For Second Straight Year, Bruins Set Ratings Record

NESN announced this morning that the Boston Bruins set a new record by averaging a 4.7 rating in the Boston DMA. This is a 52% increase over the 2010/11 season which had been the previous record season with a 3.1 average.

More from their release:

NESN’s Bruins ratings have increased an astounding 115% over the last two seasons.

“The impact that the Boston Bruins are having here in New England is undeniable, as the team’s popularity continues to rise and all of NESN’s Bruins programs continue to set new ratings records,” said Sean McGrail, NESN President and CEO. “The excitement around the Bruins will only get more intense as the Bruins get ready to take on the Capitals in the first round of the playoffs to defend their 2011 Stanley Cup Championship.”

NESN’s Bruins ratings showed an incredible level of consistency throughout the season, as 23 of the network’s 25 top-rated Bruins regular season games of all-time were played during the 2011/12 season, including the six highest rated hockey games in NESN history. The consistent support shown by Bruins fans was also illustrated by the fact that only six of NESN’s 71 Bruins games failed to garner at least a 3.1 household rating (last season’s record-setting average rating).

Bruins Fans Watch More Than Just NESN’s Game Coverage

All of NESN’s Bruins-related studio programs also experienced substantial ratings gains this season. W.B. Mason Bruins Face-Off LIVE (1.1 HH, up 96%) and Ace Ticket Bruins Overtime LIVE (1.9 HH, up 55%) both earned their best-ever regular season average household rating. Big Bad Bruins LIVE presented by DCU (+177%) and The Instigators LIVE presented by Cadillac Village of Norwood (+10%) both improved after making the switch from tape delay to a live program format.

Attempting A Friday Megalink Post

This week has been hellish for me and I apologize for not being able to post as much as I would like at the Fang’s Bites BSMW. I’ve been away from my computer for most of the day and by the time I get home, I’m tired and don’t want to update the blog.

Well, with me already done my errands for today, I’ll give you some linkage that has been seriously lacking this week.

Of course, there’s the Weekend Viewing Picks which you can peruse.

National

Michael Hiestand of USA Today says Jim Rome is hoping to make a splash as he prepares to launch his new daily show on CBS Sports Network.

Reid Cherner of USA Today’s Game On! blog says perpetually angry ESPN college basketball analyst Doug Gottlieb is throwing his hat into the Kansas State coaching ring.

The Associated Press was on hand to witness Root Sports Northwest’s production of the Seattle Mariners-Oakland A’s regular season openers in Japan without actually traveling to the Far East.

Sports Illustrated’s Jon Wertheim has more thoughts on the numerous conflicts of interest in tennis broadcasting.

Sports Business Journal’s John Ourand has Fox Sports’ statement on its carriage dispute with Time Warner Cable over Fox Sports San Diego.

John profiles legendary sports television producer Don Ohlmeyer.

Around the Rings has the press release regarding the European Broadcasting Union obtaining the rights to the World Cups in 2018 and 2022.

ESPN Ombudsman Jason Fry of the Poynter Institute says college basketball analyst Bob Knight should not be allowed to live by his own rules when he’s on TV.

Scott Soshnick and Steven Church of Bloomberg Businessweek says the Los Angeles Dodgers sale was sparked by media rights.

Alex Ben Block of the Hollywood Reporter says former Sony Pictures head Peter Gruber who’s part of the new Los Angeles Dodgers ownership group could bring a new attitude towards marketing the team.

Jon Lafayette of Broadcasting & Cable has Pac-12 Commissioner Larry Scott calling rights fees for college football are undervalued.

Mike Reynolds of Multichannel News says NESN National is being launched in Indianapolis.

Tim Nudd at Adweek says Chrysler is unveiling four new follow ups to its “Halftime in America” Super Bowl spots during various events this weekend including the NCAA Final Four and Mad Men.

Adweek’s Mike Shields writes ESPN.com is partaking in Facebook’s Open Graph, but with some restrictions.

Jason Del Ray at Advertising Age notes that CBS/Turner brought in its highest sales revenue ever for March Madness Live.

Ronnie Ramos at the Indiana University National Sports Journalism Center says March Madness has been enhanced by social media and the digital experience.

The Brothers Yoder at Awful Announcing cast the upcoming Anchorman sequel using ESPN’ers. This is good.

Ben Koo at AA is not a huge fan of the overhead shots employed by CBS/Turner for the NCAA Tournament.

Dan Fogarty at SportsGrid says the Los Angeles Times feels there’s one person who could spoil the new ownership for the Dodgers.

Ahmed Yussuf at EPL Talk gives a first-hand account of following the English Premier League from Australia.

Sports Media Watch says last weekend’s rain-shortened NASCAR on Fox event did not do well in the ratings.

Joe Favorito asks if ‘The Hunger Games” could give archery a boost in time for this summer’s Olympics.

Jason McIntyre at The Big Lead reports that Joe Posnanski is leaving Sports Illustrated.

CNBC’s Darren Rovell talks about two rival Hollywood agencies representing Tim Tebow simultaneously.

Bob’s Blitz says WFAN’s Craig Carton browbeat former Tiger Woods swing coach Hank Haney to the point where he hung up.

Brandon Costa of Sports Video Group says CBS returns to New Orleans where it began its Final Four journey 30 years ago.

East and Mid-Atlantic

Chad Finn of the Boston Globe says ESPN MLB analyst Curt Schilling is facing hypocrisy calls after he criticized his former Red Sox team this week.

Chad adds some thoughts on Schilling and on NESN’s Jenny Dell that didn’t make his column.

BSMW’s Fearless Leader Bruce Allen writes in SB Nation that a Tiger Woods in contention is good for The Masters® and its TV partners.

Bob Tedeschi of the New York Times reviews this year’s edition of the MLB At-Bat app.

Richard Sandomir from the Times examines the Dodgers sale.

Anthony Riemer of Newsday looks at Jeremy Lin’s lunch with the sacked ESPN.com editor who unwittingly made a racial slur last month.

