Bringing Out Friday Megalinks

The last few Fridays, I haven’t been able to provide you with the megalinks. I have to do some today otherwise you’ll stop visiting me.

We begin as always with the Weekend Viewing Picks and there are quite a few for this snowy weekend in Southern New England.

Now to your links.

National

Michael Hiestand of USA Today talks with Fox Sports’ Terry Bradshaw about Tim Tebow and the upcoming NFC Championship.

Jason Fry, part of the ESPN Poynter Review Project hears sideline reporter Holly Rowe’s side of the story regarding about her now-infamous incident where she shoved a Sugar Bowl staffer away to get an interview with Michigan coach Brady Hoke.

Marisa Guthrie of the Hollywood Reporter looks at HBO’s new unscripted series on boxing trainer Freddie Roach.

The Tampa Bay Times’ Eric Deggans has a review of the Freddie Roach series in the Indiana University National Sports Journalism Center.

John Eggerton at Broadcasting & Cable says Massachusetts Senator John Kerry has written a letter to the FCC asking the agency to get involved in the Sunbeam-DirecTV dispute which could affect how viewers in Boston see the Super Bowl.

John says Comcast is seeking a reversal of a Federal decision that ruled in favor of Tennis Channel in their dispute.

Mike Reynolds from Multichannel News says DirecTV has signed a rights deal to distribute Big Sky football and basketball games.

Anthony Crupi of Adweek says History Channel has purchased a longer ad to promote its series, “Swamp People” during Super Bowl XLVI.

Brian Steinberg from Advertising Age tells us who’s buying what in Super Bowl XLVI.

AdAge looks at the 12 ads that changed Super Bowl marketing forever. Three guesses on number one and the first two don’t count.

Brian says marketers are going longer with their Super Bowl ads this year in an attempt to stand out.

Finally, Brian writes that even though we’re not thinking about next year’s Super Bowl XLVII, CBS already is and has been working on getting an early start on ad sales for that Big Game.

Inside Radio says all of Cumulus’ Bay Area radio stations will simulcast Sunday’s NFC Championship Game.

From across the pond, Amy Lawrence of The Guardian in the UK says Fox airing an English Premier League game live over the air is a big deal.

Kevin Iole of Yahoo looks into NBC Sports Network’s first foray into boxing.

Dan Levy at the Bleacher Report wonders which network can muster enough former NFL talent to drum up a flag football game.

Mac Nwulu of ESPN’s Front Row PR blog has an inside look at the preparation of Sunday NFL Countdown.

Matt Yoder at Awful Announcing chronicles this week’s Twitter feud between Sports Illusrated’s Richard Deitsch and CNBC’s Darren Rovell.

Speaking of feuds, The Big Lead looks at an internal ESPN squabble between college basketball analyst Jay Bilas and insider Andy Katz.

Sports Media Watch notes that ESPN is making a major scheduling change for the WNBA this year.

SMW has a look at some local NBA and NHL ratings.

Tennis Channel laments not being picked up by Cablevision.

Ken Kerschbaumer of Sports Video Group takes a look at CBS’ and Fox’s preparation for the NFL Conference Championship Games.

Sports TV Jobs has an interesting graphic of sample camera positions at various stadia and arenas.

East and Mid-Atlantic

Chad Finn from the Boston Globe talks with 98.5 The Sports Hub’s Mike Flynn.

Bill Doyle at the Worcester Telegram & Gazette interviews legendary Patriots radio voice Gil Santos.

Newsday’s Neil Best says local TV is gearing up for the NFC Championship.

Neil talks with former New York Giants running back and NBC analyst Tiki Barber who makes his return to TV this weekend.

George Vescey at the New York Times looks forward to seeing Sunday’s English Premier League game live on Fox.

The New York Post’s Phil Mushnick is not a fan of the NFL replay review process.

Justin Terranova of the Post has five questions for CBS Sports’ and WFAN’s Boomer Esiason.

The Albany Times Union’s Pete Dougherty has some NFL TV analysts break down the four quarterbacks still playing for a shot in the Super Bowl.

Ken McMillan from the Middletown (NY) Times Herald-Record has Fox’s Troy Aikman talking about the NFC Championship.

Ken has more from Troy in his blog.

Dave Hughes from DCRTV.com notes in Press Box that last week’s Texans-Ravens game set a local ratings record.

David Zurawik of the Baltimore Sun attempts to get answers from CBS on having Subway endorser Ndamukong Suh on last week’s NFL Today postgame show.

And David has former Ravens QB and current ESPN analyst Trent Dilfer opining on Ed Reed’s comments on current QB Joe Flacco.

Adam Kilgore of the Washington Post says the Nationals are hoping to get more money from MASN as the sides negotiate a new contract.

Jim Williams from the Washington Examiner talks with the radio voice of the Wizards about his busy schedule.

South

Keith Jarrett at the Asheville (NC) Citizen-Times says the Big South may have to move its Conference Championship Game venue which could effect ESPN’s scheduling.

Jon Solomon of the Birmingham (AL) News says SEC partners CBS and ESPN want better scheduling for next football season.

Jerry Tipton of the Lexington (KY) Herald-Leader writes that the SEC’s basketball coaches aren’t happy over the scheduling-for-TV moves this season.

David Barron of the Houston Chronicle says the Texans’ flagship radio station hopes to build on the team’s momentum when their new contract kicks in next season.

David has some news and notes that didn’t make his column.

Nancy Sarnoff of the Chronicle says NBC Sports Group is looking for a new facility to house the Comcast SportsNet Houston regional sports network which launches later this year.

Mel Bracht from the Daily Oklahoman notes that the Texas Rangers will have multiple appearances on ESPN’s Sunday Night Baseball.

Midwest

Michael Zuidema of the Grand Rapids (MI) Press says HBO continues its string of acclaimed sports documentaries.

Bob Wolfley from the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel says don’t expect NFL Conference Championship Sunday to change its format for the foreseeable future.

Ed Sherman in Crain’s Chicago Business has his winners and losers in sports business and media.

Patrick Reusse of the Minneapolis Star-Tribune feels Fox Sports North just cheerleads for Minnesota teams and won’t criticize them.

Paul Christian from the Rochester (MN) Post-Bulletin looks at Fox Sports North’s Hockey Day in Minnesota schedule.

Dan Caesar at the St. Louis Post-Dispatch has CBS Sports President Sean McManus wanting to keep the status quo for NFL Conference Championship Sunday.

West

John Maffei of the North County Times looks at MLB Network’s first-ever game show which premieres next week.

Jim Carlisle from the Ventura County Star says CBS was hoping to get Tim Tebow for its NFL Today pregame show on Sunday, but he declined.

At the Los Angeles Daily News, Tom Hoffarth profiles Fox Sports West host Patrick O’Neal and has his list of best and worst local sports anchors.

Tom has a bit more on O’Neal.

Canada

Bob Weeks in the Toronto Globe and Mail notes that CBC has gotten out of the curling business, a sport it has televised since 1962.

Bruce Dowbiggin of the Globe and Mail says the Raptors may be suffering on the court, but not on TV.

The Canadian Sports Media Blog looks at the International Olympic Committee throwing out CTV/CBC’s joint bid to air the 2014/2016 Games.

And that is it. Glad to be able to provide the Megalinkage for you.

A Friday Evening Megalink Thing

Let’s give you some linkage on this Friday. Been a busy day. You deserve some links

The Weekend Viewing Picks provide your sports and entertainment TV watching. And now to your links.

National

USA Today’s Michael Hiestand and Mike McCarthy debate whether networks should hire ex-coaches knowing full well they could make news and leave for another job.

ESPN Ombudsman Kelly McBride of the Poynter Institute takes the Alleged Worldwide Leader to task for its failure to press the Bernie Fine/Syracuse story and holding a tape for eight years.

Alex Weprin of TVNewser writes that ESPN has hired Bloomberg News sports business reporter Michele Steele.

Over to Gregg Rosenthal of Pro Football Talk who has Philadelphia Eagles coach Andy Reid angry at NFL Network for its portrayal of wide receiver DeSean Jackson after last night’s game with Seattle.

Mike Reynolds from Multichannel News discusses the viewership increase for Thursday Night Football.

Mike writes about the quintet of games that will open the NBA season on Christmas Day.

Dan Fogarty of SportsGrid has an advance clip of a CNN Sunday interview with ESPN Vice President of News Vince Doria speaking about the handling of the Bernie Fine/Syracuse story.

Dan has a very strong promo for the return of the NBA.

Glenn Davis at SportsGrid notes that on the Dan Patrick Show, TNT’s Charles Barkley had some fighting words for notorious sports self-promoter Skip Bayless.

