Sunday, March 23, 2008

WON'T YOU BE MY CELLMATE?

K-Mac: Less of a danger to this community


NBA, NHL, Spring Training, March Madness.
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All of the above have combined to make your regular contributors too damn busy to, uh, contribute.
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But because madness isn't just confined to March, we must lose a little sleep posting this so you can lose a little sleep thinking about it.
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What the hell is with these guys anyway?
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Former ESPN Producer Arrested In Salt Lake City... Again

SALT LAKE CITY - A veteran freelance sports producer who worked for ESPN was again arrested in Utah this week for violating the terms of his release -- prior to a trial on child pornography charges.

Kevin Stewart McMahan, 50, was arrested last June at the Salt Lake City International Airport after authorities reportedly found several images of child pornography inside of his luggage. Officials searched his bag after a screener spotted a lighter inside.

Authorities then had his checked bags pulled off the airplane and allegedly found nearly 50 DVDs and videos on his laptop computer of juvenile boys performing sexual acts. Also reportedly found were hundreds of explicit photographs of young boys being molested.

At that time, he was booked into the Salt Lake County Jail on numerous counts of sexual exploitation of a minor and drug possession.

In the days after, a judge agreed to release McMahan as long as he complied with a series of demands. One stipulated that he could not use a computer until at least his trial was completed.

On Monday, McMahan was re-arrested after admitting to some computer use. He was taken into custody and was later determined by a judge to be a danger to the community.

McMahan will next appear in court on May 1 to face the original charges from last summer.

McMahan has not worked for ESPN since his intitial arrest, according to ESPN managers.


Just plain sad.

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

BARRON BEHIND BARS BULLETIN

Don't look so down, Dan. That guy in Cell Block B says he'll be gentle with you.

From the South Florida Sun-Sentinel:

Freelance CBS technician gets 10 years in Lauderdale child sex sting
By Joel Marino Sun-Sentinel.com

SOUTH FLORIDA - A former CBS technician accused last year of attempting to make arrangements to film himself having sex with a child was sentenced to 10 years in prison in Miami federal court today, according to the U.S. Department of Justice.

Daniel Barron, 56, was also sentenced to 15 years of supervised release, the department said.Barron, a freelance technical manager from New Jersey, was in Fort Lauderdale on Sept. 29 covering a Miami Dolphins game for CBS-TV.

He was arrested that weekend in an online predator sting operation handled by the St. Lucie County Sheriff's Office, the department said. For the sting, a Sheriff's Office detective entered an Internet chat room titled "Open minded parents" and posed as a father with a young daughter. Barron approached the undercover investigator in the chat room and arranged for the "father" to deliver him his 11-year-old daughter, authorities said. Barron used his CBS-owned laptop to conduct the dialogue,according to an arrest report.

Barron drove to a parking lot in the 1300 block of Southeast 17th Street in Fort Lauderdale, where he thought he would meet the girl and her father, police said. He was arrested. St. Lucie investigators coordinated with Fort Lauderdale police, the Broward Sheriff's Office and U. S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement to make the arrest.

A Fort Pierce grand jury indicted Barron on charges of coercing and attempting to engage in sexual activity with a person under 18 years of age on Oct. 25.

He had been held in a St. Lucie county jail until his trial.


15 years of supervised probation sounds like he's going to be a tech manager again one day.

If he makes it through those first 10 years, that is.

Sunday, March 2, 2008

Production Dilemma #12 & 35

Let's return to a subject touched on a few months ago: what to do when some idiot runs on the field/court or does something from the stands that interferes with the game.

One argument calls for the talent to vaguely state what is or has happened but not to show it for fear that giving camera time to the culprit(s) glorifies that act and gives the idiots the attention they want.

The other side would prefer showing the person, with emphasis on what happens to them once they're caught (& beaten up by security), in the hopes of causing embarrassment and deterring future incidents.

On Thursday (2/28), ESPN went out of their way to expose a disgruntled fan who threw a water bottle on the court near the end of USC's victory at Arizona.

By the way, great job by the tape op (or producer) for instantly spotting the bottle being thrown in the background of the reverse free throw shot.

Using the telestrator, analyst Jay Bilas almost circled the correct person.


Thanks to Breitbart.tv via SbB

Saturday, March 1, 2008

Soccer Coverage Has Balls, Lacks Kick

Here's a portion of an email we received regarding coverage of the East Asian Cup soccer tournament:
Don't know about where you live, but around here all the Asian kids are really smart. My kid does real well in school because he cheats off of them on all the tests.

I think a whole lot of the smart Asians moved away from their country [sic] and now only the dumb ones are left to work in sports TV.

Check out this soccer game. There must of been one hell of a collision, but every camera damn guy went with the damn ball. Meanwhile the director keeps cutting to the back of a coach's head for a reaction. What, we're supposed to see his hair stand up on end or something?

Damn morons have no replay worth a damn. I get madder and madder every time they show another replay. I think maybe they got one right, but no. They don't. Another moron follows the ball.



Thanks to Fan IQ

Tough to argue with his point.

That was China vs. Japan, by the way. The goal keeper for China kicked the Japanese player in the chest.

These guys hold grudges for centuries, don't they?

Best Ever? Worst Ever? We're Torn.

Normally in the male dominated worlds of sports and television, seeing a group of college girls wrestling with each other would be considered a good thing.

If this happens at a hockey game, so much the better. A lot of babes attend college hockey games.

But when the women rolling all over each other aren't in the stands but on the ice, things begin to change just a bit.

And when all the players on the ice go at it simultaneously, it becomes more "Slap Shot" than "Stripes".

Finally, when it's a one camera webcast and the poor cam op doesn't know which altercation to shoot, it kind of comes out looking like this:


Thanks to Fan IQ

We'll give the camera guy a break because it's hard to focus on your job when your testicles have jumped up into your stomach.

Those are the women of North Dakota State and Minnesota State, everybody.

Feel free to contact the lady of your choice via her MySpace page.

Friday, February 29, 2008

Hey, Knight, What's Up?

To the list of sports figures who have been less than friendly with TV crew members before becoming their colleagues, add Bobby Knight.

Knight's decision to join ESPN beginning March 12 is actually less surprising than any of those pictured with him above. Paul O'Neill and Kirk Gibson were downright surly toward camera operators, A-2s and stage managers during their playing days. Dave Winfield merely acted as if anyone associated with TV was completely beneath him.

But when their playing days were over and they became what they had once resented, things changed.

Well, Gibson didn't change much actually when he worked on Tigers games for FSN.

