Ken from Fang’s Bites and it’s time for the megalinks once again. As usual, before the linkage, there’s the Weekend Viewing Picks.

The Masters is the dominant event on the sports calendar this weekend. CBS has the weekend coverage, three and a half hours on Saturday starting at 3:30 p.m., then 18 hole coverage on Sunday beginning at 2 p.m. You can see coverage online at Masters.com or CBSSports.com throughout the weekend. You’ll see The Masters on WBZ or WPRI.

This is the first weekend of regular season baseball action. The Red Sox are out west playing Anaheim on Fox 25 and Fox 64, Saturday at 4. Luckily, neither Joe Buck or Tim McCarver will be in Anaheim for Fox. We’ll get Kenny Albert on the play-by-play along with Ken Rosenthal as the sideline reporter. NESN has Sunday’s game starting at 3:30 p.m. and hopefully Jerry Remy will return for the broadcast as he missed Friday’s game with an undisclosed ailment.

MLB Network has the Dodgers-Diamondbacks Saturday night at 8. Then on Sunday, TBS has the Mets-Marlins at 1 p.m. and ESPN’s primetime game is the Cubs at Brewers at 8 p.m.

The NHL regular season comes to a close this weekend. The Bruins on Saturday play against Buffalo opposite the Red Sox at 4 p.m. This game will be on the regular NESN channel. On Sunday, the B’s end the
season in the Nassau Coliseum against the Islanders. That game will be on NESN Plus. Check here for the channel assignment on your cable or satellite provider.

Nationally, NHL Network will carry the CBC Hockey Night in Canada doubleheader Saturday night. Pittsburgh-Montreal is the first game at 7 and Edmonton-Calgary is the nightcap at 10. NBC closes out its regular season on Sunday with a 2 p.m. contest between Detroit and Chicago.

The Celtics travel to Cleveland Sunday to take on LeBron James and the Cavs in hopes of preventing them from gaining best record in the NBA and thus home court advantage throughout the playoffs. That game is in the traditional Los Angeles Lakers 3:30 p.m. slot on ABC and WCVB.

BU goes for the NCAA Division I Men’s Hockey Championship Saturday night at 7. UVM is the opponent. Maine native Gary Thorne has the call with Barry Melrose and someone named Clay Matvick on ESPN

Saturday night, HBO will have boxing themed programming including the premiere of the documentary “Thrilla in Manila” at 8 focusing on the great 1975 fight betweeen Muhammed Ali and Joe Frazier, then the premiere of another 24/7 series at 9:30 on Manny Pacquaio and Ricky Hatton, leading up to World Championship Boxing which will have the Winky Wright-Paul Williams middleweight bout at 10.

For more sports viewing and primetime suggestions, check out my Weekend Viewing Picks.

To the links.

National

Bob Kimball does the Friday media column for USA Today and he looks at Steve Phillips joining ESPN’s Sunday Night Baseball broadcast booth.

The Nielsen Wire blog says March Madness gave the big sports websites a traffic boost.

CNBC’s Darren Rovell says Ultimate Frisbee is growing in popularity. Darren says he’s found the best tearaway pants ever. Darren says the heart attack-in-waiting Fifth-Third Burger was a hit when it was unveiled Thursday night.

The Sports Media Watch has a long thesis on why ESPN doesn’t show hockey highlights on SportsCenter. The SMW looks at MLB Opening Day ratings in various markets including Boston. SMW says the NBA on ABC suffered another ratings setback on Sunday. Paulsen noticed that ESPN’s new Bottom Line didn’t stick around very long. SMW notes that the first round of The Masters did well on ESPN. The SMW says while the NCAA Tournament ratings were up overall this year, they still were low compared to past years. And the Women’s NCAA Tournament finished lower this year compared to last year.

Steve Lepore at Puck the Media has reaction to his Jack Edwards interview from earlier this week. Steve says the NHL Network will air an NHL Playoffs Preview Show on Monday. Steve feels ESPN just doesn’t care about hockey even when it’s actually covering hockey.

Georg Szalai of the Hollywood Reporter writes that NFL Network and Dish Network have settled their differences.

Mike Reynolds of Multichannel News says NFL Network is not talking after the settlement that keeps the channel on Dish’s second tier.

Mike writes that MSG Network saw increased ratings for the New York Rangers’ playoff clincher.

Justin Kroll of Variety says the NCAA Tournament attracted the big movie studios to promote their big spring blockbusters.

Mike Shields of Mediaweek says March Madness on Demand was a big hit.

I have a column at Digital Sports Daily on Why We Love The Masters.

