USA TODAY's Michael Hiestand reports as ESPN and NFL Network "offer dueling coverage of the NFL draft that begins Thursday night, they've agreed not to show prospects getting phone calls -- at the draft or anywhere else -- from agents or teams telling them they're about to be selected." NFL Network's Rich Eisen said that the ESPN-NFLN "'gentleman's agreement' is a good idea." Eisen: "The national TV coverage was cannibalizing (the event). There was something inherently wrong with it. I was getting complaints from viewers on Twitter and I don't blame them" (USA TODAY, 4/23).
ANOTHER NEW NET? In Austin, Kirk Bohls notes Texas Tech is "researching the feasibility of its own network." Texas Tech AD Kirby Hocutt said last week, "I would say we're past the initial stages. I'd say we'll decide something in the next 12 to 18 months. The opportunities are there. Oklahoma's is the format we would follow." The school learned through Bortz Media & Sports Group that its football games from '08-10 ranked "second in ratings -- behind only Texas" -- in six market areas within the league footprint, including Dallas-Ft. Worth, Austin and St. Louis (AUSTIN AMERICAN-STATESMAN, 4/23).
OPEN WARNING: The GUARDIAN's Ewan Murray reports R&A CEO Peter Dawson has "warned the BBC that its future broadcasting of the Open is at risk if it continues to scale down its live golf coverage." The BBC will air "only six days of live mens' professional golf" next year. The net has a contract to show the British Open live until '16 but Dawson "made it clear there is no guarantee of that agreement being extended." Dawson: "We obviously want the Open Championship to be seen by as many people as we can. The BBC know they need to get off the financial plateau they are on with the Open Championship by the next time it comes around. Who knows who will be on the scene then?" (GUARDIAN, 4/23).
NO RENEWAL: In Minneapolis, Michael Russo noted the Wild informed TV play-by-play man Dan Terhaar that his contract "will not be renewed." While all four broadcasters "have expiring contracts, the Wild informed TV color analyst Mike Greenlay and the radio team of Bob Kurtz and Tom Reid that they will be re-signed." Terhaar has been the Wild's TV voice for the past seven seasons (STARTRIBUNE.com, 4/20).
LOOKING BACK: Fox last night aired “Fox 25th Anniversary Special,” which looked back at the last 25 years of Fox programming. Fox Sports’ Terry Bradshaw and Joe Buck appeared to discuss Fox acquiring the rights to the NFL before the '94 season. Buck: “We knew we wanted to give the fans a little something more than just X’s and O’s.” Bradshaw: “We wanted to give them that edgier approach." Buck said that “risk-taking led to some incredible broadcast innovations,” including putting cameras “right on the field of play, even on players, allowing fans to hear the true sounds of the game" ("Fox 25th Anniversary Special," Fox, 4/22).