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.

The Friday Night Megalinks

I’ve been to Newton, MA and back, South Kingstown, RI and back and all over my hometown of North Kingstown, RI and all of this today. It’s time to do the megalinks and get them all done in one sitting.

There’s the Weekend Viewing Picks for your sports and entertainment programming.

National

Sports Business Daily goes over the UFC/Fox agreement that will put four live MMA events on network TV and plenty of ancillary programming on Fox’s cable networks.

USA Today’s Michael Hiestand writes that Fox Sports Media Group El Presidente Por Vida David Hill has done an about face on airing Mixed Martial Arts.

Sergio Non of USA Today writes that UFC will revamp its shows when they move from Spike and Versus to Fox’s networks.

Sergio has those who will take part in the first UFC on Fox card in November.

Eric Deggans of the St. Petersburg Times writes in the Indiana University National Sports Journalism Center that the success of the UFC on Fox all depends on whether the sport can have a breakout star.

Dave Meltzer at Yahoo! says UFC President Dana White couldn’t be happier in making this deal with Fox.

Also from Yahoo!, Kevin Iole says it will be the fighters who will benefit the most from the new UFC on Fox contract.

Cam Martin of SportsNewser has Spike announcing that the new season of UFC’s The Ultimate Fighter will be the last on its airwaves, naturally.

Anthony Crupi of Adweek looks into the particulars of the UFC on Fox deal.

Bill Cromwell of Media Life Magazine writes that the Fox contract gives UFC some instant mainstream credibility.

There will be more UFC on Fox stories sprinkled throughout the megalinks. Let’s move on to other stories now.

The Hollywood Reporter’s Tim Goodman wonders if Showtime’s “The Franchise” is bringing down the San Francisco Giants this season.

Georg Szalai of the Reporter reports that Comcast has withdrawn a lawsuit against DirecTV over an ad campaign for NFL Sunday Ticket.

David Goetzl of MediaPost notes that DirecTV plans to expand its fantasy offerings for NFL Sunday Ticket.

Mike Reynolds from Multichannel News looks at Versus/NBC Sports Network’s new exclusive NHL night in the first year of its new 10 year contract with the league.

Andrew McMains of Adweek looks at a new inspiring web video produced for the US Olympic Committee.

All Access says the ESPN Radio affiliate in Minnesota’s Twin Cities has chosen the hosts for its midday show.

Greg Wyshynski of Yahoo’s Puck Daddy explores which teams won and lost in the new NHL TV schedules.

Cam Martin of SportsNewser writes that former voice of the North Carolina Tar Heels, Woody Durham, will be honored for his contributions to college football.

The Big Lead wonders if Jay Bilas is the most respected voice at ESPN.

Timothy Burke of SportsGrid investigates how former 2 Live Crew leader Luther Campbell managed to appear to appear on the Dan Patrick Show and the Colin Cowherd Show at the same time.

And Tim presents the Atlanta Braves’ Shake Cam and how it can make fans a bit too excited.

Sports Media Watch says the U-20 World Cup is scoring for Galavision.

Matt Yoder at Awful Announcing has a look at some interesting sports media typos.

Matt shows us how the Baseball Tonight crew had trouble demonstrating its new touchscreen.

Joe Favorito looks at what’s new with professional lacrosse.

Patrick Stafford of Smart Company in Australia speaks with the owner of Footytips.com about how he sold his site to ESPN.

East and Mid-Atlantic

Chad Finn of the Boston Globe says the limited classic programming on NBA TV during the current league lockout can only take the channel so far.

Sox & Dawgs has the video of NESN’s Don Orsillo and Jerry Remy wearing chicken hats in the booth.

Richard Sandomir of the New York Times writes on how regional sports networks have increasing power and money to be a game changer for some professional teams.

Richard looks at the UFC on Fox deal that puts Mixed Martial Arts into the mainstream.

Dan Levin from the Times has a good story on how some athletes in Communist China are trying to buck their archaic system.