Phil Mushnick of the New York Post feels Fox Sports’ Jimmy Johnson should not be advocating violence. I don’t think he did, Phil, but continue to hate everything, ok?

Justin Terranova of the Post has five questions for former Tennessee and current Sirius XM analyst Bruce Pearl on the Final Four.

The Albany Times Union’s Pete Dougherty has the ESPN MAC football schedule.

Pete has CBS excited about this year’s Final Four.

Jane Kwiatkowski of the Buffalo News says this is a tough time for the local TV sportscast.

Keith Groller of the Allentown (PA) Morning Call looks at a local PBS documentary on the Lehigh Valley IronPigs.

Laura Nachman says Comcast SportsNet Philadelphia is ready for Phillies baseball.

Dan Steinberg at the Washington Post’s DC Sports Bog says the Fox sitcom “Raising Hope” gave another of many Capitals references.

Jim Williams from the Washington Examiner talks with MLB Network’s Mitch “Wildi Thing” Williams.

South

David Barron from the Houston Chronicle writes that the Houston Open should be helped by a lot of interesting storylines.

David says Jim Rome is getting ready for his CBS Sports Network closeup.

David writes that Texans running back Arian Foster is taking his show to the team’s radio flagship station.

In The Oklahoman, Mel Bracht has ESPN’s MLB analysts predicting the upcoming season.

Mel says there will be plenty of baseball available in the Oklahoma City market.

Mel reports a local radio station has flipped to being a full-time ESPN Radio affiliate.

Mel writes that a local radio sports director has been laid off thanks to Clear Channel.

Midwest

Elton Alexander of the Cleveland Plain-Dealer says New Orleans has provided CBS with plenty of Final Four excitement.

John Kiesewetter of the Cincinnati Enquirer says a local TV station plans to ride the Kentucky train for as long as possible.

John says a couple of long-time local radio veterans got the ax due to Clear Channel cost cutting.

John writes that a radio documentary on late Cincinnati Reds voice Waite Hoyt airs this weekend.

The Indianapolis Star says Butler coach Brad Stevens will be a guest analyst for CBS on the Final Four.

Bob Wolfley at the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel writes the Brewers have extended their radio rights deal with their long-time flagship station.

Bob says a local sportscaster is back to work after a long illness.

Bob tells us that Marquette coach Buzz Williams will also be a guest analyst on CBS this weekend.

Paul Christian of the Rochester (MN) Post-Bulletin writes that CBS loves New Orleans at Final Four time.

Dan Caesar at the St. Louis Post-Dispatch says 20 Cardinals games won’t be seen by AT&T U-Verse subscribers this season.

Dan writes that the defending champions Cardinals will be in the national spotlight quite a few times this season.

West

Jay Posner at the San Diego Union-Tribune writes that Fox Sports San Diego is not optimistic of getting a deal with two cable providers in time for Padres opening day.

Jim Carlisle of the Ventura County Star has ESPN’s MLB analysts praising Magic Johnson’s presence with the Dodgers.

Jim was surprised that Kentucky-Louisville wasn’t the nightcap for the Final Four.

Tom Hoffarth of the Los Angeles Daily News says Lakers fans are enjoying having guest analysts on radio broadcasts this season.

Tom talks with Jim Rome about his CBS Sports Network show.

Tom has more on Rome in his blog.

Canada

The usually uninformed Bruce Dowbiggin of the Toronto Globe and Mail says CBC Sports appears to be rudderless as it heads into a new NHL negotiation.

The Canadian Sports Media Blog has the viewership numbers for Canadian sports television from last week.

And that will conclude the megalinks.

Doing Some Friday Megalinks Now

Let’s do some megalinks on this Friday.

The Weekend Viewing Picks are up and running. Lots of sports as the winter NCAA Championships including the basketball tournaments are underway.

Let’s get to your links.

National

Michael Hiestand from USA Today praises CBS/Turner for bringing the NCAA head of men’s basketball officiating back to explain controversial calls.

Reid Cherner of USA Today’s Game On blog remembers a great NCAA Tournmament buzzer beater from 1981 as called by NBC’s Marv Albert.

Sports Business Daily notes the overnight ratings for Thursday’s games from the NCAA Tournament were down, but still considered a win for CBS/Turner.

Matt Carmichael from Advertising Age tells us which two schools were Googled the most during yesterday’s NCAA Tournament action.

Dan Fogarty at SportsGrid has the absolutely hilarious video of a WGN morning news anchor trying to amp up the volume at ESPN’s Dick Vitale while technical difficulties arise.

Karen Hogan from Sports Video Group writes that the National Invitation Tournament may be the NCAA Tournament’s ugly sister, but it still gets major treatment from ESPN.

To Matt Yoder at Awful Announcing who notes another Twitter feud involving CNBC’s Darren Rovell, this one with Bomani Jones.

Sports Media Watch says Thursday’s 2nd round NCAA Tournament games received slightly lower overnight ratings from the year before.

Dave Kohl of The Broadcast Booth wants to know why name calling in sports radio is a more punishable offense than inaccurate reporting.

Greg Wyshynski of Yahoo’s Puck Daddy asks if the NHL’s new Stanley Cup ad campaign to replace the great “History Will Be Made” promos can be as successful.

Laura Northrup of the Consumerist wonders why NBA League Pass hasn’t adjusted to Daylight Savings Time?

All Access says ESPN Deportes Radio in Chicago has picked up the Spanish rights to the White Sox.

La Liga Talk has learned that Al Jazeera has obtained the US TV rights to Spain’s La Liga from Gol TV.

East and Mid-Atlantic

The Boston Globe’s Chad Finn talks with ESPN’s Dick Vitale.

At SB Nation Boston, BSMW’s Bruce Allen says social networking may have created spoiled fans.

Tazina Vega from the New York Times says the NHL is hoping to lure viewers by airing all of its Stanley Cup Playoff games on various NBC Sports platforms.

Phil Mushnick of the New York Post feels the CBS/Turner NCAA Tournament collaboration has become the Home Shopping Network. Whatever.

The Post’s Justin Terranova talks with CBS/Turner analyst Clark Kellogg.

