In San Diego, Bill Center noted FS San Diego's coverage of the Padres' Spring Training game against the Royals "actually reached television sets in San Diego County and Las Vegas." Cox announced 10 hours before game time of Padres-Royals "would be carried on Channel 18 or 23 -- depending on the area -- rather than on the dedicated Channel 56 and Channel 1056-HD." FS San Diego on March 10 announced via Twitter that its "complete launch in San Diego would be Monday -- although there was no mention of what Cox channel would be carrying FSSD." The net is also "negotiating with a Tijuana station and the Padres are hopeful that the link to Mexico will be completed much earlier than it was last season" (SAN DIEGO UNION-TRIBUNE, 3/18).
SLAM DUNK: In Tampa, Tom Jones writes, "You know which crew is stealing the March Madness show? ESPN's Trey Wingo, Kara Lawson and Carolyn Peck, who are hosting the women's tournament." ESPN's whip-around coverage is a "smart way to cover that tournament as the network whirls around from one game to another, keeping casual sports fans interested in an event they might not normally follow." But the only way that coverage "works is if the studio crew is knowledgeable and personable, and that's what Wingo; Lawson, a WNBA and former Tennessee star; and Peck, a former Gators and Purdue coach, are" (TAMPA BAY TIMES, 3/19).
HORSE OF A DIFFERENT COLOR: In London, Greg Wood reported Channel 4 confirmed that it has "secured exclusive rights" to all domestic horse racing coverage starting in '13, including the Derby, Grand National and Royal Ascot. The "four-year deal" is believed to be worth US$24-32M. The BBC currently holds the rights and Wood noted racing has been "an important part of the BBC's sporting portfolio since the early 1960s." The new deal "will see a return to a more traditional arrangement where the broadcaster pays for the rights" (GUARDIAN, 3/18).
MOVING ON: In Chicago, Ed Sherman wrote, “Instead of wrapping up the week in sports business, I'm going to wrap up nearly 3 1/2 years on the beat today.” Sherman wrote his last post for his Crain's sports blog and has “decided to move on to pursue other opportunities.” He plans to launch “a national sports media site at ShermanReport.com” next month and is “looking forward to returning” to the golf beat he covered for 12 years at the Chicago Tribune (CHICAGOBUSINESS.com, 3/16).