PTI And ATH Go Black For The Week

Monday, July 21, 2008

I don't know if this is an experiment, or the network is trying to ramp up for the new Sports Center format in August, but today's absence of PTI and Around the Horn definitely caught me off guard. I tuned in for my nightly fast forwarding, er viewing of ATH and noticed a random Sports Center Special with Chris McKendry airing. My first thought was that something crazy in the Sports World had gone down, but that wasn't it. I next assumed that I was on ESPN2 for some reason....nope. Lastly, I figured that they had finally cancelled ATH! No such luck.

So what the heck was up? There hadn't been an official press release about the "Special" Sports Centers, but I figured I'd go back and check. And there, buried in a week long "this week in ESPN" release (that mainly includes NASCAR News), was this tidbit....

ESPN will present a week of special one-hour SportsCenter programs Monday-Friday, July 21-25, at 5 p.m. These SportsCenters will feature elements from different ESPN platforms, including ESPN Radio,, ESPN The Magazine, ESPN Fantasy Sports and content from SportsCenter. Hosting the specials will be Chris McKendry (Monday), Dari Nowkhah (Tuesday-Thursday) and Josh Elliott (Friday). Around the Horn and Pardon the Interruption will return Monday, July 28.
I also did some searching and found this little message from Michael Wilbon about halfway through the 5pm show....

Hmmm. That's curious isn't it? Since when does a show that replaces both of its regular hosts with random people on a regular basis take a hiatus? Tony Kornheiser has been absent for weeks from PTI and that press release is dated today. I'm not going to make a ton of conspiracy theory type guesses about things (you're welcome to do so in the comments), but just in case someone is reading.....two hours of Sports Center in the evening is waaaaay too much. Hell an hour is too long, but let's just focus on this "Special" Sports Center.

Chris McKendry seriously counted down plays #50-41 of the "year so far". No no....not Baseball. The ENTIRE year of 2008. Tom Brady to Randy Moss in the Super Bowl was #48 and Josh Hamilton's HR Derby performance was #49 (which isn't even technically a "play"). I'm not sure what the experiment is, or what is going on, but I'm not a fan. I need Dan LeBatard talking about David Hasselhoff's crotch every night or I'll go crazy.

It's an interesting choice to say the least, and I'll try to keep you updated.

Posted by Awful Announcing- at 7:52 PM


My favorite part of the best plays thing was that she kept saying lame stuff like, "yes there's still football season and the 2nd half of baseball season to go." Or, "don't worry, we realze it's only July." What the hell was the point other than a time filler?

Lammy742 said...
Jul 21, 2008, 9:02:00 PM  

No need for speculation regarding Tony. After his radio show ended, he mentioned he is taking his annual vacation before Monday Night Football.

So the repeated references are similar to your favorite 70s sitcom when the star is either on strike or ill (reference "Good Times" with James Evans or "Sanford & Son" with Fred G. Sanford). The WWL is just letting you know he is still around just not for today's show.

As for ATH, let's pray that they are finding something better!

B.C. said...
Jul 21, 2008, 9:20:00 PM  

As for ATH, let's pray that they are finding something better!

The return of the one-hour Jim Rome is Burning (with more Jemele Hill & Drew Sharp than ever)? When both ATH & PTI kept referencing that they were not going to be on 'til the 28th last Friday, I figured some sort of two-hour daily training camp edition of NFL Live, because ESPN doesn't have enough NFL coverage.

Jul 21, 2008, 9:31:00 PM  

I was suprised also, and assumed since ESPN gets the NASCAR Sprint Cup back this week, they were going to spend the hour plugging that. I remember last year when ESPN started covering NASCAR, they bumped ATH and PTI for a week of hour-long NASCAR Nows.

michael said...
Jul 21, 2008, 10:33:00 PM  

Kornheiser said many times during his radio show that he was off the entire month of July from PTI, after the radio gig ended. Complicated this year by having a hernia operation before MNF preseason started.

PTI is obviously on solid ground these days, because I recall 2 or 3 years ago, they went the month of July without either Wilbon or Kornheiser in the chair. Seemingly a cast of thousands took over and they commented they would not allow that to happen again.

So, they must have built in some hiatus time.

Anonymous said...
Jul 21, 2008, 10:47:00 PM  

I'd be happy if they pulled PTI, ATH, and Rome for good.

Kevin in Palm Harbor said...
Jul 21, 2008, 10:56:00 PM  

Wouldn't mind them pulling ATH or Rome, but please leave PTI untouched. It's the only thing I find myself watching anymore on ESPN besides the occasional game.

Bob said...
Jul 21, 2008, 11:33:00 PM  

Yeah, you know, I don't really mind PTI. Even though you get some of those elitist, journalist dweebs such as Dan LeBatard, there are some other guys on there I don't particularly mind. ATH and PTI are basically the same things, just in slightly different formats.

Eric said...
Jul 22, 2008, 12:02:00 AM  

I will definitely go through PTI withdrawals this week.

Samuel said...
Jul 22, 2008, 12:34:00 AM  

eric, maybe they could be doing better, but they could certainly be doing much worse than Dan LeBatard as a filler host.

Anonymous said...
Jul 22, 2008, 12:44:00 AM  

Well, ESPN is doing what, six hours of SportsCenter every weekday morning? The WWL has such a huge roster of talking heads, they're probably seeing how far they can Hamburger Helper their top show.

SC stopped being a news/highlight show a long time ago anyway -- even when they cover sports news, they scatter the good stuff around so you have to watch multiple segments of filler to see what you want to see. Actually, in fact, SC spends more time promoting upcoming events than it does reporting what's already happened. Gotta keep you hooked, y'know.

jvwalt said...
Jul 22, 2008, 1:16:00 AM  


That is why I watch ESPNEWS when I want to get some highlights and scores. 100 times better watching a 30 minute ESPNEWS rather than sitting through an entire Sportscenter.

Jubanator14 said...
Jul 22, 2008, 3:18:00 AM  

Amen jubanator14; once I get EspnNew in Highdef I'll probably never watch Espn again.

Anonymous said...
Jul 22, 2008, 8:31:00 AM  

they did this last summer, too. but last summer they ran nascar now during the week to prepare for espn's coverage of nascar (which starts this week)...guess they decided this year nascar isn't as important so they are going with sportscenter

Anonymous said...
Jul 22, 2008, 9:34:00 AM  

It must be nice to be able to take a month off from work.

Someone kill Bob Ryan already.

GMoney said...
Jul 22, 2008, 10:41:00 AM  

PTI and ATH are showing on my PVR for the next two weeks starting Monday. However, they were missing for this week so I would not put too much into this.

Anonymous said...
Jul 22, 2008, 10:42:00 AM  

The day EPSNEWS came on the air was the day SC ceased becoming a sports news and highlights show.

Brian said...
Jul 22, 2008, 2:54:00 PM  

ATH can stay off as far I'm concerned. If not, get rid of Jay Mariotti.

Anonymous said...
Jul 22, 2008, 10:08:00 PM  

"nightly fast-forwarding..." but you just realized today (Wednesday) that it wasn't on?

Anonymous said...
Jul 23, 2008, 10:08:00 PM  

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