SBD/Issue 88/Sports Media

Media Notes

CBS, ESPN To Use Sun Life Stadium Name
During Super Bowl, Pro Bowl Broadcasts
An NFL spokesperson today for the first time confirmed that the league's broadcast rightsholders will use the Sun Life Stadium name in the upcoming Pro Bowl (ESPN) and Super Bowl (CBS) broadcasts from Miami. Sun Life Financial is officially taking over the naming rights to the former Dolphin Stadium today. The league will also refer to the stadium by its new name in its collateral materials surrounding the Pro Bowl and Super Bowl. Coors' presence as the NFL corporate sponsor rightsholder made it impossible for Anheuser-Busch's Land Shark Lager to continue as stadium entitlement holder beyond the FedEx Orange Bowl (Terry Lefton, THE DAILY).

VIRTUAL INSANITY: BROADCASTING & CABLE's Glen Dickson reported ESPN has acquired Texas-based technology developer Vistas Unlimited Inc., which supplies "virtual insertion technology which can be used to insert advertisements or graphic enhancements into live coverage of various sports including golf, basketball, hockey and rodeo." ESPN said that the deal "will boost the network's use of virtual technology across its various platforms" (, 1/19).

BACK IN THE SADDLE: In K.C., Sam Mellinger reports Royals and college basketball analyst Paul Splittorff Saturday called his "first game broadcast in nearly 10 months" with the Texas Tech-Kansas men's basketball game, after suffering an "infection that jumbled his announcer's voice." Splittorff: "I'm not 100[%] yet. But I'm getting close to it." Splittorff will call the Oklahoma State-Kansas State men's basketball game this weekend, "get a few weeks off, come back with another game or two with a three-man crew and then transition into the more traditional two-man team." His schedule as Royals TV analyst "hasn't been worked out," but he said that he "feels healthy enough that he's hoping to get the 100 games he was scheduled to do last year" (K.C. STAR, 1/20).

SHOWN THE SIDELINE: Univ. of Florida (UF) football radio sideline reporter Steven Michael Babik yesterday was charged in federal court with "receipt and distribution of child pornography and possession of child pornography." Babik, who also hosted the "Urban Meyer Post-Game Show," was the "longtime network coordinator" for UF athletics. Babik "has been fired from his UF job" (GAINESVILLE SUN, 1/20).

SO FAR, SO GOOD: In Daytona Beach, Michael Lewis wrote ESPN "has done a real nice job so far" with its Australian Open coverage, and announcer Chris Fowler "continues to get better and better" (, 1/19).

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