In addition to today’s column on the upcoming HBO documentary, “Breaking the Huddle: The Integration of College Football” (linked here), and an update on the Lakers’ plans to switch to KSPN-AM (710) after 30-some years with KLAC-AM (570) (linked here), we’ve got these tidbits that are sure not to be inserted into any documentarian’s portfolio:
==ESPN didn’t renew the contract of college basketball studio analyst Stacey Dales, who also did college football sideline reporting. The former WNBA All-Star guard worked both on men’s and women’s basketball for the network but reports are that she wanted to continue with the network, but had trouble (with her 6-foot build) traveling constantly in coach while the other talent was given first-class treatment.
==ESPN plans to relaunch its website early next year, but before that, it has posted a beta version and asking for comments by those who subscribe to the “Insider” pay service. The most striking changes are a darker shade of red as the predominant color, larger boxes that highlights columnists Bill Simmons and Rick Reilly and a bigger emphasis on video, with a larger screen. The smaller player on the right side that started with a “SportsCenter Right Now” has disappeared.
==Ever heard of The Sportsman Channel? Neither have we. And we’re supposed to know this stuff. DirecTV made a deal with it (owned by InterMedia Outdoors, which also recently acquired Barrett Productions, which makes outdoors and adventure TV programming) starting in January as an Choice Xtra package channel. More info on the channel that calls itself “All Hunting, All Fishing, All the Time” (linked here). We’re not beef jerkeying you around here.
==Chris McGee, John Jackson, Jackie Pickering and Dain Blanton suppliment FSN Prime Ticket’s coverage of the Pac-5 Division title game — Tesoro against Long Beach Poly, from Angels Stadium — Saturday at 7 p.m.
==Presentation of the Lott Trophy from Newport Beach will air on Fox Sports West at 9:30 p.m. Sunday, after the Lakers-Timberwolves game. Bill Macdonald and Michael Eaves cover the ceremony hosted by former ABC broadcaster Keith Jackson. The award, named after former USC defensive back Ronnie Lott, has been given out since 2004 to what the voting group determines to be the most deserving impact player, both on and off the field.”
==The Hollywood Reporter reports that part of the counterprogramming to NBC’s coverage of Super Bowl XLIII on Feb. 1, ABC will have a special version of that stupid summer show “Wipeout.” Actually, it’s only up against the Bruce Springsteen halftime performance. Afterward, when NBC airs a new episode of “The Office,” ABC does more of its “Wipeout” where cheerleaders compete against guys who consider themselves couch potatoes, and will include the USC marching band performing.
==Gearing up already for March Madness, CBSSports.com will have free online simulcasts of 11 SEC basketball games that CBS is covering, starting with Saturday’s Indiana-Kentucky game, plus Army-Navy on Feb. 21.
==The NFL Network will expand its Sunday morning pregame show from two hours to three — what else does it have to air? — and adds Steve Mariucci to the cast. It means a 6 a.m. local start for the talent that congregates in Culver City.