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.
June 16, 2000 |
Golf fans don't need encouragement to watch the U.S. Open. When the 100th Open is at Pebble Beach and Tiger Woods is playing, NBC Sports is guaranteed a sizable audience. As an added bonus, NBC is using a "boat cam" tomorrow and Sunday to give viewers a special look at Pebble Beach's gorgeous scenery. Tom Roy, the executive producer of NBC Sports, wanted to provide a different view of Pebble Beach. "It happens to be prettier looking from the ocean back to the land," he said.
March 7, 2000 |
Paying Charles Barkley to talk for a living. . .what a concept. Barkley, named one of the NBA's 50 Greatest Players, yesterday signed on as an NBA studio analyst for Turner Sports. He officially starts next season, but he will make a guest appearance tonight during the Phoenix-Houston telecast (TNT, 8 o'clock). Barkley, 36, is rehabbing from a ruptured left quadriceps tendon above his kneecap suffered against the 76ers in the First Union Center on Dec. 8, 1999. Barkley, who played eight seasons with the Sixers before he was traded to Phoenix before the 1992-93 season, also was courted by NBC Sports.
January 20, 2000 |
How much did Dick Enberg miss the NFL? Enough to request an early release from his contract with NBC Sports. Two years ago, NBC didn't oblige Enberg. Yesterday, with his NBC contract expired, the respected veteran sportscaster was officially introduced at CBS Sports. Starting next season, Enberg, 65, will work with Dan Dierdorf on NFL games (Verne Lundquist, Dierdorf's partner this season, moves to college football and basketball). Enberg also will call college hoops and the U.S. Open tennis championships, plus contribute to coverage of the Masters and PGA Championship.
October 22, 1999 |
Does postseason baseball get any better than the Atlanta Braves-New York Mets in the National League Championship Series? The nation and NBC Sports will find out, starting tomorrow (7:30 p.m. pregame, first pitch shortly after 8 p.m. on Channel 10). Bob Costas, for one, isn't worried that the Atlanta-New York Yankees series will fall short of the NLCS. After all, the Braves and Yankees were the two best teams in baseball. "It's the World Series, so there's a tremendous amount at stake," Costas said yesterday.
July 23, 1999 |
With success comes recognition. If the 76ers didn't know it before, they know it now. Two months after advancing to the NBA playoffs for the first time in eight years, the Sixers learned yesterday that a franchise-record 19 of their games will be televised nationally in the 1999-2000 season. Included will be 11 appearances on NBC. Only the San Antonio Spurs, the Los Angeles Lakers and the New York Knicks will appear on the network as many times. Apparently, Allen Iverson really does mean box office.
June 30, 1999 |
Marv Albert's step by step television comeback has brought him home, to NBC Sports. Albert, a high-profile 20-year employee of NBC Sports until he was fired in September 1997 after pleading guilty to a misdemeanor assault charge, was rehired yesterday. His assignments for NBC will include calling NBA games, although he won't be the No. 1 play-by-play announcer, plus Olympics boxing at the 2000 Sydney Olympics and men's hockey during the Salt Lake City 2002 Olympics. "This is a great day: I'm so happy to be back," Albert, 59, said during a conference call.