Mark DeCambre of the New York Post notes that the new Meadowlands Stadium now will have a sponsor when the new NFL season begins.

Justin Terranova in the Post looks at how Fordham University was a training ground for several NYC announcers.

Justin has five questions for SNY Jets analyst Anthony Becht.

Pete Dougherty of the Albany Times Union writes about Fox signing UFC for seven years.

Pete says local sports anchor Andrew Catalon’s call of tonight’s Browns-Lions game will be seen on NFL Network this weekend.

Ken Schott from the Schenectady Gazette says a local radio station will air a full high school football schedule.

Ken says the NBC Sports Group is increasing its commitment to horse racing this fall.

And Ken writes that a new local sports radio talk show will be debuting soon.

To Ken McMillan of the Middletown (NY) Times Herald-Record who says the New York Rangers will be featured extensively on the national NHL TV schedules.

Crossing Broad has the audio of Philadelphia’s sports radio station WIP announcement that it’s taking over WYSP’s FM frequency killing off a heritage rock station.

Dan Gross of the Philadelphia Daily News says ‘YSP staffers were melancholy about CBS Radio’s announcement killing off the station.

Jeff Wolfe of the Delaware County Times writes about WIP’s displacement of WYSP just as the rocker’s ratings were increasing.

Mike White in the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette says two local high school games hit the ESPN family of networks this fall.

Shelly Anderson of the Post-Gazette says the Penguins TV announcing crew will return for another season.

In the Baltimore Sun, David Zurawik explains where Ravens fans can find the team on TV and radio.

Dave Hughes of DCRTV.com writes in Press Box that the Ravens did extremely well in the ratings in both Baltimore and Washington, DC in their NFL preseason opener.

Jim Williams from the Washington Examiner talks with DC NFL Team radio voice Larry Michael.

And Jim writes that the Washington Capitals will have plenty of appearances on NBC/Versus (NBC Sports Network).

Mike Madden in the Washington City Paper says the local sports anchor is becoming a thing of the past.

Keith Loria of the Fairfax (VA) Times says native Lindsay Czarniak is about to make her debut on ESPN.

South

The Charleston (WV) Gazette notes that Root Sports Pittsburgh will carry some West Virginia and Marshall programming.

The South Florida Sun-Sentinel reports that Bob Griese will be joining the Miami Dolphins radio broadcast team replacing the late Jim Mandich.

Andy Kent of the Miami Dolphins website has Griese’s thoughts about joining the broadcast team and also sharing thoughts about Mandich.

Tom Jones of the St. Petersburg Times has some thoughts on the UFC/Fox deal, the Little League World Series on TV and CBS’ production of the PGA Championship.

Mike Bianchi of the Orlando Sentinel says Yahoo! Sports does a better job of investigating college sports than the NCAA.

David Barron of the Houston Chronicle notes that Saturday’s US National Gymnastics championships get a network primetime slot.

Mike Finger and Brent Zwerneman of the San Antonio Express-News says the Longhorn Network hasn’t given up on airing high school football games in one form or another.

The Daily Oklahoman’s Mel Bracht looks at UFC getting a big payday from Fox.

Midwest

John Kiesewetter in the Cincinnati Enquirer talks with NBC’s Cris Collinsworth who’s going into his third season as Sunday Night Football analyst.

George M. Thomas of the Akron Beacon Journal now knows why DirecTV was so willing to give him a free subscription to NFL Sunday Ticket after learning that the service will be offered to Sony Playstation 3 owners.

The Grand Rapids (MI) Press’ Michael Zuidema notes that a Big Ten Network analyst feels Nebraska is a perfect fit for the conference.

Bob Wolfley at the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel is amazed at ESPN’s ever-expanding army of NFL analysts and mountain of NFL programming.

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

Scott Dochterman in the Iowa City Gazette says NFL Network has picked up Mediacom for cable subscribers in the Hawkeye State.

West

Scott D. Pierce of the Salt Lake Tribune says it’s not known which network will air the October 15th contest between BYU and Oregon State.

