City cable subscribers can see Grey Cup Sunday

ON THE AIR

November 23, 1994|By MILTON KENT

Provided you are wired for cable, there is no reason that you can't see Sunday's Grey Cup battle for North American football supremacy, even if you live in the city.

That's because the folks at United Artists Cable have moved to clear the signal of ESPN2, which will carry the game live, onto the system's Channel 41, according to UA marketing manager Kathy Roberts.

Still in question is whether Channel 2, which aired last week's Eastern Division final between the CFLs and Winnipeg, can carry this week's game with the B.C. Lions from Vancouver, British Columbia, at 6:30 p.m.

Joe Lewin, Channel 2's vice president and station manager, said the station again plans to pick up a Canadian Broadcasting Corp. feed of the game, provided the club can secure permission from the league to do so.

That could prove troublesome, because ESPN has broadcast rights in the United States and might not be so willing to surrender exclusivity in the one market where the game will be of supreme interest.

"We've told NBC that we're not going to carry the 4 o'clock game, and we've cleared the whole night in prime time. I don't know what the language is in the contract, but we're making the assumption that we're carrying the game," said Lewin.

By the way, here's a slight correction to a note from yesterday. WJFK (1300 AM) will carry Sunday's game, but it is unsure whether it will originate its own coverage or will pick up a Canadian feed.

Line forms to the right

The bandwagon for Maryland men's basketball picked up two more passengers this week, as Lesley Visser and Dick Vitale, who both split duties between ABC and ESPN, climbed aboard.

Visser, who came from CBS this year, placed the Terps in her Final Four along with Arkansas, Massachusetts and Kansas, with the quick proviso, "I've changed my mind 10 times already this season."

Meanwhile, Vitale, who is always reticent about sharing his views on any subject, uncharacteristically gushed about Maryland's chances this season.

"I can see him [Maryland coach Gary Williams] trying to be a little cautious about the expectations, but tell him to relax a little with that seven-year contract," said Vitale.

He continued: "These kids have been tested in the tough ACC, and they've proven they can play. Now, it's a year where they have to go out and live up to expectations. That can bring some pressure. Joe Smith was the best freshman in the country last year, [Johnny] Rhodes has developed, [Duane] Simpkins is an excellent ball handler and [Keith] Booth is a solid player. If they can get any kind of bench strength, they're capable of doing some damage [in the NCAA tournament]. They're as good as anybody on a neutral floor."

Leftovers

Two big demerits for ESPN for what was, or more to the point, what wasn't on Sunday night's "SportsCenter."

The network, which aired an interesting women's basketball matchup between No. 1 Tennessee and then-third-ranked Louisiana Tech, provided neither a score nor highlights of the game during "SportsCenter," something that would never have happened if the two teams involved had been men's teams.

Closer to home, we are still waiting for ESPN to tell us who won the CFL Eastern Division title game Sunday between Baltimore and Winnipeg. Meanwhile, the network not only gave us a score from the B.C.-Calgary Western Division final, but had extended highlights. That's pretty shoddy, especially considering ESPN and ESPN2 will carry the Grey Cup.

And while on the subject of omissions, what was WBAL (1090 AM) thinking Monday afternoon by passing up the Maryland-Chaminade game in the Maui Classic and sending it to WITH (1230 AM)?

Even Rush Limbaugh would have understood if the station had given him a one-day rest to air a game many people couldn't see on television.

Then again, maybe not.

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