Jason Dachman of Sports Video Group writes that mobile truck operators are happy to have the NBA back in action.

CNBC’s Darren Rovell says while the NBA Lockout has been settled, there’s still a battle that will continue for several years.

Sports Media Watch looks at the NFL ratings for Week 12 for ESPN’s Monday Night Football, NBC’s Sunday Night Football, and NFL Network’s Thursday Night Football.

Ben Koo of Awful Announcing looks at the machinations behind a longer Thursday Night Football schedule.

East and Mid-Atlantic

At the Boston Globe, Chad Finn looks at how Twitter broke the Bobby Valentine-to-the Red Sox story and he handicaps the race to replace Heidi Watney as NESN Red Sox reporter.

Howard Beck at the New York Times notes that current NBA players are returning slowly but surely to NBA TV which has been stuck showing games from the 1980’s and early 1990’s.

The New York Post’s Claire Atkinson reports that the NFL is looking for big bucks from NBC to renew the rights to Sunday Night Football.

The Post’s Phil Mushnick wants the networks to stop showing touchdown celebrations.

Brett Cyrgalis of the Post has five questions for ESPN NBA analyst Tim Legler.

Newsday’s Neil Best bids adieu to WFAN’s Tracy Burgess who left the Boomer and Carton show today.

Neil looks at ESPN being a stepping stone for coaches who are looking for their next job.

Neil has a quickie review of the ESPN Films documentary on former quarterback Todd Marinovich.

And Neil notes that local football players aren’t making news on social networks, but the old fashioned way… on radio.

Bob’s Blitz has pictures of Tracy Burgess’ last day at WFAN.

Pete Dougherty of the Albany Times Union says Fox is trying to get the word out that it’s back in the college football business.

Keith Groller of the Allentown (PA) Morning Call says Fall River’s Chris Herren, the subject of ESPN Films’ Unguarded documentary, will be in the local area to talk about his battle with addiction.

Dave Hughes from DCRTV.com has the latest Baltimore/Washington DC sports media news in this week’s Press Box.

In the DC Sports Bog at the Washington Post, Dan Steinberg tells us what happened to local sports radio host John Riggins who’s been missing as of late.

Jim Williams of the Washington Examiner talks with Fox Sports’ Gus Johnson and Charles Davis about calling back-to-back conference championship games on successive nights.

South

David Barron in the Houston Chronicle talks with NFL on Fox sideline analyst Tony Siragusa who will be part of the crew calling the Atlanta-Texans game on Sunday.

Mel Bracht of the Daily Oklahoman talks with ESPN college football analyst Todd Blackledge who will call the annual Bedlam game.

Mel says Gus Johnson, Charles Davis and Tim Brewster are pulling double duty this weekend.

Midwest

John Kiesewetter in the Cincinnati Enquirer notes that Time Warner Cable will be busy with local high school football this weekend.

Michael Zuidema of the Grand Rapids (MI) Press writes that the Detroit Lions have received more national media attention whether it’s deserved or not.

The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel’s Bob Wolfley has Fox’s Charles Davis talking about Wisconsin running Montee Ball’s Heisman Trophy chances.

Bob says NASCAR races will be airing on a different Milwaukee radio station next year.

In Crain’s Chicago Business, Ed Sherman has his weekly winners and losers.

Paul Christian of the Rochester (MN) Post-Bulletin says it’s going to be a busy weekend for Gus Johnson, Charles Davis and Tim Brewster on Fox.

Dan Caesar of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch says St. Louis University may be a rising college basketball program, but it hasn’t translated to more national exposure.

West

John Maffei of the North County Times says local Cox subscribers will be able to see Time Warner Cable’s coverage of the state high school football championships this weekend.

Jim Carlisle of the Ventura County Star says the Pac-12 Championship won’t be the showcase that Fox had in mind.

Jim says the SEC Championship will have BCS National Championship Game implications like it always does.

Jim has his weekend viewing picks.

Tom Hoffarth of the Los Angeles Daily News says Fox is doing its best to sell a less than stellar Pac-12 Championship Game matchup.

Tom has what didn’t make his column in his blog.

Tom says the new Los Angeles Dodgers radio flagship will hire former manager Kevin Kennedy as a postgame host.

Canada

Bruce Dowbiggin of the Toronto Globe and Mail gleefully points out that Don Cherry’s Coach’s Corner segment on Hockey Night in Canada is drawing lower ratings than in the past.

And that’s going to do it for our linkage tonight.

Unleashing Some Friday Megalinks

Ok, let’s get this done. Lots of linkage from yesterday and today. I need to catch up. Let’s go.

Check out your Weekend Viewing Picks for the sports and entertainment programming for Saturday and Sunday.

National

Mike McCarthy of USA Today wonders if there’s a glass ceiling for women in sports television.

Former Comcast SportsNet anchor/reporter Jackie Pepper has her take about being a woman in sports television. (Editor’s note: Link is no longer working.)

Back to USA Today, Michael Hiestand looks at the casting call for the new Broadway play focusing on the Magic Johnson-Larry Bird rivalry and friendship, produced by the same people who did Lombardi on Broadway.

Hiestand writes that Fox Sports will be using some of its own talent for its UFC debut next week.

Paul Thomasch of Reuters talks with CBS head honcho Les Moonves about the network’s SEC deal.

Emma Bazilian at Adweek notes that DirecTV’s NFL Sunday Ticket promotion over the summer paid off in droves in the third quarter of this year.

Phil Swann of TV Predictions has his take on DirecTV’s subscriber spike.

The talk of the sports blogosphere the last couple of days has been the Deadspin story by A.J. Daulerio on a former ESPN executive who’s filed a lawsuit against an employee denying several displays of odd behavior including masturbating in Erin Andrews’ presence.

Congratulations to former ESPN reporter Amy K. Nelson who leaves the Alleged Worldwide Leader for SBNation. Deadspin has that story as well.

Aaron Kuniloff and David Mildenberg from Bloomberg Businessweek co-author a story on ESPN’s Longhorn Network and its ramifications on college sports.

Rick Horrow and Karla Swatek of Businessweek talk about the alternatives to the NBA and how the league’s TV partners have lost money airing the games.

Rick Chandler of NBC’s Off the Bench explains how an ESPN.com story mushroomed into the Occupy Tebow movement.

At ESPN Front Row, network spokesman Mike Soltys notes that the Alleged Worldwide Leader has new policy on employees writing books, something that got Bruce Feldman into trouble earlier this year.

Jason Dachman from Sports Video Group looks at a new MSG Network mobile app that brings live high school sports to your cell phone.

Ariel Sandler at the Business Insider Sports Page has video of two Canadian news anchors going crazy when their sports anchor is named the winner of a $2.5 million lottery on live TV.

CNBC’s Darren Rovell reviews the results of having two In-N-Out Burgers shipped frozen across country.

Sports Media Watch says TNT’s replacement programming for the NBA’s canceled games on what would have been Opening Night of the season failed miserably in the ratings.

Joe Favorito wonders if the Bellator Fighting Championships can co-exist with UFC in Mixed Martial Arts.

Ben Koo of Awful Announcing says Brent Musburger got the job done in his cameo on an ABC sitcom.

Dave Kohl at The Broadcast Booth says it’s the subject matter, not the personalities that drive ratings for sports radio stations.

SportsbyBrooks notes that ESPN Radio hack Colin Cowherd sat with the beautiful people at last week’s Stanford-USC game.

Marisa Ingemi of In Lax We Trust reports that the National Lacrosse League has a deal in place with CBS Sports Network to air games in 2012-13.

East and Mid-Atlantic

Chad Finn from the Boston Globe speaks with former ESPN MMA Live host Jon Anik who will work straight for UFC now.

The Worcester Telegram & Gazette’s Bill Doyle talks with Comcast SportsNet Celtics analyst Tommy Heinsohn who’s cooling his heels during the NBA lockout.

Newsday’s Neil Best notes that WFAN’s Boomer & Carton show has really taken off in the ratings.

Neil has more with Boomer and Carton that he could not provide in his feature story.

Scott Shifrel and Bill Hutchinson of the New York Daily News write that former ESPN executive Keith Clinkscales is claiming that he is the victim of a smear campaign.

Phil Mushnick of the New York Post wonders where’s the outrage on the Detroit Lions for what he feels was mocking Tim Tebow’s religion.

Justin Terranova of the Post has five questions for Cleveland Browns franchise assassin and ESPN analyst Eric Mangini. No, I’m not bitter about his tenure as Browns coach.

Justin previews MLB Network’s special on the 1986 Postseason.

Pete Dougherty in the Albany Times Union hears from SEC on CBS analyst Gary Danielson on LSU-Alabama.

Keith Groller of the Allentown (PA) Morning Call also has quotes from Danielson regarding this year’s Game of the Century.

