With all those great performances by Michael Phelps & Co., the Olympics sure have been exciting here stateside. And, thanks to a report out today by the ATLANTA JOURNAL-CONSTITUTION, you’ll be pleased to find out that Chinese citizens are getting a very, very similar buzz off The Games!
Jennifer Brett of the AJC notes that Coca-Cola executives at the Beijing Games “have been mobbed like rock stars at Coke’s pavilion on the Olympic Green.“ And after a recent promotional event at the “Olympic Green” sponsor pavilion, Beijing residents “surged forward for photos and autographs” with Coca-Cola China’s Beijing Olympic Project Group GM David Brooks.
Boy, it’s great to finally gain some keen insight into what has the Chinese so genuinely excited about their Olympiad. (And of course, that reportage by Ms. Brett has absolutely nothing to do with the fact that Coca-Cola is based in Atlanta.)
Big news in sports radio today, as Sirius XM announced that Chris “Mad Dog” Russo, who recently departed WFAN-AM’s long-running “Mike and The Mad Dog” show, is heading to the Sat Radio network.
Russo and Sirius XM President Scott Greenstein appeared on CNBC today to trumpet Russo getting his own channel on the net, called “Mad Dog Radio.” (Russo will take a $3M annual salary to do a daily show, while also hiring talent for the channel.)
RBC Capital Markets’ David Bank said Russo’s $3M annual salary “sounds like a big number, but in the grand scheme of things, … this is actually not that expensive.” CNBC’s Bill Griffeth told Russo, “You sold cheap.”
Russo sold cheap? Then he’ll be right at home with Sirius XM stockholders.
While I guess having Russo on Sat Radio is good news for Sirius XM, the bad news is that at least one major U.S. automaker is already manufacturing internet-enabled cars.
(My next cross-country drive to include mustard BBQ, “Mad Dog Radio”?)
From those cars you will be able to listen to thousands of radio shows for the cost of your internet service. I’m actually already doing it in my car, with my wifi-enabled laptop plugged into the cigarette lighter. I drove cross-country two months and didn’t miss any of my favorite radio shows.
That’s the real future of four-wheeled sports *radio* receivers. (Hope Mad Dog is getting paid in advance!)
The CHICAGO TRIBUNE’s Rick Morrissey writes today that female athletes who pose for nudie mags aren’t advancing the cause of women’s sports. Instead, they’re once proving that, “women’s bodies are commodities.”
That has the Olympic Village giving whole new meaning to “commodities exchange.”
The WASHINGTON POST’s Dan Steinberg, in a recent online chat, wrote, “To me, it’s (the Olympics have) been dramatically less fun than Turin was.”
Well that’s really an unfair comparison, as Turin is best known as the Atlantic City of Italy’s rust belt.
As predicted by everyone the past decade, the BOSTON GLOBE reports today that the NFL is planning to finally back off its absurd preseason schedule, swapping a couple exhibition games for regular season affairs.
Of course, the reasoning behind the move is far from quality of play of limiting injuries. It’s all about money.
Mike Reiss of the Globe reports NFL team owners think “too much of their profits go to players.” Adding reg. season games “would be the fastest way for owners to generate more revenue.”
Pats Owner and fake championship ring aficionado Bob Kraft: “We have to grow the pie; the biggest way of quickly growing the pie is in the media area. The feeling is that we would get greater revenue for media if we had more regular-season games.”
The question is, will additional league revenues offset an increase in player salaries? Mike Vrabel of the Patriots on expanding the number of games with *live bullets*: “It’s always negotiable, but certainly they’d have to pay us more for 18 regular-season games.”
For us Kansas City NFL fans, adding a couple regular season games would likely only get us to about 16 games a year total, taking into account the couple games the Chiefs mail in every season.
James Fallows of THE ATLANTIC has an apologist piece on why all the empty seats at Olympic events (blame it on the bureaucrats):
Large amounts of empty seats are actually quite common at Chinese concerts or sporting events that claim to be “sold out.” The reason for this is that a large amount of tickets are given to the bigwigs who organize the events so they can guanxi them out [”build relationships”] as needed. Since the Olympics had so many different organizing bodies, the central government, the local Beijing government and the Chinese Olympic committee, I’m sure there were vast amounts tickets given to various officials.
