Last week, I could not do the megalinks as I was traveling in between two offices. Yesterday, I seemed to get that out of the way so it appears that I’m free to do the megalinks today. I hope I can give you a full set.
As usual, there’s a full set of Weekend Viewing Picks for sports and primetime programming. You can take them or leave them. Choose wisely.
Now to the linkage.
The St. Petersburg Times’ Eric Deggans writing for the Indiana University National Sports Journalism Center applauds the new ESPN policy.
Jessica E. Vascellaro and Matthew Futterman of the Wall Street Journal report that Comcast wants to become a bigger player in cable sports through its NBC division.
Emma Bazilian of Adweek says NBC Universal’s new CEO wants to make Versus a true challenger to ESPN.
Austin Karp of the Sports Business Journal notes that the NHL’s ratings on Versus are making gains as the playoffs begin.
A story from Richard Deitsch of Sports Illustrated grabbed a lot of buzz yesterday. Richard reports that NFL Network’s Draft guru Mike Mayock would replace analysts Joe Theismann and Matt Millen in the Thursday Night Football booth and Gus Johnson might replace play-by-play man Bob Papa.
Mike Reynolds of Multichannel News says having both the Knicks and Rangers in the postseason should raise the profile of MSG Network this Spring.
ESPN’s Front Row blog looks at the network’s preparation for the NBA Playoffs.
Marcus Vanderberg of SportsNewser notes that ESPN NBA analyst Jalen Rose returns from his suspension this Saturday.
CNBC’s Tom Rotunno says interest in the New York Knicks in the NBA Playoffs is driving the secondary ticket market.
All Access notes that a San Francisco country station has flipped to FM sports talk.
Alan Bastable of Golf Magazine talks with CBS’ Jim Nantz and Nick Faldo about last Sunday’s exciting final round of The Masters®.
To the Biz of Baseball where the great Maury Brown says MLB’s revenues have grown significantly from 1995 through 2010.
Bob’s Blitz has the video of Comcast SportsNet New England’s Joe Haggerty pushing a Canadiens fan out of camera range during a live shot after last night’s Habs-Bruins game.
The Crossing Broad blog isn’t a fan of Comcast SportsNet Philadelphia superimposing ads behind the goal during the Sabres-Flyers series. I noticed Comcast SportsNet Mid-Atlantic doing this too during the Rangers-Caps game on Wednesday.
The great Steve Lepore from Puck The Media likes NHL Network’s pregame efforts for the playoffs, but notes they could do better.
Sports Media Watch says Versus had good ratings for the opening night of the NHL Playoffs.
SMW tells us that Versus hit an all-time viewing high for the 2010-11 NHL regular season.
SMW says NBC had a mixed bag for its NHL regular season viewership.
SMW writes that ESPN will update its graphics and opening theme for the NBA playoffs.
Joe Favorito explains why he’s no longer writing for The Huffington Post. I’ve been hearing strange dealings going on there since it started a relationship with AOL earlier this year.
Brian Packey at Awful Announcing says the voices of the Sacramento Kings gave a tearful goodbye as they signed off following what could be their last game in California’s capital.
Dave Kohl at Major League Programs talks about MLB celebrating Jackie Robinson Day today.
East and Mid-Atlantic
Chad Finn of the Boston Globe writes on how 98.5 The Sports Hub’s Toucher & Rich scored a big coup by getting Charlie Sheen on their station after his Boston show earlier this week.
Bill Doyle from the Worcester Telegram & Gazette talks with Boston Bruins radio voice Dave Goucher.
Richard Sandomir from the New York Times discusses the new endorsement guidelines for ESPN personalities.
Stuart Elliot from the Times says ESPN and MasterCard are teaming up to produce a series on soccer that will be show in Latin America.
Phil Mushnick of the New York Post continues his vitriol against everybody and everything in sports television.
The Post’s Justin Terranova has five questions for MSG New York Rangers analyst Joe Micheletti.
Pete Dougherty of the Albany Times Union talks with MSG Rangers voice Sam Rosen.
