Weekly media column version 01.04.13

Bill Walton waves to the crowd after he is introduced as an honorary captain before the UCLA-Oregon basketball game at the old MacArthur Court in Eugene, Ore., in 2010. (AP Photo/Don Ryan)

What made it into the latest newspaper/online version: Bill Walton, on how he’s come all the way into broadcasting college basketball games (including Saturday’s Stanford-UCLA game from Pauley Pavilion); Doc Emrick, on how he’s come to like doing college hockey games in the wake of the NHL lockout, and an update on Hannah Storm, as she works her way back from a horrific situation where she was burned in a gas grill accident.

What didn’t make it in, but could have:

== Walton blogs about the start of the Pac-12 conference schedule (in a post from last November).

== If you want something that’s preceived to be more impartial, ESPN sends out Dave Pasch with Jeff Van Gundy and Chris Broussard to cover tonight’s Lakers-Clippers game, which will also be on TWC SportsNet and Prime Ticket with the usual suspects.

== Gus Johnson, Charles Davis, Petros Papadakis and Julie Alexandra are part of Fox’s only college football bowl game this post-season — tonight’s Texas A&M-Oklahoma Cotton Bowl from Cowboys Stadium in Arlington, Tex. (Channel 11, 5 p.m., or a 4:30 p.m. start if you insist on watching the half-hour pregame).

== In addition to ESPN having Brent Musburger, Kirk Herbstreit, Heather Cox and Tom Rinaldi cover Monday’s Notre Dame-Alabama BCS title game Monday (5:30 p.m.), Mike Tirico, Todd Blackledge, Holly Rowe and Joe Schad will be on the broadcast for ESPN Radio, heard locally on KSPN-AM (710).

== The NBC Sports Network, with Ross Greenburg Productions and NFL Films, starts a somewhat self-serving four-part series about the business of the NFL called “Star Spangled Sundays,” with episode one set for Tuesday. The first installment called “Rise of a Colossus” is supposed to focus on TV’s influence in all this — 29 of the 30 most-watched shows on TV this season are NFL games. Among those interviewed who may try to shed some light on that obvious premise: Commissioner Roger Goodell, New York Times media writer Bill Carter, NBC broadcasters Bob Costas and Al Michaels, ProFootballTalk.com author Mike Florio, NFL Network CEO Steve Bornstein, former ABC and NBC Sports exec Don Ohlmeyer and former Fox Sports chairman David Hill.

== Why those involved with the canceled HBO series “Luck” can’t afford to look away any more.

== A Q-and-A with new Fox Sports Radio morning man Jay Mohr, via the Washington Examiner.

== Are the media-friendly New York Jets messing with the NFL’s media policy?

== Why wouldn’t the retiring Ray Lewis be the next ESPN media darling?

== Sports Business Daily has cited a Multichannel News report that DirecTV is raising its rates in 2013 by 4.5 percent because the fees it pays is going up to about 8 percent. Also noted is DirecTV’s Choice Xtra package will go up from $68.99 to $70.99, and there will be a $2 fee per month for those in certain ZIP codes where DirecTV is obligated to distribute multiple regional sports networks. Said DirecTV Chairman, President & CEO Mike White in Multichannel News“I believe the industry made a mistake in not having the regional sports networks be an a la carte service 10 years ago. But am I going to be able to force that to happen? I don’t know. I’m pretty realistic about that. … At some point we’re all going to have to look at if it’s all a la carte options, whether it is surcharges on a consumer’s bill for certain services, because there is no other way to start passing it through.”

== DirecTV, meanwhile, debuts three episodes of the series “Suit Up,” on Saturday (5 p.m., 5:30 p.m. and 6 p.m., repeated at 8 p.m., 8:30 p.m. and 9 p.m. on the Audience Network Channel 101), which is a satire of a college football progam (Glory University) that loses a deal with a cable company (CableCorp) after a major scandal (its QB accepted an improper benefit). And who comes in to help the program become relevant on TV again? DirecTV. Aside from that scenario being completely unbelieveable, the DirecTV project, in partnership with 20th Century Fox, began as a digital series that appeared on Yahoo last September — during the time when the dish provider refused to carry the new Pac-12 Network (and still refuses it).

@erinandrews

== What are we supposed to glean from this photo of Fox’s Erin Andrews (second from right) cozying up to the Kings’ Jarett Stoll? That she doesn’t have a New Year’s Eve thing for John Legend or Chrissy Tiegen? Andrews apparently had this posted on her Twitter account for all her 1.6 mil followers to see — but now it’s gone. Again, she’s the one who starts these things about herself and can’t understand why her credibility is ever in question.

== And finally: What about No. 1 Stanford matching up against No. 2 UConn in women’s basketball last week — and having it relegated to ESPNU instead of on an ESPN network that was more accessable?
ESPN instead had the Armed Forces Bowl between 6-6 Rice and 6-6 Air Force. “If they are NFL games, then I understand,” said UConn coach Geno Auriemma, who ESPN occasionally uses as a studio analyst. “But if they’re not NFL games and it’s two bowl games among the other 56 bowl games or however many there are … I guess the TV people have already done their homework and have come to a conclusion that some 6-6 team from one part of the country playing another 6-6 team from another part of the country is probably a great game and great for the fans. .. From our standpoint as coaches and players, we’ve always got to be careful about what we say about media coverage. We get bombarded on both sides; ‘You’re lucky to get the coverage you get,’ while others say Stanford-UConn should be on instead of the Packers-Patriots playoff game. You get people think that game should supersede any game and you get others saying why are they even on television” On ESPN2, it’s been pointed out that Stanford-UConn was displaced by a UNLV-North Carolina men’s game, the Fight Hunder Bowl from San Francisco and also by the UConn men’s game against Washington.

 

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