Monday, July 09, 2007

ESPN Now Has To Scalp ASG Tickets, Just Like Everyone Else

Revised camera position for ESPN's All-Star Game coverage

My ESPN viewership has declined lately, inversely proportional to the expansion of SportsCenter to 90 minutes, and directly correlated with the increase in ridiculous "original entertainment" programming (read: Lifetime-like schlock, for men) and ridiculous segments like "Who's Now", which pits Kobe Bryant vs. Ronaldhino in a head-to-head popularity contest ("Who's Now"? More like "Who Cares?").

But this latest news article had me laughing out loud. ESPN has seen its 2007 All-Star Game access privileges denied after breaking its agreement to not air the All-Star rosters until after TBS, the official sponsor, had completed its selection show. You see, that's what you get for premature news ejaculation.

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) -ESPN won't be able to allowed to broadcast its "Baseball Tonight'' show live from the All-Star game in San Francisco on Tuesday night.

Major League Baseball limited ESPN's access this week after the cable network broke an embargo and announced the All-Star rosters before the end of a selection show on TBS.

Fox is broadcasting the game, but ESPN traditionally has moved its "Baseball Tonight'' crew from the studio in Bristol, Conn., to the site of the game. Karl Ravech, Steve Phillips and John Kruk instead will do the show this year from the studio. ESPN does have reporters on site who will file reports but will be treated like all other non-rightsholders....

TBS was scheduled to announce the All-Star rosters on July 1 during a show from 4 p.m. to 5 p.m. EDT. But an Atlanta Braves game preceding the show had a lengthy rain delay and went extra innings, prompting a delay.

ESPN reported the NL starters, including San Francisco slugger Barry Bonds, before the show on TBS aired, using a vote list mistakenly released on The Associated Press wire. The AP sent an advisory after that transmission, saying the list was embargoed until after the TBS show.

ESPN also revealed the entire rosters shortly after they were announced on TBS but before the end of the TBS show in violation of baseball's embargo.

The platform built to house "Baseball Tonight'' will be used by photographers instead.

Equally funny was the Hollywood Reporter headline, "Yer out! ESPN ejected for committing All-Star error". Guess we're about to see the debut of The Worldwide Leader in Sporting Event Perspectives from People on the Street Outside the Stadium.

AP Photo/Eric Risberg


Alex Cora said...

That "Who's Now" crap on ESPN really is pretty lame. It is funny how Keshawn Johnson doesn't really know 1/3rd of the people on the list . I guess that is what you need to do in order to fill air time for the only 2 days of the year when NONE of the 4 major sports have games going on (football, baseball, basketball, hockey).

Steve Sax said...

I figure, if they are going to do a "Who's Now" segment, they should expand it to include every player in every sport around the world, in a single-elimination tournament. Then, people can vote on the relative merits of Mark Hendrickson vs. Kobayashi, or Ramon Martinez vs. William "Fridge" Perry.

Alex Cora said...

Maybe we should do a who's now for the dodgers - per position - catcher Martin vs Yeager, etc...

Rob said...

Kiss one of the main annoyances on ESPN Radio goodbye, too. Dan Patrick is history as of August 17.

What kills me about Sports Center is the slavish devotion to every fingernail clipping by an NFL player, yet the dimwits at ESPN can't be bothered to do a final round of Baseball Tonight after the west coast games close out.

Steve Sax said...

I hear ya', Rob. On the flipside, if John Kruk had to stay up later for another broadcast, they would have to hose down the set each night. Think of the maintenance costs! Disney won't sign off on that--so Baseball Tonight just signs off.

I will say, it will be comical to watch Peter Gammons' "from-the-seats-perspective" when he's up in the top deck nosebleeds.

cigarcow said...

Dan Patrick was one of the last good things about ESPN. That channel and everything they do is pure crap. All they have now is the Sports Guy.