R.I.P. BBC Sports Broadcaster David Coleman

By | Saturday December 21, 2013 @ 5:35pm PST

david colemanLongtime sports commentator and presenter David Coleman OBE has died. He was 87. His family told the BBC that Coleman, who first began working for the news organization in 1954, passed after a short illness. Coleman was the recipient of an OBE in 1992 who covered sports for BBC, including soccer and the Olympics, for nearly five decades. In that time he presented Grandstand and Sportsnight and hosted quiz show A Question of Sport for 18 years, in addition to announcing numerous World Cup, European Cup, and FA Cup finals. He made his Olympics commenting debut in 1960 and retired after broadcasting his 11th summer Olympics in 2000. British Prime Minister David Cameron Tweeted in response to Coleman’s passing: Read More »

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Liberty Media’s John Malone Calls Pay TV Sports Prices “Unsustainable”: Video

By | Friday April 12, 2013 @ 10:01am PDT

The former King of Cable — who recently agreed to buy more than 27% of Charter Communications – has a bracing warning for companies such as Disney and News Corp that hope to keep raising prices for their sports programming. “You have an unsustainable model,” he told CNBC’s … Read More »

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James Murdoch Says News Corp Will Be Vigilant About Sports Costs

By | Monday February 25, 2013 @ 1:46pm PST

Looks like News Corp’s trying to boost the Deputy COO’s profile on Wall Street: James Murdoch’s appearance today at the Morgan Stanley Technology, Media and Telecom Conference was his second high-profile presentation to investors this month. (He was also on News Corp’s latest earnings call.) Rupert’s son, who last year had to defend himself against allegations that he was at least partly responsible for News Corp’s UK hacking and bribery scandals, seemed to relish the largely friendly questions about the company’s plans. He assured the audience that the company won’t go overboard in buying rights to sports programming amid reports that News Corp plans to create a national sports network. “It’s important to have a portfolio of rights where you can walk away,” Murdoch says. For example, the Los Angeles Dodgers wanted payments that were “too rich for us,” leading the team to create its own regional sports channel. Read More »

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Google Warns It Faces “Difficulty” Landing Sports Channels In Kansas Pay TV System

By | Friday September 21, 2012 @ 4:45pm PDT

Welcome to the pay TV world, Google. The mighty search company startled a lot of people in cable when it announced its Google Fiber TV and Internet service in Kansas City. The fiber optic service, launched in July, offers consumers broadband speeds of 1 Gb per second, far faster than cable’s typical 5 Mb per second. How could cable and its allies fight that? Google provided a clue today in a letter disclosing what it told several FCC staffers yesterday: They discussed “the importance of being able to provide customers with access to must-have live regional sports programming and the difficulty of obtaining this programming.” Read More »

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CBS Sports Names NFL Broadcasting Teams For Upcoming Season

By | Tuesday August 21, 2012 @ 2:26pm PDT

Football starts on CBS on September 9 and today CBS Sports announced its on-air roster for the upcoming NFL season. Jim Nantz and Phil Simms will once again lead the charge for the … Read More »

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Will Sports TV Strike Out Big Media?

By | Thursday April 5, 2012 @ 8:24am PDT

Bernstein Research analyst Craig Moffett says it’s possible in a provocative, and well timed, note this morning. The escalation in TV sports costs has “gone to unimagined proportions,” he says. If unchecked, he adds, it could  ”blow the entire media model apart.” And the business does appear to be unchecked. The huge price increases from the $15.2B NFL deals that ESPN, Fox, CBS, and NBC cut last year kick in with the 2014 season. Meanwhile, NBCUniversal likely will want higher payments for its NBC Sports Network — formerly Versus before it was rebranded in January. News Corp is considering a similar upgrade of its action sports channel Fuel into a mainstream national sports service. And the Magic Johnson-led consortium that just paid more than $2B for the Los Angeles Dodgers is thinking about stealing a page from the playbook for the New York Yankees’ YES Network by launching its own regional sports channel — which would be the sixth in LA. Read More »

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ESPN Dominates Sports Emmy Nominations

By | Tuesday March 20, 2012 @ 6:57am PDT

The pay TV sports behemoth had 55 nominations vs NBC Sports Group’s 32, CBS’ 26, and Turner Sports’ 22. You’ll find the full list of nominees here.

New York, NY – March 20, 2012 – The National Academy of Television Arts and  Sciences (NATAS) today announced the nominees for the 33rd Annual Sports Emmy® Awards.

More than 170 nominees were announced in 33 categories including outstanding live sports special, live series, sports documentary, studio show, promotional announcements, play-by-play personality and studio analyst. The Awards will be given out at the prestigious Frederick P. Rose Hall, Home of Jazz at Lincoln Center located in the Time Warner Center on April 30th, 2012 in New York City.

This year’s Lifetime Achievement Award for Sports will go to the Sports Commentator and Essayist, Jack Whitaker.