Justin has 5 questions for MSG Network NBA analyst Kelly Tripucka.

Dan Steinberg at the Washington Post’s DC Sports Bog notes that the Onion has skewered the DC NFL Team.

Jim Williams of the Washington Examiner talks with a Turner Sports Interactive executive on how Twitter is incorporated into this year’s NCAA Tournament coverage.

South

Barry Jackson of the Miami Herald says NBC will air this fall’s Miami-Notre Dame football game in primetime.

David Barron from the Houston Chronicle notes that CBS/Turner’s Charles Barkley criticized Baylor’s ugly neon yellow uniforms.

David has the CBS/Turner announcing assignments for Saturday’s NCAA Tournament action.

Mel Bracht from The Oklahoman notes that Cox Cable subscribers can access the NCAA March Madness Live app for free provided they authenticate.

John E. Hoover from the Tulsa World says the Big 12’s new TV deals will ensure the survival of the conference.

Midwest

John Kiesewetter of the Cincinnati Enquirer notes that Reds voice Marty Brennaman can be heard in a new UPS March Madness ad.

While Bob Wolfley of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel enjoys the NCAA Tounament, there are some things he can do without.

Ed Sherman at Crain’s Chicago Business announces he’ll no longer be writing his sports business and media blog for the publication.

Ed says he will be launching a new site on the sports media and I look forward to seeing it when it finally comes to fruition.

Brigid Sweeney of Crain’s Chicago Business notes that Bulls TV analyst Stacey King now has a new fashion line.

Paul Christian at the Rochester (MN) Post-Bulletin says the national Junior College championships can be seen online.

Dan Caesar of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch says the local CBS affiliate didn’t help matters by taking up a large portion of the screen during NCAA Tournament action for weather updates.

West

Bill Center at the San Diego Union-Tribune says maybe, maybe Fox Sports San Diego will launch on Saturday provided MLB approval comes that quickly.

Jim Carlisle of the Ventura County Star looks at the Erin Andrews network sweepstakes.

Jim says the NCAA Tournament has become predictable.

Jim has his weekend viewing picks.

Richard Horgan of Fishbowl LA says ESPN will not discipline its SoCal reporters for getting a big story wrong on the Dodgers ownership bid process.

We are going to end the links there. Not as many as in past weeks, but still a hefty amount. Enjoy your weekend.

January Numbers See 98.5 Still Riding High

Thanks to Chad Finn (on vacation this week, but he still posted this to his blog) we have the Arbitron radio numbers from January.

The trend continues.

Morning drive: Toucher and Rich: 12.0 share. Dennis and Callahan: 8.6.

Midday: Gresh and Zo, 11.8; Mut and Merloni, 6.0.

Afternoon drive: Felger and Mazz, 11.0; The Big Show, 7.3.

Chad doesn’t mention whether this includes the Providence numbers for WEEI. (But honestly, how much difference could they make here?) Is this WEEI AM and FM against 98.5? or just one? Update: Chad checked in with me to clarify that the WEEI numbers are for both 850 and 93.7, Arbitron combines them as one. The numbers do not include Providence, but as I said, it’s not going to make much difference here.

I’m just wondering so we’ll know when can we put the FM argument to rest.

Does it mean anything that Felger and Mazz is 98.5’s lowest rated daytime show?

I’d like to go back to when it was announced that 98.5 would be coming on the air, and WEEI management was asked for comment.

From Finn on July 17th, 2009:

On Tuesday, Julie Kahn, vice president and market manager of Entercom New England, told the Globe, “This is the third effort to come after us at ‘EEI. The best content will win.”

I’m not sure it’s really about the best content…

From Don Aucoin on July 15th, 2009:

Jason Wolfe, vice president of AM programming for Entercom New England, which owns WEEI, voiced confidence the station would withstand the challenge. “It doesn’t change what we’re going to do,” Wolfe said. “We’ve dealt with competitive situations before, and we’re fully prepared to deal with it again. . . . We have the largest audience, and we know what it takes to maintain that audience.”

Apparently, they didn’t know what it took…

Super Bowl XLVI Sets Boston Ratings Record

The end result wasn’t what Patriots fans were hoping for, but Super Bowl XLVI did give Boston one milestone, a ratings record. According to Nielsen, the local rating for the Big Game between the Patriots and Giants was a 56.7 with an 81 share. That means 56.7% of all Boston homes were watching the game and 81% of homes with a TV had the game on. Boston was the highest rated local market for the game.

This broke the previous high for Super Bowl XXXVI on Fox in 2002 which received a 56.1/78.

Nationally, the game received a 47.0/71 final rating making it the 12th highest rated TV program in history. however, with an average of 111.3 million, it becomes the most watched TV program ever.

New York received a 49.7 rating finishing 18th. Super Bowl host city Indianapolis finished 2nd behind Boston.

The Super Bowl Weekend Megalinks

Let’s do some linkage on this Super Bowl Weekend.

The Weekend Viewing Picks have my sports and entertainment suggestions.

Time for your links. As you can imagine, many of the stories will deal with Sunday’s Super Bowl.

National

Michael Hiestand of USA Today talks with NBC’s Bob Costas about his past experiences in hosing a Super Bowl pregame show.

The Nielsen Wire Blog has a look at the 10 Most Liked Super Bowl ads in the last five years.

Daisy Whitney at MediaPost says a large portion of viewers go online to look up information about a Super Bowl ad.

Wayne Friedman of MediaPost writes that the Super Bowl is reaching almost half of all female viewers.

Peter Pachal of Mashable says NBC will hold a Google+ hangout to after the Super Bowl to discuss the ads.

Marisa Guthrie of the Hollywood Reporter talks with NBC Sports Group Fearless Leader Mark Lazarus about the Super Bowl, winning the Olympics and losing Wimbledon to ESPN.

John Eggerton in Broadcasting & Cable writes that a fan lobbying group hopes the FCC will call for the elimination of the NFL’s antiquated TV blackout rules.

John says a Michigan man has been charged with illegally streaming NFL games online.

