ESPN Radio 980 DC Dir of Programming Chuck Sapienza yesterday announced hosts Andy Pollin and Steve Czaban "have been temporarily removed" from the station's "Sports Reporters" program due to the "nature of their conversation" last Thursday. Sapienza in a statement said the pair "crossed the line when discussing" transgender college basketball player Gabrielle Ludwig, who was recently profiled in USA Today. Pollin began Monday's show "with an apology, saying, among other things, that no human being should ever be called an 'It'" (WASHINGTONPOST.com, 12/11).
GOODBYE TO TEBOW TIME: The WALL STREET JOURNAL's Jason Gay wrote ESPN President John Skipper's suggestion that the network's producers had "grown too enamored of the ratings that" talk of Jets QB Tim Tebow provokes was "a reasonable declaration." With Tebow having thrown just seven passes this season, Gay wrote, "Of course, any coverage of Tebow right now is ridiculous." TebowMania probably was "hitting the 16th minute in September -- or maybe last December -- but now it makes no sense" (WSJ.com, 12/11).
MAKING A PITCH: European Union Court of Justice Advocate General Niilo Jaaskinen today in a non-binding opinion said that EU nations can "include the World and Euro championships in lists of events that are 'of major importance' to society and can 'require that they be broadcast on free-to-air television.'" BLOOMBERG NEWS' Stephanie Bodoni notes the statement is a "setback to bids by FIFA and UEFA to hold on to exclusive pay-TV deals." The Luxembourg-based court "follows such advice in most cases" (BLOOMBERG NEWS, 12/12).