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.
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.
Because of the enormous ratings NFL Network's coverage of the 2007 regular season finale earned, the league-owned carrier will lose viewers.
Go figure.
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.
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.
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: 'Big Brother' watches, listens
Posted on Fri, Feb. 22, 2008


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, 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;

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


Ro Wratschko

International Representative
Broadcasting & Recording Dept.

Speak now or forever hold it!

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Will Ferrell Throws Collinsworth Some Work


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


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.


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.

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.