Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Archive for the ‘Various’ Category

This was my remembrance for my grandfather, Warner Schilling, given at his Columbia University Memorial Service on December 13, 2013:

I’m Jeremy Schilling, Warner’s grandson. My task here today was supposed to be to give all of you a look at the personal life of my grandfather. However as I sat down to write this, I realized that one theme kept showing up over and over again: Even away from the classroom, Warner was always a teacher always wanting to learn.

You see, being the grandson to Warner Schilling is an interesting thing. I am the second generation descendant of a brilliant mind, and before I was even born – in ‘88 – he arguably accomplished more than I ever will in my entire life.

So you can either be intimidated and overwhelmed by the prospect of being in his presence or you can just enjoy the ride. And while I had some bumps early on as I figured out firsthand that I needed to have my facts right or else, I tried to enjoy the ride as much as I could. And it was an awesome one.

You never quite knew what was going to happen next. Whether it be calling out two students who were barely whispering in class, his mandatory decree that we visit some military-related place on vacation, griping about how the potatoes were cooked on Christmas, or insisting he still use the WordPerfect version meant for DOS and Windows 3.1.

But there are three distinct memories that give insight into how my grandfather kept on teaching and learning, no matter the locale.

I think it’s pretty safe to say that in most houses, Christmas presents are either wrapped with no tag, a tag that says “from Santa,” or a tag from the giver. But no, not the Schillings. Instead, our gifts came from “Elves,” and our task was to decipher the clue and figure out what the gift was. THEN you could open it.

This would take FOREVER, with the guessing game sometimes hitting immediate success or interminable dead ends. These were intellectually based gifts, so the guessing game would make you go crazy, but I came to enjoy it. It was part of the fun of Christmas with my grandfather. As I’ve told any friend who was jealous of me getting twice the holiday presents by celebrating Hanukkah and Christmas, “No, you don’t get it. Things are just different on this side of the family.” You were bound to learn something, and that was exactly the plan.

Warner not only used this opportunity to teach, but also as a learning experience for himself from the gifts he received. He would literally jump from his seat when he finally guessed the gift correctly or succumbed to a dead end and just opened the damn thing…25 minutes later.

Then there’s my college radio show. The debut show in September 2007 was an absolute mess, marred by technical glitches and prank calls, among other things.

But while I returned to my room that night frustrated and aggravated, Warner saw a teachable moment. I opened my email the following evening to find a 13(!) paragraph email containing feedback and advice on how to improve the show. It was all under the subject line of “Baptism of Fire.”

The email ends in classic Warner fashion, with him saying, “So, congratulations again. You have made it through your baptism of fire! Forward! And I look forward to next Sunday night! Love, PW.”

Last winter, when he was in the hospital and his health was touch and go for a while, I went to visit him to try to brighten his day. My expectations for the visit were low so when he asked for a favor, what he requested caught me way off guard.

I assumed he would ask me to get a nurse, take down a note or fetch something from a neighboring table. But instead, he requested information on North Korea’s ability to launch a nuclear warhead and an update on possible peace talks between the Turks and the Kurds.

It was proof that even in the darkest of moments his brain kept churning. I shouldn’t have expected anything less.

He proudly attended my high school band concerts at Carnegie Hall and Avery Fisher Hall, went to my college graduation, and supported me in every endeavor I took on.

But most of all he was a teacher – always and forever – and in his own distinctive style. Knowing what was going on in the world was his oxygen; he read three newspapers every single day. When I think back on Papa Warner, I will always remember that being up to date on current affairs – both domestic and foreign – was not an option. It was a requirement. And for this I am eternally grateful.

Advertisements

Read Full Post »

ESPN began their first ball-to-last ball coverage of Wimbledon 2012 today. Here are their coverage plans and announcers:

A new era of television coverage for one of sport’s most prestigious and historic events will begin when ESPN presents The Championships, Wimbledon complete, live and exclusively across its networks from first ball Monday, June 25, with day-long marathon telecasts through to the Ladies’ and Gentlemen’s Finals, Saturday, July 7, and Sunday, July 8, respectively. ESPN’s 10th Wimbledon will expand to 140 live hours in high definition on ESPN HD and ESPN2 HD – including three days when the two networks offer all-day “cross court coverage” (airing matches simultaneously) – plus highlights and reairs of both Finals on ABC. All the action on ESPN and ESPN2 is also available through WatchESPN online at WatchESPN.com and on smartphones and tablets via the WatchESPN app.

In addition, ESPN3 will also increase its schedule to more than 800 hours of a multi-screen offering – all available TV courts (up to nine) presented from first ball to last ball each day – which will be available along with ESPN and ESPN2’s action via the WatchESPN app. The service will also offer matches on demand after they occur.

The new schedule is the result of a 12-year agreement between ESPN and the All England Lawn Tennis Club announced just after the conclusion of the 2011 Championships.