Dick Harmon of the Deseret (UT) News speaks with BYUtv’s Executive Director in a lengthy interview. Part I of which is here. Read Part II here.

Larry Bohannan at the Desert (CA) Sun says there’s evidence of not much live golf shown in a PGA Tour telecast.

John Maffei of the North County Times weighs the pros and cons of airing the Little League World Series.

In the Ventura County Star, Jim Carlisle looks at the contrasting opinions that John and Patrick McEnroe had on the state of American tennis on HBO’s Real Sports this week.

Jim explores the UFC on Fox deal.

Lance Pugmire of the Los Angeles Times says Fox paid a pretty penny to get UFC into the fold.

Meg James of the Times also writes about the UFC on Fox deal.

Tom Hoffarth of the Los Angeles Daily News says when it came down to it, Fox didn’t have much of a choice but to sign UFC.

Tom says one sidebar to the UFC on Fox deal is the fact that Fox Sports Radio will also air MMA events.

Tom writes that former Dodgers radio voice Ross Porter has found his latest gig, calling high school sports online.

Canada

The Toronto Globe and Mail’s Bruce Dowbiggin feels TSN Radio isn’t getting the job done.

The Winnipeg Free Press notes that the Jets will get 22 games aired on CBC’s Hockey Night in Canada.

And the number of links today are hearken back to the first two years of this blog. Lots of links. That’s it.

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.

Spring Numbers Show Huge Wins For 98.5 Over WEEI

According to a post over at radio-info.com, which has been accurate with these posts in the past, these are numbers from the Spring 2011 ratings book:

MEN 25-54

6:00 to 10:00 AM

TOUCHER & RICH – 11.6 (1st)

DENNIS & CALLAHAN – 6.0 (3rd)

10:00 AM to 2:00 PM

GRESH & ZO – 9.4 (2nd)

MUTT & MERLONI – 4.1 (10th)

2:00 to 6:00 PM

FELGER & MAZZ – 9.5 (1st)

THE BIG SHOW – 5.4 (6th)

MEN 18-49

6:00 to 10:00 AM

TOUCHER & RICH – 14.8 (1st)

DENNIS & CALLAHAN – 5.1 (4th)

10:00 AM to 2:00 PM

GRESH & ZO – 11.9 (1st)

MUTT & MERLONI – 2.8 (11th)

2:00 to 6:00 PM

FELGER & MAZZ – 10.5 (1st)

THE BIG SHOW – 4.4 (7th)

MEN 18-34

6:00 to 10:00 AM

TOUCHER & RICH – 22.3 (1st)

DENNIS & CALLAHAN – 2.8 (11th)

10:00 AM to 2:00 PM

GRESH & ZO – 14.1 (1st)

MUTT & MERLONI – 1.2 (17th)

2:00 to 6:00 PM

FELGER & MAZZ – 12.1 (1st)

THE BIG SHOW – 1.7 (16th)

With the Bruins on their Stanley Cup run, I think we knew 98.5 was going to score a big win this time around, but these numbers are still stunning.

It doesn’t appear that we’ll be hearing anything like this on the 850 AM airwaves this week. We might hear how we’re not reading the numbers correctly, and how WEEI is #1 in the demographic they’re shooting for, or something along the lines of “Everyone knows the spring and summer ratings don’t matter, that’s why we all go on extended vacations.”

Bringing Out The Friday Megalinks

Yup, time for the Friday megalinks. As long as I don’t get interrupted, I should be able to do this all in one shot for you.

Your Weekend Viewing Picks have a whole lot of sports and entertainment programs so take a gander and see what suits your fancy.

To the links.

National

USA Today’s Michael Hiestand talks about ex-Florida coach Urban Meyer diving headfirst into being a college football TV analyst for ESPN.

Nate Davis at USA Today’s The Huddle blog notes that ex-NFLer’s and current TV analysts Michael Strahan and Warren Sapp don’t take much stock in Tiki Barber’s comeback.

