Ken from Fang’s Bites back with you with the Friday media megalinks.

Don’t forget to vote in the latest Approval Ratings which today focuses on 7NBC’s Joe Amorosino.

Before we do the links, let’s go over the weekend viewing.

Weekend Viewing Picks

The 134th running of the Kentucky Derby, the first leg of horse racing’s Triple Crown, will be run in its traditional first Saturday in May slot. NBC Sports will have live coverage from Churchill Downs in Louisville. The announcing crew will include blog hater Bob Costas, Tom Hammond, Gary Stevens, Tom Durkin, Bob Neumeier and a cast of thousands. One of the worst ideas ever, a red carpet show hosted by Access Hollywood’s Billy Bush will begin NBC’s coverage at 4 p.m. The race will be run sometime after 6 p.m. ESPN will have coverage of the racing undercard beginning at noon ET. If you can’t be near a TV, ESPN Radio has coverage and Sirius Satellite Radio picks up the Run for the Roses on channel 120. ESPN Radio 890 will have a show hosted by Adam Jones live from Suffolk Downs tomorrow afternoon at 3 p.m. with the Kentucky Derby broadcast hosted by Brent Musberger at 5.

Oscar De La Hoya will be fighting once again on Saturday. He’ll fight a former “Contender” contestant, Steve Forbes, live on HBO’s World Championship Boxing Saturday night at 10 p.m. Jim Lampley, Emanuel Steward and Larry Merchant will have the call.

The NBA Playoffs continues this weekend. The Celtics try to close out their series with the Hawks tonight at the Phillips Arena. Comcast SportsNet has the game at 8. Approval ratings leader Mike Gorman, Donny Marshall and Greg Dickerson will have the call. TNT will have a Saturday night doubleheader as Detroit takes on Orlando at 7:30 and San Antonio visits New Orleans at 10 p.m.

In the NHL, Versus has coverage of Game 5 of the Philadelphia-Montreal series Saturday night at 7:30. NBC will have Game 5 of the New York Rangers-Pittsburgh series Sunday at 2 p.m. Any other playoff games this weekend depends on tonight’s action.

Baseball continues into its second month of action. The Red Sox hope to avenge last weekend’s sweep at the hands of the Tampa Bay Rays. NESN has all three games of the series, tonight and tomorrow at 7 p.m. and Sunday at 1:30 p.m. Fox Sports has its usual three games on Saturday which includes the rivalry game of the Chicago Cubs at St. Louis. On Sunday, WGN will have the Chicago White Sox at Toronto at 1 p.m., TBS carries the New York Mets at Arizona at 4 p.m. and ESPN’s Sunday Night Baseball has the Cubs-Cards at 8:05.

NASCAR’s Sprint Cup Series is in Richmond, VA for the Dan Lowry 400. Fox has it at 7 p.m. Saturday.

The PGA Tour’s Wachovia Championship will be on CBS Sports Saturday and Sunday at 3 p.m.

And the New England Revolution host Chicago this Saturday night at 7:30 on TV-38.

If you want to check out the national sports listings, head on over to USA Today.

Now to your links.

Michael Hiestand of USA Today says the red carpet may become a staple of live sports coverage.

Now we’ll go to the links across the country.

East and Mid-Atlantic

David Scott of Boston Sports Media Watch tries to clean up the Buzz Bissinger mess on Costas Now and the Yahoo blogging mess.

Nancy Marrapese-Burrell of the Boston Globe writes that there will be plenty of Access at the Kentucky Derby.

Phil Mushnick of the New York Post feels the New York Lottery is playing games. Mike Puma of the Post writes about YES analyst Bobby Murcer returning to the broadcast booth tonight.

Bob Raissman from the New York Daily News writes that Yankees manager Joe Girardi is not showing a prowess with the media.

Neil Best in today’s Newsday covers a bunch of subjects in today’s column including the Costas Now program, MLB showing vintage games on its new MLB Network, media speculation involving the Yankees’ Phillip Hughes and the Tribeca/ESPN Sports Film Festival. In his blog, Neil says ESPN Classic will run a bunch of sports documentaries this weekend. And Neil links to video of Howard Cosell interviewing Mickey Mantle.

Ray Frager from the Baltimore Sun talks about the Kentucky Derby on NBC and how MASN will pick up some minor league baseball games this summer.

Tim Lemke of the Washington Times says hockey is finally making waves in the TV ratings. And in his blog, Tim makes excellent points on the Buzz Bissinger fiasco on Costas Now.


George M. Thomas of the Akron Beacon Journal says Big Brown is the talk of the Kentucky Derby.

Teddy Greenstein of the Chicago Tribune has a bunch of subjects in his column including White Sox players who want to buy the microphone in which Lee Elia made his now-famous tirade.

Bob Wolfley of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel looks at the Costas Now segment in which Buzz Bissinger came out swinging.

Michael Zuidema from the Grand Rapids (MI) Press says the NHL and NBA playoffs are just plain good TV.

Paul Christian of the Rochester (MN) Post-Bulletin talks with NBC Sports’ horse racing handicapper Mike Battaglia about Big Brown’s chances in the Kentucky Derby.

Judd Zulgad in today’s Minneapolis Star Tribune says KSTP-TV is looking to go in a different direction as its main sports anchor is leaving.


Doug Nye of The State wonders when the NCAA will turn to a college football playoff.

From the Miami Herald, Barry Jackson writes that the media is dancing around the Bill Parcells/Jason Taylor situation.

Dave Darling of the Orlando Sentinel talks about the Kentucky Derby on NBC Sports.

Ray Buck from the Fort Worth Star-Telegram says the NFL Network has closed the gap on ESPN on NFL Draft coverage.

Mel Bracht of the Oklahoman says ESPN/ABC NBA analyst Jeff Van Gundy is liking his job more and more. Mel has his media notebook which includes the Sports Emmys. And Mel has his viewing picks.


Scott D. Pierce of the Deseret (UT) Morning News wonders why TV networks forget about the Mountain Time Zone.

John Maffei in the North County Times says ESPN and NBC are taking different approaches to their Kentucky Derby broadcasts.

Jim Carlisle of the Ventura County Star discusses NBC’s coverage of the Run for the Roses.

Bill Plaschke of the Los Angeles Times has Vin Scully clarifying his retirement comments. John Scheibe has the Sound and Vision column.

Tom Hoffarth from the LA Daily News says Oscar De La Hoya wants to put boxing back on free TV. It would definitely help the sport. Tom has his extensive media notes in his Farther Off the Wall blog.


William Houston of the Toronto Globe and Mail talks about the Bissinger blasts on Costas Now.

Chris Zelkovich of the Toronto Star has stuff on an anchor at The Score.


Christopher Byrne of the Eye on Sports Media blog looks into the possible impropriety of a U.S. Marshal arranging limo service for Fox Sports at the 2007 World Series.

Joe Favorito in his Sports Marketing and Public Relations blog says the Arena Football League is a marketing success.

CNBC’s Darren Rovell talks with super agent David Falk. And Darren talks about the packaging of Under Armour shoes.

That’s it. Enjoy your weekend.


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