Sunday, August 22, 2010

Sky Sports News Switch To Paywall Pisses Off London and UK

Georgie Thompson of Sky Sports News 
UK based, British Sky Broadcasting-owned, Sky Sports News, in an effort to provide and pay for a planned 3D service via subscription revenues, has moved their free sports television service to a paywall today.

To be called "Sky Sports News HD," it is available on subscription services Sky, Virgin Media and Talk Talk TV. But for now, the free version's been shutoff, and, as one viewer put it on Twitter, "without even a goodbye."

The move has pissed off once-loyal viewers, who've taken to Twitter to express their outrage, thus making Sky Sports News one of the Top Trends on Twitter. Here's a sample of the Tweets:

proofspirit - Today is a dark day. Sky Sports News no longer available on Freeview. Might as well sell my TV. 3 minutes ago via Echofon

GManSizzle - RT @Arsenal_Away: Watching Sky Sports News till 6. Last time on Freeview, a most sad day indeed. RIP SSN channel 83 :'-(

andrewbrookes84 - At a bit of a loss without my morning fix of sky sports news

stephenackroyd - Sky Sports News HD looks a bit like an OTT, overly futuristic skin made by a 13 year old for Football Manager.

TheOfficialTom - Nooo sky sports have left freeview oopd I forgot about that
14 minutes ago via Twitter for BlackBerry®

andyecfc - Love the new Sky Sports news.
15 minutes ago via web

DebbieAtherton = OMG what am I going to do now!!! Sky Sports News has gone from freeview!..not happy! I'm not paying for it either! 20 minutes ago via ƜberTwitter

stevelee23 - Bye bye sky sports news.... Very annoying.
21 minutes ago via Twitter for iPhone

It's almost like the American reaction if none of our sports programs were free, and we had to pay to see what was happening.   The question is who will buy it?  With UK's current unemployment rate at almost 8 percent, it's hard to see the logic in installing a paywall and expecting consumers to give money to view sports when they have to save money for more important expenditures.

By the looks of the Twitter reactions, the business move could be a failure, Georgie Thompson or no Georgie Thompson.

Oakland Mayor's Race: A Poll's Being Conducted, But By Whom?

Don, are you out polling?
For some time candidates in the Oakland Mayor's Race, let alone Oaklanders, have not had a handle on who the real front-runner in the Oakland Mayor's Race was. And no wonder; no one had done a poll.

Well, as of this writing, that's changed. Someone's conducting a poll of Oaklanders, but what's n not known by this space is who's doing the poll. The only clue available that a poll is in the works is this Tweet:

davidcolburn - I've been polled twice on the Oakland mayor's race in past 48 hours. Is everyone getting calls, or am I just lucky?
about 6 hours ago via TweetCaster

The concern here is for the design of the poll. Does it mention each of the ten candidates for Mayor to determine awareness? Is it done by one of the candidates, or another group or organization? How many people are being contacted?

Whatever the case, a poll of the Oakland Mayor's Race is being conducted. A fair speculation is that it's by one of the candidates, and the bet here is it's the Don Perata for Mayor Campaign or some Oakland group.

More on this later in the week.

Oakland Mayor's Race: Joe Tuman's Yard Signs Missing

Joe Tuman 
When this blogger got an email from a person who was concerned that Joe Tuman's campaign was placing lawn signs where they should not be, and wanted to know where to file a complaint, it was discounted because there was no photo or video to go with the email.  No proof.

Instead, it seemed logical to connect the person who sent the email directly with the Joe Tuman campaign; they followed up with the complainer, copying this blogger in the process.

But what seemed to be a small issue's slowly turning into a bigger one. Here's the latest two Tweets from Joe Tuman's Twitter account:

Our Yard Signs seem to be disappearing....? Someone is not happy about Oakland changing for the better!
about 5 hours ago via Facebook
Are Yard Signs seem to be disappearing? Keep an eye out as someone is not happy about changing Oakland for the better.
And to be fair, here's the email sent that I wasn't going to post at first. Since the Tuman campaign's complaining about yard signs being taken down, it seems logical to post it, but without the complainer's name:

Where do I officially file a complaint, as Mr.Tuman is violating his signed oath, and other campaign laws, and is placing Campaign signs on public property, and on abandoned private property where I strongly believe he does not have owner's permission, blighting Oakland, months before the election.