Thomas Umstead from Multichannel News says Saturday’s UFC pay per view event will be available in 3-D for the first time.

Todd Spangler of Multichannel looks at Verizon’s streaming of Sunday’s Super Bowl on select mobile devices.

Adweek talks with Sports Illustrated/NBC’s Peter King.

Tim Nudd from Adweek notes the return of the E*Trade baby to the Super Bowl.

The International Olympic Committee has awarded the Japanese rights for the 2014/16 Games at a much lower rate than the US rights paid by NBC.

Robert Livingston at Games Bid says the 2014 Olympics in Sochi will be the first to be produced in 3-D TV.

André Lowe of the Jamaica (yes the country) Gleaner says ESPN has gathered some former NFL players in a cruise ship for the Super Bowl at Sea. I’m not making this up.

Sports Illustrated’s Richard Deitsch talks with The Big Lead’s Jason McIntyre about his recent profile of ESPN Radio Hack Colin Cowherd.

Allison Stoneberg at ESPN’s Front Row discusses how the network’s producers book guests for the studio and radio shows during Super Bowl Week.

Jack Dickey at Deadspin explains how the New York Times really messed up the story of former Yale quarterback Patrick Witt.

Dylan Stableford at Yahoo’s The Cutline explains why the Puppy Bowl has become so popular on Super Bowl Sunday.

Sports Media Watch delves into the expanded NFL Network Thursday Night Football schedule.

SMW has a few ratings news and notes including one on the Winter X Games.

Ken Kerschbaumer of Sports Video Group goes behind the scenes with NBC’s Super Bowl production crew.

Jason Dachman of SVG goes into NBC’s first-ever online streaming of the Super Bowl.

And Dan Daily from SVG writes about this year’s Super Bowl World Feed.

Steve Lepore at Puck The Media says Wednesday night NHL games are doing well for NBC Sports Network.

Northeast & Mid-Atlantic

Chad Finn of the Boston Globe speaks with NBC’s Rodney Harrison on the unspoken revenge factor for the Patriots in this year’s Super Bowl.

Bill Doyle of the Worcester Telegram & Gazette has NBC’s Cris Collinsworth talking about the Super Bowl.

Richard Sandomir of the New York Times says one of the Mets’ TV partners may help to bail out the team from its financial troubles.

Judy Battista of the Times reports on the expanded Thursday Night Football schedule.

Stuart Elliot of the Times says the Shazam mobile app will play a prominent role during many Super Bowl ads.

A rare appearance by Bob Raissman of the New York Daily News in the links. He has his Top 5 Super Bowl announcing teams of all-time.

Phil Mushnick from the New York Post has some Super Bowl storylines the media has missed.

Ken Schott at the Schenectady Gazette looks at the NFL Network announcement of five more games added to Thursday Night Football.

Pete Dougherty of the Albany Times Union has NFL Commish Roger Goodell shooting down rumors of more Monday Night Football doubleheaders.

Pete says Commissioner Goodell is firing a warning shot at Time Warner Cable.

Pete reviews the 11 men who have called a Super Bowl on network television.

The Crossing Broad blog says the Philadelphia Daily News and Inquirer may be on a slow death march to oblivion.

Keith Groller of the Allentown (PA) Morning Call discusses NBC’s coverage of Super Bowl XLVI.

South

David Barron from the Houston Chronicle notes that NBC’s Rodney Harrison may be an ex-New England Patriots, but he says he can remain fair.

David says NFL Network gets a beefed up schedule next season.

Mel Bracht of the Daily Oklahoman says NBC’s Cris Collinsworth gets to call his second Super Bowl on TV.

Mel notes that College GameDay will be covering the Big 12 on Saturday.

Midwest

John Kiesewetter of the Cincinnati Enquirer notes that one local radio show will be on radio row in Indianapolis today.

Scott Olson of the Indianapolis Business Journal says ESPN is very happy about choosing Pan Am Plaza as its Super Bowl headquarters this week.

The Indianapolis Star has what journalists are saying about the city as a Super Bowl host.

Bob Wolfley in the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel says two participants in last year’s Big Game will be on NBC’s Super Bowl pregame show.

Dan Caesar of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch says Cardinals TV voice Dan McLaughlin will return to call games this season.

Steve Walentik of the Columbia (MO) Tribune calls ESPN’s Jay Bilas, “College Hoops’ Deepest Thinker.” Ok.

West

John Maffei of the North County Times says Al Michaels still loves calling Super Bowls.

Jim Carlisle of the Ventura County Star says Michaels is hoping for overtime.

Jim has NBC’s Rodney Harrison keeping the David Tyree catch from Super Bowl XLVII in proper perspective.

Richard Varrier of the Los Angeles Times looks at the Fed crackdown on websites that were illegally streaming NFL games.

Tom Hoffarth of the Los Angeles Daily News talks with former Lakers voice Paul Sunderland and lists the 20 best play-by-play men in Southern California.

Tom has more about Paul in his blog and adds a couple of media notes.

Canada

Susan Krashinsky of the Toronto Globe and Mail explains why Canada can’t see the U.S. Super Bowl ads in real time.

The Canadian Sports Media Blog has NBC’s Super Bowl production by the numbers.

And that’s going to do it for the links. Enjoy the Big Game.

Bringing Out Friday Megalinks

The last few Fridays, I haven’t been able to provide you with the megalinks. I have to do some today otherwise you’ll stop visiting me.

We begin as always with the Weekend Viewing Picks and there are quite a few for this snowy weekend in Southern New England.

Now to your links.

National

Michael Hiestand of USA Today talks with Fox Sports’ Terry Bradshaw about Tim Tebow and the upcoming NFC Championship.

Jason Fry, part of the ESPN Poynter Review Project hears sideline reporter Holly Rowe’s side of the story regarding about her now-infamous incident where she shoved a Sugar Bowl staffer away to get an interview with Michigan coach Brady Hoke.

Marisa Guthrie of the Hollywood Reporter looks at HBO’s new unscripted series on boxing trainer Freddie Roach.

