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November 27, 2014

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Disney and Time Warner Cable Reach Truce, But More Battles Loom

by Gary Susman, posted Aug 30th 2010 9:00PM
ESPN's Ron Jaworski and Mike Tirico with Frank Gifford
The good news for Time Warner Cable's nearly 15 million subscribers in 28 states: It looks like the cable behemoth is no longer in danger of losing such Disney-owned channels as ABC and ESPN on the eve of college and pro football seasons and the new primetime broadcast season. The bad news: The deal between the two entertainment giants leaves the door open for further clashes between programmers and cable service providers, disputes that are likely to add to your cable and Internet bills in the near future.

Disney and TWC had been battling for weeks
in the run-up to Sept. 2, the day Disney's current contract with TWC expires. Disney wanted higher fees for its popular channels, including ABC (which cable service providers used to pay nothing for, since its signal was broadcast over the air for free), the Disney Channel, ESPN, ESPN2 and other viewer favorites. If its terms weren't met before the contract expired, Disney had threatened to pull the signals and darken those channels for TWC subscribers. For its part, TWC had resisted the higher carriage fees, though it would ultimately be passing on those increased costs to its subscribers.

Now, however, the two sides have reached a truce, and while there is no official deal in place, both sides seem to expect the details to be worked out before the threatened signal pull-out at midnight Wednesday night. While neither side will discuss the details of the negotiation, it's clear that Disney has won some concessions, which will eventually mean higher cable bills for TWC customers. And probably for other cable customers as well, since the current battle is hardly the first that has erupted this year over carriage fees; nor is it likely to be the last.

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U.S. Open Tennis 2010 TV Schedule

by Elizabeth Chan, posted Aug 30th 2010 3:10PM

Don't miss any of the tennis action at the 2010 U.S. Open and check out the entire TV schedule after the jump!

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Disney vs. Time Warner Cable: Yet Another Battle That May Take Away Your Favorite Channels or Raise Your Bill

by Gary Susman, posted Aug 7th 2010 6:00PM
Modern Family
Playing this week in summer reruns: another battle between a cable network and a service provider that threatens to either take away your favorite channels or increase your monthly cable bill.

There have been several such battles this year. The latest is between Disney (parent company to such widely-viewed channels as ABC, the Disney Channel and ESPN) and Time Warner Cable, the nation's second-largest service provider. Like other programmers in those earlier squabbles, Disney is negotiating for increased carriage fees, the per-subscriber amounts that the service provider pays to carry each channel.

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Mike Golic Passes Haynesworth Conditioning Test After Challenge from Greenberg (VIDEO)

by Oliver Miller, posted Aug 3rd 2010 12:32AM
It's time for a physical challenge! Recently, Washington Redskins defensive tackle Albert Haynesworth failed to pass his physical conditioning test. If Haynesworth doesn't manage to eventually pass this test, then his more than $100 million contract could be voided.

But how hard is the test in question? Could a "fat" former football player who has been retired for 16 years manage to do it? On 'Mike and Mike in the Morning,' (weekdays, 6AM on ESPN2), Golic and Greenie would debate the issue. That debate would be settled later in the afternoon. Video inside.

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TV 101: LeBron Shames Himself

by Jay Black, posted Jul 14th 2010 4:03PM
LeBron Jame and a headband.LeBron James went on TV last week and made everybody in America hate him.

The reason for all that hatred couldn't have been just what his decision actually was. I mean, the guy moved from Cleveland to Miami -- the only justification you need for that is to remind people that you moved from Cleveland to Miami. The only two people who think that's a bad move are Ian Hunter and Dan Gilbert and it's not clear that either of them are sane.

No, LeBron's downfall had nothing to do with sports. What hurt LeBron was that he made the one mistake that is unforgivable in America: he screwed up on TV.

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'College GameDay,' 'Good Morning America' Book Erin Andrews

by Sharon Knolle, posted Jul 12th 2010 2:20PM
"America's Sexiest Sportscaster" Erin Andrews is waltzing into two new gigs: The sports reporter, who finished in third place on the last season of 'Dancing With the Stars,' will host ESPN's 'College GameDay' and also make regular appearances on ABC's 'Good Morning America.'

