When I wrote last Saturday about whether the Capital Region’s area sportscasters were secretly rooting for the New York Giants to upset the Green Bay Packers in the NFC championship game so that they could possibly go to the Super Bowl, I never expected to be writing a follow up.
Well, the Giants won, 23-20, in overtime, and we now know who is and who isn’t going to Glendale, Ariz., for Super Bowl XLII on
Heading to the Arizona desert are Joe Calderone of Capital News 9 and Rodger Wyland of WNYT (Ch. 13). Not going are Rich Becker of WXXA (Ch. 23), Doug Sherman of WRGB (Ch. 6) and Brian Sinkoff (WTEN Ch. 10).
Wyland is leaving Monday. He will provide live reports during the 6 p.m. newscast starting Tuesday, and will have feature stories during the 5 and 5:30 p.m. newscasts. There will be a taped report for the 11 p.m. newscast.
Wyland will do his WOFX-AM (980) radio show Tuesday and Friday, and file live reports Wednesday and Thursday when WNYT weekend sports anchor Andrew Catalon hosts the radio show.
“I’m excited,” Wyland said. “The Giants train here. A lot of people consider them the hometown team. I think it makes a lot of sense for us to go.”
When I spoke to Calderone last week, he thought Capital News 9 would use reports from its sister station, New York 1. Calderone, who leaves Sunday, will also do some reporting for NY1.
“I am shocked,” Calderone said. “We knew New York 1 was going to go down. I figured they had it all situated. But they said they wanted an extra hand down there to do stuff for New York 1 and us.”
The surprise for me is WXXA, the Fox affiliate, not sending Becker. The game is on the station, and it seemed natural that, with the game on Fox and the Giants training here during the summer, Becker would be going.
“A lot of factors go into making a decision,” WXXA general manager Sally Stamp said. “But for the most part, there is local appeal here in the market place. I think that it’s our responsibility to cover it locally here. We’ll get plenty of information from Fox.”
The game was played in frigid conditions, but the rating for the
Giants-Packers game was sizzling.
The NFC title game drew a 29.0 national rating and 43 share on Fox. It attracted the highest rating for a conference championship since Green Bay-Carolina earned a 30.1/58 in 1997, and that was played in the afternoon.
The undefeated New England Patriots’ 21-12 win over the San Diego Chargers drew a 25.7/46 on CBS. That was up 2 percent from the early game last year, the Chicago-New Orleans NFC championship that attracted a 25.1/45.
Combined, the two games averaged 49.7 million viewers, the most for a conference championship weekend in 13 years. The Chargers-Steelers and Cowboys-49ers matchups averaged 49.9 million viewers in 1995.
NHL stays on Versus
Versus isn’t giving up on the NHL, picking up an option to televise games for three more years.
“We’re very pleased to continue our association with them,” NHL deputy commissioner Bill Daly wrote in an e-mail to The Associated Press on Tuesday.
Terms of the deal were not available.
The cable network, formerly known as OLN, began televising NHL games during the 2005-06 season. It paid $65 million for the first year, $70 million for the second and exercised a $72.5 million option for this season.
Ratings for NHL games on Versus are up this season. Through 29 games, average viewership has increased 34 percent from 195,666 to 261,760. Versus is airing 57 regular-season games this season.
There had been speculation that the league was looking into putting games on ESPN2, which still could happen.
The NHL All-Star game will be televised by Versus at 6 p.m. Sunday from Atlanta. Tonight at 7, Versus will have the NHL SuperSkills and Young Stars game. . . .
WOFX-AM (980) will air “Raceday on Fox” with Rob D’Amico and Michele Rahal Sunday mornings from 10 a.m. to noon, beginning this Sunday. . . .
It’s not the Daytona 500, but cars will be on the track at Daytona International Speedway this weekend. Fox will be showing the start of the annual Rolex 24 Sports Car Series race at 1 p.m. today
Versus will have same-day coverage of the Professional Bull Riders Albany Invitational event, from the Times Union Center, tonight at 9:30 and at 9 p.m. Sunday. . . .
Time Warner Cable channel 3 will have coverage of the AHL
All-Star skills competition at
7 p.m. Sunday. It will televise the All-Star game at 7 p.m. Monday. . . .
TW-3 will televise the Quinnipiac-Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute men’s college hockey game at 7 p.m. Friday. . . .
The Winter X Games wrap up this weekend. ABC (WTEN) has coverage at 3 p.m. today. ESPN televises the event tonight at 9, and Sunday at 2 and 9 p.m. ESPN2 has delayed-tape coverage at 1 a.m. each day. . . .
NBC (WNYT) carries the U.S. Figure Skating Championships this weekend. The pairs finals and ladies short program is today at
4 p.m., with the dance final and ladies free skate at 8 tonight. The men’s competition, featuring the short program and free skate, will be televised at 7 p.m. Sunday. . . .
ABC and ESPN combine for an NBA triple-header Sunday. ABC will carry two games — Boston at Orlando at 1 p.m., and Cleveland at the Los Angeles Lakers at 3:30 p.m. ESPN will have the Denver at Dallas game at 6:30 p.m.
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