FINAL COUNTDOWN: Universal Sports plans to launch a weekly studio news show ahead of the London Games called "Countdown to London." The show, which will debut 100 days out from the Olympics on April 18 at 8:00pm ET, will air every Wednesday. The first episode will be 90 minutes and subsequent ones will be an hour. It will include sponsored segments from Dow, Panasonic and Budweiser. The program will offer a mix of Olympic Trials news, athlete interviews and archival footage from previous Olympics (Tripp Mickle, SportsBusiness Journal).
OFF THE AIR: In Boston, Greg Bedard cited sources as saying Warren Sapp's employment with the NFL Network is "likely over." Sapp "has not been on the network since the week of his tweets and on-air comments" that labeled free agent TE Jeremy Shockey as the snitch in the Saints bounty scandal -- something NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell "said was not true." TMZ.com also reported documents from Sapp's recent bankruptcy filing "said his NFL Network contract, which pays him $540,000 annually, expires in August" (BOSTON GLOBE, 4/8)....SI.com's Peter King wrote the NFL "needs to send Warren Sapp to the Rookie Symposium this year -- and I'm serious -- to explain how a player at the heights a decade ago could declare bankruptcy today." King: "It's the kind of cautionary tale players can learn from. I can only think of one word for Sapp's story: sad" (SI.com, 4/9).
NOTES: YAHOO SPORTS' Mike Huguenin noted last season's USC-Notre Dame football game "was the first night game at Notre Dame Stadium since 1990." Notre Dame officials "liked it so much" that the Sept. 22 home game with Michigan will have a 7:30pm ET kickoff. The Miami-Notre Dame matchup on Oct. 6 at Soldier Field "also will kickoff" at 7:30pm ET. Both games will be on NBC (SPORTS.YAHOO.com, 4/7)....FLORIDA TODAY's Mark DeCotis wrote of his retirement from the paper, "It's time to say so long after 37 consecutive years in the newspaper business" (FLORIDA TODAY, 4/10).