? Tennis Channel, Anyone?
?Really Big Screen TV
?Are enough people fanatical about tennis to support a 24-hour network? We'll see when the Tennis Channel launches in December, but the initial steps made by the network have been impressive. Founders Steve Bellamy and David Meister have already lined up a total of 14 WTA and ATP tour events. They plan to air instructional programs hosted by Pete Sampras, Brad Gilbert and possibly Andre Agassi ( Sampras and Agassi are investors in the channel), and a behind-the-scenes show called No Strings, which will take viewers to places like Sampras's private jet as he heads to a tournament.
?It won't challenge Signs at the box office, but this weekend's Colorado State- UCLA football game will be available in three movie theaters in Denver and one in L.A. The live high-definition telecast will cost fans between $6 and $10 and is a joint effort of Mark Cuban's HDNet TV network, Fox Sports Net, DIRECTV and a subsidiary of the Regal Entertainment Group, the largest theater operator in the U.S. If enough tickets are sold, the companies hope to team up later this year for other sporting events at moviehouses across the country.
?Interviewing a subject through an interpreter is never easy, but ESPN's David Aldridge scored last week in SportsCenter's "Sunday Conversation with Yao Ming." During a four-minute interview Aldridge got Yao, who will play for the Houston Rockets this season, to comment on how China emphasizes the team game more than the NBA, how he will deal with American stardom ("That's a real big headache for me," Yao says) and which NBA stars he most looks forward to playing. To the last question Yao immediately answered, " Shaq."