ESPNews burned

ESPNews got burned Wednesday in reporting the injury to Miami Heat Center Shaquille O’Neal. The network cited a “report” from the Miami Herald’s website stating that Shaq would be out for the year. However, the website looked eerily similar to the Herald’s and even had a similar web address. But the page was made up to look like the Herald’s site and has since been taken down. The correct report was that Shaq had a strained knee.

Fox took glee in the mistake and quickly put up the correct story.

Michael Hiestand of USA Today writes about the debut of the latest entry into the ESPN family of networks, ESPNU which sounds like a direct competitor to CSTV, a network devoted to college sports. ESPN says it will air games not normally seen on its regular networks onto ESPNU. The network debuts March 4 or 03-04-05 as the promos have told us.

Sports Business Daily reports that DirecTV and Adelphia cable have picked up ESPNU for the launch of the network. On Adelphia, ESPNU will be on the digital tier pack. Subscribers to DirecTV can access ESPNU as long as they receive the “Sports Pack” tier.

Hockey fans in Canada are sad over the fact that longtime CBC announcer Chris Cuthbert had his contracted terminated by the network. According to the Toronto Star newspaper, Cuthbert consntatly clashed with CBC Sports Executive Director Nancy Lee, but she tells the Star that the NHL lockout was responsible for his departure. Some staffers feel Cuthbert was fired. In addition to “Hockey Night in Canada”, Cuthbert called CFL Grey Cups, Olympics and other sports. It hasn’t been a good winter for CBC, there’s the NHL lockout and it lost the bidding for the 2010 Winter Olympic Games in Vancouver and the 2012 Summer Games to rival CTV, now this.

Jose Canseco is trying to take his next leap into stupidity by offering to take a polygraph test on pay per view. HBO has passed telling the New York Times that it felt like a stunt to make money.

Update: 2:10 p.m.

Boston Bruins TV announcer Dave Shea has a new gig. He has signed with the Washington Nationals, the former Expos to join their radio broadcast team. Former Washington Bullets radio announcer Charlie Slowes will team with Shea to broadcast the games.
The Washington Post (registration required) has more on Slowes and Shea.

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