SI.com's Jon Wertheim reported following the U.S. Open's switch to a Monday men's final starting next year, CBS "will get a seven-figure fee reduction ... because of the switched slots and lower ratings." The men's final is "now being held at a time when half of America is still at work. And most of Europe is asleep." CBS' U.S. Open deal expires in '14, but "we know these contracts can be broken early." ESPN "may take over under a 'first ball to last ball' marketing plan." In that case, the men's final "won't be Monday, as ESPN, of course, has rights to Monday Night Football and won't cannibalize prime programming." It might move to a "Wimbledon-style format whereby Super Saturday dies and it simply becomes the day of the women's final." The "other possibility I hear: Fox takes over the network contract and is more amenable to a men's final in Monday prime time" (SI.com, 12/19).
MOTOWN MISSTEP: In Detroit, Tony Paul writes Tigers fans were "none too pleased" that both FS Detroit and MLB Network decided not to air Monday's press conference announcing the new contract for P Anibal Sanchez. A live feed "wasn't available," because the press conference took place at Comerica Park's Tiger Club -- "where all Tigers offseason press conferences take place" -- instead of the normal media room. MLB Net did "get its hands on footage later in the day, and showed it." But FS Detroit said that it "did not have the necessary equipment available at that time to do a live feed" (DETROIT NEWS, 12/20).
SKY NET: USA TODAY's Jim Michaels reports after "rapidly expanding the number of drones around the world, the Air Force is reaching out to ESPN and other experts in video analysis to keep up with the flood of footage the unmanned aircraft are transmitting." Air Force officials "met with ESPN to learn how it handles a huge volume of video feeds." The Air Force said that the visit "did not lead to any technological breakthroughs, but helped develop training and expertise" (USA TODAY, 12/20).
STARTING ANEW: In DC, Dan Steinberg noted Washington Post columnist John Feinstein is "being used as a holiday-time fill-in on" WJFK-FM. Station Program Dir Chris Kinard said, "Since he’s in the CBS family and already a regular guest on The Fan, it’s a great opportunity for us to have a quality host help us with vacation fill-in, and a great opportunity for John to get ready for the launch of his new, national show" (WASHINGTONPOST.com, 12/19)....In Ft. Lauderdale, Keven Lerner noted former NFLer Joe Rose has "signed a three-year contract extension" with WQAM-AM. His show "airs weekday mornings" from 6am-10am ET (SUN-SENTINEL.com, 12/17)....Lerner in a separate piece reported NHL Panthers announcer Steve Goldstein and local radio host Jeff DeForrest "are launching a new morning show" on WINZ-AM weekdays from 6:00-10:00am ET (SUN-SENTINEL.com, 12/19).