Weekly sports media column version 06.14.13: Stumped by ESPN’s strategy?

What made it into this week’s sports media column:

Screen-shot-2013-06-13-at-12.39.26-PM-628x351Howie Schwab didn’t seem stumped. Just stupefied. If he’s become the latest trivial piece in ESPN’s multi-media game plan moving forward, imagine how the rest of those working for the Disney-owned company must wonder about what Tomorrowland will look like for the sports media industry.

What didn’t, but could have:

== For those wondering if Jim Rome would continue his nation-wide “Smack Off” at his new CBS Sports Radio home, the answer is affirmative, loud and as clear as one can hear it. According to his website, the 19th annual event starts at 9 a.m. this morning. Reigning champ Chael Sonnen has an invite, as does Brad In Corona, Iafrate, Mark In Hollywood, Gino In San Antonio, Dan In DC, Isreal In LA, Trapper, Steve Carbone, Joe In The OC, Bodie In Pearland, Greg In Sun Valley, Dave In St Louis, Mike In Wichita, Silk, Jeff In Richmond, Rachel In Houston, Casey In Vegas, Terrance In Sierra Madre, Jim In Fall River, Doc Mike Di Tolla, Jeffrey Di Tolla, Vic In No-Cal, Mike In Indy, Jason In Fullerton and Jason In Little Rock. Hear it on CBSSports.com‘s radio home. For some history: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Smack-Off

== Orel Hershiser comes off the ESPN “Sunday Night Baseball” team and is the game analyst for the College World Series, including being part of the call of UCLA’s opening game of the College World Series against LSU (Sunday, 5 p.m., ESPN2). Hershiser works with play-by-play man Mike Patrick and Camarillo’s Jessica Mendoza as the sideline reporter.
Karl Ravech and Dave O’Brien share play-by-play work on the second ESPN CWS team with analyst Kyle Peterson and reporter Kaylee Hartung.

== NBC’s 4.8 overnight rating for the Stanley Cup Final Game 1 — the 4-3 triple overtime game Chicago won over Boston, ending at 1 a.m. in the East — was up 100 percent over the 2.4 that the Kings did against New Jersey in last year’s Game 1. Boston did a 28.1 local rating; Chicago had a 25.1. Hockey-savvy L.A. had a 2.8 local rating, ranking 29th of the 56 metered markets. But consider that two years ago, when the Kings were not involved in the finals, L.A. had a 1.3 rating for the Boston-Vancouver Game 1 of 2011.
Earlier in the week, NBC said the Kings-Blackhawks Western Conference clinching Game 5, which went into two overtimes, had 3.813 million viewers, making it the network’s most-watched conference final in 16 years (back when ESPN had Colorado-Detroit). The game peaked with 5.57 million viewers from 11:45 p.m. to midnight in the East.
The two conference finals averaged 2.646 million viewers on NBC (two games) and NBC Sports Network (seven games), the largest numbers in 17 years when Fox and ESPN shared the broadcasts.
NBC also said L.A. had its best non-Stanley Cup Final game viewership ever on its network with a 3.84 vs. Chicago for the June 8 Game 5. L.A. also had the best non-Stanley Cup Final game ever on NBC Sports Network with a 2.97 vs. Chicago on June 4.

== Prior to Saturday’s Game 2 of the Stanley Cup Final, NBC Sports Network has Part 2 of the NHL Awards show (4 p.m.) live from Chicago. Here, the Hart Trophy (MVP), Vezina Trophy (top goaltender), Norris Trophy (defenseman), Calder Trophy (rookie) and Ted Lindsay Award (Outstanding Player) will be given out. Prior to that, 11 other awards will be given out in an NHL Network ceremony today (2 p.m. )  — Bill Masterton Memorial Trophy, Frank J. Selke Trophy (defensive forward), Jack Adams Award (top coach, with the Ducks’ Bruce Boudreau among the finalists), King Clancy Memorial Trophy, Lady Byng Memorial Trophy (sportsmanship), Mark Messier NHL Leadership Award (with the Kings’ Dustin Brown as a finalist), NHL Foundation Player Award and the NHL General Manager of the Year Award (the Ducks’ Bob Murray is a finalist).

== Fox sends Joe Buck, Tim McCarver and Ken Rosenthal to Anaheim for the Yankees-Angels game on Saturday (4 p.m., Channel 11), going to 66 percent of the country. There are four other regional Fox broadcasts on Saturday, none going to more than 9 percent of the country.

== Tired of broadcasters who don’t speak gooder? So is Debbie Spander. And she gets paid to fix such things.

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