Quote of the Day
"Trying to predict is like trying to predict the Raiders' draft."
-- ESPN's Chris Berman, on whether Vikings QB Brett Favre returns for the '10 season ("NFL Draft," ESPN, 4/22).
New Deal Puts Majority
Of Tourney On Cable
The NCAA’s gamble to opt out of the final three years of its men’s basketball tournament contract pays off, as its new 14-year, $10.8B pact with CBS/Turner is being hailed as a win for all parties involved. The deal adds an annual sum of $771M to the NCAA’s coffers, a 61% increase over what CBS has paid during the last eight years. And Sean McManus says the deal puts CBS on “solid footing for lasting profitability,” as Turner reportedly will shoulder a majority of the rights costs. Turner will carry about 65% of the games over its cable channels, continuing the steady migration of major sporting events to cable. Meanwhile, the tourney is expected to expand by only three teams next season, as NCAA officials claim the monetary difference between 68 and 96 was not substantial. However, Interim NCAA President Jim Isch does not rule out future expansion, noting, “Everything is still on the table.”
Thirsty For Thursday
NFL Draft's shift to primetime sits well with ESPN, with ratings up 26% over '09 first round; teams continue to value high character in draftees; CAA Sports once again dominates the opening day with six selections.
Purple People Eaters
Vikings, with the help of Jared Allen, take a grassroots approach to garnering local support for new stadium.
Can't We All Just Get Along?
Newly appointed Big East consultant Tagliabue calls Big Ten expansion plans "very disruptive."
Know Your Role
Stern slams NBA coaches for referee criticism, saying it erodes fan confidence.
Hitting A Growth Spurt
MLS hopes to announce Montreal expansion soon, with Atlanta and Florida also on radar.
Breaking Up Is Hard To Do
N.Y. TIMES columnist Tim Egan takes Nike to task for Roethlisberger support, asking, "What, exactly, does it take for Nike to dump a jock?"
Actor In A Leading Role
Data shows ESPN, CBS collectively showed more Tiger during the Masters than any other golfer.