We'll see both Andrews' "lighthearted" and serious sides on GMA, she promises USA Today. "Some [segments] will be fun and lighthearted," she says. "I don't take myself too seriously and like to have a good time."

But the host -- who was famously targeted by a stalker who videotaped her in the nude without her knowledge -- also plans to strike a serious note in focusing on crimes against women. "With what I've been through, I want to talk to women who are victims. ... And people haven't seen I can have a serious tone. We feel it's important to start off with serious issues so people take me seriously."

She had her share of offers after 'Dancing', she she told USA Today in her first interview about her new contract, but opted to stay on at ESPN. "The biggest reason I wanted to stay was because they'd expand my role," said Andrews. "It's time for me to try new things. ... The hosting stuff is what I'm really looking forward to."

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LeBron James Picks the Miami Heat: Announcement and Reactions (VIDEO)

by Oliver Miller, posted Jul 9th 2010 12:25AM
LeBron James Picks the Miami Heat: Announcement and ReactionsWho is the greatest basketball player of all time? Is it Michael Jordan? Kobe Bryant? ... Or is it LeBron James? For the past year, basketball fans have been engaged in wondering where LeBron James would end up. He's clearly one of the finest players of his generation, and he was drafted by the Cleveland Cavaliers -- a famously terrible basketball team. LeBron is actually from the great state of Ohio, and he started out by playing for his "home" team from Cleveland. But now, his contract is up. And so the greatest current basketball player can move to a different city, if he feels like it.

Speculation about LeBron's move was unending. First off, before we even got to LeBron's actual decision, there was constant guessing about what he would do. On tonight's 'Larry King Live' (weeknights, 9PM ET on CNN), Larry had on a couple of so-called "experts," who predicted that LeBron would move to New York. Incorrect! Very incorrect! Still, it's interesting to watch "experts" be immediately proved wrong at something, so that's fun.



Then, LeBron James actually told us what city he was going to. It was presented as a one-hour special on ESPN. (Thu., 9PM ET). Mr. James chose the Miami Heat. Chris Bosh also just joined that team during this free-agent period. So it'll be James, Bosh, and guard Dwayne Wade on the team.

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LeBron James: 'The Decision' LiveBlog

by Dr. Ryan Vaughan, PhD (no, seriously), posted Jul 8th 2010 8:53PM
ESPN devoted an hour Thursday night (9PM ET) to LeBron James and his announcement of which NBA team he'll play for next season (it's gonna be the Miami Heat). It was all pretty ridiculous.

But never fear. TV Squad is here for you -- so we had our very own Dr. Ryan Vaughan sit down for an hour of live blogging to bring you all the important moments during the James 'The Decision' broadcast.

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LeBron James Really Needs a One Hour "Special"... He REALLY Does!

by Dr. Ryan Vaughan, PhD (no, seriously), posted Jul 8th 2010 3:00PM
LeBron James For those of you not up-to-date on the comings and goings of basketball warlock LeBron James, ESPN will be airing a one-hour special focusing on him tonight at 9PM ET.

What's the "special" about, you ask? A chronicle of his freakish career? A montage of highlights? A story about LeBron teaching a quadriplegic how to dunk? Nope. None of those. Unfortunately.

No, tonight at 9PM ET, we'll finally know which team LeBron will be on. That's it. Information that you will inevitably be able to decipher by looking at his shirt will be the subject of a one hour television "special."

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LeBron James to Announce Decision on ESPN Thursday Night

by Catherine Lawson, posted Jul 7th 2010 8:50AM

The LeBron James free-agent saga is due to come to a conclusion Thursday night with a one-hour televised broadcast on ESPN when James will reveal which team he'll play for next season. ESPN said his representatives had contacted the network with a proposal that included donating sponsorship money raised from the broadcast to the Boys and Girls Clubs of America.

James's plans are still a closely guarded secret, but as reported by the AP he met last week with six teams -- the New Jersey Nets, New York Knicks, Miami Heat, Los Angeles Clippers, Cleveland Cavaliers and Chicago Bulls -- at his office in Cleveland, OH.

More than 184,000 people signed up to follow James on Twitter after he opened an account on Tuesday, but so far his only tweet has been: "Hello World, the Real King James is in the Building Finally. My Brother ... gas'd me up to jump on board so I'm here. Haaaa."

