Presence of WWF could smash `Tiffany Network's' reputation


March 03, 2000|By Milton Kent

Today, we present a few random thoughts and rantings:

CBS CEO Mel Karmazin is on the verge of making a big mistake if he continues to court the World Wrestling Federation, as has been reported this week.

The reputation of the "Tiffany Network" will take an incalculable hit if it strikes a rumored broadcast/cable deal with the WWF, which takes sleaze and depravity to new lows each week on its various programs.

Of course, Karmazin is used to all of this, since it's he who sanctions multimedia sleaze peddler Howard Stern, all in the pursuit of money.

The hysteria over John Rocker is absolutely incredible. Yesterday morning, ESPN broke into a "SportsCenter" re-air with a special report, telling viewers that it was going to cover Rocker's return to the Braves.

And, by the way, it's more than a little hypocritical for all outlets, print or broadcast, to cluck at the "media circus" surrounding Rocker, and then send multiple reporters to cover it.

All but six games on the Orioles' 2000 schedule will appear on television, according to a slate released this week by Home Team Sports, the team's main telecaster.

HTS will air 85 regular-season games, while producing 65 more for channels 13 and 54. Four games are currently scheduled to air on Fox, while two more are to appear on ESPN.

Two of the games not currently on the broadcast schedule, a Sept. 23 game against Boston and a Sept. 30 meeting with the Yankees, are likely to air on HTS, Fox or on either Channel 13 or 54, once Fox decides its late season schedule.

HTS, which will re-air all games that go live on channels 13 and 54, will also air five exhibition games this spring, commencing with a March 19 game against Boston at 1 p.m. Michael Reghi, Mike Flanagan and Jim Palmer will return to the booth this season.

On the radio side, WBAL (1090 AM) will air its first game of the exhibition season at 1: 05 p.m. today, when the Orioles meet Cincinnati. Coverage starts at 12: 30.

Can we please have the old Linda Cohn back on "SportsCenter"? You know, the one who didn't feel compelled to use hip jargon to try to get credibility with the "homeys"?

Tuesday is National Sportsmanship Day. Let's hope all the directors and producers will refrain, for just one day and night, from showing preening players and bellicose coaches and managers in game coverage and highlight packages.

Well, a person can dream, can't he?

Around the dial

Channel 2 launches its 14-game lacrosse schedule tomorrow with a noon telecast of the Princeton-Johns Hopkins men's game from Homewood Field. Scott Garceau, Keith Mills and former Hopkins goaltender Quint Kessenich will provide play-by-play and analysis.

And for all you racing fans who raised such a stink last year when the station pre-empted a couple of NASCAR events for lacrosse, this week's race airs at 2: 30 p.m. Sunday on Channel 2. After the race, the station will carry the Ed Block auction live at 6, with proceeds going to assist emotionally and physically abused children.

Conference championships in most of the big-time women's conferences and the mid- and lower-level men's conferences will be decided this weekend.

On the men's side, the Trans America Athletic (2 p.m. tomorrow), Colonial Athletic(7: 30 p.m. Monday) and Northeast (9: 30 p.m. Monday) conference title games will air on ESPN2, and the Big South (3: 30 p.m. tomorrow), Southern (12: 30 p.m. Sunday), Mid-American Athletic (7 p.m. Monday) Missouri Valley (9 p.m. Monday) and West Coast (midnight Monday) games will all air on ESPN.

ESPN2 will carry the women's title games in the Southeastern (5 p.m. Sunday), Big Ten (7 p.m. Sunday), Atlantic 10 (5 p.m. Monday), and Big East 7: 30 p.m. Tuesday. HTS will pick up the Clemson-North Carolina quarterfinal in the Atlantic Coast Conference tournament at 1 p.m. tomorrow, then the semifinals starting at 1 p.m. Sunday and the title game at 7: 30 p.m. Monday.

Dan Hicks makes his debut as the host of NBC's golf coverage during this weekend's telecasts of the Doral Ryder Open, airing at 3 p.m. both tomorrow and Sunday on Channel 11, while Kenny Albert will be the host of Fox's coverage of the Santa Anita Handicap tomorrow (Channel 45, 4 p.m.).

Week's ratings

The ratings for the top 10 most-watched sporting events on broadcast television in Baltimore from Feb. 24 to March 1 (R-Rating; S-Share):

Event Day Ch. R/S

Maryland-UNC Sat. 54 6.0/15

Lakers-Rockets Sun. 11 3.8/7

St. John's-Duke Sat. 13 3.7/9

76ers-Knicks Sun. 11 3.4/7

Ga. Tech-UNC Wed. 54 3.0/5

Gymnastics Sat. 11 2.7/7

Golf Sun. 2 2.6/6

Mich. St.-Indiana Sat. 13 2.1/5

Raptors-Suns Sun. 11 2.1/5

Navy-Army Sat. 13 1.8/5

Note: Each local rating point equals 9,992 households in Baltimore area.

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