ESPN's Jed Drake Talks World Cup Prep Miami (Ohio)Trustees OK $13M Facility Sporting Park Enjoys Banner Year SEC Network Launch Campaign Previewed Cobb County Getting Road Improvements More Big Free-Agent Deals In MLB Sources: Fox Keeps UEFA Champions League Sports World Pays Tribute To Mandela Classified Advertisements Financial Boon In Store For Arizona State?
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Former tennis player Andy Roddick yesterday was announced as a co-host of "Fox Sports Live," the flagship news program for the upcoming Fox Sports 1 network, and he said that he will appear on the show "between Monday and Friday, working either four or five nights depending on the week," according to Richard Deitsch of SI.com. Roddick will join host Charissa Thompson on "one side of the studio as part of a panel discussing the sports news of the day and interviewing newsmakers." Jay Onrait and Dan O'Toole will "appear on the other side of the studio as the primary highlight readers." Fox Sports execs "initially contacted" Roddick a few weeks after he announced his retirement at the U.S. Open last August. Roddick told Fox Sports execs he "was not looking for a full-time job in television," but the two sides "stayed in touch." Roddick's previous work on a syndicated Fox Sports Radio show with host Bobby Jones "proved to be a big selling point." Fox Sports said that Roddick "could also get involved with its radio division again." Fox Sports Media Group Exec VP & Exec Producer Scott Ackerson said that he "listened to Roddick on Fox Sports Radio and became convinced he could converse on multiple sports." Roddick "signed a multi-year deal." He said that he would be "interested in an occasional one-off exhibition but his job with 'Fox Sports Live' is his priority." Roddick added that he is "not interested in commentating on tennis." Test shows for "Fox Sports Live" will "start as early as June." Fox Sports plans to "hire more panelists (likely former athletes) for the show in the near future." Fox Sports execs said that viewers "should think of 'Fox Sports Live' as multiple shows inside a three-hour block" (SI.com, 5/22).
HAS THE EAGLE LANDED? THE BIG LEAD's Jason McIntyre cites sources as saying that former NFLer Donovan McNabb is "in advanced talks" with FS1 to "possibly join" the net. McNabb's role "isn't yet defined." A source said that he "likely would be an analyst" on "Fox Sports Live." McNabb was an NFL Network analyst last season (THEBIGLEAD.com, 5/23).
LEAVING 8 MILE: FS Detroit on-air personality Ryan Field announced that he is "leaving the local all-sports channel" to join FS1. The DETROIT NEWS noted Field "started with FSD as a correspondent in 2003 and served in that role on Detroit Tigers, Red Wings and Pistons Live telecasts" (DETROITNEWS.com, 5/22).
The Blackhawks' local ratings in the Chicago market during the NHL playoffs are "having a huge impact on the overall national rating for their games on NBC and NBC Sports Network," according to Ed Sherman of the CHICAGO TRIBUNE. NBC Sports Net's Blackhawks-Red Wings Western Conference Semifinals Game 3 on Monday drew "nearly 300,000 viewers" in Chicago, comprising "nearly 20 percent of the estimated 1.6 million viewers who tuned in across the country." NBC Sports Exec Producer Sam Flood said, "A big market like Chicago, which is as hot a market as you can have in terms of TV ratings, makes a difference. Your ratings are going to be dramatically different for Ottawa-Edmonton than if you have Chicago, Boston or Detroit playing." The team's appeal also is "seen in Flood's choice of announcers for the series: The No. 1 line of Mike Emrick, Ed Olcyzk and Pierre McGuire." In "virtually every other scenario, they would be assigned" to the Bruins-Rangers series (CHICAGO TRIBUNE, 5/22).
NBC’s “SNF” finished the ’12-13 TV season as the No. 1 show in primetime for the second straight season. “SNF” was watched by an average of 21.5 million viewers, topping CBS’ “NCIS," which finished in second place with 21.3 million. “SNF” also was the most-watched program among adults 18-49, 18-34 and 25-54, as well as among men 18-49, 18-34 and 25-54. This is just the second time a sports series has been the most-watched primetime show (NBC).
GOING BACK FOR SECONDS: In Houston, David Barron reported NBCUniversal Exec VP/Content Distribution Matt Bond yesterday attended Houston Mayor Annise Parker’s "second closed-door meeting" on Comcast SportsNet Houston distribution. Bond said that he "thought the meeting with the mayor and officials with AT&T U-verse was productive." The hour-long meeting "followed a similar session earlier this week with officials from cable carrier Suddenlink and was requested by the mayor in an effort to boost carriage discussions regarding CSN Houston" (CHRON.com, 5/22).
CONSIDER YOUR OPTIONS: Pac-12 Networks President Lydia Murphy-Stephans said of efforts to negotiate a carriage deal with DirecTV, "We're on schedule, and right on plan, in terms of distribution for the Pac-12 Networks. I feel good about that. There’s an obligation as fans, that if they want Pac-12 Networks and DirecTV is not carrying the Pac-12 Networks, the fan has to be willing to drop DirecTV and pick up a carrier that is" (SEATTLETIMES.com, 5/22).
OUT OF CHARACTER: In L.A., Jill Painter noted longtime NHL Kings fan Kevin Ryder, who is part of Pasadena-based KROQ-FM's "Kevin & Bean" morning show, was "guest tweeting for the @lakings account during the second period" of Game 4 of the Kings-Sharks NHL Western Conference Semifinals on Tuesday. When Kings C Anze Kopitar was "tackled during the game, Ryder tweeted out an insensitive comment, likening it to sexual assault." The team "eventually deleted the tweet." It then sent out a message, "We apologize for the tweets that came from a guest of our organization. They were inappropriate and do not reflect the LA Kings" (L.A. DAILY NEWS, 5/23).