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2010 World Cup Schedule on TV: Get Ready for Some Football (AKA Soccer)

by Elizabeth Chan, posted Jun 9th 2010 7:00PM


This summer brings the biggest event in football -- or soccer as we call it on this side of the pond. It's the Super Bowl for the international set and the best soccer teams from around the globe are gearing up to stake their claim on the 2010 FIFA World Cup.

The 2010 World Cup Television Schedule will play on several different stations including ESPN, ESPN2, ABC and games will stream online at ESPN360.com.

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TV 101: The NFL Can Help the Internet Grow Up

by Jay Black, posted Apr 21st 2010 11:02AM
As American as Mom, Apple Pie, or convincing drunk girls at a Jets game to show you their boobs.Every culture has a coming-of-age ritual. The boys of the Amazon's Satere Mawe tribe aren't considered men until they've worn a glove filled with stinging ants. Among the American Nouveau-Riche tribe, you can't enter adulthood until a minor rap star comes to your sweet sixteen and performs for you in front of MTV cameras. Among my people, the Irish Americans, you can only achieve the full rights of adulthood after you've ruined a Thanksgiving dinner by getting drunk and fighting your father.

The internet is a teenager right now - you can tell because it's always angry and is totally obsessed with seeing Megan Fox naked. The internet needs to grow up with a coming-of-age ritual all its own. And, as much as I'd like to put a glove of stinging ants onto the hands of the people who call me a douche every week in the comments, there's only one real way for the internet to finally achieve adult status ...

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ESPN Gives Chris Berman a Contract Extension

by Allison Waldman, posted Apr 19th 2010 10:07PM
chris_berman_espn_2009Chris Berman is a fixture at ESPN. He's like the Jay Leno of ESPN, and as such, Berman's just gotten an extension to remain with ESPN for ... forever. Or so it seems. Berman's deal has been termed multi-year. Considering that he's going to be 55 on his birthday -- May 10 -- and he claims that he doesn't want to be broadcasting in his 60s, that means he's probably going to be doing the Swami for at least five more years.

Berman has been called the face of ESPN, and that's probably true. He's been there since 1979, just one month after the sports cable giant began as a fledgling idea that many assumed would never make it. An all-sports network? Are you mad? Seems hard to believe that now, but 31 years ago it was a radical notion and Chris Berman was a wannabe sportscaster in Hartford, Connecticut, who took a chance with the cable start up. It paid off big time when ESPN became the worldwide leader in sports broadcasting.

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Bill Simmons Claims TBS Gave Conan "'The Godfather' Treatment"

by Brad Trechak, posted Apr 17th 2010 3:02PM
NBCESPN blogger and former 'Jimmy Kimmel Live' writer Bill Simmons did a podcast in which he discussed the situation with Conan O'Brien and TBS. In it, he claims that TBS gave Conan "an offer he couldn't refuse."

In that regard, he's probably right. TBS offered Conan ownership of the show, a whole lot of money and more creative freedom than he could ever wish for compared to what he would get from any of the networks.

Simmons is also correct in that Conan's 11 P.M. show on a cable channel will put him more in competition with 'The Daily Show with Jon Stewart' and 'The Colbert Report' than either Letterman or Leno. That's ironic when you consider the sketch the three of them put together during the writer's strike.

While Simmons is correct about all this, we don't appreciate being called "the egghead crowd." Give us some dignity, man. We don't call you "the dumb jock crowd." It would be a cliché.

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Five Shows I'm Looking Forward To This Summer

by Bob Sassone, posted Apr 8th 2010 1:05PM
Mad Men
Since summer is the time for beaches, parades, cookouts, and fireworks, and I hate beaches, parades, cookouts, and fireworks, it's TV time! That's especially true since there are more original shows on summer now than there used to be. Here are the five shows I'm looking forward to the most. And none of them are reality shows.

1. 'Mad Men.' To use a popular phrase, duh. Of course this is number one on my list. It's still weird to me that the best drama on television is a summer show. I don't know why this is still surprising, since we're not living in 1980 anymore and summer in a real TV season now and not just a place for repeats, reality shows, and shows that need to be burned off.

Maybe it's best that this show airs in the summer. It has a little more breathing room than it would have if it debuted in October.

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