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ESPN inaction on Stephen A. Smith shows network’s inconsistency on suspensions

When Stephen A. Smith went off the rails on First Take last Friday, saying that women have a responsibility to not provoke men into attacking them, he was deservingly and roundly criticized (even by ESPN colleagues), and it seemed likely punishment from the network would follow. After all, the Worldwide Leader has a long history of suspending, […]

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We’re no closer to having any answers about Jason Whitlock’s “Black Grantland” site

Personality-driven sites such as Grantland, The MMQB, FiveThirtyEight and so on have added a lot to the sports conversation, but one of the most-discussed ones isn’t even in existence yet. That would be controversial sportswriter Jason Whitlock’s own ESPN site, which doesn’t even have a name yet, but was dubbed “Black Grantland” by Whitlock himself […]

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The CFL’s ESPN deal could be an exposure boost for the league

The Canadian Football League signed an exclusive U.S. broadcast deal with ESPN last week, and it’s one that has impacts for both sides. For the CFL, this new five-year deal looks like a step up in terms of stability, exposure and consistency over previous one-year deals with NFL Network, NBC Sports Network and a NBCSN/ESPN split, and it […]

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ESPN’s defense of First Take badly misses the bigger picture

First Take is one of ESPN’s most polarizing shows, something that draws strong ratings but features such over-the-top commentary that it’s been painted as the key factor in the rise of the Worldwide Leader’s “Embrace Debate” strategy and the reason why other shows (and even other networks) keep morphing into First Take-style arguments. Critics have […]

Jeremy Roenick exits NBCSN set in response to Keith Jones translating French

NBC hockey analyst Jeremy Roenick’s always been one of the more unusual players-turned-commentators, from writing “Modern stars worry too much about being diplomatic. F— diplomacy” to his famed feud with Patrick Roy to knocking Matthew Perry into the boards in an extended Go On cameo. Thus, if there’s anyone who’s going to walk off a […]

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The Evolution of Bill Simmons from Sports Guy to Sports Mogul

Rob Tannenbaum’s big Rolling Stone profile of Bill Simmons (and the extra quotes Deadspin published later) is an interesting read on a lot of levels. It has plenty of insight into how Simmons got to where he is today, and it also illustrates Simmons’ personality and approach. Perhaps the most notable element of the profile, […]

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Raptors back off on ESPN blame, admit shot clock failure was arena issue

So, that anonymous Toronto Raptors official who blamed ESPN for the shot clock failure in Saturday’s NBA playoff game against the Nets? It appears he spoke too soon. According to the Toronto Star, the team is now saying it was an arena issue (which is closer to their original explanation of a signal path error), […]

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Raptors official blames ESPN for shot clock power outage

Much of the focus in Saturday’s Raptors-Nets playoff opener was on the malfunctioning shot clock in Toronto, which led to the clock eventually being replaced by a guy with a stopwatch and the P.A. announcer counting down the seconds. That (and general manager Masai Ujuri’s pre-game F-bomb) led to plenty of mockery of the Raptors, […]

“The Outfield” brings focus on LGBT sports issues to Sirius

By and large, national sports talk radio can be pretty homogeneous, focusing on the same stories, the same games and the same talking points. “The Outfield,” a new show debuting on Sirius XM this weekend, certainly can’t be accused of that, as it will focus on LGBT issues across sports. That’s a bold step in […]

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CBC cuts 657 jobs and gives up bidding for pro sports rights

The sports world is sometimes viewed as a universe (or toybox) of its own, but the implications it can have on the rest of a media outlet’s operations are substantial. A case in point comes from Canada this week, with the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation announcing it plans to cut 657 jobs over the next two years […]

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Canadian basketball league boots columnist Morris Dalla Costa before Game 7

Some leagues apparently haven’t learned that attempting to clamp down on journalistic coverage is the best way to generate a ton of negative publicity. We’ve seen that before with access-restricting moves from college football coaches like Steve Spurrier and Brady Hoke backfiring, and now, the trend has apparently come to Canada (late, as Scherbatsky’s Law […]

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Personality driven sites bring Pandora approach to sports journalism

This week saw the long-awaited launch of Nate Silver’s FiveThirtyEight as a part of ESPN, adding to that company’s investment in personality-branded sites. They already have Grantland, led by and based around Bill Simmons, and they’re reportedly working on another site led by and based around relatively-recent hire Jason Whitlock. Bristol isn’t the only company following […]

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