As previously announced, ESPN 3D, which presented its first tennis at Wimbledon a year ago with one live match and others on delay, will televise five days of action live from Centre Court. ESPN 3D’s coverage will begin with the Gentlemen’s quarterfinals Wednesday, July 4, and continue through the Finals. Each day’s telecast will be reaired that night at 9 p.m.

“This Wimbledon is the culmination of a dream we at ESPN have had for more than 10 years, to deliver every match and every key moment live as it happens to fans wherever they are,” said John Skipper, ESPN president. “The Club entrusted the care of their wonderful event to us and we intend to fulfill their trust and present a Wimbledon that uses modern technology to serve fans across all devices while being mindful of the great history and traditions of the fortnight.”

As previously announced, Hall of Famer John McEnroe is adding Wimbledon to his ESPN repertoire, having worked the US Open since 2009. He will be joined by returnees Darren Cahill, Cliff Drysdale, Mary Joe Fernandez, Brad Gilbert, Patrick McEnroe and Pam Shriver. Chris Fowler will call matches and serve as studio host, sharing that role with Hannah Storm and Mike Tirico. The voice of ESPN’s Monday Night Football, Tirico has worked the US Open for ESPN as a host and calling matches and will fill those roles in his Wimbledon debut. Tom Rinaldi will provide essays and features.

Surveying the Fields

Three players dominate the top of the men’s game with 28 of the last 29 Major championships – No. 1-ranked and defending champion, Novak Djokovic, two-time champ and No. 2 Rafael Nadal who recently defeated Djokovic for the French Open crown, and No. 3 Roger Federer, who counts six Wimbledon crowns in his tally of 16 Grand Slam titles. Everyone else – starting with British hopeful No. 4 Andy Murray seeking his first Grand Slam title and hoping to end Great Britain’s 76-year Wimbledon drought (Fred Perry, 1936) – is hoping for a slot in the semifinals.

Among the women, it’s a very different story. Six different women have won the last six Majors, but having regained the No. 1 ranking with the French Open championship, 2004 Wimbledon winner Maria Sharapova is the favorite in a crowded field. Serena Williams has four Wimbledon trophies, and looks to rebound from her first-round ouster in Paris and her No. 6 ranking. No. 2 Victoria Azarenka won this year’s Australian Open, No. 3 Agnieszka Radwanska has never reached a Major semifinal, No. 4 Petra Kvitova is the defending champ, No. 5 Sam Stosur won the 2011 US Open and former No. 1 Caroline Wozniacki is ranked No. 7. The field also includes two big names with a combined 11 Major titles – Venus Williams has five Wimbledon victories among her seven Major wins, and Kim Clijsters would love to add a Wimbledon crown to her collection of four Major victories in what is likely her final Wimbledon, having announced she will retire this year.

Scheduling Highlights: All Live, ESPN & ESPN2’s “Cross Court Coverage” for “Greatest Day in Tennis”

For the first time in the U.S., ESPN networks will show all of Wimbledon live, from first ball through the finals, including up to nine courts simultaneously on ESPN3 and an unprecedented ESPN/ESPN2 dual network “cross court coverage” approach for July 2-4:

ESPN2 HD will begin daylong live weekday programming Monday, June 25, at 6:30 a.m. and continuing each weekday through Wednesday, July 4, at 7 a.m. (except Friday, June 29)
ESPN HD will first be live on Friday, June 29, from 7 a.m. – 5 p.m. and then on Saturday, June 30, starting at 7 a.m. with Breakfast at Wimbledon presented by US Trust, a one-hour preview of the day’s matches that marks the return of the iconic branding after that being featured on air for many years. Breakfast at Wimbledon will also precede the network’s live, national telecasts of the Gentlemen’s and Ladies’ Semifinals and Finals, Thursday, July 5 – Sunday, July 8.

On the “middle Sunday,” a scheduled day off as is Wimbledon tradition, ABC will broadcast a three-hour review of the first week at 3 p.m. ABC will also reair the finals on the day they take place, July 7 and 8 at 3 p.m.

For the second Monday – Wednesday (July 2-4), ESPN will be live alongside ESPN2 to allow for live coverage of each and every match from the Round of 16 and Quarterfinals. In this unprecedented “Cross Court Coverage,” ESPN will focus on Centre Court matches while ESPN2 offers fans a “grounds pass” with action from Court 1 and other courts. The first of these three days, Monday, July 2 – when all 32 players are on the court in eight Gentlemen’s and eight Ladies’ Round of 16 matches, something that is unique to Wimbledon – is commonly referred to as “the greatest day in tennis.”
ESPN 3D will pick up coverage with live Centre Court action Wednesday, July 4 through the Finals.
ESPN3 will provide a multi-court offering of live play, including a simulcast of ESPN and ESPN2, with all-day coverage from all nine TV courts plus press conferences totaling more than 800 hours. In addition, the service – which reaches more than 73 million U.S. homes – will offer replays on demand.

