Turner Sports yesterday officially dropped Vikings QB Warren
Moon from its NFL and NBA broadcast teams. Turner issued the
statement while Moon stands trial in TX for assaulting his wife,
Felicia. Turner said they notified Moon in January that they
would not pick up the option on his contract, according to the
Bob Raissman of the N.Y. DAILY NEWS. Steve Rosner, Moon's
marketing agent, said Turner's decision "was strictly business."
Rosner: "The NFL is currently considering banning active players
from working for networks involved in NFL coverage" (N.Y. DAILY
NEWS, 2/15). Turner Sports President Harvey Schiller said the
decision was based on Moon's playing status, but did say the
network is "going in a different direction." Schiller: "Warren
knew this was an experiment. It didn't work out. At the time
(of the assault charges), I told Warren we were concerned and
this was not the behavior we tolerated" (Rudy Martzke, USA TODAY,
2/15). Moon is also at the end of a two-year deal with WFTC-TV
in Minneapolis for "The Warren Moon Show," a 30-minute weekly
program during the season. WFTC GM Rip Riodan was unavailable to
comment on the show's future (Curt Brown, Minneapolis STAR
MONTANA OPTS OUT: In a statement released by his
representatives at IMG, Joe Montana announced he will leave his
NFL analyst post at NBC Sports, saying the job "entailed too much
time away from my family, in part because of the cross country
travel." Montana plans to spend more time with his wife and
children (IMG). Phil Mushnick notes, "From the start, NBC's
hiring of Montana was not expected to be a long-term relationship
(N.Y. POST, 2/15).
The producers of ESPNet's SportsZone and NASCAR have joined
to announce NASCAR online, the official Web site of NASCAR. The
service will be produced by ESPN and Starwave Corporation and can
be accessed at http://www.nascar.com. The site will provide
news, information on teams, tracks and schedules, and a
merchandise department (ESPN).
Jeff Gralnick, Exec Producer of "NBC Nightly News," has been
named to head ABC's planned 24-hour news channel. He will be
responsible for content and production (N.Y. TIMES, 2/15)....The
Phoenix Firebirds, the AAA affiliate of the Giants, announced
they have joined up to 30 minor league teams on the Web.
Address: http://primenet.com/~firebirds (Firebirds)...In N.Y.,
WFAN's Mike & the Mad Dog will award use of a KIWI Int'l airplane
for one winner and 129 of their closest friends to go to a Cubs-
Mets game in Chicago (KIWI)....NBC Sports will celebrate Black
History Month with "GMC Presents Stride to Glory," an Olympic
special that chronicles the history of African-Americans in the
Olympic Games. It will run February 24 (NBC Sports)....A Chinese
rocket carrying a TV satellite exploded seconds after its
launching yesterday, "dealing a potential blow to Rupert
Murdoch's ambitions to offer satellite programming in Latin
America." News Corp. and TCI were two of four media companies
that leased space on the satellite, which was to service Latin
America. A News Corp. spokesperson said the accident "would not
hinder the group's plans" to offer news and sports programming to
Latin America and the Caribbean (N.Y. TIMES, 2/15)....The A's
have hired former Angels broadcaster Ken Wilson to do play-by-
play on KRON-TV. Wilson has been the TV voice for the Angels for
five years, and will team with Ray Fosse, who returns as color
analyst (S.F. CHRONICLE, 2/14)....Winston Cup driver Dave Marcis,
who signed a full sponsorship deal with Prodigy, is profiled by
Angelique Chengelis of the DETROIT NEWS. With Prodigy's support,
Chengelis has "his first car show, his first motor home and ...
press kit" (DETROIT NEWS, 2/14).
NBC Sports is expected to announce today that they have
inked a long-term deal with the PGA of America to renew their
rights to the Ryder Cup, according to Phil Mushnick of the N.Y.
POST. The event between the top golfers from the U.S. and Europe
takes place every two years and is "fast becoming the most
appealing watch in golf." It was first televised by NBC in '91.
Mushnick notes the PGA of America is also expected to sign a
"long-term renewal of NBC's rights to show the Senior
Championships" (N.Y. POST, 2/15).
ESPN'S MLB GAMES: ESPN begins its season of MLB coverage on
March 31 at 9:00pm with the Mariners hosting the White Sox in the
network's "Sunday Night Baseball" opener. ESPN will show 26
straight Sunday Night Baseball games this year. Teams with three
Sunday games: Braves, Yankees, White Sox, Rockies, Red Sox,
Indians, Dodgers. ESPN will also show select Wednesday night and
holiday games (ESPN).
Taylor Made Golf is in the process of unveiling an
informercial. The company will "test its 30-minute program in
early March," according to Steve Pike in GOLFWORLD. Taylor Made
says it has budgeted more than $1M for "slots on local, network
and cable stations before and after televised professional golf
tournaments." The show will be hosted by CBS Sports analyst Gary
McCord (GOLFWORLD, 2/9 issue).