In Press Box, Dave Hughes from DCRTV.com has the latest in Baltimore-DC sports media news.

In the Washington Post’s DC Sports Bog, Dan Steinberg looks at a failed lobbyist’s efforts to get DC NFL team owner Dan Snyder to change the brand name.

And Dan has Joe Theismann’s thoughts on the whole John Beck/Rex Grossman QB controversy in Washington.

Monica Hesse of the Post says some of the items from the now-defunct ESPN Zone in DC are being sold at auction.

Jim Williams of the Washington Examiner finds out ESPN’s plans for this weekend’s Breeders’ Cup.

South

Sean Cartell of SEC.com has Verne Lundquist’s thoughts on LSU-Alabama.

Brian Reynolds in the Tuscaloosa News says ESPN is giving LSU-Alabama the Super Bowl treatment.

David Barron from the Houston Chronicle says both CBS and ESPN are pulling out all of the stops for LSU-Alabama.

Midwest

John Kiesewetter in the Cincinnati Enquirer notes that former Bengals QB Carson Palmer will be profiled on Sunday’s edition of The NFL Today.

Michael Zuidema of the Grand Rapids (MI) Press says ratings for the World Series were good, but the games showed that instant replay was greatly needed.

Bob Wolfley of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel notes that former Brewers radio voice Corey Provus now has a new gig with the Twins.

Ed Sherman in Crain’s Chicago Business has his winners and losers in sports business and media.

Ted Gruber in Chicago Now feels ESPN gets a big fail in covering Mixed Martial Arts.

Joe Christensen of the Minneapolis Star Tribune says Corey Provus takes over for former Minnesota Twins voice John Gordon who retired this year.

Paul Christian in the Rochester (MN) Post-Bulletin talks about Provus’ hiring by the Twins.

Dan Caesar from the St. Louis Post-Dispatch feels the national media undersold Albert Pujols’ achievement in Game 3 of the World Series.

West

Jeff Call of the Deseret (UT) News says ESPN’s partnership with BYU has been beneficial for both parties.

John Maffei in the North County Times notes how CBS obtained LSU-Alabama for primetime.

Jim Carlisle of the Ventura County Star says it’s rare to get a #1 vs. #2 matchup in the regular season.

Jim says Brad Nessler is ready for primetime when Thursday Night Football begins next week.

Jim has his weekend viewing picks.

Tom Hoffarth of the Los Angeles Daily News says we’re in a Golden Age of sports documentaries.

Tom has more in his blog.

Canada

Bruce Dowbiggin of the Toronto Globe and Mail says Hazel Mae is officially back with Rogers Sportsnet.

The Canadian Sports Media Blog which broke the news of Hazel’s return discusses what her duties will be.

That’s going to do it for the megalinks today.

Cranking Out The Friday Megalinks

Let’s do some Friday linkage for you.

MLB Postseason starts up really in earnest with four games on Saturday. College Football in full swing and the NFL completes its first month of games on Sunday. Your Weekend Viewing Picks have everything you need to know in sports and primetime programming.

To the linkage.

National

Michael Hiestand of USA Today writes that Fox Sports’ NASCAR coverage will be known for having the Brothers Waltrip next year.

Mike Reynolds of Broadcasting & Cable writes that Turner Sports will be all over the League Division Series for the first four days of the MLB Postseason.

Adweek has a graphic showing how much time we spend on watching football.

Bill Cromwell of Media Life Magazine writes that TBS and Fox should see good ratings for the MLB Postseason based on an exciting final night of the season on Wednesday.

Nelli Andreeva of Deadline reports that ESPN is developing an ABC sitcom based on Boston sports fans. That’s going to go over well.

Bill Hofheimer in ESPN’s Front Row blog talks with ESPN’s Jon Gruden about calling a “home game” this Monday.

Jim Romanesko of the Poynter Institute looks at the despicable reaction of Buffalo Bills fans to a column written by a female sportswriter at the Albany Times Union.

Bob’s Blitz has video of WFAN’s Mike Francesa attempting to add on the air.

Brandon Costa at Sports Video Group looks at ESPN placing microphones on various players and coaches during the WNBA Finals.

Brandon chronicles a wild Wednesday night at MLB Network.

CNBC’s Darren Rovell looks at the advantages or lack of thereof having a bigger payroll in MLB.

The Sports Biz Miss Kristi Dosh tells us that despite not making the playoffs, the Atlanta Braves and the Boston Red Sox still get a share of the postseason pie.

The Sports Media Watch looks at how the tumultuous Final Night of the MLB season led to a ratings bonanza for ESPN.

SMW says for the MLB season, ESPN’s ratings went up slightly.

SMW says TBS’ ratings for the MLB regular season were flat compared with last year.

Joe Favorito looks at how Dick Vitale has made himself into a viable brand.

The Daly Planet delves into the changes with the Fox Sports NASCAR crew.

The Influencer Economy has a look into Blogs with Balls 4 and the future of sports media.

East and Mid-Atlantic

Chad Finn at the Boston Globe (this is the last day I’ll be able to link to Chad as his columns go behind the dreaded paywall starting October 1) writes about NESN viewers unable to see analyst Dennis Eckersley on the last day of the season.

Bill Doyle of the Worcester Telegram & Gazette writes that Globe columnist Dan Shaughnessy shares some blame in the Red Sox collapse.

Newsday’s Neil Best talks with TBS’ Brian Anderson who steps into the network’s lead spot for the MLB Postseason.

Justin Terranova of the New York Post has five questions for NBC Football Night in America analyst Rodney Harrison.

Pete Dougherty of the Albany Times Union writes that a new local sports talk show host isn’t spending any time discussing any local topics.

Ken McMillan at the Middletown (NY) Times Herald-Record writes about local radio stations picking up MLB League Division Series games.

To the New Jersey Newsroom where Evan Weiner says the college conference shuffle is making fans roll their collective eyes.

In the Allentown (PA) Morning Call, Keith Groller writes that MLB will have a hard act to follow in the postseason after a compelling final night of the regular season.

Laura Nachman says Comcast SportsNet will be all over the Phillies in the MLB Postseason.

In Press Box, Dave Hughes of DCRTV.com writes that sections of the Baltimore Sun’s sports website will go behind the dreaded paywall.

South

The Florida Times-Union reports that the Jacksonville Jaguars have avoided a blackout for Sunday’s game against the New Orleans Saints.

To the St. Petersburg Times where Tom Jones says Sun Sports got big ratings for the Tampa Bay Rays’ march to the playoffs this week.

David Barron of the Houston Chronicle writes that MLB Network was all over the twists and turns from the final night of the regular season.

Mel Bracht of the Daily Oklahoman has his news and notes.

Midewest

John Kieswetter of the Cincinnati Enquirer reports that a local CBS affiliate will provide halftime highlights during Bengals games at Paul Brown Stadium.

John writes that Saturday’s Cincinnati-Miami game will be seen live online and on local TV on tape delay.

Michael Zuidema of the Grand Rapids (MI) Press talks with Tigers TV voice Mario Impemba about the team’s chances of advancing in the MLB Postseason.

Bob Wolfley of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel speaks with Brewers TV voice Brian Anderson about getting the top gig for TBS for the playoffs.

Bob has a couple of quotes from CBS’ Phil Simms about Sunday’s Denver-Green Bay game.

To Crain’s Chicago Business and Ed Sherman who writes that Nebraska’s addition to the conference can only help the Big Ten Network.

Ed has his winners and losers in sports media and business.

In the Rochester (MN) Post-Bulletin, Paul Christian talks with former Minnesota coach Tim Brewster who’s now patrolling the sidelines for Gus Johnson and FX’s college football game of the week.

Jennifer Mann of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports that Cardinals TV voice Dan McLaughlin has been arrested on DUI charges for the second time this year.

Dan Caesar of the Post-Dispatch writes that Fox Sports Midwest has suspended McLaughlin indefinitely.

West

Bill Center in the San Diego Union-Tribune reports that the Padres expect to bring back its TV booth, but no word on the team’s radio announcers or new TV contract for next season.

The Union-Tribune says Sunday’s Chargers game against the Dolphins will be blacked out.

John Maffei of the North County Times says the Padres hope to have a new TV deal (with Fox Sports Net) in place by the New Year.

At the Ventura County Star, Jim Carlisle writes that Wednesday’s MLB season finale was Must See TV.

Jim says despite being on a losing team, the Los Angeles Dodgers’ Matt Kemp is in the center of the MVP debate among TV analysts.

Tom Hoffarth of the Los Angeles Daily News looks at Jenn Brown’s endorsement deal with GNC.

Tom says Bill Macdonald’s full-time days with Fox Sports West are over.