But suddenly O'Neill stopped sneering at the cameras and started smiling for them. Who knew he could smile? A YES Network paycheck did the trick.

Winfield changed his tune while stumbling through his taped on-cameras during his stint with FOX on the 1996 World Series. Each night as his takes numbered anywhere from the teens to the thirties, FOX crew members who had experienced his dugout behavior when he played, kidded Winfield that he was no All-Star in this field.

On the night of the thirty takes, the kidding stopped and the crew got downright pissed. Winfield repeatedly apologized, swore this take would be the one, before tripping over his tongue yet again. His career at FOX was short lived.

And what of Reggie? Nobody forgot about Reggie during his time working games for KTLA (Angels) and ESPN.

Nobody ever forgets Reggie. Even if you can't hear him.




The clip has no audio but if you couldn't read his lips, dear Reggie said "Get that camera off me or I'll f**king rip it off..."

Strange comment from somebody who always wanted the camera on him, huh?

Great guy, that Reggie.

And now here's Bobby Knight in a position to work with some of the very people he treated with disrespect over the years. He will encounter far fewer of them than he could have, because he will work from ESPN's Bristol studios rather than at game sites. Chances are though, someone involved with his inexcusable blow up at Jeremy Schaap still roams the ESPN campus and hasn't forgotten.

Need another reminder? How about walking out unprovoked during a taping and leaving the producers with no content:

Thanks to felixnightowl

Welcome to our little world, Bobby.

You'll feel at home soon. Sometimes we're not too nice either.

Thursday, February 28, 2008

Oh, My Nose!

Everyone and their Uncle Blogger has posted this photo because it's one of the all time greats.


But what is flying up from the impact point? Sweat? Air from the ball? The whites of his eye? What?

What does any of this have to do with sports TV?

Well, every time we see the photo, we can't help but think of this:




And a football on TV fits in here!

Maybe someday we'll post the "Mom always said, "'Don't play ball in the house'" scene.

Mystifying MLB On TBS Schedule


The Sunday afternoon MLB on TBS package is mystifying because we can't figure out how they're going to be successful with this thing.
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TBS games are not exclusive. Both teams can and will televise the game to their regular markets.
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ESPN Sunday Night and FOX Saturday games are exclusive broadcasts.
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TBS can not change the start time of a game to a window with potentially higher ratings.
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ESPN dictates Sunday Night start times (usually 8:00 PM EST). FOX dictates Saturday start times (usually 3:55 PM EST).
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TBS does not have camera position priorities over the local rightsholders.
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ESPN, on weeknight games, gets camera priority over local rightsholders in select positions including those adjacent to each dugout.
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So what's the hook that will get people to tune in?
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Like we said, mystifying.
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Chip Caray will handle the play by play with analysts to be named later. Joe Simpson, Tony Gwynn, Cal Ripken, Bob Brenly and Steve Stone worked for TBS during last year's playoffs. If Stone returns, hopefully he will do a little more homework than he appeared to have done last fall.
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TBS has made their game selections through Memorial Day Weekend. All times Eastern.
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April 6
Boston Red Sox @ Toronto Blue Jays
1:00 PM
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April 13
Chicago Cubs @ Philadelphia Phillies
1:30 p.m.
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April 20
LA Dodgers @ Atlanta Braves
1:30 p.m.
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April 27
NY Yankees @ Cleveland Indians
1:00 p.m.
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May 4
NY Mets @ Arizona Diamondbacks
4:00 p.m.
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May 11
NY Yankees @ Detroit Tigers
1:00 p.m.
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May 18
Milwaukee Brewers @ Boston Red Sox
1:30 p.m.
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May 25
Seattle Mariners @ NY Yankees
1:00 p.m.

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Hopefully TBS' coverage in 2008 will be better received than it was in 2007.
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Even if it is though, we'll always miss the SuperStation WTBS era and gems like this:
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Thanks to TVARK
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Pac Man Fever. Catch It.

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Name Change Can't Stop Wheels Spinning


Because there's nothing more consistent in New York sports TV than change, this probably won't raise an eyebrow.

FSN New York, which was once SportsChannel New York, and is the sister station of MSG Network, will change identity again March 10 when it is renamed "MSG Plus".

According to Newsday's Neil Best,

The channel will continue to carry programming from Fox Sports, including college football and hoops and the likes of "Best Damn Sports Show Period."

But one plan is to make the often haphazard schedule more coherent. For years, FSNY has been an odd mish-mosh, from boating to boxing to a lot of poker and a lot of old Fran Healy interviews.Another goal is to bulk up the local content itself.

That includes younger-skewing events such as high school games and more interactivity via MSG.com, as well as (next season) more programming directly tied to the Islanders and Devils.

Michael Bair, president of MSG Media, said the station wants to "frankly capitalize more than we have on the Islanders and Devils," properties he conceded "we have undernourished on some level for a number of years."If all goes well, MSG Plus will be treated as an "equal to the core channel, whereas in the past it might not have been treated that way," as Bair said.

The first difference viewers will notice is a new graphics package, including a 24-hour ticker.

That's all well and good for roughly half the year. You can call the channels anything you like but if there's nothing worth watching, nobody will watch. Owning an all-sports network in the NY tri-state area is great except when you own two of them but don't own the rights to televise baseball.

With the Yankees-owned YES Network and the Mets co-owned SNY around for the long haul, the math is very simple:

MSG+ MSG = 0 reasons to tune in from May to October.

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Trade San Diego For Bristol? Not Exactly.

ESPN has a new coordinating producer for baseball and boxing.

Nick Davis was hired away from Cox Communications, where he produced San Diego Padres broadcasts for Cox's Channel 4.

Davis' job switch resulted in this terrific write up from John Maffei of the (SD) North County Times:

He's the most-valuable person regular viewers of Channel 4 have never heard of

Working behind the scenes in the production truck, he's one of those men responsible for the station's network-quality Padres broadcasts.

But after 17 years in San Diego ---- 13 of those with Cox Communications, Channel 4's parent company ----- Nick Davis, coordinating producer for Padres baseball, is leaving to join ESPN.

"I love San Diego and I love Channel 4," Davis said. "And I'll stack our telecasts ----whether it's Padres, San Diego State, USD or the high school championships ---- up against anyone."I didn't want to leave, but ESPN pursued me. And it was an offer I just couldn't refuse."

Davis, who lives with his family in Rancho Penasquitos, will be the coordinating producer for Major League Baseball and boxing --- two sports he loves ---- for ESPN.

That requires a move to ESPN's Bristol, Conn., headquarters. But he's not going away completely.

