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Every network with an NFL TV rights deal has a list of NFL players and coaches "who would make good broadcasters," according to Richard Deitsch of SI. ESPN NFL Senior Coordinating Producer Seth Markman said, "I keep a list in my computer titled NFL ANALYSTS ON MY RADAR. I'm always updating it." Markman's list "runs 35 deep, a mix of perennial Pro Bowlers (Tony Gonzalez, Ray Lewis, Peyton Manning), reliable veterans (David Diehl, London Fletcher) and coaches not exactly on the hot seat," including the 49ers' Jim Harbaugh, the Ravens' John Harbaugh and the Steelers' Mike Tomlin. NBC "Sunday Night Football" Exec Producer Fred Gaudelli said of Tomlin, "My Number 1 guy by a landslide. He has an ability to phrase things in a way you have never heard before. He's also got a great personality." CBS Sports Chair Sean McManus said, "Tomlin would be a terrific game or studio analyst." NFL Network Exec Producer Eric Weinberger "cites three defensive backs (Champ Bailey, Ed Reed and Charles Woodson) who have great broadcasting potential." Fox Sports Media Group Exec Producer John Entz is "eying" Cardinals WR Larry Fitzgerald, Cowboys QB Tony Romo and Jets coach Rex Ryan, "among others" (SI, 12/3 issue).
The chart below lists final Nielsen ratings from sports telecasts during Thanksgiving weekend. Figures for broadcast were delayed at presstime due to the holiday (THE DAILY).
TELECASTDATENETTIME (ET)RAT.VIEWERS (000) "Monday Night Football":
"Monday Night Countdown"11/19ESPN6:30-8:30pm1.82,730 "College GameDay"11/24ESPN10:00am-12:01pm1.62,362 NCAA Football:
NBA: Clippers-Thunder11/21ESPN7:35-10:33pm1.32,136 NCAA Football:
"Sunday NFL Countdown"11/25ESPN10:00am-1:00pm1.41,958 NCAA Football:
USA TODAY's Michael Hiestand notes Saturday's SEC championship game between Alabama and Georgia "likely will top the 9.4% of U.S. households for the highest-rated college game this season ... although even that is unlikely to compete with some of this weekend's NFL games." But CBS College Football Coordinating Producer Craig Silver said that the Alabama-Georgia game "can't be compared to the pros." Meanwhile, he added that CBS will "deploy a new extra-wide lens, which network staffers found in Ireland while there for the Notre Dame-Navy game, 'to cover the enormity of it all.'" Silver said that the "worst thing would be if CBS missed key shots" (USA TODAY, 11/30).
ROUND AND ROUND WE GO: Pac-12 Commissioner Larry Scott said of Pac-12 Network carriage negotiations, "I don’t know exactly what the sticking point is with DirecTV but based on what they say to their customers, they've used a number of different arguments and been a moving target. They've questioned whether our fans really want it and how passionate our fans really are, whether it’s fair to their non-sports customers, whether the price is too high; there’s been a panoply of different answers they've given. It’s been a bit of pin the tail on the donkey. I suspect the real reason is financial to a large extent. But obviously they've just picked up the Lakers’ network which is much, much more expensive than our networks so I suspect they can afford it and hope they choose to do it" (PAC-12.com, 11/28).
GOING TO GRACELAND: In Memphis, Michael Sheffield noted the Grizzlies announced a multiyear deal with Skyview Networks "to provide broadcast services for the team’s radio and television play-by-play." Skyview will provide satellite distribution, satellite receivers and web automation and inventory management software for the team (BIZJOURNALS.com, 11/29).