Blog by: George Thomas and Ron Ledgard
An interesting question came up during a teleconference with members of the media to announce the Mid-American Conference’s new TV pact with ESPN.
Elton Alexander, my esteemed colleague from the Cleveland Plain Dealer asked MAC commissioner Jon Steinbrecher and the Worldwide Leader’s senior vice president, programming and acquisitions, Burke Magnus whether they thought MAC hoops is getting stiffed with the conference’s new TV deal.
Football is indeed front and center in the pact. ESPN now owns the rights to every MAC-controlled football game for the next 13 years. They are free to air games five days a week and they will continue to spread the MACtion brand in the process all while having the ability to license some games to regional partners.
Basketball?To read more or comment...
Sometimes it’s good to be king, unless of course you’re completely freakin’ unhinged – say like Hamlet [yeah, I know he was a prince, but work with me] and, I don’t know, King Midas, that guy who could turn things to gold with his touch.
Come to think of it, Midas is sort of like the NFL. There’s very little that the NFL can do and not make a huge pile of stinking cash in the process. Usually people line up to give them money.To read more or comment...
The SEC Network, a joint venture with ESPN, is seven years late to the party. They could, however, be the life of it.
When the channel, which will cover all things related to SEC sports debuts at 5 p.m. today, it will be seven years after the Big Ten Network made its splash.
Big Ten commissioner Jim Delany and his partners at Fox were laughed at when they announced they were going to put second tier games from Big Ten teams on a cable network. Critics called it “risky” and said it wouldn’t fly.
Some video providers (Time Warner and Comcast for instance) held out for a while before adding it. And the trickle to add it by smaller systems only came when Appalachian State upset the Michigan Wolverines during the opening week of the college football season.To read more or comment...
This is what worried some when talk of autonomy for the Power 5 conferences surfaced in college athletics.
An ESPN poll revealed that the majority of football coaches in those top 65 schools that comprise those conferences would prefer to play only schools in those conferences.
While it would likely eliminate strength of schedule issues when it comes to polling and how it relates to the upcoming college football playoff, it opens an entirely different can of worms for the likes of Mid-American Conference schools such as the University of Akron and Kent State University.
To be honest, we’re talking what it always comes down to in sports - cash. The Power 5 may as well form their own league today, because the Group of 5 (MAC, American, Conference USA, Mountain West and Sun Belt) would be on life support should something like this occur.To read more or comment...
Cleveland Cavaliers coach David Blatt told an Israeli newspaper that he fully supports Israel’s current actions in Gaza.
The interview appears in Globes, a business newspaper. An h/t to Deadspin for posting the link.
Blatt, born in America, but immigrated to Israel to begin his basketball career at age 22. Israel has received criticism for the carnage associated with the three-week-old war in which more than 1,200 people, including children, have died, according to reports.
In the interview, Blatt said that it’s Israel’s most justified war to date:To read more or comment...
Former Cleveland Browns quarterback Brady Quinn will join Fox Sports to provide analysis in the studio and in the booth, the network announced.
In the studio Quinn, who played in the NFL for six years, will provide analysis for college football on America’s Pregame on Fox Sports 1. He will to the same for Fox Sports Live on that channel.
For college football games he will be paired with Tim Brando for broadcasts and NFL games he will partner with broadcast veteran Dick Stockton.
It has been clear that Quinn has been auditioning for a broadcast role somewhere in recent months, having appeared on assorted broadcast entities. And as required, he had no problem offering an opinion, criticizing Cleveland Browns rookie quarterback Johnny Manziel for his antics off the field.To read more or comment...
LeBron James will be taking his talents to South Beach again only this time the entire country will watch on Christmas Day.
James and his teammates are scheduled to take on his former team, the Miami Heat in a holiday game as part of the basketball buffet the league puts on every year, according to the Miami Herald.
The national spotlight is something Cavs fans will have to reacquaint themselves. As James developed during his first stint with the Cavs – a seven-year stretch – appearances on national television and the late starts that came with them were the norm not the exception.
Now with James being acknowledged as the best player on the planet, it will be déjà vu all over again. But it’s also different from the Cavs perspective given that he has another legitimate all-star in Kyrie Irving playing with him. The national glare will still be bright, but there will be someone else on whom to focus.To read more or comment...
The NFL gets so much right in the realm of public and media relations for the league.
Occasionally, they gets something wrong and when they do so it’s normally of gigantic proportions.
Need an example? Allowing Art Modell to move the Cleveland Browns to Baltimore then after agreeing to replace the team now allowing enough start up time.
Now? Ray Rice’s alleged suspension for knocking his now-wife out cold. The incident, which happened earlier this year, resulted in a massive two-game suspension for the Baltimore Ravens running back and will ultimately cost him $58,000.To read more or comment...