"Are you kidding, who would leave San Diego?" Davis said. "I'll rent an apartment in Bristol, but we'll keep the home in San Diego."Part of the deal with ESPN is that I get home as often as possible. Whenever ESPN has a baseball game on the West Coast, I'll be home for two or three days before or after the game. So it's not like I'm leaving for good."

Davis was a receiver at Purdue in his college days, earning a B.A. in communications, graduating in 1983.

He moved to San Diego in 1991. In 1993, he landed a job as producer and director for programming at Dimension Cable Services in Vista.

He joined Cox Communications in 1995 when it merged with Dimension.

"There is no finer person than Nick Davis," said Dennis Morgigno, station manager at Channel 4 and the man who oversees the day-to-day operation. "This is a great deal for Nick, but we hate to lose him."He takes an awful lot of pride in his work, and it shows on the air. In a way, though, this says a lot about what we're doing. I've been saying for years that our production is on par with anyone in the country. So for ESPN to recognize Nick and what we're doing, is pretty good."

Davis said the people at ESPN are very familiar at what's going on at Channel 4."And they love it," Davis said. "I think that validates the quality of our local production, and the fact we put the same effort into everything we do."

At ESPN, Davis will have a hand in scheduling as well as working with the network's talent."My goal is to increase the presence of the West Coast baseball teams on ESPN, especially on Sunday nights," Davis said. "I want to make sure there is a West Coast presence. That's an exciting prospect."

"Still, I hate leaving Channel 4 because it has been a big part of my life. And there are so many talented people there."

"But the opportunity to work at ESPN, ABC and Disney and the long-term ramifications was just too good to pass up."

In working with ESPN's baseball announcers Davis will be reunited with Rick Sutcliffe who in addition to his ESPN gig, worked with Davis on Padres telecasts from 1997 - 2004.

You will no doubt recall a moment those two shared on May 10, 2006. Following a day of golf in San Diego with actor Bill Murray, a less than sober Sutcliffe paid a visit to announcers Matt Vasgersian and Mark Grant the Padres TV booth at Petco Field. Davis was producing in the truck as brodacasting infamy fell all around him.



The original YouTube clip from the telecast was removed at MLB's request. Thanks to thecuddmancometh for reposting the audio portion.


Rick Sutcliffe served a one game suspension from ESPN for his conduct.

Nick Davis probably doesn't have to serve notice so something like this won't happen on his watch at ESPN.

Then again, considering the cast of characters already in Bristol, maybe he does.

Monday, February 25, 2008

CBS' Black Eye Turns Kentucky's Balls Blue

When CBS mistakenly cut away from Saturrday's (2/23) Kentucky - Arkansas game in the final minute, you would think that they would have at least tried to make it up to their viewers, especially those in Lexington who complained first to local affiliate WKYT and then to the network itself.

Not so much.

CBS regularly posts previews, reviews and highlights of games they air on both CBS.com and YouTube but Wildcat fans got no satisfaction again, as the game's highlight clip ended as UK took a 57 - 55 lead with 1:15 remaining.

We would have posted the highlights, but CBS doesn't allow clips they post to be embedded on other web sites.
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Even if the so-called "switching error" somehow prevented the game's final minute from being recorded at CBS master control in New York, the truck at Rupp Arena certainly had multple angles of everything that transpired in Kentucky's 63 - 58 win. Even if the melt wasn't fed down the line, it would have taken minimal effort to include at least some of the unaired footage.
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WKYT Executive Sports Producer and Senior Sports Videographer (chooses stories then shoots them?) Steve Moss blogged:

CBS Sports made a monumental gaffe on Saturday. With the Kentucky-Arkansas game winding down, and nearing 4:00 p.m., the network switched viewers throughout the South from the UK game to St. John’s vs. Duke.

It sent the Big Blue Nation into a frenzy. Some of the phone calls and emails to our sports office were inappropriate.

WKYT’s General Manager, Wayne Martin, said the unfortunate error was made in New York, by the network. WKYT was supposed to be provided a “constant” feed of the UK game.

We provided callers with the phone number to CBS and apparently many voiced their opinions. The CBS mailbox was full in a matter of minutes.

Big Blue Nation had their feelings soothed by the victory, but will no doubt be a little wary of CBS' feelings towards them for a while.

Sunday, February 24, 2008

Blue Jays Fly Outside The Box To Sell Tix

"Hottest pre-season action" and "Toronto Blue Jays and Cincinnati Reds" in the same sentence? Doesn't sound like covering the game is a priority anyway.

Toronto Blue Jays vs Cincinnati Reds
Sunday, March 2nd, 2008 on Citytv
Broadcast Begins at 12:30pm ET Live From Dunedin, Florida

TORONTO, Feb. 19 /CNW/ - Citytv takes you out to the ball
game as it brings you the hottest
pre-season action live
from Dunedin, Florida as the Toronto Blue Jays take on the
Cincinnati Reds Sunday, March 2
nd, 2008 on Citytv. Live
coverage begins at 12:30pm ET.

Join some of your favourite
Citytv personalities in
supporting the Toronto Blue Jays. "
CityNews" anchor Gord
Martineau, resident Sports Specialists Kathryn Humphreys
and Hugh
Burrill, and "Breakfast Television's" Jennifer
Valentyne
are joined by The Fan 590's Barb DiGiulio to
bring you three hours of
pre-season action, atmosphere and
excitement as it happens.This unconventional sports
broadcast team will give you a perspective on baseball
you've never seen before on television! The last half hour
of the telecast will take you behind the scenes at the
season ticket holder
barbeque where fans get to rub elbows
with their favourite players.

"We are thrilled to be partnering with the Toronto
Blue Jays in this
Citytv baseball broadcast first" said
Jamie
Haggarty, Executive Vice President, Television
Operations, GM/VP
Citytv Toronto, Rogers Media Television.
"We look forward to offering our viewers a taste of
pre-season action from sunny Florida, giving them a chance
to witness all the action
Citytv-style."

"We are excited about our partnership with
Citytv and
love the fact that they will broadcast our March 2 game
against the Cincinnati Reds using such a diverse crew,"
commented Patrick
Elster, VP Ticket Sales &Services.
"Live during the broadcast they will also announce the
Grand Prize winner from our Spot the
Bobblehead contest
which kicks off February 22
nd."
Those crazy Canadians may not be so crazy. The telecast is basically set up to sell 2008 Blue Jays tickets. Tickets to individual games go on sale the same day. Heavy local promotion combined with the use of popular Toronto non-sports TV personalities could attract an audience with wider demographics than a typical Spring Training game.