The reason that these tickets are not used is that by the rules of Chinese guanxi, you don’t refuse a gift, especially not from someone connected enough to get Olympic tickets. So the tickets to the rowing finals are probably in the hands of people who have no desire to see the event, but just needed to stay in the good graces of some random Beijing bureaucrat. I suspect that the tickets have already changed hands more than once, passed along like a box of moon cakes that no one actually wants to eat.
Based on my last game at Chavez Ravine, I had no idea that so many Chinese bureaucrats were Dodgers season ticket holders, too.
The WALL STREET JOURNAL’s Sky Canaves adds from the Olympic volleyall venue: “Empty seats? Check. Despite the jam packed house of roaring fans, there was another large swatch of seating blocked off for the VIPs, including a central and mostly empty section with plush seating!”
MLB.com’s Mark Bowman reports that John Smoltz is likely to fill in on Braves broadcasts for the late Skip Caray. Turner “approached Smoltz about doing the final two broadcasts that Caray had been scheduled to work this season for Peachtree.” Bowman noted Smoltz “may be asked to serve as an analyst for postseason games aired on TBS.”
Smoltz is a bonafide broadcasting star if he wants to be.
NFL PR VP Brian McCarthy to the CHICAGO TRIBUNE on the league live streaming games: “It’s possible in 2012 we may start seeing all NFL games streamed online.”
How long before TV and internet is truly interchangeable? The TV net that figures it out first will become a media colossus overnight.
The NEW YORK POST reports Osi Umenyiora recently filed suit in Manhattan Supreme Court against Baby G Inc. CEO Jefferey Gerson. Umenyiora claims he gave $125,000 to Gerson and the company to launch his own apparel line. Then the project “never went anywhere.”
To be fair, I’m assuming all that money went into R & D. The technology that goes into starting a watersports-proof clothing line is staggering.
John Ourand of SPORTS BUSINESS DAILY reports on a conference called hosted by ESPN execs to discuss the net’s upcoming NFL coverage - but that ended up centering on NBC’s much-documented, questionable programming calls: “It did not take long for the discussion to center on the Olympics, with ESPN executives questioning NBC’s decision to tape-delay programming, from Michael Phelps’ races on the West Coast to the Opening Ceremony.”
ESPN Executive VP of Content John Skipper: “When we put a live bug on ‘SportsCenter,’ it means live right now. At ESPN, it just would not be part of our DNA to tape delay the most important sporting event of the day.”
ESPN/ABC Sports President George Bodenheimer: “I’m glad to see that NBC has adopted that approach with the Olympics because it validates the approach we’ve taken for years.”
Bodenheimer also said “ESPN is interested in bidding for the next round of Olympic games — 2014 and 2016 — which will take place before October ‘09.”
It’s great to hear ESPNers re-invigorated about obtaining a broadcast property. Competition for the seemingly overarching net is the best thing that can happen to Bristol. And will only benefit the viewers.
The editorial board of the PITTSBURGH TRIBUNE-REVIEW absolutely hammered Mario Lemieux earlier this week with a piece titled: “Lemieux’s Lie: Classless Arrogance.”
“(Penguins Owner Mario Lemieux’s) threats about moving the franchise if somebody else didn’t pony up the cash … How arrogant. And how classless to say so on the very day that ground was broken for a facility that will line the pockets of the Penguins with gold.”
“(The) suckers that most public officials are … came up with a mix of public, gambling and private dollars. (Lemieux) calls the moving threats a negotiating tactic … but … let’s call it what it was — a lie.”
I’m sure both T-R readers, the double-shifters who sweep under cigarette machines at Allegheny County bowling alleys, are appalled by Mario’s senseless brutality.
Finally, nice move by Showtime to snap up Warren Sapp for “Inside The NFL.”
If anyone can give us more moments like this, it’s Sapp.