Watchdog

Neil Best leaves no stone unturned in the world of sports media.

ABC to televise its 50th consecutive Indy 500

Helio Castroneves, of Brazil, listens to music as

(Credit: AP)

ABC marks its 50th consecutive year televising the Indianapolis 500 Sunday, a marriage between a sports event and an American TV network third only in length to CBS and The Masters and ABC and the Little League World Series.

It is difficult to convey to youngish people how big the event once was – so big that in 1971 I convinced my mother to leave a 10-year-old alone in an Elizabeth, N.J.,...

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If ESPN is Secretariat, does that make Fox Sham?

Belmont Race Track, The Belmont Stakes, Jockey Ron

(Credit: Newsday/Dombroski)

I made my first schlep to Bristol in five years Thursday to tour ESPN’s state-of-the-art, never-to-be-obsolete Digital Center 2 complex that opens in June of 2014 – not to be confused with ESPN’s state-of-the-art, never-to-be-obsolete Digital Center 1 that opened in June of 2004.

The new-look “SportsCenter’’ studio will coincide with a revised approach to the show that focuses more on hosts,...

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TV sports celebrates 75th anniversary

SID LUCKMAN, Chicago Bears Nov. 14, 1943 vs.

(Credit: AP, 1943)

Just in case I leave the beat before the 100th anniversary of televised sports, I should mention now that it marked its 75th last weekend. (Thank you, Columbia Spectator, for the reminder.)

It was on May 17, 1939, that Columbia hosted Princeton in the second game of a baseball doubleheader at Baker Field, carried by W2XBS (a forerunner of WNBC) to the few hundred New York homes that had sets.

Bill...

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Ratings three-peat for 'Sunday Night Football'

Al Michaels

(Credit: Al Michaels (Getty Images))

The fact this no longer qualifies as news is news itself: Until 2011-12, no sports program had ranked first in prime time ratings for a full TV season. Now NBC’s “Sunday Night Football’’ has done so three years in a row.

Better yet for the NFL (and NBC): The demographics show an enviably diverse audience, including young people and women represented in significant numbers.

According...

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Spencer Ross to call Big East Baseball Championships

Spencer Ross, whom most of you recall for his long sportscasting career and fewer of you recall as a basketball star at New Utrecht High School, returns to his native borough this weekend to call the Big East Baseball Championships at the Cyclones' MCU Park.

Ross will call five games in three days (weather permitting) Thursday through Saturday on BigEast.com.

Fox Sports 1 will carry...

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Canadiens-Rangers ticket prices skyrocket

Rangers goalie Henrik Lundqvist stops Montreal Canadiens defenseman

(Credit: AP)

Ticket prices for Game 3 of the Canadiens-Rangers series continued to rise Wednesday, with the least costly going for $395, up from $320 at noon Tuesday, according to SeatGeek.com, which monitors the secondary market.

On average, tickets for Game 3 were reselling Wednesday for $680, up 79 percent since the start of the series and 30 percent since the Rangers won Game 2.

SeatGeek said...

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'Frustration' for Francesa facing Fox fix

Mike Francesa is shown in his home in

(Credit: Newsday / Chris Ware)

Here is a column I wrote for the Tuesday paper regarding the ongoing problems with Mike Francesa's two-month old Fox simulcast.

Francesa admitted to a "high level of frustration," reflecting similar sentiments from his fans, who have watched the show bounce around from Fox Sports 1 to Fox Sports 2 to nowhere thanks to assorted preemptions.

Several readers of mine have correctly pointed...

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Rangers rating good, Blackhawks rating better

Montreal Canadiens goalie Ken Dryden in net at

(Credit: Newsday file photo)

Game 1 of the Rangers-Canadiens Eastern Conference final Saturday averaged 1.2 percent of homes in major markets on NBC, and 3.2 in New York.

That is not bad for a warm, sunny afternoon in May, especially because the Montreal market doesn't count seeing as how it's in a different country.

But that 3.2 in New York is small potatoes compared to what happened, TV-wise, in the Chicago market...

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Hello, Brooklyn! Second-round tix going for Kings County ransom

LeBron James #6 of the Miami Heat prepares

(Credit: Getty Images / Streeter Lecka)

According to the secondary-market-watching site SeatGeek, average prices for the Nets' home games in the second playoff round are up 69 percent since they beat the Raptors in Game 7 Sunday.

Overall, prices jumped from $197 to $333, but for Game 3 Saturday the rise was 93 percent, from $177 to $341 per ticket.

SeatGeek says the Nets' home games are the costliest for a second-round series...

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Frank Caliendo does Jon Gruden's QB Camp

Frank Caliendo

(Credit: AP)

Outstanding. Simply outstanding work here by Frank Caliendo . . . and Jon Gruden.

No real need for any of my commentary on this genius piece of video from ESPN.

Just watch the video embedded below.

 

 

(Newsday's mobile users can click the link above to watch)...

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