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What you need to know for 01/16/2018

Behind the Broadcast: CBS Sports fumbled ball

Behind the Broadcast: CBS Sports fumbled ball

CBS Sports is the only network that doesn’t employ sideline reporters during the NFL regular season.

Random thoughts and other notes as I wonder if we’ll get to see this kind of snowstorm during Super Bowl XLVIII next February at MetLife Stadium in the Meadowlands.

u CBS Sports is the only network that doesn’t employ sideline reporters during the NFL regular season. It only has use for them in the postseason.

Not having an experienced reporter hurt CBS Sports during the 37-minute power outage early in the third quarter of last Sunday’s Super Bowl XLVII. Steve Tasker and Solomon Wilcots, normally game analysts during the regular season, were ill-equipped to handle the reporting of a strange situation. Tasker, in particular, seemed uncomfortable trying to report updates on the situation.

What I found strange is that Tracy Wolfson, who is the sideline reporter for CBS Sports’ Southeastern Conference college football coverage, was at the Super Bowl and did one report. CBS should have utilized her more.

And why does CBS Sports believe it’s important to have a sideline reporter for its college football coverage, but not the NFL? I don’t understand that.

CBS Sports needs to have sideline reporters for its NFL games next season.

u While we’re on the subject of Super Bowl XLVII, analyst Phil Simms said he didn’t want to second-guess Baltimore Ravens coach John Harbaugh’s decision to attempt a fake field goal in the second quarter. The play came up a yard short of the first down.

Simms, it is your job to second-guess. You get paid handsomely by CBS to be the lead analyst on its NFL coverage. Do your job.

u I wonder what Simms and Jim Nantz were doing during the delay. They lost power in their booth.

u CBS got a 46.3 rating and 69 share. That’s slightly down from last year’s 47.0/71 for NBC’s coverage of Super Bowl XLVI between the New York Giants and New England Patriots. However, it is the second highest-rated Super Bowl in 27 years. Super Bowl XX, between Chicago and New England, got a 48.3/70 Jan. 26, 1986, on NBC.

CBS said that a record 164.1 million viewers watched all or part of the game. That’s up 3 percent from last year’s 159.2 million viewers.

u Hockey players are the toughest athletes out there. They can take a puck to face, get stitched up and come back to the game.

Add a hockey announcer to that list. MSG Network’s John Giannone, who was between the benches at Thursday’s Islanders-Rangers game at Madison Square Garden, got plunked in the face late in the second period when a dump in by the Rangers’ Mark Staal was too high.

Despite being cut and blood running down the right side of his cheek, Giannone didn’t miss a beat. He was analyzing the play while a Rangers trainer attended to him.

u While we’re speaking of MSG, Capital Region hockey fans received some good news this week when Time Warner Cable announced it will have two MSG overflow channels.

The channels were needed to provide additional hockey coverage. At the start of the shortened NHL season, I had mentioned that Rangers games wouldn’t be blacked out this season on MSG, even though the NHL considers the Capital Region Buffalo Sabres territory.

The Rangers schedule that MSG sent out last month didn’t list any blackouts. However, there have been some conflicts, and the Rangers had been bumped. That won’t happen now, thanks to the overflow channels. Those channels are 1553 and 1554.

u Are you ready for the 2014 Winter Olympics?

NBC Sports will begin coverage of the games from Sochi, Russia, next Feb. 6, one day before the opening ceremony, the network announced Tuesday.

It marks the first time any U.S. media company has dedicated prime-time coverage to Olympic competition — Winter or Summer or — prior to the Opening ceremony.

Team figure skating and men’s and women’s slopestyle snowboarding, which are new Olympic events, along with women’s freestyle moguls, will be shown on the first day.

u Get ready for Gus Johnson calling play-by-play of soccer.

FOX Sports announced Tuesday that Johnson will his first-ever match for FOX Soccer next Wednesday. It will be the UEFA Champions League round of 16 match between Real Madrid and Manchester United. The assignment is the first in a series of Barclays Premier League, FA Cup and UEFA Champions League matches Johnson is expected to call, including the FA Cup and UEFA Champions League Finals, May 11 and 25, respectively, on FOX.

Johnson is known for his enthus­iastic, and sometimes over-the-top, play-by-play calls.

“No doubt that the followers of this sport are among the most passionate, knowledgeable fans in the world, and I’m a newcomer,” Johnson said in a statement. “The effort to learn the sport and absorb its nuance has been a humbling experience. While I’ve put a lot of time into my preparation thus far, it’s definitely going to take a lot of reps before I’ve mastered soccer’s rhythm and pace, but I am determined to do so, and with all the support I’m receiving I have no doubt that I will.”

u Dick Vitale is finally going to get the opportunity to call the NCAA men’s basketball tourn­ament Final Four, and the rest of the world will get to hear him.

Vitale will be an analyst on ESPN International’s coverage of the

Final Four, calling a semifinal and the championship game from Atlanta. Brad Nessler will be the play-by-play announcer for all three games, while Jay Bilas will work one semifinal.

Because CBS Sports has had the Final Four since 1982, Vitale has been prevented from calling a Final Four game. Vitale has been with ESPN since 1979.

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