Behind scenes with ABC for Chicago-Miami game; ‘Do you think Yannick Noah would be a good interview?’

Pleased to announced that I am joining the crew at Awful Announcing as a contributing writer. If you follow sports media, you already know about the interesting and entertaining content produced by Matt Yoder and his crew. Many thanks to Bloguin CEO Ben Koo for making this happen. I am looking forward to drafting behind them, so to speak.

From time to time, I will be doing original content for Awful Announcing. My first piece is a  a behind-the-scenes look at ABC’s production of the Chicago-Miami game Sunday.


I enjoyed spending time with Mike Breen, Jeff Van Gundy, Lisa Salters, producer Tim Corrigan, director Jimmy Moore and the rest of the crew. A highlight was watching how Salters’ memorable interview with Joakim Noah’s father, Yannick, unfolded in the truck.

From the story:


Word, though, filters in to the … Continue Reading

Rose out again: ABC, TNT, ESPN, NBA TV will feel pain with several Bulls games scheduled for national TV

It’s a dark and bleak day in Chicago. And I’m not talking about the dreary weather outside.

The news that Derrick Rose suffered another knee injury requiring surgery has the city in a collective funk. Everyone is concerned that Rose will become the Chicago basketball version of Gale Sayers.

Scary parallel: Both players got injured in their fourth seasons. Sayers never was the same. Hopefully, that won’t be the case for Rose, but you never know.

Also feeling the pain today are the NBA’s national TV partners. They were counting on the return of the 2010-11 MVP to produce a big year for the Bulls.

The networks loaded up on the Bulls this season: ESPN 10 times, on TNT nine times, on NBA-TV nine times and on ABC five times.

Some of those games already have been played, but there’s … Continue Reading

Notre Dame-Purdue in primetime? UCLA-Nebraska better game, but ABC won’t pass on Irish

In the no-surprise department, ABC selected Notre Dame-Purdue for its primetime 8 p.m. (ET) showcase game Saturday. It would be a bigger surprise if it didn’t.

With the Irish home games locked in with NBC, ABC/ESPN is going to make the most of its opportunities to exploit its rights to any Notre Dame road game on its menu. So of course, ABC asked them to turn on the lights in West Lafayette Saturday.

It doesn’t matter that the Boilermakers were pummeled by Cincinnati 42-7 in the opener, and then squeezed out a 20-14 victory over Indiana State last week. That’s Indiana State, not Indiana. The Boilermakers are playing Notre Dame. The Irish could be playing at Lou Holtz Middle School and Brent and Kirk would be on the call in primetime.

To be fair to ABC/ESPN, beyond Alabama-Texas A&M, which … Continue Reading

Jackpot: ABC gets big rating for Game 6; Should be much bigger for Game 7

So who was cheering more when Ray Allen hit that big three to send last night’s game into overtime? LeBron James and Heat fans (at least those who stayed) or ABC/ESPN executives?

I’m fairly sure ESPN president John Skipper broke his own standing jump record.

Thanks to Allen and James finally being James, ABC will hit the jackpot with a Game 7 Thursday. Game 6 did a huge rating, and the grand finale should be even bigger.

Here are the details from ESPN:

NBA Finals Game 6 on ABC – the Miami Heat defeated the San Antonio Spurs to even the series in an overtime thriller – scored a 14.7 overnight rating, according to Nielsen. This is the second highest-rated NBA Finals Game 6 ever on ABC and the fourth highest rated game ever on the network.

Game 6 is

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NBA sideline reporters weigh in on Popovich: ‘My stomach is churning’

Perhaps ABC and the NBA should package the sideline interviews with Gregg Popovich as a separate show during the Finals. It will be must-see TV.

On Tuesday, I did a Q/A with Doris Burke, who revealed her “angst” in having to question the San Antonio coach during the in-game interviews. It turns out she isn’t alone in having that feeling.

Marc Stein at did a lengthy story talking to sideline reporters who have a similar angst in regards to Popovich.