I removed a sign of his on August 16 from a fenced-in abandoned business at 42nd Ave & Foothill. I hear there are many signs all over, especially District 4, 35th Ave, freeway ramps, etc.

Whatever's going on, someone's got it in for "Joe Tuman for Mayor" yard signs.  It's not all Tuman's fault; there are people who strongly back Joe's campaign and people who fear that a political unknown like Tuman could win the Oakland Mayor's Race.  

You know you've got a hotly contested political battle when yard signs become an issue.

Stay tuned.

True Blood fairy good? by Suzannah B. Troy

Warning if you have not seen the new episode yet don't read this!!!!

Sookie is a fairy?   My jaw dropped.  We are suppose to believe Bill loves her for her and not her fairy blood.  If  you believe that you believe in True Love.  If you are cynical and the writers have left the door open a crack because dudes or vamps that truly love you for you are not researching your family tree.... Please forgive me my cynicism back to the romance channel.

Stay calm -- we all love the romance between Sookie and Bill and in real life the actors have made it legal. Read my pre-show post...

This episode was jammed packed with so many sub-plots, mysterious creatures still unrevealed but pure trouble and a wicken.  There is too much to talk about but I just love the series...despite the violence and blood which I could do with out.

Tara finally gets closure...hallelujah.  A very good actor bites the dust though.

High on V scenes reminiscent of the first season minus the wild sex scenes...the ones from first season
with Sookie's brother and his than girlfriend mind-blowing...

I do like Sookie and Eric kissing, was just a dream... I really like their kissing... but how the ending music about smelling a rat sums it up...darn.

Russell truly bad and what an actor although the entire cast is terrific.

Even the coming attractions were spectacular.

What a sexy soap opera with fangs...  I can't wait until the next episode.   Like the rest of you I wonder how will I make it until season 4 and message to Alan Ball, you better be working on season 5.  I also anticipate a killer cliff hanger to keep very hungry for  season 4...fangs away.....

p.s.  The show does get to the heart of the matter on issues like our first kiss, true love, sexual politics, gay politics and human nature the dark and light sides....

NFL Preseason : Patrick Willis Sack of Brett Favre Excites Twitter

Brett Favre - hated by some on Twitter
In NFL Preseason action The Minnesota Vikings Quarterback Brett Favre made his 2010 NFL Season debut in a preseason game against the San Francisco 49ers at Candlestick Park in San Francisco.

Naturally, the 49ers were only to happy to welcome Favre and did so on the second play of the Vikings offense. It was a play that saw Favre get clobbered, which in turn lit-up Twitter.

Favre's throw pass was a swing pass out of the backfield that gained 13 yards and a first down.  The 49ers, determined to stop Favre and The Vikings, loaded the middle of the Vikings offense with the objective of sacking Brett Favre on 3rd down; the plan worked, as a retreating Favre could not backpedal fast enough to escape the onrush Pat Willis. The 49ers star middle linebacker hit Favre straight on and drove him into the turf.

That was the end of any more game reps for Favre.

Now, such a play would seem to be routine, but when this blogger happened to look at the Twitter Top Trends about 20 minutes ago as of this writing, "Patrick Willis" was one of the top five.

Get a load of what the Twitter users said;

brittmce - Best moment of my day: seeing Patrick Willis drive friggin Brett Favre into the turf. #49ers

BeauBreton25 - RT: @RyanCowette: Patrick Willis is sooooo much fun to watch, wow- best defensive player in the NFL

Legendary559 - RT @JRSportBrief: Patrick Willis killed Favre. America loved that. #NFL #49ers

driven into ground a bit, not blindsided RT @rodimusprime: So some of ya'll say Patrick Willis killed Brett others say it was uneventful

To this blogger it was uneventful. Obviously, the Vikings lacked an audible to counter the blitz, otherwise the scheme would not have worked. That's the NFL Preseason.

But it's still interesting to see the number of people on Twitter who were actually happy to see Brett Favre get pummeled.