There's no coincidence that Citytv, the Blue Jays, and SkyDome Rogers Centre are all owned by Rogers Communications.

Ah, synergy.

This isn't exactly Citytv's first foray into, uh, creative coverage of the Jays during Spring Training as evidenced by this clip from 1984.


Thanks to Peter Gross

Can't say they didn't try.

Everyone's A Comedian

Live from Philadelphia with the number one reason...

Epic Carnival presents the

TOP 10 REASONS THE NFL NETWORK GOT DROPPED

10. NFL Network ads provoke unquenchable urge to murder

9. After the Week 17 Giants-Patriots wussout, no actual point to the network seen by, well, anyone

8. When the choice is the sixth channel of Starz or combine highlights, the sixth channel of Starz will not be denied

7. It's not just you with the all-consuming hatred of Bryant Gumbel

6. Cable and satellite providers laughing last, longest

5. Ratings have taken a sudden and inexplicable drop ever year after Week 17

4. In a recession, advertisers tend to cut down on brand campaigns to shut-ins

3. After the Patriots lost the Perfect Season, a 24-hour-a-day network on a seasonal sports just seems, you know, kind of silly

2. Environmentally questionable to continue pumping that much pure bull into the ozone

1. If they keep televising it, the cable and satellite networks risk attracting the attention of Sen. Arlen Specter (R-Wants A Ring)
What constitutes piling on?

Saturday, February 23, 2008

Kentucky Affiliate Casts Evil Eye At CBS


Someone or something at CBS master control in New York really screwed up near the end of today's (2/23) Kentucky - Arkansas game.

WKYT, the CBS affiliate in Lexington was having none of it. They were quick to finger the network itself for the error and encouraged people who phoned and emailed WKYT with complaints to take it to the next level. And they even provided the phone number.

LEXINGTON, KY - With 47 seconds left in the game between U. K. and Arkansas the Network switched away from the game and then switched back after 17 seconds.

The final score was 63-58. U.K. WON! WKYT-TV called CBS immediately after the mistake was made and had it switched back.

CBS is trying to find out where the error was made.

CBS New York's phone number is 1-212-975-3247. Hundreds of outraged fans have called and scores have e-mailed WKYT-TV and have been referred to the network number to register their complaints.


Kentuckians sure love their basketball and heaven help anyone who gets in the way.

(Thanks to Awful Announcing for the story)

Watch TV Monkeys Watch Left Turns


If you had any inclination to watch something called a Nationwide Series Race tonight at 7 PM (EST) on ESPN2, you can enhance your enjoyment by watching the TV crew as they televise the event. You can even chat with like-minded people at the same time.

TV Monkeys

You can see the goings-on in the control room, audio & sub mix, etc. It's actually pretty cool.
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Of course it would be really cool if the crew was covering something other than auto racing.

Friday, February 22, 2008

Public Demand For NFL Net Game Nets Net Loss Of 4 Million Homes

You read that right.
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Because of the enormous ratings NFL Network's coverage of the 2007 regular season finale earned, the league-owned carrier will lose viewers.
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Go figure.
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Sports Business Daily via The Sporting News reports that EchoStar's Dish Network will remove the NFL Network service from it's most popular "America's Top 100" programming package. Only subscribers paying higher monthly fees for the "America's Top 200" tier will be able to receive the channel, a difference of four million households.
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Broadcasting And Cable quotes a NFL Network statement:
“We are aware of Dish's unfortunate decision, which is not in the best interest of its many subscribers who are football fans, especially this week, with NFL Network's exclusive coverage of the scouting combine featuring incoming college players from all over the country.”

EchoStar's actions would seem to be in retaliation for the NFL's decision to allow both CBS and NBC to carry the December 29, 2007 game between the Patriots and Giants which was originally scheduled as an NFL Network exclusive. Because of an ongoing dispute with the USA's largest cable TV companies, Dish Network was one of the few national service providers football fans could turn to for NFL Network programming last season. Allowing the most in-demand regular season game in decades to be aired on free terrestrial TV potentially cost Dish Network new subscribers.
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NFL Network is now available in thirty one million homes nationally.

Player Puked (Hokie Hurled) - Crew Choked?



Sports By Brooks posted a clip yesterday from Wednesday's Raycom ACC basketball game between Virginia Tech and Maryland.

Virginia Tech's Dorenzo Hudson, (far side, top of key) could be seen struggling to keep himself together from the game camera. However, Hudson's pregame meal of steak, mac 'n cheese, and mashed potatoes (mixed with Gatorade) was hurled onto the court during the second of two free throw attempts.

A lengthy and rather humorous delay ensued as the affected area was given the hazmat treatment.

Brooks though was unhappy with the camera coverage of the incident. It sounds as if he wanted something a little more graphic than what was seen from the game cam angle.

We got a chuckle as several cam & tape ops agreed that they have seen more than enough of each other throwing up so there was little incentive to put forth great effort to document anyone else doing it.

We do know of a clip that may be more to Brooks' liking. It may take a while to dig up, but we'll post it when we do.

Berman speaks, Miami Herald Listens & Agrees - Everyone Misses The Point

Chris Berman spoke with the Miami Herald and addressed the six now infamous clips which were posted, and since removed, on YouTube.

Anything we could add was already posted here three days ago. There's no need to write it again.

The interview, which also features quotes from Andrea Kremer, is posted here in its entirety.


ON SPORTS MEDIA


On Sports Media: 'Big Brother' watches, listens
Posted on Fri, Feb. 22, 2008

By BARRY JACKSON
bjackson@MiamiHerald.com

For all of the benefits of the Internet, the World Wide Web also has become a growing source of aggravation and embarrassment for sportscasters, serving up video and audio never intended for public consumption. ''It's scary,'' NBC's Andrea Kremer said via e-mail, 'because everything seems to be fair game with so many sites looking to embarrass those in the spotlight. It's like George Orwell's "Big Brother,' always watching, but in our case, it could be career-damaging.''

And the message could not be clearer: ''The bottom line today,'' Kremer said,``is that a sportscaster must assume he or she is on air always, and even the most casual or carefree behavior -- and certainly the animated or emotional one -- can end up on some website with embarrassing consequences.''

That lesson was reinforced recently for ESPN's Chris Berman, though nothing he did was career-threatening. YouTube and other Internet sites have offered old Berman clips that reportedly were distributed by a former co-worker who wanted to embarrass him. They feature Berman speaking to colleagues off the air.

