SBD/Issue 102/Sports Media

Media Notes

Berman Reportedly Being Courted By Both 
NFL Network And DirecTV
THE BIG LEAD's Jason McIntyre cited a source as saying that ESPN’s Chris Berman is being “heavily pursued by the NFL Network.” The source said that NFL Net is “putting the full court press on Berman -- whose contract expires May 10, on his 55th birthday -- and it isn’t a sure thing that he’ll return to Bristol.” ESPN did not comment (THEBIGLEAD.com, 2/8). Meanwhile, SPORTS BY BROOKS cited sources as saying that DirecTV is in “full pursuit” of Berman. DirecTV has “approached Berman about a pregame and postgame NFL show that would wrap around its wildly popular NFL Sunday Red Zone programming.” DirecTV also “would launch a channel devoted to sports programming that would highlight Berman and Dan Patrick” (SPORTSBYBROOKS.com, 2/8).

CATCHING ON QUICKLY: In Cincinnati, Joe Reedy notes analyst Cris Collinsworth “knew that there would be an adjustment when he replaced John Madden on NBC’s ‘Sunday Night Football,’ but feels that things worked well this season.” Collinsworth: “I have to say it went a little better than I thought. I knew replacing John Madden, the best that you could hope for is a tie. I was considering it a big win when there wasn’t that much written or said and it just happened. But then some really nice things that came out (in the press). I think people have acknowledged that John left on his own terms. We all wanted him to stay and people accepted my role with Al (Michaels), which was fun” (CINCINNATI ENQUIRER, 2/9).

DRIVE TIME DRAMA: SI.com’s Lars Anderson wrote HBO’s "24/7 Jimmie Johnson: Race to Daytona" has been a “highly intelligent look at how Johnson and his team are preparing for the Daytona 500.” Johnson said, “I’ve spent so much time with the HBO guys that I forget that they’re around. But I’ve been really impressed and happy with the show. It’s so dramatic and there are so many different story lines they could follow. It’s been leaving people wanting more. At least that’s the way it seems from all the text messages I’ve been getting. It’s obvious that most of the people at the track have been watching” (SI.com, 2/8).

COVERING THEIR BASES: The Tigers will have 156 of their games broadcast on FS Detroit this season, one game on FS Detroit Plus and four airing on Fox’ Saturday Game of the Week. The April 7 game against the Royals is the lone contest not scheduled to air on TV because it conflicts with a Red Wings game on FS Detroit and a Pistons game on FS Detroit Plus (Tigers).

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