Expectations High For NASCAR On NBC Female Audience Strong For World Cup ESPN Denies Wanting To Dial Down Olbermann IndyCar Gets Best Cable Audience In Years Xfinity Series Audience Lower On Fox Sports U.S.-Germany Sets Fox Soccer Record Media Notes Discovery Looking To Sublicense Olympic Rights Sources: FS1 Cutting Back News Operation ESPN Changes Format For MLB ASG Reveal
SBD/January 12, 2011/Media
People & Personalities: ESPN's Vitale Signs Extension Through '15
Published January 12, 2011
ESPN has officially re-signed college basketball analyst Dick Vitale through the ’14-15 season. Vitale has been at ESPN since ’79, broadcasting his first game on the net less than three months after it launched (ESPN).
HERE TO TALK ABOUT THE PAST: ESPN sideline reporter Erin Andrews in an interview with GQ's Rafi Kohan said her "outlook is a little different" after being stalked and receiving death threats. Andrews: "Unfortunately, you're not as carefree and easy-going as you were, and you're very guarded." Meanwhile, when asked about Vikings QB Brett Favre allegedly sending inappropriate messages to a former Jets employee, Andrews said, "I look back at what people thought about me when this all came out (my hotel-room incident), and they thought I did it for publicity -- that I did it to myself. People like Christine Brennan said that I deserved it. So I would like to reserve judgment" (GQ.com, 12/29).
SWING AND A MISS: In N.Y., Bob Raissman cited MLB sources as saying that ESPN offered former Dodgers manager Joe Torre "a seat in its 'Sunday Night Baseball' booth and he turned it down." ESPN instead named Bobby Valentine to the "SNB" crew, and as a result the net "must find a body to fill the studio chair Valentine occupied." Raissman wrote Torre would be a "good fit in the 'Baseball Tonight' studio if the faculty decided to go in that direction" (N.Y. DAILY NEWS, 11/9).
HEAVY HITTERS: Tennis Channel has signed Martina Navratilova and Lindsay Davenport to multi-year extensions to continue as analysts on the net. Navratilova will resume her role as the net's lead analyst for the Australian Open and will again pair with announcer Bill Macatee during the tournament. Navratilova will cover all four Grand Slams for the net. Davenport will handle sideline and interview duties during the Australian Open. Davenport will appear during coverage of all four Grand Slams, the Olympus U.S. Open Series and the Fed Cup, in addition to other competitions (Tennis Channel).
AFOUL OF THE LAW: In Seattle, Geoff Baker reported the Mariners "have no plans to discipline broadcaster Mike Blowers for his DUI arrest" last month. Mariners VP/Communications Randy Adamack: "We know his record is clean except for that incident and we told him it's not acceptable and it better not happen again" (SEATTLE TIMES, 1/8)....WMAQ-NBC sportscaster Mike Adamle "is facing DUI charges after being arrested" in Evanston, Ill., early Monday morning. Adamle "appeared on weekend newscasts and the station's 'Sports Sunday' show" (SUNTIMES.com, 1/12).
PERSONALITIES: Bucks TV analyst Jon McGlocklin "is taking some planned time off this week," and former NBAer Sidney Moncrief "will take his place." Moncrief is scheduled to call tonight's Spurs-Bucks game as well as Bucks-76ers on Friday (JSONLINE.com, 1/11)....MLB Network analyst Sean Casey said that he has "signed on to do 15 games for the Reds this year as a color guy" (CINCINNATI.com, 1/11)....Martin Brundle "has been confirmed as the lead commentator for the BBC ahead of their TV coverage of the new F1 season." Brundle will partner with David Coulthard (TELEGRAPH.co.uk, 1/11).