NFL Week 2 in the L.A. TV market: Will we ever see Sergio Dipp again?

Illustration by Jim Thompson

There are no more plans for either the Rams or Chargers to make an ESPN Monday Night Football. Nor should there really.
That said, we’re wondering if we’ll ever be compelled to watch a MNF game again if it doesn’t include Sergio Dipp.
There really shouldn’t be any other incentive.
Since he was included in the Chargers-Broncos MNF contest for Week 1, and made one memorable appearance from the sidelines as part of the Beth Mowins-Rex Ryan broadcast team, we marked at moment by sending out a Tweet:

We also found this and added to the discussion:

That was rather tame compared to what followed (warning: people being mean can also be funny … even if he shouldn’t have been the target of the punchlines): Continue reading “NFL Week 2 in the L.A. TV market: Will we ever see Sergio Dipp again?” »

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Sunday media extra: What they’re saying about Beth Mowins’ ‘MNF’ Chargers assignment

Beth Mowins and Matt Millen work a recent Raiders’ exhibition game in Dallas.

Let’s just call it what it is: Beth Mowins is the right person at the right time at the right network to write some history. A ready-for-prime-time player. Status quo, you’ll rightfully be shaken.
As she prepares to call the Chargers-Broncos game as the second half of ESPN’s “Monday Night Football” upcoming doubleheader — and in addition to the story we have posted about her in our Sunday column — we asked several broadcasters in the business who have a vested interest in seeing Mowins succeed talk about their thoughts leading up to this moment:

AL MICHAELS
The ABC and NBC prime-time football play-by-play man since 1986
“This chance is well-deserved. When I’ve listened to her in the past, it’s clear that she is extremely well-prepared. The irony in her MNF debut is that’s she’ll be the veteran and Rex Ryan will be the ultimate rookie calling his first-ever game. I think it’s terrific that women in my business are getting more and more opportunities. I’ve worked with three — Lesley Visser, Andrea Kremer and Michele Tafoya — who I’d put up against any reporter covering the NFL. I’m rooting for Beth to do a terrific job. Just hope she gets a good game to cover and not something like 41-3.”

ANDREA KREMER
Chief correspondent for the NFL Network, NBC sideline reporter on “Sunday Night Football” and HBO “Real Sports” reporter
“I was at a symposium at the University of Maryland last year on a panel that included John Skipper, the ESPN president. At one point, I turned to John and said: ‘What’s it going to take for a woman to call play-by-play in an NFL game?’  He predicted it would happen – and needless to say, I think it has been a longtime coming, but I’m thrilled she’s getting the opportunity she deserves. I hope I’m not naïve in saying this, but her ascending to this role has an ‘Oh, by the way, she’s a woman’ aspect to it. Her role is magnified by the fact they’ve picked a novice analyst – that’s huge. This isn’t a D-game where she’s breaking in an analyst. She is being put in a position to succeed and is highly qualified. Plus she has a voice that really cuts through.”

Jessica Mendoza, center, with Beth Mowins, right, and Michele Smith at the 2014 College Softball World Series. (ESPN)

JESSICA MENDOZA
ESPN “Sunday Night Baseball” analyst the last two seasons
“The fact that I got into (prime-time MLB) baseball a few years ago and she still hasn’t crossed into the NFL until now… I’m surprised it’s finally happened in 2017. She’s always been the right person for this. I know her like family. When ESPN first considered me as a softball analyst in 2006, I was an Olympic athlete with zero interest in TV and just trying it out. They flew Beth into a studio to work with me in Charlotte, N.C., because of all her softball experience, and here’s my first introduction to all this. We ran through the game, and they hired me the next day. And maybe 85 percent of all the softball games I’ve done since then over the last 11 years have been with her – all that from the beginning.
“I remember a spring training baseball game when she did the call with John Kruk and we talked then about getting into the men’s sports TV field. That was six years ago. We wondered what it would be like to even do a game together.
“She has been a huge influence for me. I’ve always looked up to her. She’s no BS – she won’t rah-rah you. But she’s always been there for me, telling it me it won’t be easy. But some of the best things in live never are.”

