ESPN President John Skipper said cable TV “is a better product than Internet video services -- but the industry still needs to improve how it delivers TV across all devices and emphasize the value of pay TV.” Skipper, speaking yesterday at the opening session of the Cable Show, said of easy-to-use services like Netflix, “We are allowing them in some ways to set the tone of the conversation.” Skipper said of making authenticated TV work well on every device, “We have superior content. We need superior delivery systems” (VARIETY.com, 4/29).
KNOCK KNOCK JOKE: In Chicago, Dan Wiederer notes an NFL spokesperson “quickly refuted” a report from Fox Sports Radio yesterday that the Bears were one of three finalists for HBO’s “Hard Knocks” this season. The NFL also said that “there is no definitive timeline for announcing a team” and pointed out that the Bengals’ participation in ’13 “wasn’t rubber-stamped until June 17” (CHICAGO TRIBUNE, 4/30).
BLAZE OF GLORY: In Calgary, Wes Gilbertson noted Flames radio play-by-play announcer Peter Maher yesterday had a “retirement ceremony” at Scotiabank Saddledome. Maher “didn’t want a send-off while still sitting in the broadcast booth.” Flames President Ken King “revealed the team is planning a tribute” to Maher next season. Maher joined the Hockey HOF in ’06 as a winner of the Foster Hewitt Memorial Award for distinguished media members (CALGARYSUN.com, 4/29).
CAREER OPPORTUNITIES: In Ft. Lauderdale, Keven Lerner noted there are 23 players “scheduled to take part” in the NFL Sports Journalism & Communications Boot Camp from May 12-15 at Bowling Green State Univ. The program is “designed to enhance players’ opportunities for post-football careers and will focus on writing skills, radio and digital media.” Panelists at the boot camp include SI’s Peter King, NFL.com’s Bucky Brooks and CBS Sports’ Solomon Wilcots (SUN-SENTINEL.com, 4/29).