tiger Woods’ agent split from powerful IMG means for Tiger.

Dan Caesar from the St. Louis Post-Dispatch writes that ESPN/ABC is hopeful that the Indy 500 can finally beat NASCAR outright for the first time in over five years.

West

Jim Carlisle in the Ventura County Star talks with ESPN/ABC IndyCar analyst Scott Goodyear about Danica Patrick’s impact on this year’s Indy 500.

Jim reflects on Dick Ebersol’s tenure as Chairman of NBC Sports.

Tom Hoffarth of the Los Angeles Daily News says Jim Rome’s hiring in inaugural days of ESPN2 almost caused one network exec to quit.

Tom explains how ESPN/ABC will attempt to keep the Indianapolis 500 relevant with viewers.

Canada

Bruce Dowbiggin of the Toronto Globe and Mail looks at how Gary Bettman decided to buck ESPN.

That’s going to do it. Finished it all in one shot! Have a good weekend.

Breen, Van Gundy and Jackson – What Do You Think?

We’re in our second playoff series of being subjected to the ESPN/ABC top NBA broadcast team of Mike Breen, Jeff Van Gundy and Mark Jackson.

You’ve seen my thoughts on them here and there – I usually like Van Gundy, don’t like Breen, and Jackson isn’t really a factor to me - but what do you think of them?

The following poll judges them as a group, if you wish to give a specific comment on the performance of Van Gundy as opposed to Breen, or Jackson, then please do in the comment section below.

What Do You Think Of The ABC/ESPN NBA Team?
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Celtics-Lakers Delivers Highest NBA Regular- Season Rating in Four Years

From ABC/ESPN:

Lakers Win Over Celtics on ABC Earns Highest Regular-Season Rating in Four Years Audience is 66 Percent Higher than Last Year’s Christmas Game

The Christmas day rematch of last year’s Finals, in which the Los Angeles Lakers broke the Boston Celtic’s 19-game win streak 92-83, earned a 5.3 household rating on a fast-national basis, the highest-rated regular season NBA game in four years. The rating was 51 percent higher than last year’s late Christmas game on ABC, Phoenix Suns vs. Lakers (3.5), and delivered a 65 percent larger audience (9,960,378 viewers vs. 5,984,539).

In addition, the early game on ABC, San Antonio Spurs-Phoenix Suns, earned a 3.2 household rating, up three percent from last year’s early Christmas game on ABC, Miami vs. Cleveland (3.1) and a 15 percent larger audience (5,757,393 viewers vs. 5,020,417). Roger Mason hit a three-point shot at the buzzer for the Spurs to beat the Suns 91-90.

Game Six a Winner for ABC, Too

From ABC/ESPN:

ABC’s NBA Finals Deliver Highest Viewership for Game 6 Since 2000
Finals up 51% From 2007
All Six Finals Telecasts Enable ABC to “Win the Night” Among All Networks

Game 6 of the NBA Finals on ABC – the Boston Celtics beat the Los Angeles Lakers to win the championship – last night, Tuesday, June 18, was the highest-rated and most-viewed Finals Game 6 since 2000. This year’s Game 6 averaged 16,878,000 viewers (P2+), 12,085,000 households and delivered a 10.7 rating, compared to Game 6 in 2000 (Pacers/Lakers), which averaged 22,396,000 viewers (P2+), 14,854,000 households and a 14.7 rating.

The 2008 Game 6 outperformed Game 6 in 2006 (there was no Game 6 last year), which averaged 15,710,000 viewers for Dallas at Miami, an increase of seven percent.

ABC marked its top-rated Tuesday in nearly seven months among adults 18-49 since November 27, 2007. The network posted its strongest Tuesday across each of the key men demographics in two and a half years — since January 3, 2006, men 18-34 (5.6), men 18-49 (5.7) and men 25-54 (5.9)

ABC’s 2008 NBA Finals Game 6 overshadowed its primetime competition, ranking as Tuesday’s No. 1 TV program in viewers and across each of the key adult demographics: adults 18-34 (6.9), adults 18-49 (6.9) and adults 25-54 (7.1). For the sixth consecutive broadcast, the NBA Finals sparked ABC to “win the night” among all television networks. The NBA Finals averaged more homes and viewers than any other show, with ABC winning primetime overall among all networks.

The six Finals broadcasts averaged a 9.3 rating, up 51 percent over the four-game series last year (6.2). The 2008 Finals ranks as the highest-rated and most-viewed Finals since 2004 (Lakers/Detroit, 11.4).

Moreover, ABC ranked #1 during the week of June across each of the key adult demographics (adults 18-34/adults18-49/adults 25-54). Leading the week by 14 percent in Adults 18-49, ABC snapped Fox’s 22-week winning streak — beginning in early January. In addition, the Finals on ABC also registered as the Top 3 most-watched programs overall for the week .

