Good morning! It’s Tuesday, November 1, 2011, and this is your first early morning Sports briefing.
With just a day before pulling the plug, DIRECTV and FOX reached an agreement on their carriage battles, allowing sports heavy channels such as SPEED, FUEL TV, FOX Soccer, FOX Soccer Plus, FOX Deportes the regional FOX Sports channels as well as FX to stay in the lineup. Terms of the new deal were not disclosed.
West Virginia threw down the gauntlet yesterday, filing suit against the Big East Conference in order to be allowed to jump to the Big 12 in 2012. The Big East mandates that members pay $5 million and provide a 27-month notice before leaving the conference, and Commissioner John Marinatto has been vocal about enforcing that rule for the school, as well as for Syracuse and Pitt’s departure to the ACC. However, while WVU acknowledges the rule in the lawsuit, the school states that its contract with the Big East is now void due to “ineffectual leadership and breach of fiduciary duties to the football schools.” The university also claims that “the Commissioner did nothing to protect the football playing schools and in fact took measures to further protect and advance the interests of the non-football playing schools.” You can read the lawsuit here… http://www.wboy.com/wboyUploads/SKMBT_C45111103114550.pdf
Even with top markets such as New York, Philadelphia and Boston still to be counted due to snow storms, Sunday’s NFL games continue to see gains versus last year. FOX’s singleheader, with Detroit/Denver running in most household, delivered an 11.6 rating in overnight markets, up 19% from 2010. CBS’ early games of the doubleheader gave the network a 10.7 rating over 2010, up 3% despite the lack of the New York market in the results. The afternoon game, featuring heavyweight teams Patriots/Steelers scored a 16.2, not counting the Patriot’s own Boston market. NBC’s SNF gave the network a 14.7 rating (with Philly not being counted) for a 25% bump over 2010.
The NFL released its final Week 10 schedule, with networks utilizing their flex scheduling options. As a result, the Lions/Bears game on Nov. 13 will shift to 4:15 on FOX with NBC keeping the Patriots/Jets game set for that evening.
With a rare No. 1 vs. No. 2 game set for primetime on CBS on Saturday featuring LSU/Alabama, CBS Sports Network is ramping up coverage of the matchup throughout the week. Special programming is set to include interviews with Alabama head coach Nick Saban and LSU head coach Les Miles, as well as a feature on the Alabama defense on Inside College Football on Tuesday at 8p; discussions with Alabama Governor Robert Bentley, radio host Paul Finebaum and CBS Sports’ lead college football analyst Gary Danielson on Tony Barnhart Show Wednesday at 8p, telecasts of the last three LSU/Alabama matchups, and more. The channel will also feature the other remaining undefeated teams in Boise St. and Houston in separate contests on Saturday.
ESPN2 is set to televise the first-ever Rawlings Gold Glove Awards Show from ESPN’s Baseball Tonight studio in Bristol tonight at 10p. The one-hour telecast, hosted by Baseball Tonight’s Karl Ravech and featuring analysts John Kruk and Barry Larkin, will include the announcement of the 2011 Gold Glove Award winners as well as highlights and analysis of the best defensive performers and plays during the MLB regular season.
ESPNU Vice President Rosalyn Durant is adding high school to her list of duties. The executive is now taking on oversight of ESPNHS where she will report to John Wildhack, Executive VP, Programming and Acquisitions and for ESPNHS business matters, John Kosner, Senior VP, Digital and Print Media. The move was designed to integrate the natural synergy between high school and college sports.
Melissa Miller Ormond is been tapped as President of MSG Entertainment and designated to oversee all aspects of the entertainment division, including its day-to-day operations, strategic planning and new business development, new venue acquisitions, financial planning and new divisional initiatives. Ormond had been serving as interim head of MSG Entertainment earlier this year and has been the division’s Chief Operating Officer since 2008.
BTN is set to produce 38 events this week for the linear network and BTN.com, marking the busiest 6-day period of the year for the channel. Saturday’s football schedule is highlighted by three games including Indiana/Ohio State and Minnesota/Michigan State at noon and Northwestern/Nebraska at 3:30p.
The AP reports that international softball leaders are pressing for a possible joint bid with baseball to try and get both sports back into the Olympics as early as 2020.
FUEL TV is set to premiere of Punk Payback with for UFC Heavyweight Champion Bas Rutten tomorrow at 9:30p. The series features Rutten teaching FUEL TV viewers how to defend themselves in real life dangerous situations and avoid being “punked” on the street.
Restaurant chain Tim Hortons has signed on for the title sponsorship of this season’s National Hockey League All-Star Game. Moving forward, this year’s event will be known as the2012 Tim Hortons NHL® All-Star Game, which will take place on Jan. 29 at Scotiabank Place, home of the Ottowa Senators. As part of the deal, the company will receive prominent in-ice brand position; camera-visible dasherboards and on-air mentions of the Tim Hortons brand in connection with the event name and logo on CBC broadcasts. Tim Hortons is one of the largest restaurant chains in North America and serves about two billion cups of coffee a year in Canada and the United States.
USA TODAY Sports Media Group President Tom Beusse has named Dave Morgan as the company’s Senior Vice President of Content and Editor-in-Chief. In addition, Peter Lazarus has been tapped as Senior Vice President, Head of Multimedia Sales for the group. Morgan was previously the Executive Editor of Yahoo! North American Audience, where he built Yahoo! Sports into the top online sports destination in the country and created a 24/7 news team to support all programming and breaking news. Lazarus joins from Univision Communications Inc., where he was Executive Vice President of Network Sales.
1. World Series Rangers/Cardinals FOX 10/28
2. NFL Cowboys/Eagles NBC 10/30
3. World Series Rangers/Cardinals FOX 10/26
4. NFL Patriots/Steelers CBS 10/30
5. NFL Ravens/Jaguars ESPN 10/24
What’s on Tonight
Ducks/Caps on Versus at 7:30p
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ON THIS DAY in 1924: The Boston Bruins are founded
Answer to Yesterday’s Sports Trivia Question:For which university did Bill Cowher play football? Answer: NC State. Kudos: Shawn Gerchicoff – Turner Sports/Atlanta; Betty Gomes – Sports Business Journal/Charlotte; A. Troy Thomas – Inertia Films/Atlanta; Peter SP Gimber – CBSBoston.com/Boston; Stephen Rodgers – PRO- Peter Rodgers Organization/Hollywood
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