SBD/April 29, 2013/Media

ESPN Spends Majority Of Monday Morning "SportsCenter" On Tebow's Release

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ESPN, NFL Network offer extensive coverage of Tebow's release from the Jets
The Jets’ release of QB Tim Tebow dominated the morning editions of ESPN’s “SportsCenter” today. The net broke into its replay of the overnight “SportsCenter” at 8:30am ET to first discuss the news, which was broken by the N.Y. Post’s Brian Costello. The 9:00am hour led with ESPN’s Adam Schefter discussing the move, followed by ESPN’s Ron Jaworski and Bill Polian talking Tebow’s future in the NFL. ESPN’s Cris Carter then weighed in on the move, with the first non-Tebow report -- the Spurs sweeping the Lakers in the NBA Playoffs -- airing about 30 minutes into the hour. Later that hour, ESPN’s Tim Hasselbeck and Stephen A. Smith discussed Tebow, with N.Y. Daily News columnist Mike Lupica adding his opinion. The 10:00am hour again led with the Tebow news, including a call from ESPN NY’s Rich Cimini. Nearly the first 20 minutes of the hour was focused on Tebow. Throughout the 9:00am and 10:00am hours, Tebow’s picture and the caption “Released by the Jets” was featured on the top of the scroll of upcoming stories from the left-side of the television screen. It was not until the 11:00am hour that the net seemed to cut back its Tebow coverage and work in other several other news stories. This comes after ESPN President John Skipper late last year said he wanted the net to dial back its coverage of Tebow. Meanwhile, NFL Network devoted a fair amount of the final two hours of "NFL AM" today to Tebow, with Costello and NFL Net's Albert Breer calling in to discuss the transaction. The 9:00am hour of the show led with a re-air of Breer’s phone call, followed by Metro N.Y.’s Kristian Dyer and Newsday’s Kimberly Martin on the phone. The first 35 minutes of that hour were solely dedicated to Tebow. Outside of the sports world, several mainstream news outlets, including CNN and the L.A. Times, sent Tebow’s release out as a breaking news alert (THE DAILY).

TWITTER REAX: Twitter as expected was full of reaction to ESPN's coverage of the Tebow news. ESPN's Damien Woody wrote, "Tebow's release is bigger than Super Bowl media day!" The Chicago Tribune's Teddy Greenstein noted Jaworski said there is "no market" for Tebow around the league. Greenstein: "So ESPN has spent 44 consec minutes of S'Center talking about a non-NFL player?" Awful Announcing's Twitter feed read, "It was 10:37 AM before SportsCenter moved to a topic not related to Tim Tebow or the Lakers." Bulls announcer Chuck Swirsky: "I think TV sports shows should make it easy for everyone...just start a rumor that the Lakers will sign Tebow. -please stop the madness." WFXR-Fox' Bob Grebe: "Dear ESPN, Tim Tebow was a third-string QB and Sanchez is a future back-up. We (everyone outside of NY) really could not care less. Move on." The Atlanta Journal-Constitution's David O'Brien‏: "ESPN to go dark until alternate programming can be arranged." The National Post's Bruce Arthur: "If he can't find a quarterbacking job, Tim Tebow should just sign with ESPN and sit in the studio while people argue loudly over him." Suns Social Media Specialist Greg Esposito: "Stephen A.Smith talking Tim Tebow is epitome of how far ESPN's fallen since @dpshow @KeithOlbermann heyday. Type of thing they'd make fun of."
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