Ken from Fang’s Bites with your links on this early Saturday morning.
I was about to do the megalinks this afternoon, but got called away to my home office where I didn’t finish work until after 8 p.m. Yes, it’s Friday, but sometimes you have to work late.
Let’s do the Weekend Viewing Picks.
It’s NFL Divisional Playoffs weekend and there are four regular season matchups. Probably the most intriguing is the third meeting between the New York Giants and Philadelphia Eagles at the Meadowlands on Sunday. For the schedule, plus what the NFL pregame shows will cover, you can head to the NFL Viewing Picks for Divisional Playoffs Weekend. Good stuff awaits you when you click on the link.
The Bruins host Carolina in a Saturday matinee at the Garden. NESN has the game at 1.
The Celtics will try to get out of their funk in Canada on Sunday, taking on the Toronto Raptors on Comcast SportsNet at 12:30.
The first stop on the PGA Tour is in Hawai’i for the Mercedes Benz Championship. Golf Channel has full weekend coverage starting at 6 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday.
College basketball is now in full swing and there’s mostly conference play this weekend. Providence takes on Georgetown, Saturday at 1 p.m. on ESPNU. Boston College which inexplicably beat North Carolina last Sunday, then inexplicably lost to Harvard on Wednesday, hosts Miami at 7, also on ESPNU. The College Basketball Viewing Picks has the national and regional schedule for the weekend.
Now to the links.
A story that broke late on Friday afternoon, Jon Saraceno of USA Today reported that Charles Barkley will take an extended leave of absence from TNT following his New Year’s Eve arrest on DUI charges.
Michael Hiestand of USA Today reviews the 3-D telecast of the BCS National Championship Game on Thursday.
The Sports Media Watch says Fox and NBC drew good ratings for their NFL Wild Card playoff broadcasts. Turning to hockey, the SMW reports that the NHL Winter Classic increased 14% in the ratings compared to last year. SMW says the ratings for the BCS National Championship went up from last year. And the blog says Florida’s BCS win gave Fox a double digit increase.
The Big Lead has an interview with NFL Commish Roger Goodell.
Maury Brown of the Biz of Baseball says the MLB Network is a step closer to broadcasting in Canada.
Alex Weprin of Broadcasting & Cable says MLB Network and MLB.com will show the Baseball Hall of Fame announcement live on Monday.
Mike Reynolds of Multichannel News writes that Comcast SportsNet Bay Area is building a new HD studio and plans to have four hours of live nightly local programming.
Kevin Downey of Media Life Magazine reports that NBC is 90% sold for the Super Bowl.
Marc Graser of Variety tells us that the movie studios will make a big marketing push during the Super Bowl.
East and Mid-Atlantic
Nancy Marrapese-Burrell of the Boston Globe goes into NESN’s technical problems during Sunday’s Boston College-North Carolina game.
Bill Doyle of the Worcester Telegram & Gazette says the MLB Network’s debut comes better late than never.
Richard Sandomir of the New York Times gets on Fox’s Thom Brennaman and Charles Davis for their confusion during Florida’s goal line stand during the BCS Title Game.
In a mild upset, Bob Raissman of the New York Daily News has found someone he actually likes. That would be Michael Strahan of Fox NFL Sunday.
There’s more Phil Mushnick hate in the New York Post.
The Great Neil Best of Newsday talks with Fox Sports NFL analyst Troy Aikman. And Neil has a bit more with Troy in his blog. Neil has former 49er receiver Jerry Rice calling himself “crazy and might be a little insane.” Hmmm. Neil has an interview with the former “King of Queens”, Kevin James.
Pete Dougherty of the Albany Times Union talks with local sports anchor and play-by-play man Doug Sherman.
Laura Nachman says Comcast SportsNet Philadelphia has made its first female sportscasting hire since 1997.
