Scanning for headlines:
Richard Sandomir in the New York Times writes about how baseball is in good position to cash in with its new TV deal, thanks in part to NBC. I think the NBC Sports Network needs to be part of the new deal.
The evolving television landscape provides the rationale.
NBC wants to return to baseball, and its cable channel, NBC Sports Network, needs programming that is more powerful than its current marquee properties: the N.H.L. and the Tour de France. Fox is considering turning its Speed channel into an all-sports network, which would need more than motor racing to thrive.
In addition, rights fees for professional and college sports have soared since M.L.B. made its current deals with ESPN, Fox, and Turner. More than ever, big-time live sports are must-have attractions.
Dennis Dodd of CBSSports.com writes about the possibility of media actually being in the room during the selection process for the new football playoff. I’ll believe that when it actually happens.
How transparent could college football’s playoff selection process become? Try a media member in the room monitoring selection committee proceedings. BCS executive director Bill Hancock suggested as much to CBSSports.com on Monday.
“I think it’s a great opportunity for transparency,” said Hancock less than a week after BCS presidents approved a four-team playoff. “Maybe we have an ombudsman, maybe we have a writer come in. There are ground rules as to what you can write, but you’re welcome to be in this room. I think we have a chance to do some really cool things.”
Ken Clark of the Wall Street Journal writes about how the NFL is relaxing its sellout policy. In my view, it should completely eliminate the policy. Only 16 games were affected last year. In this day and age, every game should air in every market.
Some teams want freedom to add stadium capacity without risking blackouts. And blackouts are rare anyway, occurring in only 16 of last season’s 256 regular-season games, partly because some team owners and sponsors buy up unsold seats to get blackouts lifted.
Team owners have passed a resolution that starting this season will allow for local broadcasts of NFL games even when as few as 85% of tickets are sold. Under the new rule, each team has more flexibility to establish its own seat-sales benchmark as long as it is 85% or higher. To discourage teams from setting easy benchmarks, teams will be forced to share more of the revenue when they exceed it.
Mel Bracht of the Oklahoman writes about Texas Rangers play-by-play voice Dave Barnett likely missing the rest of the season due to health issues.