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SBD/May 2, 2012/Media
Published May 2, 2012
NOT FEELING IT: In Austin, Cedric Golden wrote TNT’s “‘Inside the NBA’ used to be the best sports show on television, but the addition of Shaquille O'Neal has hurt the overall quality of the program.” O'Neal is “likable enough, but he just doesn't add to the overall chemistry.” Charles Barkley, Kenny Smith and host Ernie Johnson “built the show into something special … with their incredible timing, and that can only come from years of working together.” But this year, they have “had to sacrifice air time for O'Neal, who just isn't that funny on live television.” The show was “much better with the terrific trio and an occasional guest like Reggie Miller, Gary Payton or Chris Webber” (AUSTIN AMERICAN-STATESMAN, 5/1).
GETTING THE HYPE MACHINE READY: NBC once again is marketing this weekend's coverage of the Kentucky Derby across its broadcast and cable networks. That includes segments from Churchill Downs on NBC's "Today" show and "Today with Hoda and Kathie Lee," as well as Friday coverage on CNBC. Talent from Bravo (Cat Cora), E! (Catt Sadler) and Style (Jeannie Mai) will be featured during pre-race festivities. NBC and NBC Sports Network are planning more than 14 hours of coverage around the race (John Ourand, THE DAILY).
BROADENING THEIR PORTFOLIO: In London, Paul Newman reports ITV has signed a “three-year deal” to broadcast the French Open. John Iverdale “will be the anchor man for the on-screen ITV team, which will also feature Jim Courier … Mark Petchey, Sam Smith, Fabrice Santoro, Nick Mullins and Celina Hinchcliffe.” The team will operate “from a specially constructed studio at Roland Garros” (London INDEPENDENT, 5/2).