What made it into today’s weekly media column: Gus Johnson talks about his future as the U.S. voice of kickball, and why the MLB Network reality show “The Next Knuckler” could come back to bite the Dodgers in the NL West.
Both are versions of blog posts from Thursday afternoon, in case you’re wondering. Scroll below as well to see more on Bill Walton’s latest night in Westwood, the best ESPN graphic on how UCLA has passed USC in recruiting, and why NFL Films creator “Big Ed” Sabol doesn’t think he belongs in the Pro Football Hall of Fame.
What didn’t make it:
== Wait, is Gus Johnson really that terrible?
== Mike Tirico, Hubie Brown and Doris Burke have the Clippers-Knicks game from Madison Square Garden on Sunday (10 a.m., Channel 7), followed by Mike Breen, Jeff Van Gundy and Lisa Salters on the Lakers-Heat game from Miami (12:30 p.m., Channel 7). Tirico is then forced to circle back to do ESPN’s coverage of San Antonio at Brooklyn (5 p.m., ESPN) with analyst Jon Barry.
Breen and Van Gundy are also on ESPN’s coverage of tonight’s Clippers game in Miami (5 p.m.).
== Sirius XM Radio has given comedian/actor Robert Wuhl a new weekly fantasy baseball show on its fantasy sports (XM channel 87 and Sirius channel 210) every Wednesday night from 6-8 p.m.
== Showtime has set up a monthly schedule of the “Jim Rome on Showtime” series starting Wednesday, March 13 in the 9 p.m. slot, taped in front of a live studio audience. It will air once a month, on the second Wednesday night, through 2013. The “60 Minutes Sports” on Showtime will air on the first Wednesdays.
== Three of the bigger sports-related business stories this week:
= Disney reported lower first-quarter earnings – net income fell from $1.46 billion to $1.38 billlion – with the reason given part due to the rising costs of acquiring TV sports rights for its ESPN division (reports Reuters);
= Time Warner’s cable business helped boost the company’s fourth-quarter income from $773 million to $1.17 billion, aided by “an increase in subscription fees paid by cable and satellite companies,” and more ad revenue from NBA games on Turner channels, says the New York Times;
= New Corp’s cable channels, including its regional sports networks, helped the company double its net income in the final quarter of 2012, boosting it from $1.06 billion to $2.38 billion. Fox’s cable channels reported operating income of $945 million, a 7 percent increase from the previous year. News Corp COO Chase Carey also said in a New York Times story that speculation about the company’s new cable sports channel that could compete nationwide with ESPN “the world’s worst kept secret . . . Almost everywhere we’ve invested in sports around the world it has been not just important, but a cornerstone.”
== Univision Deportes said its live coverage of the World Cup qualifier between Mexico and Jamica (a 0-0 draw) averaged 3.3 million viewers, making it the second highest-rated telecast ever on UniMás.