Tom looks at TBS’ coverage of the MLB Postseason.

Tom wonders why the NFL pulled back the 1st half Thursday Night Football package from the table.

Canada

In the Toronto Globe and Mail, Bruce Dowbiggin says MLB got a shot in the arm on Wednesday.

The Canadian Sports Media Blog writes that TSN has locked up curling on TV in Canada through the end of the decade.

And that’s going to do it. I may have a few more links later tonight.

Friday Megalinks

Due to being at jobsites for the last few days, I haven’t been able post links like I’ve wanted to at either my main page or the Fang’s Bites at BSMW site. I apologize for that. I have tried to be diligent in updating as much as I can.

Let’s get to the linkage.

But first, there’s always the Weekend Viewing Picks for your sports and entertainment planning.

National

John Ourand at Sports Business Journal writes that ESPN will do everything it can to head off NBC/Versus at the pass.

Sports Illustrated’s Richard Deitsch asks if sports broadcasting and politics should mix?

Jeff Latzke of the Associated Press says the Big 12’s TV contracts helped to keep the conference together for now.

The Nielsen Ratings Wire blog notes that among various TV programming, sports in primetime continues to do well.

USA Today’s Mike McCarthy talks with CBS/WFAN/Westwood One’s Boomer Esiason on how the NFL should investigate the Dallas Cowboys’ medical staff for clearing Tony Romo to play last Sunday.

Mike says ESPN is denying any responsibility for the recent college football chaos and says the Longhorn Network doesn’t have anything to do with it. I think Texas A&M, Missouri and other Big 12 schools would beg to differ.

Bob Velin of USA Today writes that CBS’ 48 Hours Mystery program will investigate the mysterious and unsettling death of boxer Arturo Gatti.

Mike McCarthy and Michael Hiestand of USA Today debate whether schools or TV wield the power in college sports.

John Taylor of College Football Talk writes that Brett Favre gets his first taste of being an analyst next week for CSS.

John Eggerton of Broadcasting & Cable reports that the FCC has ruled that Cablevision-owned MSG Network cannot withhold its HD signal to other cable providers violating program-access rules.

Mike Reynolds from Multichannel News writes that YES received its second highest rating ever for the American League East Division clinching game this week.

Mike says Golf Channel and NBC Sports are teaming up for a promotion to give a lucky viewer of “The Big Break” a chance to win a trip to see Notre Dame play in Ireland next year.

Tim Nudd of Adweek says the NFL has pulled an ad for its fantasy football product which used a picture of Kansas City Chiefs running back Jamaal Charles after he was injured last week.

David Lieberman of Deadline reports that Time Warner Cable is planning to offer a low cost tier that will not include ESPN in the lineup.

Timothy Burke of SportsGrid has the video of ESPN sideline reporter Jenn Brown calling Cincinnati football coach Butch Jones something else.

Glenn Davis at SportsGrid has the sixth and perhaps final installment of New Era’s Yankees-Red Sox Alec Baldwin-John Kraskinski ads. They have been quite good. This latest one may have taken it a bit too far.

Also from SportsGrid, Dan Fogarty reviews the ESPN Films documentary “Catching Hell”, on Steve Bartman and the 2003 Chicago Cubs.

Sports Media Watch talks with the crew of ESPN’s College GameDay.

SMW says despite being on tape delay, Fox drew a decent audience for its first English Premier League game on Sunday.

SMW notes that the ratings for CBS’ 2nd game of its NFL doubleheader dropped from last year.

SMW says the NBA lockout has forced the cancellation of the start of training camp and over 40 preseason games.

And SMW has some various ratings news and notes.

Joe Favorito looks at one imaginative marketing campaign that helped Eye Black this week.

CNBC’s Darren Rovell reviews “Moneyball.”

Darren has some interesting facts on sports participation in America.

Karen Hogan of Sports Video Group looks at how CBS Sports Network was able to bring the Tim Brando Show into a TV simulcast from his base in Shreveport, LA.

Matt Yoder at Awful Announcing has this week’s network TV on-screen typos.

Ben Koo from AA says tomorrow is when Gus Johnson and FX get their real grand opening in college football.

At The Stir, Maressa Brown feels ESPN’s Erin Andrews is unqualified to demonstrate CrossFit.

East and Mid-Atlantic

Chad Finn of the Boston Globe writes that WEEI’s Glenn Ordway has suffered a rather severe pay cut due to low ratings for The Big Show.

At SBNation Boston, BSMW Fearless Leader Bruce Allen looks at a busy week in local sports media news.

Bill Doyle of the Worcester Telegram & Gazette writes that Dale Arnold is pleased to be back with NESN after leaving in 2007.

Lang Whitaker and Ian Lovett of the New York Times give us an inside look at DirecTV’s Red Zone Channel and NFL Network’s RedZone.

John Jeansonne of Newsday reviews ESPN Films’ documentary on transgendered tennis player Renee Richards.

Newsday’s Neil Best says fans seem to be buying into the New York Islanders’ future.

Claire Atkinson of the New York Post has news that some Time Warner Cable subscribers have been waiting for, that the company appears to be close to a carriage agreement with NFL Network.

Phil Mushnick at the Post can’t stand ESPN’s Monday Night Football.

Justin Terranova of the Post says last month’s Russian plane crash that killed 44 members of the KHL team Lokomotiv Yaroslavl really hit home for MSG Network analyst Joe Micheletti.

And Justin has five questions for Joe.

Lou Lumenick of the Post says “Moneyball” is one of the best baseball movies of all-time.

I’ll break my self-imposed embargo on the New York Daily News’ Bob Raissman for a week for this story on the Yankees’ radio rights which are in flux and so are the fates of broadcasters John Sterling and Suzyn Waldman.

Pete Dougherty of the Albany Times Union writes that MSG Network has named Steve Cangialosi to replace Mike “Doc” Emrick on New Jersey Devils games.

And Pete talks with Steve about his new gig.

Ken Schott of the Schenectady Gazette is not a fan of a new local sports talk show host.

Ken notes that NBC Sports is extending its “Summer at Saratoga” series for at least two more years.

At Press Box, Dave Hughes of DCRTV.com notes that Comcast SportsNet Mid-Atlantic has announced its Capitals and Wizards schedules.

Jim Williams of the Washington Examiner says the college football conference merry-go-round could have some legal ramifications.

Jim says the ratings for the NFL in both Baltimore and Washington were very strong.

South

In the Miami Herald, Joseph Goodman notes the irony of ESPN possibly saving college football from massive chaos.

Matt Murschel of the Orlando Sentinel catches up with ESPN college football analyst Jesse Palmer.

Jeff Sentell of the Birmingham (AL) News says ESPN is not ponying up to air high school games from the region.

David Barron of the Houston Chronicle notes that an Astros broadcaster is celebrating 25 years with the club.

David asks readers if they find the idea of the Longhorn Network offensive.

Mel Bracht at the Daily Oklahoman says an Oklahoma State wide receiver will be profiled on ESPN’s College GameDay.

Midwest

Paul Hoynes of the Cleveland Plain Dealer says Cleveland MLB team radio voice Mike Hegan is leaving he broadcast after this season.

John Kiesewetter of the Cincinnati Enquirer says Reds voice Marty Brennaman can’t campaign on-air for his former partner Joe Nuxhall for the Baseball Hall of Fame Ford C. Frick Award.

Micahel Zuidema of the Grand Rapids (MI) Press wonders why the DirecTV/NBC series “Friday Night Lights” didn’t do better in the ratings.

Bob Wolfley in the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel says actor Brad Pitt saw “Moneyball” as a compelling story.

Bob says the Green Bay Packers will be showcased aplenty in the late afternoon window on both CBS and Fox this season.

Ed Sherman in Crain’s Chicago Business writes that the PGA Tour’s BMW Championship failed to draw viewers away from the NFL on Sunday.

Joe Cowley of the Chicago Sun-Times talks with WMAQ-TV sports anchor Paula Ferris.

Dan Caesar of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch wonders why Cardinals TV voice Dan McLaughlin has been missing of late.

Kevin Haskin of the Topeka (KS) Capital-Journal writes that CBS Sports Network was in town to air an NCAA Division II football game this week.

West

Jay Posner from the San Diego Union-Tribune says Big Ten Network won’t allow the local Cox system to pick up Saturday’s San Diego State-Michigan game on a one-time only basis.

The North County Times’ John Maffei writes that unless fans can find a sports bar, they’ll have to listen to San Diego State on the radio.

Jim Carlisle at the Ventura County Star says it’s too bad Southern California couldn’t see the end of the exciting Oakland-Buffalo game due to silly NFL rules.

Jim says HBO will replay last Saturday’s controversial Floyd Mayweather-Victor Ortiz fight.

