HBO Friday morning confirmed that it will not air a version of its “Hard Knocks” series this year due to the condensed NFL training camp schedule. However, a 90-minute special taking a look at the first 10 years of the show will air on August 31 at 10:00pm ET. The show will include flashbacks to previous “Hard Knocks” seasons, as well as unseen footage and new interviews. SI’s Peter King on July 23 reported the show would not air this season (THE DAILY). In Boston, Chad Finn writes the absence of the show this season will be “a letdown for HBO Sports” (BOSTON GLOBE, 7/29).
DIALING UP THE COMPETITION: In N.Y., Phil Mushnick notes the “race for Yankees radio rights, starting next season, has begun.” The possibility that the Yankees’ flagship will leave WCBS-AM after nine years "for an FM station -- specifically 101.9 WRXP -- is good.” WRXP this month was purchased by Merlin Media, which “this fall will turn the station from classic rock to all-news,” and Merlin "would love to make an extra-big splash by adding the Yankees.” WCBS’ expiring Yankees rights “went for about $14 million per, a money-losing deal.” A source this week said that “he would be stunned if the Yankees could renew at an increase, and, with AM/FM hurting, he anticipates that the Yankees will be forced to accept less, no matter from whom” (N.Y. POST, 7/29).
ROUNDING 'EM UP: FS Southwest on Wednesday announced it would begin airing “Fox Sports Live: Cowboys Training” after MLB Rangers postgame shows, with Cowboys radio announcer Brad Sham and DallasCowboys.com's Mickey Spagnola hosting the 15-minute updates from the Alamodome. Sham and Spagnola also will host “Cowboys Roundup” on Sundays at 10:00pm CT. The 30-minute show will recap the week’s training camp activities and analyze the team’s roster heading into the regular season. Replays of three Cowboys preseason games will also air on the station (FS Southwest).
NOTES: In L.A., Mark Lacter cited a source that said that L.A. Times NBA writer Mark Heisler has left the paper in a “big round of staff cuts.” Sports columnist Jerry Crowe also reportedly is set to depart the paper (LAOBSERVED.com, 7/27)....Former CNN host Rick Sanchez this fall will serve as “color commentator for Florida International University’s football games.” Sanchez will work with play-by-play announcer Tony Calatayud (South Florida SUN-SENTINEL, 7/28).