SBD/Issue 64/Sports Media

Media Notes

In Dallas, Barry Horn reported the MLB Rangers Friday announced a one-year extension for TV play-by-play announcer Josh Lewin, whose contract was "supposed to run out at month's end." Lewin has held the position for eight years, but he also is the radio play-by-play announcer for the Chargers, which "sometimes causes conflict in August and September." The Rangers next season "will allow Lewin to miss a maximum of three games for other work" (DALLAS MORNING NEWS, 12/12).

Writer Calls ESPN's Coverage Of The
Hesiman Trophy Presentation "Solid," But Long
FEATURE PRESENTATION: In St. Petersburg, Tom Jones wrote ESPN's coverage of the Heisman Trophy presentation Saturday was "solid," but you "couldn't help but get the feeling that it was dragging on when 50 minutes of an hourlong show is spent talking about the finalists that everyone has spent the past week talking about." Meanwhile, Jones noted ESPN's "Outside the Lines" yesterday "turned its bright lights on the academic scandal" at Florida State Univ. (FSU). Prior to the show's airing, FSU Dir of Communications Franklin Murphy sent an e-mail to ESPN Senior VP & Dir of News Vince Doria asking the network "not to air the piece." Also, FSU AD Randy Spetman "sent an e-mail to 'Florida State Alumni, Friends and Supporters' refuting the ESPN piece nearly 24 hours before it aired Sunday morning, as well as pointing out all the excellent student-athletes FSU has produced over the years" (TAMPABAY.com, 12/13).

SEEKING A BIGGER PIECE OF THE PIE: The WALL STREET JOURNAL's Sam Schechner cites sources as saying that broadcast networks are "asking independently owned TV stations that carry their programming for a cut of the payments the stations get from cable, satellite and telecommunications companies." In some cases, networks "want half or more of the compensation their affiliated stations receive." Sources said that CBS in talks with its affiliates is "asking for about half of their subscription revenue" (WALL STREET JOURNAL, 12/14). News Corp. Deputy Chair, President & COO Chase Carey said, "We need to have a business model that enables us to compete with the ESPNs and the TNTs and USAs that are doing more original programming and buying more sports programming." In N.Y., Peter Lauria noted while retransmission fees "historically have been a pittance," Carey speculated that "if ESPN can get close to $4 per subscriber per month in carriage fees, Fox could justifiably get $5 per subscriber given programming like the Super Bowl and World Series" (N.Y. POST, 12/13).

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