ESPN3 is ESPN’s live multi-screen sports network, a 24/7 destination that delivers thousands of global sports events annually and accessible online via WatchESPN.com, on smartphones and tablets via the WatchESPN app and through ESPN on Xbox LIVE to Gold level members. It is currently available to 73 million homes at no additional cost to fans who receive their high-speed Internet connection or video subscription from an affiliated service provider. The network is also available at no cost to approximately 21 million U.S. college students and U.S.-based military personnel via computers connected to on-campus educational networks and on-base military networks.

The WatchESPN App – for fans who receive ESPN’s linear networks as part of their video subscription via Time Warner Cable, Bright House Networks, Verizon FiOS TV or Comcast Xfinity – will provide access to for ESPN2’s live coverage online at WatchESPN.com and through the WatchESPN app on smartphones and tablets, in addition to ESPN3’s multi-screen offering.

ESPN On Demand (TV/Mobile) will offer historic matches and highlights of the 2012 Gentlemen’s and Ladies’ finals.

ESPN Mobile will provide point-by-point coverage of every Wimbledon match with live scores on the ESPN mobile Web and ScoreCenter app. Additionally, ESPN will offer video highlights of Wimbledon via the ScoreCenter app for iPhone. ESPN Alerts will also notify fans who opt in to receive alerts of developing stories, match results and highlights.

ESPN Mobile TV will simulcast 105 hours of live ESPN/ESPN2 coverage throughout the tournament.

ESPN Interactive TV, now in its fifth year at Wimbledon, will provide multi-screen coverage of five matches in addition to the match airing on ESPN2 or ESPN through the second Monday of the tournament through DirecTV. Fans will also receive interviews, features, press conferences and, new for 2012, a studio wrap-around presence hosted by SportsCenter anchor Ryan Burr with a roster of guest analysts. In addition to the video offerings, DirecTV viewers can access results, schedules, draws and other interactive features through the remote control “Red Button.” In total, ESPN will provide more than 350 hours of coverage through this unique application.

ESPN Classic will air four great Wimbledon Gentlemen’s Finals from the past, each upon a significant anniversary – matches won by Bjorn Borg (1977), Jimmy Connors (1982), Andre Agassi (1992) and Roger Federer (2007). Each match will air twice on the day of the anniversary (except Federer’s 2007 victory, which took place on July 8).
Date Times (ET) Event
Mon, July 2 1 a.m. & 10 p.m. 1977 Gentlemen’s Final: 35th Anniversary of Bjorn Borg defeating Jimmy Connors for the second of five consecutive Wimbledon titles
Wed, July 4 1 a.m. & 6:30 p.m. 1982 Gentlemen’s Final: 30th Anniversary of Jimmy Connors defeating John McEnroe in five sets
Thur, July 5 1 a.m. & 6:30 p.m. 1992 Gentlemen’s Final: 20th Anniversary of 22-year old Andre Agassi defeating Goran Ivanisevic
Mon, July 9 2 a.m. & 11 a.m. 2007 Gentlemen’s Final: 5th Anniversary of Roger Federer’s Fifth Wimbledon title, defeating Rafael Nadal

More Wimbledon from ESPN, Inc.

ESPN.com will have previews, reviews, the latest news and videos and more:

Courtcast: A multi-tool application with live events via the ESPN3 syndicated player, all-court scoring, match stats, Cover It Live conversations, poll questions, rolling Twitter feeds and scrolling bottom line;
Slam Central: A daily destination for all Wimbledon fixtures;
Five Things We Learned: Video series reviewing the top news of the day;
Grass Stains: A daily notebook wrapping up the best and worst of the day;
Digital Serve: Daily original videos previewing the next day;
Star Watch: Daily blog focusing on one of the game’s elite.

espnW

espnW.com will offer daily columns, blog posts and video, with an emphasis on the women’s side of the tournament.

ESPNDeportes.com will provide live scores and draws, in depth news and coverage of Latin American players, columns, blogs, live chats, video, highlights and news, including ESPiando Wimbledon that will recap the day’s play.

ESPN International will reach 33 million homes in Spanish speaking Latin America and the Caribbean with over 90 live hours of television across ESPN Latin America and ESPN Caribbean. In addition to daily primetime highlight programs on ESPN Latin America, ESPN+ in the Southern Cone and ESPN Dos in the Northern Cone will supplement the coverage on ESPN Latin America with an additional 50+ live hours. Also, ESPN’s broadband service, ESPN Play, will offer over 700 hours of live coverage throughout both regions with over 10 simultaneous early round windows available.

ESPN – All Four Slams, All In One Place

Tennis has been part of ESPN since its first week on the air and provided many memorable moments, but it has never been as important as today, with the US Open joining the lineup in 2009, giving ESPN all four Grand Slam events, something no other U.S. network has ever done, let alone in one year. ESPN has presented the Australian Open since 1984, the French Open since 2002 (plus 1986 – 1993), and Wimbledon since 2003, with exclusivity for live television with all other rights extended in a 12-year agreement starting this year.

ESPN debuted September 7, 1979, and the first tennis telecast was exactly one week later, September 14, a Davis Cup tie, Argentina at U.S. from Memphis with Cliff Drysdale on the call and John McEnroe playing.

