Let’s do the links for a Wednesday, but first, a quick observation.
I watched the final minutes of the Kentucky-South Carolina game on ESPN last night and saw how the newly-crowned #1 Wildcats lost to the Gamecocks in Columbia, SC. Announcer Brad Nessler and analyst Jimmy Dykes work well together and Dykes is underrated. He doesn’t scream or draw attention to himself like Dick Vitale. He’s not a Type A personality like a Doug Gottlieb or Jay Bilas. Dykes does the job and picked up on trends. In addition, Brad and Jimmy mesh well together. And sideline reporter Jeannine Edwards also does her reports quickly and gets out. I like this crew that will most likely do the SEC Tournament for ESPN/ABC.
And later this week, I’ll discuss ESPN2′s coverage of Australian Open although I do have one little tidbit from last night. Both Tennis Channel and ESPN2 were covering the Li Na-Venus Williams quarterfinal match. Tennis Channel was allowed to air the match to conclusion as it started its coverage at 7 p.m. ET and ESPN2 joined in progress at 9 p.m. Martina Navratilova was calling the match on Tennis Channel and Pam Shriver was part of the analysis for ESPN2. During a point in the third set, both Pam and Martina said the exact same thing, “Once the serve goes down, the forehand goes down.” Martina and Pam were doubles partners and are still good friends, but it was funny to hear them say the exact same analysis. Martina was in a booth, Pam was on the sidelines, but the analysis was the same. You only get this type of tidbit here at Fang’s Bites.
To your links.
Michael Hiestand of USA Today writes about the controversy over the Super Bowl advocacy ad starring Tim Tebow and his mother.
In a follow up story, CBS says it’s fine with the ad as long as it’s “responsibly produced.”
Stuart Elliot of the New York Times looks at the Tim Tebow Focus on the Family ad controversy from both sides.
Jeremy Mullman of Advertising Age says you won’t see the Budweiser Clydesdales in the Super Bowl this year.
Sal Ruibal from USA Today looks at how some athletes are seeing success at both the ESPN-owned X Games and the Olympics.
On the DL’s Dan Levy asks in The Sporting News, can anyone really make money on the Olympics?
Todd Spangler from Multichannel News says Qualcomm’s FLO-TV mobile television service will have three ads during the Super Bowl, but FLO-TV subscribers won’t see them.
Michael Malone of Broadcasting & Cable is amazed at the local ratings in New Orleans for the NFC Championship.
Darren tells us at how social networking has helped create buzz around the Sports Illustrated swimsuit issue.
Dara Doyle of Bloomberg News reports that Setanta Sports is transferring its rights for select soccer and rugby matches to Fox Soccer Channel starting on February 28.
Richard Sandomir of the New York Times looks back at how the NFL got an antitrust exemption from Congress for its merger with the AFL with New Orleans being the benefactor.
Pete Dougherty of the Albany Times Union looks at ESPN’s MLB Opening Day schedule.
Pete says the first woman ever to win a Professional Bowler’s Association Tour event did well for ESPN.
Bob Fernandez of the Philadelphia Inquirer says Comcast CEO Brian Roberts had to watch the whole NBC late night mess from the sidelines, and also mentioned the synergies upcoming between Comcast’s sports networks and NBC.
MASN has issued a statement over the departure of Anita Marks from CBS Radio in Baltimore.
Ben Volin of the Palm Beach Post has NFL Network’s Mike Mayock breaking down the top prospects at this Saturday’s Senior Bowl.
Christian Boone of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution writes that before yesterday, not many people had heard of Paul Shirley.
Mel Bracht of the Daily Oklahoman writes that season finale of Sports Jobs with Junior Seau airs on Versus tonight.
Bob Wolfley in the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel has more of a general sports column
today, but he does have some sports media tidbits spread throughout.
Ed Sherman of Crain’s Chicago Business continues to theorize why sports is rating so well on TV.
The Chicago Tribune says Cubs-White Sox kicks off WGN’s spring training TV schedule.
Sam Mellinger of the Kansas City Star reports that the Royals will make their first appearance on ESPN’s Sunday Night Baseball in over a decade.
Jeff Korbelik of the Lincoln (NE) County Star says a local ESPN Radio affiliate is switching formats.
The Omaha (NE) World-Journal reports that the University of Texas turned down an ESPN request to move its October 16 game with Nebraska into a primetime game two days earlier.
Chris Zelkovich of the Toronto Star has the weekend ratings in Canada.
Bruce Dowbiggin at the Toronto Globe and Mail has CBC and the Vancouver Canucks agreeing that Hockey Night in Canada host Ron MacLean was unfair in taking on the Alex Burrows controversy.
Elliott Pap of the Vancouver Sun writes that CBC and the Canucks are looking to resolve their differences over Ron MacLean.
William Houston in Truth & Rumours feels CBS made a strange decision in accepting an advocacy ad for the Super Bowl.
Sports Media Watch has the weekend overnight ratings.
Chris Byrne of the Eye on Sports Media feels Major League Baseball should have aligned with another charity for Haitian earthquake relief.
John Hickey of Fanhouse isn’t too pleased with the Yankees-Mets-Red Sox heavy Sunday Night Baseball schedule.
The Big Lead has Tom Jackson’s quote regarding Brett Favre on ESPN that led to a big uproar on Twitter.
Steve Lepore at Puck The Media noticed that Versus had an off night.
Len Berman has his Top 5 sports stories.
We’ll end it there for now.