There was a dead period of a little over a month in the sports TV wars, but some contracts are starting to get signed again.
CBS Sports Network is starting to become home to all the bottom-of-the-barrel detritus none of the other contenders want – both professional lacrosse leagues, and rumor has it the UFL will be looking to them as their savior. At least they share the PBR with NBC Sports Network. It’s even starting to spread to the college coverage that originally built the network and continues to provide its best programming; the Great Alaska Shootout, floundering since being abandoned by ESPN and putting together a patchwork of regional TV coverage, has gotten back on “national” television with the CBS Sports Network. As the Wars develop, I have a feeling you’ll see people start to say “that league is so far down they’re on the CBS Sports Network!” The challenge posed to CBS is if they can avoid that fate of becoming the network of last resort.
Of more substance, but not much, is the Ivy League expanding its relationship with NBC Sports Network, which already shows several football games, but will now show basketball and lacrosse for the next two years as well, and could sublicence some games to other entities.
Again, not a whole heck of a lot, but the big prizes of MLB and NASCAR are coming up very, very quickly. In fact, the NASCAR contract may be done in less than two weeks.