Finebaum Headed To ESPN, SEC Network NFL Owners Award Super Bowls L, LI NBC Earns Best Preakness Audience Since '09 Durant, Thunder Donate To Tornado Relief Long Beach To Host Volleyball Tourney Microsoft Unveils $400M NFL Partnership Report: Lions To Create Bowl Game Final Days To Purchase SBA Tickets Yankees, Man City Partner On MLS Team NFL Set To Award Super Bowl Sites
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A manager at the on-campus Penn State Bookstore said that yesterday he "sold 30 to 40 copies of the Joe Paterno biography, written by Joe Posnanski," according to Jessica Tully in a special to USA TODAY. He said that most of those "buying the book were non-students." The manager "attributed the lukewarm interest in the book to the lack of students currently on campus," as fall classes do not begin until next Monday. He also said that students "were trying to move on from the scandal and the overwhelming news media coverage over the last 10 months had been a lot to digest." Student Bookstore GM John Lindo, whose store is independent from PSU, said that about "40 students and area residents" purchased the biography at his store yesterday morning. The store had "only 40 copies in stock Tuesday but was expecting to have at least 80 available today" (USA TODAY, 8/22). In Pennsylvania, Matt Morgan notes the book "did sell well online," as it was "in the top 15 of sales on Amazon.com on Tuesday and has been in the top 100 for the previous seven days." Lindo said that he "expects to start moving more books in less than two weeks, when the football crowds swarm the town once again." A Barnes and Noble employee said that the chain's State College, Pa., location "sold all 80 of its copies via pre-order ... as customers were stopping by to pick up their prepaid copies" (CENTRE DAILY TIMES, 8/22).
NIXING THE HARD SELL: ESPN.com's Darren Rovell wrote if the book "is to sell out of its first printing of 100,000 copies, it obviously must sell well around State College." But Lindo said, "It hasn't exactly been a rush." Meanwhile, publisher Simon & Schuster "cut some planned appearances by Posnanski, who was reportedly paid a $750,000 advance for the title, with only a date in Kansas City, Mo., currently on his book tour." Posnanski previously worked as a columnist at the K.C. Star. Aside from writing a column this week in USA Today, Posnanski "has been relatively quiet" (ESPN.com, 8/21).
EARNING JOE PA'S TRUST: Posnanski said that the Paterno family "never tried to limit his access to them after the Jerry Sandusky scandal broke." He added that the Paternos "wanted their story to be told and trusted him to do it fairly." Posnanski: "They never said, 'Hey, leave this out or don't put this in.' Or this might be misconstrued or whatever. They were, every one of them, said tell the truth the best you see it." He added that neither he nor his editors at Simon & Schuster "ever considered calling off the project or delaying it as the Sandusky scandal mounted" (AP, 8/21).
CBS will air NFL content on CBS Sports Network for the first time this upcoming season, and the broadcaster is planning to create more original programming for the cable network. CBSSN is in an estimated 47 million homes, and CBS wants to use NFL shows to drive distribution. “This is our first foray into NFL regularly-scheduled programming,” CBS Sports Chair Sean McManus said yesterday following the net’s annual NFL media roundtable. The new show is called “NFL Monday QB," and Phil Simms, Rich Gannon and Steve Beuerlein will serve as the three co-hosts throughout the season every week. It will feature CBS analysts like Dan Marino, Boomer Esiason and Dan Fouts. CBS yesterday also confirmed media reports that it has sold 85% of its ad inventory for the NFL season and Super Bowl XLVII, with 30-second spots for the title game going for as high as $3.8M. Advertisers include Anheuser-Busch and Pepsi, and CBS execs said the automotive category is very aggressive. CBS also has sold entitlements to all of its CBS pre- and post-game shows, but declined to disclose the companies (Daniel Kaplan, SportsBusiness Journal).
WHO'S IN THE BOOTH? In Milwaukee, Bob Wolfley noted CBS’ NFL announcing roster “remains virtually the same as last year,” with Jim Nantz and Phil Simms as the top pairing, followed by Greg Gumbel and Dan Dierdorf, Ian Eagle and Dan Fouts, Marv Albert and Rich Gannon, Kevin Harlan and Solomon Wilcots, Bill Macatee and Steve Tasker and Spero Dedes and Steve Beuerlein. Don Criqui and Randy Cross "are not listed this year” (JSONLINE.com, 8/21).
