November 27, 2008 |
Bloody noses. Smashed mouths. Comcast Corp.'s Versus has gone mano a mano in its entertainment to boost ratings on the national sports network. On Dec. 3, the 24-hour channel will present a new episode of The Contender, a reality boxing show previously on NBC and ESPN. The Contender will join mixed-martial-arts cage fighting and NHL games in prime time. "We are trying to find the programming that hits our audience, no pun intended," said Marc Fein, executive vice president for programming, production and business operations at Versus.
September 1, 2005 |
The Flyers, who will host the new hockey season's first nationally televised game Oct. 5 against the Rangers on cable channel OLN, will appear on OLN six other times and play four times on NBC this season. Comcast-owned OLN will televise 58 regular-season games, mostly on Monday and Tuesday nights, as it begins its first season carrying a major-league team sport. NBC will broadcast six Saturday-afternoon national and regional games starting in January. The Flyers' national games include two against the defending Stanley Cup champion Tampa Bay Lightning and three against the Pittsburgh Penguins, who will feature rookie Sidney Crosby.
June 30, 2004 |
In an event that will combine the cachet of the Olympics with the voyeurism of reality TV, NBC will broadcast a live prime-time segment centered on the emotional moment when America's top female gymnasts find out who is chosen to represent the United States in Athens - and who does not make the cut. It will happen on July 18, during NBC's final night of Olympic-trials coverage. Sometime between 7 and 9 p.m., the network will cut away from the track-and-field trials in Sacramento, Calif.
May 20, 2004 |
The NHL, faced with consistently weak national TV ratings and the rising possibility that there will be no hockey next season because of a possible work stoppage, yesterday announced two U.S. television deals for the 2004-2005 season and beyond. One of the deals, a renewal with ESPN, was smaller than the one before, as anticipated. The other, with NBC, represents a new - some might say desperate - type of arrangement for a major sports league. If there are NHL games next season, NBC will broadcast a package of Saturday regular-season and playoff games without paying the league any fee for the rights - or any guaranteed money whatsoever.
February 6, 2003 |
NBC doesn't have much in the world of sports television. But it does have the Olympics. And next summer, it intends to milk the franchise for all it's worth. The network announced yesterday that it plans to provide 24-hour, round-the-clock coverage of the 2004 Summer Games by utilizing five channels: NBC, MSNBC, CNBC, Bravo and Telemundo. In all, 806.5 hours of coverage of the Athens Games will be available a year from August - a huge amount considering that the Games are slated to last fewer than 400 hours from opening to closing ceremonies.
September 7, 2001 |
Nothing is official, but former 76ers president Pat Croce is expected to join NBC Sports as a member of its NBA studio show. The hyperkinetic Croce auditioned in New York last week for a spot on The NBA on NBC, an NBC Sports spokesman confirmed yesterday. Croce is just one of "a number" of prospects who have auditioned, the spokesman said. "We will make our talent announcements in due course. " The NBA on NBC airs before games and during halftime. Last season's lineup featured Ahmad Rashad as host, with ex-Phoenix Suns star Kevin Johnson, former Golden State Warriors coach P.J. Carlesimo, and New York Post reporter Peter Vecsey as regulars.
February 27, 2001 |
They are not handing out parachutes at NBC Sports. Still, as the XFL ratings plummet, observers wonder how low they can go without the league vanishing. From a giddy 10.3 on opening night four weeks ago, the numbers have dropped weekly to 5.1, 3.8 and 2.9, respective, overnight (one rating point equals 1.02 million households). If the XFL were a situation comedy, network executives would cut the cord. But since NBC is a half-owner of the XFL, with Vince McMahon's World Wrestling Federation, the show - such as it is - must go on. "They're predicting lots of doom and gloom," NBC spokesman Kevin Sullivan said yesterday, "but not inside our corridors yet. "The opening night rating was higher than anybody's expectations.
February 13, 2001 |
The XFL, an overnight sensation in Week 1, experienced a reality check in Week 2. NBC's prime-time telecast Saturday night produced a preliminary rating of 5.1, off 50 percent from the first week's 10.3 (one rating point equals 1.2 million households). The 50 percent drop was expected by many observers, once the curiosity factor of the league's debut wore off. However, those ready to start shoveling dirt on the XFL, a creation of WWF impresario Vince McMahon and NBC Sports, are advised to wait a few weeks.
February 12, 2001 |
NBC's second XFL broadcast drew about half as many viewers as tuned in for the debut of the fledgling football league owned by the network. Tellingly, NBC finished last among the four major networks in prime time on Saturday one week after beating ABC, CBS and Fox with the opening of the part-spectacle, part-sports program. The preliminary overnight rating for Saturday's XFL show was 5.1, meaning an average of 5.1 percent of television homes in the country's largest 49 markets tuned in at any given time.
October 2, 2000 |
When Tracy Warren was a student at Trenton State College, she let her bat do the talking. With a career batting average of .345 for the softball team at what is now the College of New Jersey, she did not have to say much to intimidate the opposing team. For the last two weeks, however, Warren remained a prominent voice in women's softball without setting foot in a batter's box. While the U.S. softball team overcame a scoring drought in Sydney to successfully defend its Olympic gold medal, she delivered the color commentary for NBC Sports to the millions watching the games at home.