Tom Hoffarth of the Los Angeles Daily News says a bankruptcy court has given the Dodgers permission to change their flagship radio station for next season.

Tom says the NFL secondary market rule needs to be changed.

Tom also has a few notes that he couldn’t get into his Friday column.

Jon Wilner of the San Jose Mercury News looks at the Pac-12’s decision to stand pat, TV’s role in the whole thing and where BYU may be headed.

Canada

Bruce Dowbiggin from the Toronto Globe and Mail writes that CBC’s P.J. Stock is regretting his initial comments on Wade Belak’s death.

The Toronto Sports Media Blog is not so fast to forgive P.J.

The Canadian Sports Media Blog notes that CBC has made some additions to its Hockey Night in Canada crew.

And there you have it for your links today.

Friday Megalinks Just For You

Let’s do some linkage.

The Weekend Viewing Picks give you everything to you need for your viewing pleasure.

Let’s do this.

National

Michael Hiestand of USA Today writes that primetime is the right time for college football.

Tripp Mickle of Sports Business Daily reports that ESPN has sold out its ad inventory for its new NASCAR non-stop initiative which will allow fans to see continuous race action while commercials run.

Mike Reynolds of Multichannel News says NFL Network used some creative methods in Boston to promote its Bill Belichick documentary.

If you watched the Belichick documentary, then you probably know about the best scene which was the coach yelling at the Baltimore Ravens’ Derrick Mason who was trash talking. Dan Fogarty of SportsGrid has the video.

Brandon Costa from Sports Video Group notes that Sports Illustrated has released a new Football Rivals mobile app.

Sports Media Watch says ABC is doing well with college football in its first two weeks of the season.

SMW notes that last Saturday’s Notre Dame-Michigan game on ESPN in primetime did better than the previous week’s Fighting Irish game on NBC.

SMW says last week’s NASCAR race in Richmond garnered a four year ratings high for ABC.

Tony Manfred of the Business Insider Sports Page says sports bars got hit the hardest by DirecTV’s NFL Sunday Ticket technical difficulties last week.

Steve Lepore from Puck The Media has NHL Network’s preseason schedule that begins next week.

Joe Favorito says sports brands are now jumping into the corn field maze craze.

Awful Announcing has this week’s network TV on-screen typos.

Parade talks with ESPN’s Erin Andrews.

East and Mid-Atlantic

Chad Finn from the Boston Globe writes about some ex-Patriots players who have made the transition to TV.

Jessica Heslam of the Boston Herald talks about 98.5 The Sports Hub winning the prestigious Marconi for Best Sports Station in the country over a former winner, WEEI.

Bill Doyle at the Worcester Telegram & Gazette praises the NFL Films documentary on Bill Belichick.

The New York Times’ Richard Sandomir looks at a rare film that followed the late Yankees announcer Phil Rizzuto and other ex-Pinstripers to Austria for an exhibition game in 1994.

Daniel E. Slotnick of the Times writes that former New York Jet and broadcaster Sam DeLuca has passed away.

Newsday’s Neil Best talks with statistician Steve Hirdt about his career and getting to work a “home” game for this week’s edition of Monday Night Football.

Neil says SNY is fortunate to have the Jets as a partner to help viewers forget about the Mets.

Phil Mushnick of the New York Post is angry at everyone.

The Post’s Justin Terranova has five questions for YES analyst Ken Singleton.

Jerry Barmash in Fishbowl NY writes that MSG Network brings back its signature hockey studio show for another season.

Pete Dougherty of the Albany Times Union notes that local sports anchor Andrew Catalon gets a call-up to the NFL on CBS in October.

Ken McMillan of the Middletown (NY) Times Herald-Record talks with MLB Network’s Brian Kenny about why he left ESPN after almost a decade and a half.

Ken has more with Brian Kenny in his column.

Ken is tired of NHL Network rerunning last season’s playoffs.

South

Serena Moyle of the Tallahassee (FL) Democrat profiles ESPN’s Erin Andrews as she’s in town for the Oklahoma-Florida State game.

David Barron of the Houston Chronicle says you watched the NFL in droves last week.

David says ESPN is treating Longhorn Network differently than its other entities.

Mel Bracht from the Daily Oklahoman writes that Longhorn Network will pick up one Oklahoma State basketball game.

Mel has some news and notes.

Gina Mizell of the Oklahoman says ESPN is keeping a close eye on Oklahoma State and Texas A&M for a potential College GameDay visit.

Midwest

John Kiesewetter of the Cincinnati Enquirer writes that Fox Sports Ohio expands its pregame show tomorrow to air highlights of Johnny Bench Night.

John says a local radio station has fired a long-time sports reporter and other parts of its staff.

Michael Zuidema of the Grand Rapids (MI) Press talks with a long-time Division II college football radio voice.

Bob Wolfley of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel says some local Time Warner Cable subscribers will have access to this Saturday’s Wisconsin game.

Bob explains why the Wisconsin game isn’t on TV.

Bob says the Brewers’ Prince Fielder will be seen in a profile on TBS Sunday.

Ed Sherman at Crain’s Chicago Business has his winners and losers in sports business and media.

Dan Caesar in the St. Louis Post-Dispatch says all of the Blues games will be televised for the first time ever.

West

Jay Drew of the Salt Lake Tribune writes that ESPN’s deal with BYU has now become a recruiting tool for the school.

Matt Solinsky of the Desert (CA) Sun says the NFL Network documentary on Patriots coach Bill Belichick is definitely “must see TV”.

John Maffei from the North County Times tries to discover what the holdup is for the San Diego Padres’ TV and radio rights.

Jim Carlisle at the Ventura County Star says Time Warner Cable has signed a long-term deal for California’s high school championships.

Lance Pugmire of the Los Angeles Times talks with the Fox NFL Sunday crew.

T.J. Simers of the Times writes that Vin Scully can cause trouble at home.

Also from the Times, Eric Sondheimer has details of the Time Warner deal with the California Interscholastic Federation.

Tom Hoffarth of the Los Angeles Daily News says Jay “The Rat” Mariotti is determined to get the last word on his tumultuous year.

Tom has some media moves that didn’t make his column.

Tom says MLB Network will air a special on statistics.

Canada

Bruce Dowbiggin of the Toronto Globe and Mail says an 8 year delay will help Steve Moore in his lawsuit against Todd Bertuzzi and the NHL stemming from an incident in Vancouver.

The Canadian Sports Media Blog notes that CBC’s Hockey Night in Canada has finally made some moves to fill some personnel holes.

And that’s going to conclude the links for this Friday.

The Friday Night Megalinks

I’ve been to Newton, MA and back, South Kingstown, RI and back and all over my hometown of North Kingstown, RI and all of this today. It’s time to do the megalinks and get them all done in one sitting.

There’s the Weekend Viewing Picks for your sports and entertainment programming.

National

Sports Business Daily goes over the UFC/Fox agreement that will put four live MMA events on network TV and plenty of ancillary programming on Fox’s cable networks.

USA Today’s Michael Hiestand writes that Fox Sports Media Group El Presidente Por Vida David Hill has done an about face on airing Mixed Martial Arts.

Sergio Non of USA Today writes that UFC will revamp its shows when they move from Spike and Versus to Fox’s networks.

Sergio has those who will take part in the first UFC on Fox card in November.

Eric Deggans of the St. Petersburg Times writes in the Indiana University National Sports Journalism Center that the success of the UFC on Fox all depends on whether the sport can have a breakout star.

Dave Meltzer at Yahoo! says UFC President Dana White couldn’t be happier in making this deal with Fox.

Also from Yahoo!, Kevin Iole says it will be the fighters who will benefit the most from the new UFC on Fox contract.

Cam Martin of SportsNewser has Spike announcing that the new season of UFC’s The Ultimate Fighter will be the last on its airwaves, naturally.

Anthony Crupi of Adweek looks into the particulars of the UFC on Fox deal.

Bill Cromwell of Media Life Magazine writes that the Fox contract gives UFC some instant mainstream credibility.

There will be more UFC on Fox stories sprinkled throughout the megalinks. Let’s move on to other stories now.

The Hollywood Reporter’s Tim Goodman wonders if Showtime’s “The Franchise” is bringing down the San Francisco Giants this season.

Georg Szalai of the Reporter reports that Comcast has withdrawn a lawsuit against DirecTV over an ad campaign for NFL Sunday Ticket.

David Goetzl of MediaPost notes that DirecTV plans to expand its fantasy offerings for NFL Sunday Ticket.

Mike Reynolds from Multichannel News looks at Versus/NBC Sports Network’s new exclusive NHL night in the first year of its new 10 year contract with the league.

