Time for some sports media thoughts once again. I owe you some since I wasn’t able to do them after last Monday’s post. As always, they come in bullet form.
- Since I was out for most of the afternoon on Sunday, I missed the Pregame coverage and 3/4 of the AFC Championship Game, but I was able to see the entire 4th quarter and watched all of the NFC Championship. From what I saw of the AFC Championship Game, I thought CBS did a decent job, but there was a glaring omission in the last minute.
First, by not having a rules analyst like Fox with Mike Pereira, CBS really didn’t delve into whether a ruled incompletion thrown by Joe Flacco to Lee Evans should have been reviewed or discussed whether it was an incompletion in the first place. As it was later explained later, it was ruled correctly, but not until after CBS went off the air.
And CBS never tried to get an answer as to why Ravens place kicker Billy Cundiff ran onto the field late, influencing his missed game tying field goal attempt. Jim Nantz didn’t even mention Cundiff’s tardiness as it was happening. And the NFL Today postgame show didn’t discuss either issue.
For the NFC Championship, Fox was on its game from the call of Joe Buck and Troy Aikman, to key replays showing that 49ers punt returner Kyle Williams muffed fielding a kick when the ball glanced off his knee. Replays were very conclusive. I thought Fox had one of its best broadcasts of the season and it ended the 2011-12 NFL campaign by going out in top.
CBS could have done a better job by servicing its viewers at the end of the game.
- Thanks to its third overtime in the last five NFC Championship Games, I expect Fox to get a huge viewership number, somewhere near 60 million viewers. I’m not kidding. If records were set for the NFL Wild Card and Divisional Playoffs, why not for Championship Sunday?
And NBC has to love having the New England Patriots and the New York Giants in Super Bowl XLVI. With two teams with national followings, plus a rematch of Super Bowl XLII, I think another viewership record will be broken this year for the Big Game.
- Two changes on the national radio coverage of the NFL. First, Westwood One has been officially taken over by Dial Global. The two companies merged last year, but earlier this month, Westwood One was rebranded as Dial Global Sports.
In addition, Dial Global’s broadcasts of the Conference Championship Games and the Super Bowl are no longer blacked out in the home markets. In Boston, Dial Global affiliate WEEI aired the AFC Championship opposite New England Patriots radio flagship WBZ-FM. And WEEI will air the Dial Global’s feed of the Super Bowl as well. So stations that carry Dial Global’s NFL schedule won’t have to stop with the Divisional Playoffs in case the team in their local market makes it to the Conference Championship and beyond.
- Being a tennis fan, I am loving the combined Tennis Channel/ESPN2 coverage of the Australian Open. I also love as a DirecTV subscriber having six channels to choose from, either the network coverage, or individual court channels showing commercial-free, uninterrupted action.
A couple of complaints. ESPN2 could spend some more time showing live matches instead of constant talking from the set. I don’t mind postmatch interviews with players, but sometimes, ESPN2 falls into the trap of too much discussion while matches are underway.
We are definitely missing Mary Carillo in Melbourne. For some reason, she chose to take this year’s Australian Open off and her presence has been missed. I do love having Tracy Austin on Tennis Channel this year and I hope she’ll be used during the French Open. And could John McEnroe be borrowed from Fox Sports Australia for ESPN2 or Tennis Channel? He’s been missed also.
That will do it. Enjoy your Monday.