SBD: ESPN To Cut About 100 Employees SBD: ESPN Begins Laying Off Around 100 Personalities SBJ: Interest soars in hosting NFL draft SBD: Cord-Cutting, Rights Fees Put ESPN In Bind SBD: Report: ESPN Talent Eyes Pay Cut To Avoid Layoffs SBJ: Colleges flip the switch on esports SBJ: NBA regular season sees ratings drop SBD: ESPN Cuts Drive Discussion On Twitter SBD: Executive Transactions SBJ: Topgolf eyes racetracks to drive business
July 7, 2014 03:30 PM
The N.Y. Daily News’ Mike Lupica said, "Do I think there's going to be some huge soccer boom like we had a tennis boom in the 1970s? I don't … (but) I do believe that soccer's going to become more popular” ("The Sports Reporters," ESPN, 7/6). However, the Washington Post’s Alexandra Petri said of World Cup viewership, “The last several foreign conflicts aside, we're only supposed to get involved in things that we can win. Don't give in. You don't have to watch the World Cup. It may be the world's favorite sport but we aren't the world” (“CBS News Sunday Morning,” CBS, 7/6).
HEAT WAVE: ESPN's John Saunders said, "LeBron James wants a max contract from the Miami Heat. (Heat President) Pat Riley is trying to juggle the books to make it work under the salary cap. Riley has to understand without LeBron, suddenly they're not the Heat, they're the Miami Marlins." ESPN’s Howard Bryant added of James, “This guy has opt-out clauses so every three years he can shift the balance of the whole league” ("The Sports Reporters," ESPN, 7/6).
DISCOGRAPHY: CBS' Anthony Mason, noting the U.S. Open of Ultimate Frisbee was held this weekend, said, "I can see Frisbee in the Olympics. I mean if curling can make it, why can't Frisbee?" (“CBS This Morning,” CBS, 7/5).
LOSING IS ONE THING, BUT… Syndicated columnist George Will: “Cub fans will put up with a lot, but not with expensive beer. They draw the line somewhere” (“CBS News Sunday Morning,” CBS, 7/6).
ARM DEALER: ESPN's John McEnroe, on Milos Raonic wearing a sleeve on his right arm at Wilmbledon: "Maybe he's got an endorsement deal" ("Wimbledon," ESPN, 7/4).
PURDY GOOD: Paralympian Amy Purdy, on appearing in ESPN the Magazine’s “Body Issue”: “I pretty much said yes right off the bat because I have so much respect for the magazine and what it stands for. It was exciting” ("GMA," ABC, 7/7).
July 2, 2014 03:15 PM
CBS' Elaine Quijano said, "The Americans leave Brazil short of the ultimate prize, but their performance defied the pundits and turned millions of fans into believers" ("CBS This Morning," CBS, 7/2). But NBC's Dylan Dreyer said of the U.S. loss, "I was saying, 'I guess I don’t have to watch soccer anymore'" ("Today," NBC, 7/2). Meanwhile, ESPN’s Bomani Jones, on why he was not watching the Belgium-U.S. game: "People who are tired of pretending need programming too. We got your back" ("Highly Questionable," ESPN2, 7/1).
CUP OF LIFE: U.S. G Tim Howard said of whether this World Cup will get people in the U.S. to embrace soccer, "The numbers are staggering, not only the television numbers which are obvious but in the parks and the bars and everywhere in between. It was incredible to see. We were motivated by that and inspired by that. We saw all the videos and the highlights of our fans and it was special to be a part of that" ("Today," NBC, 7/2).
FIT TO PRINT: MLS Commissioner Don Garber, on the sex appeal of MLS players: "That is something we actually try to get behind. You'll see our guys in fashion magazines, you'll see them in great endorsement programs. … They're not wearing helmets, they're incredibly fit … and they're great off the field as well” ("Fast Money Halftime Report," CNBC, 7/1).COME TOGETHER: MLBAM President & CEO Bob Bowman said of 120Sports.com, "The only limitation is your imagination, but it still takes hard work and it takes cooperation” ("Morning Joe," MSNBC, 7/2).
SAVED TO MEMORY: MLB.com's Richard Justice said of the Astros hacking case, “I don't know if you saw the substance of the conversations. It was sort of ridiculous. Why do you need to write things down?" ("Olbermann," ESPN2, 7/2).
July 1, 2014 03:12 PM
N.Y. Daily News’ Bob Raissman said of late Mets and Orioles exec Frank Cashen, "He wasn't just a baseball guy. This guy was a lawyer, he ran brewery, he was a sportswriter and he had major success in baseball. This was kind of a renaissance man" ("Daily News Live," SNY, 6/30).
