I can't help but wonder how Fox Sports execs now feel about the hire of Mike Pereira for their NFL coverage now that the former head of NFL officiating failed miserably during the early games of opening Sunday. I was watching the Detroit Lions at Chicago Bears telecast at the time of the over-ruled "almost" TD catch that directly changed the outcome of the game in Chicago's favor.
Thom Brennaman and Brian Billick drew upon the opportunity to bring in Pereira from the Fox studios just as it was revealed that the TD catch was under review. Pereira then went on to explain "the procedure" and how the play could be ruled as "no catch" and not a touchdown. However, before turning it back over to Billick, Pereira then went on to add about how the officials could still determine that the Lions' receiver maintained possession long enough to be awarded the touchdown. Billick then added his reasoning behind the play standing during the next replay of the incident, of which Fox had multiple angles.
By the time the TD was taken away, Pereira was already off of the telecast. Having left it that we would have been "right" either way. Sorry, but if we are going to hear from the former head of league officials, he should ONLY call it as he sees it and not go back and forth to be safe no matter which possibility is determined. My expectation was "Here is how they should rule this play" instead of "They could say.......".
This while watching the telecast in Low Def. Normally not an issue. However, Fox Sports seems to have determine that since about half of their audience now watches in Hi Def that the score boxes on the top portion of the screen should be geared toward the Hi Def audience. As a result, the roughly half of the audience viewing in Low Def now has to struggle to see the score and time left in the game they are watching, while the scoreboard was nearly impossible to read without a struggle. They seem to overlook that many people can't afford to go to Hi Def because their cable or satellite bill each month keeps going up so that they can afford to pay to watch all of these sports events.
NBC got off to a great start for this season with a record high overnight rating (best Week 1 prime time telecast) for its Sunday Night Football opener. Of course, having the Dallas Cowboys' opener didn't hurt. Then again, the Sunday game beat out this past Thursday's league opener's ratings for NBC on the Minnesota vs. New Orleans telecast.
On the baseball side, even though ESPN has ended Monday Night Baseball (due to Monday Night Football), MLB Network continues to pick up the slack, even more as the division races heat up. On Tuesday night (Sept. 14th) they will originate the Yankees vs. Rays telecast with Matt Vasgersian and Joe Magrane. On Wednesday, they help bring baseball fans a live triple-header, as MLB Network picks up the San Diego at Colorado telecast at 3 PM ET prior to ESPN's Wednesday Night Baseball live doubleheader. Then, on Thursday (Sept. 16) MLB Network picks up the White Sox vs. Twins game at 8 PM ET.
SAN FRANCISCO/OAKLAND: While the A's have had their share of on field success over their years in the Bay Area, it appears the radio jinx strikes again. Thinking their problems had been resolved with their broadcasts on 50,000 watt KTRB 860, the status of their radio broadcasts is unclear after this season. KTRB has gone into receivership as of this past Friday (9/9), also resulting in some personnel and program terminations. The A's say that while a regional bank is operating the station, the game broadcasts are scheduled to continue through this season, as will Stanford football broadcasts.
Over their years in Oakland, A's fans have been subjected to the team buying time on smaller stations, an entire season on a limited signal "educational" station, and limited surrounding coverage.
NEW YORK: The Boomer & Carton Show is now simulcast, as of Tuesday (9/14). The popular WFAN morning show now also shows on MSG Network. It will be interesting to see whether or not the simulcast takes away from the radio audience because of listeners becoming viewers during some or all of their available time to follow the show.
WFAN is also giving the Giants priority on Sundays through October 3rd, with conflicting Mets broadcasts being moved to WBBR 1130.
CHICAGO: The Stanley Cup Champion Blackhawks will have every regular season game on TV again this season, including 20 of the telecasts on WGN-TV (in Chicago only). All other games not shown on Versus or NBC will be on Comcast SportsNet. WGN Radio will carry the games, along with 2 pre-season games. In an experimental move, the Blackhawks' pre-season game on Friday Oct. 1st will be broadcast only on WGNRadio.com. John Wiedeman and Troy Murray will again call the radio games.
DALLAS: The NHL Stars are understandably trying hard not to be lost in the shuffle, especially with the Cowboys' regular season just starting, the Rangers closing in on the A.L. West title, and college football now in full swing. On Saturday (9/11) the Stars held a fan fest at one of the regional malls which was free and featured several players and team officials. The Ticket 1310 was broadcasting live throughout the day from the mall, including team voice Daryl Razor Reaugh being a guest co-host for nearly 90 minutes.
AUSTIN: A nice start for KXBT 98.9 as the new Austin affiliate for the Houston Texans. The station's first regular season broadcast was the Texans' opening day win over the Indianapolis Colts.
MILWAUKEE: Congrats to Drew Olson, co-host of WAUK 540's "The D List" with Dan Needles for nearly 5 years. Olson has been rewarded with an expanded role, including being named Executive Producer of The D List and Senior Editor for the station's web site local team content. Olson also continues as a sideline reporter for Fox Sports Wisconsin's Brewers telecasts.
ALBANY: WTMM 104.5 says 'yes' to Noe. Brian Noe has been hired as Program Director and will also host the local 1 to 3 PM program starting next Monday (9/20).
DAYTON: Even with the Reds playing St. Louis and shooting for the N.L. Central title and the Bengals' season opener coming up, this past Friday (9/10) saw high school football take over the market. For "the game". Two of the area's leading schools, Centerville High School and Alter High School were meeting for the first time since 1967. WONE 980 SportsTalk and WING Sports Scene were both broadcasting from Centerville H.S. during afternoon drive, with WONE starting at 4:00. Centerville won the game 24-7, with post-game coverage including 3 of the local TV stations having covered it as well.
ABILENE TX: ESPN Radio has returned after having left the market in April, as 98.1 FM switched over last Friday (9/10).
GRAND FORKS ND: WDAY-TV Sports Director Dom Izzo will also host a half hour sports show on WDAY-AM at 6:30 on weeknights, beginning on September 27th. Izzo and local sports writer Jeff Kolpack will continue their Saturday 9 to 11 AM sports show as well.