Andrew McMains of Adweek looks at a new inspiring web video produced for the US Olympic Committee.

All Access says the ESPN Radio affiliate in Minnesota’s Twin Cities has chosen the hosts for its midday show.

Greg Wyshynski of Yahoo’s Puck Daddy explores which teams won and lost in the new NHL TV schedules.

Cam Martin of SportsNewser writes that former voice of the North Carolina Tar Heels, Woody Durham, will be honored for his contributions to college football.

The Big Lead wonders if Jay Bilas is the most respected voice at ESPN.

Timothy Burke of SportsGrid investigates how former 2 Live Crew leader Luther Campbell managed to appear to appear on the Dan Patrick Show and the Colin Cowherd Show at the same time.

And Tim presents the Atlanta Braves’ Shake Cam and how it can make fans a bit too excited.

Sports Media Watch says the U-20 World Cup is scoring for Galavision.

Matt Yoder at Awful Announcing has a look at some interesting sports media typos.

Matt shows us how the Baseball Tonight crew had trouble demonstrating its new touchscreen.

Joe Favorito looks at what’s new with professional lacrosse.

Patrick Stafford of Smart Company in Australia speaks with the owner of Footytips.com about how he sold his site to ESPN.

East and Mid-Atlantic

Chad Finn of the Boston Globe says the limited classic programming on NBA TV during the current league lockout can only take the channel so far.

Sox & Dawgs has the video of NESN’s Don Orsillo and Jerry Remy wearing chicken hats in the booth.

Richard Sandomir of the New York Times writes on how regional sports networks have increasing power and money to be a game changer for some professional teams.

Richard looks at the UFC on Fox deal that puts Mixed Martial Arts into the mainstream.

Dan Levin from the Times has a good story on how some athletes in Communist China are trying to buck their archaic system.

Mark DeCambre of the New York Post notes that the new Meadowlands Stadium now will have a sponsor when the new NFL season begins.

Justin Terranova in the Post looks at how Fordham University was a training ground for several NYC announcers.

Justin has five questions for SNY Jets analyst Anthony Becht.

Pete Dougherty of the Albany Times Union writes about Fox signing UFC for seven years.

Pete says local sports anchor Andrew Catalon’s call of tonight’s Browns-Lions game will be seen on NFL Network this weekend.

Ken Schott from the Schenectady Gazette says a local radio station will air a full high school football schedule.

Ken says the NBC Sports Group is increasing its commitment to horse racing this fall.

And Ken writes that a new local sports radio talk show will be debuting soon.

To Ken McMillan of the Middletown (NY) Times Herald-Record who says the New York Rangers will be featured extensively on the national NHL TV schedules.

Crossing Broad has the audio of Philadelphia’s sports radio station WIP announcement that it’s taking over WYSP’s FM frequency killing off a heritage rock station.

Dan Gross of the Philadelphia Daily News says ‘YSP staffers were melancholy about CBS Radio’s announcement killing off the station.

Jeff Wolfe of the Delaware County Times writes about WIP’s displacement of WYSP just as the rocker’s ratings were increasing.

Mike White in the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette says two local high school games hit the ESPN family of networks this fall.

Shelly Anderson of the Post-Gazette says the Penguins TV announcing crew will return for another season.

In the Baltimore Sun, David Zurawik explains where Ravens fans can find the team on TV and radio.

Dave Hughes of DCRTV.com writes in Press Box that the Ravens did extremely well in the ratings in both Baltimore and Washington, DC in their NFL preseason opener.

Jim Williams from the Washington Examiner talks with DC NFL Team radio voice Larry Michael.

And Jim writes that the Washington Capitals will have plenty of appearances on NBC/Versus (NBC Sports Network).

Mike Madden in the Washington City Paper says the local sports anchor is becoming a thing of the past.

Keith Loria of the Fairfax (VA) Times says native Lindsay Czarniak is about to make her debut on ESPN.

South

The Charleston (WV) Gazette notes that Root Sports Pittsburgh will carry some West Virginia and Marshall programming.

The South Florida Sun-Sentinel reports that Bob Griese will be joining the Miami Dolphins radio broadcast team replacing the late Jim Mandich.

Andy Kent of the Miami Dolphins website has Griese’s thoughts about joining the broadcast team and also sharing thoughts about Mandich.

Tom Jones of the St. Petersburg Times has some thoughts on the UFC/Fox deal, the Little League World Series on TV and CBS’ production of the PGA Championship.

Mike Bianchi of the Orlando Sentinel says Yahoo! Sports does a better job of investigating college sports than the NCAA.

David Barron of the Houston Chronicle notes that Saturday’s US National Gymnastics championships get a network primetime slot.

Mike Finger and Brent Zwerneman of the San Antonio Express-News says the Longhorn Network hasn’t given up on airing high school football games in one form or another.

The Daily Oklahoman’s Mel Bracht looks at UFC getting a big payday from Fox.

Midwest

John Kiesewetter in the Cincinnati Enquirer talks with NBC’s Cris Collinsworth who’s going into his third season as Sunday Night Football analyst.

George M. Thomas of the Akron Beacon Journal now knows why DirecTV was so willing to give him a free subscription to NFL Sunday Ticket after learning that the service will be offered to Sony Playstation 3 owners.

The Grand Rapids (MI) Press’ Michael Zuidema notes that a Big Ten Network analyst feels Nebraska is a perfect fit for the conference.

Bob Wolfley at the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel is amazed at ESPN’s ever-expanding army of NFL analysts and mountain of NFL programming.

Ed Sherman from Crain’s Chicago Business has his winners and losers in sports business and media.

Scott Dochterman in the Iowa City Gazette says NFL Network has picked up Mediacom for cable subscribers in the Hawkeye State.

West

Scott D. Pierce of the Salt Lake Tribune says it’s not known which network will air the October 15th contest between BYU and Oregon State.

Dick Harmon of the Deseret (UT) News speaks with BYUtv’s Executive Director in a lengthy interview. Part I of which is here. Read Part II here.

Larry Bohannan at the Desert (CA) Sun says there’s evidence of not much live golf shown in a PGA Tour telecast.

John Maffei of the North County Times weighs the pros and cons of airing the Little League World Series.

In the Ventura County Star, Jim Carlisle looks at the contrasting opinions that John and Patrick McEnroe had on the state of American tennis on HBO’s Real Sports this week.

Jim explores the UFC on Fox deal.

Lance Pugmire of the Los Angeles Times says Fox paid a pretty penny to get UFC into the fold.

Meg James of the Times also writes about the UFC on Fox deal.

Tom Hoffarth of the Los Angeles Daily News says when it came down to it, Fox didn’t have much of a choice but to sign UFC.

Tom says one sidebar to the UFC on Fox deal is the fact that Fox Sports Radio will also air MMA events.

Tom writes that former Dodgers radio voice Ross Porter has found his latest gig, calling high school sports online.

Canada

The Toronto Globe and Mail’s Bruce Dowbiggin feels TSN Radio isn’t getting the job done.

The Winnipeg Free Press notes that the Jets will get 22 games aired on CBC’s Hockey Night in Canada.

And the number of links today are hearken back to the first two years of this blog. Lots of links. That’s it.

Bringing You Some Friday Megalinks

Ok, seeing some good stories on this Friday and it appears that I’m staying in the office today so I can give you a full set and not have to leave for another site. Let’s git ‘er done!

We start as always with the Weekend Viewing Picks which are getting busier with each passing weekend as we get closer to football. And in September, you’ll have College Football Viewing Picks and the NFL Viewing Picks to go along with the weekend picks so you can expect to see those every Friday from September through the end of both football seasons.

Let’s do the linkage.

National

Michael Hiestand and Mike McCarthy of USA Today debate whether networks really need to use ex-jocks to be analysts.

R. Thomas Umstead of Multichannel News reports that HBO PPV will air the Manny Pacquaio-Juan Manuel Marquez fight with replays of the 24/7 documentary series airing on CNN. Interesting.

Mike Reynolds from Multichannel says Comcast is going after DirecTV for what it says is a deceptive ad campaign by the satellite provider for offering “free” NFL games.

Toni Fitzgerald of Media Life Magazine looks at how Kraft used its Macaroni & Cheese brand to help warm up football fans tailgating in cold weather cities.

Jason Fry in the Indiana University National Sports Journalism Center gives some tips on starting up a digital sports journalism program.

At NFL.com, Adam Rank gives his top six favorite features from NFL Films as founder Ed Sabol goes into the Pro Football Hall of Fame this weekend.

Glenn Davis of SportsGrid is giddy over Stephen Colbert taking over MLB’s Twitter account for all day today.

Cam Martin of SportsNewser has the latest New Era Red Sox-Yankees ad featuring notorious Yankees fan Alec Baldwin and Red Sox fan John Krasinski. This ad called “One Hitter” is the best of the series thus far.

