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

World Cup scores for ESPN

Russia's President Vladimir Putin, left, FIFA President Sepp

(Credit: AP)

ESPN executives promised before the World Cup the network’s enthusiasm would not be diminished by the fact Fox will take over for 2018 and ’22. They delivered.

The Worldwide Leader did an excellent job with the worldwide spectacle, and blessed with a favorable time zone, exciting games and an intriguing American team, the ratings were strong – both on ESPN and Univision, the Spanish-language...

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Drake denies fickle finger of fandom

FILE - In a Wednesday, April 9, 2014

(Credit: AP)

The rapper Drake, who will host the ESPYS Wednesday night, has a reputation for, um, fluid fan affiliation – one to which he took exception Friday on a conference call with reporters.

Asked whether Cleveland might be his new favorite sports city, he said, “First of all, I'd like to say that despite what everyone on the Internet thinks, I do not team-jump. In the past, I've always supported...

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ESPN is lost in golf translation

Tiger Woods of the US plays a shot

(Credit: AP)

Stop the first 1,000 American golf fans you see on the street and ask what they call the tournament in Great Britain this week and I’d bet 999 of them would say it’s the British Open.

The other one probably works in Bristol, Conn., where it is always and only “The Open Championship.’’

Yes, I realize that is the official name, and the one commonly used in the U.K. But it is annoying that...

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Nike to unveil new Derek Jeter ad Tuesday

Derek Jeter in the Nike ad RE2PECT, released

(Credit: YouTube / Jordan)

People who find Yankees worship in general and Derek Jeter worship in particular difficult to take face a challenging few months as the Captain’s retirement tour winds down.

My advice: Grin and bear it, because there is no avoiding it, and for the most part the guy has earned it.

So rather than turn off the TV when Nike's Jordan Brand unveils its new, 90-second Jeter ad before his first...

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LeBron, Melo decisions were good for business

Fans whoop it up behind an ESPN reporter

(Credit: AP / Mark Duncan)

LeBron James and Carmelo Anthony both cited hometown pride in making their long-awaited free agency decisions, and there is no reason not to believe that was a motivation.

But business is business, and James and Anthony took care of that part, too, not only in their own best interests but also for the bottom line of the NBA and its media partners.

Anthony took slightly less than the...

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Erin Andrews to replace Pam Oliver on Fox's No. 1 NFL team

Erin Andrews at the Shape Magazine and Men's

(Credit: AP / Starpix)

Erin Andrews will replace Pam Oliver as Fox’s first-team sideline reporter this season, reported Monday.

Oliver’s status had been uncertain because her contract was up, but the news came as a surprise to most in the TV business, as well as to Oliver, 53, who is highly regarded for her work in an often thankless job.

She told SI that she asked for and was given one more season...

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YES says no to TWIF

The glut of NFL-related debate on TV – led by ESPN and NFL Network – makes it difficult for local channels to compete for eyeballs, even ones with team-specific coverage such as SNY’s well-regarded Jets postgame show.

That surely was true for YES’ “This Week in Football,’’ which has been around since the network’s inception in 2002 but has struggled to generate ratings sufficient to justify...

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Open season on Tiger Woods

Tiger Woods removes his cap after finishing the

(Credit: AP)

In case you were wondering, yes, ESPN has taken note of the fact Eldrick Woods of Jupiter Island, Fla., has entered the British Open.

The network’s ESPN3 online service will offer a live feed of Tiger’s entire round each day of the tournament. The question is whether he will be playing for two days or four.

ESPN hopes it’s the latter, but on a media conference call its analysts – notably...

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Lionel Hollins makes media impression

Lionel Hollins has been introduced as the new

Winning is 99 percent of the job in coaching, but in New York the part of that 1 percent that involves dealing with the news media tends to be a lot bigger deal than in smaller, saner markets that lack tabloid back pages.

Lionel Hollins got off to a fine start on that front upon being introduced Monday as the Nets’ coach, replacing the maddeningly uncommunicative Jason Kidd.

How does...

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Stuart Scott broke ESPN mold

ESPN's new "SportsCenter" set in Bristol, Conn., on

(Credit: Newsday/Neil Best)

Stuart Scott shook up the “SportsCenter’’ anchoring model when he arrived at ESPN in 1993 - initially at brand new ESPN2 - taking risks that not everyone embraced but that have paid off in a long, high-profile career.

But he said the idea never was to be different for the sake of being different.

“I followed what had already been established here, and that is be yourself,’’ he said recently...

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