Here we are on a Friday. It’s beautiful in the Northeast after the monsoons we’ve experienced and it’s really appreciated today. And it’s nice to see as we steam into Easter Weekend.

Speaking of Easter Weekend, there are plenty of sports to watch including both the Men’s and Women’s Final Four on CBS and ESPN, respectively, Red Sox-Yankees on NESN, the last PGA Tour stop before The Masters and the playoff push in both the NBA and NHL. All of the Weekend Viewing Picks including primetime TV for Saturday and Easter Sunday are included.

Now time for your links.

National

Sports Business Daily looks at the increased live video streaming for this year’s Masters.

Mike McCarthy of USA Today says not as many media outlets will air Tiger Woods’ press conference at The Masters on Monday.

CNBC’s Darren Rovell says Upper Deck is hopeful that people will want to buy Tiger memorabilia. 

Gabriel Sherman in GQ looks at ESPN’s expansion of its local sites which includes today’s launch of ESPN New York.

At Pro Football Talk, Michael David Smith notes that Warren Sapp who was removed from NFL Network’s Super Bowl coverage over battery charges will apparently return to work after he was cleared.

Eye on Sports Media’s Christopher Byrne says the new Apple iPad could be a gamechanger for broadcasters especially if sports teams cooperate.

The great Greg Wyshynski at Yahoo’s Puck Daddy notes that Versus is adding a whole slew of NHL games for the final push for the playoffs.

Jon Friedman of Marketwatch.com feels CBS is secretly rooting for Duke to get to the NCAA Championship game on Monday. 

Rick Horrow and Karla Swatek of BusinessWeek says strong ratings for the NCAA Tournament make CBS the favorite to keep the event when it expands to 96 teams next year.

John Consoli of Mediaweek says ABC affiliates are getting some weekend sports programming after complaints over ESPN hoarding events for itself.

Katy Bachman of Mediaweek writes that the Oakland Raiders have a new flagship radio station.

Jonathan Landreth of the Hollywood Reporter says MLB’s season opener between the Yankees and Red Sox will be aired live in Communist China.

Joe Tetreault at the Biz of Baseball says both NESN and YES will be using the interactive texting service, kgb for trivia segments during Red Sox and Yankees games.

Also from the Biz of Baseball, Maury Brown reviews the latest update to the MLB At Bat app for the iPhone and iPod Touch.

Bailey Stephens at MLB.com speaks with Fox Sports Executive Producer Ed Goren about the network’s 15th year in covering baseball. 

Alex Weprin at Broadcasting & Cable has NBC Universal CEO Jeff Zucker defending the company’s Olympic online strategy.

Former ESPN MLB analyst Steve Phillips is joining Fanhouse in a similar capacity and talks about his treatment for sex addiction.

Speaking of Fanhouse, Milton Kent says The Masters’ restrictions on ESPN and CBS are almost laughable

The Big Lead interviews ESPN’s Michelle Beadle

The Sports Media Watch notes that Turner Sports had to issue an apology for Charles Barkley flipping the bird on TNT Thursday night.

Jerod Morris of Midwest Sports Fans is tired of ESPN’s East Coast bias.

Staci D. Kramer at paidContent looks at the changes at ESPN360 coming this Sunday which includes a rebranding. 

East and Mid-Atlantic

From the Worcester Telegram & Gazette, Bill Doyle talks with NESN’s Jerry Remy about the upcoming Red Sox season and his battle with cancer.

David Borges in the New Haven (CT) Register profiles CBS/Sports Illustrated’s Seth Davis.

Richard Sandomir of the New York Times explores the launch of ESPN New York and what that could mean local sports coverage.

The Times has announced it has sold a small portion of the 18% of the Red Sox it currently holds.

The New York Daily News’ Bob Raissman lobbies for Gus Johnson to call the Final Four over Jim Nantz.

In the New York Post, Phil Mushnick opines that Tiger Woods is not the perfect example of a true family man.

Pete Dougherty of the Albany Times Union says the best way to follow Tiger at The Masters might be online.

Alan Sepinwall of the Newark (NJ) Star-Ledger reviews ESPN’s latest 30 for 30 documentary which airs on ABC on Saturday. 

Laura Nachman notes that a Philadelphia weekend sports anchor is heading to ESPN.

Press Box announces that it will be doing a one hour daily radio show in Baltimore. 

Jim Williams in the Washington Examiner has the winner of the best DC sports radio talk show reader poll.

South

The Miami Herald’s Barry Jackson talks with Dolphins radio analyst Jim Mandich who has been battling cancer since February.

Sarah Talalay in the South Florida Sun Sentinel writes that fantasy baseball has gotten so big that mediators are now offering their services to settle disputes. Mediators! Real ones too!

Andrea Adelson of the Orlando Sentinel transcribes a portion of former Texas QB Colt McCoy’s interview with Dan Patrick on Friday.

Ray Buck of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram speaks with Fox Sports MLB analyst Tim McCarver.

David Barron of the Houston Chronicle appreciates Johnny Miller’s candor on PGA Tour telecasts.

Midwest

John Kiesewetter of the Cincinnati Enquirer notes that new Reds TV play-by-play man Paul Keels is giving up his Bengals exhibition game duties.

Michael Zuidema at the Grand Rapids (MI) Press looks at Fox Sports Detroit’s successful “April in the D” marketing campaign.

Bob Wolfley of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel previews the National League Central race with Fox Sports’ Tim McCarver.

Paul Christian of the Rochester (MN) Post-Bulletin writes that the first Minnesota Twins game at the new Target Field headlines a busy sports weekend on TV.

Dan Caesar in the St. Louis Post-Dispatch says Joe Buck is shrugging off the cancellation of his HBO show.

In the St. Louis Globe-Democrat, Bob Mayhall looks at Buck’s signing of a new four year deal at Fox. 

West

Over to Scott D. Pierce in the Deseret (UT) News who says it’s about time the mtn. air Mountain West Conference football games in High Definition.

Jay Posner of the San Diego Union-Tribune says the city’s long nightmare over a sports radio contract dispute is finally over.

In the North County Times, John Maffei welcomes Orel Hershiser to ESPN’s Sunday Night Baseball booth.

Jim Carlisle at the Ventura County Star has CBS News and Sports President Sean McManus shooting down sentiments that the network was rooting for Duke to make the Final Four.

And Jim writes that the nation will see Tiger Woods’ first tee shot at The Masters.

John Scheibe of the Los Angeles Times says Monday will be a busy day for sports fans with the NCAA National Championship, MLB Opening Day and Tiger Woods’ Masters press conference.

Tom Hoffarth of the Los Angeles Daily News discusses the most powerful scene in the latest ESPN 30 for 30 documentary on Loyola Marymount and its former coach, Paul Westhead.

Tom has more on the documentary which also addresses the death of Hank Gathers.

Paul Bauman of the Sacramento Bee speaks with Tennis Channel analyst Corina Morariu about her struggles with leukemia that are chronicled in her new book.

David Steves and Christian Wihtol of the Eugene (OR) Register-Guard says the University of Oregon is investigating a huge payout to outgoing athletic director Mike Belotti who’s leaving the job after 9 months for a job at ESPN.

Canada

Bruce Dowbiggin in the Toronto Globe and Mail talks with new Blue Jays TV voice Buck Martinez about the team’s chances this season.

Chris Zelkovich of the Toronto Star says a TSN host is planning a summer special to discuss depression.

And that will conclude the megalinks. Enjoy your weekend.

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