In addition, broadband network ESPN3, now in nearly 72 million homes, carries thousands of hours of tennis annually, including all four Grand Slam events, plus ATP 1000 and 500 tournaments and WTA Premier Events, and season-ending championships for both tours. Also, ESPN Classic shows great matches from the past and the sport receives extensive coverage on SportsCenter, ESPNEWS, Spanish-language ESPN Deportes, ESPN Radio, ESPN.com and ESPN The Magazine. ESPN 3D aired its first tennis at Wimbledon in 2011.

ESPN & WIMBLEDON 2012
Date Time (ET) Event Network
Mon, June 25 6:30 a.m. – 5 p.m. Early Round Action ESPN2 / ESPN3 Live
Tue, June 26 – Thur, June 28 7 a.m. – 5 p.m. Early Round Action ESPN2 /ESPN3 (begins at 6:30 a.m.) Live
Fri, June 29 7 a.m. – 5 p.m. Early Round Action ESPN / ESPN3 Live
Sat, June 30 7 – 8 a.m. Breakfast at Wimbledon ESPN / ESPN3 Live
8 a.m. – 3 p.m. Early Round Action ESPN / ESPN3 Live
Sun, July 1 3 – 6 p.m. Highlights of Week One ABC Tape
Mon, July 2 7 a.m. – 5 p.m. Round of 16 ESPN2 / ESPN3 Live
8 a.m. – 3 p.m. Round of 16, Centre Court ESPN / ESPN3 Live
Tue, July 3 7 a.m. – 4 p.m. Ladies’ Quarterfinals ESPN2 / ESPN3 Live
8 a.m. – 1 p.m. Ladies’ Quarterfinals, Centre Court ESPN / ESPN3 Live
Wed, July 4 7 a.m. – 4 p.m. Gentlemen’s Quarterfinals ESPN2 / ESPN3 Live
8 a.m. – 3 p.m. Gentlemen’s Quarterfinals, Centre Court ESPN / ESPN3D / ESPN3 Live
Thur, July 5 7 – 8 a.m. Breakfast at Wimbledon ESPN / ESPN3 Live
8 a.m. – 1 p.m. Ladies’ Semifinals ESPN / ESPN3D / ESPN3 Live
Fri, July 6 7 – 8 a.m. Breakfast at Wimbledon ESPN / ESPN3 Live
8 a.m. – 2 p.m. Gentlemen’s Semifinals ESPN / ESPN3D / ESPN3 Live
Sat, July 7 8 a.m. – 9 a.m. Breakfast at Wimbledon ESPN / ESPN3 Live
9 a.m. – 2 p.m. Ladies’ Final ESPN / ESPN3D / ESPN3 Live
3 – 6 p.m. Ladies’ Final ABC Tape
Sun, July 8 8 a.m. – 9 a.m. Breakfast at Wimbledon ESPN / ESPN3 Live
9 a.m. – 3 p.m. Gentlemen’s Final ESPN / ESPN3D / ESPN3 Live
3 – 6 p.m. Gentlemen’s Final ABC Tape

Read Full Post »

Here is Tennis Channel’s 2012 French Open coverage plans and announcers:

Tennis Channel, the only 24-hour, television-based multimedia destination dedicated to both the professional sport and tennis lifestyle, will offer close to 60 hours of live matches and more than 140 match hours overall during its sixth year of French Open coverage, from Sunday, May 27, to Sunday, June 10. The network will air almost two dozen hours of encore men’s and women’s singles semifinal and championship telecasts as part of a programming format that will see the channel’s 24-hour schedule almost entirely dedicated to the world’s most prestigious clay-court competition for two weeks.

A typical day’s French Open schedule on Tennis Channel this year will feature live matches from 10 a.m.-3 p.m. ET, followed by four hours of encore coverage of the tournament’s best competitions, regardless of whether they first ran on Tennis Channel or broadcast partners NBC or ESPN2 (a complete schedule follows, below). At 7 p.m. ET French Open Tonight, hosted by Bill Macatee, will showcase three hours of interviews, analysis, highlights, encore match segments and special reports, set on a stage above the tournament’s central Musketeer Plaza. In all, Tennis Channel will air 36 first-run hours of the nightly prime-time show (with 114 hours overall). Following two consecutive French Open Tonight encores, at 4 a.m. ET daily tournament highlights of the French Tennis Federation (the governing body of the event) will run for an hour before a new day of coverage runs on ESPN2 from 5 a.m.-10 a.m.

Tennis Channel and ESPN2 have worked together since 2007 to bring viewers virtually non-stop, 24-hour coverage of the French Open. Each network cross-promotes the other’s schedule while using its own on-air talent, with Tennis Channel producing all telecasts for both channels.

