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Super Bowl: ESPN2 Airs 9/11 Truther Interruption Of Post-Game News Conference

By | Sunday February 2, 2014 @ 10:50pm PST

Super Bowl 9/11 ESPN2The excitement at MetLife Stadium picked up tonight, but only after the Seattle Seahawks slaughtered the Denver Broncos. Police arrested a man who penetrated security’s defense at a Super Bowl post-game press conference held by Seahawks MVP Malcolm Smith, then shouted a conspiracy theory that aired live on ESPN2. “Investigate 9/11 – 9/11 was perpetrated by people within our own government,” said the man, identified in media reports as Matthew Mills of Brooklyn, who was subsequently ushered away from the mic and later arrested and charged with trespassing. ESPN2 and the NFL have yet to issue an official statement on the breach – watch it below: Read More »

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ESPN Splits With Hugh Douglas Over Racially Charged Altercation

By | Tuesday August 13, 2013 @ 4:26pm PDT

Hugh Douglas Fired By ESPNHugh Douglas excelled on the defensive side of the ball during his NFL playing career, but an offensive he launched against an ESPN colleague has cost him his TV gig. The sports giant has cut ties with Douglas in the wake of his threats and racial slurs inflicted on Michael Smith, his co-host on the ESPN2 program Numbers Never Lie, on August 2 at the Orlando House of Blues. Douglas, who has not appeared on the show since the incident, tweeted this morning, “I am very disappointed to be leaving ESPN and will have more to say about this situation and my future at the appropriate time.” ESPN has said only that Douglas is no longer with the network. The former All-Pro defensive end was at a National Association of Black Journalists convention event when he and Smith had an altercation that escalated into a screaming match. Several media outlets reported that witnesses saw Douglas threaten to fight the much-smaller Smith — his on-air adversarial foil — and hurled slurs at him including “Uncle Tom” and “house n—–” and that the men had to be separated. ESPN said at the time that it would look into the matter. Apparently, it has.

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Keith Olbermann In “Serious Discussions” For ESPN2 Talk Show: Report

By | Monday July 15, 2013 @ 2:58pm PDT

Is Keith Olbermann’s latest TV renaissance about to take him back to Bristol? The lightning-rod veteran of sports and political shows is in “serious discussions” with Disney-owned ESPN for a late-night talker on sister outlet ESPN2, according to the New York Daily News. The paper stresses that no decision has been made and that talks are “very fluid,” but even the notion of Olbermann-to-ESPN has eyebrows arched around the industry — especially with the launch of News Corp’s high-profile potential rival sports net just a month away. Fox Sports 1 has been staffing up for its August 17 debut, prepping shows with Regis Philbin and Mike Tyson, among others, so Olbermann would be quite a coup for the Worldwide Leader, which is coming off a wince-inducing 32% Q2 ratings drop for its flagship network and 12% for ESPN2. Olbermann is resuscitating his post-Current TV career with a Major League Baseball postseason studio show on TBS. That is the former MSNBC host’s first television gig since his very public split with Current, which Al Gore since has sold to Al Jazeera. Olbermann worked at ESPN from 1992-97 before exiting — as has become is TV M.O. — amid controversy. He also had a three-year stint at Fox Sports Net and Fox, working the 2000 World Series for the latter.

Related: … Read More »

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Pay TV Companies Say ESPN Fumbled With Its $15B NFL Deal

ESPN is already starting to face a major backlash from pay TV providers and some Wall Street analysts to yesterday’s $15B deal extending its rights to Monday Night Football for eight years to 2021. The agreement – which is at least 60% higher than the previous deal — “will push the cost of pay-TV service into the stratosphere, making the product less and less affordable during a time of severe economic stress and high unemployment,” says Matthew Polka, CEO of the American Cable Association, a trade group for small and mid-sized operators. His main complaint is that ESPN requires distributors to offer the channel in the most popular expanded basic package which means “consumers with no interest in sports are required to subsidize the sports fan.” ESPN and ESPN2 represent about 20% of a typical pay TV provider’s wholesale programming costs even though the channels just appeal to 2.5% of the viewers, Bernstein Research analyst Craig Moffett says in a new report. If you throw in other services, including regional channels, then about $12.15 — more than half of the average monthly wholesale programming payments — go for sports. Moffett figures that pay TV subscribers would have to pay an additional 67 cents a month just to cover ESPN’s additional new football costs. The price would rise to 78 cents if Dish Network drops the Disney-owned sports channel, something that the satellite company’s chairman Charlie Ergen has threatened to do. … Read More »

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HBO, NBC Big Winners At Sports Emmys

By | Monday May 2, 2011 @ 11:26pm PDT

The National Academy of Television Arts & Sciences bestowed its 32nd annual Sports Emmy Awards on Monday night in New York, celebrating the best in broadcast sports for 2010. NBC’s Sunday Night Football was named Outstanding Live Series again and won one of the Peacock’s seven Emmys (the network’s Olympics coverage took five trophies), tying it with HBO for the most victories by a network. Among HBO’s kudos was a win for Outstanding Documentary (Lombardi) and three for its anthology series Hard Knocks. ESPN and ESPN2 combined for seven wins, CBS had six, and ABC and Fox had three apiece. Studio host Bob Costas (baseball) and play-by-play announcer Mike Emrick (hockey) won, as did analysts Kirk Herbstreit (college football) and Cris Collinsworth (pro football), and ABC’s coverage of the World Cup final between Spain and the Netherlands was tapped as Outstanding Live Special. Play-by-play broadcaster Al Michaels received the Lifetime Achievement Award.

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RATINGS RAT RACE: World Cup Up With Team U.S. Heroics, ‘Hot In Cleveland’ Down

Nellie Andreeva

ESPN’s Wednesday morning World Cup match between the U.S. and Algeria set records as the highest-rated and most-watched soccer telecast in the history of the ESPN networks, while ESPN3.com drew the largest U.S. audience for a sports event on the Web with 1.1 million unique viewers watching the match for an average of 43 minutes.

Meanwhile, the second episode of the TV Land original sitcom Hot In Cleveland averaged 3.4 million viewers, down 29% from  the record-setting heights of the show’s premiere last week. The number is still pretty solid for TV Land. Read More »

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