When is a deal not a deal?

I was not planning to do links today as stories about the sports media have been rather scarce. But there are a couple of interesting stories.

Back in February, I did some links to the firing of Chris Cuthbert, then a longtime announcer for the CBC in Canada. Cuthbert called the CFL, Olympics and Hockey Night in Canada. But CBC Sports President Nancy Lee unceremoniously fired Cuthbert by registered mail as he was preparing to call the World Figure Skating Championships in Moscow. Cuthbert has landed on his feet and signed a new contract with CTV/TSN. He’ll be involved in their Olympic coverage in 2010 and also call the CFL and the NHL. CTV has a press release on Cuthbert’s hiring. The Toronto Globe and Mail also has a story in regards to Cuthbert’s signing with TSN which is the equivalent of ESPN in Canada. Cuthbert’s firing was big news in Canada as he was seen as the heir apparent to Bob Cole as the main announcer on Hockey Night in Canada, but that will not be the case now.

And Rob Brodie of the Ottawa Sun has a story in regards to Cuthbert landing on top. Cuthbert and his agent are still considering legal action against the CBC in regards to his firing.

The other story that broke over the last two days regards college sports network CSTV. Yesterday, it announced a contract to air football, basketball and other games from three small black college conferences, the SWAC, MEAC and SIAC. Thanks to the internet, we can link to the announcement that was published in the San Francisco Chronicle. It seemed like a big thing for the conferences which generally do not have their games broadcast on TV. Here’s the press release that was published by New Vision Sports Properties which appeared to broker this contract.

But hold on. The conferences especially the Southwestern Athletic Conference (SWAC) and Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference (MEAC) both denied there was a deal. Andrew Marchand of the New York Post wrote a short story in today’s edition. It appeared that the SWAC had already reached an agreement with ESPN for games to appear on ESPNU and the same for the SIAC. Here’s another version of the story.

So when is a deal not a deal? When ESPN says it isn’t. This is not the end of this story. I’m sure we’ll be hearing more about this in the days to come. Short stack of links today. There will be lots more tomorrow.