On-Air Talent

As it has done since its first year of French Open coverage in 2007, Tennis Channel will field an all-star team of on-air talent this year in Paris, with Hall of Famers John McEnroe and Martina Navratilova taking the helm as lead analysts for the sixth consecutive year. The lineup also features Grand Slam-champion Lindsay Davenport and sportscaster Mary Carillo who, through her heartfelt special reports for numerous networks and refreshingly candid demeanor, is one of America’s most popular television sports presences today.

“It’s always great to get back to Paris with John, Mary, Bill, Lindsay and the rest of the Tennis Channel team,” said Navratilova. “It will be interesting to see if the two thirty-somethings – Roger Federer and Serena Williams – will be able to stay the in-form players and win on what is their least favorite and favorable surface.”

Household television-sports names Ted Robinson, Ian Eagle and Brett Haber will handle play-by-play responsibilities during Tennis Channel’s 2012 French Open coverage, with assists from analysts and former players Justin Gimelstob and Rennae Stubbs. Sports Illustrated’s voice of tennis Jon Wertheim will add his expert opinion throughout the two-week event, while Tennis Channel Court Report host Cari Champion will maintain increasingly expanding social media duties. Macatee, as host of French Open Tonight, will once again interview the players, coaches, industry executives and others who will write the storylines at this year’s tournament.

Broadband Coverage

This year during the French Open more than 300 hours of live matches will be available for free on Tennis Channel’s Web site, http://www.tennischannel.com, an increase of more than 100 hours over 2011. Also new, online streaming will run from 5 a.m. ET through the end of the day’s play, marking the first time broadband matches will be available live regardless of whether or not Tennis Channel’s television-coverage window is taking place. Viewers can access up to five courts at the same time during live windows the first week of the tournament and then view on-demand archived matches after play has stopped each evening. The site will also feature daily highlights, interviews, features and segments from French Open Tonight, along with real-time scoring, interactive tournament draws, sweepstakes information, photos and the network’s “Racquet Bracket” tournament prediction game. Digital offerings also include regular updates from veteran tennis reporters Steve Flink, Joel Drucker and Matt Cronin, in addition to posts from tennis blogger Erwin Ong.

Tennis Channel’s Live 2012 French Open Match Schedule

(Men’s/Women’s Singles Unless Otherwise Specified)

Date Time (ET) Event

Sunday, May 27 10 a.m.-3 p.m. First-Round Action

Monday, May 28 10 a.m.-3 p.m. First-Round Action

Tuesday, May 29 10 a.m.-3 p.m. First-Round Action

Wednesday, May 30 10 a.m.-3 p.m. Second-Round Action

Thursday, May 31 10 a.m.-3 p.m. Second-Round Action

Friday, June 1 10 a.m.-3 p.m. Third-Round Action

Saturday, June 2 5 a.m.-Noon Third-Round Action

Sunday, June 3 5 a.m.-1 p.m. Round-of-16 Action

Monday, June 4 10 a.m.-3 p.m. Round-of-16 Action

Tuesday, June 5 8 a.m.-1 p.m. Quarterfinals

Friday, June 8 7 a.m.-11 a.m. Men’s Semifinal

Tennis Channel will also offer same-day replays of singles quarterfinal and semifinal matches, and encore coverage of the men’s and women’s championships after the close of play on the final Sunday (ET):

Wednesday, June 6 – 1 p.m.-7 p.m.: men’s and women’s singles quarterfinals

Thursday, June 7 – 1 p.m.-7 p.m.: women’s singles semifinals

Friday, June 8 – 5 p.m.-midnight: men’s semifinals

Sunday, June 10 – 2 p.m.-6 p.m. and 8 p.m.-midnight: men’s final; 6 p.m.-8 p.m.: women’s final

Tennis Channel’s French Open Tonight Schedule

French Open Tonight airs Sunday, May 27-Thursday, June 7. Most nights the program airs from 7 p.m.-10 p.m. (all times ET), and is repeated twice upon conclusion, from 10 p.m.-1 a.m. and 1 a.m.-4 a.m. There are two exceptions during the tournament’s middle weekend. Saturday, June 2, French Open Tonight will first run from 3 p.m.-6 p.m., followed by three-straight encores: 6 p.m.-9 p.m., 9 p.m.-midnight, 12 a.m.-3 a.m. The schedule on Sunday, June 3, is similar but begins one hour later, with a 4 p.m.-7 p.m. premiere, and 7 p.m.-10 p.m., 10 p.m.-1 a.m. and 1 a.m.-4 a.m. repeats.

Tennis Channel (www.tennischannel.com) is the only 24-hour, television-based multimedia destination dedicated to both the professional sport and tennis lifestyle. A hybrid of comprehensive sports, health, fitness, pop culture, entertainment, lifestyle and travel programming, the network is home to every aspect of the wide-ranging, worldwide tennis community. It also has the most concentrated single-sport coverage in television, with telecast rights to the US Open, Wimbledon, Roland Garros (French Open), Australian Open, Olympus US Open Series, ATP World Tour Masters 1000 events, top-tier WTA competitions, Davis Cup and Fed Cup by BNP Paribas, and Hyundai Hopman Cup. Tennis Channel is carried by nine of the top 10 video providers.

