Pete Rose was greeted with a standing ovation when he was introduced on the field tonight at the MLB All Star Game in Cincinnati, but TV fans in many parts of the country weren’t able to watch. In another one of those retransmission consent fee disputes between station owner groups — in this case Media General — and cable or satellite companies that pay for the privilege of carrying local TV signals, a considerable number of viewers were shut out of the proceedings in Cincinnati via Fox Sports as well as entertainment programming on CBS, NBC and ABC stations. Consumer org American Television Alliance said Media General stations blocked viewers in Iowa, South Dakota, Virginia, Indiana, Tennessee, Kansas, Alabama, Michigan, Wisconsin, Florida and California. Rose and three other Reds — Johnny Bench, Joe Morgan and Barry Larkin, each of them Hall of Famers — appeared before the game as the Franchise Four, the players voted by fans as having the most impact in team history. Rose also serves as an analyst for Fox and Fox Sports 1. He’s officially banned from baseball for gambling but Major League Baseball Commissioner Rob Manfred is expected to meet with Rose on an as yet unspecified date to discuss possible reinstatement.
ESPN is losing its last regularly scheduled auto racing coverage when National Hot Rod Association broadcasts shift to Fox Sports 1 starting in 2016. Fox Sports and NHRA announced today that Mello Yello Drag Racing Series will be televised on Fox Sports 1 — with four events also airing on live on the main Fox network during each season of the long-term agreement. The NHRA’s shift of Mello Yello to Fox next year marks the end of 15 years with ESPN. It solidifies Fox’s dominance of motorsports coverage which includes NASCAR, Monster Energy Supercross, the FIM MotoGP World Championship, the TUDOR United SportsCar Championship, the FIA World Endurance Championship, the 24 Hours of Le Mans and the fully electric FIA Formula E Championship, among others.
The Smithsonian Channel is launching Sports Detectives, the working title for a docuseries that seeks to uncover the mysteries behind some of the most iconic and missing objects in sports history and the moments that defined them. The subjects include Muhammad Ali’s Olympic gold medal, the basketball from Wilt Chamberlain’s famous 100-point game, the American flag draped over goalie Jim Craig after the “Miracle on Ice.” All are precious artifacts from legendary moments in sports – and all are either missing or in dispute. Comprised of six one-hour episodes, Sports Detectives is scheduled to premiere in 2016.
ESPN may be losing a southern favorite in drag racing but it’s sharpening its focus on Southeastern Conference college football. The new weekly half-hour SEC Inside will provide fans a closer look at their favorite teams and players. Each episode will explore previously unaired footage and sounds from game preparation, the sidelines and following the final whistle. “The show will deliver unique perspectives in a highly produced cinematic style,” said ESPN college network SVP Stephanie Druley. SEC Inside will air Wednesday nights as companion programming to SEC Film Room.