"Moneyball" is set to be released in a little over two weeks, but A’s GM Billy Beane “has said barely a word about it,” according to a front-page piece by Mark Emmons of the SAN JOSE MERCURY NEWS. Beane has taken “few interviews” about the film, which lionized his "revolutionary approach to building small-budget teams into baseball contenders." Beane's silence has led to speculation that he is "uncomfortable being cast as a genius at a time when the standings tell such a different story." But he said that his “source of unease is something else entirely.” Beane: "The hard thing for me has been figuring out how to walk this fine line. If I embrace all this movie stuff, it looks like I'm really digging it. But if I put my hand up and say, 'No,' I look like I'm distancing myself from it. There's no playbook for this." A's Owner Lew Wolff said, "Billy is not the kind of guy who is looking for fame, at least the Hollywood kind. But I think he's handled this beautifully by not making too much of it. I know he likes the movie a lot, but he hasn't gone Hollywood by a long shot." Some A’s officials “saw a private screening last week, and their reviews were positive.” A's Equipment Manager Steve Vucinich said, "They gussied it up some. But that's Hollywood, and that's OK. For the most part, it was pretty true" (SAN JOSE MERCURY NEWS, 9/8).
RUNNING UP THAT HLL: How excited is Sony for the release of “Moneyball?” So excited that it forgot to proofread its bus ad and misspelled actor Jonah Hill’s last name. WMG Chair & CEO Casey Wasserman posted this photo on Twitter along with the text, “Apparently in an effort to be in the spirit of the film, Sony saves money by not paying for the I in Hill...” (THE DAILY).
Fox Sports yesterday said that it has canceled “The College Experiment” after the show “aired a segment that mocked Asian students who were filmed” on the USC campus, according to the AP. Fox Sports Senior VP/Media Relations Lou D’Ermilio in a statement said the segment that aired last week was “clearly offensive and inconsistent with the standards Fox Sports believes in, and we sincerely regret that it appeared.” D’Ermilio added that the “video was removed as soon as the network became aware of it” (AP, 9/7). In Boulder, Brittany Anas notes in the video, “Bob Oschack -- a comedian who labeled himself as an ‘investigative reporter’ for Fox Sports -- approached Asian students on the USC campus, asking them how they feel about CU and the University of Utah becoming the newest members of the Pac-12.” Oschack then appears “to mock students’ accents, corrects their grammatical mistakes in a seemingly condescending tone and pretends to mistake what they’re saying for the sake of laughs” (Boulder DAILY CAMERA, 9/7). AWFUL ANNOUNCING’s Ryan Yoder wrote the Fox Sports video is “about as discriminatory a three minutes of a video as you can see.” Yoder: “Who in their right mind at Fox Sports thought this was a suitable video to publish on their website. ... Only mild credit can be given to Fox Sports for pulling down the video and issuing an apology. These types of eye-opening mistakes can’t happen in this day and age, especially at a major sports media company like Fox” (AWFULANNOUNCING.com, 9/7). The COLUMBIA JOURNALISM REVIEW’s Ryan Chittum wrote, “This is one of the most overtly racist things I’ve seen from the Murdoch media -- and that’s saying something. Heads should roll” (CJR.org, 9/7).
Oklahoma State Univ. will play the Univ. of Arizona tonight on ESPN, the latest example of OSU's "new tradition" of hosting a Thursday night football game, and the reasons the school continues to "play on a weeknight in prime time ... are concrete," according to Gina Mizell of the DAILY OKLAHOMAN. The "buzzword thrown out" by OSU AD Mike Holder and coach Mike Gundy is "marketing." Gundy said, "Being the only show on Thursday night, there are a lot of viewers out there. And it's not only for our football team, but it's for our university. When that logo's on the screen for three hours ... we think is an advantage." Mizell noted while the game will air opposite the NFL season-opening Saints-Packers game on NBC, Arizona-OSU is the only option "for a viewer looking for college football." Holder said, "ESPN can be very persuasive. They've got a lot of arrows in their quiver to get you to play on Thursday night. It seems like the more times you say no or maybe not, the better the deal gets. And finally, you just can't say no." Tonight's game marks the third straight season OSU has hosted a primetime Thursday game, and Holden said, "It's not a decision that you make lightly, but for the last three years, the positives have outweighed the negatives." OSU QB Brandon Weeden: "I wouldn't want to play four or five of them throughout the year, but once a year is fun" (DAILY OKLAHOMAN, 9/5).
In L.A., Flint & Chmielewski write under the header, “How High Can Fees For Sports Rights Go?” Some distributors are “nervous about subscribers cutting the cord to their pay-TV service.” DirecTV Exec VP/Content Strategy & Development Derek Chang said, "In this last quarter our industry has probably lost about a half-million subscribers. What do you attribute that to? Most people are attributing it to the affordability of the product." Mediacom Chair & CEO Rocco Commisso “took the unusual step of asking government to do more to combat rising programming costs.” Commisso: "Sports are the worst culprit. … Why is this the only industry not affected by the recession?" (L.A. TIMES, 9/8).
FANTASY ALERT! CBSSports.com is expanding its online fantasy video series, "Fantasy Football Today," from beyond its traditional Sunday slot to daily Tuesday-Friday each week as well during the NFL season. In addition, CBS Sports Network will telecast the show each Sunday from 11:00am-1:00pm ET. The weekday slots will run during the noon hour ET to help fantasy players set their rosters for the upcoming week and monitor injury updates (Eric Fisher, SportsBusiness Journal). MAKING A U-TURN:F1 Management Chair Bernie Ecclestone has confirmed that the BBC “will not broadcast full reruns of the 10 races which it is not showing live next year.” In London, Christian Sylt noted Sky next season “will broadcast all races live while the BBC's live coverage will be restricted to 10 of the 20-race calendar.” Ecclestone in July confirmed to F1 teams that the BBC “would broadcast every race in full after it has taken place.” But he said on Sunday, "The BBC will broadcast 75 minutes of every race" (London INDEPENDENT, 9/5).
LEARNING A NEW LANGUAGE:The LPGA has “launched an official Korean version of its website that will feature live scoring, player information and enhanced blogs with special Korean content.” The LPGA “already has a website geared toward the Japanese audience” (AP, 9/6).