The worst kept secret in the sports broadcasting world came to pass, as Al Michaels jumped from ESPN to NBC. This reunites Michaels with former Monday Night Football partner John Madden on NBC's coverage on Sunday Night Football.
Since Michaels was still under contract with ABC/ESPN [in fact he just signed a new extension], NBC had to give up some stuff.
NBC gave ABC/ESPN:
-Friday telecasts of the Ryder Cup...and the right to re-air NBC's coverage of the other days.
-Extended highlights of all Olympics thru 2012 [normally, ESPN was only able to show still shots of events...but now will be able to show televised highlights].
-Monday Night promotions during NBC's Sunday night game.
-Extended highlights from Derby and Preakness horse races, and Notre Dame football.
NBC also gave back "Oswald the Rabbit" to Walt Disney [who owns ABC and ESPN] almost 80 years after the character played a role in the development of Disney's signature icon. Walt Disney produced 26 Oswald cartoons in 1927, but Universal distributed the series and owned the rights to the character, forcing Disney to develop Mickey Mouse.
ESPN will replace Michaels and Madden with Mike Tirico, Joe Theismann and Tony Kornheiser. Tirico has been with the network since 1991....and has done golf, NBA and college football work for the network Theismann is the only holdover from ESPN's Sunday night coverage. Kornheiser enters the booth for the first time...and his "Pardon the Interuption" show will be done [with Michael Wilbon] on Mondays from wherever the site of the game will be played.
Because of Michael's move, Mike Breen is promoted to ABC/ESPN's #1 NBA team with Hubie Brown.
OTHER STUFF MAKING NEWS....
*The Newark Star-Ledger is reporting that Wayne Gretzky did indeed know about Rick Toccet's gambling ring and his wife's involvement in it. I think this is God's way of telling us that hockey doesn't belong in Arizona.
*Mark Cuban on his BlogMaverick.com ribs Laker coach Phil Jackson, saying that he "owns him". Um, Mark, your Mavericks have lost, like, 45 of your last 55 games against the Lakers. And if you own Phil....then does Kobe Bryant own you??? I mean, dude only put 62 pts up in 33 minutes on your squad. In all effect, this was Cuban at his finest, realizing the great opportunity to sarcastically blast Jackson. That's why it is great to have Phil back in this league.
*The Lions finally get Mike Martz to be their offensive coordinator.
*Reds get a good hire for the GM job.....netting Twins assistant GM Wayne Krivsky. I saw the newsconference and I do like what I am hearing. I also like what I am hearing from the Reds new ownership.
*The jury gets the case in the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim name dispute.
*The Charlotte Bobcats deal Keith Bogans to Houston for Lonny Baxter. This is Baxter's 6th team in his four NBA seasons.
*Oh, yeah, tomorrow is opening ceremonies for the Winter Olympics in Turino. Boy, I cannot wait!