Karen Hogan of Sports Video Group says NASCAR.com is expanding its online RaceView program from Sprint Cup only to three Nationwide Series races.

Sports Media Watch notes that the ratings for the MLS All-Star Game on ESPN2 went up slightly from last year.

Joe Favorito talks about motorsports trying to tap into the New York market.

Barry Janoff of The Big Lead notes that Pepsi is returning to advertise in the Super Bowl by using the winner of Fox’s X Factor contest into NBC’s broadcast.

Brady Green at Awful Announcing reports a story that we’ve been following closely here, that Versus may make a big commitment to college hockey.

AA also introduces its Fan Forum where you get a voice on the blog.

In Sports TV Jobs, ESPN’s Clay Matvick talks about what it takes to be a play-by-play announcer.

Kristi Dosh, the SportsBizMiss, notes how big a business college sports is in the Business of College Sports.

Law professor Roger Groves writes in Forbes that the Pac-12 deal while lucrative, may end up costing college sports in the long run.

East and Mid-Atlantic

To the Lewiston (ME) Sun Journal and Randy Whitehouse who writes that the Maine Sports Network has carved a niche for itself by broadcasting local high school sports and talk shows to a hungry audience.

Chad Finn of the Boston Globe talks about the rebranding of Versus to fit the NBC Sports Group.

At Boston Sports Media Watch, Ryan Hadfield has some local media musings.

Richard Sandomir of the New York Times writes about the ailing NFL Films team of Ed and Steve Sabol who are holding on to see Ed finally make it to the Pro Football Hall of Fame.

Newsday’s Neil Best says the Yankees-Red Sox rivalry hasn’t lost any of its luster to ESPN or Fox.

Neil says MSG Network has finalized a deal with Spero Dedes for him to call New York Knicks games on radio.

The New York Post’s Phil Mushnick is filled with hatred for the entire world today.

Marc Berman at the Post says MSG is overlooking a recent DWI arrest in hiring Dedes.

Justin Terranova in the Post has five questions for CBS/TNT golf analyst Ian Baker-Finch.

In the Albany Times Union, Pete Dougherty would like YES to stop airing a certain smoking cessation ad.

Pete says NFL Network has confirmed talks with Time Warner Cable to possibly get carriage for this season.

Pete talks with player agent J.R. Rickert about having to squash inaccurate media reports about his clients.

Ken Schott at the Schenectady Gazette says NFL Network will have up to six live preseason on its air this month.

Laura Nachman says a Philly sports reporter is teaming up on a new book on the hapless 1972 Phillies.

In Press Box, Dave Hughes notes that Comcast SportsNet Mid-Atlantic has hired a new Capitals insider for TV and online appearances.

At the Washington Examiner, Jim Williams says the rebrand from Versus to NBC Sports Network is more than just a name change.

South

David Barron at the Houston Chronicle talks Texans with NFL Network’s Michael Lombardi.

Mel Bracht of the Daily Oklahoman notes that Cox has released its local high school football schedule.

Mel says Tulsa native Bob Carpenter may be looking for a new gig after MASN did not pick up his option to call Washington Nationals games.

Midwest

Josh Weir in the Canton (OH) Repository profiles NFL Films founder Ed Sabol as he enters the Pro Football Hall of Fame this weekend.

Josh writes that Ed’s relationship with the late NFL Commissioner Pete Rozelle changed the fate of the league and NFL Films.

Josh says Ed’s hiring of the late John Facenda as the voice of NFL Films added a mystique to the NFL.

Josh says Ed’s successor at NFL Films, his son Steve, has been ailing almost as much as Ed has.

And Josh writes that before Ed was a filmmaker, he was a very good swimmer at Ohio State.

Over to the Akron Beacon Journal, Jason Lloyd goes behind the scenes with CBS Sports as it airs this weekend’s coverage of the WGC-Bridgestone Invitational.

John Kiesewetter of the Cincinnati Enquirer says a former Bengals radio pregame host is returning to his position this season.

John has a little more on the story in his blog.

John says Fox Sports Ohio picks up an additional Cincinnati Reds game later this month.

Mark Snyder of the Detroit Free Press says ESPN will make next month’s Michigan-Notre Dame game into a big primetime affair.

Michael Zuidema of the Grand Rapids (MI) Press says Versus will air a documentary on MLB’s first openly gay player next week.

Bob Wolfley at the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel writes that the Green Bay Packers’ weekend scrimmage will be picked up on TV both locally and nationally.

Paul Christian of the Rochester Post-Bulletin says eight years after its creation, NFL Network finally gets picked up by Charter Communications.

In the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, Dan Caesar writes the NFL Network-Charter agreement was a compromise on where the channel would be placed.

Dan says the St. Louis Cardinals were kicked off Fox’s national MLB schedule to give the Pittsburgh Pirates a rare spotlight.

West

John Maffei in the North County Times says the NFL’s TV partners are hopeful viewers will watch preseason football.

Tom Hoffarth of the Los Angeles Daily News says Ed Sabol is worthy of the Pro Football Hall of Fame.

Tom wonders if Ed was actually a candidate to succeed the late Pete Rozelle as NFL Commish.

Ed looks at the sports media’s connection to this year’s class of 2011 for the Pro Football Hall of Fame.

Tom says ESPN has invented a quarterback rating statistic and wants everyone to know about it.

Canada

Bruce Dowbiggin of the Toronto Globe and Mail talks about a new reality series in which a former CFL’er is trying to make Canada’s bobsledding team.

The Canadian Sports Media Blog looks at CBC and Rogers Sportsnet teaming up to air two tennis tournaments this month.

And the Canadian Sports Media Blog lists the Gemini Award nominees in the sports categories. The Geminis are Canada’s version of the Emmys.

That will conclude the links today.

The Complete Friday Megalinks

Friday’s have become maddening. I was out of the office earlier today and expect to be out again later, but I’m doing the Megalinks early so I can be done with them and be free for other stuff tonight.

As always, check out the Weekend Viewing Picks for the sports and entertaining programming.

National

We’ll begin with Andy Staples from Sports Illustrated who writes that the Longhorn Network has suddenly created a big problem for Big 12 Conference schools not named “Texas.”

Gavin J. Blair of the Hollywood Reporter says one of Japan’s networks will begin airing women’s soccer in the wake of the country’s win in the Women’s World Cup last week.

Mike Reynolds from Multichannel News says MSG Network will celebrate Baseball Hall of Fame Weekend with a marathon of Halls of Fame specials.

Jessica Shambora of Fortune says ESPN succeeds where other cable channels don’t.

Glenn Davis of SportsGrid notes that NFL Players Association Executive DeMaurice Smith snuck up on ESPN reporters George Smith and Chris Mortensen during a live shot on Thursday.

Cam Martin at SportsNewser has former Howard Stern Show castmember Artie Lange confirming that he’s in talks to do a Fox Sports Radio show.

Karen Hogan of the Sports Video Group mentions that ESPN Films will premiere a new documentary on famed Georgia running back Herschel Walker in September.

CNBC’s Darren Rovell tells us that he’s going to sing the national anthem before a selected MLB game next month.

Sports Media Watch has some various ratings news and notes.

Steve Lepore of Puck The Media waxes poetic about Mike Emrick’s departure as Voice of the New Jersey Devils.

Matt Yoder of Awful Announcing has the site’s next matchup in its Joe Morgan Memorial Tournament, Joe Buck vs. Jim Gray. That’s a tough choice.

Ryan Yoder from AA says ESPN is taking a chance on airing live poker.

Joe Favorito asks who really benefits from the World Cup?

Dave Kohl at Major League Programs has a review of the week in sports media.

Dom Cosentino of Deadspin notes that San Francisco Giants announcer Jon Miller is still bitter about his firing by ESPN.

East and Mid-Atlantic

Chad Finn of the Boston Globe talks with Sunday Night Baseball analyst Bobby Valentine about his first year in the broadcast booth.

The New York Times’ Richard Sandomir talks with Mike Emrick about his decision to leave the New Jersey Devils.

Newsday’s Neil Best writes that the Derek Jeter 3,000 hit chase has put a famous memorabilia company into the spotlight one again.

Neil talks about New Jersey announcers departing their teams after long runs.

Phil Mushnick of the New York Post admits that he loves to hate WFAN’s Mike Francesa.

Justin Terranova of the Post writes about Hall of Fame announcer Mike Emrick leaving the New Jersey Devils after 21 seasons.

Justin has five questions for ESPN NFL Insider Adam Schefter.

Pete Dougherty of the Albany Times Union talks with an NBC Sports executive about how its summer horse racing series from Saratoga came to fruition.