Pete says the Rangers’ playoff opener on Wednesday scored well for MSG Plus.
Ken McMillan from the Middletown (NY) Times Herald-Record notes that Versus and NHL Network will air the IIHF World Hockey Championships.
Laura Nachman notes that a local sports radio personality will jumping on board with Comcast SportsNet Philadelphia for a midday gig.
Peter Van Allen of the Philadelphia Business Journal writes that Saturday is going to be a big day for the Delaware Valley sports fan.
Dan Steinberg of the Washington Post’s DC Sports Bog notes that the Capitals got big ratings in their playoff opener.
Jim Williams of the Washington Examiner also talks about the record ratings for the Caps.
Jim says with higher expectations for the Nationals, MASN’s ratings for the DC MLB team should rise with them.
Tom Jones of the St. Petersburg Times rightfully criticizes Pittsburgh personality John Steigerwald for his horrific column on Bryan Stow, the San Francisco Giants fan who was beaten into a coma by two Los Angeles Dodgers fans earlier this month.
Barry Jackson from the Miami Herald says by ESPN/ABC choosing the 76ers-Heat series over Knicks-Celtics proves the drawing power of LeBron James & Co.
In the South Florida Sun-Sentinel, ESPN’s Rachel Nichols pays tribute to a former boss.
Steve Gorten from the Sun-Sentinel says ESPNU will air three videos produced by the Miami Hurricanes’ website.
Nate Allen from the Helena (AR) Daily World says ESPN is in town for the Arkansas spring football game.
David Barron of the Houston Chronicle writes that Hall of Fame Astros broadcaster Milo Hamilton will be speaking about his colorful career at Texas A&M.
Mel Bracht of the Daily Oklahoman says a new era in Oklahoma Sooners broadcasting begins on Saturday.
Nice to have George M. Thomas of the Akron Beacon Journal in the megalinks again. He says fans without a rooting interest will have plenty of choices to watch in the NBA Playoffs starting tomorrow.
John Kiesewetter of the Cincinnati Enquirer discusses a new book on the 1961 pennant-winning Cincinnati Reds.
John says several well-known Cincinnati and national personalities were on hand last night to roast a local restaurant legend.
And John writes that from here on end, the Reds will be seen in high definition on Fox Sports Ohio.
Michael Zuidema from the Grand Rapids (MI) Press notes that a local lawyer by day also serves as minor league baseball team’s radio analyst by night.
The Indianapolis Star notes that last Sunday’s IndyCar race on Versus barely registered in the ratings opposite The Masters®.
Ed Sherman at Crain’s Chicago Business has some Windy City broadcast news and notes.
Ed says Notre Dame and Northwestern plan to meet on the gridiron again.
And Ed has this week’s winners and losers in sports business and media.
Will Buss of the Belleville (IL) News-Democrat says Fox Sports Midwest and AT&T U-Verse are haggling over 17 St. Louis Cardinals games.
Dan Caesar from the St. Louis Post-Dispatch says despite not making the playoffs, the St. Louis Blues still set a ratings record for Fox Sports Midwest.
Sam Mellinger at the Kansas City Star says with a new rights deal in hand, the Big 12 became a big money player.
John Maffei of the North County Times writes that San Diego State University is concerned that the Mountain West Conference is falling behind in national TV exposure.
Jim Carlisle of the Ventura County Star says the national NBA television analysts like the Lakers’ chances to repeat as champs this year.
In his notebook, Jim says The Masters® drew in the viewers.
Tom Hoffarth of the Los Angeles Daily News looks at how quickly Kobe Bryant’s homophobic slur transcended sports.
Jon Wilner from the San Jose Mercury News looks at the bidders for the Pac 12 TV rights.
George Schroeder with the Eugene (OR) Register-Guard says the Pac 12 is going to get rich very quickly thanks to some TV network.
Bruce Dowbiggin of the Toronto Globe and Mail says a throwaway radio comment had Winnipeg laying down the welcome mat for the Phoenix Coyotes.
And we will end the megalinks there.