If you like sports highlights but spend more time on social networks than watching TV, Twitter and ESPN are going to do their best to meet your needs.
According to The Wall Street Journal, Twitter and ESPN plan to announce a deepening of their existing relationship, agreeing on a pact under which the leading sports channel will unveil a wide variety of highlight clips in its tweets. The videos would be available on Twitter “shortly after” they take place live.
Naturally, the new arrangement which expands on a pact signed in December under which ESPN began embedding replays of college football highlights into its tweets is all about ad revenue. The sports network will place ads inside the clips, and advertisers will agree to purchase a minimum number of promoted tweets related to the highlights, the Wall Street Journal reported. Sports covered under the deal include World Cup soccer and X Games tournaments, according to the Journal.
A Twitter spokesperson confirmed the Journal’s story, and this afternoon, several people in senior roles at the social-networking giant posted tweets linking to it. Adam Bain, Twitter’s head of revenue, went so far as to note in his tweet,
“More news from the upfronts,” referring to the TV network meetings with advertisers that are taking place this week.
The Twitter-ESPN agreement goes a long way to bolstering the theory that Twitter is moving quickly to strengthen its ties to TV networks. Last month, a Bloomberg report suggested that Twitter was in talks with NBC and Viacom about bringing more of those networks’ content to the tweets users see all in the hopes of boosting ad revenue.
And earlier today, the Journal also noted that Twitter and Fox agreed to bring some of that TV network’s video to users via the tweets they see. As with the ESPN relationship, the Fox pact would be built to leverage advertisers’ ability to reach users.
Stephen A. Smith of ESPN was already notable enough to be parodied by “Saturday Night Live.” Now he has true universal reach, starring in a “Star Trek Into Darkness” spoof that appears to promote both the upcoming movie and the sports network.
A production company owned by television psychologist Dr. Phil has filed a federal lawsuit in Texas claiming improper use of an interview he conducted with the man who perpetrated a hoax on former Notre Dame football star Manti Te’o (MAN’-ty TAY’-oh).
Texas-based Peteski Productions is claiming in the suit filed Monday that Gawker Media committed copyright infringement by airing portions of Phil McGraw’s interview with Ronaiah Tuiasosopo.
The 22-year-old Tuiasosopo has said he created the online persona of Lennay Kekua, a nonexistent woman whom Te’o said he fell in love with despite never meeting her in person.
The suit claims one of Gawker’s properties, the sports blog Deadspin, aired part of the interview before a February broadcast of “Dr. Phil.”
Once tabbed as the heir apparent to Erin Andrews, Jenn Brown has left ESPN as reported by Sports Illustrated. The reasons for her departure are still unclear, but ESPN confirmed Brown is no longer working for Bristol.
Brown joined ESPN in February 2010, and when Andrews left the mothership last summer, it seemed like Brown would be taking over her role as ESPN’s most visible sideline reporter. But then that gig went to Samantha Ponder, who took over Thursday night sideline reporting duties on ESPN as well as Andrews’ old spot on the College Gameday set. Brown was paired with Dave Pasch and Bob Griese, generally calling the early game on ESPN.
Brown’s future is currently unknown. Brown seemed to slowly fade from the spotlight in recent months and with the nice jobs ESPNers have picked up elsewhere (Michelle Beadle at NBC, Erin Andrews at Fox, Rachel Nichols at CNN), perhaps the grass was greener elsewhere.
Just like the Alabama Crimson Tide did in college football, Kate Upton goes back to back as the Sports Illustrated swimsuit issue cover model.
CNN is getting a sports show. The network announced Thursday that it has hired ESPN reporter Rachel Nichols to anchor a weekend sports program. Nichols will also be a reporter for CNN and Turner Sports. CNN did not say when exactly her show would start.
The new show fits in with new CNN chief Jeff Zucker’s stated mission to vary the kinds of programming seen on CNN.
Speaking just after his hiring was announced, Zucker told reporters that he wanted to “broaden the definition of what news is” on the network. He echoed that theme in a memo to staff about Nichols, writing, “As you know, I am committed to offering a more varied set of programs and reporting on CNN and a new sports beat is an important component of that. My hope is that our air increasingly reflects the broad range of interests that we all share.”
