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By PHIL JACKMAN | July 15, 1994
The TV Repairman:Even people in the business act as though you have to have a couple of advanced degrees to understand The Baseball Network's coverage of games beginning tomorrow (8 p.m.): ABC goes for the next six Saturday evenings, showing every game being played on a regional basis exclusively with a national and backup game at the top of the menu.NBC will do the same for six weeks right up until the end of September. All these games means there figures to be too many returns to a studio where a host will update us on a game somewhere else by showing a batter hitting the ball over a left-field wall.
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SPORTS
By Milton Kent and Milton Kent,SUN SPORTS MEDIA CRITIC | January 29, 1998
Home Team Sports is expected to announce -- perhaps as early as today -- that former New York Yankees catcher Rick Cerone will become an analyst on televised Orioles games this season.Sources familiar with the negotiations said most of the contractual matters between HTS and Cerone have been settled, and that HTS officials and Cerone's representative need only to hammer out last-minute details to get a deal in place.HTS supervising producer Chris Glass could not be reached for comment, but said earlier this month that Cerone was "the top candidate in my mind."
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SPORTS
By MILTON KENT | August 25, 1995
For the second time in a week, the Baseball Network and its restrictive rules strike again, costing Baltimoreans a chance to see their hometown team.Emerson Coleman, programming manager at Channel 11, which as an NBC affiliate has the rights to the Friday "Baseball Night in America" telecasts, said the station -- after a series of discussions with NBC's affiliate relations department -- opted not to push for the Orioles-California Angels game. The game starts at 11 tonight, which would have meant bumping the late local news and NBC's late-night programming.
SPORTS
By Milton Kent | October 21, 1997
By now, it has become passe to lament the lack of backbone among the people who run baseball, but it's way past time that someone in charge of the Grand Old Game put his foot down in terms of its relationship with NBC.Goodness knows, the Peacock Network and its representatives have been walking all over baseball in the past two years:To wit:Before the dissolution of The Baseball Network two years ago, NBC Sports president Dick Ebersol said his network and...
SPORTS
By Jon Morgan and Jon Morgan,Sun Staff Writer | August 29, 1995
In the biggest commercial deal of his career, Orioles shortstop Cal Ripken has agreed to become a national spokesman for Chevrolet trucks -- lending his image of durability to vehicles General Motors Corp. promotes as tough "Like a Rock."The two-year deal, scheduled to be announced today, calls for a series of television and print ads featuring Ripken. Ripken's fees will be about $500,000 over the two years, according to a source familiar with the arrangement.Ira S. Rainess, general counsel for the Tufton Group, a Baltimore County firm that coordinates Ripken's commercial contracts, declined to discuss the fees other than to say the deal is worth six figures but under $700,000.
SPORTS
By MILTON KENT | August 25, 1994
NEW YORK -- NBC Sports president Dick Ebersol took a few puffs on an expensive cigar the other day while greeting reporters, but he was hardly in a celebratory mood, at least not where baseball is concerned.Ebersol, whose network would be telecasting its first regular-season baseball game in five years tomorrow night if not for the strike, seemed resigned to the notion that the national pastime might be done for the year."I think there's a chance there'll be baseball this year, but I wouldn't be shocked if the next baseball game was next spring," said Ebersol.
SPORTS
By MILTON KENT | July 26, 1995
For many who sit behind the microphones in a booth or pound out copy in a press box, covering baseball is a pleasant diversion or, at most, a means to an end, a stop on the way to something bigger.That's not the case for Bob Costas, the signature voice of NBC Sports, who feels for baseball as passionately as anyone could and who rhapsodizes as eloquently about the game as anyone who has spoken or written about it.With that passion and care as a backdrop, one can easily empathize with the pain and anger that Costas feels over the direction baseball has gone in the recent past.
SPORTS
By MILTON KENT | July 14, 1995
As the soon-to-be-lamented Baseball Network prepares to set sail on its final voyage tomorrow night, one of its captains is taking steps to make sure no one else comes aboard too soon.ABC, which joined with NBC and Major League Baseball to form The Baseball Network last season, then angrily announced its intention to pull out of the venture after this season, has told Fox and Turner, which are expected to bid on portions of a new contract, that they cannot negotiate with baseball until Jan. 9, when ABC's exclusive negotiating window closes.
SPORTS
By Milton Kent and Milton Kent,Sun Staff Writer | June 29, 1995
NBC Sports President Dick Ebersol yesterday accused baseball officials of reneging on at least two oral pledges to protect The Baseball Network, and said the sport is in a "completely confused state."During a conference call, Ebersol suggested that baseball leadership -- including acting commissioner Bud Selig -- effectively scuttled The Baseball Network project, a joint venture among baseball, NBC and ABC, by delaying decisions on the venture's future."On two specific occasions, the bodies responsible for determining the course of baseball said words that were very specific," said Ebersol.
SPORTS
By MILTON KENT | June 29, 1995
Yesterday was "Phil Simms Day" on the television sports circuit: As he was getting a big-time assignment with NBC, his old job as studio analyst at ESPN was being filled by former Green Bay Packers receiver Sterling Sharpe.Simms, the former New York Giants quarterback who left ESPN in a messy feud last spring, hit the jackpot yesterday, being named to NBC's re-formulated No. 1 team, alongside analyst Paul Maguire and longtime play-by-play man Dick Enberg.The three will do a practice game in Cleveland on Aug. 6, then debut Aug. 13 for a Green Bay-at-Pittsburgh exhibition.