The Tampa Bay Times’ Eric Deggans has a review of the Freddie Roach series in the Indiana University National Sports Journalism Center.

John Eggerton at Broadcasting & Cable says Massachusetts Senator John Kerry has written a letter to the FCC asking the agency to get involved in the Sunbeam-DirecTV dispute which could affect how viewers in Boston see the Super Bowl.

John says Comcast is seeking a reversal of a Federal decision that ruled in favor of Tennis Channel in their dispute.

Mike Reynolds from Multichannel News says DirecTV has signed a rights deal to distribute Big Sky football and basketball games.

Anthony Crupi of Adweek says History Channel has purchased a longer ad to promote its series, “Swamp People” during Super Bowl XLVI.

Brian Steinberg from Advertising Age tells us who’s buying what in Super Bowl XLVI.

AdAge looks at the 12 ads that changed Super Bowl marketing forever. Three guesses on number one and the first two don’t count.

Brian says marketers are going longer with their Super Bowl ads this year in an attempt to stand out.

Finally, Brian writes that even though we’re not thinking about next year’s Super Bowl XLVII, CBS already is and has been working on getting an early start on ad sales for that Big Game.

Inside Radio says all of Cumulus’ Bay Area radio stations will simulcast Sunday’s NFC Championship Game.

From across the pond, Amy Lawrence of The Guardian in the UK says Fox airing an English Premier League game live over the air is a big deal.

Kevin Iole of Yahoo looks into NBC Sports Network’s first foray into boxing.

Dan Levy at the Bleacher Report wonders which network can muster enough former NFL talent to drum up a flag football game.

Mac Nwulu of ESPN’s Front Row PR blog has an inside look at the preparation of Sunday NFL Countdown.

Matt Yoder at Awful Announcing chronicles this week’s Twitter feud between Sports Illusrated’s Richard Deitsch and CNBC’s Darren Rovell.

Speaking of feuds, The Big Lead looks at an internal ESPN squabble between college basketball analyst Jay Bilas and insider Andy Katz.

Sports Media Watch notes that ESPN is making a major scheduling change for the WNBA this year.

SMW has a look at some local NBA and NHL ratings.

Tennis Channel laments not being picked up by Cablevision.

Ken Kerschbaumer of Sports Video Group takes a look at CBS’ and Fox’s preparation for the NFL Conference Championship Games.

Sports TV Jobs has an interesting graphic of sample camera positions at various stadia and arenas.

East and Mid-Atlantic

Chad Finn from the Boston Globe talks with 98.5 The Sports Hub’s Mike Flynn.

Bill Doyle at the Worcester Telegram & Gazette interviews legendary Patriots radio voice Gil Santos.

Newsday’s Neil Best says local TV is gearing up for the NFC Championship.

Neil talks with former New York Giants running back and NBC analyst Tiki Barber who makes his return to TV this weekend.

George Vescey at the New York Times looks forward to seeing Sunday’s English Premier League game live on Fox.

The New York Post’s Phil Mushnick is not a fan of the NFL replay review process.

Justin Terranova of the Post has five questions for CBS Sports’ and WFAN’s Boomer Esiason.

The Albany Times Union’s Pete Dougherty has some NFL TV analysts break down the four quarterbacks still playing for a shot in the Super Bowl.

Ken McMillan from the Middletown (NY) Times Herald-Record has Fox’s Troy Aikman talking about the NFC Championship.

Ken has more from Troy in his blog.

Dave Hughes from DCRTV.com notes in Press Box that last week’s Texans-Ravens game set a local ratings record.

David Zurawik of the Baltimore Sun attempts to get answers from CBS on having Subway endorser Ndamukong Suh on last week’s NFL Today postgame show.

And David has former Ravens QB and current ESPN analyst Trent Dilfer opining on Ed Reed’s comments on current QB Joe Flacco.

Adam Kilgore of the Washington Post says the Nationals are hoping to get more money from MASN as the sides negotiate a new contract.

Jim Williams from the Washington Examiner talks with the radio voice of the Wizards about his busy schedule.

South

Keith Jarrett at the Asheville (NC) Citizen-Times says the Big South may have to move its Conference Championship Game venue which could effect ESPN’s scheduling.

Jon Solomon of the Birmingham (AL) News says SEC partners CBS and ESPN want better scheduling for next football season.

Jerry Tipton of the Lexington (KY) Herald-Leader writes that the SEC’s basketball coaches aren’t happy over the scheduling-for-TV moves this season.

David Barron of the Houston Chronicle says the Texans’ flagship radio station hopes to build on the team’s momentum when their new contract kicks in next season.

David has some news and notes that didn’t make his column.

Nancy Sarnoff of the Chronicle says NBC Sports Group is looking for a new facility to house the Comcast SportsNet Houston regional sports network which launches later this year.

Mel Bracht from the Daily Oklahoman notes that the Texas Rangers will have multiple appearances on ESPN’s Sunday Night Baseball.

Midwest

Michael Zuidema of the Grand Rapids (MI) Press says HBO continues its string of acclaimed sports documentaries.

Bob Wolfley from the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel says don’t expect NFL Conference Championship Sunday to change its format for the foreseeable future.

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

Patrick Reusse of the Minneapolis Star-Tribune feels Fox Sports North just cheerleads for Minnesota teams and won’t criticize them.

Paul Christian from the Rochester (MN) Post-Bulletin looks at Fox Sports North’s Hockey Day in Minnesota schedule.

Dan Caesar at the St. Louis Post-Dispatch has CBS Sports President Sean McManus wanting to keep the status quo for NFL Conference Championship Sunday.

West

John Maffei of the North County Times looks at MLB Network’s first-ever game show which premieres next week.

Jim Carlisle from the Ventura County Star says CBS was hoping to get Tim Tebow for its NFL Today pregame show on Sunday, but he declined.

At the Los Angeles Daily News, Tom Hoffarth profiles Fox Sports West host Patrick O’Neal and has his list of best and worst local sports anchors.

Tom has a bit more on O’Neal.

Canada

Bob Weeks in the Toronto Globe and Mail notes that CBC has gotten out of the curling business, a sport it has televised since 1962.

