SBD/Issue 47/Sports Media

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  • Massillon Wins Arbitration Case Against FSN Ohio

    Arbitrator Patricia Murphy has ruled "in favor of Massillon Cable TV, which argued that it should be paying less to carry FSN Ohio" because the RSN no longer carries Indians games, according to Linda Moss of MULTICHANNEL NEWS.  FSN Ohio is appealing the ruling, which was filed with the FCC this week.  Murphy ordered FSN Ohio to reimburse Massillon for the "excess affiliation fees" the operator has paid during the dispute, plus interest. Fox must also pay Massillon's legal fees. Earlier this year, Massillon "sought arbitration for its dispute" with the RSN, after conditions set by the FCC in '04 following News Corp.'s acquisition of DirecTV allowing distributors to file for arbitration in carriage disputes involving Fox-owned RSNs.  In '06, Indians games moved from FSN Ohio to SportsTime Ohio, the team-controlled RSN (, 11/14).

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  • Celtics Away Games Not In HD Despite Misleading Ads

    CSN New England Unable To
    Show Celtics Away Games In HD
    Celtics away games on Comcast SportsNet New England are not being broadcast in HD, despite Comcast being “aggressive in promoting” HD games on the recently acquired network, formerly known as FSN New England, according to Jay Fitzgerald of the BOSTON HERALD.   The game action "comes across as blurry and uneasy to the eye" for those watching on HD sets.  In print ads earlier this week, “Comcast SportsNet HD” urged fans to watch Tuesday’s Celtics-Pacers game.  CSN spokesperson Skip Perham said that the ad’s suggestion that the game was on HDTV was a “one-time mistake that wasn’t caught before the ad ran.” Perham: “We apologize.” Celtics President Rich Gotham said, ‘We’re optimistic, during some point this year, that our away games will (be on HDTV)” (BOSTON HERALD, 11/15).

    KNICKS: In N.Y., Richard Sandomir notes MSG announcers Gus Johnson and Kenny Smith during Tuesday’s Knicks-Suns game “could not summon any real opinions” on Knicks G Stephon Marbury’s highly-publicized decision to leave the team in Phoenix and return to N.Y.  The network “didn’t ignore his disappearing act,” as it showed Knicks President of Basketball Operations & coach Isiah Thomas telling the media that it was “an in-house matter.” However, Johnson, who was substituting for Mike Breen, and Smith “recognized that safety rested in never directly criticizing Marbury’s action” (N.Y. TIMES, 11/15).

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  • Blog Hound: Changes In The Stars' Front Office

    Stars Owner Tom Hicks' move to fire GM Doug Armstrong and replace him with Brett Hull and former Assistant GM Les Jackson as co-interim GMs was followed by Jim Lites stepping down as team President after not being consulted on the decision.  Bloggers give their opinions on the recent front-office changes.

    Dallas Observer Blogs
    Posted by: Robert Wilonsky
    “Wake me when Tom Hicks fires Tom Hicks.”
    The Puck Stops Here
    Posted by: The Puck Stops Here
    “It appears that owner Thomas Hicks got bored and wanted to exert his power so he made a big move despite the fact it was not needed.”
    Mike Chen’s Hockey Blog
    Posted by: Mike Chen
    Hull gives you a known quantity in some respects. As a general manager? Well, I'm just wondering what's the point of all this. He's got no experience, and he's never given any indication that he wants to be in management.
    Bleacher Report
    Posted by: Jason Hackett
    “As I see it, it would have made more sense to name Jackson the sole interim GM will bringing Hull aboard as an assistant.”
    Bleed Teal
    Posted by: Gautham Ganesan
    “Obviously, Armstrong and his scouting staff haven't exactly been magicians at the draft table. But it's still fairly puzzling that a GM who has overseen two division titles during his tenure is fired with the season underway. ”

    BUILDING THE BUZZ: Sports Media Challenge's Buzz Manager™ analyzed the online buzz about the recent changes to the Stars front office. Bloggers who felt the personnel changes would improve the franchise were counted as positive and represented 23.81% of the total. Bloggers arguing the changes would be detrimental were tallied as negative at 46.72%. Click here for more information.Visit for more info.

    • The topic ranking was 3 out of 10, indicating a low level of interest.
    • Positive sentiment stemmed from bloggers who were eagerly awaiting a front office shakeup and felt Armstrong should have been fired years ago.
    • Negative sentiment came from bloggers who agreed Armstrong had to go, but strongly disagreed with the hiring of Hull.

    Do you have a blog post that our readers would find interesting?  Please forward your submission to

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