Also in USA Today, Devra Maza talks with Hall of Fame baseball announcer Bob Wolff about his memories calling Don Larsen’s perfect game in the 1956 World Series.

The Hollywood Reporter notes that Los Angeles Lakers forward Ron Artest is seeking to change his name to “Metta World Peace” while his wife, Kimsha is being cast for the new edition of VH1’s “Basketball Wives”.

Jon Weisman of Variety says David Feherty’s new show gave Golf Channel its most watched premiere in the history of the network.

Marcus Vanderberg at SportsNewser notes that Wednesday’s Mexico-Honduras Gold Cup semifinal match was the highest rated primetime sporting event ever on Univision.

Sports Media Watch has some various news and notes.

Matt Yoder at Awful Announcing has the new DirecTV Football Cops ad featuring the Manning brothers.

East and Mid-Atlantic

Chad Finn of the Globe talks with WEEI’s Dale Arnold who had to watch the Bruins championship run while being mostly on the sidelines.

Rich Fahey of the Globe says former Bruins TV38 host Tom Larson followed through on a 30 year promise to shave his beard.

Richard Sandomir of the New York Times says with a lockout looming, the NBA Players Association is standing firmly behind its leadership.

Phil Mushnick in the New York Post has praise for ESPN’s Bobby Valentine and Orel Hershiser, but has to somehow temper it.

The Post’s Brett Cyrgalis has four questions for Mets radio voice Howie Rose.

Newsday’s John Jeansonne looks at how John McEnroe was perceived as a player and perceived now as an analyst.

The Albany Times Union’s Pete Dougherty says two local TV reporters were able to catch up with Jimmer Fredette after the NBA Draft.

Pete says Jimmermania kept fans watching the NBA Draft for about an hour.

Keith Groller of the Allentown (PA) Morning Call looks at the new CBS Sports Network contract with the Patriot League.

In Press Box, Dave Hughes talks about the programming changes at one Baltimore sports radio station.

Dave says the Washington City Paper is firing back at DC NFL Team owner Daniel Snyder in his efforts to sue the publication.

South

Tom Jones at the St. Petersburg Times feels ESPN should not be leading the charge to move the Rays out of Tampa Bay.

William Brethertont of the Marietta (GA) Daily Journal says an Atlanta Beat Women’s Professional Soccer star will be on ESPN’s Women’s World Cup coverage.

Dan Murtaugh of the Mobile (AL) Press-Register says Tennis Channel will focus on a local program that benefits young women and weaves in a tennis exhibition to help raise funds.

David Barron at the Houston Chronicle recognizes one sports anchor’s longevity in the market.

Berry Tremel at the Daily Oklahoman says FX’s early college football schedule is all-Oklahoma, all the time.

Midwest

John Kiesewetter of the Cincinnati Enquirer notes that Thom and Marty Brennaman don’t seem to have time to work together in the Reds broadcast booth.

Bob Wolfley at the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel says Packers linebacker A.J. Hawk will be swinging a golf club on NBC’s celebrity golf tournament next month.

Bob says local overnight ratings for the NBA Draft on ESPN were strong.

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

Dan Caesar of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch says a local sports anchor is pinch hitting on the news side this month.

And Dan has a few news and notes.

West

Scott D. Pierce at the Salt Lake Tribune looks at Urban Meyer moving to the TV booth on college football Saturdays for ESPN.

Richard Eng of the Las Vegas Journal-Review explores the decision of former Triple Crown caller Tom Durkin to step down this year.

John Maffei of the North County Times says this weekend is a big one for soccer fans.

Jim Carlisle of the Ventura County Star notes that the Los Angeles Lakers will have different voices for next season.

Tom Hoffarth of the Los Angeles Daily News reports that Lenny Dykstra is now tweeting.

Tom also has a column on Simmons’ Grantland site.

Jack Humphreville of City Watch LA takes a look at Frank McCourt’s embattled ownership of the Dodgers and the collapse of his rich rights deal with Fox.

