The GLOBE & MAIL’s Bruce Dowbiggin notes with CTV winning the rights to "all the major FIFA products" beginning in ’15, the company is “leveraging a valuable domestic product (the 2015 women’s WC) with a larger package of events that it can distribute across the entire spectrum of CTV’s channels. Soccer can be seen on CTV, CTV2, TSN, TSN2, RDS, RDS2, ESPN Classic, "ethnic channel partners, many websites, wireless platforms, tablets, VOD, TSN radio and, as one source says, ‘whatever else is invented in the next 11 years.'” This also “forms a template for how CTV might handle the next national NHL TV package, which becomes effective” in ’14. The CBC “currently has those rights, but it’s expected that it will not be able to compete financially with CTV or Rogers should those broadcasters make a determined push for the prestigious 'Hockey Night In Canada'/playoffs package when bidding begins” (GLOBE & MAIL, 10/28).
THE ONLY GAME IN TOWN: In Ft. Worth, Mac Engel wrote it is "cute to see ESPN play journalism and employ the nationally renowned Poynter Institute act as its journalism watchdog and ombudsman.” Considering the “financial relationships that exist between ESPN and so many sports leagues and organizations, it does a fairly decent job of reporting the bad news.” But it also “employs a bevy of mouthpieces and shills that can’t possibly be too harsh or they risk losing their source, or alienating their friends.” ESPN has “such a monopoly on the rights to carry so many different games in so many different sports that the view has little alternative but to watch, listen and read.” But from a journalism standpoint, “ESPN is not that much different than E! News” (STAR-TELEGRAM.com, 10/27).
FAMILIAR VOICE: In Minneapolis, Joe Chirstensen cites sources as saying that Ryan Lefebvre "could get an offer from the Twins soon" to be the team's radio play-by-play voice. Lefebvvre "worked on Twins radio and television broadcasts from 1995 to 1998 before spending the past 13 years as a Royals broadcaster." Twins studio host Kris Atteberry, Triple-A Int'l League Rochester Red Wings broadcaster Josh Wetzel and Brewers radio broadcaster Cory Provus are also “under consideration” for the job. John Gordon announced that he would not return after the ’11 season to call games on the radio (Minneapolis STAR TRIBUNE, 10/28).
PEOPLE & PERSONALITIES: USA TODAY's Michael Hiestand reports Ron Franklin "will broadcast his first game on TV since being fired by ESPN in January when he reunites with Mike Gottfried to call the Chattanooga vs. Samford football game." Franklin was let go by ESPN (USA TODAY, 10/28)....Former England F John Barnes will "join ESPN as a football analyst for its coverage of the Barclays Premier League and FA Cup" (ESPN.co.uk, 10/24)....Robbi Pickeral is leaving the Raleigh News & Observer to join ESPN.com (NEWSOBSERVER.com, 10/24).