Behind the Broadcast: NASCAR didn’t like being bumped

Imagine you are watching the Super Bowl in February, and the New York Giants are 10 minutes away fro

Imagine you are watching the Super Bowl in February, and the New York Giants are 10 minutes away from winning their second straight title.

Then, you hear the play-by-play announcer come on and say, “Because the game is running past its allotted broadcast time, we are

obligated to show our regularly scheduled entertainment program. Please switch over to our cable affiliate to watch the remainder of the Super Bowl.”

You can only imagine the number of phone calls and e-mails that network would receive, and the criticism leveled by TV critics like me.

Well, ABC is getting hammered for leaving the final 34 laps of last Sunday’s Sprint Cup Checker O’Reilly Auto Parts 500, the penultimate race in the Chase for the Cup playoffs. ABC left the race to make sure that a very serious

program, “America’s Funniest Home Videos,” started right at 7:30 p.m.


I guess ABC was more concerned that “Desperate Housewives” started at 9 p.m. instead of 30 minutes later, had the network shown the race to conclusion.

ABC did move the race over to ESPN2, but it wasn’t right. It reminds me of when NBC left the Ottawa-Buffalo NHL Eastern Conference final game, which was tied at the end of the third period, to show the Preakness Stakes prerace show in May 2007, and OLN (now Versus) showed the overtime.

“Well, we didn’t like it,”

NASCAR chairman Brian France said during a Tuesday conference call. “That was not what we had anticipated. But we have talked to them repeatedly in the last couple of days, and . . . there were lots of circumstances that they had to consider. I don’t have to agree with each one of those, but they had their own issues that they had to manage around.

“So, . . . unfortunately, we got the short end of that as a sport. But we’re working with them, and hope to eliminate that from happening in the future.”

You would think ABC would know better. We’re coming up on the 40th anniversary of the Heidi game, when NBC left a New York Jets-Oakland Raiders contest late in the fourth quarter to show the movie, “Heidi,” and most of the country missed an exciting Raiders’ comeback win. You paid millions of dollars to televise NASCAR during the most important time of the year, so why would you bail out of the race to make sure your prime-time lineup started on time?

I wonder if ABC will pull the same stunt for Sunday’s final

NASCAR race of the season, the Ford 400. Imagine the outcry if it does it again?

Come on, ABC. You screwed up. You insulted NASCAR fans. You should be ashamed.

nfl-TWc dispute e-mails

Thanks to everyone who has

e-mailed me so far about the dispute between the NFL Network and Time Warner Cable.

I have a lot of e-mails to read, so that will keep me busy next week while the Capital Region’s college hockey teams take some time off.

You still have time to voice your opinion. My e-mail address is [email protected]

I will have the results in two weeks.

football schedules

Here are the college football and NFL games that will be televised over the next week. Announcers (where available), in order of play-by-play, analyst and sideline reporter, are in par­entheses.



Fox (WXXA Ch. 23 and WXXA HD) — Chicago at Green Bay, 1 p.m. (Joe Buck/Troy Aikman/Pam Oliver).

CBS (WRGB Ch. 6 and WRGB HD) — Baltimore at N.Y. Giants, 1 p.m. (Greg Gumbel/Dan Dierdorf); San Diego at Pittsburgh, 4:15 p.m. (Jim Nantz/Phil Simms).

NBC (WNYT Ch. 13 and WNYT HD) — Dallas at Washington, 8:15 p.m. (Al Michaels/John Madden/Andrea Kramer).


ESPN and ESPN HD — Cleveland at Buffalo, 8:30 p.m. (Mike Tirico/Ron Jaworski and Tony Kornheiser/Suzy Kolber and

Michele Tafoya).


NFL Network and NFLN HD — Cincinnati at Pittsburgh, 8:15 p.m. (Bob Papa/Cris Collinsworth).



CBS — Notre Dame at Navy, noon (Craig Bolerjack/Steve Beuerlein); South Carolina at Florida, 3:30 p.m. (Verne Lundquist/Gary Danielson/Tracy Wolfson).

Time Warner Cable (Ch. 3) and SNY HD — Rutgers at South Florida, noon (Mike Gleason/John Congemi/Quint Kessenich).

ESPN and ESPN HD — Ohio State at

Illinois, noon (Dave Pasch/Andre Ware); Minnesota at Wisconsin, 3:30 p.m. (Terry Gannon/David Norrie); Mississippi State at Alabama, 7:45 p.m. (Mike Patrick/Todd Blackledge/Holly Rowe).

ESPN2 and ESPN2 HD — Ohio State at Northwestern, noon (Pam Ward/Ray Bentley); Vanderbilt at Kentucky, 8 p.m. (Mark Jones/Bob Davie).

Versus — Princeton at Yale, noon (Rich Ackerman/Dale Hallestrae/Bob Harwood); Southern California at Stanford, 7 p.m. (Ron Thulin/Kelly Stouffer/Lewis Johnson).

MY4 (WNYA) — Georgia at Kentucky, 12:30 p.m. (Dave Neal/Dave Archer/Dave Baker).

MSG Plus — Texas at Kansas, 12:30 p.m. (Dan McLaughlin/Dave Lapham/Jim Knox); UCLA at Washington (joined in progress), 10:30 p.m. (Barry Tompkins/Petros Papa­dakis/Jim Watson).

ABC (WTEN Ch. 10 and WTEN HD) — North Carolina at Maryland, 3:30 p.m. (Brad Nessler/Bob Griese and Paul Maguire); Boston College at Florida State, 8 p.m. (Brent Musburger/Kirk Herbstreit/Lisa Salters).

ESPNU and ESPNU HD — Wake Forest at North Carolina State, 3:30 p.m. (Doug Bell/Charles Arbuckle); Connecticut at Syracuse, 7 p.m. (Clay Matvick/David Diaz-Infante); Delaware State at Norfolk State (same-day tape), 10:30 p.m. (Dwayne Ballen/Eddie Robinson Jr.).

CBS College Sports — Brigham Young at Air Force, 3:30 p.m. (Tom Hart/Trev Alberts); Tulsa at Houston, 8 p.m. (Carter Blackburn/Dan Fouts).

Fox College Sports Atlantic — Missouri at Iowa State, 6:30 p.m. (Joel Meyers/Gary Reasons/Emily Jones).

Fox College Sports Central — McNeese State at Northwestern State, 7 p.m.


ESPN2 and ESPN2 HD — Ball State at Central Michigan, 7 p.m.


ESPN and ESPN HD — Miami at Georgia Tech, 7:30 p.m. (Chris Fowler/Craig James and Jesse Palmer).

ESPNU — Grambling State at Texas Southern, 7 p.m. (Charlie Neal/Jay Walker).


ESPN2 and ESPN2 HD — Fresno State at San Jose State, 9:30 p.m.

Categories: Sports

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