Sports Industry Top Ten of the Week for Aug 23rd

sports industry rachel nichols turner sports

CNN is starting to value sports again, debuting a new weekly sports show hosted by Rachel Nichols in the coming weeks

At the tail end of my 7-year stint at CNN sports, right around 2003, CNN decided sports were no longer in line with what their core audience wanted. I can’t tell you why the higher ups chose this road, they didn’t involve me in the discussions, but I’d say it’s a safe assumption that someone important viewed sports as barbaric and politics as poetic.

Obviously I’m minimizing their process, and burdening it with my own personal views, but can you blame me? I was there when we were told Sports would no longer have a role on CNN. Iconic broadcasters like Fred Hickman, Nick Charles, Bob Lorenz and Vince Cellini all being told they no longer had roles on the network they all helped raise on their broad shoulders.

In the last year or so CNN has made a return to sports, apparently some new leadership, or more intelligent focus groups, decided sports is not just news, it’s also deep within the appetite of a majority of American viewers. The move was made to acquire Bleacher Report, hire Rachel Nichols away from ESPN and now, launch a weekly sports show hosted by Nichols (link below).

Baby steps. But for this former CNN’er it’s about damn time.

The list, as always, is in no particular order and if you have, or know of, a blog focused on the entertainment industry I should investigate for inclusion in our roundup, please share it in the comments!

CNN Slates Weekly Sports Show “Rachel Nichols: Unguarded” for Friday Nights: As I mentioned above, good move for CNN, hopefully they’ll begin to take seriously once again the impact sports has in our culture.

Is Google Ready to buy its way into TV with an NFL Deal: Pure genius. The deal for DirecTV’s NFL Sunday Ticket package, which they pay $1 billion/year to the NFL for, is up after the 2014 season and the word on the street is Google might be ready to pouce.

NBC Sports Group Nets Record Audience for Premier League: Has soccer finally found its fan base in America? The weekend’s Premier League coverage on NBC Sports Network netted 43% higher ratings than last years opening weekend broadcast on ESPN2/Fox Sports.

Biomimicry & NASA cooling technology and the Future of Sports Rehabilitation: Don’t be intimidated by the headline, it is an easy read and I’ll tell you what, if you start talking about this stuff at the water cooler tomorrow you will impress your peers. Well, at least your dorky peers.   In all seriousness, this is some really cool stuff that could dramatically change rehabilitation and recovery

How to Turn Your Dead End Job into a Sports Career: A fan posted this on our Facebook page this week “I’m 30, I hate my job – I don’t know what to do, but I love sports”. Inspired, I wrote up the 2300 word guide for turning your dead end job into something better. I hope you feel inspired after reading it.

Lessons in Passion, Vigilance Lead the Syllabus as Sports Journalists Return to Campus: St. Joseph University Sports Journalism Professor Michael Bradley sets the stage of expectation for those who want to pursue careers in the sports media.  A must read, for media enthusiasts.

Time Warner Cable Offers Free Tennis Channel Preview for US Open: When two huge money making powerhouses like CBS and Time Warner Cable square off in a carriage dispute, you know who always loses? Viewers. CBS is strong-arming TWC blacking out stations in various large markets in hopes of getting more money. By blacking out the stations, they hope TWC will get complaints from viewers unable to see US Open Tennis.

So what has TWC done? Put the Tennis Channel in its place for free, which will air many of the early-round matches. The battle wages on, but I have to say fans will be really up in arms if this isn’t resolved before Football season.

High School Sports: Conquering the Final Frontier of Sports Broadcasting: PlayOn Sports and the National Foundation of State High School Associations (NFHS) have launched an all-digital network which will cover High School sports…but not just Football and Basketball, we’re talking lacrosse, soccer, volleyball and more. With this new launch there will also be new jobs and new opportunities.

I think this sums it up well.

“We are willing to work with and train what would be considered a younger, less experienced work force who really embraces the new production technology,” says Sandy Malcolm, PlayOn! Sports Chief Content Officer. “We spend a lot of time on training in order to ensure that the quality is there.”

Interning at Around the Horn: I interviewed a student once who interned at PTI, and it was a really fun interview. I’ll give credit to Julia Maldonado, writing for the Povich Center about her internship on Around the Horn. Good stuff Julia.

Fox Sports 1 Debut Hints at Greater Things to Come: I couldn’t agree more with the opening line of Eric Deggans review of Fox Sports 1, he says “Here’s a secret about new TV programs any experienced critic knows: Often, when evaluating the first episode, you can’t judge the content, you gotta judge the framework.” The rest of the write-up is worth reading.

That’s it for this week – if you think there is a blog out there dedicated to the sports industry that we should include in our weekly link roundup, bring it to our attention in the comments section below!

We love being exposed to new, valuable, sites.

About Brian Clapp

Brian Clapp has worked in the sports media for over 14 years as a writer, editor, producer & news director. After beginning his career in Atlanta at CNN/Sports Illustrated, he switched coasts to Seattle to work at Fox Sports Northwest. In 2010, Brian began pursuing a new found passion on the digital media side, launching a successful website and then taking on the role of Director of Content for &

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  1. Perhaps CNN is finally admitting that they’re actually not a news organization, they’re entertainment along the lines of every other media organization. I hope they don’t ruin the likes of Bleacher Report, but they probably will… and while I’m ranting I might as well say CNN’s own website sucks so bad they deserve a Darwin Award.

    • Good to see you again Hank – as a former CNNer it pains me to agree with you, but you can’t deny the truth. Maybe I had rose colored glasses on while I was there…but then again I worked in sports, so it’s not like foreign or domestic governments were paying us not to cover Brett Favre. That’s why working in sports is so much better than news; rarely bodybags, less politics (notice I didn’t say “no” politics) and at the end of the day we weren’t changing the world we were trying to entertain and inform. Much less pressure. I watch The Newsroom and my blood pressure goes up, I watch Sportscenter and feel relaxed… well except when they talk Tebow – then I want to throw something. – Brian