Dave Kohl of the Major League Programs blog looks at various regional baseball TV and radio schedules.

East and Mid-Atlantic

Chad Finn at the Boston Globe talks about the impending end of the NFL Network’s contract with Comcast.

Richard Sandomir of the New York Times says the Mohegan Sun casino doesn’t want to be blamed for its sports bar at the new Yankee Stadium obstructing the view of two sections of outfield seats.

Bob Raissman of the New York Daily News tells us about Sirius XM’s Chris Russo being prevented from airing live at the Yankee Stadium and Citi Field openers by CBS Radio.

The perpetually grumpy Phil Mushnick of the New York Post blames Hip Hop artist Flo Rida for the Mets-Marlins game being pushed back to an earlier start time to where Mets fans won’t be able to watch the first hour of the game due to Fox Sports exclusivity with MLB on Saturdays.

Justin Terranova of the Post talks with ESPN golf analyst Andy North about The Masters. Justin has five questions for ESPN’s MLB analyst and former Yankees manager Buck Showalter.

Pete Dougherty from the Albany Times Union says the local Fox affiliate won a prestigious Murrow Award.

Ken Schott of the Schenectady Gazette says the MLB Commissioner’s Office has convinced the Marlins to start its game against the Mets 15 minutes later so SNY won’t miss too much of the action.

The great Ray Frager of the Baltimore Sun says First Class Jerk (my words, not Ray’s) Colin Cowherd of ESPN Radio had his facts mixed up regarding the Orioles.

South

Barry Jackson in the Miami Herald writes about The Masters and Mixed Martial Arts embracing the internet for online streaming.

Dave Darling of the Orlando Sentinel looks at HBO’s new documentary on the great Thrilla in Manila between Muhammed Ali and Joe Frazier. For those who have never seen the fight, watch the documentary to get a feel of how brutal the bout was.

Jerry Greene of the Sentinel counts down his final columns for the paper and gives us his favorite sporting venues.

Ray Buck of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram looks at Fox Sports’ new MLB pregame show.

Barry Horn from the Dallas Morning News feels the NFL regular season announcement has become a reality show. Barry is amazed that the ESPN family of networks will devote three hours in primetime to the NFL regular season release.

David Barron of the Houston Chronicle says Astros announcer Milo Hamilton may be taking the middle innings of home broadcasts off, but he’s going to be using that time to schmooze with clients. Is that really a good thing?

Mel Bracht of the Daily Oklahoman says Tiger Woods is golf’s main ratings draw. In his sports notebook, Mel looks at MLB Network adding a slate of Saturday night games to its existing Thursday night schedule. And Mel reviews HBO’s Thrilla in Manila doc.

Midwest

Michel Zuidema of the Grand Rapids Press says Tiger Woods makes The Masters Must See TV.

Bob Wolfley of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel says HBO’s Thrilla in Manila documentary does not sugarcoat things.

Don Walker from the Journal Sentinel has the final numbers on March Madness on Demand visitors.

Ted Cox of the Chicago Daily Herald says he’ll tolerate CBS’ referential coverage of The Masters for the low amount of commercials.

Ed Sherman of Crain’s Chicago Business profiles Cubs TV announcer Len Kasper.

Paul Christian of the Rochester (MN) Post-Bulletin has CBS’ Nick Faldo’s comments on Tiger Woods and The Masters.

Dan Caesar of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch says Fox Sports Midwest is ready to do a juggling act with Blues playoff games and Cardinals regular season games. Dan writes that Albert Pujols’ ESPN “This is SportsCenter” ad will make its debut on Monday.

West

Jay Posner of the San Diego Union-Tribune says it was inevitable for a local sports radio show to die.

John Maffei of the North County Times writes that Tiger Woods, The Masters and CBS are a natural fit.

Jim Carlisle from the Ventura County Times says Tiger’s return to golf comes just in time for The Masters and CBS.

Diane Pucin of the Los Angeles Times writes that we’re getting an embarrassment of video riches from The Masters. Diane looks at how Angels fans and announcers grieved over the death of Nick Adenhart.

Tom Hoffarth of the Los Angeles Daily News looks at the unfortunate tragedies that have befallen the Angels over the years. In his Friday column, Tom says ESPN’s new West Coast presence put it in good position to cover the Adenhart story. Tom has his usual extensive media notes in his Farther Off the Wall blog. And Tom goes over the week in blogging.

Canada

Chris Zelkovich of the Toronto Star says just like in the United States, the NCAA Tournament scored online in Canada.

That’s it for the megalinks. I’ll be back next Friday.

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