SBD/January 26, 2011/Media

Media Notes

DAILY VARIETY's Tom Lowry looked at the negotiating strategy around U.S. TV rights to the Olympic Games and wrote “one of the first tests on the horizon for NBC Universal's incoming CEO Steve Burke will be trying to maintain the Peacock's dominance in Olympics coverage.” ESPN will “clearly be trumpeting its digital technologies and the high praise it received last summer for its World Cup coverage when it makes its case to the IOC in Lausanne, Switzerland.” The outcome of the Olympic bidding “could very well set the agenda for NBC U under Burke.” Walt Disney Co. President & CEO Bob Iger “won over skeptics early in his tenure as CEO with the deal to buy Pixar,” and Burke “could make his mark by bagging another round of Olympic games.” Lowry: “The trick, then, would be to make the Games deliver the gold for NBC U's various platforms” (DAILY VARIETY, 1/25).

LEVEL PLAYING FIELD? Texas A&M AD Bill Byrne yesterday said of the Univ. of Texas starting its own TV network, “I can’t speak for the NCAA, but I would imagine the governing body will look into the use of a collegiate television network airing games of prospective student-athletes. I understand networks such as FSN and ESPN airing high school sports, but whether or not employees under contract with a university that may have additional contact would seem to be an issue.” Texas A&M women’s basketball coach Gary Blair said, “Are we all still going to be on the same level playing field? I want to be on the same level playing field as much as I can, particularly in recruiting” (SAN ANTONIO EXPRESS-NEWS, 1/26).

PLAYERS' PERSPECTIVE: USA TODAY’s Michael Hiestand reports Fox’ coverage of the NFL Pro Bowl on Sunday “might produce an audition tape for an adventurous old TV camera to use for a comeback: the helmet cam.” Though not formally announced, Fox Sports Media Group co-President & co-COO Eric Shanks said, “We have guys who’ve agreed to wear HD-cam helmets.” Hiestand notes the Pro Bowl also allows Fox to “mike at least 10 players and coaches -- with some audio live -- and let studio analyst Terry Bradshaw serve as a game analyst” (USA TODAY, 1/26).

ON THE DOWNLOAD: Zuffa LLC filed a federal lawsuit Friday against Justin.tv Inc. over the “ongoing failure to meaningfully address the rampant and illegal uploading” of video from live UFC PPV events. The suit, filed in U.S. District Court in Nevada, “alleges copyright and trademark infringement.” It claims that on Oct. 23, “more than 50,000 people watched illegal live streaming feeds” of the UFC 121 PPV event (LAS VEGAS SUN, 1/22).
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