Dave Hughes from DCRTV.com writes in Press Box that one Baltimore TV station is cutting back on its sports coverage.

The Washington Post’s Dan Steinberg revels in an on-air argument on one of the local sports radio stations in the DC Sports Bog.

South

At the Houston Chronicle, Brent Zwerneman writes that Texas A&M officials are very concerned about the Longhorn Network and what it means for the future of the Big 12 Conference.

The Chronicle’s David Barron has statements from Big 12 Commissioner Don Beebe and Longhorn Network owner ESPN about the conference’s temporary cease-and-desist order on airing high school football games and a Texas conference game.

David says the Longhorn Network saga could make for good reality TV.

David says while Longhorn Network is prevented from airing high school football for now, Fox Sports Southwest will have an NFL Red Zone Channel-like high school football block on Friday nights.

Suzanne Halliburton of the Austin Statesman-American says Longhorn Network programming is currently in limbo.

From the Daily Oklahoman, Mel Bracht writes that ESPN will document the Oklahoma football program as it prepares for the 2011 campaign.

Midwest

John Erardi of the Cincinnati Enquirer notes that ESPN’s Barry Larkin is coming back to the Queen’s City this Sunday.

Michael Zuidema of the Grand Rapids (MI) Press writes that a local TV sports director is back on the job after corrective neck surgery.

Ed Sherman at Crain’s Chicago Business has this week’s winners and losers.

Roman Augustoviz says WNBA star Maya Moore will give viewers an inside look at the WNBA All-Star Game tomorrow.

West

John Maffei at the North County Times says there’s too much money being left on the table for an extended NFL lockout.

Bill Shakin of the Los Angeles Times writes that court documents show MLB was very skeptical of how Fox’s money for an extended rights deal could have helped the Dodgers remain competitive.

Tom Hoffarth of the Los Angeles Daily News says Minnesota Twins analyst Bert Blyeven credits Dodgers voice Vin Scully for helping him to become a Hall of Fame pitcher.

Jeff Faraudo of the San Jose Mercury Times reports that ESPN Deportes now has an affiliate in the Bay Area.

Jon Wilner of the Mercury Times tries to handicap what will happen next with the Pac-12 Network.

Canada

Bruce Dowbiggin at the Toronto Globe and Mail looks at Bryant Gumbel’s closing comments on the US Women’s soccer team on HBO’s Real Sports.

And that’s going to do it. Stay cool on this scorcher of a day.

Friday Megalinks Are Here

Time for some megalink action. This is turning out to be a busy day, but let me try to give you as many as I can. This being Memorial Day weekend, there’s plenty of sports action. Primetime viewing is kind of slim, but you can check out my Weekend Viewing Picks for the action.

Let’s get to the links. I’ll do as many as I can. I do have to leave early.

National

From yesterday’s Sports Business Daily, John Ourand speaks with outgoing NBC Sports President Ken Schanzer who is retiring at the end of the summer.

Mike Reynolds from Multichannel News and Broadcasting & Cable also writes about Ken Schanzer’s retirement from NBC Sports.

Multichannel notes that Time Warner Cable will have a presence to promote the Speed 2 channel at the Coca-Cola 600 NASCAR race in Charlotte this weekend.

USA Today’s Mike McCarthy and Michael Hiestand debate whether LeBron James as a villain is good for the NBA.

Mike McCarthy writes that former Chicago Bull Scottie Pippen caused an uproar on ESPN Radio this morning by saying LeBron James could be better than Michael Jordan.

Eric Deggans of the St. Petersburg Times writing for the Indiana University National Sports Journalism Center delves into the ESPN book.

Fox Sports notes that this week, Ken Rosenthal’s bowtie will honor our troops during this Memorial Day Weekend.

The Big Lead interviews New York Times NFL beat writer Judy Battista and talks about how she covers the lockout.

Dan Fogarty at SportsGrid notes that Nike tried to put the screws on TNT’s Charles Barkley to be nicer to LeBron James.

SportsbyBrooks says ESPN management told its hosts what to ask James Andrew Miller about the book he co-authored on the Alleged Worldwide Leader.

Matt Yoder of Awful Announcing has a review of “Those Guys Have All The Fun: Inside the World of ESPN”.

Alyson Shontell of the Business Insider Sports Page says former Versus host Jenn Sterger is now working for an internet TV startup company.

Sports Media Watch says the NHL on Versus saw a ratings high for Boston-Tampa Bay on Wednesday.

SMW notes that the NBA Finals gets its earliest start in 25 years.

And SMW says the NHL Stanley Cup Final avoided conflicting with the NBA Finals.

Dave Kohl at Major League Programs has some complaints on broadcasters not providing the starting lineups when they’re supposed to.

Len Berman has his Top 5 stories of the day.

East and Mid-Atlantic

Mark Blaudshun of the Boston Globe reports that the Big East Conference has rejected ESPN’s “Best offer” to continue their 32 year relationship.

Chad Finn of the Globe says Bruins fans are finally getting the media coverage they’ve been yearning for.

Bill Doyle of the Worcester Telegram & Gazette notes that the local minor league baseball team gets a new media distribution to fans and it’s not what you might think.

Fred Contrada at the Springfield (MA) Republican reports that ESPN.com writer Howard Bryant has been sentenced to probation stemming from a domestic assault case back in February.

Phil Mushnick from the New York Post wants to know what Mets owner Fred Wilpon knew about Ponzi scheme scumbag Bernie Madoff and when did he know it.

The Post has five questions for Fox Soccer Channel analyst Eric Wynalda about Saturday’s UEFA Champions League Final.

Pete Dougherty of the Albany Times Union says soccer continues to try to gain a foothold in the American psyche.

DCRTV’s Dave Hughes has his latest Baltimore-DC media roundup in Press Box.

In the Washington Post’s DC Sports Bog, Dan Steinberg finds an interesting Tony Kornheiser-John Feinstein tidbit from the ESPN tome.

Dan also recaps a couple of interviews DC NFL team owner Daniel Snyder conducted on Thursday.

Jim Williams of the Washington Examiner talks about the retirement of NBC Sports President Ken Schanzer a week after his boss, Dick Ebersol resigned.

Jim speaks with Fox Sports’ Curt Menefee about hosting the UEFA Champions League Final on Saturday.

South

The Miami Herald’s Barry Jackson goes over some of the more interesting tidbits from the ESPN book.

Greg Augman of the St. Petersburg Times writes about ESPN’s Desmond Howard blasting black college athletes for a sense of entitlement.

Mike Bianchi of the Orlando Sentinel laments the probable end of the long-term relationship between Florida State University and Sun Sports.

Jeff Wilson of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram says Texas Rangers TV voice John Rhadigan was replaced Thursday and will return to hosting the pregame show on Fox Sports Southwest.

David Barron from the Houston Chronicle has his take on the ESPN book that has had the sports media talking.

In the Daily Oklahoman, Mel Bracht talks with ousted Rangers voice John Rhadigan.

Mel notes the local ratings for the series-clinching Game 5 of the NBA Western Conference Finals.

Mel despite losing the series, the Thunder’s Russell Westbrook impressed ESPN’s Jeff Van Gundy.

Midwest

Cincinnati Enquirer media writer John Kiesewetter says local sports talk show host Andy Furman is on the fast track for a possible new national gig.

John has a few more things on Furman in his blog.

The Waiting For Next Year blog loves Cleveland Browns voice Jim Donovan as do I.

Michael Zuidema at the Grand Rapids (MI) Press says ESPN/ABC is hoping some extra pomp and circumstance at the Centennial Indy 500 will draw viewers this year.

Bob Wolfley at the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel writes that the Indianapolis 500 just ain’t what it used to be.

Ed Sherman in Crain’s Chicago Business has his usual winners and losers today.

Ed explains what Tiger Woods’ agent split from powerful IMG means for Tiger.

Dan Caesar from the St. Louis Post-Dispatch writes that ESPN/ABC is hopeful that the Indy 500 can finally beat NASCAR outright for the first time in over five years.

West

Jim Carlisle in the Ventura County Star talks with ESPN/ABC IndyCar analyst Scott Goodyear about Danica Patrick’s impact on this year’s Indy 500.

Jim reflects on Dick Ebersol’s tenure as Chairman of NBC Sports.

Tom Hoffarth of the Los Angeles Daily News says Jim Rome’s hiring in inaugural days of ESPN2 almost caused one network exec to quit.

Tom explains how ESPN/ABC will attempt to keep the Indianapolis 500 relevant with viewers.

Canada

Bruce Dowbiggin of the Toronto Globe and Mail looks at how Gary Bettman decided to buck ESPN.

That’s going to do it. Finished it all in one shot! Have a good weekend.