LESLEY VISSER
Ground-breaking reporter at CBS, ABC and ESPN and first woman to be an NFL analyst (on radio), only woman in the Pro Football Hall of Fame as a broadcaster with an autobiography coming in December entitled “Sometimes You Have to Cross When It Says Don’t Walk: A Memoir of Breaking Barriers”

David M. Russell/CBS

“Beth is a goddess –I’m serious. To have the courage and the skill to defy what many people are saying and thinking, to be singular in her talent … she is all that. When I was the only woman covering the NFL, waiting in the parking lot after games, seven years before provisions for equal access, people thought I was crazy, but I loved the game and the challenge, and I’m sure Beth feels the same. She is talented, honorable, kind, and her time has come – champagne all around.”

LISA SALTERS
ESPN “Monday Night Football” sideline reporter
“Last time I saw her in Cleveland (for a practice game), I just told her: ‘Crush it like I know you’re going to.’ It’s a little amusing to me there’s even a question about it. You’ll see that it’s even unnecessary to ask about it.”

MICHELE TAFOYA
NBC “Sunday Night Football” sideline reporter who also did “Monday Night Football” at ESPN and ABC
“She has worked a long time on her play-by-play career and has earned this opportunity.  It takes courage to put herself into the spotlight this way.  No doubt there will be detractors.  My hope is that she focuses only on her job and ignores the noise.  Beth’s assignment to this game is another sign that sports broadcasting continues to evolve. … Developments like these cannot be forced.  It would have been unfair to put someone in this position who was unprepared.  Beth is clearly ready.  And I think this will encourage more women to try play-by-play.  I worked play-by-play on college basketball — men’s and women’s — and the WNBA, and it’s a blast.” Continue reading “Sunday media extra: What they’re saying about Beth Mowins’ ‘MNF’ Chargers assignment” »

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Sports media notes version 09.06.17: You know it don’t come easy

Media notes heading into the weekend, and coming out hot from the Labor Day Break, keeping in mind that back in the early ’60s, the Green Bay Packers’ offensive couldn’t start until Ringo snapped the ball to Starr:

 

 

PRO FOOTBALL

== Week 1 of the NFL TV situation in L.A. has the Rams on Channel 2 and the Chargers on ESPN and Channel 7 … goofy enough?:

== For those who need some closure in HBO’s “Hard Knocks” with the Tampa Bay Bucs.

== Showtime’s “Inside the NFL” studio guest Ray Lewis was trying to break some news on the season debut of the show Tuesday night. Does anyone believe him?

COLLEGE FOOTBALL

== Fox reported Wednesday afternoon that the UCLA-Texas A&M prime-time game with a Sunday night unobstructed college football viewing window had 3,190,000 viewers, the network’s most-watched game ever on Labor Day Weekend.
Viewership peaked (4.38 million) from 8:15 to 8:27 p.m. PDT as UCLA completed its comeback.
About an hour later, ESPN spoke back.
It reported that it “generated the two biggest audiences among cable networks,” as the Ohio State-Indiana game on Aug. 31 had 5.4 million total audience (between the regular telecast and a MegaCast multi-network additive) and also got 5.268 million for Tennessee-Georgia Tech on Monday.
Then they’ll throw in what ABC did: 12.5 million saw Alabama-Florida State on Saturday’s prime-time window, and there were 7.8 million total viewers for Michigan-Florida in the afternoon Saturday window.
To punctuate that, ESPN/ABC “generated the largest audiences across all networks throughout college football’s kickoff weekend” combining for the five most-watched games, and “factoring in the full slate, ESPN and ABC combined to air 11 games throughout the five days, averaging 4,400,000 viewers, 189% greater than seven game average on FS1/Fox.”
Not that anyone’s counting.

