SBD/January 7, 2011/Media

Media Notes

In N.Y., Phil Mushnick reports there is a "distant rumble that ESPN Radio is preparing to make a major play for Yankees radio rights," which are owned by WCBS-AM "through the end of this season." ESPN Radio 1050 N.Y.'s "signal after sundown turns to static" in most places, but that "wouldn’t preclude ESPN from establishing a games-only regional network of smaller stations or from purchasing a local FM." A source said that the Yankees are "eager to float the ESPN 1050 possibility as a means of spooking WCBS into a rights increase" (N.Y. POST, 1/7).

Bodenheimer says ESPN would be aggressive with Games
WITH THIS RING... ESPN/ABC Sports President George Bodenheimer said of possibly bidding for Olympic rights, "We'll have to see. Everything is cyclical. Ratings-wise there's issues there where certain Olympiads are going to be hosted and played and time zones. ... You've got to look at each Olympics as each individual value and then make an assessment on how you can make it work. But we'll be aggressive." He added, "We know that fans want to see Games live when they happen and the time -- in our view -- is appropriate to show as much as you can live because that's what the fans want to see." Bodenheimer: "We would be programming as much as we possibly could live. We think that's where the value is in sports properties" (FORBES.com, 1/6).

GAME CHANGER: The GLOBE & MAIL's Bruce Dowbiggin writes HBO's "24/7 Penguins/Capitals: Road to the Winter Classic" was a "game changer for the NHL" in the U.S., a "legitimization of the sport and random profanity." Dowbiggin: "If we have one beef it is with HBO treating the on-ice experience as football, a full-tilt physical scrum where checking is everything and fights are an honourable activity instead of a lame coaching prop" (GLOBE & MAIL, 1/7). Capitals C Brooks Laich: "The immediate feedback that we've gotten so far is that the fans really like the HBO series. But we'll see a couple months from now whether it did really grow the game, if it really was effective and worthwhile" (SPORTS.YAHOO.com, 1/6).  ESPN's Scott Van Pelt said the players and coaches "allow the cameras and the folks at HBO to do some genius work putting the whole thing together" ("The Scott Van Pelt Show," ESPN2, 1/6).

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