Bruce Dowbiggin of the Globe and Mail says the Raptors may be suffering on the court, but not on TV.

The Canadian Sports Media Blog looks at the International Olympic Committee throwing out CTV/CBC’s joint bid to air the 2014/2016 Games.

And that is it. Glad to be able to provide the Megalinkage for you.

Unleashing Some Friday Megalinks

Ok, let’s get this done. Lots of linkage from yesterday and today. I need to catch up. Let’s go.

Check out your Weekend Viewing Picks for the sports and entertainment programming for Saturday and Sunday.

National

Mike McCarthy of USA Today wonders if there’s a glass ceiling for women in sports television.

Former Comcast SportsNet anchor/reporter Jackie Pepper has her take about being a woman in sports television. (Editor’s note: Link is no longer working.)

Back to USA Today, Michael Hiestand looks at the casting call for the new Broadway play focusing on the Magic Johnson-Larry Bird rivalry and friendship, produced by the same people who did Lombardi on Broadway.

Hiestand writes that Fox Sports will be using some of its own talent for its UFC debut next week.

Paul Thomasch of Reuters talks with CBS head honcho Les Moonves about the network’s SEC deal.

Emma Bazilian at Adweek notes that DirecTV’s NFL Sunday Ticket promotion over the summer paid off in droves in the third quarter of this year.

Phil Swann of TV Predictions has his take on DirecTV’s subscriber spike.

The talk of the sports blogosphere the last couple of days has been the Deadspin story by A.J. Daulerio on a former ESPN executive who’s filed a lawsuit against an employee denying several displays of odd behavior including masturbating in Erin Andrews’ presence.

Congratulations to former ESPN reporter Amy K. Nelson who leaves the Alleged Worldwide Leader for SBNation. Deadspin has that story as well.

Aaron Kuniloff and David Mildenberg from Bloomberg Businessweek co-author a story on ESPN’s Longhorn Network and its ramifications on college sports.

Rick Horrow and Karla Swatek of Businessweek talk about the alternatives to the NBA and how the league’s TV partners have lost money airing the games.

Rick Chandler of NBC’s Off the Bench explains how an ESPN.com story mushroomed into the Occupy Tebow movement.

At ESPN Front Row, network spokesman Mike Soltys notes that the Alleged Worldwide Leader has new policy on employees writing books, something that got Bruce Feldman into trouble earlier this year.

Jason Dachman from Sports Video Group looks at a new MSG Network mobile app that brings live high school sports to your cell phone.

Ariel Sandler at the Business Insider Sports Page has video of two Canadian news anchors going crazy when their sports anchor is named the winner of a $2.5 million lottery on live TV.

CNBC’s Darren Rovell reviews the results of having two In-N-Out Burgers shipped frozen across country.

Sports Media Watch says TNT’s replacement programming for the NBA’s canceled games on what would have been Opening Night of the season failed miserably in the ratings.

Joe Favorito wonders if the Bellator Fighting Championships can co-exist with UFC in Mixed Martial Arts.

Ben Koo of Awful Announcing says Brent Musburger got the job done in his cameo on an ABC sitcom.

Dave Kohl at The Broadcast Booth says it’s the subject matter, not the personalities that drive ratings for sports radio stations.

SportsbyBrooks notes that ESPN Radio hack Colin Cowherd sat with the beautiful people at last week’s Stanford-USC game.

Marisa Ingemi of In Lax We Trust reports that the National Lacrosse League has a deal in place with CBS Sports Network to air games in 2012-13.

East and Mid-Atlantic

Chad Finn from the Boston Globe speaks with former ESPN MMA Live host Jon Anik who will work straight for UFC now.

The Worcester Telegram & Gazette’s Bill Doyle talks with Comcast SportsNet Celtics analyst Tommy Heinsohn who’s cooling his heels during the NBA lockout.

Newsday’s Neil Best notes that WFAN’s Boomer & Carton show has really taken off in the ratings.

Neil has more with Boomer and Carton that he could not provide in his feature story.

Scott Shifrel and Bill Hutchinson of the New York Daily News write that former ESPN executive Keith Clinkscales is claiming that he is the victim of a smear campaign.

Phil Mushnick of the New York Post wonders where’s the outrage on the Detroit Lions for what he feels was mocking Tim Tebow’s religion.

Justin Terranova of the Post has five questions for Cleveland Browns franchise assassin and ESPN analyst Eric Mangini. No, I’m not bitter about his tenure as Browns coach.

Justin previews MLB Network’s special on the 1986 Postseason.

Pete Dougherty in the Albany Times Union hears from SEC on CBS analyst Gary Danielson on LSU-Alabama.

Keith Groller of the Allentown (PA) Morning Call also has quotes from Danielson regarding this year’s Game of the Century.

In Press Box, Dave Hughes from DCRTV.com has the latest in Baltimore-DC sports media news.

In the Washington Post’s DC Sports Bog, Dan Steinberg looks at a failed lobbyist’s efforts to get DC NFL team owner Dan Snyder to change the brand name.

And Dan has Joe Theismann’s thoughts on the whole John Beck/Rex Grossman QB controversy in Washington.

Monica Hesse of the Post says some of the items from the now-defunct ESPN Zone in DC are being sold at auction.

Jim Williams of the Washington Examiner finds out ESPN’s plans for this weekend’s Breeders’ Cup.

South

Sean Cartell of SEC.com has Verne Lundquist’s thoughts on LSU-Alabama.

Brian Reynolds in the Tuscaloosa News says ESPN is giving LSU-Alabama the Super Bowl treatment.

David Barron from the Houston Chronicle says both CBS and ESPN are pulling out all of the stops for LSU-Alabama.

Midwest

John Kiesewetter in the Cincinnati Enquirer notes that former Bengals QB Carson Palmer will be profiled on Sunday’s edition of The NFL Today.

Michael Zuidema of the Grand Rapids (MI) Press says ratings for the World Series were good, but the games showed that instant replay was greatly needed.

Bob Wolfley of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel notes that former Brewers radio voice Corey Provus now has a new gig with the Twins.