Read Full Post »

Here are ESPN’s coverage plans and announcers for the 2012 French Open:

Djoker-Slam for Novak? Are Azarenka, Serena & Maria a New Big Three?

Action on ESPN2 HD & ESPN3 Starts Sunday, May 27; Women’s Semis Live June 7

The best tennis players in the world are headed for a collision on the red clay of Paris: Roland Garros, the 2012 French Open starting on ESPN2 HD and ESPN3 on Sunday, May 27. ESPN2’s new schedule of live action every day – starting at 5 a.m. ET most days – continues weekdays through Thursday, June 7, culminating with the women’s semifinals. ESPN3 will provide up to seven screens of action on the days ESPN2 is on the air, totaling 320 hours.

Chris Evert, who won the French Open a record seven times among her 18 Major singles championships, will work the event for ESPN for the first time. She joined the ESPN tennis team at last year’s Wimbledon.

ESPN networks present all four Grand Slam events and have televised the French Open 1986 – 1993 and since 2002. ESPN3 delivers an unmatched multi-screen presentation of the sport’s four majors, all ATP 1000 and 500 tournaments, WTA Premier Events and season-ending championships for both tours.

The Storylines

Both sides of the draw present intriguing storylines, as challengers to the “trivalry” of Djokovic/Federer/Nadal (winners of 27 of the last 28 Majors) seem to be closing and the previously wide-open women’s field seems to be coalescing around a new “Big Three.”

Defending and six-time champ Rafael Nadal is ranked No. 2, after beating top-seeded Novak Djokovic in the finals in Rome on May 21. The Serb has won the last three Majors and is seeking a historic “Djoker Slam,” but has never reached the final in Paris. Roger Federer, a finalist a year ago, has the best record on the tour since the US Open. After that, No. 4 Andy Murray had a career-best semifinal appearance last year and a slew of contenders are threatening to break up the Fab Four – local favorites Jo-Wilfried Tsonga and Gael Monfils, David Ferrer, Tomas Berdych, Janko Tipsarevic, Juan Martin Del Potro and 6-9 American John Isner who recently cracked the Top 10 in rankings for the first time.

On the women’s side, Victoria Azarenka, who recently ascended to the world’s top ranking, enters Paris off a tremendous early season including an Australian Open title but also recent losses to Maria Sharapova and Serena Williams. The trio seems to have separated themselves from the field in creating a new triumvirate at the top of the women’s game. No. 2 Sharapova, the Aussie runnerup and winner last week in Rome, would love a French title to complete a career Grand Slam, and Williams, the 2002 champion, is playing far better than her No. 5 ranking. In addition, the field includes four other former champions (Ana Ivanovic, Li Na, Francesca Schiavone and Svetlana Kuznetsova) plus Venus Williams continues her comeback and enters her first Major since her sudden withdrawal from the US Open.

TV Coverage

After the opening day, ESPN2’s schedule will continue with an all-live telecast starting at 5 a.m. each day through Friday, June 1 and again on Monday, June 4. The network will air live quarterfinal action Tuesday, June 5, at 1 p.m. and Wednesday, June 6 at 8 a.m. ESPN2 will air the women’s semifinals live Thursday, June 7 at 8 a.m. All the action on ESPN2 is also available through WatchESPN online at WatchESPN.com and on smartphones and tablets via the WatchESPN app.

Chris Fowler and Chris McKendry will again share host duties on ESPN2, with Fowler also calling matches. They will be joined by Evert, along with returnees Darren Cahill, Mary Joe Fernandez, Brad Gilbert, Patrick McEnroe and Pam Shriver. Cliff Drysdale will rejoin the team next month for ESPN’s first-ever exclusive start-to-finish coverage of Wimbledon.

For the sixth consecutive year, ESPN2 is working with Tennis Channel to bring viewers an almost around-the-clock tournament experience, with each channel cross-promoting the other’s schedule. Tennis Channel will produce all coverage for both channels, with each making use of its own on-air team.

ESPN3

ESPN3’s French Open schedule totals 328 hours with a multi-screen offering of up to seven courts and ESPN2’s coverage and is available on the days the network is televising. ESPN3 will begin each day early in the morning with the first ball in the air and continue to the last shot of the day. Matches will also be available after they take place via replay. Additionally, ESPNPlay in Latin America and the Caribbean will provide customers with extensive live coverage with multiple windows totaling over 500 hours in both English and Spanish on broadband platforms in addition to televised coverage throughout the regions.

ESPN3 is ESPN’s live multi-screen sports network, a 24/7 destination that delivers thousands of global sports events annually and accessible online via WatchESPN.com, on smartphones and tablets via the WatchESPN app and through ESPN on Xbox LIVE to Gold level members. It is currently available to 73 million homes at no additional cost to fans who receive their high-speed Internet connection or video subscription from an affiliated service provider. The network is also available at no cost to approximately 21 million U.S. college students and U.S.-based military personnel via computers connected to on-campus educational networks and on-base military networks.