Before Zucker’s arrival, CNN hired filmmaker Morgan Spurlock and food personality Anthony Bourdain as additional weekend hosts.
Erin Andrews will host FOX’s new college football pregame show. Two days after ESPN said the broadcaster was leaving after eight years, FOX officially announced her hiring. Andrews also will contribute to the network’s NFL and Major League Baseball coverage.
The main FOX network will start its first regular-season college football package this fall. The 30-minute pregame show will premiere Sept. 1. Fox plans to challenge ESPN in the primetime slot as the network this season carries its first-ever regular-season college football.
Andrews has over 1.3 million Twitter followers. She calls the new job a “once in a lifetime opportunity.”
In terms of who’ll replace Andrews in those reporting roles, one possibility is Jenn Brown,who was recently taken off ESPN’s Thursday night college football for an undisclosed reassignment.
ESPN’s second leading lady Michelle Beadle recently also left as she departed for NBC.
Former ESPN personality Dana Jacobson has spoken out about a personal experience with child abuse. Drawing strength from the testimony of the witnesses in the Jerry Sandusky abuse case, Jacobson shared her story of being violated by a male babysitter on her blog:
Like the young men who bravely took the stand in the Sandusky trial, I was molested as a child. That’s still not easy for me to say, let alone write and share publicly, but if we’ve learned anything from the Sandusky scandal it’s that the time for silence is over. As I heard one Sandusky victim put it, it’s time to “find my voice.”
It was something I couldn’t do when I was molested. I didn’t speak out, no matter how many chances I may have had. I just couldn’t. Travis Weaver, one of the young men who testified in front of the grand jury in the Sandusky case but not at trial did an interview which aired on Rock Center last week. He said he was scared to say anything because he thought no one would believe him. I know that feeling.
That’s what these monsters count on, our silence. They have the power and they know it.
Jacobson went on to write this is the first time she has publicly spoken about these tragic events of her youth. However, she recounts telling her family:
I eventually had to tell my parents and my brother what had happened. It wasn’t just to take the shame or embarrassment away, there was more to it.
Jacobson’s full story can be read HERE
ESPN’s sideline reporter Erin Andrews and Dallas Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo’s brother-in-law Chace Crawford are dating, according to reports.
The genetically gifted pair have been spotted out and about in New York several times now and have celebrity gossip sites buzzing about their status.
Crawford been out on “a couple” dates with Andrews, Us reports. “They’re getting to know each other,” but there’s a connection, their source says.
ESPN loud-talker Skip Bayless may have reached a new low on Tuesday morning during an episode of “First Take.” During a debate about the NBA MVP race, Bayless got called out by Jalen Rose for lying about his high school basketball exploits. Not surprisingly, the events leading up to confrontation began with Bayless ranting about a professional athlete.
On March 31, Bayless tweeted that the Oklahoma City Thunder would be doomed if Russell Westbrook continues to play point guard instead of taking more of a scoring role. Seemingly to back up his assertions about the best use of Westbrook, Bayless added two more tweets citing his own high school basketball career at Northwest Classen High. Not only did Bayless claim that he started for the team that lost in the state finals in Oklahoma in 1970, he even compared himself to NBA legend “Pistol Pete” Maravich.
Bayless claims revealed that he played on the Junior Varsity team in his junior year and only averaged 1.4 points per game during his senior season and didn’t even register any statistics in his team’s state final loss.
Dana Jacobson, who’s been at ESPN for 10 years as an anchor and studio host, will leave ESPN next month. ESPN spokesman Mike Soltys, it’s “the intention that she will remain on-air” until her ESPN contract expires at the end of April. ESPN had offered her a contract extension.
Jacobson, who had hosted ESPN2′s First Take daytime talk show until January, is among several prominent ESPN on-air staffers — such as Erin Andrews, ScottVan Pelt and Michelle Beadle — whose ESPN contracts are expiring soon.
That’s happening as various cable TV sports channels with microscopic ratings, such as the NBC and CBS sports channels, are looking to their non-event programming.
