Watchdog

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

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

(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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'Nancy & Tonya,' revisited

(Credit: AP)

“The Price of Gold,” last month’s ESPN look back at the Tonya Harding/Nancy Kerrigan saga of 1994, was good at what it did, but it lacked one crucial element: Nancy Kerrigan.

Kerrigan opted out after agreeing to sit down exclusively with NBC – which also hired her to provide commentary on the figure skating in Sochi.

Sunday night at 7 the payoff for viewers arrives in the form of “Nancy...

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Olympics boss defends Bode Miller interview

USA's Bode Miller reacts during the Alpine Skiing

(Credit: Getty Images / Doug Pensinger)

Jim Bell, NBC's executive producer for the Olympics, said Monday from Sochi that he was comfortable with how the network handled what has become a controversial post-race interview with skiier Bode Miller Sunday.

Miller won the bronze medal in the super-G, after which NBC's Christin Cooper - a former Olympic skiier herself - asked him a series of followup questions about his emotions after...

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Bob Costas returns to NBC Monday

Sportscaster Bob Costas attends the Joe Torre Safe

(Credit: Getty)

"Our long nightmare is over," NBC Olympics executive producer Jim Bell said from Sochi Monday, and with that, Bob Costas was headed back to his hosting duties after a six-day hiatus because of viral conjunctivitis.

Matt Lauer filled in for Costas for four of the six days, and Meredith Vieira for the other two.

Costas said during the worst of his absence he sat in a darkened hotel room...

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Costas still on Olympic injury report, Vieira to host

Meredith Vieira

(Credit: Getty)

Bob Costas will miss his fourth consecutive night Friday as host of NBC's prime time Olympics show because of an ongoing eye infection, NBC announced. He will be replaced by Meredith Vieira, whom the network said will become the first solo female host for a prime time Olympics show. Matt Lauer had filled in for Costas the previous three nights.

Jim Bell, NBC's executive producer for the Olympics,...

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NBC stars don't shine in Sochi

It started with Lindsey Vonn pulling out of the Olympics altogether, then a parade of big-name American flops in Week 1, including Bode Miller, Shaun White, Kelly Clark and Shani Davis.

NBC even lost its own biggest Olympic star, host Bob Costas, for several days because of an eye infection.

Despite all that, ratings overall have been solid for the network given the distant-time-zone...

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