Wednesday brought us a couple of interesting media items with regard to the NBA Finals coming to an end very soon. First, we have the wonderful gesture by ESPN to enable TNT's Craig Sager to work his first NBA Finals game ever on Thursday (6/16) night.
ESPN is allowing Sager, who continues his battle against Leukemia, to share sideline reporting duties on the ABC telecast of Game 6, which would be the last game of the entire season if Golden State wins.
And that's the other interesting thing. Late Wednesday (6/15) morning, a couple of news organizations noticed that the NBA-TV schedule, which is available through the Association's official web site, NBA.com, did not show any coverage planned for a possible Game 7.
As of press time, more than eight hours after this was first publicized, the Sunday schedule, which includes scheduled replays of Game 1 through Game 6, still did not indicate any possible pre or post-game coverage for that evening. If Cleveland wins on Thursday, Game 7 would be played on Sunday night. Look for some media members to have some fun with the NBA site if the Warriors win it on Thursday night.
Over at CBS, the word is that its NFL coverage will make a change for its analyst of official's calls and will drop Mike Carey from its broadcast roster. Although Carey was an NFL ref for 24 seasons, his predictions of the upcoming decisions during replay reviews proved to be far less accurate than Mike Pereira has done over the past six seasons for Fox Sports during the games.
Too soon to tell who CBS would bring in to handle the roll, but we expect a replacement to be named. It's doubtful that CBS would eliminate something they have been doing and let Fox be the only network to have analysis specific to the officials. Have to think that the official announcement from CBS would start with "Upon further review.......".
At NBC, having the cable networks in place was key this past Sunday (6/12). With the horrible tragedy having taken place in Orlando early Sunday morning, NBC News was able to stay on with continuing coverage all day on Sunday and move its scheduled auto racing coverage.
NBCSN carried the Canadian Grand Prix while the Firestone 500 Indy Car race was moved over to CNBC. It turned out that the coverage of these two races did not overlap as originally scheduled, since the Firestone 500 had a lengthy rain and weather delay and aired much later than intended on CNBC.
It was also a tough stretch for NBC after a ratings drop for the just concluded Stanley Cup Playoffs. Pittsburgh clinching the Cup on Monday (6/13) by defeating San Jose had national ratings about 25% less from the Game 6 clincher between Chicago and Tampa last year. The entire Cup finals series was down 23% in the ratings from last year. It didn't help that two of the finals games were shown only on NBCSN instead of NBC, where many casual fans would not know to find the games.
Not having teams from New York, Chicago, Boston, Detroit, and Philadelphia in the later rounds also hurt the NBC group. The entire NHL post-season, with every game shown live on one of the NBC networks, was down about 14% in viewership from last season's playoffs.
LOUISVILLE: WKRD 790 is adding a Saturday morning soccer show, as "Soccer City" begins this Saturday (6/18) at 9 AM. The show, hosted by Steve Peake, is produced in conjunction with the city's USL team.