NBC yesterday announced Carrie Underwood this season will perform the "SNF" opening theme song. She will make her "SNF" debut on Sunday, Sept. 8 for the Giants-Cowboys game (NBC). "SNF" Exec Producer Fred Gaudelli said previous performer Faith Hill "called me in February and told me that she felt it was time, as she called it, to 'pass the torch and let somebody else rock the open.'" Gaudelli: "At that point, I only had one person in my sights, and that was Carrie. ... She's the only person I spoke to about this" (LATIMES.com, 5/7). SportsNet N.Y.’s Adam Schein asked, “How in the world is Faith Hill leaving that gig for ‘Sunday Night Football?’ It’s the best intro in all of sports” (“Loud Mouths,” SNY, 5/7).
NO HURRY: DirecTV Chair, President & CEO Mike White said of the company's NFL Sunday Ticket package, "I want to continue that relationship, we have two more seasons to go." In N.Y., Claire Atkinson notes DirecTV pays the NFL about $1B a year for Sunday Ticket, and has "about 2 million subscribers paying for the exclusive coverage." The company likely will be "asked to pay a sizable fee increase under a new contract" (N.Y. POST, 5/8).
OWNING UP: In Chicago, Samantha Bomkamp notes former Comcast SportsNet Chicago Blackhawks reporter Susannah Collins yesterday "apologized and acknowledged missteps" that led to the RSN firing her. Collins prior to the CSN Chicago gig co-hosted a YouTube series called "Sports Nutz," and the videos "were often raunchy, sexually explicit and employed potentially racist stereotypes." Collins in a statement said, "The intention of that show was to present a satirical, tongue-in-cheek approach to sports but, unfortunately, some of the material it contained was off-color and offensive. I understand why some may have been offended by it and for this I am truly sorry" (CHICAGO TRIBUNE, 5/8).
LOYAL TO THE END: SPORTING NEWS' Bob Pockrass noted Fox made a "big decision Sunday that shows what it thinks of NASCAR" by sticking with coverage of the Sprint Cup Series Aaron's 499 into primetime. It could have given the race "to Speed or one of its networks after the rain delay of 3 hours, 36 minutes." But the net "opted to go to the end on network television, and it had to get the OK from its entertainment department to keep it on past" 7:00pm ET (SPORTINGNEWS.com, 5/7).