In one, he complained and cursed about ESPN production employees distracting him while he was taping a segment. In another, he talked about sneaking codeine-laced Canadian aspirin into the United States. Last week, ESPN had YouTube remove the videos, citing copyright law.

''It's almost as if what we would fight against as a country -- the Soviets spying -- it's almost like that's what everyone is doing,'' Berman said by phone Wednesday. ``What's said in the huddle, which is what I did, should be in the huddle.``I'm disappointed people would think I'm not really good with the people I work with, which couldn't be further from the truth. Do I wish I didn't say a few things nine years ago? Yes. But if that's the worst thing I ever did, I can live with it.''

ESPN supported Berman, noting ``the off-air videos are now nearly a decade old and don't reflect his typical workplace demeanor.'' But the Berman videos were hardly unique. During the past year-and-a-half, including this week, Deadspin.com has offered an audio clip of a message that ESPN anchor Scott Van Pelt left for a woman he reportedly met at a bar. The message doesn't make Van Pelt look bad, but it's clearly something he wouldn't want paraded through cyberspace.

ESPN anchor Dana Jacobson's controversial remarks at a January roast in Atlantic City, N.J., became a national story only after a tipster told Deadspin that she made a comment, while under the influence of alcohol, that would have been highly offensive to Catholics. Jacobson eventually was suspended for a week, though ESPN never confirmed whether she made the alleged remark about Jesus.

Internet sites also are using on-air clips to ridicule sportscasters, especially Emmitt Smith's grammatical gaffes on NFL reports. If the remarks were made on-air, linking to them on websites -- while embarrassing to the person being ridiculed -- is certainly fair game, as long as it doesn't violate copyright laws.

But other websites have gone over the line. One mocked ESPN sideline reporter Heather Cox, questioning her qualifications for the job and noting she attended a community college and was an American Idol contestant. (Only one problem: None of that background information was accurate.) Another ran a doctored photo of a student inappropriately touching ESPN sideline reporter Erin Andrews. At least that was intended in jest -- and Andrews never complained about it.

Though sportscasters ultimately must take responsibility for how they present themselves, any contempt in the Berman/Van Pelt incidents should be reserved for the weasels who placed the clips on the Internet. ''Perhaps our producers also need to remind everyone that works for them of potential repercussions for video that doesn't make air as well as outtakes,'' NBC's Kremer said.

Berman now understands that ``you're being watched whether you're on TV or not. Everyone is very brave when they're anonymous, and that's very disturbing to me, whether it's about me or anyone else. I'd like to think people would be more productive with their time.'

Thursday, February 21, 2008

IBEW prepares to negotiate new FOX contract

Just in case you have an interest and didn't already know...

FOX Contract Negotiations

Hello Everyone,

FOX Sports contract negotiations are tentatively scheduled to begin in the middle of March.

Please contact your Business Manager for details and to inform them of your ideas/proposals.


We need to hear from you about what needs to be changed and added to the contract!

Include examples of situations as to why your proposals are needed.


We have also set up a FOX Sports contract web site to send us your ideas;

www.ibew.org/fox

Should you have any questions or need additional information, do not hesitate to contact me at anytime.

Thanks!

Ro Wratschko

International Representative
Broadcasting & Recording Dept.
IBEW
Washington
D.C.
202.728.6147

Speak now or forever hold it!

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Will Ferrell Throws Collinsworth Some Work

Whew!

Cris Collinsworth didn't have to go without a third gig for long. The NBC and NFL Network personality was collateral damage when HBO canceled "Inside The NFL".

Fortunately, Will Ferrell came to the rescue and cast Cris in the upcoming movie, "Step Brothers".


Yardbarker caught Cris in a red carpet moment.


What the heck was that? We thought Cris used Vin Scully's personal lighting director? (C'mon Mensch, laugh a little.)

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

WHAT REALLY GRINDS OUR GEARS


Bob Raissman (pictured, inset) is a columnist for the NY Daily News who more often than not writes about sports on TV. Normally we wouldn't take the time to critique main stream media critics because we'd never get anything else done. However, Raissman's February 15 column pretty much demanded a rebuttal.

Raissman covered several topics that day and included a harsh judgment about Ampex2000, who posted five of the six Chris Berman clips on YouTube.

BERMAN TAPE-GATE

There are a few video clips — nearly nine years old — circulating on various Web sites, and being e-mailed around the industry, of ESPN's Chris Berman inside the studio. The stuff on tape isn't flattering, to say the least.

One shows Berman flirting with a female colleague. Another shows him throwing a tantrum on the set. There's also a montage of Berman dropping multiple F-bombs. Bad behavior? You bet. But not as abhorrent as that of one who would actually sneak around, tape a colleague and either give the video to someone (or hold on to it himself all these years) before releasing it in order to embarrass Berman.

No, what Berman did on those videos pales — big-time — in comparison to the covert actions of the lowlife who taped him and made sure the video was widely distributed. If Berman is such a bad guy, and someone had a beef with him, they should have gotten in his face. Or taken the problem directly to ESPN management. That would have required guts. Anyone who would basically spy on a colleague is lacking in that department.

Before this creep — or creeps — decided to release the tape, then get their kicks at Berman's expense, they should have asked one question: Would they like the same thing done to them?


This from a guy who writes potentially unflattering things about people FOR A LIVING! Care to bet if those criticized by Raissman in the past wondered how he would feel if the tables were turned?

So let's turn them. And to be sporting, we'll only reference the February 15 column.

What are the chances that the person who taped Berman was sneaking around covertly through dark hallways, hoping to avoid being spotted? Raissman accuses the person of "spying" on Berman. When studio cameras are on, the images from them pass countless monitors, tape machines and eyeballs, so how the hell is that spying? Material like this has been recorded for years not only from where it was shot, but on satellite back hauls, Vyvyx taps, etc. This was something new back in 2000? Please.

And how about getting in Berman's face to settle a problem? Damn right it would have required guts. It would have required stupidity too. Talent having other people removed or reassigned is a regular occurrence in show business. Vice versa? Not so much. There are only so many David and Goliath stories out there.

Raissman also suggested to take problems directly to ESPN management. To management, Berman equals revenue and a technician is little more than a replaceable piece of equipment. It takes sexual harassment-type lawsuits such as those filed against Berman’s on-camera colleagues to get so much as a slapped wrist. Going to management about these issues is a quick way to becoming unemployed.

Chances are that these tapes were only played privately a few times for amusement then sat around gathering dust for years. Tapes like these exist everywhere in the industry and weren't necessarily made to deliberately embarrass the people in them. Ampex2000 said it took the original "Chris Berman Goes Crazy" posting on YouTube to even remember that he had the Berman clips in his collection in the first place.

