Wednesday, December 7, 2016

King Finally Treated As Royalty

How nice to finally have the colorful Bill King be the broadcaster to be inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame next July 29th in Cooperstown.

Although King was officially selected for his 24 years of excellence on the Oakland A's radio broadcasts, his Bay Area career made him a total broadcasting Hall of Famer as well. He is probably better known and remembered for his 26 seasons of calling the Oakland (and Los Angeles) Raiders broadcasts including much of the John Madden coaching era. He also called Warriors basketball games on radio for 21 seasons, and earlier served as Sports Director for KFRC Radio.

If only this overdue honor had happened sooner, since King passed away on Oct. 18, 2005. I'm sure his acceptance speech would have been as colorful and entertaining as all of his play-by-play broadcasts. His baseball broadcasting brought much needed enthusiasm to the A's radio broadcasts, as he shared much of his time with the always calm and boring Lon Simmons.

King was the clear choice over other nominees such as Dewayne Staats and Mike Krukow. Other nominees such as the Cubs' Pat Hughes and the Mets' Gary Cohen will likely have their day in coming years.

If it wasn't for Jerry Jones, the TV networks with NFL rights would be the happiest about the amazing season the Dallas Cowboys are having, both in the standings and in the audience ratings.

Their game against Minnesota last week wound up as the most watched Thursday Night Football game in its less than three season history on major networks. To the surprise of no one at all, NBC has flexed their Dec. 18th game against Tampa Bay to Sunday Night Football from its original early game schedule on Fox. This bumps the Pittsburgh vs. Cincinnati match, which CBS put into an early game spot that day.

One flex change for this Sunday (12/11) has CBS taking over the Chicago at Detroit telecast in the 1 PM ET spot from Fox.

On the college football side, the Big Ten Conference has become a hot commodity these past two weekends. Coming off the understandably high rated Ohio State vs. Michigan game on ABC on Nov. 26th, Fox scored well with its Penn State vs. Wisconsin prime time telecast on Dec. 3rd.

Even though its telecast was technically down in audience from the 2015 Big Ten Championship Game telecast, Fox outdrew ABC and the ACC Championship Game (Clemson vs. Virginia) by more than 70%.

ABC's Saturday night college football prime-time telecasts finished roughly 10% higher in total viewership over the 2015 season, making it the first time since 2011 that the prime-time games finished with better ratings than CBS had for its late afternoon SEC game of the week telecasts.

As expected, the ESPN/ABC lead crew of Chris Fowler and Kirk Herbstreit will call the biggest assignments. These include the Jan. 9th national championship game, the Jan. 2nd Rose Bowl game, and the semi-final game with Clemson vs. Ohio State. The other semi-final between Alabama and Washington will be called by Joe Tessitore and Todd Blackledge. Tessitore took over, in effect, from Brad Nessler when Brad signed with CBS.

NASHVILLE: Clay Travis, host of the syndicated "Outkick The Coverage" weekday morning show from 6 to 9 AM ET, has gained two hours locally but lost in the ratings and the broadcast signal locally. Travis airs his show from Nashville (where it is 5 to 8 AM CT).

Only his first hour (5 to 6 AM) had been carried in Nashville, but on WGFX 104.5 The Zone, the sports station with decent ratings. Now, his entire three hours airs live locally, but on little known WLAC 1510, which is not a sports station (as evident by Glen Beck following at 8 AM).

EVANSVILLE: After two and one-half years, WJLT 105.3 has dumped ESPN Radio as of this past Monday (12/5) to go to a music format. The station is airing holiday music all month before going to an 80's to today format late this month.

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