COME TOGETHER: MLS Commissioner Don Garber noted, "People are crowding at the bars and restaurants. They're crowding at these massive, massive public events and there's like collective breath that's being held for 90 minutes" ("CBS This Morning," CBS, 7/1).
TAKING HIS TALENTS….: Broadcaster Tim Brando, on his move to Fox Sports, “Not that I'm the kind of free agent LeBron James would be, but still be a free agent for the first time as a broadcaster and see sort of what happens, check the landscape. I was energized by it" ("The Audible," Fox Sports Radio, 6/30).
MILWAUKEE’S BEST? SNY's Adam Schein said, "Good luck, Milwaukee, you're going to need it. That snake Jason Kidd is now officially your problem" ("Loud Mouths," SNY, 6/30).
HOUSTON, WE HAVE A PROBLEM: ESPN's Keith Olbermann said, "If I told you last winter that the FBI would be investigating hacking of one Major League's team internal computers and the publication of its wildest trade dreams, would you have guessed that one team would have been the Astros?" ("Olbermann," ESPN2, 6/30).
June 30, 2014 03:49 PM
ESPN Radio’s Mike Golic said of Jason Kidd, "Here's a guy who played and had an incredible career, walked into coaching which seems to be the trend now and all of a sudden wants to run the whole organization. I'm not going to lie, if I'm running an organization that's a big no-no to me" ("Mike & Mike," ESPN Radio, 6/30). ESPN’s Jackie MacMullen said, “Kidd is trying to usurp (Nets GM) Billy King after Billy King gave him the chance of a lifetime with no coaching experience. He’s on some kind of ego-trip. If I'm the Nets, I'm going to say don't let the door hit you on the way out” (“The Sports Reporters,” ESPN, 6/29).
COLORBLIND: ABC's Nick Watt said of the rule at Wimbledon that any player’s undergarments must be completely white, "No one ever complained about Agassi's hair, and that was arguably more offensive than colorful undies for goodness sake" ("Nightline," ABC, 6/27).
OUI TO WIE: The St. Louis Post-Dispatch’s Bryan Burwell, on golfer Michelle Wie: “She's grown into a confident, independent young woman who seems ready to do for the women's pro tour the same thing that the other prodigy from Stanford did for the men's tour” (“The Sports Reporters,” ESPN, 6/29).
JOHNNY ON THE SPOT: ESPN's Dan Graziano said of the Browns, "Did these people all just arrive in a spaceship two weeks ago? Everybody knew what Johnny Manziel was when they drafted him" ("NFL Insiders," ESPN2, 6/27).
WELL RUN DRY: S.F. area KNBR-AM's Rod Brooks said of Sandy Barbour stepping down as Cal AD, “The main job of an athletic director is to raise funds, and she's had a hard time doing that. They obviously had some serious problems debt-wise with the stadium and she was just never able to build a consensus” ("Yahoo Sports Talk Live," CSN Bay Area, 6/27).
June 30, 2014 10:13 AM
June 30, 2014 09:00 AM
June 20, 2014 10:28 AM
NHL Network Operations
The NHL’s mega-deal with Rogers Communications begins with the upcoming season, but all is status quo at NHL Network.
According to league sources, NHL Network will continue to broadcast out of the TSN studios in Scarborough, Ontario. Although TSN is no longer a national rightsholder of the NHL, TSN talent such as Darren Dreger and Bob McKenzie are expected to continue their insider reports on NHL Network’s programs, like “On the Fly” and “NHL Tonight.”
There was some discussion with Rogers about taking over for TSN as the league’s partner in the NHL Network, but Rogers Sportsnet is said to be too busy with its preparations for the first season of its 12-year, $4.9 billion deal as the NHL’s sole rightsholder in Canada.
“Just too much for Rogers to tackle this summer, which is understandable,” said a source.
The NHL and Rogers will re-open discussions about NHL Network in 2015, but TSN could remain in its role beyond the 2014-15 season.
In the five weeks since The Shift reported that the sale of the New York Islanders to Andrew Barroway is in the hands of Charles Wang, the Islanders’ current owner, Wang has not moved to complete a deal. However, specifics of the potential agreement have been confirmed with sources close to the seller, the buyer and the NHL:
• Barroway is seeking to become the majority owner and purchase 80 percent of the team. “He wants decision-making authority and the ability to bring in his own people,” said a source.
• The agreed-upon value of the club is around $400 million.
• Wang’s advisers told Barroway’s group more than a month ago that Wang would like to complete a deal with Barroway this summer.
