TVWeeek.com reports today (linked here) that the National Association of Broadcasters is issuing a warning to policy makers and Congress about the potential impact of ESPN’s winning exclusive rights to air most of the Bowl Championship Series. The new deal takes much of the series off broadcast TV and moves it to basic cable.
In a policy statement today, NAB’s board of directors said the move would “disenfranchise” millions of viewers.
“Broadcasters continue to support the rights of all Americans to have free access to telecasts of major sporting events, particularly those of publicly funded educational institutions,” the resolution said.
It directed the NAB staff to educate policy makers “on the importance of ensuring that no segments of society are disenfranchised from this highly valued programming.”
Last week, the BCS announced that ESPN had outbid Fox for the rights to the series of games and would begin airing the games starting in 2011. ESPN’s offer was said to be $500 million over four years. Fox bid $400 million, up from the $330 million it’s paying under its current four-year deal.
Somewhat in the same area code, you can also check out Jason Whitlock’s latest take on what he thinks today of ESPN (linked here).
We’ll make it easy:
“ESPN is the enemy of the truth, and all who believe a pursuit of the truth is the lifeblood of a genuinely free society must stand against the Wal-Mart-ization of sports journalism. I reached this conclusion when trying to figure out why Ball State quarterback Nate Davis isn’t one of the top-five Heisman Trophy candidates and Ball State coach Brady Hoke isn’t the front-runner for national coach of the year.”
Aside from the fact Whitlock is a Ball State grad …
“ESPN is so financially tied to the organizations it covers and so devoid of basic journalistic ethics that it cannot properly analyze the sports world. ESPN just bought the BCS television package. It has a vested interest in promoting all things BCS. If you’re going to televise multiple Big 12 games in primetime on ABC and ESPN, you have every reason to promote the myth that the majority of Heisman Trophy candidates play in the Big 12.”
Thank you, and the closing comment:
“Sports media is dying by suicide and ESPN is Dr. Jack Kevorkian. You’re dying, too. ESPN just hasn’t told you yet.”