From TNT’s David Aldridge:

“There is nothing — nothing — that I do or people that I interview that fill me with as much agita as getting ready to interview Pop at the end of the third quarter of a Spurs home game,” Aldridge said. “When San Antonio is on the road and I interview him at the

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Te’o on TV: Admits to Couric he lied to press about the girlfriend

The first drips of Katie Couric’s interview with Manti Te’o are coming out. ABC’s Good Morning America ran an excerpt today.

Here’s the link if you can’t get enough Te’o.

The juicy stuff from GMA:

Manti Te’o briefly lied to the media and the public after discovering his online girlfriend did not exist and was a part of an elaborate hoax, he admitted in an exclusive interview with ABC News’ Katie Couric.

The star Notre Dame linebacker, who has been hounded by the reporters since the story broke Jan. 16, told Couric in a taped interview Tuesday that he was not lying up until December. Te’o said he was duped into believing his online girlfriend, Lennay Kekua, died of cancer.

“You stuck to the script. And you knew that something was amiss, Manti,” Couric said.

Te’o found out that

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Munich Massacre 40 years later: Remembering ground-breaking coverage and profound impact on a boy’s Jewish identity

Forty years ago this week, I was a 12-year-old who was obsessed with sports.

I went to Hebrew school at a Reform synagogue and was somewhat aware that there were people in the world who didn’t like Jews. But that barely registered on my radar compared to watching my White Sox, led by Dick Allen, battle Oakland and Reggie Jackson for first place during the summer of ’72.

Naturally, my sports obsession had me locked in on the Summer Games in Munich. These were the first Olympics where Roone Arledge and ABC really hit on the up-close-and-personal approach.

Those Olympics were huge. Mark Spitz won a bunch of gold medals. Olga Korbut thrilled the world with her feats. Great stuff.

Then on Sept. 5, 1972, I awoke to hear the news from Jim McKay that something terrible had happened in … Continue Reading

Saturday flashback: Whoa Nellie! A little Keith Jackson required to start new season

Can’t think of a better way to start the first college football Saturday than to hear some legendary calls from the greatest of all time.

Here’s Keith Jackson on Desmond Howard’s famous punt return against Ohio State.

And his call on Colorado’s miracle against Michigan.

 … Continue Reading

No longer marquee: ESPN, Big Ten Network losers with Penn State sanctions

Regarding the NCAA’s announcement, since this is a sports media site, I’ll discuss the TV aspect:

Make no mistake, when the Big Ten added Penn State as its 11th school in the early 1990s, a major component was television. The addition of the school delivered the large Eastern TV market to the conference. It led to marque match-ups with Joe Paterno’s Nittany Lions going up against Michigan, Ohio State, Wisconsin, not to mention attractive non-conference games against Alabama, etc.

Penn State’s presence then gave the conference a wide enough national footprint to launch the wildly successful Big Ten Network.

The Big Ten will continue to cash in on a TV deal with ESPN that runs through 2016-17, and the BTN isn’t going anywhere.

But both of its broadcast outlets will feel the pain of the NCAA’s sanctions. Gone for many … Continue Reading

Ratings report: Despite Tiger struggles, U.S. Open still up; another big number for Game 3

Ah, what might have been for NBC and the U.S. Open. Imagine the rating if Tiger Woods actually had resembled Tiger Woods Sunday. Instead, his brutal start had him on the missing person’s report during the meat of the coverage.

As a result, we got a heavy dose of the plodding Jim Furyk and a U.S. Open where par was indeed a good score. It didn’t necessarily add up to compelling golf, but thanks to the primetime window, people still tuned in.

The numbers from NBC:

Sunday’s 6.5-hour (4-10:30 p.m. ET) final-round coverage of the U.S. Open on NBC delivered an 6.6 rating and 13 share, up 29% vs. last year (5.1/12).

The combined Saturday-Sunday overnight was a 6.1/13, up 39 % vs. last year (4.4/11) and the best since 2008 (6.8/15).

Despite competition from the NBA Finals, the rating

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