Jacobson’s most highly-publicized moment while at ESPN came in 2008 when she was suspended after being inebriated and making an onstage anti-Jesus rant at a roast for ESPN’s Mike Golic and Mike Greenberg in Atlantic City.
The horse racing series Luck was canceled by HBO after a third thoroughbred died during production of the series starring Dustin Hoffman and Nick Nolte, the channel said Wednesday.
The drama about the seedier side of horse racing will air the final two episodes of its first season now in progress, HBO said. But the series won’t return for the second season that began production last month, it said.
“While we maintained the highest safety standards possible, accidents unfortunately happen and it is impossible to guarantee they won’t in the future,” the channel said. “Accordingly, we have reached this difficult decision.”
The move was made with David Milch, the show’s creator, and Michael Mann, his fellow executive producer on the drama that brought film actor Hoffman to series TV. It was a high-profile project for the premium channel that stakes its reputation on such fare.
HBO said it was “immensely proud” of the series and those involved in it, and the producers said in a joint statement that they “loved this series, loved the cast, crew and writers.”
On Tuesday, a horse was injured and euthanized at Santa Anita Park racetrack, and HBO agreed to suspend filming with the animals after the humane group that oversees Hollywood productions had issued an immediate demand “that all production involving horses shut down” pending an investigation.
The animal was being led to a stable by a groom when it reared and fell back, suffering a head injury, according to HBO. The horse was euthanized at the track in suburban Arcadia.
During Season 1 filming in 2010 and 2011, two horses were hurt during racing scenes and euthanized. HBO defended its treatment of the animals, saying it has worked with the American Humane Association and racing industry experts to implement safety protocols that exceed film and TV industry standards.
The American Humane Association’s film and TV unit, the group sanctioned and supported by the entertainment industry to protect animals used in filming, called for a production halt at Santa Anita after the second horse’s death. Racing resumed after new protocols were put in place and proved effective, Karen Rosa, the AHA unit’s senior vice president, said in February.
On Tuesday, Gary Beck, a California Horse Racing Board veterinarian, said he had examined the horse as part of routine health and safety procedures before it was to race later in the day. The horse passed the inspection, the AHA said.
“The horse was on her way back to the stall when she reared, flipped over backward and struck her head on the ground,” Beck said in a statement.
An attending veterinarian determined that euthanasia was appropriate, he said.Rick Arthur, medical director of the state racing board, said such injuries occur in stable areas every year and are more common than thought. He said a necropsy will be conducted, which is routine with all fatalities at racing board enclosures.
The first two horse deaths drew criticism from People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, which said that safety guidelines used in filming failed to prevent the deaths, “so clearly they were inadequate.”
Kathy Guillermo, a PETA vice president, said at the time the group didn’t consider the matter closed.”Racing itself is dangerous enough. This is a fictional representation of something and horses are still dying, and that to me is outrageous,” she said.
Guillermo said PETA sent complaints about Luck to Arcadia police and an animal humane society in nearby Pasadena.”Three horses have now died and all the evidence we have gathered points to sloppy oversight, the use of unfit, injured horses, and disregard for the treatment of thoroughbreds,” Guillermo said, calling for an immediate halt to filming.
Kate Upton’s popularity has exploded since she made an appearance in last year’s swimsuit edition and was named Rookie of the Year by SI’s Jimmy Traina. Upton was revealed as cover model of the 2012 Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue during a taping of CBS The Late Show with David Letterman.
The Federal Communications Commission said Thursday it will review whether to get rid of decades-old TV rules rules stopping cable and satellite companies from airing NFL games and other sporting events that are blacked out on local broadcast TV.
The inability to watch games because their local team hasn’t sold out their stadium ranks up there with personal seat licenses (PSL’s) as two of the biggest complaints of sports fans.
The FCC said it’s considering whether it should jettison the rules because they “prevent consumers’ access to local sports events, particularly with ticket prices and unemployment at their current high levels.”
A coalition of consumer groups and cable-funded advocacy groups petitioned the FCC to dump blackout rules in in November calling them anti-fan.