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Last Minute Effort Fails To Save NFL And Golden Globe Telecasts For Some DirecTV Customers

By | Sunday January 15, 2012 @ 4:23pm PST

DirecTV’s sports fans in Miami already know the bad news, and showbiz devotees in Boston soon will: The satellite company failed to strike a carriage deal with Sunbeam Television prior to Fox’s broadcast of the NFL playoff game between the … Read More »

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Some Sports Fans Can’t Watch NFL Playoffs

By | Sunday January 15, 2012 @ 12:23am PST

Miami-area sports fans who are also DirecTV customers are having to scramble this weekend to catch football playoffs on Fox. That’s because Sunbeam Television, owner of Fox affiliate WSVN, pulled the plug on DirecTV at midnight Friday. It’s the latest showdown between providers over increases in carriage fees. Sunbeam yanked their station feeds to DirecTV when the satcaster balked at a 300% increase in fees for the right to carry local station signals. (And Time Warner Cable thought Madison Square Garden’s purported demand for a 53% increase was steep. That New York dispute is still unresolved.)

Unless a settlement is reached before this afternoon, DirecTV subscribers who haven’t secured an alternative will miss today’s highly anticipated playoff between the New York Giants and Green Bay Packers. Yesterday’s NFC playoff game between the San Francisco 49ers and New Orleans Saints had DirecTV subscribers converging on electronics stores such as Best Buy nearly emptying shelves of broadcast antennas so they wouldn’t miss football and other Fox programming. Others turned to sports bars, which apparently weren’t affected.

WSVN general manager Robert Leider said DirecTV’s offer was below fair-market value, according to the South Florida Sun-Sentinel. DirecTV has about 270,000 subscribers who are affected in Miami-Dade and Broward counties. Approximately 270,000 customers were affected in Broward and Miami-Dade counties. Sunbeam also cut DirecTV feeds from Boston’s NBC affiliate WHDH and CW affiliate WLVI.

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FCC Reviews Pro Sports TV Blackout Rules

By | Thursday January 12, 2012 @ 11:07pm PST

The Federal Communications Commission took the first step today toward elimination of local TV station blackouts of professional football games and other sporting events. The commission asked for public comment on eliminating its own rules that support sports league … Read More »

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Sports Fees Vex Cable Execs: UBS Confab

By | Monday December 5, 2011 @ 8:43pm PST

The per-household subscription fees ESPN charges cable systems amounts to “a tax on every American household,” Liberty Media Corp. CEO Greg Maffei said Monday at an investor conference sponsored by UBS AG in New York City. ESPN charges are the highest … Read More »

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Is It Time To End Live TV Sports Coverage?

By | Sunday April 17, 2011 @ 3:41pm PDT

This afternoon, in a live broadcast of the 37th Toyota Grand Prix Of Long Beach, Indy car racing league driver Marco Andretti had contact with another car out of the pits. Explaining what happened, Andretti said from inside his auto, loud and clear, “I … Read More »

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UPDATE: No Ruling On NFL Lockout At Hearing; Judge Offers Federal Mediator

2ND UPDATE, 3:35 PM: A federal court said it could take weeks before it decides whether to grant an injunction sought by NFL players to stop a league-imposed lockout. That’s because the judge wants both sides to agree to federal mediation to help resolve an impasse in finalizing a new collective bargaining agreement, according to Bloomberg. “Both sides are at risk. This is a good time to come back to the table,” the judge said. “This is really a matter to be resolved, in my view, with the services of the federal court.” Today’s hearing in St. Paul lasted five hours. Read More »

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Calling Audible, Tim Tebow Film Finds Audience Connection Through ESPN

By | Thursday January 6, 2011 @ 4:44am PST
Mike Fleming

The Sundance Film Festival will soon get underway, when filmmakers arrive with distribution deal dreams. Even those lucky enough to get such deals often watch the films they slaved over disappear or go straight to video, especially documentaries. That was … Read More »

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SAY WHAT? Stan Lee To Create 30 New Superheroes For NHL Cities By 2011

By | Thursday October 7, 2010 @ 7:54am PDT

Every time I write about yet another deal made by Stan Lee, the same thing happens. Fanboys groan that he’s selling out, or cashing suckers’ checks, or making egotistical moves. And he does it because he can. He is after all Stan Effin’ … Read More »

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Peter Guber Co-Buys Golden State Warriors

By | Thursday July 15, 2010 @ 10:40am PDT

peter-guberIt’s no secret in Hollywood that Peter Guber is really really rich. So, like most rich guys, he’s indulging his sports fantasies. CNBC just broke the news that he’s bought the NBA team with Joe Lacob, managing partner at private equity … Read More »

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RATINGS RAT RACE: Fox Wins With 2010 MLB All-Star Game

Nellie Andreeva

Fox is expected to easily top the ratings for last night with its broadcast of the MLB All-Star Game, which is down from last year. In overnight household ratings, the drop was 12%. Time-zone adjusted fast nationals will be released later this morning. The regular fast nationals, which could serve … Read More »

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RATINGS RAT RACE: LeBron James Is A Hit!

By | Friday July 9, 2010 @ 9:42am PDT
Nellie Andreeva

LeBron James’ special The Decision delivered big ratings for ESPN last night. The special, in which James announced his decision to join the Miami Heat, generated a 7.3 overnight rating from 9-10:15 p.m. ET, the highest rating for any program – on broadcast or cable – last night. It was … Read More »

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Wait, Which Agency Reps LeBron James?

UPDATED: You know that LeBron James hourlong primetime sports special The Decision tonight all about where he’s going to play next season? Well, it was not put together by LeBron James’ sports agency CAA. According to my Hollywood agency sources, Ari Emanuel of … Read More »

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