Archive for the ‘ESPN’ Tag

Paying For Content   Leave a comment

Mizzou LogoIt’s happening again.

Just about everyone has been impacted by now with the wars that have developed between those that own content, those that deliver content, and those that receive content.

My latest problem is with the video coverage of my beloved Missouri Tigers.

This weekend, CBS (which has the rights to the their # 1 selected SEC game every weekend, and their # 2 game on their selected weekends) is passing on the # 14 ranked Tigers hosting the # 22 ranked Florida Gators. Mizzou is the top team in the SEC East, but that didn’t matter to the CBS game pickers.

ESPN has the rights to the next 3 SEC games, and they also passed on the MIzzou game. The result? I wasn’t sure if I would be able to watch the game or not.

Good news, though: the fledgling SEC network is syndicating the game to 300+ TV stations across the country (no national network picked up the game). I finally found a list of those stations, and it is here. For me, I have to watch the game on channel 56, KDOC-TV out of Anaheim. It’s a station once known for professional wrestling and roller derby. Now, it’s a sports station airing football games that CBS and ESPN don’t want.

Thank goodness.

I’m not a victim: I get to watch the game I want to watch. There’s a lot of people that won’t be so fortunate. They may have to watch CBS’s twin pick of the week: # 15 Georgia (that Mizzou just beat) at the unranked Vanderbilt, and # 24 Auburn at # 7 Texas A&M. I believe both of those games will be totally uninteresting. I’ve run around the football field at Vanderbilt … but couldn’t care less about those 2 football games.

And here’s news for you: if you are a cable subscriber … or a satellite subscriber … then you are paying to have those CBS games delivered to your home. The ESPN games, too, if you get ESPN. You see, ALL cable subscribers pay, whether they watch football or not. That’s how our system works.

How much are you paying? Those fees are negotiated with each cable system owner, but ESPN’s fees average $4.69 per month. That’s what you pay whether you watch sports or not. The CBS fees are more difficult to figure out, as they include all of the CBS affiliated networks, such as Showtime.

I don’t know how much my Dish Network pays KDOC, but I’m glad they do!

David Byrne, 2006

David Byrne, 2006

On another front, today I read an interview with Talking Head’s David Byrne (the voice of the 80s signature hits, “Once in a Lifetime” and “Burning Down the House”). He made the somewhat provocative statement that paying for music content the way we pay for cable content will “suck all creative content out of the world.” The link’s below. Mr. Byrne feels that if we do generic licenses for music, such as we do with Pandora and Spotify, then artists will get the short end of the stick. Record labels will suck up a large portion … and artists starve.

As Mr. Byrne pointed out,

“Even Wagner was always in debt and slept with rich women to get funding – so nothing’s new, right?”


Paying For Music

RockMNation: Watching The Florida vs. Missouri Game…. Why CBS Passed On SEC East Leader Missouri And Its Pivotal Games

TheGuardian: David Byrne: ‘The internet will suck all creative content out of the world

SportsGrid: How ESPN Is Making Your Cable Bill More And More Expensive


Pimpin’ Your Daughter   3 comments

I’m a fan of college football. I know what it’s like to have an extra ticket.

I’m a dad. Love my daughter, known here as Little Girl.

That stated, I’m not going to use football tickets to pimp for my daughter. Like this guy did.

Pimp - Family

Gary Yates is a lifelong Tennessee Volunteers fan, who played the Florida Gators in football on Saturday. His stepdaughter is named Jessica Flanagan. Gary bought 4 tickets for the game so he could go with Jessica, Jessica’s date and his wife, Jessica’s mother.

And then Jessica’s date flaked on her, leaving Gary with an extra ticket … so he actually ran this ad on Craigslist:

Pimp - Craigslist adGary ran this ad with his daughter’s permission. And her mother’s permission. But he’s still an idiot.

The ad got response … big response. Jessica said there were 300+ respondents for this real life episode of The Bachelorette. She went through the email flood … and finally selected this guy:

Pimp - Joe ColellaJoe Colella is not a Tennessee Volunteers fan. Quite the opposite: he’s a graduate of Florida, who Tennessee is playing.

Oh, and he’s also using this as a promotional event. He’s a radio personality in West Palm Beach for the ESPN afflilate.

Oh, and he already has a girlfriend.

But don’t worry: his girlfriend is cool with him going on this date. Aren’t you glad?

Here's Jessica, in a photo that Joe tweeted from the game.

Here’s Jessica, with her game face on. Joe tweeted this photo from the game.

Oh, and the game?

It was as ugly as this dating situation. The first half was horrid; the 2nd half was just sad. Tennessee combined with # 19 ranked Florida to have no fewer than 7 turnovers. Tennessee lost, 31-17.

Jessica lost, again.

More Man Auctions Daughter, Game Ticket Football Fan Picks Her Date To The Game

The Death Of The NCAA: Paying Athletes   Leave a comment

Here's the new weight room for Alabama's student athletes. Not the students - just the student athletes.

Here’s the new weight room for Alabama’s student athletes. Not the students – just the student athletes.

Big time college athletics are a big business.

The University of Tennessee now has 4 full-sized practice fields for their football team (3 outdoor, 1 indoor). Alabama now has a waterfall in their locker room.

A waterfall.

The University of Oregon, with key support from the founder of Nike, is building a new complex of buildings for its football team that will include movie theaters, an Oregon football museum, private classrooms for top players, a player’s lounge and deck.

Who’s paying for this? You are, of course. ESPN is one of the highest-cost cable networks going. Whether you watch sports or not, your cable provider is paying ESPN. And ESPN is paying the conferences and schools … and they’re buying practice fields and waterfalls.