But what of Raissman’s own professional conflict of interest potentially coloring his "reporting" for the Daily News? Read on from the same day’s column.

EMMYS SAY NO TO YES
Is there a mistake in the list of nominees for the New York Emmy Awards?

Looking at the play-by-play category, you see Gary Cohen (SNY/Mets) but no Yankees voices from YES. And looking at the analyst category, there's Ron Darling (SNY/Mets), but no Yankees voices from YES.

There must be a mistake, right?

After all, nearly the entire YES Nets broadcast crew, Marv Albert, Ian (The Bird) Eagle and Mark Jackson, was nominated for Emmys. So how the heck could YES' Yanks yackers possibly come up empty? Especially when the gang at Al Yankzeera has a cast of thousands working the Bombers' booth.

No mistake. We checked the list over and over again, shook it 100 times, and no YES Yankees voices fell out.

What a shame. Guess Al Yank really misses Jim Kaat.

No need for the YES men to whine or hang their heads. Maybe David Cone can turn things around after he stops answering questions about his name surfacing during the House Oversight Committee hearing on the Mitchell Report.


Think Raissman harbors some bitterness towards the Yankees and their owned-and-operated YES Network?

Many local and national columnists have negative feelings towards the Yankees that get published regularly, so that's hardly an issue. That is, until you learn that Raissman also appears regularly on-camera for SNY, the New York outlet that happens to be co-owned by the rival Mets.

In Raissman's mind it's okay to gloat over someone's failures (YES) from his high profile authority position (Daily News) while not immediately making clear that doing so also favors his other interests (SNY). How does that compute?

Perhaps Raissman was so offended by Ampex2000 because he ultimately fears for himself. Maybe there's a concern that something he said or did near a camera will someday find its way to YouTube.

Rather than stress accountability, Raissman chose to blame the messenger and label him a "creep" for bringing the public something factual about a well known person.

A long look in the mirror may be in order, sir.

Monday, February 18, 2008

Broken Beak Amuses Aussie Announcers

Who has more fun, rugby players or rugby announcers?

Hint: They're FOX announcers...

Green and Gold Rugby adds:
"Here's a clip of the hilarious unintentional charge down that Cory Jane made with his nose on Kurtley Beale's clearance kick in the Waratah's vs Hurricanes S14 game yesterday. Points to him for shaking it off, but if you've got the name of a female porn star, pencil beard and a mullet then I guess you learn to toughen up."
Couldn't have said it better ourselves.





Good on ya, mate!

Sunday, February 17, 2008

City Of Brotherly Shove Can Laugh Too

They may be known for booing Santa but those Philadelphians can play a joke too.

How else would you explain Marty Miller and Bruce Levine? (Oh c'mon! We kid because we care.)

From their Spring Training camp in Clearwater, the Phillies are in a joking mood. CSN-Philadelphia was in on - and then aired - an elaborate practical joke played on pitcher Kyle Kendrick.

Elaborate may be an understatement.

Bugs & Cranks explains:
"Evil genius Brett Myers concocted a plan where assistant GM Ruben Amaro and manager Charlie Manuel would inform 2nd year pitcher Kyle Kendrick that he was traded to a Japenese team in exchange for another pitcher. Practically the entire clubhouse was in on it, from the newspaper reporters to Kyle’s agent. Kendrick was even slapped with a fake itinerary to Japan, fake press release and fake trade papers to his new squad."



Trade paper and itinerary courtesy Phila. Inquirer / The Zo Zone



Here is how CSN-Philadelphia told the story:



(Thanks again to
Bugs & Cranks)


Instant classic!

Taxed By Kings, Flyers Hand Ducks Bill

When a team from Philadelphia makes "VENGEANCE" their slogan, believe it. The NHL, Anaheim Ducks and FSN West all do.

As is the custom when a West Coast or small market Canadian team plays in the east, the visiting broadcaster relies heavily on the home show for cameras, often employing only two of their own. Weekday games that begin at 4:00 PM don't usually generate much in terms of ratings. Broadcasters will likewise increase budgets for games within their local time zones when the audience is naturally larger.

Normally, a two-camera visiting NHL show will set up a tight (or iso) camera and a hand held. If the home show only uses one HH, the visiting show will put theirs at the near side corner opposite the home show's camera. The home show then adds the visiting HH feed to their compliment for replays and live cuts during action.

Back on January 29, the LA Kings took on the Flyers at Philly's Wachovia Center. CSN-Philadelphia was televising the game locally, with FSN West sending it back to Los Angeles. The Kings' show controlled two cameras and had individual feeds of CSN-Philly's.

However, the FSN West show opted to use two hard cameras instead of one hard and one HH. CSN-Philadelphia didn't appreciate giving all their camera feeds away without getting anything they felt was useful in return.

The game on the ice needed overtime to be decided and so did this new game being played in the offices.

And four days later on February 2, CSN-Philadelphia got their vengeance when the Anaheim Ducks came to town.

Although the Ducks were nothing more than innocent bystanders, their games are broadcast by FSN-Prime Ticket. In Southern California, FSN-Prime Ticket is to FSN West the equivalent of what ESPN2 is to ESPN nationally. Same company, different channel number.

CSN-Philly balanced the scales by only giving FSN-PT feeds of their game camera and the NHL-installed overheads above each goal. Caught in the crossfire, the Ducks' production team was left to make the best of what they had: the home show's game camera, their own tight, their own HH and two goal overheads.

Additionally CSN-Philly's actions were backed up by the NHL, which essentially means that two-camera visiting shows around the league will be sure to give a little back to their hosts.

Saturday, February 16, 2008

BOMBED BACK TO THE STONE AGE

The US threatened to bomb Pakistan back to the stone age following 9/11.

KJZZ-TV in Salt Lake City threatens to do the same with our industry.


This was discovered on Craigslist:

Part-time Summer Video Work


Reply to: see below Date: 2008-02-15, 2:59PM MST

The Utah Jazz and the Salt Lake Bees are looking for individuals to fill the following positions:
Camera Operator Instant Replay Operator Editor Techinical (sic) Director Utility/Grip

We are looking for creative individuals with experience and knowledge in shooting sporting/other events, video editing and interviewing.
If interested mail your resume and demo reel to: Human Resources 301 W South Temple Salt Lake City, UT 84101
  • Location: Utah Jazz/Salt Lake Bees
  • Compensation: $50/event
  • This is a part-time job.
  • Principals only. Recruiters, please don't contact this job poster.
  • Please, no phone calls about this job!
  • Please do not contact job poster about other services, products or commercial interests.
PostingID: 575282979

Oh my lord, where to start?

