Good morning. It’s Friday, October 28, 2011, and this is your first early morning Sports briefing.
The NCAA Division I Board of Directors approved a package of reforms yesterday designed to help ward off some of the scandals that have hit college athletics in the past two years. The package included giving conferences the option of adding as much as $2,000 for “full cost-of-attendance,” allowing schools to award scholarships for multiple years instead of committing to just a single year, imposing stricter academic standards on recruits as well as changing the summer basketball recruiting model. Of course, while the richer BCS conference are likely to quickly approve the stipends, which have to be matched equally in women’s sports because of Title IX rules, other conferences may not be able to afford the extra financial burden and would opt out.
In what good be good news for TNT, ESPN and ABC, two hardcore days of negotiations on Wednesday and Thursday to resolve the NBA labor issues have made both owner and player representatives hopeful that a full 82 game season could be salvaged if a deal is in place by Sunday or Monday, according to reports. If not, more cancellations are likely to be made. The AP reports that there was progress on salary cap differences and the two sides were continuing to hammer through the issues.
Following last week’s record numbers for US media rights to the World Cup, FIFA added icing to the cake with various international deals for the tournaments, inking agreements with Bell Media in Canada, SBS in Australia, IMC in the Caribbean, and awarding sales representation for selected territories in Asia to Infront Sports & Media. The deals run from 2015 through 2022 and the rights tallies have now broken the $1.85 billion mark worldwide. In Canada, fans will be able to follow the games in both French and English including CTV, TSN, TSN2, TSN Radio, as well as RDS, and RDS2.
In other international news, the BBC has locked up a deal to keep Wimbledon on the channel until at least 2017, extending its relationship with the tournament to 90 years.
Fred Schreyer has retired as the CEO and Commissioner of the Professional Bowlers Association after serving the organization for the past 11 year. The PBA board of directors has named Geoff Reiss as the new CEO and promoted Tom Clark to commissioner, effective Nov. 1.
CBS Sports Network has added the Conference USA football game featuring Tulsa at UTEP to its Saturday, Nov. 19 schedule at 3p. Dave Ryan,Rich Rodriguez and reporter Kaylee Hartung will be on hand to call the game from the Sun Bowl in El Paso, Texas. The matchup will also run locally in El Paso on Time Warner Cable’s Texas Channel 24 on tape delay. Following the game, CBS Sports Network will air Boise State at San Diego State in prime time at 8p.
ABC, ESPN and ESPN2 are presenting the 28th Breeders’ Cup World Championships from the storied Churchill Downs in Louisville, Ky., on Friday, Nov. 4, and Saturday, Nov. 5. ESPN3 will offer simulcasts of most of the Breeders’ Cup races. Joe Tessitore is hosting coverage with Randy Moss and Jerry Bailey on hand as analysts. Coverage is set to feature 40 cameras, including three mega-slo-mo cameras at the finish line, as well as five POV cameras to showcase the betting windows, race caller, stewards, and inside the rail of the turf course, as well as a super-crane at the chute, cameras for the gate loads, and aerial coverage of Churchill Downs.
The NHL draft is coming back to Pittsburgh, where league Commissioner Gary Bettman confirmed that the Consol Energy Center will host the event in June.
- NBC will features the top 40 bull riders in the world in Sunday’s Built Ford Tough World Finals, from Las Vegas Nev. Coverage begins at 4p.
- FOX gets a singleheader for Week 8 of the NFL season with five games on deck, including the Redskins/Bills game in Toronto. With Joe Buck recovering from the World Series, the game will pair Thom Brennaman with Troy Aikman and Pam Oliver. Games will be either preceded or followed (depending on the time of the game) by UFC Primetime, a one-hour,behind-the-scenes look at the fighters’ preparation leading up to the Saturday, Nov. 12UFC on FOX main event pitting UFC heavyweight champion Cain Velasquez against Junior Dos Santos.
- That means CBS gets the doubleheader, headlined by the Steelers/Patriots game at 4:15p. Jim Nantz and Phil Simms will be in the broadcast booth for the game.
- CBS Sports Network is airing a college football tripleheader on Saturday, beginning with a Lehigh/Colgate game at noon. Dave Ryan and analyst Rich Rodriguez will call the action. He channel then shifts to Fordham/Army at 3:30p with Gary Thorne and Randy Cross behind the microphone. In primetime, the network will feature Southern Miss/UTEP at 8p, James Bates, Aaron Taylor and Brooke Collins handling the broadcast.
Score Media has locked down the television and digital rights to the Emirates Australian with live coverage set to begin on November 9th.
The new season of MLB Network’s Studio 42 with Bob Costas is set to launch on Monday at 9p with an interview with the one and only “Mr. October,” Hall of Famer Reggie Jackson . The discussion will include the most memorable and controversial moments of his 21-year career, including his feud with former New York Yankees manager Billy Martin, his relationship with late Yankees owner George Steinbrenner, his dominant offensive numbers in the Postseason, and his thoughts on players using performance enhancing drugs.
NASCAR and UPS have inked a multi-year deal for UPS to remain the sport’s Official Logistics Partner. In addition to offering pick-up and delivery services for race teams, vendors and suppliers, UPS will continue its relationship with Roush Fenway Racing as a full-season associate sponsor of Roush Fenway Racing’s No. 99 Ford, driven by Carl Edwards, departing David Ragan as a full-time sponsor.
Golf Channel is adding a twist to its programming this weekend, adding a new interactive TV experience to the network’s Nationwide Tour Championship coverage from Charleston, SC. The tournament will mark the debut of Golf Channel’s “Social Media Saturday,” which will feature GolfChannel.com senior writers Rex Hoggard and Randall Mell joining the on-air team’s tournament coverage with live tweets from the course. In addition, during select segments of the telecast, Golf Channel will replace traditional play-by-play commentary from the broadcast team with Twitter feeds over live pictures and sound, creating a new way for viewers to experience golf coverage and mark the first time social media will be fully integrated into a live Golf Channel broadcast.
ESPN and Nokia are partnering for an ESPN Hub app for Nokia users. It will launch in early 2012, and will be pre-loaded on millions of Nokia Windows Phone handsets reaching up to 190 countries to provide scores, stats, news, analysis and video highlights for more than a dozen sports.
The Main Event
Saturday’s Oklahoma/Kansas St. could be fun on ESPN at 3:30p. Sunday features the Patriots and Steelers squaring off at 4:15p on CBS.
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ON THIS DAY in 1959: The Buffalo Bills enter the AFL
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