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

Ted Gruber in Chicago Now feels ESPN gets a big fail in covering Mixed Martial Arts.

Joe Christensen of the Minneapolis Star Tribune says Corey Provus takes over for former Minnesota Twins voice John Gordon who retired this year.

Paul Christian in the Rochester (MN) Post-Bulletin talks about Provus’ hiring by the Twins.

Dan Caesar from the St. Louis Post-Dispatch feels the national media undersold Albert Pujols’ achievement in Game 3 of the World Series.

West

Jeff Call of the Deseret (UT) News says ESPN’s partnership with BYU has been beneficial for both parties.

John Maffei in the North County Times notes how CBS obtained LSU-Alabama for primetime.

Jim Carlisle of the Ventura County Star says it’s rare to get a #1 vs. #2 matchup in the regular season.

Jim says Brad Nessler is ready for primetime when Thursday Night Football begins next week.

Jim has his weekend viewing picks.

Tom Hoffarth of the Los Angeles Daily News says we’re in a Golden Age of sports documentaries.

Tom has more in his blog.

Canada

Bruce Dowbiggin of the Toronto Globe and Mail says Hazel Mae is officially back with Rogers Sportsnet.

The Canadian Sports Media Blog which broke the news of Hazel’s return discusses what her duties will be.

That’s going to do it for the megalinks today.

Friday Quick-Hit Media Links

Here are the local sports media columns for today, as we get ready for Sports Media Musings coming up in a little bit.

Three is no crowd with Zolak – Chad Finn looks at the addition of Scott Zolak to the Patriots radio broadcasts, and what Gil Santos and Gino Cappelletti think of having the former quarterback on their team.

Media Roundup: Has Red Sox Media Coverage Crossed A Line? – I think the headline of my SB Nation Boston column this week is a little misleading, while I don’t like the hysterics that have gone on, I don’t mention crossing lines, either. Instead, I’m looking at a few media members who have distinguished themselves for the good this month. Also, I’ve got a look at the Patriots TV ratings thus far this season:

A quick note on TV ratings for the Patriots. Sunday’s game against the Cowboys on FOX tied for the highest rating of the season for the Patriots, the  37.1 rating was equaled only by the season-opening broadcast against  Miami on Monday Night Football. The Dallas game received a higher  share of the audience than the Miami game, pulling in a 62 (a season  high) in comparison to the 56 share of the season opener. The Patriots are averaging a 33.6 rating and 59.5 HH over their first six games.

Tuning In: Antonio Tarver picks Edwin Rodriguez to beat Rosinsky – Bill Doyle talks to Showtime boxing analyst Antonio Tarver about this weekend’s fight between Worcester super middleweight Edwin Rodriguez and Will Rosinsky at Foxwoods.

Congratulations to Ian Rapoport of the Boston Herald, who was named by the Pro Football Writers of America as a winner of a Dick Connor Writing Award for his Enterprise Feature “Roster overhaul key to Patriots’ success.” which appeared in the January 5th, 2011 edition of the Herald. (A full list of honorees can be found here.)

 

Friday Megalinks

Due to being at jobsites for the last few days, I haven’t been able post links like I’ve wanted to at either my main page or the Fang’s Bites at BSMW site. I apologize for that. I have tried to be diligent in updating as much as I can.

Let’s get to the linkage.

But first, there’s always the Weekend Viewing Picks for your sports and entertainment planning.

National

John Ourand at Sports Business Journal writes that ESPN will do everything it can to head off NBC/Versus at the pass.

Sports Illustrated’s Richard Deitsch asks if sports broadcasting and politics should mix?

Jeff Latzke of the Associated Press says the Big 12’s TV contracts helped to keep the conference together for now.

The Nielsen Ratings Wire blog notes that among various TV programming, sports in primetime continues to do well.

USA Today’s Mike McCarthy talks with CBS/WFAN/Westwood One’s Boomer Esiason on how the NFL should investigate the Dallas Cowboys’ medical staff for clearing Tony Romo to play last Sunday.

Mike says ESPN is denying any responsibility for the recent college football chaos and says the Longhorn Network doesn’t have anything to do with it. I think Texas A&M, Missouri and other Big 12 schools would beg to differ.

Bob Velin of USA Today writes that CBS’ 48 Hours Mystery program will investigate the mysterious and unsettling death of boxer Arturo Gatti.

Mike McCarthy and Michael Hiestand of USA Today debate whether schools or TV wield the power in college sports.

John Taylor of College Football Talk writes that Brett Favre gets his first taste of being an analyst next week for CSS.

John Eggerton of Broadcasting & Cable reports that the FCC has ruled that Cablevision-owned MSG Network cannot withhold its HD signal to other cable providers violating program-access rules.

Mike Reynolds from Multichannel News writes that YES received its second highest rating ever for the American League East Division clinching game this week.

Mike says Golf Channel and NBC Sports are teaming up for a promotion to give a lucky viewer of “The Big Break” a chance to win a trip to see Notre Dame play in Ireland next year.

Tim Nudd of Adweek says the NFL has pulled an ad for its fantasy football product which used a picture of Kansas City Chiefs running back Jamaal Charles after he was injured last week.

David Lieberman of Deadline reports that Time Warner Cable is planning to offer a low cost tier that will not include ESPN in the lineup.

Timothy Burke of SportsGrid has the video of ESPN sideline reporter Jenn Brown calling Cincinnati football coach Butch Jones something else.

Glenn Davis at SportsGrid has the sixth and perhaps final installment of New Era’s Yankees-Red Sox Alec Baldwin-John Kraskinski ads. They have been quite good. This latest one may have taken it a bit too far.

Also from SportsGrid, Dan Fogarty reviews the ESPN Films documentary “Catching Hell”, on Steve Bartman and the 2003 Chicago Cubs.

Sports Media Watch talks with the crew of ESPN’s College GameDay.

SMW says despite being on tape delay, Fox drew a decent audience for its first English Premier League game on Sunday.

SMW notes that the ratings for CBS’ 2nd game of its NFL doubleheader dropped from last year.

