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

No play-by-play man: Will TNT idea work for tonight’s game?

Steve Kerr had a great line while appearing on Tom Waddle and Marc Silverman’s show on WMVP-AM 1000 yesterday.

When asked about tonight’s Oklahoma City-Golden State game on TNT (10:30 ET), which won’t feature a traditional play-by-play man calling the action, Kerr said: “We told them it was time to get rid of Marv Albert.”

Kerr, of course, was joking. After tonight, he likely will have greater appreciation for Albert, Jim Nantz, Kevin Harlan and other play-by-play voices.

In an interesting experiment, TNT is using Kerr, Reggie Miller, and Chris Webber for tonight’s game. Kerr said he will serve as the traffic conductor, but he won’t be doing play-by-play.

USA Today’s Reid Cherner reports:

The idea for the new booth came from a conversation between Turner Sports COO Lenny Daniels and Senior VP Craig Barry.

“Lenny and I are

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CNN/Turner Sports set to unveil Bleacher Report branded programming

Turner Broadcasting spent nearly $200 million to purchase Bleacher Report last summer. With that kind of investment, you definitely want to get your money’s worth.

Hence today’s announcement, outlining a new initiative. To me, the most interesting part will be the sports presence on CNN.

From Turner:

Turner Sports and CNN will partner to produce Bleacher Report branded sports programming including long-form specials and daily sports updates that will air on CNN and HLN, it was announced today by Lenny Daniels, executive vice president/chief operating officer for Turner Sports, and Ken Jautz, executive vice president, CNN/U.S.  
  The first of the programming collaborations will be Kickoff in New Orleans: A CNN-Bleacher Report Special, a live one-hour show on CNN to be televised Saturday, Feb. 2, at 4 p.m. ET. And, beginning Tuesday, Feb. 5, CNN will air Bleacher Report sports updates

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Rachel Nichols leaves ESPN for CNN; will host weekend show, do work for Turner

The interesting part of this move is that CNN is going to launch a sports show. At least on the weekends.

Clearly, the chance to host a show was a main why Nichols left ESPN. That and a lot of cash.

From CNN/Turner:

CNN and Turner Sports have hired veteran ESPN reporter Rachel Nichols, it was announced today by Jeff Zucker, President, CNN Worldwide, and David Levy, President, Sales, Distribution & Sports, Turner Broadcasting System, Inc.

Nichols will serve as a sports reporter for CNN and Turner Sports and will anchor a new weekend sports program on CNN/U.S. beginning later this year. Her CNN program will focus on the most interesting stories and personalities in the world of sports.

In her role with Turner Sports, Nichols will handle a wide variety of assignments across the division’s vast sports properties including

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National TV schedule for NBA: What a surprise? Lots of LeBron, Heat

With the Olympics starting today, it’s time to start thinking basketball. No, not Olympics basketball. NBA basketball.

Schedules for the 2012-13 season were released. In a stunning development, LeBron James and the Miami Heat are going to be featured in many national telecasts. In fact, it seems, almost every one.

In the no surprise department, Boston at Miami will be the prime attraction on opening night on TNT on Oct. 30.

ABC and ESPN will feature five games on Christmas Day, including–you guessed right–Miami hosting Oklahoma City. has the complete schedule of all the national games. Let the countdown begin.


 … Continue Reading

Durant, small-market Thunder deliver solid ratings for TNT; bodes well for Finals

The Western Conference Finals also were big for the NBA and TNT. Thanks to the star power of Kevin Durant, the small-market series delivered solid ratings.

From TNT:

TNT’s coverage of the 2012 Western Conference Finals (WCF) between the Oklahoma City Thunder and San Antonio Spurs – two of the smallest cities among the 56 metered markets with Oklahoma City ranking 44th and San Antonio 36thaveraged a 5.0 U.S. HH rating and 7,823,000 viewers. The network’s coverage of the Western Conference Finals isup 16 percent in U.S. HH rating (vs. 4.3) and 13 percent among viewers (vs. 6,939,000) compared with last year’s WCF between the Thunder and Dallas Mavericks.

TNT’s coverage of last night’s Western Conference Finals Game 6 – Oklahoma City’s 107-99 series-clinching win over San Antonio – generated a 6.0 fast national

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San Antonio mayor strikes back at Barkley with highly entertaining video

For some strange reason, Charles Barkley has something against San Antonio. Not the team, but the town.

Last night, he went off again after the game, and the bit went way too long. It wasn’t that funny.

San Antonio Mayor Julian Castro has responded with an entertaining and cleaver video that probably will keep him in office for life. Well played, Mr. Mayor.

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Kerr, Miller preview OK City-San Antonio: Two contrasting styles

TNT’s analysts Steve Kerr and Reggie Miller did a conference call earlier this week previewing the West finals. Here are some of the highlights.

Miller on Oklahoma City Thunder Sixth Man of the Year James Harden: “People underestimate his size, his ability to get to the rim and finish plays…once he gets to the lane off the pick-and-roll, he explodes like how [former NBA player] Detlef Schrempf used to. He’s so strong with the ball and entices you to try to strip him [of the ball] and that gets him the ‘and-one’ [foul shots]…You can definitely see his growth throughout his early NBA career.”

Kerr on James Harden: “He’s really their best passer, by far, and that’s why he’s such a great complement to [Russell] Westbrook and [Kevin] Durant. Those guys are thinking first and foremost about scoring … Continue Reading

Shaq not universally loved on TNT

I had hoped to ask some questions of Shaquille O’Neal this week, but the big man was a no-show for a TNT-NBA Network conference call. I wanted his evaluation of his first year as a studio analyst. Maybe another day.

Brian Lowry of provided his answer: An emphatic thumbs down for O’Neal. He writes.

The former All-Star center might be a jolly giant to have around, but in terms of basketball analysis, all he proves is that the bigger they are, the harder they can be to listen to — and that star players, for whatever reason, generally have a hard time graduating from playing the game to talking about it.

Later, Lowry says.

TNT certainly didn’t need to shake things up, but the powers that be couldn’t resist enlisting O’Neal, an attention-getting hire who won championships with the

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