Ray Frager of the Baltimore Sun has the NFL TV analysts debating the overtime rule. In his blog, Ray writes that ESPN will start counting the top 30 plays in college basketball in 30 years to mark the network carrying the sport since 1979.
Scott D. Pierce of the Deseret (UT) News says the mtn. has definitely hurt Utah in the eyes of BCS voters.
Ofelia Madrid and Nathan Gonzalez of the Arizona Republic write about Charles Barkley’s leave of absence from TNT.
Jim Gintonio of the Republic talks with Phoenix Coyotes host and reporter Todd Walsh.
Jay Posner of the San Diego Union-Tribune talks with CBS’ Phil Simms about the Chargers.
John Maffei of the North County Times also has a conversation with Phil Simms.
Do you want another column speaking with Phil Simms? Why not? Here’s Jim Carlisle of the Ventura County Star speaking with Simms.
Chris Dufresne of the Los Angeles Times says ESPN won’t be pushing for a playoff when it takes over the rights for the BCS in 2011. There’s a shock.
How about another media column featuring Phil Simms? This one is written by Tom Hoffarth of the Los Angeles Daily News. Tom has his usual extensive media notes. Tom also reviews his week in blogging. Tom writes that Billy Packer will announce his latest venture in Las Vegas on Monday.
Marc Katz of the Dayton Daily News is amazed at the Ohio State connection in TV sports.
Michael Zuidema of the Grand Rapids Press has some suggestions for the TV networks.
Bob Wolfley from the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel says Brett Favre is still a ratings hit in Wisconsin.
Ted Cox of the Chicago Daily Herald says former radio co-hosts Mike North and Dan Jiggetts look forward to reuniting on Comcast SportsNet Monday.
Crain’s Chicago Business’ Ed Sherman rips Fox for its performance during the BCS National Championship Game. Ed talks with Dan Jiggetts about Comcast SportsNet’s new morning show that debuts on Monday. And Ed talks with Mike North about the show as well.
Paul Christian of the Rochester Post-Bulletin talks NFL in his column.
The St. Louis Post-Dispatch’s Dan Caesar says it appears that the Blues will not be on free TV at all next season. Dan has a look at the Blues’ ratings on over the air and cable TV. And Dan has some media news and notes.
Roger van der Horst of the Raleigh News & Observer has his observations on the 3-D presentation of the BCS Championship Game. Roger writes that it’s not easy to find Fox Sports Carolinas on Dish Network or DirecTV.
Doug Nye of The State feels it’s time for a college football playoff.
The Miami Herald’s Barry Jackson says NFL analysts too often state the obvious.
Dave Darling of the Orlando Sentinel says while Bright House has picked up Fox Sports Florida making Magic fans happy, Comcast customers are still left in the dark.
Jerry Greene of the Sentinel was not too pleased with the Fox telecast of the BCS Championship Game.
David Barron of the Houston Chronicle says Fox Sports Houston was 26 years in the making.
Ray Buck of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram says the Cowboys’ lack of chemistry is obvious to the NFL TV analysts.
Barry Horn of the Dallas Morning News has the video of Thom Brennaman confusing his downs. And Barry has a bit more on Thom’s bad night. Barry previews his Saturday column with Troy Aikman. Barry reports that the Texas Rangers have hired Dallas radio veteran Dave Barnett to replace Victor Rojas who joined the MLB Network. Barry gets the reaction from Dave’s new partner, Eric Nadel.
Mel Bracht of The Daily Oklahoman would rather have Brent Musberger and Kirk Herbstreit than Fox’s Thom Brennaman and Charles Davis calling the BCS.
From the Toronto Globe and Mail, William Houston reports that CTV has set its broadcasting lineup for the 2010 Winter Olympics in Vancouver.
CTV has the entire talent lineup for the 2010 Games.
TSN which is part of the large Canadian consortium broadcasting the Olympics has a report on the broadcasters.
That will do it. Enjoy your weekend and don’t spend too much time digging out.