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Behind the Broadcast: ‘Big Board Sports’ returning Feb. 8

Behind the Broadcast: ‘Big Board Sports’ returning Feb. 8

If you’re wondering why “Big Board Sports” didn’t return to WNYT (Ch. 13) last Sunday, don’t worry.

Some news, thoughts and other notes as I get ready to watch my Philadelphia Eagles beat the New York Giants in the NFL playoffs Sunday. By the way, the final score will be 28-17.

u If you’re wondering why “Big Board Sports” didn’t return to WNYT (Ch. 13) last Sunday, don’t worry. News director Paul Lewis said that the program, hosted by weekend sports anchor Andrew Catalon, will return at 11:30 p.m. Feb. 8, a week after the Super Bowl, which will be televised on the

station by NBC.

Ever since NBC began televising “Sunday Night Football” in 2006, WNYT put “Big Board Sports” on hiatus because the games end 11:30 or later. With the local newscast coming on after the game, the possibility of putting “Big Board Sports” on after midnight didn’t seem feasible, and the ratings for the show would have suffered.

But in the previous two years, the show returned the week after the end of the regular season.

“Last year, we did one thing,” Lewis said. “This year, we’re

doing something different.”

Lewis said that the recent layoffs at WNYT haven’t played a part in delaying the restart of “Big Board Sports.” But WNYT’s sports department took a big hit with the departures of producer Scott MacKay and main sports videog­rapher Laura Remia. Without them, it will put pressure on Catalon to produce the show.

u It’s not often that I get a thank you note from someone whom I complimented on their work.

But Pierre McGuire, the “Inside the Glass” reporter on NBC’s NHL coverage, e-mailed me Wednesday thanking me for my comment on how I thought he was the best hockey analyst in the business on my blog as I was doing a live review of NBC’s NHL Winter Classic coverage. That was very nice of him.

That’s why hockey is the greatest sport. The people involved in the game are the nicest around, and they are easy to deal with.

u Speaking of the NHL Winter Classic, NBC got a great rating for the game.

NBC’s coverage of the game between the Detroit Red Wings and the Chicago Blackhawks from Wrigley Field earned a

2.9 overnight rating and a 6 share (1-4:15 p.m), the best overnight NHL regular season rating in nearly 13 years (Feb. 3, 1996 on Fox, six-game regional, 3.0/7), and a 12 percent increase over last year’s inaugural event (2.6/5, 1-4:45 p.m.). The Red Wings won, 6-4.

“Year one was an extraordinary experience. Year two was the

establishment of what promises to be a great tradition,” said NBC Sports president Ken Schanzer in a statement.

u ESPN and ESPN2 had an

8 percent increase in its college bowl ratings.

The networks, which combined to televise 23 games, had 2.5 rating). Last year, the 21 games the networks televised averaged a

2.3 rating.

u RPI men’s basketball coach Mike Griffin goes after a school

record Sunday, and the college

radio station will be there to cover it.

WRPI-FM (91.5) will have the Red Hawks’ game against the College of St. Joseph (Vt.) at 2 p.m. Griffin is tied with Bill Kalbaugh for career victories by an RPI men’s basketball coach. Griffin has a

297-292 record in his 25-year

career. Kalbaugh posted 297 wins in a 30-year career from 1953-83, including three with Griffin as his assistant (1970-73).

Perry Laskaris will call the game. WRPI sports director Tim Heiman will be the analyst.

u Matt Millen is making his way back to TV.

The former general manager of the Detroit Lions will work on NBC’s Super Bowl pregame show, the network announced this week. Millen, a four-time Super Bowl winner, was a successful analyst at CBS, Westwood One and Fox before becoming the Lions’ GM in 2000. The Lions went 0-16 this season. Millen was fired in late September.

u Ken Burns will have an extra inning for his acclaimed “Baseball” series.

PBS said Wednesday that the new film, titled “The Tenth Inning,” will air in spring 2010, along with a rebroadcast of the original nine-part “Baseball” documentary series that debuted in 1994. Meanwhile, the series is running Tuesday nights on MLB Network.

The new film will track baseball history from 1993 through 2008,

beginning where the original series ended, and feature interviews with Felipe Alou, Joe Torre and other baseball figures.


Here is the list of NFL playoff games that will be televised in the Cap­ital Region this weekend. Announcers, listed in order of play-by-play person, analyst and sideline reporter, are in parentheses.



CBS (WRGB Ch. 6 and WRGB HD) — AFC Divisional: Baltimore at Tennessee, 4:30 p.m. (Greg Gumbel/Dan Dierdorf).

Fox (WXXA Ch. 23 and WXXA HD) — NFC Divisional: Arizona at Carolina, 8:15 p.m. (Joe Buck/Troy Aikman/Pam Oliver).


Fox and Fox HD — NFC Divisional: Phil­adelphia at N.Y Giants, 1 p.m. (Joe Buck/Troy Aikman/Pam Oliver and Chris Myers).

CBS and CBS HD — AFC Divisional: San Diego at Pittsburgh, 4:45 p.m. (Jim Nantz/Phil Simms).

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