LEADING MAN: BROADCASTING & CABLE’s Tim Baysinger profiles CBS Coordinating & Lead NFL Producer Lance Barrow and writes it is Barrow’s “level-headedness that gives CBS Sports chairman Sean McManus the peace of mind of knowing the broadcast is in the perfect hands of a guy who never drops the ball.” The net is in the “early stages of planning its coverage” for the Super Bowl, but “without quite showing his cards at this early date, Barrow at least offers that the XLVII broadcast will include ‘other little tweaks that probably have never been used before.’” Barrow said, “I wouldn’t want to work for anyone else.” Barrow also has “worked on the network’s basketball, NASCAR and Olympics coverage.” While he has been in his current position for CBS' NFL coverage since ‘04, Barrow also has “been running their golf broadcasts since 1997” (BROADCASTING & CABLE, 8/13 issue).
The final episode of Showtime’s “The Franchise” featuring the Marlins airs at tonight at 10:00pm ET, and some members of the team “privately are happy the cameras are gone,” according to Juan Rodriguez of the South Florida SUN-SENTINEL. For the most part, everyone “interacted well with the crew, which received unprecedented access.” MLB Productions Senior Field Producer Jason Katz said, "This is the most access we've ever gotten on any show we've ever done.” Marlins manager Ozzie Guillen said of the MLB Productions field staff, "Those people, they're good. ... They should continue to do it. Hopefully when they pick somebody they win for them.” Marlins P Heath Bell said that the show “did not do him any favors” when he was “prominently featured because of his early season struggles.” He also “took issue with how segments were edited.” Bell: "I really learned how a reality show can hurt a personal life. It all depends how they want to put a spin on it. If the producers or the guy that cuts and edits, if he wants to bash somebody or if he wants to make it look bad he can definitely do that." Bell, when was asked what he would tell fellow players featured on future seasons, said, "I'd stay off camera" (South Florida SUN-SENTINEL, 8/22).
FISH STORY: MLB Network’s Kevin Millar said “The Franchise” is stopping a week early "because the Marlins stink.” Millar: “Hadn’t been the kind of season the Marlins thought. They have all of these casts of characters they signed in the offseason and they said, ‘No, no, we're done.’ This is part of that distraction scene. It's not the production. MLB Production does a great job with this, believe me. But when you lose them, it turns into a distraction" (“Intentional Talk,” MLB Network, 8/20). The N.Y. Daily News' Bob Raissman said, "This series started out with promise, with Ozzie Guillen with the Castro comments and it looked like it would be a good rolling series, but now Ozzie lost his shot at getting an Emmy. But then again, who would want to listen to his Emmy acceptance speech?” (“Daily News Live,” SportsNet N.Y., 8/20).
ABC is “expected to announce in early September” that Fox NFL analyst Michael Strahan "will take over" as the co-host of "Live!" alongside Kelly Ripa, according to sources cited by Ben Grossman of BROADCASTING & CABLE. When he “assumes the new role, Strahan is expected to remain in his role" with "Fox NFL Sunday.” The ABC morning show has been “without a permanent sidekick" for Ripa since Regis Philbin left the show in late '11 (BROADCASTINGCABLE.com, 8/21). In N.Y., Michael Starr writes out of the “many guest co-anchors who subbed following Philbin’s departure, Strahan logged the most appearances opposite Ripa” (N.Y. POST, 8/22). Also in N.Y., David Hinckley writes, “The long-time Giants defensive end and future football Hall of Famer just might be the best choice. Not the most obvious. Just the best.” Because Strahan played football, “that doesn’t mean he’s a dumb jock.” He also has “a disarming ease about him.” Strahan is "bright enough to comment intelligently on the world, quick enough to throw out a bemused one-liner and smart enough to realize that he doesn’t have to dominate this show to win the game” (N.Y. DAILY NEWS, 8/22).
MOVING DAY? Strahan and his fiancée Nicole Murphy put their Hermosa Beach, Calif., town home on the market for $1.8M. Strahan in '05 bought the property for $2.2M (LATIMES.com, 8/21)
ESPN and Massachusetts-based TruMedia Networks have struck a broad partnership to create a new football analytics platform called Crossing Pattern that will be sold to pro teams. The Jaguars have signed on as the initial client of the new product, which blends ESPN statistical data with TruMedia's analytics software to aid in game preparation and personnel evaluation, including the NFL Draft. The effort also represents an expansion for TruMedia into football after initially focusing on baseball analytics. "We've been working for some time on our football data abilities with thinkings like the Total QBR rankings, and this gives us a very meaningful push into the enterprise side of the business," said ESPN VP/Stats & Information Ed Macedo. Financial terms were not disclosed. Crossing Pattern will compete in a quickly accelerating analytics space against other entrants such as Stats LLC. "This is clearly a very competitive space, but teams want to see more third-party solutions," said TruMedia Networks President & CEO Rafe Anderson. "Teams are coming to us asking for this kind of product, because they know competition elevates the entire industry."