Well, many of them are. UCLA still has only one undersized, outdoor practice field for their football team. UCLA may be a grand school, but no one thinks they have good facilities for their football team, and that means that most elite athletes won’t consider going there. They’re going for the waterfalls and movie theaters.

There is a lawsuit, however, that may change all of this. A key ruling is being argued in court tomorrow, which will determine if the lawsuit will be certified as a class action, or if it will continue as an individual lawsuit. What’s at stake?


If a video game incorporates college logos emblazoned across the chest of a legendary college quarterback, should that player see some money? Or how about simply marketing the University, showing star players in uniform … if those images are on billboards or in Times Square … should the players receive compensation? Should colleges have to pay athletes for the use of their image? Or should colleges & universities get to continue the current system, where athletes receive no compensation, but do get access to a quality education?

Personally, I love college athletics. I follow Mizzou and UCLA, and I’m all in with their football and basketball programs. I buy logo’d merchandise. I buy tickets.

And the athletes are exploited to further the brand of each University, without question. Success in athletics often drives alumni’s contributions to their schools. Star players are needed for winning programs, and those star players play a year or three at the college level, and then they’re off to the pros for the (hopefully) really big bucks. If colleges want to win, they need those star players. To attract the top-shelf athletes, there’s currently an arms race going on between elite college programs, so now we’re seeing waterfalls and movie theaters. How do elite athletes choose their college? It’s not about the education, at least not entirely. It’s about the athletic department’s bling.

And that’s wrong. I hope the courts agree.


Bloomberg: The Lawsuit That Could Bring Down The NCAA

SB Nation: O’Bannon v. NCAA

Mr. A Waterfall In ‘Bama’s Locker Room?

A Look Inside Alabama’s New Weight Room (video)

Kentucky Builds Palace For Players

Our Wonderful, Horrible Schools

What You Must Not Say About QBs and Pretty Girls   3 comments

Katherine Webb is Miss Alabama, 2012, and an Auburn graduate.

Katherine Webb is Miss Alabama USA of 2012, and an Auburn graduate.  Oh, and she is now one of the WAGs.

I was fascinated as this story began to blow up … and now I’m just shaking my head.

Apparently, it’s not OK that quarterbacks get the cute girls.  No, wait, that’s not it.  That’s OK.  Maybe.  I’m not sure.

But now I know it’s not OK to SAY that quarterbacks get the cute girls.

Please allow me to start at the beginning, for those of you too busy to devote your full attention to this incredibly important news story.

Andrew McCarron and his girlfriend, Katherine Webb.  After last night's spotlight on her, she now has more twitter followers than her QB boyfriend.

AJ McCarron and his girlfriend, Katherine Webb. After last night’s spotlight on her, she now has more twitter followers than her QB boyfriend.

There was a big football game Monday night … NCAA’s BCS championship for college football.  Big deal.  Notre Dame vs. Alabama.

The game blew out quickly … Alabama went up 14-0 in the first quarter.  And, it was at that point that ESPN showed a shot in the grandstands of the Alabama quarterback’s mother and girlfriend.  (You can watch the video segment through several of the links below.) The announcers — Brent Musburger and Kirk Herbstreit — explained that Katherine Webb was not only quarterback AJ McCarron’s girlfriend, but she was also a graduate of Auburn (Alabama’s arch rival!) and the reigning Miss Alabama.

Then there were a couple of comments in the “she’s gorgeous!” category.  Musburger did warm to the topic, and stated that young men all over Alabama would be aspiring to be a quarterback just like McCarron so they could have a beautiful girlfriend, too.

’nuff said, right?  Quarterback, beautiful girl.  Got it.  Oh, and she’s sitting with McCarron’s Mom, so I thought she must be a nice girl.

The twitterverse then blew up.  By the end of the telecast, Ms. Webb had gained 130,000+ followers — more than her boyfriend.  But … he had just won a national championship!  Is there no justice???

Allison Herbstreit with her husband Kirk at the 2011 Emmys ... Allison was an Ohio State cheerleader; Kirk was the quarterback.

Allison Herbstreit with her husband Kirk at the 2011 Emmys … Allison was an Ohio State cheerleader; Kirk was the quarterback.  They have 4 boys that have appeared with Kirk on ESPN.

Today, lots of buzz about the beautiful girl who was on ESPN’s coverage, and the comments made by Musburger.

Now, I must admit that I didn’t react to Musburger’s comments as I watched the game.  I mean … he said that quarterbacks get the pretty girls.  He was talking to his partner, Kirk Herbstreit, who is both a former quarterback and married to a lovely former cheerleader. I am aware of many quarterbacks that either date or are married to pretty girls.  Don’t we all know that the quarterback is supposed to date the head cheerleader in high school?  That’s what they told me on Glee, after all, and I always believe Glee.

Why get upset?

But OH MY GOSH.  I forgot that Mr. Musburger said something that may be true, but it would be politically incorrect to say so.  Quarterbacks mustn’t desire pretty girls because they are pretty. The SB Nation post, below, explains this point in excruciating detail.  Quarterbacks must desire inner beauty above all else, and to say otherwise is to objectify women on national television.

And that would be wrong.  So ESPN issued an apology today.

When ESPN stops showing cheerleaders during sports broadcasts, I’ll know their apology was sincere.


Katherine Webb has spoken publicly: she has no problem with Brent Musburger and his comments about her at the BCS National Championship game.  As she succinctly put it, “what woman wouldn’t want to be called gourgeous?”

Here’s a link to an article + video.




Larry Brown Sports

SB Nation

Fox News




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