True Blood vamping hour is almost here by Suzannah B. Troy

I will check back in at 10:00PM NYC time to express myself but gearing up here is some news.

Anna Paquin and Stephen Moyer  are now married. The New York Daily News has all the dish and here is the link rather than me regurgitate it for you.  It is a well written piece with a lovely photo.  Enjoy!
I am surprised Moyer is so much older, been married twice oops two previous relationships, I meant to write,  and has kids so that makes Anna a young step-mother.  Believe it or not I thought I saw him on the subway here (around the time of Season 1)  in NYC and he is short.  So is Anna and judging from the Rolling Stone Cover they fit perfectly.  Good luck and most important ehem, smile, is they will be back for Season 4 which you know I am longing for and can't wait for.  I want it to start when this season ends in September.

Here is a fun post from The New York Post:  Arlene is not comfortable being pregnant with evil baby.

Here is my post from yesterday which includes the season schedule.  Enjoy.  See you after tonight's episode....until them fangs away!

Heidi Montage Sex Tape Steve Hirsch Vivid by Suzannah B. Troy

TMZ my favorite gossip tv show has the video of Steve Hirsch being interviewed on the possibility of a Heidi Montag sex video.   Who Heidi Montag is does not interest me but  Steve Hirsch does.   For Heidi fans Steve Hirsch said the success of the tape is up to her.

Steve Hirsch does interest me because he has taken the porn world to a new frontier.  He is 2nd generation getting his intro to the industry from his father and his sister works for him so it is a family business that has seen radical changes and many by Hirsch himself pushing the envelope.  AVN is also a prime mover including creating the porn world's own version of the Oscars which is said to be a 100 times better than the Oscars and a lot more interesting.

Hollywood has always resembled porn and feed off it but the line between porn and mainstream film continues to blur.  I dream of making the ultimate date movie, an erotic, comedy, horror, murder film that women will love and will make both genders sizzle with sexuality but win an Oscar not an AVN.

For more on Steve Hirsch including a fascinating article from Forbes called "The Porn King" click on the links in this posting.   Even someone as square as Neil Cavuto from Fox News has chimed in on Steve Hirsch, here is a quote from conservative Cavuto: "His name is actually Steve Hirsch, and his company is Vivid Entertainment, and his dream of turning what was once a dirty, underground business into a mainstream, multibillion-dollar industry is now a full-fledged reality.  Whether you like what he does or not, no one can argue with his business savvy or success."

Thanks for tuning in....
Suzannah B. Troy

ESPN's Jay Mariotti May Be Done After Domestic Violence Arrest

Earlier it was reported that ESPN Personality Jay Marrioti was arrested early Saturday morning and charged with "suspicion of felony domestic assault" after an argument with his girlfriend that was said to have started at a nightclub and continued at Mariotti's apartment.

The 51-year old former Chicago Sun Times Sports Columnist was jailed and released on a $50,000 bond. That, after police reportedly found "cuts and bruises" on his girlfriend's body.

According to the LA Times, Mariotti allegedly got upset after he believed his girlfriend was flirting with another man at a club in Santa Monica. (To which, it must be said, Mariotti, who must have been drinking at the time, could have always just said "Ok. I'll dance with someone else," or something like that. The best option is always to keep options open, rather that what he allegedly did.)

The LA Times goes on to explain that once Mariotti and his girlfriend got into his apartment, he allegedly started pushing and shoving her.

Sources say Jay Mariotti done at ESPN

After this, and given the post-controversy history of recent ESPN personalities, a number of sources say Jay Mariotti is done at ESPN after this scandal. One is always innocent until proven guilty, so ESPN is reportedly taking a wait-and-see position, which is smart. But if the police report, as explained by the LA Times, holds, it's hard to see how Jay Mariotti keeps his job, let alone launch the planned NBA Basketball morning show with Jalen Rose.

SPORTSSbyBROOKS paints Mariotti as hypocrite

The weblog SPORTSbyBROOKS and its readers have been particularly hard on Jay Mariotti in the wake of the domestic abuse arrest.

