CBS and Turner lay claim to one of the best partnerships in sports, teaming up to broadcast the made-for-TV March Madness that is the NCAA Tournament.
But apparently relations weren’t always so chummy.
According to Neil Best at Newsday, Charles Barkley claims that some of the CBS talent didn’t welcome him and his fellow TNT talent warmly.
Best quotes Barkley, who says:
“You could just tell there was some tension in the beginning. I’m not trying to take your job. I’m not even sure we want to do this. But Dan Bonner was great to me and said, ‘Anytime you want to talk about players or teams.’ He was a great resource.
“I shouldn’t call them [expletives]. But they were a little distant. They looked at it like a competition. We’re not trying to take your job. Relax.”
Luckily, Barkley always succeeds at keeping his cool.
With March comes madness, separated into 67 games, brought to screens big and small by CBS and Turner Broadcasting. Today, the schedule of this organized chaos has been set in stone.
Fang’s Bites revealed the press release that revealed how the tournament, and all of its games, would be split among CBS and Turner network affiliates.
A couple highlights from the release:
“CBS will broadcast the National Championship game for the 33rd consecutive year on Monday, April 7 from Cowboys Stadium in North Texas. For the first time, the coverage will include an extended pre-game show, Championship Central, from 8:30-9:00 PM, ET.”
“Additionally, Turner Sports and CBS will showcase for the first time Final Four games live across three networks – TBS, TNT and truTV. The NCAA Final Four “Teamcast,” will feature team-specific telecasts that will air live on TNT and truTV. The “Teamcast” productions will be tailored specifically to the teams competing to provide fans with a variety of viewing options for this year’s marquee event.”
It’s a story that doesn’t get written very often. In fact, the opportunity has arisen only twice since 1990, with the UNLV Running Rebels of 1991 and, now, with the 2013-14 Wichita State Shockers.
The Shockers won the Missouri Valley Conference tournament this past weekend after failing to do so every year since 1987. The Shockers now enter the NCAA tournament undefeated. Luke Winn of Sports Illustrated was embedded with head coach Gregg Marshall and his team, who made it to the Final Four last year before being felled by eventual champion Louisville.
As Winn notes, the Shockers were undefeated since that day as they headed into the conference tournament in St. Louis.
“You do not get to 31-0 by reminiscing about your wins. You get there by fostering a sense of foreboding. By obsessing over minor flaws and fixing them. By telling players — and I will hear this so many times during film sessions and scouting reports — that they CAN’T RELAX. That if they do, this run at history might get snatched out of their hands.“
The team–but mostly its schedule–has been intensely debated. Do the Shockers deserve to be a No. 1 seed? Are they one of the greatest teams ever?
“The nation has not reached the point — yet — of debating where the Shockers rank among the all-time greats. The most beguiling sports-talk question still seems to be whether Wichita is one of the greatest four teams of this season.”
When the Shockers beat Evansville in game one, 80 – 58, Winn depicts the team deciding to forgo a post-game tradition of singing a victory song.
“The players confer and answer collectively: no. They won’t sing until Sunday. They break victory-song tradition in the hope of breaking a tradition of Arch Madness failures.”
Saturday’s match between the Seattle Sounders and Sporting Kansas City drew an audience to Major League Soccer that nearly tripled last season’s start.
Christopher Harris of World Soccer Talk reports that the season opener drew an overnight rating 283 percent greater than the kick off to 2013.
“The telecast of Seattle-KC was NBCSN’s second best MLS metered market rating ever (0.23). NBCSN’s previous record was 0.24 for New England-Philadelphia from July 29, 2012. That Revolution-Union game was preceded by coverage of the 2012 Summer Olympic Games from London,” Harris writes. ”One major reason for the boost in ratings for Seattle-KC was that it was preceded by live coverage of Chelsea-Tottenham, which drew a 0.39 rating, up 34% from NBCSN’s Saturday 12:30pm ET window average to date (0.29).”
While the numbers pale in comparison to other live sports coverage, the ratings represent good news for a league trying to expand its audience.
Oops, they did it again.
Three races into the 2014 NASCAR Sprint Cup season and ratings for Fox’s broadcast of races continue to see historic lows. According to Jayski, overnight ratings for Sunday’s Kobalt 400 at Las Vegas Motor Speedway were measured at 4.1, down 11 percent from 2013 (4.6). That’s a tie with the 2010 rating for the race’s lowest since 2001, when Fox began broadcasting the race.
As with Phoenix last week, the record low was still the highest overnight rating for a sports broadcast during the weekend.
Everyday I fight.
That’s a slogan that appears on a workout shirt worn by Stuart Scott, long time SportsCenter anchor and three-time cancer patient. Scott’s ongoing battle with cancer is chronicled in the New York Times by Richard Sandomir.
Sandomir followed Scott, 48, who has been with ESPN since 1993 and was first diagnosed with cancer in 2007. Writes Sandomir:
“On the air, Scott seems unaffected by three bouts with cancer. His demeanor on SportsCenter is unchanged: excitable, energetic, creative, even a bit wild. But his face looks thin, and his colleagues are concerned.“
Among those colleagues are close friend Sage Steele and senior vice president Mark Gross.
“There are some days when I say, I don’t know how he’s doing it,” Gross said.
Scott has continued to work at ESPN despite the illness, 58 infusions of chemotherapy and three surgeries, anchoring SportsCenter and also carrying out his Monday Night Football duties.
In a journey that took Dan Jenkins from Fort Worth to Sports Illustrated, he never had much time for adjectives or flowers in his prose. He wrote about a pretentious sport without pretension.
Bryan Curtis of Grantland profiles the famous golf writer, and explores how he changed the language of golf.
“The miracle of Jenkins is that he became the best golf writer ever by disabusing the sport of its literary pretensions. It’s as if Hunter Thompson had become the dean of racing writers,” Curtis writes. “Even the humor-challenged golf pros got Jenkins. It might have taken them years, but they came to understand that being cuffed by Jenkins was better than being buttered up by a lesser writer. ‘Dan always had a different slant on things than most everybody else, and 99 percent of the time he was right,’ said Jack Nicklaus. ‘I can’t even think of the 1 percent he was not right.’”
And thus, Curtis romanticizes the man who never wrote romantically.
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