Other ESPN Platforms

Fans will have a variety of ways to follow the French Open with live action and updates on an array of ESPN platforms wherever they are and regardless of whether there is live television offered.

ESPN.com will provide comprehensive coverage before, during and after the French Open, highlighted by an enhanced Courtcast section that – for the first time – will feature all the live action from ESPN3. As always, it will also include real-time scoring from all courts, plus continuous live polling with results revealed immediately in ESPN2’s telecasts. In addition to all the results, news, analysis, schedules and more, ESPN.com will provide live blogging throughout the tournament so fans can follow the action even when there is no live television coverage. Also, fans can watch Digital Serve daily with ESPN2 commentators discussing the latest action and previewing key matches. Other highlights include:

The Latest Dirt – a daily notebook roundup of all the day’s action;
Center Court – a tennis video show featured each week on all the major news from Roland Garros;
Quest for the Quad – a daily look at Novak Djokovic via previews, match reactions, blogs and more as he attempts to complete the “Djoker Slam” for winning four straight majors;
Slam Central – comprehensive coverage of everything that transpired each day;
What We Learned – ESPN.com senior writer Greg Garber and others will highlight the day’s news and notes with quick video snippets on the overlooked storylines.

The WatchESPN App – for fans who receive ESPN’s linear networks as part of their video subscription via Time Warner Cable, Bright House Networks, Verizon FiOS TV or Comcast Xfinity – will provide access to for ESPN2’s live coverage online at WatchESPN.com and through the WatchESPN app on smartphones and tablets, in addition to ESPN3’s multi-screen offering.

ESPN Mobile TV will have 51 hours of live coverage, simulcasting all of ESPN2’s live programming, highlighted by the women’s semifinals Thursday, June 7.

ESPN Interactive TV, exclusive to DIRECTV, will present the French Open showing ESPN2 or Tennis Channel’s live coverage along with five other courts available with commentary. Other features include interactive data, the tournament draw, up-to-date scores, and daily order of play.

ESPN International will present up to 130 hours of the French Open to more than 60 countries in Latin America and the Caribbean on a variety of regional networks. Matches will be chosen based on local interest and commentary will be offered in Spanish, Portuguese and English.

ESPN – All Four Slams, All In One Place

Tennis has been part of ESPN since its first week on the air and provided many memorable moments, but it has never been as important as today, with the US Open joining the lineup in 2009, giving ESPN all four Grand Slam events, something no other U.S. network has ever done, let alone in one year. ESPN has presented the Australian Open since 1984, the French Open since 2002 (plus 1986 – 1993), and Wimbledon since 2003, with exclusivity for live television with all other rights extended added in a 12-year agreement starting in 2012.

ESPN debuted September 7, 1979, and the first tennis telecast was exactly one week later, September 14, a Davis Cup tie, Argentina at U.S. from Memphis with Cliff Drysdale on the call and John McEnroe playing.

In addition, broadband network ESPN3, now in nearly 72 million homes, carries thousands of hours of tennis annually, including all four Grand Slam events, plus ATP 1000 and 500 tournaments and WTA Premier Events, and season-ending championships for both tours. Also, ESPN Classic shows great matches from the past and the sport receives extensive coverage on SportsCenter, ESPNEWS, Spanish-language ESPN Deportes, ESPN Radio, ESPN.com and ESPN The Magazine. ESPN 3D aired its first tennis at Wimbledon in 2011.

2012 French Open on ESPN2 & ESPN2 HD
Date Time (ET) Event
Sun, May 27 –

Fri, June 1
5 – 10 a.m. Early Round Action Live

Mon, June 4 5 – 10 a.m. Round of 16 Live
Tue, June 5 1 – 7 p.m. Quarterfinals Live & Same-day action
Wed, June 6 8 a.m. – 1 p.m. Quarterfinals Live
Thur, June 7 8 a.m. – 1 p.m. Women’s Semifinals Live

2012 French Open on ESPN3
Date Time (ET) Event
Sun, May 27 –

Fri, June 1
5 a.m. – 3 p.m. Early Round Action Live

Mon, June 4 8 a.m. – 7 p.m. Round of 16 Live
Tue, June 5 8 a.m. – 7 p.m. Quarterfinals Live
Wed, June 6 5 a.m. – 1 p.m. Quarterfinals Live
Thur, June 7 5 a.m. – 1 p.m. Men’s Doubles Semis Live

Women’s Semifinals

Read Full Post »

Here are NBC’s coverage plans and announcers for the 2012 French Open:

NEW YORK – May 23, 2012 – NBC’s 20 hours of 2012 French Open coverage begins this Sunday, 12 noon ET, with live opening-round coverage, and culminates with the Women’s Final on June 9 and the Men’s Final on June 10. In all, NBC will broadcast 20 hours from Roland Garros, including coverage on the first Sunday of play for the first time.