The popular sports blog site has a post that lists the various times Jay has crawled all over athletes like Lawrence Phillips (who beat his girlfriend while a star Nebraska running back), and Baseball's Albert Belle (who was charged with domestic abuse in 1998).

In fact, SPORTSbyBROOKS went all the way back to 1996 in chronicling 15 years of comments by Jay Mariotti, throwing prominent athletes under the bus for domestic abuse charges.

It's a good read. Click here to see it.

ESPN Canned Steve Phillips, others

ESPN has a history of throwing out scandalous personalities, the most recent example being Steve Phillips in 2009 after his in-office and out affair with ESPN Associate Producer Brook Hundley. Before that it was ESPN Football Analyst Sean Salisbury, and after he admitted to sending a photo of his private via cellphone to co-workers in 2006. His contract was not renewed in 2008.

With that, and other examples, it's hard to see how Mariotti survives this scandal.

Stay tuned.

CNN iReport at Comic Con 2010 - meet LiLa King and crew

For Comic Con 2010 San Diego, CNN elected to make establish a major presence to capture the 18 to 30 year old demographic for its online content. And to do that, CNN dispatched its iReport Initiative Team, headed by LiLa King.

Lila asked this blogger to join the iReport Team for some kind of confab at 1:30 in San Diego's Gaslamp District on the last day of Comic Con. The visit was more than worth it, as Lila presented the gift of a cool Fiip Mino HD Video Camcorder specially designed in CNN iReport colors, including the Dick Tracy-like profile icon, and a CNN hat!

In the video, Lila referred to this video blogger as "The original iReport OG," which means "Original gangster." Normally, I'd disown such a designation, but coming from LiLa is it was just fine.

This blogger has been a contributor to the CNN iReport since 2007 and really ramped up contributions in 2008 and at the behest of Jessica Ellis of CNN Special Project Unit. The result was a self-created wedding of iReport, YouTube, Zennie62 blog (then called Zennie's Zeitgeist) content, and Twitter into one multi-platform stew.

Because of that and my iReport videos, LiLa King and Henry Hanks invited me to visit their offices at the CNN Headquarters in Atlanta. Since I spend about half my time there helping my Mother, a visit was easy. I even took her with me.

If you've not used CNN's iReport to post your video blogs, give it a shot; visit with a click here. You just may wind up on CNN.

Carrie Preston at True Blood's Anna Paquin, Stephen Moyer wedding

According to The Stir, HBO's True Blood's Anna Paquin and Stephen Moyer got married in Malibu, and without the fake blood that covered their bodies in the photo on the cover of the September Rolling Stone Magazine.

True Blood co-star Carrie Preston was at the event, as well as Elijah Wood, and both saw the groom jump into the pool, as presented at

The romance between Anna Paquin and Stephen Moyer started while they were on the set of True Blood, then blossomed into his proposal a year ago. The Stir asks if on screen romances, like the one between Anna Paquin and Stephen Moyer's characters, that become off-screen romances (real or fake) make you watch movies.

Carrie Preston
There's no real proof that formula consistently works. (If someone knows of a study on that, inform this blogger.) A movie or TV show ultimately survives on how good its viewers perceive it to be.

The romance creates buzz that a good publicist can use to fan the flames of interest, but if viewers don 't like what they see beyond the attention increase, they will go away.

That's also true even for the all the buzz around the True Blood Rolling Stone photo with Anna Paquin, Stephen Moyer, and Alexander Skarsgard on the cover.

While it's got the blogsphere talking, if people watch and don't like True Blood, the party's over.

Chicago Bears Offense Protection Problems Due To Martz Design

Mike Martz offensive design got 49ers Alex Smith injured
Is Bears  Jay Cutler next?
The Chicago Bears lost to the Oakland Raiders 32 to 17 and while it was a preseason game, its still important from the perspective of evaluating players and schemes. The Chicago Bears Offense under Offensive Coordinator Mike Martz can move the ball, but it comes with the protection problems that have always plagued Martz offenses.

According to, Bears Quarterback Jay Cutler claimed the team "had a few protection issues." Bears Head Coach Lovie Smith said that Left Tackle Chris Williams performance was "Not good enough," and added, "It's as simple as that. Whenever you give up a couple of sacks as an offensive lineman, that is not good. Chris is a better player than that."


