Is Sunday’s morning TV game from London a prelude of things to come for NFL?

In case you haven’t noticed, you can watch an actual NFL game with your breakfast on Sunday morning. Fox is airing the Detroit-Atlanta game from London coast-to-coast at 9:30 ET.

That means you can consume your blessed NFL for 14-plus hours on Sunday. Thank you, London time zone.

Now it is coming into focus. This is all part of the NFL’s grand plan about playing overseas. Besides developing an entirely new market for football in Europe, the league also could create a new lucrative Sunday morning TV window in the U.S.

Ca-ching, ca-ching. Let’s start the bidding at $300 million.

It makes perfect sense. Who wouldn’t want to watch more football on Sunday? It takes the notion of beer for breakfast to an entirely new level.

Peter King of MMQB wrote about Sunday’s breakfast special.

Not only is the

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Van Gundy: With new mega TV deal, NBA should look to cut prices for fans; reduce back-to-backs

Yet more reasons to love Jeff Van Gundy.

The ESPN/ABC analyst showed he is in mid-season form on a teleconference yesterday. He gave some advice on something that needs to be done in the wake of the NBA’s new $24 billion TV deal. Are you listening, Adam Silver?

“I just think we have to keep the fan in mind.  And I think sometimes when you’re in this prosperity era, where everything is going well, we can lose sight of who are the main reasons for our successes – the great players, the people who drive the business aspect, but it’s also the fans that continue to buy the product.

“I think we have to look out as all this money is getting passed around. How can we make it better for the fan?  Is there a way to cut concessions … Continue Reading


Networks, analysts high on Bulls IF a certain guard stays healthy

My latest Chicago Tribune column is on the networks looking forward to the return of Derrick Rose–again.

You also can access the column via my Twitter at @Sherman_Report.

From the column:


Welcome back, Derrick Rose. Signed, your friends at ESPN, TNT, and NBA TV.

The return of the star guard will have the Bulls in the national spotlight early and often this year. The Bulls-Knicks opener kicks off ESPN’s NBA regular-season coverage on Wednesday. All told, the Bulls will be featured on 10 games on ESPN; 10 on TNT, 5 on ABC; and 5 on NBA TV.

The national analysts think the bright lights then will shine on the Bulls deep into the spring, if not early summer.

“Barring major injury, I can’t see Chicago or Cleveland not finding their way to the Eastern Conference Finals,” said ESPN/ABC … Continue Reading

Long-time Detroit baseball writer retiring after 29 years on the beat

Best wishes to John Lowe, the excellent baseball writer for the Detroit Free-Press, who is moving on after the World Series.

Lowe served 29 years on the beat, which is the equivalent of 129 years in real life. Yet you would be hard-pressed to find someone who looked forward more to the next game on the schedule.

Ken Rosenthal of Fox Sports wrote:

“John told our Jon Paul Morosi –€“ one of the many young writers he mentored –€“ that the decision was his alone. Of course it was. He is retiring at the peak of his powers. John still can write an evocative game story, a lost art in today’€™s Internet age. And at a time when the beat is for much younger men, his ability to connect the present to the past was unmatched among us. … I

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What team was part of most watched World Series game of all-time? Hint: Think small market

Nope, it wasn’t the Yankees, Red Sox, or Dodgers.

The answer: Kansas City-Philadelphia for Game 6 of the 1980 World Series. The Phillies victory over the Royals did a 40 rating with a 60 share.

Let me repeat that again: a 40 rating and 60 share are Super Bowl-like numbers.

Yes, the small-market Royals participated in the most-watched Series game of all time.

The television universe was much smaller back then, but still 54.9 million viewers tuned in to a World Series game on NBC. Overall, that Series averaged a 32.8 rating and 56 share. Fox would do handsprings if the current Series did one-third of those numbers.

Back then, nobody focused on Kansas City being a small-market team, ranking 31st overall. That’s the common narrative today.

In 1980, sports fans watched the World Series because it was the … Continue Reading

Fox needs a Kansas City win in Game 2; Opener was dreadful

Well, that was fairly terrible.

The only compelling thing about Game 1 was wondering how much money James Shields was costing himself on the free agent market with his dismal performance. Probably time to rethink the “Big Game” nickname.

The game was essentially over before the Royals came to bat, as the Giants’ big first inning sucked all that feel-good energy out of the Kansas City fans.