Defending champion Rafael Nadal has won six French Open titles (2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2010, 2011). With a win this year he will surpass Bjorn Borg for the most men’s French Open championships in the Open era.

COMMENTATORS: Host Ted Robinson anchors NBC’s coverage, joined by analysts John McEnroe and Mary Carillo. McEnroe and Carillo teamed to win the mixed doubles title at the 1977 French Open. This is NBC’s 30th consecutive year televising the event.

MCENROE ON NADAL’S PLACE IN TENNIS HISTORY: “He still has the chance to be the best player in history. So that alone is something pretty major. I’ve long considered Roger Federer to be the greatest in history, but Nadal sort of knocked on the door with a winning record over Roger. (Rod) Laver was my other guy and then (Pete) Sampras. Those are the four best.”

MCENROE ON NADAL’S STANDING ON CLAY: “This is sort of a historic event, because my buddy and rival Bjorn Borg won six out of eight and only lost twice at the French Open. Nadal’s won six and lost only once, so he has a chance to basically say ‘I’m the best ever.’”

CARILLO ON NADAL-FEDERER: “Rafael Nadal will go down in history as the greatest-ever clay-courter, eclipsing the luminous Bjorn Borg, but Roger Federer continues to dominate the ‘greatest-ever’ dialogue. A second French Open title from Roger would cement his superiority over Laver, Sampras…even Rafael, until and unless the Spaniard racks up more Wimbledons and U.S. Open titles.”

MCENROE ON NADAL-FEDERER: “Nadal-Federer is something that we’ll look back on and realize that this is one of the all-time great rivalries.”

MCENROE ON FEDERER’S DRIVE: “It’s amazing that he still has that hunger and passion. It sort of reminds me of what I see with Kobe Bryant. He’s someone who’s getting on an age but still seems to want it just as badly as in the very beginning of his career.”

MCENROE ON DJOKOVIC: “Don’t forget about Djokovich trying to win four-in-a-row (majors). That’s pretty historic as far as that goes, because that hasn’t happened since Laver did it when he won the Grand Slam.”MCENROE ON HIS PICK FOR THE MEN’S FINAL: I’d like to see Djokovic-Nadal to see if Djokovic has it in him to be able to beat Rafa for three out of five (sets) on clay.”

CARILLO’S FINAL FOUR PROJECTIONS:

Men: Rafael Nadal, Roger Federer, Novak Djokovic, Tomas Berdych

Women: Maria Sharapova, Serena Williams, Li Na, Samantha Stosur

FRENCH OPEN ON NBC: Following is the schedule for NBC’s coverage of the 2012 French Open, which culminates with live coverage of the Women’s (June 9) and Men’s (June 10) Finals:

FRENCH OPEN ON NBC

Sunday, May 27

Noon – 3 p.m. ET

First Round (Live)

Saturday, June 2

Noon – 3 p.m. ET

Third Round (Live)

Sunday, June 3

1 p.m. – 4 p.m. ET

Fourth Round (Live)

Friday, June 8

11 a.m. – 2 p.m. (all time zones)

Men’s Semifinals (Live ET)

Saturday, June 9

9 a.m. – Noon ET

Women’s Final (live)

Sunday, June 10

9 a.m. – 2 p.m. ET

Men’s Final (Live)

FRENCH OPEN ON NBCSPORTS.COM: Tennis fans can go online to watch a live simulcast of each day of NBC’s coverage including the Men’s and Women’s Finals, and live streaming coverage, across the country, of the Men’s Semifinals on Friday, June 8. NBCSports.com will also provide daily video highlights online-only analysis for NBC’s tennis commentators.

NBC AND THE FRENCH OPEN: In 1975, NBC became the first American television network to provide coverage of the French Open when the network signed a three-year deal with the French Tennis Federation. The tournament was covered by CBS from 1980-82 and returned to NBC in 1983, where it has remained since.

–NBC SPORTS GROUP–

Read Full Post »

(This post originally appeared on NewJerseyNewsroom.com)

(I think it’s fair to say most sports fans have either done this or seen it done on TV multiple times. So think about your own personal experience as you read through this column.)

You’ve just arrived at a ballgame, either after taking a long train ride or driving a long distance and waiting for what seemed like an eternity to park. Paid a lot for that parking spot. Bought food and drink for more than it costs to get an oil change. You sit down in uncomfortable seats without back support. Yet through it all, you’re ready, pumped to see your team play.

[Click here for the rest of the story.]

Read Full Post »

(This column first appeared on NewJerseyNewsroom.com)

America is fat. It eats too much, doesn’t exercise enough, spends way too much money on health care because of that and no matter what political affiliation or political beliefs you have, the bottom line is this: America is very unhealthy.

Golf, on the other hand, can be extremely healthy. 18 holes is four-and-a-half to five miles. The leisurely stroll in a park is a great social setting as well, and studies have proven that a good mental state can also help lead to a good physical state.

But golf has a problem. It’s being played way too slowly.

[Click here for the rest of the story.]

Read Full Post »

Older Posts »