Good news for the hair spray industry: It doesn't look as if Mel Kiper, ESPN's carefully coiffed NFL draft expert, is going off the air anytime soon. ESPN's exclusive rights to the draft, which it has aired since 1980, expire next year with the end of the network's eight-year deal to broadcast games, but the league is expected to re-up with the network. Apparently the NFL prefers to sell the rights to the draft rather than broadcast the increasingly popular two-day event on its six-month-old, program-strapped NFL Network. " ESPN has done a terrific job with it, and we don't anticipate that changing," says Seth Palansky, a spokesman for the NFL Network. "[The draft] is not in the plans at this point." This year's draft drew drew a 3.9 overnight rating for Saturday's coverage of the first three rounds. In contrast the network averaged a 1.3 rating for its 64 NBA regular season games.
contest On Saturday, May 8, CBS will air the first of a three-part series called PGA Tour 18—Golf's Ultimate Road Trip. Cameras will follow every move of two teams of four amateur golfers (including one woman) whose handicaps range from four to 16 as they traveled across the country in RVs, playing 18 of the Tour's toughest holes over nine days. The teams started at opposite ends of the country and didn't know their itinerary from one day to the next. The team with the lowest cumulative score wins a trip to watch the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am next February. Included are tips on how to play the holes from the likes of Ernie Els, Arnold Palmer and Mike Weir. "This is less about how good a player is than it is about the interaction of four people who don't know each other being thrown together," says Stu Nicol, vice president of PGA Tour productions.