For all of the sports available to us on TV via cable and satellite, the news of the day still reflects that consumers still do not have the choices they should have. There is now less than a month left for Time Warner Cable to continue with ESPN on several cable systems around the country, with the Orlando area being among the larger ones.
As of this minute, Bright House Networks' deal with ESPN ends on September 2nd. ESPN and Time Warner are, in effect, fighting over consumers' money, and the customers have no say. NBA fans in the Orlando area have already been victims of a similar battle regarding Magic telecasts over the past couple of years. Yet, this situation continues to happen.
This might not seem like a sports media story. So here is another fact. Sept. 2nd is the end of the current contract for ESPN to be carried. The early college football telecast on ESPN on September 4th just happens to be the Florida Gators vs. Miami. The NFL regular season begins the following week. Sports fans in central Florida, along with other regions possibly impacted by this situation, should be seeing, hearing, and reading about the games - not whether or not paying cable subscribers can see them.
NEW YORK: WFAN's morning show, "Boomer & Carton" with Boomer Esiason and Craig Carton will be simulcast on MSG Network beginning on September 14th. The regional TV channel will show the entire 6 to 10 AM run live each day. Very few of the TV simulcasts show an entire show live. In addition, MSG Network plans to air a "best of" most weeknights and on weekends. It will be interesting to see if the WFAN ratings drop over the next few months. Not because of losing the audience, but because of the audience transitioning over to the telecast, even if for a half hour a day. Oddly enough, both NYC sports stations will have their morning shows telecast, since Mike & Mike airs on WEPN and is shown on ESPN2.
CHICAGO: No word as of press time as to whether or not radio personality Steve Cochran will continue on WMVP 1000. Cochran was dropped from his WGN Radio weekday show recently. This past Sunday (Aug. 1) he did a 3-hour show on WMVP blending his comedy with sports talk. He had worked for AM 1000 years ago, prior to it becoming a sports station and his going to WGN.
WSCR The Score 670 finished its latest contest to find a new on-air personality. Maya Gavin will begin a very early Saturday morning 2-hour show on either September 11 or 18.
WFLD-TV began the month of July with 2 long-time sportscasters on its staff. They will begin the month of September without either doing sportscasts. We mentioned last week that Corey McPherrin was moved (as of this week) from the late night sportscast spot to co-host and news anchor for the channel's morning show. Jill Carlson was named to handle the nightly newscast. Now it turns out she will only do that through this month when her contract runs out. The station now says it will not renew her. As of press time, they have not announced a replacement.
MIAMI: The Dolphins radio team might be attracting more interest than the team which will be on the field. As of press time, with just over a week until the exhibition opener, there is still no confirmation about the radio broadcast team for WINZ and 105.9 FM. The team does not want its most recent broadcast team of Jimmy Cefalo and Jim Mandich to work for (now) rival station WQAM.
Jesse Agler anchors the new daily Dolphins show on WINZ from 5 to 7 PM Monday through Friday (with an extra hour on Mondays and Fridays)that began this past Monday (Aug. 2).
WFTL 640 begain its "Armando and the Amigo" show on Monday (Aug. 2) from 6 to 10 AM with Larry Millan and local columnist Armando Salguero.
PHILADELPHIA: WWDB 860 will soon begin airing ESPN Deportes (Spanish sports talk).
DENVER: As we have been covering, this month brings Denver area listeners the choice of 4 sports radio stations. Now that Broncos season is upon us, KOA 850, which is not a full-time sports station, is adding to its 3 to 7 PM show. Local columnist Dave Krieger will join with Lois Mokonian starting August 12th. Make it 5 stations with at least some sports content during afternoon drive.
Speaking of Denver, the reported move of KVUC to a different frequency might be more interesting than we thought. A faithful reader pointed out that the 87.7 frequency to which is moved (according to sources including the Denver Post) is not a traditional frequency.
OKLAHOMA CITY: As the NBA Thunder prepares for its 3rd season and comes off an impressive playoff run, the fans who do not subscribe to cable or satellite are screwed. KSBI-TV, which carried about 18 games each of the past 2 seasons has been shut out of the TV contract. Fox Sports Southwest will now carry every game, except for ABC-TV or exclusive TNT telecasts. Brian Davis and Grant Long will continue as the broadcast team. WWLS 98.1 will continue as the flagship radio station with Matt Pinto again on the call.
LAS VEGAS: KXNT 840 will be simulcast on 100.5 FM starting mid-September, which will provide stronger signal coverage in the area. The station will continue to feature play-by-play including NFL and NCAA games.
CENTRAL MICHIGAN: Don Chiodo has been named as the play-by-play voice for Central Michigan University football and basketball starting next month. CMU graduate and former Detroit Lions and Cincinnati Bengals lineman Brock Gutierrez will be the analyst on the football broadcasts.
McALLEN TX: In an unusual move, KSOX 1240 has dropped ESPN Radio and replaced it with Fox Sports. Hopefully their audience was aware of this in advance. Imagine waking up expecting to hear Mike & Mike and instead having Stephen A. Smith hollering in your ear. KVJY 840 is also carrying the Fox Sports programming, with KSOX to eventually drop sports when the station's sale to a religious programming group takes effect.
KVJY has the stronger signal, and reportedly will continue to air Cowboys football and Houston Rockets basketball.
POMPTON LAKES NJ: WGHT 1500 continues to serve the area with high school football play-by-play. Not only has the station announced at least one specific game for every week from Sept. 11th into early November, but it has plans to air a one-hour pre-game show for each game. The station also plans to broadcast state playoff games including the championship game.
Speaking of ESPN, the Monday Night Football opening doubleheader will have Brad Nessler and Trent Dilfer on the call of the opening night doubleheader game between San Diego and Kansas City.