Update: Head over to Scott’s Shots for a quick interview with Tina Cervasio on her new job with MSG.
It’s Ken from Fang’s Bites. Time for your Friday media links once again. The NCAA Tournament will be the subject of discussion in most of the media columns today.
First round action will conclude Friday night, then 2nd round action will start with a quadruple header on Saturday on CBS and a triple decker jones on Easter Sunday. All action can be accessed through March Madness on Demand at NCAA.com or through Mega March Madness on DirecTV.
The NCAA Women’s Tournament gets underway on the ESPN family of networks on Saturday. If your internet service provider has an agreement with the Alleged Worldwide Leader, you can watch all of the Women’s Tournament on your computer through ESPN360.
If you’re not a college basketball fan, there’s Tiger Woods going for his 6th straight PGA Tour win at the Blue Monster at Doral in Miami as the Florida Swing continues. The Golf Channel has 2nd round coverage of the CA Championship today at 2 p.m. then NBC Sports picks up the tournament on Saturday with four hours of coverage.
For tennis fans, there’s the Pacific Life Tournament which heads to the men’s and women’s finals on FSN.
And the NASCAR Sprint Cup takes the Easter holiday off, but the Nationwide Series will be in Nashville on Saturday on ESPN2.
Let’s get to your links.
Michael Hiestand of USA Today looks into the anti-ESPN Power Point presentation that’s been making the rounds at league offices and ad agencies. Earlier this week, John Ourand of the Sports Business Journal broke the story about the slide show that had been created by ESPN’s competitors. Hiestand notes that the author is “Fox Network Groups”. Michael has now started a blog for USA Today and I say it’s about time. Welcome to the blogosphere, Michael. And here’s the Nation Newspaper’s complete listing of sports on TV this weekend.
David Scott has an interview with the always lovely Tina Cervasio who signed with MSG Network earlier this week.
Now let’s start out West and move eastward.
John Ryan of the San Jose Mercury News writes in his Morning Buzz blog that the NCAA Tournament is a true Made-for-TiVO event.
Lance Pugmire of the Los Angeles Times writes about CBS’ first Mixed Martial Arts primetime telecast in May. Christine Daniels talks about the NCAA Tournament being the viewing pick of the weekend.
The Los Angeles Daily News’ Tom Hoffarth talks with the General Manager of CBSSports.com about March Madness on Demand which had some technical glitches on Thursday. Hoffarth has his extensive media notes in his Farther Off the Wall blog. And Ramona Shelburne of the Daily News has a story on Carter Blackburn who made his NCAA Tournament debut yesterday and did rather well in my opinion.
Jim Carlisle of the Ventura County Star enjoyed having games to choose from in the NCAA Tournament either through his computer or on DirecTV.
From the North County Times, John Maffei says Padres announcer Andy Masur is now more comfortable in his second year in the radio booth and gets to call tonight’s UConn-San Diego NCAA Tournament game as a bonus.
Jay Posner of the San Diego Union-Tribune talks with CBS Sports analyst Mike Gminski who will call the UConn-San Diego game tonight. Jay has last weekend’s TV ratings from the always classy San Diego.
Scott D. Pierce from the Deseret (UT) Morning News has a bone to pick with the Mountain West Conference’s TV coverage.
Paul Christian of the Rochester Post-Bulletin talks about a whole range of topics including the number of entries in ESPN.com’s Tournament Challenge.
Judd Zulgad of the Minneapolis Star-Tribune talks with NCAA Tournament host Greg Gumbel.
In today’s Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, Bob Wolfley feels interest going into this year’s NCAA Tournament is at an all-time low.
The Chicago Tribune’s Teddy Greenstein has his viewing picks for the weekend.
Mel Bracht of the Oklahoman talks with CBS Sports’ Bill Raftery who will call the St. Joseph’s-Oklahoma game tonight. In his media notebook, Bracht incorrectly says March Madness on Demand is offering Westwood One radio broadcasts of the NCAA Tournament for the first time. They were offered last year as well. And Mel says there’s plenty of college action to watch this weekend.
David Barron of the Houston Chronicle says a local sports radio talk host is back doing what he does best.
Ray Buck from the Fort Worth Star-Telegram says ESPN’s baseball analysts have had little to say about the Texas Rangers’ chances this season.
The Orlando Sentinel’s Dave Darling gives his top 10 favorite Yankee Stadium moments.
In the Miami Herald, Barry Jackson says there’s a method to CBS Sports’ madness in choosing which NCAA Tournament games go where. And Jackson has Bob Costas trying to backtrack on his anti-blogging comments from last week.
Let’s head to South Carolina where Doug Nye of The State says the NCAA Tournament won’t have the sporting weekend to itself.
East and Mid-Atlantic
Jim Williams in the Baltimore edition of the Examiner talks with CBS’ Billy Packer who says Georgetown could be upset today by Maryland-Baltimore County. And for the Washington edition, Williams has Packer saying Georgetown can reach the Final Four. What? And in his Watch This! blog, Williams says the NCAA Tournament can be accessed by all types of media, via TV, radio, computer, satellite TV, On Demand, etc.
Ray Frager of the Baltimore Sun has the ESPN MLB analysts talking about the Orioles’ chances this year.
Heading to New York now, the Post’s Phil Mushnick speculates that ESPN’s Chris Berman won’t be at The Masters because Augusta National told the network not to send him. That’s a stretch. Justin Terranova has five questions for NBC Sports golf analyst Johnny Miller. And Terranova talks with ESPN’s Steve Phillips about Breakfast and Baseball as the Red Sox take on the A’s next Tuesday and Wednesday mornings.
The increasingly bitter Bob Raissman of the New York Daily News lashes out at CBS for not allowing the players to be paid in the NCAA Tournament.
Neil Best of Newsday who’s not bitter, talks with CBS News and Sports President Sean McManus about his double role in leading two network divisions. From his blog, Neil has some things that didn’t make his column including comments from CBS News investigative reporter Armen Keteyian about his boss. Neil also has comments from McManus about the CBS Sports properties and trying to increase the ratings for Katie Couric. And Neil has a blurb on how WFAN’s morning and afternoon shows are playing nicey-nice for now.
The Toronto Globe and Mail’s William Houston says Jim Hughson and Craig Simpson will have a rare hockey doubleheader Saturday as they’ll call two games in two different cities for Hockey Night in Canada.
The Toronto Star’s Chris Zelkovich talks about a potential all-baseball channel in Canada. This is not to be confused with the MLB Network which launches next year.
A couple of things from the Sports Media Watch. First, some ratings notes including TNT scoring for the Rockets-Celtics game on Tuesday. And the SMW feels CBS is entering this year’s NCAA Tournament on a low note.
The Sports Media Journal is now in the quarterfinals of the Sports Radio Madness host tournament.
Maury Brown of the Biz of Baseball blog says Comcast will not offer the MLB Extra Innings package in HD while DirecTV will increase the number of MLB games in High Def this season.
Christopher Byrne of the Eye on Sports Media blog looks at the silly live blogging rules for the NCAA Tournament.
Joe Favorito’s Sports Marketing and Public Relations blog says the Yankees did the right PR move going to Virginia Tech this week, while the Red Sox did not in its pay protest for its coaches.
CNBC’s Darren Rovell is now in Day Ten of his Minor League Baseball Logo Contest. And Darren has some March Madness business notes.
Those are your links for today. Enjoy your weekend and I hope your brackets will be mostly intact after Sunday. I’ll be back next Friday.