Watchdog

Neil Best leaves no stone unturned in the world of sports media.

Erin Andrews goes pro

Sports reporter Erin Andrews attends The 2014 ESPYS

(Credit: Getty)

Erin Andrews has a knack for finding her name in the news, even when she merely is an innocent bystander.

Her 2014 began with an infamous sideline interview of the Seahawks’ Richard Sherman.

Then just within the past week or so came news she would replace Pam Oliver as Fox’s top NFL sideline reporter, she interviewed Adam Wainwright after his controversial comments about grooving an...

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Fox's Time Warner bid takes aim at ESPN

FILE - In this Aug. 14, 2012 file

(Credit: AP)

The bombshell this week that Fox offered $80 billion to buy Time Warner – an offer Time Warner promptly rejected – has implications throughout the media industry.

But regardless of the other elements of the proposal, one of the biggest motivations for Fox surely is adding to its sports portfolio, and finding a short-cut to an elusive ambition: providing serious competition for ESPN.

With...

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TV networks still like Yankees

American League All-Star Derek Jeter of the Yankees

(Credit: Getty Images / Rob Carr)

The Yankees have been ratings catnip for national TV networks for decades and this season is no exception – with Derek Jeter’s farewell tour as a bonus.

How will that play out over the weeks and months to come?

ESPN has used three of its maximum six Sunday night slots on the Yankees, with Aug. 3 against the Red Sox on the schedule and two yet-to-be-announced games likely to follow by...

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Fox hires David Diehl as a game analyst

DAVID DIEHL Tackle

(Credit: AP)

It is not unusual for star NFL players to transition quickly to the television booth upon retirement.

It is unusual for an offensive lineman with little national recognition to do so.

But Fox was sufficiently impressed with the potential of David Diehl to hand him a gig on its roster of game analysts in his first season after retiring following an 11-year, two-Super Bowl-ring career...

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If ESPN is Secretariat, does that make Fox Sham?

Belmont Race Track, The Belmont Stakes, Jockey Ron

(Credit: Newsday/Dombroski)

I made my first schlep to Bristol in five years Thursday to tour ESPN’s state-of-the-art, never-to-be-obsolete Digital Center 2 complex that opens in June of 2014 – not to be confused with ESPN’s state-of-the-art, never-to-be-obsolete Digital Center 1 that opened in June of 2004.

The new-look “SportsCenter’’ studio will coincide with a revised approach to the show that focuses more on hosts,...

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Spencer Ross to call Big East Baseball Championships

Spencer Ross, whom most of you recall for his long sportscasting career and fewer of you recall as a basketball star at New Utrecht High School, returns to his native borough this weekend to call the Big East Baseball Championships at the Cyclones' MCU Park.

Ross will call five games in three days (weather permitting) Thursday through Saturday on BigEast.com.

Fox Sports 1 will carry...

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'Frustration' for Francesa facing Fox fix

Mike Francesa is shown in his home in

(Credit: Newsday / Chris Ware)

Here is a column I wrote for the Tuesday paper regarding the ongoing problems with Mike Francesa's two-month old Fox simulcast.

Francesa admitted to a "high level of frustration," reflecting similar sentiments from his fans, who have watched the show bounce around from Fox Sports 1 to Fox Sports 2 to nowhere thanks to assorted preemptions.

Several readers of mine have correctly pointed...

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Mike Francesa not a fan of Fox soccer preemptions

Mike Francesa talks about what a typical day

Mike Francesa's WFAN simulcast returned to Fox Sports 1 Friday after several days of preemptions, two of which were because of the network's commitment to live Champions League soccer coverage.

Here is how Big Mike opened the show Friday:

"They've missed a lot of activity the last couple of days off putting everybody to sleep with that soccer. But you know, that's their business. They...

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RIP, Sandy Grossman

Condolences to the family and friends of Sandy Grossman, one of the most accomplished directors in sports TV history, who died of cancer this week at age 78.

Grossman directed numerous major events, including NBA Finals and Stanley Cup Finals, but he was best known as the director for the storied NFL team at CBS and Fox that featured Pat Summerall and John Madden.

Here is a statement...

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Michael Kay averaging 19,000 viewers on YES

Yankees play-by-play man Michael Kay calls Hartsdale home.

(Credit: Getty Images)

Michael Kay's YES Network simulcast of his ESPN New York Radio show, which began two months ago Thursday, has averaged 19,000 viewers, YES said, citing Nielsen data for the New York area.

That is higher than the 14,000 viewers Mike Francesa's WFAN simulcast averaged during the same time frame in 2013, with Francesa's show coming at significantly more cost to YES.

Kay's viewership presumably...

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