SBD/Issue 129/Sports Media

Media Notes

Turner Broadcasting's Cartoon Network is partnering with the NBA to develop long- and short-form basketball-themed content across multiple platforms, including online, mobile, VOD and on-air. In the fall, Cartoon Network will debut "My Dad’s a Pro," a short-form series that follows children of NBA players, to coincide with the start of the '09-10 season. The network also has plans to launch a basketball section on its Web site (Turner Broadcasting). BROADCASTING & CABLE's Alex Weprin noted the deal is "in some ways an extension of the NBA's longstanding partnership" with Turner. The company, in its 25th year as an NBA broadcast partner, airs games on TNT and also manages the league's digital portfolio, including NBA TV and (, 3/23).

GAMETIME ANYTIME: Comcast SportsNet (CSN) Senior VP/News Operations Princell Hair said that CSN Chicago and CSN Bay Area will offer Cubs and White Sox, and Giants and A's games, respectively, "on an on-demand basis this season, in a effort to better serve its fans." MULTICHANNEL NEWS' R. Thomas Umstead notes several CSN channels "began experimenting with on-demand content last season, although Hair would not reveal specific VOD performance numbers." Hair said VOD "is not a game changer for us -- it's really an incremental revenue source for us." Hair: "It's a matter of wanting to offer our programming on as many platforms as we can and we do that as a service to our audience" (MULTICHANNEL NEWS, 3/23 issue).

NOT A BAD DEBUT: In Toronto, Gareth Wheeler wrote GolTV Canada's game-day production "has a lot of potential." Though there were "a lot of technical issues" during the net's broadcast of the MLS Toronto FC-Wizards match Saturday, that "happens in live production, especially on a first broadcast." But there are "many issues that need to be dealt with from a creative approach to maintaining the integrity of the game from a soccer perspective," and the "most important thing that has to be dropped are the tacky, full-frame player profile boards that were thrown up during live game-action." Wheeler wrote soccer is "constant and isn't conducive to filling space with unnecessary visuals" (TORONTO SUN, 3/23). Meanwhile, in N.Y., Jack Bell notes GolTV has "extended its deal to carry games from" Spain's La Liga through '12 (N.Y. TIMES, 3/24).

NETWORK WARS: In Orlando, Matt Humphrey noted Fox execs nixed Darrell Waltrip's participation in Saturday's legends charity race at Bristol Motor Speedway. Waltrip, who serves as an analyst on Fox’ NASCAR coverage, was "scheduled to be the in-race reporter" for ESPN2's coverage of the event, which "apparently made [Fox] more than a wee bit miffed." Waltrip: "We had a plan. But we have a man who is bigger than the plan." Humphrey wrote Fox "needs to cut [Waltrip] some slack" (, 3/21).

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