In Kentucky, Jerry Tipton reports Univ. of Kentucky AD Mitch Barnhart yesterday on Twitter announced "what amounted to a ban on the use of the overhead angle" that ESPN used for Tuesday night's Mississippi State-UK men's basketball game. Barnhart wrote, "We have expressed the concerns with the new overhead camera use at future games & will no longer approve the camera location in the future." UK Associate AD for Media Relations DeWayne Peevy noted that the school "cannot control how a network televises a game, but the school can control where cameras are positioned." ESPN Communications Manager Mike Humes in a e-mail said the camera placement "wasn't something we're going to implement season-long" (LEXINGTON HERALD-LEADER, 2/17).
READY FOR BATTLE: The GLOBE & MAIL's Bruce Dowbiggin noted there is a "sports-radio market clash" coming in April, when TSN Radio "will make it three stations with sports content battling for position in the lucrative Toronto market," joining Rogers' The Fan 590 and Corus-owned CFMJ-AM. CFMJ has Maple Leafs broadcast rights, and Program Dir Gord Harris "wants it known that his station will stay the course despite the impending clash of the titans on radio." Harris said that whether the stations' owners "have made the decision to go after the Maple Leafs radio rights again" is a "confidential matter between the station and Maple Leaf Sports and Entertainment." Dowbiggin wrote CFMJ "will apparently stay the course from now till the end of the 2011-12 NHL season rather than sell off rights" (GLOBESPORTS.com, 2/16).
LOCAL SYNERGY: In Chicago, Lewis Lazare noted with the joint Comcast-NBCU venture "now a done deal, look for a closer relationship to begin to emerge between" the city's WMAQ-NBC and Comcast SportsNet Chicago. WMAQ and CSN Chicago sources said that "talks have just begun now about what may be possible, and any substantive developments are expected to come months from now." But CSN Chicago President James Corno said that the RSN already is "running promos identifying the station as part of the NBC Sports family." Lazare noted "further down the line, more synergies could be realized, including sharing of programming and talent" (CHICAGO SUN-TIMES, 2/16).
CLOSER TO A RETURN: Cavaliers radio announcer Joe Tait yesterday said that he "still plans to return to the microphone by the end of the season." Tait appeared via phone on FS Ohio's "Cavaliers Live" pregame show, and said that he "was recovering slowly but surely after heart surgery early this season." Tait added that "this season would be his last" (Cleveland PLAIN DEALER, 2/17).