Monday Morning Commentator: 7/11/11

It’s that time of week again. Here are my thoughts on the goings on in sports, especially sports media, of late.

  • First I think its important to remember six years ago today, when 56 people were killed in the London Public Transit Bombings in the United Kingdom. A truly sad day in recent history, and those who were killed should not be forgotten. I remember watching CTV’s Canada AM that morning and being terrified about what I saw.
  • Okay, now moving on to the weekend. Rain seemed to be the theme of the two major golf tournaments on the weekend. It forced the US Women’s Open to run during primetime on NBC last night. TSN, the Canadian rights holder, chose to air an encore of broadcast of the Tour de France instead. A really bad decision if you ask me.
  • According to a reader of the Canadian Sports Media Blog, it was mentioned during a CFL broadcast on the weekend that TSN and TSN2 will air every game from the 2011 Rugby World Cup. Great news for rugby fans. Maybe TSN will eventually get around to releasing broadcast details of their coverage of the World Cup, which starts on September 9 in New Zealand.
  • Speaking of that Tiger Cats-Eskimos game, there was a brief lightning delay in the 1st quarter. TSN went back to the studio for analysis on the earlier game and updates on the resumption of the game at hand. I think we all remember what the previous CFL rights holder did when there was a lightning delay a few years back.
  • Brian Williams has always been one of the best sportscasters in Canada. He did a piece with Matt Dunigan on concussions Friday night that almost took his work to another level. At first I was skeptical of his role at the CFL on TSN, thinking he’d be better served as the main studio host, but his weekly features have been really good for the most part. Here is the report he did this past week. If you haven’t seen it, watch it.
  • Last week I commented that I wasn’t a fan of James Sharman calling Copa America games on theScore. While I’d still prefer to hear the international commentary feed, Sharman has been better of late.
  • Who says women’s soccer isn’t exciting? Three of the four quarterfinals at the Women’s World Cup on the weekend went to extra time, two of those went to penalties. Poor Rogers Sportsnet, they had the one quarterfinal that was decided in 90 minutes. The most exciting of them all was probably Brazil-USA on Sunday afternoon. In the United States Ian Darke may forever be known for this call. Too bad Julie Foudy ruined the moment with her terrible commentary.
  • Anyone who happened to be listening to BBC Radio 5 Live’s commentary of the British Grand Prix on Sunday morning was in for a treat. Formula 1 commentary legend Murray Walker unexpectedly joined David Croft and Anthony Davidson in the booth for the call of the race. Walker hadn’t worked an F1 race in some 15 years.
  • The News of the World scandal may have reached the sports broadcasting world. For those unaware. News of the world was owned by News Corporation (Fox). News Corporation are minority owners in Sky News and Sky Sports. You may remember Andy Gray being sacked by Sky Sports following sexist comments back in December. Gray has claimed his phone was among those hacked. Sky News was one of the news agencies that broke news on him following the original comments. The implication being that there was a conspiracy to remove Gray from Sky.
  • The Major League Baseball All Star Game is tomorrow night, 8pm ET on Sportsnet and Fox. If this year is like others, Sportsnet will use the international broadcast. Also, Fox will probably skip out on the Canadian national anthem.
  • Like I mentioned last week, a week doesn’t go by without some news about the broadcasting of hockey in Canada. This week TSN announced That’s Hockey will air all summer long. Gino Reda will continue to host sometimes, along with guest hosts David Amber and Steve Kouleas.
  • The Premier League TV matches for Great Britain and Ireland were released earlier today. You can see what those mean for Canadian TV here. TSN2’s early season schedule is highlighted by Arsenal-Liverpool (Aug. 20), Everton-Liverpool (Oct. 1), Liverpool-Manchester United (Oct. 15) and Chelsea-Arsenal (Oct. 29). Setanta’s schedule is highlighted by Manchester United-Arsenal (Aug. 28), Manchester United-Chelsea (Sept. 18), Tottenham-Arsenal (Oct. 2), Manchester United-Manchester City (Oct. 23) and Chelsea-Liverpool (Nov. 20). Sportsnet One’s schedule is highlighted by Bolton-Manchester United (Sept. 10) and Chelsea-Everton (Oct. 15).

That should do it for this week. Not as good as last week’s, but there was a lot going on last weekend. Check back later this week for everything you need to know about TSN’s Open Championship coverage.

11 thoughts on “Monday Morning Commentator: 7/11/11

  1. Great idea for a column. You are filling a void since Chris Zelkovich was taken off the sports media beat to the Argos beat for the Toronto Star…

    One detail – the London bombings were on 7/7 of 2005 (which was also the day after London was named the host of the 2012 Olympics). I remember them vividly, I was living in Ireland so I followed the story at work as it broke (it was before 5am Atlantic Time). A close relation lived near one of the bombing sites so I was relieved that he was ok, and a meeting I had scheduled for 7/8 was cancelled since the guy couldn’t get out of Central London that morning to catch his flight. I spent a night in Heathrow a few weeks after that, I fell asleep on the floor and woke up at 3:00am to police officers with guns drawn at the entrance a few dozen feet from me. A bit scary.

  2. That Julie Foudy call was almost as bad as Pierre McGuire’s here: Although I like McGuire for the most part, he totally ruined that moment. At least Foudy waited a bit before she said that dumb stuff.

  3. You may not want to go into what CBC did during a CFL lightning delay, but I honestly don’t know what happened. And this sounds like it was a good story.

  4. Oh, man. That was bad.

    This was beyond “Heidi.” Thanks for the article link.

    • No, NBC had live coverage Sunday night. They couldn’t finish the final round before darkness so it had to be concluded Monday morning, which was on ESPN2 and TSN2.

      Yeah, I’ve heard about the Sportsnet magazine and it doesn’t really sound too interesting. I’ve subscribed to Sports Illustrated and The Hockey News for a while now, and over the past couple years I find I rarely read them anymore because I get all my news online. I think Sportsnet magazine will fail, but I guess we will have to wait and see.

      • In that article it had mentioned about a new network:
        But other changes are perhaps in the works, including the launch of Sportsnet World, a new specialty channel focused on international sports culture and events.

  5. Does anyone know who sang O Canada at last night’s All Star Game? Of course, Fox blew it off again. So did it air right after the U.S. anthem?

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