SMW says the NBA lockout has forced the cancellation of the start of training camp and over 40 preseason games.

And SMW has some various ratings news and notes.

Joe Favorito looks at one imaginative marketing campaign that helped Eye Black this week.

CNBC’s Darren Rovell reviews “Moneyball.”

Darren has some interesting facts on sports participation in America.

Karen Hogan of Sports Video Group looks at how CBS Sports Network was able to bring the Tim Brando Show into a TV simulcast from his base in Shreveport, LA.

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

Ben Koo from AA says tomorrow is when Gus Johnson and FX get their real grand opening in college football.

At The Stir, Maressa Brown feels ESPN’s Erin Andrews is unqualified to demonstrate CrossFit.

East and Mid-Atlantic

Chad Finn of the Boston Globe writes that WEEI’s Glenn Ordway has suffered a rather severe pay cut due to low ratings for The Big Show.

At SBNation Boston, BSMW Fearless Leader Bruce Allen looks at a busy week in local sports media news.

Bill Doyle of the Worcester Telegram & Gazette writes that Dale Arnold is pleased to be back with NESN after leaving in 2007.

Lang Whitaker and Ian Lovett of the New York Times give us an inside look at DirecTV’s Red Zone Channel and NFL Network’s RedZone.

John Jeansonne of Newsday reviews ESPN Films’ documentary on transgendered tennis player Renee Richards.

Newsday’s Neil Best says fans seem to be buying into the New York Islanders’ future.

Claire Atkinson of the New York Post has news that some Time Warner Cable subscribers have been waiting for, that the company appears to be close to a carriage agreement with NFL Network.

Phil Mushnick at the Post can’t stand ESPN’s Monday Night Football.

Justin Terranova of the Post says last month’s Russian plane crash that killed 44 members of the KHL team Lokomotiv Yaroslavl really hit home for MSG Network analyst Joe Micheletti.

And Justin has five questions for Joe.

Lou Lumenick of the Post says “Moneyball” is one of the best baseball movies of all-time.

I’ll break my self-imposed embargo on the New York Daily News’ Bob Raissman for a week for this story on the Yankees’ radio rights which are in flux and so are the fates of broadcasters John Sterling and Suzyn Waldman.

Pete Dougherty of the Albany Times Union writes that MSG Network has named Steve Cangialosi to replace Mike “Doc” Emrick on New Jersey Devils games.

And Pete talks with Steve about his new gig.

Ken Schott of the Schenectady Gazette is not a fan of a new local sports talk show host.

Ken notes that NBC Sports is extending its “Summer at Saratoga” series for at least two more years.

At Press Box, Dave Hughes of DCRTV.com notes that Comcast SportsNet Mid-Atlantic has announced its Capitals and Wizards schedules.

Jim Williams of the Washington Examiner says the college football conference merry-go-round could have some legal ramifications.

Jim says the ratings for the NFL in both Baltimore and Washington were very strong.

South

In the Miami Herald, Joseph Goodman notes the irony of ESPN possibly saving college football from massive chaos.

Matt Murschel of the Orlando Sentinel catches up with ESPN college football analyst Jesse Palmer.

Jeff Sentell of the Birmingham (AL) News says ESPN is not ponying up to air high school games from the region.

David Barron of the Houston Chronicle notes that an Astros broadcaster is celebrating 25 years with the club.

David asks readers if they find the idea of the Longhorn Network offensive.

Mel Bracht at the Daily Oklahoman says an Oklahoma State wide receiver will be profiled on ESPN’s College GameDay.

Midwest

Paul Hoynes of the Cleveland Plain Dealer says Cleveland MLB team radio voice Mike Hegan is leaving he broadcast after this season.

John Kiesewetter of the Cincinnati Enquirer says Reds voice Marty Brennaman can’t campaign on-air for his former partner Joe Nuxhall for the Baseball Hall of Fame Ford C. Frick Award.

Micahel Zuidema of the Grand Rapids (MI) Press wonders why the DirecTV/NBC series “Friday Night Lights” didn’t do better in the ratings.

Bob Wolfley in the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel says actor Brad Pitt saw “Moneyball” as a compelling story.

Bob says the Green Bay Packers will be showcased aplenty in the late afternoon window on both CBS and Fox this season.

Ed Sherman in Crain’s Chicago Business writes that the PGA Tour’s BMW Championship failed to draw viewers away from the NFL on Sunday.

Joe Cowley of the Chicago Sun-Times talks with WMAQ-TV sports anchor Paula Ferris.

Dan Caesar of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch wonders why Cardinals TV voice Dan McLaughlin has been missing of late.

Kevin Haskin of the Topeka (KS) Capital-Journal writes that CBS Sports Network was in town to air an NCAA Division II football game this week.

West

Jay Posner from the San Diego Union-Tribune says Big Ten Network won’t allow the local Cox system to pick up Saturday’s San Diego State-Michigan game on a one-time only basis.

The North County Times’ John Maffei writes that unless fans can find a sports bar, they’ll have to listen to San Diego State on the radio.

Jim Carlisle at the Ventura County Star says it’s too bad Southern California couldn’t see the end of the exciting Oakland-Buffalo game due to silly NFL rules.

Jim says HBO will replay last Saturday’s controversial Floyd Mayweather-Victor Ortiz fight.

Tom Hoffarth of the Los Angeles Daily News says a bankruptcy court has given the Dodgers permission to change their flagship radio station for next season.

Tom says the NFL secondary market rule needs to be changed.

Tom also has a few notes that he couldn’t get into his Friday column.

Jon Wilner of the San Jose Mercury News looks at the Pac-12’s decision to stand pat, TV’s role in the whole thing and where BYU may be headed.

Canada

Bruce Dowbiggin from the Toronto Globe and Mail writes that CBC’s P.J. Stock is regretting his initial comments on Wade Belak’s death.

The Toronto Sports Media Blog is not so fast to forgive P.J.

The Canadian Sports Media Blog notes that CBC has made some additions to its Hockey Night in Canada crew.

And there you have it for your links today.