Game 5 Ratings Continue Trend for ABC

From ABC/ESPN:

Based on fast national ratings, Game 5 of the best-of-seven NBA Finals on ABC – the Los Angeles Lakers and Boston Celtics – last night, Sunday, June 15, averaged 17,257,000 viewers (P2+), an increase of 21 percent compared to Game 5 in 2006 (there was no Game 5 last year), which averaged 14,318,000 viewers for Dallas at Miami. The Lakers/Celtics game averaged 11,393,000 households, an increase of 13 percent over 10,049,000 households in 2006, and a 10.1 rating, up 11 percent over a 9.1 in 2006. It was the most-watched NBA Finals Game since Game 7 of 2005 (18,997,000 viewers).

Through five broadcasts, the 2008 NBA Finals are averaging a 9.0 rating, up 45 percent over the four-game series last year (6.2).

Los Angeles avoided elimination with a 103-98 victory that sends the series back to Boston for Game 6 with the Celtics leading 3-2 on ABC tomorrow, Tuesday, June 17 Coverage will begin at 8:30 p.m. with GMC NBA Countdown at 8:30 p.m. The games are also heard nationally on ESPN Radio.

For the fifth consecutive broadcast, the NBA Finals sparked ABC to “win the night” among all television networks. The NBA Finals averaged more homes and viewers than any other show, with ABC winning primetime overall among all networks. Game 5 was the most-watched program on television since the season finale of American Idol (May 21). Excluding the Academy Awards evenings, ABC garnered its highest Sunday numbers across key male demographics in more than two years (best since February 6, 2006 (Super Bowl XL) in Men 18-34; and best since March 12, 2006 in Men 18-49 and Men 25-54.

Additionally, viewership peaked in the 11:30 p.m. to midnight (8:30 – 9 p.m. PT) half hour. Following are half-hour household rating details:

Broadcast half-hours (all times ET) HH Rating
9:04-9:30 p.m. 7.6
9:30-10 p.m. 9.1
10-10:30 p.m. 9.3
10:30-11 p.m. 10.0
11-11:30 p.m. 11.2
11:30-11:55 p.m. 12.5

Game Three Highest Viewed In Series for ABC

From ABC/ESPN

Tuesday night’s Game 3 of the best-of-seven NBA Finals on ABC – the Los Angeles Lakers and Boston Celtics – was the most-viewed in the series to date, averaging 14,509,000 viewers (P2+), an increase of 53 percent compared to last year (9,492,000 viewers for Cleveland at San Antonio, Game 3). The Lakers/Celtics game averaged 10,338,000 households, an increase of 45 percent over 7,147,000 households in 2007, and a 9.2 rating, up 44 percent over last year’s 6.4 rating. The Lakers won the game 87-81, with the Celtics now leading the series 2-1.

Through three broadcasts, the 2008 NBA Finals are averaging 13,801,000 viewers, up 52 percent over last year’s 9,078,000 viewers. The Lakers/Celtics series is averaging 9,901,000 households, an increase of 46 percent, and an 8.8 rating, up 44 percent over last year’s 6.1 rating.

For the third consecutive broadcast, the NBA Finals led ABC to “win the night” among all television networks. The NBA Finals averaged more homes and viewers than any other show, with ABC winning primetime overall among all networks. The network marked its highest-rated Tuesday since January 2006 among men 18-34 and since June 2006 among men 18-49 and 25-54.

The Lakers/Celtics broadcast was the network’s highest-rated and most-viewed NBA Finals Game 3 since Lakers/Detroit Pistons in 2004 (10.5 rating; 11,412,000 households; 16,213,000 viewers).

Among key demos, the NBA led the competition among (demo impressions in parenthesis):

Men 18-34 (2,737,000) Adults 18-34 (4,226,000)
Men 18-49 (5,060,000) Adults 19-49 (7,887,000)
Men 25-54 (4,893,000) Adults 25-54 (7,637,000)

Viewership peaked in the 11 p.m. to midnight ET (8-9 p.m. PT) hour. Following are quarter-hour household rating details:

Broadcast quarter-hours (all times ET) HH Rating

9:04-9:15 p.m. 6.4
9:15-9:30 p.m. 7.5
9:30-9:45 p.m. 8.2
9:45-10 p.m. 8.7
10-10:15 p.m. 9.4
10:15-10:30 p.m. 8.1
10:30-10:45 p.m. 8.3
10:45-11 p.m. 9.5
11-11:15 p.m. 10.2
11:15-11:30 p.m. 11.0
11:30-11:45 p.m. 11.3
11:45 p.m.-12 a.m. 10.8

Additionally, the ESPN.com NBA section generated nearly 5.6 million page views – an increase of 67 percent over the comparable day last year. The NBA section is averaging five million page views through Game 3, up 79 percent over 2007.