• Barroway and his partners have lined up all of the necessary financing.
• Barroway has executive personnel ready to join the team should a sale be finalized with Wang and approved by the NHL.
NHL officials, who prompted the discussions between Wang and Barroway, would like to see a sale completed but have urged Barroway to be patient and not to push Wang into a decision — for fear that Wang could walk away from a sale. How long Barroway is willing to wait is unknown.
As NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman has stated a few times, most recently at the Stanley Cup Final, Wang has wavered over relinquishing controlling interest in the Islanders. According to one source, a part of him wants to see Islanders’ rebuilding program flourish with general manager Garth Snow at the helm.
A deal awaits Wang’s consent. As of this morning, no one knew when, or if, it will come.
NHL Awards Preview
With Montreal Canadiens defenseman P.K. Subban serving as the reporter on the red carpet and backstage, give credit to the producers of the 2014 NHL Awards show for not taking the enterprise too seriously.
“It’s a hockey show for hockey fans, presented by hockey fans,” said Bob Chesterman, NHL senior vice president of programming and production. “It’s a fun few hours of celebrating the hockey season.”
The show, which takes place Tuesday night from the Encore Theater at Wynn Las Vegas, is produced by IMG under the helm of executive producer Steve Mayer. The live telecast from 7-9 p.m. ET will air on NBC Sports Network and CBC.
NHL Network will have a red-carpet arrivals show before the event and a one-hour recap after it.
For the first time in NHL Awards show history — the show began in 1983 — each of the three finalists for the Jack Adams Award (coach of the year) will be introduced by players from their teams.
Susan Sarandon, Michael J. Fox and Whoopi Goldberg are among those taking part in taped segments for the show. Awards will be presented by current and former NHL players, along with celebrity hockey fans such as Cuba Gooding Jr, David Boreanaz and Eric Stonestreet. NBC broadcasters Mike Emrick and Ed Olczyk will announce the winner of the EA Sports’ “NHL 15” cover vote.
This is the fifth time the show has been done in Las Vegas (second time at the Wynn) after a long run in Toronto.
“We have found, as you’d expect, that the players and everyone involved with the show loves having it in Vegas,” Chesterman said.
By the Numbers
$24: The lowest average ticket price on the secondary market for a game this season, according to TiqIQ: Columbus at Carolina on Jan. 27.
$1,982: The highest average ticket price on the secondary market for a game this season: Game 3 of the Kings-Rangers Stanley Cup Final at Madison Square Garden.
1.45 million viewers: Average viewership for the Stanley Cup playoffs on NBC, NBCSN and CNBC. That’s the second best average for the NBC Sports Group since it got NHL broadcast rights in 2006. The 1.47 million average for the 2013 playoffs is NBC’s highest mark. (Data provided by SportsBusiness Daily’s Austin Karp).
Wednesday: Teams can begin speaking with free agents, but not sign them
Thursday: Board of Governors meeting in New York
June 27-28: NHL Draft in Philadelphia
July 1: Free agent signing period begins
This is the 2013-14 season finale of the NHL Shift. Thank you for reading.
June 19, 2014 02:18 PM
The Redskins losing their trademark protection was a featured topic for nearly every news and sports telecast last night and this morning. THE DAILY offers a sampling of different takes on the news:
--NBC's Brian Williams: "The pressure just increased on the Washington Redskins to change their team name" ("Nightly News," NBC, 6/18).
--CBS' Chip Reid: "The Trademark Board said its ruling will not go into effect until all appeals are exhausted. ... That means it could be years" ("Evening News," CBS, 6/18).
--ESPN's Jim Trotter said of the Redskins, "If anything, you can see their position is strengthening and the statement that they made basically leads you to believe that in some ways they're mocking this decision. ... If there's any chance for this name to change, it's definitely going to have to come out of a financial argument more than a moral argument" ("SportsCenter," ESPN, 6/18).
--Radio host Dan Patrick: “If you're going to have something that stays there on the front page, that's going to be there on talk shows, that there is going to be change, you have to have momentum with it. It can't start, stop, start, sort of stop, sort of start again. You have to have momentum and this might be that big push, if you want it changed" (“The Dan Patrick Show,” 6/19).
--PFT's Mike Florio: "The thing to watch at some point, is will sponsors become concerned -- both team and NFL sponsors -- to the point where they begin to distance themselves from the organization and from the league? And if that ever happens, then I think you'll see everyone start taking this far more seriously" ("PFT," NBCSN, 6/18).
