I’m hoping to get this entire Megalink session finished in one sitting. It’s been a crazy day thus far. Of course, all of your weekend sport and entertainment programming are featured in the Weekend Viewing Picks.

Let’s get to the linkage now.

National

Michael Hiestand of USA Today speaks with noted baseball announcing author Curt Smith who has written another book about the subject.

USA Today’s Mike McCarthy has ESPN’s Desmond Howard criticizing the current college athletics system which does not allow for students to get paid.

Sports Illustrated’s Stewart Mandel talks with Pac-12 Commissioner Larry Scott about the details of the conference’s new TV networks.

Mike Barnes of the Hollywood Reporter writes that Golf Channel and CBS will have the honors of airing Tiger Woods’ return to golf next weekend.

Michael Malone at Broadcasting & Cable criticizes WPRI-TV in Providence for recreating golf highlights and passing it off as it actually happened.

Thomas Umstead from Multichannel News says boxing is still a big part of HBO Sports.

Todd Spangler at Multichannel says ESPN will redesign its live streaming site for Xbox 360 users.

Timothy Burke of SportsGrid has the video of Dan Patrick joining old SportsCenter partner Keith Olbermann on Current’s Countdown program to talk about casting the potential ESPN Movie.

Marcus Vanderberg at SportsNewser notes that ESPN’s John Clayton still hasn’t grasped this Twitter thing yet.

Cam Martin of SportsNewser writes that Rory McIlroy called out a BBC golf commentator and had quite the Twitter battle.

CNBC’s Darren Rovell says Knicks and Rangers fans will have the opportunity to see their team’s players go from the court/ice to the locker room and vice versa.

The Big Lead speaks with actor Dan Lauria about bringing his Broadway role of coach Vince Lombardi “home” to Green Bay this weekend.

Sports Media Watch says viewership declined for the last week of Copa América on Univision as glamor teams Brazil and Argentina lost before the semifinal round.

SMW notes that the ratings jumped for the WNBA All-Star Game on ABC last weekend.

Joe Favorito says Baseball’s governing body is now using social media to its advantage.

Bob’s Blitz has an interesting story of a former cameraman and ESPN director who got a lucky cell phone and has been living the life of a celebrity.

Ben Koo of Awful Announcing notes that the Pac-12 Networks will further fragment sports on cable.

Overseas, this is big news. John Plunkett of the London Guardian says BBC Sport is letting go of most of its Formula 1 contract and satellite provider Sky Sports will pick up a lion’s share of races starting next year. That would be as if Fox decided to allow DirecTV to take over most of the NASCAR contract.

Ben Gallop of BBC’s motorsports division explains why the decision was made.

East & Mid-Atlantic

Chad Finn of the Boston Globe feels melancholy over the loss of HBO’s Hard Knocks, a victim of the NFL lockout this season.

At SB Nation, Kat Hasenauer Cornetta says women are still trying to get a foothold in the Boston sports media.

Newsday’s Neil Best says Derek Jeter finally opened up a bit in the HBO documentary that premiered this week.

At the New York Post, Phil Mushnick warns to be careful what you wish for in wanting replay review in baseball.

Mike Battaglino of the Post notes that there will be no edition of Hard Knocks this season.

Justin Terranova writes that the NFL TV’s partners were never worried about losing games to the lockout.

A couple of more stories from the Post. Tim Bontemps from the Post says Derek Jeter agreed to do the HBO documentary on his quest for 3,000 hits so his future children could see him at work.

Justin has five questions for the producer of the HBO Jeter documentary.

Pete Dougherty at the Albany Times Union writes that the premiere of NBC’s Summer at Saratoga series did quite well.

On Thursday, Pete, the lovely Rachel Cohen of the Associated Press and your humble blogger were invited to ESPN to talk to several of the network’s production staff and then interview Norby Williamson, the network’s Vice President of Studio and Event Production. Pete has a story on that visit.

Pete Domowitch of the Philadelphia Daily News writes about the contentious relationship between NFL Network and NFL Films.

To the Washington Post’s DC Sports Bog and Dan Steinberg who notes that local talk show host John Riggins isn’t optimistic about DC NFL team coach Mike Shanahan’s chances this year.

Jim Williams of the Washington Examiner says MLB Network will be all over the Trading Deadline this weekend.

South

Jared Hunt from the Charleston (WV) Daily Mail profiles CBS golf producer Lance Barrow as he helms the network’s broadcasts of the Greenbrier Classic this weekend.

Cindy Watts of The Tennessean talks about country star Kenny Chesney writing and performing the theme song for a new ESPN series.

David Barron of the Houston Chronicle says NFL Films founder Ed Sabol is deservedly getting the NFL Films treatment in a new documentary celebrating his induction into the Pro Football Hall of Fame.

David talks about the lack of a Hard Knocks series this season.

Rick Cantu and Kirk Bohis of the Austin (TX) American-Statesman says ESPN approached several high schools about putting their games on the Longhorn Network.

Mel Bracht from the Daily Oklahoman talks with ESPN college football analyst Kirk Herbstreit about the upcoming season.

Mel finds the real reason why Herbstreit chose to move his family away from his native Columbus, OH to Tennessee.

Midwest

Michael Zuidema from the Grand Rapids (MI) Press talks with former NFL’er and current TV analyst Ray Bentley about the 1987 NFL strike.

Bob Wolfley at the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel finds some interesting Brewers anecdotes in the new Curt Smith book.

Brian Hamilton of the Chicago Tribune interviews ESPN’s Kirk Herbstreit.

Over to the Rochester (MN) Post-Bulletin where Paul Christian notes that ex-Minnesota Golden Gopher coaches keep finding their way to television.

West

Brian T. Smith of the Salt Lake Tribune says former Utah Jazz player Matt Harpring has made the successful transition to the TV booth.

John Maffei of the North County Times understands why Mexican government ads must be played on a local sports radio station, but it doesn’t mean he has to like them.

Tom Hoffarth at the Los Angeles Daily News looks at the new batch of ESPN Films documentaries that will be released later this year.

Tom has Fox Sports/MLB Network insider Ken Rosenthal still being wary of Twitter.

Tom talks with Pac-12 Commissioner Larry Scott about his whirlwind tenure that has left the league with a pocketful of riches.

Tom has more on the Pac-12 Network announcement aftermath.

Canada

Bruce Dowbiggin at the Toronto Globe and Mail says the father of new Blue Jay Colby Ramus is using the local media to blast St. Louis Cardinals manager Tony LaRussa.

And that will do it for today.

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