== Week 2 of the college football TV landscape in L.A. has USC prime-time on Channel 11 and UCLA having a luau on the Pac-12 Net:

BASEBALL Continue reading “Sports media notes version 09.06.17: You know it don’t come easy” »

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CFB Week 2 in the L.A. TV market: Can we make the Jake Olson a weekly series?

One of the coolest things from the first week of college football media coverage came after all the games were done … including UCLA’s late Sunday thriller that could have put Gus Johnson’s voice out for the season.
Listening to USC’s Jake Olson make the tour of radio and TV show interviews and talk about something that maybe some missed on the tail end of the Pac-12 Network’s coverage of the USC-Western Michigan game on Saturday was put into context by the blind longsnapper. In talking to Rich Eisen, for example, Olson talked about how he “never saw my dad happier” than after the Saturday game when meeting him outside the locker room.
ESPN.com has also posted a “Day In The Life” piece on Olson worthy of the words and video devoted to it.
The Olson story could, and should, be incorporated into Fox’s coverage of USC-Stanford on Saturday (Channel 11, 5:30 p.m., with screamin’ Gus, who has shown his affection for referring to the Coliseum as “South Central” (because it gives him more street cred?) back in play paired with Joel Klatt and Jenny Taft).
On the other side of town, UCLA-Hawaii goes to the Pac-12 Network with Rams radio voice J.B. Long teamed with Yogi Roth and Jill Savage. There is listed a 2:01 p.m. kickoff — part of the Pac-12 Net’s commitment to getting games started and ended in a reasonable time no matter what TV parameters are in play. Also note some new nips and tucks that will keep the game moving.
(One other note: AwfulAnnouncing.com has links to the final calls made in the UCLA-Texas A&M game both both team’s local broadcasters.)

The best of the rest of the college football schedule this weekend (with games involving some Florida teams TBA because of Hurricane Irma):

Continue reading “CFB Week 2 in the L.A. TV market: Can we make the Jake Olson a weekly series?” »

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NFL Week 1 in the L.A. TV market: Rams, Chargers shuffle in … Beth, what can we do?

An observation heading into NFL Week 1: Playing video blackjack at the casinos in Vegas last weekend, you can’t help but notice that King Dan Fouts has an impact on how much bank you can make … it was is if he was talking to me at 4 a.m., imploring me to stop.
It will also be Fout’s call on when to fold while watching the Rams’ season opener against Indianapolis on KCBS-Channel 2. The former Chargers QB, who has publicly said he was against his team moving from San Diego to L.A., gets to air it out if he chooses with Ian Eagle (and Evan Washburn on the sideline) with a 1 p.m. kickoff from the Coliseum.
(Memo to CBS: Please have Fouts do the Chargers-Dolphins game from StubHub Center in Week 2…. want to hear him again belittle the little facility that the displaced Chargers are now playing in as they await joint tenancy in Inglewood).
The Chargers become the back end of the Monday Night Football doubleheader on ESPN, going to Denver with Beth Mowins and recently fired Jets coach Rex Ryan trying to become a TV analysts at Mowin’s expense. We’ll have a story on Mowins for Sunday’s editions. Sergio Dipp is the sideline reporter for the game that starts on time as a simulcast on KABC-Channel 7, no matter if the early game runs long. (All ESPN NFL regular season games are shown on an over-the-air channel in the home team’s markets)
Almost every Rams game was on Fox KTTV-Channel 11 last season because of its NFC-heavy schedule, but CBS lands this one with the AFC affiliation and the Colts.
As it turns out, Fox has the locked-in doubleheader and will put its prime Seattle-Green Bay telecast up against it, which gives L.A. viewers some lively competition.

The rest of Week 1 that will beam free to L.A. (not taking into account DirecTV and “NFL Sunday Ticket” because we don’t have it and don’t want it):
Continue reading “NFL Week 1 in the L.A. TV market: Rams, Chargers shuffle in … Beth, what can we do?” »

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