--Trademark lawyer Joel Feldman said, "This is more psychological than legal. Nothing will change tomorrow morning about the way the Washington Redskins do business. ... It will embolden the Native-Americans to show that this is an offensive term to them and it will definitely help their PR campaign" ("Olbermann," ESPN2, 6/18).
--The S.F. Chronicle's Ann Killion said when the Redskins begin to lose merchandise revenue, then the "NFL is going to step in." Killion: "All the teams will lose money, then the NFL will go, 'Oh, we're losing money. All of sudden we're going to have a moral conscience and we're going to change the name'" ("Yahoo Sports Talk Live," CSN Bay Area, 6/18).
--ESPN's Louis Riddick, on Daniel Snyder: "When you start pushing him one way on a subject that he is very strongly opinionated about, he's going to push back equally. And he has consistently maintained his stance as far as the Redskins name, and how he views it, and how he values it and what it means to him personally, and what he thinks it means to the Washington Redskins fan base as a whole ("SportsCenter," ESPN, 6/18).
--FS1's Jay Onrait said the ruling represents "the biggest blow to Owner Daniel Snyder's attempts to keep the Redskins nickname" ("Fox Sports Live," FS1, 6/18).
--Trademark attorney Howard Hogan: "I would not take this as a green light to go out there and start printing fake Redskins jerseys and going out and selling them" ("CBS This Morning," CBS, 6/19).
--CBS Sports Network’s Evan Washburn: "Nothing is going to change. It’s going to take years. It’s the approach that, 'We’re never going to change this, there’s no sort of open-mindedness to the idea'” (“Lead Off,” CBSSN, 6/18).
--The N.Y. Daily News' Ralph Vacchiano said of Snyder, "Honestly, he's just doing it out of spite at this point. He knows that the tide of society is against him" ("Daily News Live," SNY, 6/18).
June 18, 2014 02:27 PM
ESPN legal analyst Roger Cossack said there is "no question that the Redskins will appeal the loss of their trademark protected name" but the team is "certainly in jeopardy of having that name not be protected." Cossack: "This kind of litigation is fraught with technicalities. This is stuff that is handled by statute, and when you're talking about protecting someone's property who went ahead and trademarked it a number of years ago and now a court comes ... (stating) that trademark should have never been granted because it's disparaging to Native-Americans, you can see the problems in terms of appeals and litigation." Cossack said the appeal process "could take a significantly long period of time" ("SportsCenter," ESPN, 6/18).
DIRTY BIRDS: Falcons coach Mike Smith said the most important thing about his team appearing on HBO's "Hard Knocks" this year is that "everybody is going to get an opportunity to watch us compete." Smith: "That's probably the biggest plus for us doing it." Falcons WR Roddy White said of his role on the show, "I will not be the star. This will be co-starring and about seven or eight guys are going to entertain you all for the next couple of weeks of 'Hard Knocks' and they're going to do a great job. I'm going to take a step back and let those guys have a scene and I'm just going to watch and be entertained myself" (AJC.com, 6/17).
THE AMERICAN WAY: The N.Y. Daily News' Ralph Vacchiano said of the '14 World Cup increasing soccer's popularity in the U.S., "I think we have this conversation every four years. This is helped by being in sort of Eastern friendly times for the games that's letting people watch it. But I'm sure we had this conversation four years ago, and eight years ago" ("Daily News Live," SNY, 6/17). SNY's Chris Carlin said of the U.S. victory over Ghana, "There are not many country unifying moments anymore and that was one of them" ("Loud Mouths," SNY, 6/17). ESPN’s Mike Greenberg, on the TV ratings of the U.S.-Ghana match: “Is this soccer or is this patriotism? Did we watch like crazy on Monday because we just like getting together and watching something that is a communal, American event? Or does this really demonstrate, as a lot of people in the soccer world are hoping for and telling you, that there is really a rising tide here?” (“Mike & Mike,” ESPN Radio, 6/18).
THE MOORE THE BETTER: MLB Network’s Mark DeRosa: “Kudos to (Royals GM) Dayton Moore. He’s stayed the path. ... He’s stayed the path with Ned Yost. They’ve had this vision, they’ve trusted in these young players. It’s time for these young players to step up” (“MLB Tonight,” MLB Network, 6/17).
June 18, 2014 09:00 AM
■ Thoughts on the Kings' second Stanley Cup in three years and what that means to the franchise.
■ The Blues naming Chris Zimmerman as president and CEO and what challenges he faces.
■ What stories they see dominating the off-season.
■ And SBD ratings guru Austin Karp assesses the Stanley Cup ratings and what would be the perfect Finals matchup.