No subject over the last six months, at least based on my in-box, has produced more foaming-at-the-mouth venom than ESPN's broadcast of
Part of the fallout from the ill-conceived show is the belief in some quarters -- and this is not a critic's creation -- that ESPN cannot cover
"The perception is that the network plays favorites, even in its news -- whether it's James,
With the Miami Heat holding its Media Day on Monday and ESPN scheduled to send an armada of staffers to cover all the happenings of Miami Thrice during training camp, I contacted
I'm never going to say we don't make mistakes. We make mistakes all the time and you try to learn from those. But to me it's a faulty premise. Why would we commit resources and coverage and a desk at the Media Day when we are not doing that for another team? Because there seems to be an insatiable interest level in LeBron and the Heat. How are they going to mesh? There is an intrigue about them. Ultimately, we are committing resources, reporting, a desk and a truck because we believe fans want to see the coverage. If fans did not speak back at us, either through e-mail or ratings or how we stay in touch with the people who watch our networks, we would not do it. We're not just there doing it on a whim.
She has done a really good job of creating chemistry with
The second thing was we thought there was an opportunity to improve the numbers and the ratings, and the early returns are showing that fairly consistency. Whether that is because of the
When you are doing 30-second stand-ups with multiple takes to quarterbacking a half-hour show or segments within a show, that's a tough change. I think she's done a really good job. And talk about a visible stage. It's not like you are talking about a show that airs at 1:30 in the morning on ESPN2 where you can get your sea legs. We've expanding this thing [
I expect Williamson to publicly support his talent and am not surprised he's high on Brown since he hired her. But in the platforms I've seen her on, be it on the sideline of games or live
As for Andrews, I haven't see enough of her in her new role to make a fair assessment.
How excited is the NHL about a
Pretty bleeping excited.
Last week NHL commissioner
"We think it will be unprecedented, behind-the-scenes stuff, particularly for hockey," Bettman said. "[The Penguins and Capitals] have developed a nice degree of animosity."
What will make this series unique from HBO's other all-access efforts is that it will take place during the regular season. Greenburg said the teams do have some editorial oversight and the right to ask HBO to turn off its cameras. HBO will show the final product to the teams before airing each episode. Regarding previous
What made the NHL attractive to HBO? Greenburg said he was struck by last season's playoffs ratings. The clinching game of the Stanley Cup finals was the most-watched and highest-rated NHL game in 36 years and drew 8.28 million viewers, according to NBC. The Penguins and Capitals also possess built-in stars such as
Speaking of which, despite the heavy competition from college bowl games on that day, Bettman said the NHL is pleased with the Jan. 1 date and won't be moving from it anytime soon.
"With all due respect to the college bowls -- and they are great -- we hold our own on that day in ways that people never imagined," Bettman said. "We do OK. It's a good day for us."
Collins predicted this year's Winter Classic would have "a significant uptick in the ratings" because of the HBO tie-in. Last year
Famously, Jets coach
"Well, it is HBO and it's cable," Bettman said. "I don't know how much cursing we will see. I guess after the first episode, we'll have a sense of whether or not we recommend you should be watching with children under a certain age."
• "I would have suspended him [Jets receiver
• ... "Now, on top of the
• "My three favorite Boise things today. 1) live bait vending machine. 2) radio ad for free gun with truck purchase. 3) Llama tailgaiting."
• "In a matchup between [