Unsurprising sports TV war news

Of course CBS Sports Network would pick up the Arena League. It’s just one more tiny league to fill time on CBSSN.

Actually, the Arena League might be a pretty big get for CBSSN, and quite possibly the biggest non-college programming on the network (unless you count odd US Open tennis coverage). It wasn’t that long ago, before the ESPN experiment and bankruptcy, that the Arena League was considered on the level of MLS and the WNBA. The earlier moves by the CFL and UFL to find networks proved that it wasn’t the NFL restricting them to “NFLN or bust”, making it all but inevitable the Arena League would fall short, especially after the final indignation earlier this year when NFLN, Olympics-restricted into carrying an NFL preseason game the night of the ArenaBowl in New Orleans, had it played at the relatively ungodly hour of 9 PM CT with a three-hour time slot. Especially with NBCSN picking up the CFL, it wasn’t out of the question for the Arena League to return to its previous stomping grounds of NBC, so for CBS to pick it up is a pretty big deal and one of those “baby steps” needed to escape being a laughingstock. It’s telling that the ArenaBowl will be aired on the CBS broadcast network on a Saturday afternoon.

I’m not even adding the Sugar Bowl shacking up with ESPN now that it’s taking the Champions Bowl matchup, since we kind of knew that already.

Sport-Specific Networks
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Sports Watcher for the Weekend of 7/26-27

All times PDT.

10:30-12 PM: Champions Tour Golf, Senior British Open, third round (ABC). If we’re putting up the third round of a golf tournament – of a SENIOR TOUR golf tournament – we are scraping the bottom of the barrel to put up something, ANYTHING.

1:30-3 PM: AVP Volleyball, Men’s final from Long Beach (NBC). Yes, we are really scraping the bottom of the barrel.

9-11 PM (both coasts): EliteXC Mixed Martial Arts, Saturday Night Fights (CBS). I’m still waiting to see what the ratings are for Saturday Night Fights Mark II, but hey, there’s nothing else on, other than a re-air of UFC 84 on Spike.

10-11 AM: Cycling, Tour de France (CBS). See a bunch of doped-up freaks motor their way to the finish line! Er… on second thought…

10-12 PM: Champions Tour Golf, Senior British Open, final round (ABC). It’s your chance to see Greg Norman all over again!

Honorable Mention: 10:30-1:30 PM: MLB Baseball, Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony (ESPN Classic). Goose Gossage and a bunch of people who never played a game.

12-3 PM: Arena Football League, ArenaBowl XXII (ABC). Down in the dumps because there’s no football? Get yourself revved up for the new season! (Who says the NFL season is short? I think the Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony and associated Game is next week, which means the NFL plays from August into February. The NFL shoves football down our throat for half a year and keeps at it the rest of the time! If you go from the HoF to the Draft, we have nine months where we obsess about football!)

In all seriousness, I’m actually going to be watching the Arena Bowl – try and get myself into it.

5-8 PM: MLB Baseball, NY Yankees @ Boston (ESPN). GAA-GAA IT’S THE SOX AND THE YANKEES GAAAAAAAAAAAAA!!!!!!!11!111!!111!!!!!!111!1!!eleven!

Sports Watcher for the Weekend of 7/12-13

All times PDT.

9-11:30 AM: Arena Football, Cleveland @ Philadelphia (ESPN). No real championships this week, so the Arenaball conference championships will make up the difference.

12-2:30 PM: Arena Football, Grand Rapids @ San Jose (ESPN). Um… see above. Yeah. Can you tell I’m not an Arenaball man?

5-8:30 PM: NASCAR Sprint Cup Racing, LifeLock 400 (TNT). I’m not sure NASCAR really wants to have a race sponsored by these guys.

9:30-12:30 PM: MLB Baseball, All-Star Futures Game (ESPN2). Wait, the All-Star Break has two all-star games involving top prospects (counting the AAA All-Star Game)?

12:30-2:30 PM: WNBA Basketball, Connecticut @ Washington (ABC). There are two golf tournaments going on but both start at noon, when the Futures Game is on, so…

3-5 PM: LPGA Golf, Owens Corning Classic (ESPN2). …it’s Girl Power Sunday on the Watcher!

5-8 PM: MLB Baseball, Colorado @ NY Mets (ESPN). Ha, the Rockies and Mets players will suck at the All-Star festivities.

Championships return next week, but no ArenaBowl yet – hot British Open action instead!