The American Athletic Conference yesterday launched its "fully-functioning website" at www.theamerican.org (COURANT.com, 7/1). Meanwhile, SI.com's Stewart Mandel noted starting college football opening weekend, viewers "tuning into a televised game from an American school's home stadium -- say, Purdue-Cincinnati on ESPNU -- will get a visual initiation to the new conference." Expect the "A" logo to be "featured prominently on the field and on the players' uniforms." In a "cool twist, the logo can be color-customized for each school" (SI.com, 7/1).
SPLIT DECISION: SPORTING NEWS' Bob Pockrass noted TNT will "not have its traditional split-screen coverage for" the NASCAR Sprint Cup Coke Zero 400 race Saturday night at Daytona Int'l Speedway. The TNT coverage in the past has "featured advertisements on half the screen during all national breaks, allowing the network to miss very few green-flag laps." But TNT "won’t be doing that this year." Instead, it will have "only the final 30 laps of the 160-lap race commercial free" (SPORTINGNEWS.com, 7/1).
HOSTESS WITH THIS MOSTEST? The ESPY Awards on July 17 celebrate their 20th anniversary, and Exec Producer Maura Mandt said that there are "still people on the ESPYs wish list" when it comes to the show's host, including comedian Chris Rock. The HOLLYWOOD REPORTER's Marisa Guthrie noted Mandt and ESPN President John Skipper have "yet to find the right woman to host the show." Invitations in the past have "been extended to" Rosie O'Donnell, Whoopi Goldberg and Ellen DeGeneres. Mandt said of actress Melissa McCarthy as a possibility, "She's someone who I definitely think would make a great host in the future. I would love to see a woman take on the show. And that's really what the host's role is, to help us get a certain take on the year. But it needs to be authentic" (HOLLYWOODREPORTER.com, 7/1).