But NFL spokesman Brian McCarthy countered current blackout rules are vital to keeping games available for on free broadcast TV for millions of viewers. Besides, the number of TV blackouts is falling, according to the NFL.
Only 6.3% of games were blacked out this season (or 16 out of 256 games) compared to 31% of games in the 199o’s, 40% in the 1980′s and 50% in the 1970′s. Every NFL game was blacked out prior to 1973.
Pretty much everyone that loves shoes wanted a pair of Nike MAG’s more commonly know as the Back to the Future II shoes, especially athletes from every major sport. Unfortunately not all of us were as lucky as San Francisco Giants closer Brian Wilson, who was able to grab two pair for just under $10,000 each. However the people that were lucky to land a pair did a good deed and help raise $5,695,190.53 for the Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson’s Research over the 10-day period.
This was before co-founder of Google, Sergey Brin, personally matched the proceeds and helped raise the total to $11,390,381,10.
Anchor Brian Kenny is leaving ESPN and becoming a TV free agent, with many insiders believing he will make his way over to the MLB Network. Kenny will host his final SportsCenter in early September. Kenny currently hosts his own national show on ESPN Radio from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. CST, Monday-Friday and host of ESPN2′s Friday Night Fights. After hosting The Hot List on ESPNEWS, he was promoted to anchor of ESPN’s SportsCenter in 2006.
During his 13-year career at ESPN, Kenny has anchored Baseball Tonight and done play-by-play for Wednesday Night Baseball and the World Baseball Classic. He’s also hosted ESPN’s coverage of the Baseball Hall of Fame induction ceremonies. Launched on Jan. 1, 2009, MLB Network is now in 57 million homes vs. over 100 million for ESPN.
The name Versus in TV sports will be a thing of the past come January 2, 2012 as Comcast’s NBC Sports Group will announce that they are changing the name of the cable channel to NBC Sports Network. Hockey fans have said that the network did a nice job on the NHL but just had trouble finding it with some cable providers.
NBC Sports televises everything from Super Bowls to Olympics now allows NBC/Comcast, which recently beat back competing bids from ESPN and FOX to retain Olympic rights through 2020, to put almost all of its Olympic coverage under the peacock logo.
Since completing its takeover of NBC Universal, Comcast has been making its family of broadcast, cable and regional sports networks work together. That’s why viewers have seen NBC Sports talent such as Johnny Miller on sister network the Golf Channel and Versus showing Notre Dame and Triple Crown horse racing that used to air on NBC.
Versus initially launched as the Outdoor Life Network in 1995 and has seen the channel grown to roughly 70 million homes compared with more than 100 million for ESPN and ESPN2. Versus never developed into the legitimate national rival to ESPN that many viewers had envisioned and later lost its own website.
“This is more than just a name change for Versus,” NBC Sports Group boss Mark Lazarus said in a statement. “It’s a complete repositioning of the brand.”
The tell-all oral history of ESPN, “Those Guys Have All The Fun,” released earlier this year by James Andrew Miller and Tom Shales will come to light on the big screen. Reports are that 20th Century Fox is closing in on a deal to grab the film rights to the book, with Michael De Luca, Dana Brunetti and Julie Yorn producing.
De Luca and Brunetti were two of the producers of another cultural landmark’s tell-all story, last year’s Facebook movie, The Social Network while Yorn produced Red Riding Hood and Unstoppable.
It appears that the public has grown weary of ESPN’s attempt to give the sports world a version of the Oscars. Last week’s ESPY Awards drew the event’s lowest TV ratings in the 16 years since they were first tracked in 1996. There was a total of 1.984 million viewers that watched this years ESPY’s and that was down 24% from last year’s 2.611 million.
The previous low was 2.104 million viewers in 1998.
Ross Greenburg has stepped down as president of HBO Sports after more than a decade in charge of the cable channel’s award-winning sports programming. Greenburg, who joined HBO in 1978 as a production assistant, says he had been considering leaving for a couple months as the pressure and time commitments began to wear on him particularly boxing.
“I felt at times like a ticket agent at an airport, and all the flights were canceled,” Greenburg said. “I made a lot of really good friends in boxing and they know who they are, and those friendships will continue.”
