SBD/Issue 62/Sports Media

Media Notes

Former WNBAer Leslie Thinks
ESPN Could Cover League Better

Former WNBAer Lisa Leslie said it is "absolutely not" the NBA's fault for failing to push the WNBA more, but instead is "really more the media." Leslie: "It's ESPN. It's the TNTs of the world ... though, really, TNT has done a better job, I have to admit. They've covered the WNBA really well, if you have (NBA TV). But ESPN is probably the main focus that drives our sports." Leslie added if the WNBA "had a place" on ESPN, viewers "would be more informed" about the league. FANHOUSE.com's Tom Lorenzo noted Leslie "lauded the media for its coverage" of this year's Storm-Dream WNBA Finals, but she insisted that it "hadn't done enough to keep viewers informed on what led up to" the matchup. Leslie: "It would be nice to have that buildup to it to see where these teams started. Where did these teams come from? How did they get there?" (FANHOUSE.com, 12/8). ESPN2 aired 18 regular-season WNBA games and seven postseason games during the '10 season (THE DAILY).

LEGEND IN THE BOOTH: Marlins Owner Jeffrey Loria said he told radio play-by-play announcer Dave Van Horne yesterday "he can broadcast as long as he wants to broadcast." Van Horne yesterday was honored as the '11 recipient of the Ford C. Frick Award for excellence in baseball broadcasting, and Loria said, "It's not going to be determined by us. I told him he can work as long as he feels he's doing the job he wants to do." Van Horne joined the Marlins in '01 after working with the Expos since the franchise's inaugural season in '69 (South Florida SUN-SENTINEL, 12/9).

ROAD SHOW: TNT yesterday announced that its studio crew of Ernie Johnson, Charles Barkley and Kenny Smith "will make the trip" to the Jan. 27 Heat-Knicks game at MSG. The trio will "unveil the starters for the NBA All-Star game during the live pregame show." Johnson, Barkley and Smith "also will broadcast live" as part of TNT's Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Day coverage at the Jan. 17 Thunder-Lakers game (AP, 12/8). 

LINGERING PERCEPTION PROBLEM: YAHOO SPORTS' Steve Cofield noted CBC News covered the announcement that UFC 131 will be held at Rogers Centre in April "with a business reporter, Amanda Lang, who had a predictable take on the sport." Lang "tried to cover both sides, pro and con, but the constant images of blood and violence probably makes this three and a half minute report nearly intolerable for those who have watched MMA for years" (SPORTS.YAHOO.com, 12/8).

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