Tuesday, August 23, 2005

Back to the Caber Toss for ESPN?

When ESPN first came on the air I was a young and naive to the subtleties of "World Sport." Thankfully ESPN was there to give me my first taste of Australian Rules Football, Curling, Logging Competitions, and the awe-inspiring Caber Toss. That changed over time and now ESPN is "the sports channel of record" with a family of channels so massive that the movie Dodgeball parodied them by having a channel called ESPN 8 -- The Ocho! Funny thing was "8" wasn't that far from the truth.

But recent changes might mean a return to obscurity for ESPN. Sure they have rights to Monday Night Football in the near future, but in the aftermath of a successful broadcast of the Tour d'France Comcast's OLN is stepping into the ring of major sports broadcasting. Their first acquisition was rights to NHL games, a relatively easy task with the success of NHL on TV being what it is. Now it looks like OLN has their sights on the cable rights to MLB as well.

Personally, I see this as a winning situation for me in that I hope that OLN will hire better commentators than ESPN when covering baseball. Just because a player is in the Hall of Fame doesn't mean he can talk about baseball.

Who knows...maybe I will learn the mysteries of County Cricket on ESPN. At minimum I expect and expansion of their ESPN manufactured X-Sports.

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