Brand Damage For Joe Buc. Life Is Easy, Comedy Is Hard…Or Is All PR Good P.

Mine is not to debate whether Artie Lange should or should not have been on with Joe Buck on HBO this week. The question becomes was the buzz created by Lange's obscenity-laced diatribes worth what a solid sports personality, Joe Buck, and a solid brand, HBO, were trying to d. The ratings showed that the show did very well…it was HBO, so there were no ads to worry about…the show certainly got more buzz for Lange than for the good pieces Buck had with Brett Favre and others, and the American mentality of watching a car wreck for fun goes on. Lange's exposure went up…every blogger and sports media personality talked about him, and what was a very bland show with maybe no hope of return for Buck, gave him some spice and a second life. Does Artie Lange need now to come back to HB. No. Does Joe Buck need to have a second shot, which may drive more interest to see if he can become a good hos. Probably. Was Buck's “brand” damaged because of the sho. Ho. Are less people tuning in to watch Baseball on FOX because of i. Injured maybe, but not damaged. Probably more will just to see if he will react to the show. The damage will be if Buck gets dragged into name calling and doesn’t take the high road, which he assuredly will. It also created some buzz around his personality and maybe even a bit of an underdog mentality to see if the potential September show will get better. Rest assured HBO probably liked the numbers and the controversy…there was no running away from controversy or numbers when Buzz Bissinger and blogger Will Leitch from Deadspin squared off on Costas’ show last summer…so maybe to a lesser extent the controversy will drive a second show, which probably wouldn’t be bad for all concerned. Given Buck's quality work and the quality of all HBO does, the opportunity to build a brand remains, despite the slow start.

Some other good reads…PROMO had a good piece on Wise chips assault on the record had a great piece on the NBA's move into India...and the LA Times’ Bill Plascke had a good profile of Lakers GM Mitch Kupchak