Friday, March 10, 2017

A More Selective Telecast - We Hope

Let's hope that having CBS reduce the NCAA Tournament Selection program on Sunday back to 90 minutes results in a more streamlined presentation. This is an improvement over the 2-hours devoted to this last year, but 90 minutes is still way too long.

Hopefully this will cut down on all of the speculation about which teams will go where. The telecast does not need to feel like a one hour half-time. Frankly, one hour should be the maximum length for this telecast.

Spend the first ten minutes setting up the announcement, followed by 10 minute segments on each of the four regionals. Start each segment out by showing the pairings, and then the remaining eight minutes of each letting dozens of analysts flood us with comments. Then, take a couple minutes to pick the best matchups, and wrap it up.

Westwood One Radio Network has found enough advertiser and station interest to air the Final Four (April 1 and 3) in Spanish for the first time, having already lined up more than 40 Spanish language stations around the country (as of press time) to air those broadcasts.

Last week's Duke vs. North Carolina telecast on ESPN wound up being the most watched regular season college hoops telecast on any network (not just ESPN) over the past two seasons.

Another big loss on the baseball side. Bill Webb, who directed 17 World Series (2nd only to Harry Coyle who directed 36), lost his battle to cancer this past week at the age of 70. Webb spent the later part of his career directing the Mets telecasts for SNY, only to work a few games over the previous two seasons due to the health challenges he suffered from. He will be missed in a huge way.

Major social media sites continue to penetrate the live sports opportunity. Facebook did a live stream of the Red Sox opening game (even if only against Northeastern) for the first two innings last week.

The game did not otherwise air on any TV or radio station or network. Reports are that Facebook is still seeking to stream a few MLB regular season games.

Twitter already has the rights to stream approximately one "out of market" game per week this season, although, as of press time, no games/dates have been announced.

Fox Sports has added Alex Rodriguez to a full-time analyst role for this season after his well received work during the 2016 postseason. In addition to Saturday telecasts on Fox and FS1, Rodriguez will also be a part of the MLB Whiparound show which airs at inconsistent times during the week.

While we normally don't bother with podcasts, this one is a nice service for sports fans interested in the business side of things. PodcastOne has added "Forbes Sports Money" to its roster, bringing fans an audio version of the TV show which airs on YES Network. This makes the show, generally not specific to New York even though it has only aired on YES Network, available to fans around the country. This is an excellent addition, and a nice way to bring existing (and excellent) content to a wider audience.

LOS ANGELES: KTLA-TV Channel 5 has announced the ten early season Dodgers telecasts it will show, with the last one of the group being on May 7th. The highest rated one figures to be on May 3rd. That Wednesday night game is the only telecast currently scheduled of a Dodgers vs. Giants game, and will begin at the special time of 6 PM to include the Ring of Honor Ceremony for Vin Scully.

The KTLA telecasts include three games in four days (April 16 vs. AZ and the 18th and 19th against Colorado), with half of the telecasts as day games and half as night games.
Nothing yet about any KTLA telecasts after that. It probably will depend on the impact of single game ticket sales within 24 hours of each telecast.

DENVER: It's still KOA 850 all the way as the station has extended its contract to air the Rockies games through the 2021 season. The renewal also includes retaining the radio broadcast team of Jack Corrigan and Jerry Schemmel.

KKFN The Fan 104.3 begins the "Stokley & Zach Show" from 3 to 6 PM weekdays starting on Friday March 31st. Brandon Stokely, the former Broncos (and several other teams) receiver, will have newly added Zach Bye as his co-host.

Bye comes to Denver to begin this show by way of WTMM 104.5 Albany, from which he leaves the "Big Board Sports Show" with Rodger Wyland after next week.

DETROIT:  Local fans will get to enjoy Eli Zaret once again, even if for a few minutes a day. The 40 year sportscasting veteran is now doing "After Further Review" on WJR 760 around 4:35 PM each weekday during the Guy Gordon Show. He is best remembered as lead sports anchor on WDIV-TV in the 80's.

HOUSTON: As the ratings for the Root Sports Southwest Rockets telecasts continue to rise (including a season high rating on Monday 3/6 for the Rockets vs. Spurs game), the network's coverage range is now expanding. The telecasts can now be seen in more parts of Texas than before, except for the rights areas protected by the Dallas Mavericks and San Antonio Spurs.

INDIANAPOLIS: This appears to me a lot more supply than demand, but WFNI The Fan is going to a three station combo, adding 107.5 to the mix. This is in addition to the 1070 / 93.5 combo. However, the 107.5 signal will merely carry NBC Sports Radio the majority of the time.

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