Despite what your common sense is telling you, this ISN'T for a scoreboard feed in a minor league ballpark.

THIS IS THE REAL THING! Or as real as Salt Lake City gets, anyway (we kid, we kid).

We can look beyond someone's Utopian ideal that camera ops, tape ops, editors, TDs, and utes all deserve the same pay, as long as the rate is whatever the highest position normally gets.

Paying a utility TD money is fine and generous, but it wouldn't work in reverse. Can you name a TD that would work games for accepted utility wages?

But KJZZ takes that issue and goes about one hundred steps further. The pay is FIFTY DOLLARS per game for ALL positions! These games will be broadcast over-the-air in SLC with approximately 60 translator stations relaying the signal to viewers in Utah, Wyoming, Nevada and Idaho. And that's not counting cable and satellite viewers in the region.

This ain't no public access channel. A quick look at the KJZZ line-up reveals that they have syndication deals for "Friends", "Scrubs", "Entertainment Tonight" and everybody's favorite self-promoting fraud, "Dr. Phil".

But they're going to pay FIFTY BUCKS to freelancers working on their baseball games?

We can't wait to see how that looks.

But if you can imagine, the future may look even worse.

Kim Jong Mil, leader of rogue regime threatening sports TV workers


KJZZ is owned by the Larry H Miller Group Of Companies which controls a vast array of retail, food and entertainment businesses, financial service institutions and automotive dealerships in seven western states. The Utah Jazz and the EnergySolutions Arena, plus the aforementioned Salt Lake Bees baseball team (AAA - LA Angels) all fall under the Larry H Miller umbrella.

Conveniently, KJZZ also broadcasts 40 Utah Jazz games, which includes 22 home games this season. SLC's freelance pool continues to work these games, but what about next season? What if KJZZ offers their FIFTY DOLLAR A GAME crew the home package for 2008 - 2009? Who's to say that FSN Utah wouldn't eventually follow suit for their games?

There's nothing to stop them. Utah is a right-to-work state, and while KJZZ's actions will no doubt result in a grass roots IATSE movement, there's no legal remedy against anyone not wishing to join.

According to the their web site:

The vision at KJZZ remains, "To enhance the quality of life in Utah."

Except perhaps, for the quality of life of Utah's TV freelancers.


(By the way, companies that can't spell "technical" correctly in their help wanted ads shouldn't expect to find many Mensa applicants knocking on their doors.)

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Pitchers & Catchers Report TODAY


You can tell Old Man Winter to stick it.

No matter how cold, or gray, or windy or wet it is where you are, you know it's only temporary.

Days and nights in frigid stadia or dank arenas are officially numbered -

- for pitchers and catchers reported to Spring Training camps this morning.

And to celebrate this day of days, we bring you the sounds of the game. Baseball's best clip ever.

We thought it might be nice to hear a little now, in a way we have heard it before and perhaps will again. Just a little. Enough to stoke the inner fire of anticipation. Enough to keep the spirits warm even where the temperatures aren't.

Hopefully this clip will lift you to a place where lazy days and leisurely evenings are spent at ballparks with friends. Let the sounds wash all over, as you float gently towards that personal space in the truck, in the booth or behind a camera.

Close your eyes and let your mind return to the days when some directors called High Home camera 1.

(If you're not in the business, the audio may be NSFW. There is no relevant video.)

Padres @ Braves, Atlanta-Fulton County Stadium, early 1990s

Ahhhhh yes.

Welcome back, baseball.

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Football announcer arrested, tasered, injured, jailed, embarrassed

Here's a first: getting news from TMZ.com.

Josh Booty, a 2-sport professional athelete and football TV-radio announcer was arrested for DUI Wednesday morning in Southern California. Police had to use a taser to control Booty, who wasn't very cooperative with police.

According to TMZ:

Law enforcement sources tell TMZ Booty was taken to the Orange County Jail, where he was booked -- and that's when he went ballistic.

O.C. Sheriff's spokesperson Jim Amormino tells TMZ, "Booty was belligerent and uncooperative." Amormino says his deputies used a taser -- "less than lethal force" - to contain him.

After being tazed, Josh fell to the ground, hitting his head on the floor and cracking it open. He was taken to a hospital where he was stitched up.

Josh is the brother of USC quarterback John David Booty. Fight on!


Don't forget the obligatory mugshot!

(TMZ.com)

Josh Booty has had quite the athletic career. He was a 1st round pick by the Florida Marlins in 1994, spent 5 years in the organization and hit .269 in the Majors. He was a member of the 1997 World Champions and has the ring to prove it.

Turning to football, Booty was drafted by Seattle in the 6th round of the 2001 NFL draft. The QB was traded to Cleveland where he served as a back up for 3 seasons. He signed a 2-year contract last March with Oakland, but was released during training camp in July. Booty failed to catch on with another team.

He has worked for Fox Sports and NFL Network plus Sirius and ESPN radio.

Ironically, Josh Booty is a spokesman for TruMRI in Beverly Hills.

When they examine his head, maybe he'll get an employee discount.

BEST. CLIP. EVER.

Final reminder...

It's coming tomorrow.

Exclusively at Sports TV Inside Out.

(reposting by other bloggers is welcome)

AMPEX2000 SAYS GOODBYE

"THAT WAS MY 15 MINUTES. THANKS FOR THE ATTENTION."

ESPN ADDRESSES BERMAN VIDEOS


Just as the Chris Berman video clip story looked to be complete, a surprise twist was added to the plot in the form of an official statement from ESPN.

Several bloggers (including ProFootballTalk and AOL FanHouse) received a message from ESPN VP of Public Relations Josh Krulewitz downplaying the significance of the Berman clips.

We'll get to that in a moment.

Following correspondences with Busted Coverage and Deadspin, Ampex2000 granted an exclusive email exchange to Sports TV Inside Out. The now-legendary whistle blower who posted five of the six Berman clips on YouTube effectively bade farewell to the public during the exchange, excerpts of which are reprinted below.




Sports TV Inside Out: Your screen name - we wondered if the name came from the Ampex 2000 model VTR from 1967 or perhaps you were a tape operator in 2000 when the material was recorded?

Ampex2000: Ampex 2000 was the work horse of the broadcast industry but now it's a relic. Chris Berman was the work horse for ESPN but now is also a relic. Both don't work too well anymore.

Sports TV Inside Out: The location. You list SF. Is that a reference to Berman's love for the Giants & 49ers or do you live there?

