PRO FOOTBALL TALK's Mike Florio cited a source as saying that NFL Network "made a run at ESPN's Trey Wingo," but Wingo ultimately "decided to stay put in Bristol." Florio wrote Wingo's "non-move makes sense." Rich Eisen "will be the top dog at NFLN until he leaves the network," and at ESPN, Chris Berman "will serve as the king of the NFL coverage for as long as he's there." Florio: "It therefore makes more sense for Wingo to position himself to have a shot at replacing Berman, who is considerably older than Eisen" (PROFOOTBALLTALK.com, 8/29).
SUNDAY NIGHT SMACK DOWN: NBC earned a 5.6 final Nielsen rating and 9.27 million viewers for the Saints-Raiders "Sunday Night Football" matchup, marking the second most-viewed NFL preseason game for '11 to date. The game only featured 95% coverage among U.S. markets due to effects from Hurricane Irene. The telecast was also blacked out in S.F.-Oakland-San Jose after the Raiders failed to draw a sellout for the game (Austin Karp, THE DAILY). Meanwhile, in N.Y., Phil Mushnick wrote at a "time when everyone recognizes the NFL has become inexcusably brutal -- leaving players physically and neurologically impaired for life, lives often shortened -- NBC's 'Sunday Night Football' telecasts feature the 'Hewlett Packard Hit of the Game,' tape of some excessively violent shot." Mushnick: "Is there no one at NBC who recognizes the difference between a brutal shot and a great tackle?" (N.Y. POST, 8/29).
POCKET ACES: MULTICHANNEL NEWS' Mike Reynolds notes Tennis Channel has added former tennis players Mats Wilander and Jim Courier as analysts for this year's U.S. Open. Wilander was in the booth for yesterday's Marin Cilic-Ryan Harrison match, and he took Harrison "to task for his boorish behavior and ultimately his lack of coming up with the goods when it mattered most during his straight-set loss." Wilander is "expected to make a return engagement" tomorrow. Sources said that Courier was scheduled to be on air today and could work Thursday and Friday (MULTICHANNEL.com, 8/30).