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NFL Players Files Countersuit Against
CBS Over Fantasy Football Dispute
DETAILED AGREEMENT: As part of the filing, NFL Players also included the full text of its fantasy licensing agreement with CBS Interactive for the year ended February 29, 2008, providing a level of detail surpassing even U.S. Labor Department documents that showed CBS paid the union a total of $1.49M during the period. The contract called for CBS Interactive to pay a guaranteed royalty payment of $700,000, a 8.5% royalty payment for net fantasy subscription-based revenues less that guaranteed sum, and royalties garnered from free, advertising-supported leagues. The free-league royalty schedule called for a payment of $0.11 for each of the first 500,000 registered players not in a CBS fee-based league, $0.09 for each player in the next half-million registrants, and $0.07 for every player thereafter.
ESPN May Challenge BSkyB For
TV Rights To English Premier League
Schreiber Says ESPN Should Lighten
Up On Cross-Promotion
TOO MUCH SYNERGY: Schreiber: "This is my suggestion to ESPN for an antidote: Lighten up on the synergy. Don't expend all your creativity devising new ways to drive viewers into the corrals of your biggest business partners. Viewers will flock there on their own." She added ESPN should "surprise us more often with something we didn't know you or we cared about, and don't rely entirely on 'Outside the Lines' to deliver the surprises." Noting the addition of the net's morning news block, Schreiber wrote, "Use those six new live hours of 'SportsCenter' to let in some fresh air, and not just every four years" (ESPN.com, 9/10).
Hill Discusses Future Of TV Broadcasting
In Q&A With Wall Street Journal
Last week, I gave viewers five college football broadcasters worth watching this season. This week, I give you five that viewers are not going to want to miss on Sundays during NFL pregame shows: Spero Dedes and Warren Sapp of NFL Network, Cris Carter of ESPN, Michael Strahan of Fox and Dan Patrick of NBC.
Williams Lauds Dedes For Handling Of
"NFL GameDay Morning" Hosting Abilities
WARREN SAPP: Speaking of Sapp, he is my second broadcaster to watch. The former Pro Bowl NT is animated and informed. As a player he was famous for his “on-the-field analysis” that he provided freely to all his opponents. Now on set with Dedes and NFL Net veteran Faulk, Sapp is a natural. Just like during his playing days, he is not afraid to speak his mind. Sunday, he was one of the few pregame analysts to pick the Ravens to up-end the Bengals. Sapp: “I am telling you, I love Marvin Lewis but his team can’t play defense and the Ravens can. I think Baltimore will be able to run and to keep the ball away from the Bengals. The Ravens play great defense, they will score enough points to win and will shut down the Bengals. I smell upset here.” Bingo.
CRIS CARTER: Over at ESPN’s “Sunday NFL Countdown,” Carter is the new kid, joining returning commentators Chris Berman, Mike Ditka, Keyshawn Johnson and Tom Jackson. But Carter is a good addition. His calm, confident manner of analysis complements the bold style of Johnson and Ditka. An example of his ability to provide sharp insight was proven when he was quick to debunk the theory that Brett Favre has to learn the Jets’ offensive system. He said, “I’m so sick of people talking about the system. In the National Football League, most of the systems make the players. But, when someone like Brett Favre shows up, he’s an elite player, he’s a rare talent. When he shows up, you create a system for him because of his ability.”
Strahan's Experience In Front Of The Camera
Shows In Debut On "Fox NFL Sunday"
DAN PATRICK: Patrick is not new to television. After a year off the air, though, he has returned to be part of “Football Night In America” on NBC. He wanted to reprise his role as part of the best highlight team in TV history with partner Keith Olbermann. The duo’s work on ESPN’s “SportsCenter” is taught in journalism schools all around the country, earning them not only Emmys, but a best-selling book that helped spawn the TV show “Sports Night.” Now Patrick and Olbermann are back together again, and this is just what “Football Night” needs.
These are my picks for your NFL Sunday. If you are a fan, these guys are the ones to watch.
Jim Williams is a seven-time Sports Emmy Award-winning TV producer, director and writer who lives in Baltimore. He will be reviewing sports programming occasionally for SportsBusiness Daily and SportsBusiness Journal. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Over the past 24 hours, singer Jessica Simpson's comments on "GMA" regarding Monday night's Eagles-Cowboys game stirred conversation among bloggers, with many believing that Tony Romo's girlfriend would be further vilified by Cowboys fans should they lose. The Angels winning the AL West and clinching a playoff spot was a popular topic among bloggers, with many taking note of their joyous post-game celebration. Concerns about Titans QB Vince Young's mental state continued to be a popular topic. Bloggers were also concerned by news that the Giants and Jets are in stadium naming-rights negotiations with Germany-based Allianz. Rounding out the top five was "Inside the NFL" analyst Warren Sapp referring to Univ. of Florida football coach Urban Meyer as a "classless dirtbag" for kicking a field goal in the final seconds of UF's 26-3 win over the Univ. of Miami, Sapp's alma mater, and stating that the Raiders, his former team are "going to suck." Visit www.sportsmediachallenge.com for more info or see chart below.
ESPN Star Sports Acquires Champions
League Twenty20 Rights In 10-Year Deal
MUST SEE TV: In DC, Leonardo Shapiro wrote NBC's "Football Night In America" is a "crackling show jam-packed with highlights, interesting analysis and up-to-the-minute reporting on the breaking news of the day." Dan Patrick and Keith Olbermann, a pair of "truly clever former ESPN anchors," offer a "rousing reprise of the same sort of schtick that made them both famous a decade ago." Meanwhile, "FNIA" host Bob Costas Sunday during the show's season debut "as usual guided the show seamlessly from one element to the next." The show also features analyst Cris Collinsworth, "arguably the best and brightest football analyst on television," and SI's Peter King, who offers "his own inimitable take on the day's events" (WASHINGTONPOST.com, 9/10).
FLAG STILL THERE? In Orlando, David Whitley writes the national anthem "has faded from sight" from sports TV broadcasts. Whitley: "The networks won't quite say that, but when was the last time you saw a performance of 'The Star Spangled Banner'?" The NFL said that it "takes a 'special occasion' for the song to warrant precious TV time," such as the Super Bowl. Several nets declined to comment on the record, but NBC Sports Dir of Communications Brian Walker said, "There's not a set policy" (ORLANDO SENTINEL, 9/11).
TV LISTINGS: The Jazz will have all 82 regular-season games televised this year for the fourth straight year, as well as all seven preseason games "for the first time." FSN Utah will air 60 Jazz regular-season games and KJZZ-MYT will air 16, with the remaining six "televised exclusively by" TNT. Craig Bolerjack and Ron Boone will call the FSN Utah and KJZZ-MYT broadcasts (DESERET NEWS, 9/11)....FSN Wisconsin will carry 70 Bucks regular-season games this season, "the same number it carried last season." Jim Paschke and Jon McGlocklin will continue as the club's long-time on-air broadcast team (MILWAUKEE JOURNAL SENTINEL, 9/11)....CSN Mid-Atlantic will televise 73 Capitals games this season, with 50 games airing on CSN HDTV. That marks a record number of HD game productions for the club (CSN).