SBD/August 3, 2012/MediaPrint All
The Facebook pages of several MLB teams “were hacked Thursday afternoon,” and in some cases, existing content “was replaced with status updates ranging from mildly amusing to downright vulgar,” according to the AP. MLB Advanced Media in a statement said, “We are working with Facebook, Major League Baseball Security and, where appropriate, legal authorities to determine the circumstances surrounding this situation." Teams affected included the Giants, Marlins, White Sox, Padres, Nationals, Angels, Braves, Yankees and Cubs (AP, 8/2). In Miami, Manny Navarro notes for a “brief moment, the Marlins Facebook page, which has 278,711 likes, promised the first 10,000 fans 18 and under ‘a free rescued fighting pit bull courtesy of the Dade County Animal Rescue League.’” The announcement “stayed up for a few minutes before being taken down.” A hack on the Padres' page “strongly discouraged attendance by the handicapped; the Nationals announced the team was going back to Montreal,” while the Giants made “a derogatory Chick-Fil-A comment” (MIAMI HERALD, 8/3). Hackers posted an announcement on the Yankees’ page that SS Derek Jeter “will miss the rest of the season to undergo sex-change surgery.” The posting read, "He promises to come back stronger than ever in 2013 as Minnie Mantlez” (NEWSDAY, 8/3). In Chicago, Toni Ginnetti notes the Cubs’ site was “hit with slurs against comedian Bill Murray.” The White Sox’ page “made a remark about Republican presidential hopeful Mitt Romney regarding President Barack Obama, a Sox fan.” Apologies were issued by the teams “in some cases through their Twitter accounts” (SUNTIMES.com, 8/3). NBCSPORTS.com’s Matthew Pouliot noted it is “not the first time that MLB Facebook pages have been hacked, but this does appear to the first time someone has hit multiple pages at once” (NBCSPORTS.com, 8/2).
Comedian Frank Caliendo on Thursday tweeted that he would no longer appear on "Fox NFL Sunday" telecasts. Caliendo wrote, "To all my fans who've ben asking-I wont be back atFOX this season.I love those guys,but its time 4 my next venture" (TWITTER.com, 8/2). Caliendo on his Facebook page wrote, "I will not be coming back this season. It was great to be part of the team with Terry and the guys for the last 9 years, but it's time to move on. I have a couple of upcoming ventures that look like they may be pretty cool." PRO FOOTBALL TALK's Mike Florio noted it is "unknown whether FOX will try to replace him" (PROFOOTBALLTALK.com, 8/2). Adweek's Anthony Crupi tweeted, "Frank Caliendo bounced from the NFL on Fox, which means we'll never again have to endure that irrelevant-since-2009 Madden impersonation."
CIRCUS SIDESHOW: In N.Y., Bob Raissman writes the "innocent act" of Jets QB Tim Tebow going shirtless "was turned into one of the more burning issues of our time on sports talk radio." N.Y.-based ESPN 98.7 was "so addicted" to the issue that the station "held a Jets marathon weekend, with two straight days hopelessly devoted to Gang Green." With the "saturation coverage they are receiving, who needs 'Hard Knocks?'" The Jets are "their own reality show in the country’s biggest media market" (N.Y. DAILY NEWS, 8/3). Meanwhile, Giants QB Eli Manning said of ESPN being at Jets training camp, “Every time you turn on TV, it’s the Jets. ‘SportsCenter’ just camped out at the Jets complex. I think they’re moving everything from Bristol right there to their complex over there" (“The Michael Kay Show,” ESPN Radio N.Y. 1050, 8/2).
JOCKS IN THE BOOTH: In Denver, Lindsay Jones noted former NFLer Ed McCaffrey "will join Dave Logan to call Broncos games on KOA-850 AM radio this season," providing color analysis. McCaffrey replaces former NFLer Brian Griese, who "handled the color commentary for the past two seasons." Griese, meanwhile, is "taking an expanded role in ESPN's college football coverage" (DENVERPOST.com, 7/31)....The BOSTON GLOBE cited a source as saying that former NFLer Scott Zolak will "become the color analyst on Patriots game broadcasts on 98.5 The Sports Hub this season alongside play-by-play announcer Gil Santos, filling the role previously held by Gino Cappelletti" (BOSTON GLOBE, 8/1)....Former NFLer Hines Ward was hired by Pittsburgh-based WPXI-TV "and will host a show this fall" (TRIBLIVE.com, 8/2).
CAPITAL VENTURE: The Redskins and WRC-NBC have agreed to a new two-year deal that will result in more Redskins-themed content on the station's platforms. WRC will continue as the team's flagship station, airing preseason games and five weekly shows on the station's broadcast channel and its NBC Washington Nonstop digital channel (NBCUniversal).
Sources say that it "now appears that ESPN Radio-NY (heard only on 98.7 FM come next month) has shifted attention from the Yankees to the Mets," according to Phil Mushnick of the N.Y. POST. Both teams' radio deals "expire after this season." The sources said that the Mets "represent to ESPN 'a better value,' while the Yankees have interpreted ESPN's courtship as an opportunity to make another big ticket loser out of another radio partner." One source said, "Right now, it's 60-40 that ESPN will wind up with the Mets' deal instead of the Yanks'. The Yanks would go to FAN or stay on WCBS, but the station has to be willing to lose money or, at best, break even." The source added, "ESPN would be willing to lose money for a couple of years on a Yankee deal, but not a truckload, and the Yanks always want a truckload for everything" (N.Y. POST, 8/3).
