In L.A., Lance Pugmire reported HBO will announce next week that Jim Lampley “will be joined ringside at the Dec. 10 Amir Khan-Lamont Peterson fight in Washington, D.C., by previously rotating commentators Larry Merchant and Max Kellerman.” A source described the teaming as a "once and only" situation created by boxing commitments for analysts Roy Jones Jr. and trainer Emanuel Steward. Merchant has rotated color-commentator duties with Kellerman since ‘07, “when an expiring Merchant contract led HBO to expand Kellerman's duties” (LATIMES.com, 11/30).
WINTER COVERAGE: MLB Network will air more than 15 live hours of coverage from the ’11 MLB Winter Meetings from Dallas next week with special editions of “Hot Stove” and “Intentional Talk,” starting with a “Hot Stove” preview on Sunday, December 4 at 8:00pm ET. On-site episodes of “Intentional Talk” hosted by Chris Rose and Kevin Millar will air each day of the meetings live at 5:00pm, featuring interviews with team personnel and updates on the latest news and rumors from around the league (MLB Network).
TV BREAK: On Long Island, Neil Best noted former Red Sox manager Terry Francona “appears committed to taking a year off from managing to work in television, where he got rave reviews filling in for Tim McCarver for the first two games of the ALCS on Fox.” One possibility for Francona “would be moving into the seat in ESPN's ‘Sunday Night Baseball’ booth being vacated” by analyst Bobby Valentine. An ESPN spokesperson said, “Terry is well respected for his great insight into the game. We have expressed interest and look forward to discussing it further with him." Fox also “has had discussions with Francona about more work” with that net in ’12 (NEWSDAY.com, 11/30).
MR. JONES AND ME: Columnist Bomani Jones has joined SB Nation, posting his first column on the website today. Jones is a regular contributor to ESPN’s “Around The Horn” and “Outside The Lines,” and a source close to the situation said that Jones will still appear on the shows (THE DAILY).
AND THE WINNER IS: CABLEFAXDAILY cites a Beta cable subscriber survey that shows Discovery Channel “overtook ESPN as basic cable subs’ favorite basic cable net” but statistical insignificance calls for Food Net, History, ESPN, TNT and USA “to be called equally favored.” Discovery, however “was the clear favorite among adults viewing TV on a smartphone/tablet and was joined by History and Nat Geo as the nets named most important to subs’ enjoyment of cable” (CABLEFAXDAILY.com, 12/1).