Canada

Bruce Dowbiggin of the Toronto Globe and Mail has yet another mediocre media column this week.

The Toronto Sports Media blog notes the one year anniversary of a huge lineup change on one local sports radio station.

And that’s going to do it for today.

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.

Bruins/Canadiens Game 7 Sets New Ratings Record for NESN

From NESN:

NESN set a new single-game ratings record for Bruins hockey last night with a 17.7 average household rating in the Boston DMA.

The game peaked at a 26.6 rating during the 10:00 PM quarter hour as Nathan Horton scored the game winner in overtime to propel the Bruins into the Eastern Conference Semifinals. NESN’s previous best-ever single-game hockey rating was a 14.1, set two years ago on May 14, 2009 in a Game 7 against the Carolina Hurricanes.

 NESN’s ratings numbers in most of the key demographic categories also set new network records, including a 21.5 in Men 25-54, 18.3 in Men 18-49, and 15.6 in Adults 25-54.

Best Playoff Series in NESN History

NESN’s coverage of the Bruins-Montreal first round playoff series dominated the Boston television market over the past 2 weeks.  NESN’s 7 telecasts averaged an 11.9 household rating, which made it the highest-rated Bruins playoff series in network history. NESN’s Bruins coverage was the top-rated program in the Boston DMA on 4 of the 7 nights. The previous ratings record for a series was set in 2009, when NESN garnered a 9.9 average household rating for the Eastern Conference Semifinal series against the Carolina Hurricanes.

Playoff Pre and Post-Game Shows Also Enjoy Ratings Success

NESN’s ratings success extended beyond the games with impressive pre and post-game ratings throughout the series. Bruins FaceOff LIVE presented by Hess expanded to 60 minutes for the first round of the playoffs and averaged a 2.1 household rating during the series, including a 2.7 before last night’s deciding game. NESN’s post-game show, Ace Ticket Bruins Overtime LIVE, averaged a 4.1 household rating that was highlighted by an 8.4 after the Bruins’ exciting Game 7 victory.

Ratings Battle Extends to Twitter

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NESN Sets New Bruins Regular Season Ratings Record

From NESN:

Last night’s 7-0 Bruins win over the Canadiens garnered a 6.6 household rating on NESN according to Nielsen, which is the highest rated regular season game in the network’s 27 year history covering the Bruins. NESN’s previous regular season ratings record was a 6.2 household rating for the March, 18, 2010 game when the Bruins played the Pittsburgh Penguins at TD Garden.

Against a very competitive network prime lineup, which included the NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament, the Bruins ranked #1 in the Boston DMA in Men 25-54, #2 in Adults 18-49 and #3 in Households and Adults 25-54.

NESN’s pre and post-game shows as well as NESN Daily also earned strong numbers.

WB Mason Bruins FaceOff LIVE       1.4 HH rating

Ace Ticket Bruins Overtime LIVE      5.3 HH rating (season best)

NESN Daily                                        2.7 HH rating

NESN Ratings Updates

A couple updates from NESN on ratings for recent programming:

NESN Keeps Winning with Bruins Hockey

NESN garnered a 4.5 household rating in the Boston DMA for Saturday night’s Bruins OT loss to the Penguins, the network’s second best Bruins rating of the season. NESN’s best rating of the season was Thursday, March 3 against Tampa Bay when NESN garnered a 4.6 household rating. NESN’s season average is now a 3.0 going into Tuesday night’s highly anticipated contest against divisional rival Montreal. Coverage begins at 7 pm with WB Mason’s Bruins FaceOff LIVE hosted by Kathryn Tappen with Mike Milbury and Gord Kluzak.

Strong Red Sox Spring Training Ratings

NESN’s first three Red Sox spring training games of the season averaged a 2.4 household rating, up 85% over the first 3 spring training games televised by NESN in 2010, and the best 3-game spring training game average since the spring of 2007. NESN is scheduled to broadcast 13 spring training games in March. The next game is on Wednesday, March 9 at 7 pm when the Red Sox host Baltimore at City of Palms Park.