Former ACC Associate Commissioner Fred Barakat, who worked as ESPNU's analyst on the Florida State-N.C. State men's basketball game Tuesday night, also is keeping busy as a consultant for both ESPN and UNC-Greensboro.
ESPN will present heavy-duty coverage in conjunction with President-elect Barack Obama's inauguration on Tuesday.
- If you missed Josh Hamilton's appearance on the debut of "Homecoming," the new ESPN2 series hosted by Rick Reilly, be patient. The show, which featured the Texas Rangers star returning to Apex High School, first aired Friday, but it is not expected to be aired again until April 22, the network says, and no DVDs are available yet.
- Sports Illustrated's Luke Winn, writing in this week's issue about how basketball star James Harden wound up at Arizona State, takes a swipe at N.C. State fans, referring to them as "the ungratefuls." Writing in the present tense, Winn describes the familiar coach's arrival at Arizona State: "Herb Sendek heads west in April 2006, fleeing the ungratefuls as North Carolina State who cared less about his success (five straight NCAA tournament trips) than about his singular failure (not wresting Tobacco Road bragging rights from Duke and North Carolina)."
- ESPN2 will televise the World Cup qualifying soccer match between the U.S. men's team and Mexico live (and in high definition) at 7 p.m. Feb. 11 from Columbus, Ohio.
- MLB Network will televise the Caribbean World Series — 12 games — Feb. 2-6 in Mexicali, Mexico.
- Four of the next six Charlotte Bobcats games on Fox Sports Carolinas and SportSouth will be televised in HD — 2 p.m. Monday vs. San Antonio on FS Carolinas, 7 p.m. Jan. 23 on SportSouth, 10 p.m. Jan. 27 at L.A. Lakers on FS Carolinas and 9 p.m. Jan. 30 at Denver on F.S. Carolinas. Time Warner Cable subscribers can find the HD version of FS Carolinas on channel 272. DirecTV and Dish Network subscribers should check local listings.
Billy Packer and Bob Knight have lined up a gig to do a series of shows on the NCAA men's basketball tournament — from a race and sports book in Las Vegas.
Calling all attention-seekers! Calling attention-seekers! This is your chance!
ESPN College GameDay, the Saturday morning college basketball pre-game warmup show that encourages college kids to act like absolute idiots by pointing cameras at them is coming to UNC.
GameDay, patterned after the wildly popular college football version that has become a staple of autumn Saturday mornings for sports fans, will broadcast Saturday at the Dean E. Smith Center starting at 10 a.m.
Details here. Doors open at 8:30 a.m. One mind-blowing detail: Students can actually arrange ahead of time to get a text message wakeup call courtesy of ESPN. Wouldn't want those blue cups from He's Not Here to cause students to oversleep Saturday morning.
For UNC students, this is a primo opportunity to paint faces, draw up silly banners, and then wait very calmly until the camera pans in their direction, at which time they will erupt in to a maddening chorus of "Woooo" and "Duke S&cks" chants until precisely one half of a second after the camera pans away.
ESPN's Mark Jackson dishes on the NBA chances of the stars in tonight's Davidson-Duke game, as well as his own coaching aspirations.
In terms of TV ratings, the Orange Bowl did little to bolster the case for the ACC's current national relevance in college football, while the Meineke Bowl showed it has a good thing going.
FOX Sports' telecast of Virginia Tech's 20-7 victory over Cincinnati on Jan. 1 drew a 6.1 rating nationally — reportedly the lowest ever for a Bowl Championship Series game — and only a 3.6 in the Raleigh-Durham market. (Not sure why, but the Charlotte figure was a hefty 8.9, among the highest local ratings, according to FOX. There was no ACC basketball game that day.)
ESPN's telecast of West Virginia's 31-30 victory over North Carolina, in front of a packed house at Bank of America Stadium in Charlotte on Dec. 27, drew a 4.5 nationally, a 10.2 in Raleigh-Durham and a 10.5 in Charlotte, the highest in that market for an ESPN or ESPN2 bowl game since the sports network began keeping records in 2001. (The 10.2 here was second only to UNC's 16-10 victory over Auburn in the 2001 Peach Bowl.)
Nevertheless, Stewart Mandel writes for SI.com, the ratings don't paint a picture of health for the BCS system.
ESPN will televise the first college football game at the Dallas Cowboys’ new stadium in Arlington, Texas, on Saturday, Sept. 5, when Oklahoma and Brigham Young take the field in the 2009 season opener for both teams. The Labor Day weekend contest will kick off in primetime and be shown on ABC or ESPN — part of a new five-year agreement between Jerry Jones' NFL team and ESPN to bring a top college football game to the club’s new stadium each year during the Labor Day holiday weekend.
ESPN2's "Homecoming" series will debut Friday at 8 p.m., featuring Texas Rangers star Josh Hamilton, who returned to Athens Drive High School in Raleigh to tape the show in late October. The host is columnist Rick Reilly.
MLB Network, being launched Thursday, will carry 26 live games on Thursday nights this season, but it is counting more on its “MLB Tonight” studio show, original series and classic games to entice viewers. By giving Time Warner Cable, Comcast, DirecTV and Cox a financial stake, baseball ensured that the network will be launched with a huge advantage — it’s already in about 50 million TV households. Tony Petitti, the former CBS Sports executive who heads MLB Network, spoke with staff writer Roger van der Horst.