In N.Y., Claire Atkinson reports YES Network is "saying no to Cablevision's new iPad app," becoming the "first programmer to publicly protest its inclusion in the app, which allows Cablevision's 3 million customers to watch some 300 channels on their iPads at home." A YES spokesperson said, "Cablevision does not have the right to offer the YES Network in the manner it is doing so on the iPad, and it has been notified as such." YES is "protesting its presence on the app as it would appear to compete with separate rights sold by MLB, one of the few sports leagues to pioneer digital subscriptions to its games" (N.Y. POST, 4/5).
SKY HIGH: The FINANCIAL TIMES' Roger Blitz reports England's Football League, which is responsible for the three tiers below the EPL, announced Sky Sports will pay US$316M "for the three seasons from 2012-13." The deal gives Sky "live rights to 75 league matches each season, along with the Football League play-offs and Carling Cup games." Sky also gains "rights to show Football League coverage on internet, video-on-demand and mobile services, as well as match highlights and clips." The existing three-year deal, "jointly held by Sky and the BBC," is worth US$429M to the clubs. Sky is "taking over the 10 live matches and one of the Carling Cup semi-finals that the BBC holds in the current deal." The Football League is "still negotiating the rights for free-to-air highlights but insiders acknowledged that those would yield only a small value" (FINANCIAL TIMES, 4/5).
PUBLIC SERVICE: A BOSTON GLOBE editorial states EA Sports, "by putting a franker emphasis on concussions in the latest version of its hugely popular Madden NFL video game series," is helping "spread discussion into the world of young people who stand to lose the most from head injuries." The editorial: "Because of Madden NFL's new focus on concussions, millions of players will learn more about head injuries, even if they haven't read a word of the news coverage or congressional testimony on the subject" (BOSTON GLOBE, 4/5).
DON'T BELIEVE EVERYTHING YOU READ: In Philadelphia, Paul Domowitch wrote the NFL labor negotiations "haven't exactly been sports journalism's finest hour." With the owners and players "seemingly more concerned with winning the spin war than actually sitting down and hammering out a new collective bargaining agreement, they've played journalists obsessed with getting it first like a fiddle, leaking them misinformation loaded with more crap than a Broad Street port-a-potty during a Mummers Parade." Two days before the talks between owners and players ended on March 11, Yahoo Sports "reported that the sides had reached a 'basic compromise' on a rookie wage scale." Other news outlets "ran with it, including quite a few that claimed to have obtained their own 'confirmation' of the compromise." The only problem was that the story "wasn't true," and "both sides have since acknowledged that" (PHILADELPHIA DAILY NEWS, 4/1).