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Regional sports get more play on cable

TV/RADIO COLUMN

TV: Comcast SportsNet gives local fans another place to turn, and builds up the cable provider's image in the process.

Television and Radio Column

June 06, 2001|By David Folkenflik | David Folkenflik,SUN TELEVISION WRITER

CSN also is pushing for a special Sunday night Atlantic Coast Conference men's basketball game of the week, in which the University of North Carolina, Duke or Maryland always would appear. Yow, the Maryland athletic director, thinks that's unlikely. But she says Comcast may pick up weekday Terrapin games that otherwise would not be shown on TV.

Comcast is maintaining HTS' relationship with Fox Sports Net, whose national programs have become less interesting since the departure of commentator Keith Olbermann. But Nevins suggests that Fox's presence is likely to diminish over time.

The station should learn from missed opportunities. The NCAA women's lacrosse tournament was held here in Baltimore, but no one aired it. In retrospect, Nevins says, he wished his network had sought those rights, because of the tournament's strong local interest. (The Terrapin women won their seventh straight national title. )

Not everyone is euphoric about Nevins' activities. Thanks to Glendening, Nevins is a regent of the University System of Maryland, a point worth registering as CSN enters negotiations with the College Park campus. And Drew Berry, the general manager for WMAR (Channel 2), has canceled the public relations contract that his station maintained with Nevins & Associates. Berry notes that WMAR often broadcasts local collegiate lacrosse games, making the two channels overt competitors.

But from the viewer's perspective, local sports just came into much better focus.

Questions? Comments? Story ideas? David Folkenflik can be reached at david.folkenflik@balt sun.com or 410-332-6923.

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