Thursday, May 20, 2010

The Broadcast Booth - May 20th update.....

This may have been a first for a TV sportscast. The same anchor getting a player's name both right and then wrong during the same report. Mike Adamle, now with Chicago's WMAQ-TV (NBC) pulled that one off this past Sunday (May 16th).

The NBC station had just carried the NHL telecast of Game 1 of the Western Conference Finals with the Chicago Blackhawks (the local team) defeating the San Jose Sharks. Out of the telecast, the station went into their local news, and led with the Blackhawks story, even though it was only Game 1. Adamle began his report with the highlights and correctly identified "Duncan Keith" of the Blackhawks. Yet, in a subsequent highlight of the same report, he then said "Keith Duncan" and made no correction.

No correction even with then going to a live report from San Jose (where the game was played) and then another live cut-in to a sports bar filled with happy Blackhawks fans. (As if this was truly a lead story for the news? But that's another story.)

Keep in mind, this is the local team and this station had just shown the game. I had not planned to keep watching, but knew I had to stay tuned to see the regular sports segment later in the newscast.

To my amazement, the sports segment came on, and once again Adamle referred to "Keith Duncan" on the highlights during that segment. Granted, mistakes happen to even the best. But then to not only fail to correct it, but repeat it, is beyond belief. This was not the news anchor trying to do sports. This was a local sportscaster talking about the local team - and the station had just shown the game. Yet, no one seems to have pointed out this error. No editors, producers, or on-air colleagues. They let it go without another mention.

Of course, the idea of making the game the lead story was designed to attract more viewers to a station's newscasts which have been stuggling over the past couple of years. Good luck keeping any Blackhawks fans who saw the station's most experienced sportcaster flub the name of a prominent player moments after the game ended. Maybe the WMAQ personnel were all monitoring the competition's news trying to figure out why they lack viewers. Oh my.

The NHL Playoffs are a hit with viewers who suddenly are finding Versus and willing to deal with NBC's staggered start times to watch. The first 2 rounds of the Stanley Cup Playoffs on Versus have set cable TV records for viewership (of the Playoffs). To the point where Versus ranked among the Top 10 cable networks in prime time among adults 18-49. Across the border, TSN in Canada set a record as the Philadelphia vs. Boston Game 7 telecast was the highest audience for an NHL Game shown in Canada not involving any of the Canada teams.

In Chicago, that Game 1 telecast against San Jose this past Sunday did so well locally that it beat out the White Sox and Cubs telecasts, as well as the Boston vs. Orlando NBA telecast - combined.

Televised sports seem especially hot in the Chicago area, as Comcast SportsNet reports record ratings since April 1st. The CSN was the highest rated cable TV network for the Chicago market (of any network - not just sports) in the 25-54 adult demographic. The playoff run by the Blackhawks is one factor, along with the now concluded playoff games involving the Bulls, and White Sox and Cubs baseball telecasts while the teams still have a chance added to it.

ST. LOUIS: New ownership for KFNS 590 is likely to have a direct impact on the ratings. Tim KcKernan has reportedly excercised a contract clause allowing him to terminate his deal with KSLG 1380 and return to KFNS as of June 14th, after a 3-year "abscence". He is likely to take Jim Hayes and Doug Vaughn with him. It will be interesting to see if KSLG keeps the 3 hosts on the air until June 11th or lets them go early and jump starts their replacement show.

Since McKernan's morning show had been starting at 7 AM, there is no word yet whether or not they will now start at 6 AM when they complete the move. To make room, 590 would move Martin Kilcoyne to the 10 AM to 1 PM slot and team him with Frank Cusumano.

KFNS shows a slightly higher audience than KSLG in the recently released ratings for the first quarter of 2010, although WXOS 101.1 leads the market's sports station with nearly three times the audience size during the morning, midday, and afternoon dayparts. Incredibly, the station has done this in less than a year and one-half on the air with this format.

Also, the July 2nd Cardinals vs. Brewers telecast on Fox Sports Network will also air on American Forces Network, complete with a special feed to and from Missouri National Guard troops in Afghanistan with a plan to interview some of the troops during the telecast.

SAN DIEGO: San Diego News Network reports that some employees of 98.9 FM ESPN have not received paychecks since March 15th, citing a "person with knowledge of the situation". The station already has no local originated programming, airing ESPN programming except for Angels baseball broadcasts it picks up. The sister station at 800 AM, which carried ESPN until last fall, continues as the ESPN Deportes station.

MILWAUKEE: Any Monday Night Football telecasts involving the Packers will continue to be shown on Channel 12 in Milwaukee, as that station extended its rights to do so with a multi-year deal. The station has carried Sunday and Monday ESPN telecasts under this arrangement going back to 1992.

DENVER: With Jerry Schemmel having moved over to call Rockies games this season, Colorado State has moved Brian Roth to the play-by-play role for its football and basketball broadcasts. Kevin McGlue will stick on the broadcasts (couldn't resist), moving from sideline reporter to color commentator starting with the coming football season. Roth will also host the coaches radio shows. KLZ 560 continues as the flagship station.

TORONTO: The Fan 590 is holding its contest for aspiring sports reporters, at least for those between the ages of 6 and 14. Nine winners will be able to interview a Blue Jays player before the team's June 19 home game.

AUBURN: WKKR The Kicker 97.7 has a new 3-year agreement to continue airing Auburn football and basketball broadcasts, as well as baseball and the Thursday night "Tiger Talk" call-in shows. Sister station Mix 96 will air women's basketball when there is a conflict with men's broadcasts on WKKR.

RALEIGH: The Fan 99.9 FM will begin airing Carolina Panthers games for the upcoming season, as well as the Monday Coach's Show with John Fox and broadcasts from training camp in July.

ESPN has announced its Sunday Night Baseball matchups for the month of June:

June 6 – Milwaukee at St Louis
June 13 – Chicago White Sox at Chicago Cubs
June 20 – Los Angeles Dodgers at Boston
June 27 – New York Yankees at Dodgers

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