But it's hard to be a good offensive tackle when your offensive coordinator has you retreat-blocking, rather than fight-blocking. The signature problem with the Mike Martz Offense is the offensive line pass pocket retreats faster than is necessary to run the patterns Mike installs.

Mike, for some weird reason, has never corrected that problem.

It's the same issue that caused San Francisco 49ers Quarterback Alex Smith to be sacked into near oblivion in 2008, then get injured.

And it is the same problem that had Detroit Lions Quarterback J.T. O'Sullivan taste Ford Field turf over 50 times in 2007. But guess what? When Martz came over from the Lions, where he lasted for two years, and to the 49ers, he brought J.T. with him and the same offensive line blocking problem.

Martz lasted one year in San Francisco.

If Mike Martz wants to last longer than the 2010 Season with the Chicago Bears, he needs to correct his design problem. And the NFL must stop giving Martz a pass by continuously hiring him and calling him a genius. Martz will be a genius in this space after he fixes the O-line blocking problem.

Otherwise, Jay Cutler may become another Alex Smith of 2008.

Green Bay Packers Aaron Rodgers has 153.9 Preseason Passer Rating

It's obvious that California Golden Bear and Green Bay Packers Quarterback Aaron Rodgers has been lighting up the NFL Preseason with his passing.

In two games, the replacement for Brett Favre has thrown 24 passes, completing 20, for 275 yards, 3 touchdowns, and no interceptions.

Normally, this blogger discounts preseason as not a good indicator of the regular season. But this is different. Aaron Rodgers is now ready to put the Pack on his back. He's got a 153.9 passer rating in two games.

To say Aaron's accurate is an understatement. He once hit a net with a football from 50 yards away, twice.

Don't believe it?

I'm not going to pick the Pack for The Super Bowl because The Vikings, Bears, and Lions all look much improved over 2009.

But Rodgers will be a force in 2010. That much is certain.

ESPN's Jay Mariotti Destroyed On Twitter After Domestic Violence Arrest

UPDATE: Mariotti may be done at ESPN.

This video blogger met ESPN's Jay Mariotti at The Clevelander, a famous Miami hotel and bar in 2007 and during the week before Super Bowl XLI pitting the Indianapolis Colts against the Chicago Bears.

For a guy who spends a lot of air time blasting athletes, he's was a nice person.  That's how it goes: people assume the person is really like their on-air persona.   Nope.

Jay was just hanging out when I walked up and introduced myself. He was very nice to me, and not at all like his reputation.

But considering his celebrity, you'd expect him to have an entourage. No. Mariotti was alone at the time and it was a bright, sunny Friday with a lot of people around before the weekend of the game. By contrast, I was with friends.

The thought that went through my mind was that absent the ESPN fame and the Sun Times relationship at the time, Jay Mariotti was just a normal guy living in Chicago. No girls around him.  Moreover, no one seemed to notice him.  In fact, he'd just parted ways with the Sun Times and was just with ESPN.

Now, he's in Los Angeles and for some reason is accused of domestic violence against his girlfriend.  Sad for both parties. While it's the hope that's not the case, the observation is that journalists who become media stars don't seem to hold up well in the self-esteem department. One would think it would be the reverse, but this blogger's experience - based on Super Bowls and parties - is that's not the case at all.

And that's all I'll say about that.

One thing is Jay's getting his arse handed to him on Twitter.  It's the byproduct of the idea that what goes around, comes around: if you spend TV time tearing down people, people will tear you down the moment something goes wrong.  And that's the case with Jay now.

Barnes_C - Marrioti hasn't been the same since he got canned by the Suntimes RT @espn: Sports commentator Jay Mariotti (cont)

Perhaps that's the case. But whatever, it's clear that Chad Ochocinco's well aware of Jay's problem:

@terrellowens Holy jail time Batman,another ESPN analyst has been arrested, Jay Mariotti, lets see if they crucify their own like they do us
about 18 hours ago via web in reply to terrellowens

The lesson for Jay is when you're famous, you have to be on your best behavior. The whole World has an view about you, and if it's already negative, they will feed on you in a moment when you do something wrong.