Watchdog

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

Is NFL overdoing it in prime time?

Al Michaels

(Credit: Al Michaels (Getty Images))

NFL games on Thursdays are nothing new, but putting them on a major broadcast network is – and that’s exactly what the league will do early this season on CBS.

Might that dilute NBC’s Sunday night and ESPN’s Monday night packages, or is there no end to fans’ appetites?

I asked the lead voice of NBC’s “Sunday Night Football,’’ the most-viewed prime time show in America three years running.

“I’m...

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Emrick, Olczyk work overtime on video game

Doc Emrick doesn’t get particularly tired calling hockey games, even ones that go into overtime. But NBC’s Stanley Cup Final play-by-play man met his match recently when he and partner Ed Olczyk provided the voices for EA Sports’ “NHL 15’’ video game, which will be released this fall.

“I had not been so mentally tired before,’’ Emrick said of the experience, which took Olczyk and him 150 hours...

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Doc Emrick back on job for Game 2

Sports commentator Doc Emrick waves to fans as

(Credit: AP)

Doc Emrick, who missed calling Game 1 of the Stanley Cup Final following the death of his father-in-law, flew to Los Angeles Thursday night and was at Staples Center for the Rangers' practice Friday.

He will call Game 2 for NBC Saturday, with Kenny Albert, who had filled in for him, returning to his usual Rangers radio role.

Emrick said he watched Game 1 on television and heard replays...

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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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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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ESPN to broadcast NFL playoff game

Cincinnati Bengals wide receiver Marvin Jones makes a

(Credit: Getty)

ESPN will televise an NFL wild-card playoff game this coming season, the first postseason game in the league's modern era not to be shown nationally on a broadcast channel. The game will be simulcast on a broadcast outlet in the markets of the teams involved, the procedure followed for “Monday Night Football’’ on ESPN.

Sports Business Journal reported ESPN -- which already is paying the league...

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NBC looks forward to NHL playoff 'hatred'

J.T. Miller of the Rangers collides with Tye

(Credit: Jim McIsaac)

Sam Flood, NBC Sports’ executive producer and a former hockey captain at Williams College, often has spoken of the benefits of “hatred’’ to televised hockey.

Monday he was at it again, saying of the 2014 NHL postseason matchups: “We think it’s going to add a whole new degree of hatred on ice . . . When there’s this kind of familiarity there is more energy.’’

Flood in part credited the...

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NBCSN highlights Flyers-Rangers rivalry

BRAD PARK Captain: 1974 - Nov. 7, 1975

(Credit: AP )

NBCSN will replay its latest "NHL Rivals" episode, which premiered Tuesday night, at 7 p.m. Wednesday in advance of the Flyers-Rangers tilt at 8 p.m.

Among those interviewed from the Rangers end include Brad Park, Brian Leetch, Neil Smith, Mike Keenan, Sam Rosen, John Davidson and others.

The friendly p.r. folks promoting this show sent along the following excerpts for your reading enjoyment:

 Former...

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'NHL Revealed' set to reveal more about John Tavares injury

Patrick Sharp and Rick Nash of Canada watch

(Credit: Getty Images / Streeter Lecka)

“NHL Revealed: A Season Like No Other,” the NBCSN show that has followed NHLers behind the scenes through this winter of outdoor games and Olympic Games, will unveil perhaps its most important episode Thursday: a two-parter focused on the fortnight in Sochi.

Unfortunately for Islanders fans, one key subject of the show will be the season-ending injury to a certain star player with the initials...

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NBC wants NHL back in '18

Canada forward John Tavares is helped up off

(Credit: AP)

NBC conducted a media call Thursday to promote the United States-Canada men’s hockey semifinal and ended up fielding as many questions about the Pyeongchang Games of 2018 as about Sochi in 2014.

Such is the ongoing uncertainty surrounding the NHL’s interest in putting its season on hold to send its stars hither and yon in search of medals and at risk of injury. (Sorry to bring that up, Islanders...

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