SBD/November 8, 2013/Media

NFL Media Notes: How Will Bullying Scandal Affect Future Seasons Of "Hard Knocks"?

FOXSPORTS.com's Peter Schrager wrote under the header, "Will Scandal Soften Hard Knocks?" HBO's "Hard Knocks" is known for "giving viewers a rare look at the rookie initiation process in an NFL locker room." Over the past few seasons, the rookie initiation segments "seem to be among the most popular on the show." They give viewers the "rare opportunity to step inside the locker room and see how NFL players interact with each other." Viewers are "given a free access card to a fraternity unlike any other." Schrager: "But will we ever see another one of those scenes again? ... Don’t be surprised if the rookie initiations that remain miss Hard Knocks' own final cutdown" (FOXSPORTS.com, 11/7).

CREDIT WHERE IT'S DUE: In Boston, Chad Finn writes there has been "some exceptional reporting on the Richie Incognito/Jonathan Martin mess with the Dolphins." At the "forefront" has been ESPN's Adam Schefter. He had the "verbatim details of the vile voice mail Incognito left for Martin, and Schefter’s collaboration early on with colleague Chris Mortensen revealed the strange relationship between Incognito and Martin." Fox Sports' Jay Glazer and NFL Network's Jeff Darlington also have "broken notable details along the way" (BOSTON GLOBE, 11/8).

A CASE OF THE MONDAYS: In California, Michael Lev notes ESPN's next "MNF" game features the winless Buccaneers, and "considering that it doesn't have a flex option and pays twice as much as NBC for NFL rights," it would seem ESPN "is getting a raw deal." Although the lack of flex scheduling "is a source of frustration at times at ESPN ... I'm told network executives generally are content with what they have" (ORANGE COUNTY REGISTER, 11/8).

FLEX YOUR MUSCLES: In St. Louis, Dan Caesar notes Fox "questionably sent the telecast" of last Sunday’s Eagles-Raiders game into the St. Louis market "instead of a contest involving" the Seahawks -- one of the Rams' chief rivals. Caesar: "Why not switch out from the lopsided snoozer and pick up what could have become the upset of the year?" Fox Sports Senior VP/Media Relations Lou D'Ermilio said that it was because of "logistics." He said that because of "technical reasons the network can only designate one game a week to switch from, and that generally is the contest that is going to the largest audience." That was Vikings-Cowboys last Sunday, which was played at 12:00pm CT and went to 38% of the nation. Had it "become a rout, viewers outside those markets could have been 'flexed' to a more competitive game" (ST. LOUIS POST-DISPATCH, 11/8).
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