Ampex2000: Both. The screen name and the city worked out perfect for these videos.

Sports TV Inside Out: Sexual harassment has been a well documented complaint against ESPN talent over the years. Do you have any insight into why numerous ESPN talent treat female coworkers that way?

Ampex2000: It's a male macho I-work-for-ESPN-world.

Sports TV Inside Out: You must be enjoying the attention the clips have received. Is there any particular comment (on line or otherwise) that stands out?

Ampex2000: Yes. There were many very, very funny comments. Some folks were totally off base. The best one that made me really laugh was (I'm paraphrasing) "Keep the videos coming you are doing the Lord's work.) There are some amazing people out there with a great sense of humor who get it. The ones who take it so serious just don't get it.

Sports TV Inside Out: The Christian Defense Coalition, the same group that protested in Bristol and tried to get Dana Jacobson fired, have used your clips as further evidence that ESPN is in moral decay. They called for another protest for today in Bristol. What is your reaction to having motivated this group to call even more attention to Berman and mobilize themselves against ESPN?

Ampex2000: Well, being that none of this made air the Coalition should back off. This is just an example of rude talent and how this TV business just goes to some people's heads. Most (not all) talent out there are really nice folks. Guys like Chris however are allowed to keep going because nobody stands up to them.

Sports TV Inside Out: By this point you have to figure that Berman has seen the clips and faced some questioning from his wife, kids & coworkers. Any thought as to how he may have reacted when told of the clips & how he may have explained himself to his family?

Ampex2000: Oh, I'm sure the excuse will be that it was taken out of context. You could make the assertion for maybe the edited pieces. However, it really does not change the overall tone of who he is.

Sports TV Inside Out: Were you hoping for any specific reaction (even in private) from Berman or anyone else at ESPN?

Ampex2000: No. It was more for the public. A guy like that will justify it anyway he wants.....and will.

Sports TV Inside Out: Do you know of others who have incriminating tapes
of Berman or any ESPN talent in their personal collections?

Ampex2000: I know of one. But I think this person would not release it as the finger would be pointed too quickly.

By the way, that was my 15 minutes. Thanks for the attention. And actually I hope it gets some of these bloated egos deflated a little.

My bet is audio guys will be told to close their mikes. Stage managers will keep the area clear of people with camcorders. Tapes and hard drives will be confiscated. In some cases, feeds will be hard patched and no one will really address the problem of rude highly paid talent learning to treat people properly.

As our parents use to say.....If you have nothing nice to say........Then say nothing at all.


But just after sending the above responses, Ampex2000 wrote back with the news of ESPN's official statement from VP of Public Relations Josh Krulewitz.

ESPN ADDRESSES BERMAN VIDEOS

"The off air videos are now nearly a decade old and do not reflect his typical workplace demeanor, his relationships with co-workers, nor the contributions he has made to ESPN over many years," Krulewitz said.

"Chris has a tremendous connection with sports fans and his body of work should not be judged by a few minutes of unguarded language uttered years ago. We aren't excusing the language used and will be emphasizing to our workforce the importance of using appropriate language in the workplace."


Ampex2000: This is so typical of PR departments.

"Chris has a tremendous connection with sports fans and his body of work should not be judged by a few minutes of unguarded language uttered years ago."

You mean a few minutes of RECORDED and SAVED unguarded language uttered years ago. Even though it went on many many times! Geeze these folks just don't get it. You mean if all the crap he has spewed over many years was recorded at every venue and saved and released as his BODY of work they would find an excuse as that only represents his "recorded off the record body of work" and should no be judged as his "on the air work."

Sad.....................


And with that, Ampex2000 was history.


Tuesday, February 12, 2008

The Other Gray's Anatomy


DEADSPIN has a poll about Jim Gray's approval rating.

Results as of this posting:
Disapprove 69.5%
Approve 30.5%
We don't know if he voted, but we know which button NBC producer Sam Flood would click.

Head on over to cast your vote before the poll closes.

Announcer Acrimony At ABC

Ampex2000 has posted his/her 5th and possibly last Chris Berman clip.

In "Chris Berman has always hated Al Michaels", we'll see our hero rehearsing his throws from the ESPNZONE in New York back to the MNF game site.

About the clip, Ampex2000 wrote:
"Chris is envious of Al Michaels. He always complains about him. He complains about all his air time and anything he has to say. This time you can see how he really feels as his dislike for Al finally slips out."



Unless more clips are discovered in Ampex2000's library, this is the end of the barrage.

Maybe Boomer can finally get off the Budweiser Hot Seat.

At Least Bloggers Know Their A-B-C s

Two weekends ago, a misspelled name on the starting lineup element slipped by an entire ESPN on ABC college basketball production team.



Last weekend, it was an NBA crew's turn to air mistakes made during preproduction.


We don't want to see what they come up with this weekend.

But Ballsiest.com does, and if they find something we'll pass it on.


UPDATE
Not long after this entry was posted, we received an email claiming that the freelance ESPN graphics operators referred to above recently worked for a sign company as well.



See you in hell.

An ESPN clip without Chris Berman!

In this behind-the-scenes look at an ESPN college basketball broadcast from Murray State, producer Major Howe explains how it's done.



Major says he would pay to see many events that he gets to work on.

Good luck getting that raise.

Monday, February 11, 2008

222 Reasons Why We Miss The Montreal Expos

Olympic Stadium: First the fans, then the team. Now even the turf has left.

Talk to anyone who travels regularly working National League baseball games. Chances are they miss the Montreal Expos more than they had expected.

Washington DC has it's advantages, but it doesn't have Youppi or over-the-counter codeine available in every pharmacy. Americans working Expos games were always doing favors for friends, bringing back as many bottles of "222" as they could squeeze into their bags.


For the uninitiated, a "222" is a pain relief pill made by Johnson & Johnson - Merck. It contains 375 mg aspirin, 15 mg caffeine and 8 mg codeine. While perfectly legal in Canada, any product using codeine in the US requires a prescription.

When the Expos left Montreal for Washington, TV folks and sportswriters alike were faced with a shortage of "222s".

Accordingly, Toronto has become more popular than ever among us TV types.

So why are we bringing all this up?

Ampex2000 has posted "Chris Berman and how to smuggle Canadian 222s", on YouTube. Of his fourth posting, Ampex2000 writes:
"Chris Berman explains how to sneek 222's in the US and the pop he gets from it." (sic)




Although they've gone up in price as the US dollar tumbled, "222s" continue to be a big reason many are quietly saddened by the loss of baseball in Montreal.