Local TV not waiting for '96 with Browns

Media Watch

November 10, 1995|By Milton Kent

The soon-to-be relocated Cleveland Browns are months away from landing here, but that hasn't stopped local media outlets from trying to catch a piece of the action now.

Channel 45 has jumped first, for instance, creating "Baltimore Browns Countdown," a half-hour Browns wrap-up show, premiering Sunday at 11 p.m. after "Sports Unlimited." Bruce Cunningham will anchor "Countdown," and the station has pledged to send news crews to all remaining Browns games.

Meanwhile, Channel 11, which through its NBC affiliation gets the AFC package, is negotiating with the network to clear the five games it can carry through the end of the season.

Emerson Coleman, the station's programming manager, said NBC has given permission for Channel 11 to carry the home game against Pittsburgh on Nov. 26 and the season finale at Jacksonville on Christmas Eve.

The station also will get the nationally televised contest at Minnesota on Dec. 9. Still to be decided are games at San Diego on Dec. 3, and the last game at Cleveland Stadium against Cincinnati on Dec. 17.

Channel 11's experiment Sunday of carrying the Browns-Houston game got mixed results. The game drew a 9.4 rating and 20 share, beating the Washington-Kansas City contest on Channel 45, which did a 5.7/12, but was below what might have been expected given the excitement surrounding the move.

Channel 2 may be the beneficiary of a week of Browns buildup when it carries Monday's Cleveland-Pittsburgh contest. The other Browns game, a Nov. 19 home contest against Green Bay, will air on Channel 45 at 1 p.m.

Meanwhile, WBAL (1090 AM) has made a move to carry the rest of the Browns' games this season. The station will get Monday night's game and the Dec. 9 Vikings contest as part of their package of CBS radio games. Station manager Jeff Beauchamp said he has asked the Browns for permission for the rest of the slate and is waiting to hear from the team.

One year later . . .

If you'll recall, this town was CFL crazy at this time last year, with television stations falling all over themselves to get the team with no name on their airwaves as they made a march to the Grey Cup.

What a difference a year makes. No local outlet will televise Sunday's Southern Division final between the Stallions and San Antonio, and ESPN2, the league's network of record, is passing on the Edmonton-Calgary game for the Northern Division title at 5 p.m. to capitalize on whatever mystique Doug Flutie still commands. The Stallions game can be heard on radio on WJFK (1300 AM) and WGRX (100.7 FM).

Stuff to watch

Time Warner reports that 650,000 households purchased last weekend's Riddick Bowe-Evander Holyfield fight on pay-per-view. That bout will be repeated once only, tonight at 10 p.m. on HBO.

ESPN2, or "the Deuce" to all you hep-cats out there, offers two other intriguing programs this week. U.S. National women's basketball team coach Tara VanDerveer leads her team against Stanford, the school she's on sabbatical from, in an exhibition game tonight at 10:30 p.m.

On Sunday, the network offers its first-ever coverage of the New York City Marathon, beginning at 10:30 a.m. ESPN will have a 90-minute recap of the race Monday at 9 p.m. From the college gridiron, you could hardly do better than tomorrow's doubleheader of Virginia-Maryland (Channel 13, noon) and Illinois-Ohio State (Channel 2, 3:30 p.m.). Notre Dame coach Lou Holtz will be in the "CBS Sports Show" studio to analyze the day's activities.

On the pro front, guess that San Francisco-Dallas dust-up Sunday (Channel 45, 4 p.m.) has lost a little luster since the 49ers are reeling with a 5-4 mark, hasn't it?

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