SPORTS
By Milton Kent | September 16, 1997
If you were lucky enough not to be one of the 95,000 fans who suffered through the two Orioles-Yankees blowouts this weekend at Camden Yards, but rather took them in on television, you got to see the work of two networks, Fox and ESPN, that clearly cherish the sport, but approach it in very different ways.The matchup of the two best teams in the league drew each network's No. 1 production and announcing team, and the contrasts couldn't be more startling.Start with Fox's John Filippelli, 46, who heads the baseball operation for the network, is a gregarious type who provides a human face to the word "animated."
SPORTS
By Milton Kent | November 28, 1995
Beyond just the normal seasonal temperature changes, you may have noticed a cooling trend in town, say around Halloween, and NBC Sports chieftain Dick Ebersol says his network's re-involvement with baseball had something to do with that."
SPORTS
By Milton Kent | November 8, 1995
Baltimoreans were understandably preoccupied Monday with a certain big announcement, but then Major League Baseball was making some pretty big headlines with an announcement of its own -- a five-year, $1.7 billion contract, split among four entities, that includes a few surprises.The best news in the deal for fans is that if they have cable, they'll be able to see all postseason games, a significant improvement from this season, when the heavily criticized regionalization of the playoffs denied the nation that chance.
SPORTS
By Milton Kent | November 1, 1995
There are only a few logical explanations for NBC's entry into the baseball television negotiations after chieftain Dick Ebersol declared it out of the game for the rest of the century.Among them:* A really big mind cloud.* Mass hypnosis.* Or perhaps we really have partied like it's 1999, and we just lost track of time.At any rate, it seems all that stuff Ebersol was saying in June was, well, just stuff. That's when he railed about how the owners had treated his network and ABC, equal partners in the Baseball Network debacle, as "scum" and said, "Neither of us will be involved in the bidding."
SPORTS
By Milton Kent | October 23, 1995
In the seven years since NBC last telecast a World Series, the game of baseball has changed, and not all for the better. But one thing hasn't changed: NBC is and should always be the broadcast network of record for the national pastime.The fact that baseball is willing to let NBC walk away after this Fall Classic is over speaks volumes about the intelligence of those who run the game, but the Peacock network is going out with a blaze of glory.Though NBC and ABC are each televising the Series through the auspices of The Baseball Network and are sharing production equipment and facilities, it is NBC that has clearly shone during the first two nights, performing as well last night for Game 2 as Atlanta's Greg Maddux in Game 1.If he didn't before, Bob Costas, in his first World Series, last night clearly established himself as the rightful heir to the rich heritage of NBC baseball play-by-play men that stretches back to Curt Gowdy and Vin Scully.
SPORTS
By Milton Kent | October 20, 1995
As the World Series returns this weekend after a strike-imposed hiatus in 1994, you'll need a television guide and a strong constitution to follow it, thanks to our pals in baseball leadership.Because the Lords of Baseball wouldn't extend the current broadcasting arrangement for a year to allow for NBC and ABC to each have a separate crack at the Series, the networks will split it this year, with ABC getting games 1, 4, 5 and 7, and NBC taking games 2, 3 and 6.The result could be confusing for viewers, but ABC's Al Michaels, who will be teamed with Jim Palmer and Tim McCarver tomorrow night (Channel 2, 7 p.m.)
SPORTS
By MILTON KENT | August 24, 1995
NEW YORK -- Even now, when it appears that his network's association with baseball will come to an acrimonious end at the conclusion of the season, NBC Sports president Dick Ebersol can't help thinking and talking wistfully about the game he loved as a child.Ebersol, whose network begins its first and only regular-season package of Baseball Network telecasts tomorrow night, said the TBN concept could have worked."I will always believe that if the strike had not come, this thing would have been a big home run and the public would have loved it," said Ebersol, while meeting with a group of reporters yesterday during the network's annual preseason NFL seminar.
SPORTS
By Milton Kent and Milton Kent,Sun Staff Writer | August 14, 1994
The strike has understandably sent local and national radio JTC and television outlets for a loop, with hours of time to program and no baseball to fill it with.Home Team Sports, which carries the bulk of Orioles games, will replace them with an amalgam of live and taped sporting events, including minor-league baseball, tennis, boxing, stock car racing, indoor soccer and replays of NBA games.Marcellus Alexander, general manager of WJZ-13, said the station will fill its Orioles schedule with ABC programming or movies.
SPORTS
By MILTON KENT | October 19, 1995
The Baseball Network concept of regionalized playoff telecasts remains a critical bomb, but the viewing public seems a lot more willing to forgive than scribes or telecasters, though not completely.Three of the games in the league championship series broadcast last week landed in the top 14 of the most widely viewed shows of the week, and if Baltimore's preliminary figures for the sixth game of the American League series are any gauge, Tuesday's Cleveland-Seattle finale may have done impressive business.
SPORTS
By MILTON KENT | October 18, 1995
The list of things that you can rely on seems to grow shorter with each passing day, but thank goodness that the greed and stupidity of those who run baseball remain constant.The owners are getting their first World Series in two years, and early ratings on the first two rounds of playoffs suggest fans -- Cincinnati to the contrary -- largely have gotten over residual anger from last season's strike.So, apparently feeling their oats, the Lords of Baseball are floating the notion that they are on the verge of getting a television contract for next season, peddling the rumor in yesterday's USA Today that Fox and CBS have essentially agreed on a four-year, $880 million deal to carry regular-season and playoff games.
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