Behind the Broadcast: Local listeners get third all-sports channel

Neerav Patel likes Jim Rome. He also owns a station that airs NASCAR broadcasts and Union College ho

Neerav Patel likes Jim Rome. He also owns a station that airs NASCAR broadcasts and Union College hockey games.

So, Patel believes there is room for another all-sports station in the Capital Region.

Last Wednesday, Patel, who is the chief operating officer for Empire Broadcasting Corporation, changed the format of WPTR-AM (1240) from the “True Oldies Channel” to “Sporty 1240.”

WPTR becomes the Capital Region’s third station with an all-sports format, joining WOFX-AM (980) and WTMM-FM (104.5). WPTR is affiliated with CBS Sports Radio, which started up earlier this year. WOFX is with FOX Sports Radio, has a partial affiliation with NBC Sports Radio and carries sports play-by-play from Dial Global. WTMM is with ESPN Radio.

Patel believes there is room for another all-sports station.

“CBS Sports Radio carries a lot of the big names [like] Jim Rome and Doug Gottleib,” Patel said. “We were already running NASCAR and Union College football and hockey on the station. We thought it would be, pretty much, a better fit for that station than what we had on the air at that time.”

Rome’s noon to 3 p.m. show, which was affiliated with Premiere Radio Networks, had been on WOFX for many years. But when Rome signed with CBS Sports Radio late last year, it meant the end of his time on WOFX.

Bringing Rome back to the Cap-ital Region airwaves gives WPTR instant credibility.

“So far, so good,” Patel said in an interview this week. “Everybody’s excited about Jim Rome coming back. I’ve gotten a lot of compliments. I knew there were a lot of positives behind Jim Rome coming back. But CBS Sports is a strong network to begin with, especially with football and March Madness.”

Patel has some ambitious plans for the station. He is willing to look at airing a Major League Baseball team, with the New York Mets being the logical choice since their games aren’t on a local station. He hopes to have at least one local sportstalk show.

“We are going to implement local sports,” Patel said. “To be honest, I can’t even tell you when, but I know it’s already in the picture.”

Patel also will create a webpage to stream WPTR’s programming.

“We’re in the process of getting everything together for a website,” Patel said. “We will stream that signal.”

Here is a look at the weekday lineup on WPTR:

6-9 a.m.: Tiki Barber, Brandon Tierney and Dana Jacobson.

9 a.m.-noon: John Feinstein Show.

Noon-3 p.m.: Jim Rome Show.

3-6 p.m.: Doug Gottleib Show.

6-10 p.m. MoJo (Chris Moore and Brian Jones).

10 p.m.-2 a.m. Ferrall on the Bench

2-6 a.m.: The DA Show.

Schenectady native Damon Bruce, who hosts a daily sportstalk show in San Francisco, has two Saturday shows — “Eye on Baseball” from 10 a.m.-noon and the “Damon Bruce Show” from noon-2 p.m.

Live races on OTB

You will be able to watch horse races from New York Racing Association tracks live.

NYRA and Capital Off-Track Betting Corp. reached an agreement Wednesday for that to happen. Previously, races were shown on delay.

Time Warner Cable subscribers can watch the races on channel 12.

Stanley Cup ratings

The Chicago Blackhawks’ 4-3 win over the Boston Bruins scored a 3.9 rating and averaged 6.358 million viewers, up 117 percent and 119 percent, respectively, versus last year’s Game 1 (Los Angeles-New Jersey, 1.8 rating, 2.902 million viewers).

The 6.358 million viewers are the most to watch a Stanley Cup final Game 1 in 16 years, just 9,000 viewers off Detroit-Philadelphia on FOX in 1997 (6.367 million), which stands as the most-watched Game 1 ever, since the advent of people meters in 1987. It’s the most-watched Stanley Cup final Game 1 ever on NBC Sports, which started televising the NHL in the 2005-06 season.

Viewership for the game peaked in the first overtime period (11:15-11:30 p.m.), with nearly 7.444 million viewers.

The next two games will be on NBC Sports Network. Game 2 is tonight, and Game 3 is Monday. Both games start at 8 p.m.

NBC Sports is averaging 3.083 million viewers for its coverage of the Stanley Cup playoffs, up 38 percent versus the same time period last year (2.226 million). For the entire playoffs, NBC, NBC Sports Network and CNBC have combined to average 1.191 million viewers per game, up 7 percent from last year (1.116 million).

NBA finals viewership

Viewership for Game 4 of the NBA Finals on Thursday was down 7 percent from last year.

Miami’s 109-93 win on the San Antonio Spurs on ABC averaged 16.2 million viewers. That’s down from 17.4 million for the Heat-Oklahoma City Thunder series last year, but up from the 16.1 million for Game 4 between Miami and Dallas in 2011.

Game 5 of the series will be on ABC10 (WTEN) and ABC10 HD at 8 p.m. Sunday.

R.I.P., 3-D TV?

In what could be the death knell for 3-D TV, ESPN announced Wednesday that it was shutting down its ESPN 3-D channel.

Unlike high-definition TV, 3-D TV hasn’t caught the fancy of viewers. Wearing the glasses to watch the 3-D picture can be irritating. And 3-D TV prices are expensive.

“The ESPN decision is a sign that the 3-D ecosystem is not healthy,” Laura Martin, an analyst with

investment banking firm Needham & Co., told The Associated Press “It must be there’s not enough demand for 3-D TV.”

Parting shots

NBC13 (WNYT) and NBC13 HD will have the final two rounds of the U.S. Open today and Sunday at noon. . . .

FOX23 (WXXA) and FOX23 HD carry the New York Yankees-Los Angeles Angels tonight at 7. . . .

The College World Series gets underway today. ESPN2 and ESPN2 HD have Mississippi State against Oregon State at 3 p.m. At 8 p.m., ESPN and ESPN HD have Indiana against Louisville. Sunday’s games (North Carolina vs. N.C. State at 3 p.m. and UCLA vs. LSU at 8 p.m.) will be on ESPN2 and ESPN2 HD.

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