Greenburg, who has won 51 Sports Emmys and eight Peabody Awards, took over as HBO Sports president in September 2000. He previously helped launch shows such as Real Sports in the mid-90s as well as the 24/7 serial documentaries that began in 2007.
Two years have passed since the peephole video of Erin Andrews, nude in a Marriott hotel room hit the Internet and the ESPN sideline reporter is still fighting to get it removed. In an interview with Marie Claire magazine she says she’s still haunted by the stalking incident.
The said irony is that in order to get the video off the Internet Andrews must first buy the copyright to it. She explained to the magazine that:
“I’ve had lawyers send out cease-and-desist letters to websites to take down the video, which they never do. The copyright helps us say, ‘We have this, get the video off or we will sue.’ “
Among Andrews’ other comments was her reaction when she learned the video was circulating:
“The day that I got the phone call that this was on the Internet, I didn’t want to get undressed. I didn’t change my clothes for two or three days. I was so screwed up. I was disgusted with myself. I was disgusted with my body, with being naked, and that everybody saw that it was me. I stopped going to my gym for six or seven months because I was afraid of people seeing me working out. I had this mind-set of, ‘Oh, my gosh, everybody’s seen me naked and they’re going to think to themselves, She should be so embarrassed.’ “
On fighting the initial perception that the video was a publicity stunt:
“Yes, the perception right away was: She’s doing this as a sex tape. She’s doing this for publicity. News sites claimed they showed the video because it was ‘news.’ These news outlets were having so much fun with it. The New York Post put the images from the video up on the front page. The Early Show played clips on their show. Fox News showed stills. It was disgusting. My poor dad was watching this. He had to go on medication, he was so upset watching what was happening to his daughter.”
On her stalker being scheduled for release from jail next fall:
“That’s something I think about a lot. I’ll need a restraining order. I’m not married. I’m not dating anyone. When I finally have a life and a family and someone who wants to be a part of all this, I’m going to have to explain, ‘So, my stalker’s getting out of jail …’ It’s going to be a different life with him out of jail. “
Former ESPN commentator Jay Mariotti must stand trial on charges he stalked, injured and assaulted his ex-girlfriend, a judge ruled Tuesday. Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Mark Windham found there to be sufficient evidence for Mariotti to stand to trial on one felony count each of stalking, corporal injury to a spouse or cohabitant and assault by means likely to produce great bodily injury. He also faces two misdemeanor counts of disobeying a domestic court order.
Prosecutors say Mariotti confronted the woman at a restaurant Sept. 30, the same day he pleaded no contest to a misdemeanor battery count stemming from an August incident with her. In that plea, he was sentenced to 36 months of probation, community service and a domestic violence course.
Mariotti is also accused of grabbing his former girlfriend outside a Venice restaurant on April 15 were he allegedly pulled a chunk of her hair out and took her cell phone from her while shouting at her.
A bit of sad news to report as former CNN sports anchor Nick Charles has died. Charles, 64, became CNN’s first sports anchor died after a two year struggle with bladder cancer, the cable network reported. Charles began at CNN on the network’s first day on June 1, 1980.
He made his name before a national audience teaming with Fred Hickman for almost 20 years on Sports Tonight, a daily highlight show that battled with ESPN for viewers. However Charles with his well coiffed, curly black hair and sharp looking suits he brought a GQ like style to the broadcasts. But he also was known as a skilled interviewer who related easily to subjects while not being shy about asking tough questions.
Charles became such a popular TV personality that Topps put his face on a trading card.
Syndicated sports talk radio host Armand “Papa Joe” Chevalier died Friday from complications of a stroke in Las Vegas, Nevada. He was 62. Chevalier had suffered a stroke in late March that resulted in paralysis to his right side but his speech had not been affected.
“The Papa Joe Show” was heard on sports radio across the country, including San Antonio, in the 7 p.m.-9 p.m. timeslot during the late 1990′s through March 2001. Chevalier had worked in syndication at Sports Fan Radio Network, the Sporting News Radio Network and the Lifestyle Talk Radio Network.
I personally can remember back in 1997-1998 when I would ditch work and he was always on my dial.