The game did a 8.0 overnight rating, down 15 percent from 8.6 in 2013′s Game 1.

Actually considering how bad the game was at a numbing 3:32 pace, the rating was higher than I expected. You know there was major tune-out when the Giants went up 5-0 in the fourth, and the game was past the 90-minute mark. Snooze city.

So perhaps there is some potential for ratings if Kansas City can rebound … Continue Reading

Kornheiser on Ben Bradlee: ‘King Arthur in the newroom’; Wanted strong sports section for Post

The tributes are flowing in for Ben Bradlee, a journalism hero if ever there was one. While he always will be tied to Watergate, he also was an avid sports fan. He recognized the importance of building a strong sports section for the Washington Post.

Under the direction of sports editor George Solomon, Bradlee’s Post sports sections excelled with writers such as Thomas Boswell, Tony Kornheiser, Dave Kindred, Michael Wilbon, John Feinstein, Christine Brennan, Sally Jenkins and many more.

Solomon in today’s Post:

“When you’d be beaten by another paper (you’d make sure it did not happen often) on a story that interested Ben, he’d tear out the story and, with a red question mark, write: ‘What’s this?’”

I found this quote from Kornheiser on Bradley:

“I cannot describe to you what I felt, and I’m sure that so many, … Continue Reading

New 30 for 30: When Willis, Clyde and Knicks rocked the Garden

Bill Russell’s great Celtics teams were a bit before my time. So some of my first basketball memories were formed by the great Knicks teams in the late ’60s, early ’70s.

Tonight’s new 30 for 30 pays tribute that team and that era in “When The Garden Was Eden” (ESPN, 9 p.m.)

I did not have a chance to see the screener, but Ben Koo of Awful Announcing raved about the film in his review.

Here is the trailer.

A clip on Phil Jackson.

The magic of playing in The Garden.

l… Continue Reading

Notre Dame still No. 1: In the ratings, that is: ABC pulls big number for Florida State game

Once again, Notre Dame showed it still is the king when it comes to drawing viewers.

The Notre Dame-Florida State game on ABC pulled an 8.5 overnight rating of major markets on Saturday night; one national ratings point is worth over 1 million homes. Full ratings will be out tomorrow.

The rating was the best of the year for college football thus far. According to Sports Media Watch, the 8.5 rating is the fourth-highest in the eight-year history of ABC’s Saturday night package. Of course, two of the other games involved the Irish: the Notre Dame-USC games in 2006 and 2012 both did a 9.6 and Ohio State-Texas in 2006 at 8.8.

Notre Dame’s large following in Chicago, the nation’s No. 3 market, helped drive the rating. The game did a 10.4 in Chicago, peaking at 15.7 during the closing … Continue Reading

Manning interview with Costas: There will be only one Brett Favre

I wanted to share the highlights of Bob Costas’ interview with Peyton Manning on NBC’s “Football Night in America” prior to Manning breaking the touchdown pass record last night.

Kudos to Costas for coming up with a new way to get insights from Manning about the record. He asked him for his thoughts about the previous QBs who held the record.

As usual, Manning showed his knack for always saying the right thing.

First Costas started with a story of interviewing Sammy Baugh.

Bob Costas: “One of the greatest days in my professional sports career was an afternoon I got to spend with Sammy Baugh in Rotan, Texas. It was about 15 years ago. An interesting story about how I got there. We flew in to Snyder, Texas, but there were no rental cars in Snyder. So we drove from … Continue Reading

DVR alert: Moving documentary on Nebraska’s Brook Berringer on BTN

Brook Berringer, who spent his senior year as a back-up quarterback, was such an uncommon young man, Nebraska erected a statue of him in front of its stadium.

BTN tells his story in a moving documentary, “Unbeaten: The Life of Brook Berringer.” The film airs Saturday after the Nebraska-Northwestern game at approximately 10:30 p.m. ET. It also re-airs Monday at 9 p.m. ET

Berringer began the 1994 season as the Huskers’ backup quarterback but was thrust into the starting role when Heisman Trophy candidate Tommie Frazier was diagnosed with blood clots. Berringer helped lead the team to seven straight wins and a berth in the Orange Bowl against Miami. While Frazier returned to start the game, Berringer entered in the second quarter and helped spark a comeback. The win capped off the undefeated season, and gave Nebraska Head Coach Tom Osborne his first … Continue Reading