The sports weekend was quite busy. We had the Kentucky Derby, NHL and NBA Playoffs, Roger Clemens returning, the Wachovia Championships and the Oscar De La Hoya-Roger Mayweather, Jr. fight.
The Kentucky Derby on NBC
The Queen made it to Louisville to see her first, and probably last, Derby. NBC milked her appearance with shots of Queen Elizabeth entering a luxury box and various cutaways of her watching the action. There were many stories to tug on your heartstrings plus features galore on the horses. But that’s the NBC formula. Lots of storytelling, features to bring the casual viewer in and lots of shots of the crowd. The show was dragged out to two and a half hours as NBC went 30 minutes longer than advertised, running the show until 7 p.m. ET. Once the race was run, NBC did a very good job in giving us replays of the race with blimp shots, isolated replays and analysis. I give Tom Hammond some kudos for saying a bonus from Yum! Brands for the horse and jockey breaking Barbaro’s 6.5 lengths margin of victory last year was sending the wrong message. Yum! sponsored NBC’s telecast. Overall, I give NBC a B for this year’s Kentucky Derby.
Wachovia Championship on CBS
CBS and golf go hand-in-hand. You have an announcing crew led by Jim Nantz, production crew led by Lance Barrow and combined, this leads to one of the better sports telecasts on TV. The pictures of the last round where Tiger Woods was coming down the stretch to victory were excellent. CBS is the best golf network. NBC is ok and Johnny Miller is one of the best analysts, but as far as pictures, humor and guys who know their sport, CBS is the best. For the last round, CBS gets an A for their golf coverage this weekend.
De La Hoya-Mayweather on HBO PPV
Boxing is HBO’s sport. Jim Lampley, Larry Merchant and Emmanuel Steward all work well together. I joined this fight in the 7th round after being out all night. At that point, the fight was pretty close. About the 8th round, Oscar stopped using his left jab and Mayweather gained control of the fight. Lampley, Merchant and Steward were right on top of the action and the cameras were as well. The buy at $54.95 was expensive, but for some, it was worth it. I’ll give HBO an A for its coverage.
Yankees-Seattle on Fox
Fox does a decent job on baseball, but even with a compelling story of Chien Ming Wang throwing a perfect game, somehow the network dropped the ball. You have a pitcher on the verge of history, but Joe Buck and Tim McCarver didn’t pick up the story until the 6th inning. Yes, they would say, “Wang is perfect through 4″ or “He’s perfect through 5″, but not really picking up on the trend. Instead, they talked about the weather, whether Clemens would return or the upcoming NASCAR race on Fox. What about the game? For this, Fox gets an F.
Tonight’s Primetime Viewing
24 – Fox, 9 p.m.