IT'S TWINS! In Minneapolis, Sid Hartman writes "odds are strong" that KTWN-FM radio "will carry Twins broadcasts next year and beyond." Twins Owner the Pohlad family bought the station in '07 for $28M and "has been trying to sell" recently. Hubbard Broadcasting-owned KSTP-AM currently carries Twins games (Minneapolis STAR TRIBUNE, 8/3).
REUNITED: The Trail Blazers Thursday announced that they have "reached an agreement with Clear Channel to air all exhibition and regular season Blazers games, beginning with the 2012-13 NBA season." In Portland, Joe Freeman noted games "will be "simulcast on NewsRadio 1190 and 102.3 KEX, offering Blazers fans the ability to listen on AM and FM radio." In addition, the stations "will carry two more Blazers-related programs." KEX was the Blazers' radio home from '79-85 and again from '89-01. In recent seasons, Blazers games aired on KXTG-AM (OREGONLIVE.com, 8/2).
CAMPUS STATION: In Tampa, Joe Smith notes WHFS-FM Thursday "made its debut" as a sports radio station. Owned and operated by CBS Radio, "the station announced a multiyear partnership to be" the Univ. of South Florida's flagship station. The station "hopes to permeate a market that already includes sports station WDAE-AM 620 which has a dominant presence in the area" (TAMPA BAY TIMES, 8/3)....In Nashville, Jeff Lockridge noted Vanderbilt Univ. "has entered into a five-year deal to have its football and men's basketball games broadcast on WLAC." The school said that the deal "comes after the sale of Vanderbilt's broadcast partner for the last two years, WRQQ 97.1-FM, which relinquished its broadcast rights when it changed formats." Women's basketball and baseball games will remain on WNSR-AM as "part of a contract that has two years left" (Nashville TENNESSEAN, 8/2).
The chart below lists final Nielsen ratings from recent sports telecasts. All ratings listed are U.S. ratings. Figures for Fox were unavailable at presstime (THE DAILY).
TELECASTDATENETTIME (ET)RAT.VIEWERS (000) London Olympics:
London Olympics (primetime)7/29NBC7:00-11:14pm19.836,047 London Olympics (primetime)7/28NBC8:30-11:28pm15.828,715 London Olympics (afternoon)7/29NBC12:00-6:00pm9.916,000 London Olympics (afternoon)7/29NBC12:00-6:00pm9.314,900 London Olympics (morning)7/29NBC9:51am-12:00pm8.212,700 London Olympics (morning)7/29NBC9:46am-12:00pm7.912,300 London Olympics (recap)7/30NBC12:30-1:18am4.97,400 London Olympics (recap)7/30NBC12:35-1:22am4.66,900 London Olympics (early morning)7/29NBC7:00-9:51am4.36,000 London Olympics (early morning)7/29NBC5:00-9:46am3.65,100 PGA Tour: RBC Canadian Open:
PGA Tour: RBC Canadian Open:
"ESPN Sports Saturday"7/28ABC4:00-6:00pm0.4n/a Lucas Oil Off-Road Racing7/29CBS1:00-2:00pm0.3n/a "Road to the PGA Championship"7/29CBS2:00-3:00pm0.2n/a TELECASTDATENETTIME (ET)RAT.VIEWERS (000) NASCAR Sprint Cup:
Crown Royal 400 (Indy)7/29ESPN1:00-4:31pm3.35,055
MLB: Red Sox-Yankees7/29ESPN7:58-11:50pm1.42,134 NASCAR Nationwide Series:
London Olympics (afternoon)7/28NBCS12:00-8:00pm1.01,745 London Olympics (afternoon)7/28MSNBC12:00-5:00pm1.01,573 "NASCAR Countdown"7/29ESPN12:00-1:00pm1.01,436 London Olympics (afternoon)7/29NBCS12:00-7:06pm0.91,414 London Olympics (afternoon)7/29MSNBC12:00-5:00pm0.91,414 Olympic Basketball Exhibition:
London Olympics (morning)7/29NBCS6:00am-12:00pm0.91,289
In N.Y., Dick Weiss notes ESPN has an exclusive 60-day negotiating window with the Big East for a new football TV contract, starting Sept. 1, but if no deal is reached by Nov. 1, the league can “make itself available to other bidders.” In May ’11, the conference “turned down a deal with ESPN that reportedly would have paid" between $11-13M per team. Weiss writes, “Sources suggest that if NBC, which is desperate for sports inventory, signs a TV contract with the conference, it would be willing to pay the Big East football teams $10 million a piece and throw in an additional $4 million for the 16 basketball schools. One of the network’s ideas may be to run a full day of Big East football, along with Notre Dame home games, from noon to midnight Saturdays on either NBC or its still-growing cable channel” (N.Y. DAILY NEWS, 8/3).
COMMERCIAL APPEAL: In San Antonio, Brent Zwerneman noted ESPN filmed a "College GameDay" commercial at Kyle Field on the campus of Texas A&M with "about 3,500 rowdy Aggies fans on hand.” The show’s talent -- Chris Fowler, Kirk Herbstreit, Desmond Howard, Lee Corso and Samantha Steele -- were “on hand for the shoot, along with a bevy of television personnel scurrying to shoot the commercial in the middle of the east side of Kyle's stands.” Fowler said, “They were camping out in 100-degree weather. I said they were loyal, I didn't say they were smart” (SAN ANTONIO EXPRESS-NEWS, 8/1).