BLOOMBERG NEWS' Don Jeffrey reported Dish Network asked a jury to make ESPN pay at least $153M in damages for "allegedly breaching a contract by offering competitors, including Comcast Corp., better licensing terms for sports programming.” In closing arguments yesterday in N.Y. federal court, Dish “accused ESPN of violating a so-called most-favored-nation clause in their distribution agreement” (BLOOMBERG NEWS, 2/27).
Y'ALL COME BACK NOW, HEAR? SI.com’s Lars Anderson wrote it “hurts the image of NASCAR to use announcers who are grammatically challenged and fail to speak in clear, complete sentences, because it feeds the worst stereotypes that many stick-and-ball fans have of NASCAR and those who participate in the sport.” Anderson: “That said, I think (Fox analyst Darrell Waltrip) is still at the top of his game and, years from now, he'll be remembered as much for his broadcast career as his driving. Could younger, fresher voices lure younger sets of eyeballs to the sport? Perhaps, but that's pretty far down the list of what needs to be done to reinvigorate NASCAR” (SI.com, 2/27).
VARSITY BLUES: MEDIA BISTRO’s Jerry Barmash reported Cablevision has “laid off dozens of employees in a major restructuring for MSG Varsity.” A source said that the layoffs “took place two weeks ago.” Cablevision at the time said in a statement “it is combining MSG Varsity with Optimum Local, the company’s local programming unit.” But the source “intimates that the sale of Cablevision will take place in the summer” (MEDIABISTRO.com, 2/27).
WAVE RUNNERS: Good Karma Broadcasting has agreed to acquire a signal in Palm Beach County and Florida's Treasure Coast from Palm Beach Broadcasting. ESPN Radio 760 West Palm Beach now will be simulcast on the new signal, ESPN 106.3 FM, under a loan marketing agreement until the sale is finalized. The new station will be known as ESPN 106.3 and will broadcast the same local and national sports programming as ESPN 760 (ESPN 760).