Take a couple spins with Dick Clark

TODAY'S TV

June 25, 1994|By David Bianculli | David Bianculli,Special to The Sun

For years, America's TV treatment of the World Cup has been along the lines of "Never give a soccer an even break." But today, ABC presents two matches, ESPN presents two more, which adds up to at least six commercial-free hours of soccer coverage. To a soccer fan, that's like striking Goooooold! Except that six hours is reduced substantially in Baltimore, where WJZ, Channel 13, is pre-empting the first game (Belgium vs. the Netherlands) of ABC's double-header to present daytime coverage of its Saturday Orioles game.

* "World Cup Soccer: Argentina vs. Nigeria." (4:30 p.m.-conclusion, ABC) -- Perhaps it's not such a big loss, because this game ought to be a lot more electrifying, and speedy, than Belgium vs. the Netherlands anyway. Argentina, one of the favorites at this year's World Cup, trounced Greece 4-0, and Nigeria blew past Bulgaria 3-0. This is the one not to miss. ABC.

* "American Bandstand's No. 1 Hits." (8 p.m.-9 p.m., WMAR, Channel 2) -- If you consider the chance to watch Rick Dees lip-sync to "Disco Duck" as something special, this special's for you. It's fun, in some perverse way, to see Madonna and Blondie appear on "Bandstand" (though, regrettably, not together), and the oldest clips are the best, but the concert performance by Boyz II Men (whose run at No. 1 beat Elvis Presley's long-standing "Bandstand" stand) seems imported from some other, better special. Dick Clark is the host, of course. NBC.

* "Television Academy Hall of Fame." (8 p.m.-9:30 p.m., WJZ, Channel 13) -- And while Mr. Clark is a host on NBC, he's also a guest on ABC -- as one of several people inducted into this year's Hall of Fame. Others include Phil Donahue, Bob Newhart, John Chancellor, Mark Goodson, Jack Webb and soap-opera creator Agnes Nixon. ABC.

* "Talk Live." (8:30 p.m.-9 p.m., CNBC) -- Baltimore's Bill McCuddy will be the host of his own talk show on the fledgling America's Talking cable network beginning July 4. Tonight, he'll be hyping his show, "Up and Coming," on parent company CNBC.

Cable

* "World Cup Soccer: Saudi Arabia vs. Morocco." (12:25 a.m.-conclusion, ESPN) -- This game is being played, but not televised, at the same time as the Belgium vs. Netherlands game. ABC, which owns ESPN, doesn't want viewers defecting from one game to the other, so it's presenting ESPN's coverage of the Saudi Arabia vs. Morocco game on a 12-hour tape-delay basis. These teams lost their first games, and now they're losing a shot at a larger audience for the second one.

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