SBD/Issue 112/Sports Media

ESPN Deportes Lauded For Coverage Of Alex Rodriguez Scandal

ESPN Deportes “has made occasional splashes in the English-language media, but never has the channel and its Web site enjoyed the level of attention it received” for its coverage of Yankees 3B Alex Rodriguez, according to Neil Best of NEWSDAY. ESPN Deportes helped identify Rodriguez’ cousin, Yuri Sucart, who Rodriguez said supplied him with performance-enhancing drugs. The net also learned that Primobolan was "illegal in the Dominican Republic at the time Rodriguez tested positive" for the substance in '03, and talked to trainer Angel Presinal, who claimed he worked with Rodriguez from ’01-03. Best writes the stories “illustrated the value of broad journalistic reach, especially when it comes to speaking Spanish and covering baseball.” ESPN Senior VP & Dir of News Vince Doria said ESPN Deportes has been "invaluable" on the Rodriguez story. Doria: "It speaks to the multiple platforms we have here to spread your circle of potential contacts and sources" (NEWSDAY, 2/27).

SENDING A MESSAGE: In Miami, Barry Jackson writes ESPN2’s regular Tuesday feature of allowing fans to post comments during college football and basketball broadcasts "easily has crossed the line.” The gimmick is a “transparent attempt to drive traffic" to, and when the “interactive element detracts from the enjoyment of a game, then we have a problem.” When the Texas A&M men's basketball team defeated Nebraska on Tuesday on a last-second shot, “part of the screen was polluted by a recurring graphic encouraging fans to submit their remarks on” Jackson: “It’s the equivalent of TV graffiti, irritating enough to make you change the channel if you’re only moderately interested in the game” (MIAMI HERALD, 2/27).

HELPING HAND: Beta Research’s annual “Cable Operator Study-Evaluation of Basic Cable Networks” survey has Disney-ESPN Media with a 74% rate of being “very helpful in selling high-speed Internet, HDTV and/or video on demand” services, only behind 75% for Discovery Network. Meanwhile, ESPN was named the "most valuable network" for the ninth consecutive year by cable operators. ESPN2 ranked second in that category, the fourth straight year it has landed in that spot (, 2/25).

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