Watchdog

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

Michael Kay simulcast starts on YES Feb. 3

?????Broadcaster and voice of the Yankees Michael Kay

(Credit: AP)

The YES Network made official Thursday what long had been expected: That Michael Kay's ESPN New York radio program will be simulcast on YES starting Feb. 3.

That will be the day after WFAN's Mike Francesa concludes his run at the station with his Super Bowl Sunday morning show.

Francesa and his former partner, Chris Russo, had their show simulcast on YES since the network's inception...

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Michael Kay soon will say 'yes' to YES

Yankees play-by-play man Michael Kay calls Hartsdale home.

(Credit: Getty Images)

With WFAN's Mike Francesa winding down his long simulcast run on YES - his final show will be Super Bowl Sunday morning - the network is poised to make official what long has been expected:

That Francesa's afternoon drive time counterpart at ESPN Radio, Michael Kay, will take over most of that time slot, effective Feb. 3.

The announcement could come as early as Thursday.

Francesa...

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ESPN schedules Yankees for three Sunday nights

Yankees' Jacoby Ellsbury puts on his jersey during

(Credit: Mike Stobe)

It's not quite as romantic as pitchers and catchers reporting to spring training, but another early harbinger of spring is ESPN's announcement of its early "Sunday Night Baseball" slate.

This season - the network's 25th carrying Sunday night MLB games  - features three games involving Our Yankees: hosting the Red Sox and Angels April 13 and 27, and visiting the Orioles July...

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Giants, Jets are second-rate on TV

Quarterback Eli Manning of the Giants looks over

(Credit: Getty Images)

New York usually trails smaller, less cosmopolitan markets when it comes to sports ratings, especially for football, and 2013 was no exception.

Average local ratings for both the Giants and Jets dropped for a second consecutive season as the Super Bowl co-hosts finished 30th and 31st in that category among the 32 NFL teams, according to Sports Business Daily.

Giants games averaged 15.3...

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Alex Rodriguez news hits on sleepy Saturday morning

Alex Rodriguez walks back to the dugout after

(Credit: Getty)

One of the oldest tricks in the public relations book is to wait until late Friday afternoon to release news that you want buried.

But Major League Baseball and/or the arbitrator deciding the Alex Rodriguez case took that a somewhat comical step further by announcing a ruling on A-Rod's appeal of his 211-game suspension on a Saturday morning.

And not just any Saturday morning, but the...

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ESPN scores with BCS 'Megacast'

Florida State quarterback Jameis Winston celebrates after defeating

(Credit: Getty)

As with any experiment, there were both hits and misses in ESPN's inaugural "Megacast," in which the network used its many TV, radio and Internet platforms to come at Monday's BCS National Championship from many angles.

Mostly, though, it was a worthy endeavor that with fine tuning could become a staple of big-event coverage as we move further into the 21st century.

By far...

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Tim Tebow debuts for ESPN, talks about singing chaplain

Tim Tebow speaks on ESPN before the BCS

(Credit: AP)

Tim Tebow debuted Monday as an ESPN analyst and acquitted himself rather well, mixing detailed technical analysis of the BCS National Championship Game with the kind of personal experience the network is looking for from him.

Still, the anecdote he offered during a morning SportsCenter appearance from the Rose Bowl had a distinctly wholesome, Tebowesque aspect to it.

When asked...

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ESPN experts whiff on picks

The Amazing Kreskin

(Credit: The Amazing Kreskin (Getty Images))

First, full disclosure: I predicted the Titans would beat the Cowboys in Super Bowl XLVIII in Newsday’s preview section, which is why my lovely and talented wife does not permit me to bet real money on sports events.

The good news is I was not alone in whiffing dramatically on my preseason picks for the ever-wacky NFL.

Before the season ESPN sent a chart showing predictions for 35 of...

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Detroit was Hockeytown AND Rose Bowl Town Jan. 1

Fireworks go off as the Toronto Maple Leafs

(Credit: MCT)

Many Americans spent big chunks of their New Year's Eve and New Year's Day watching college football and hockey, beginning with Tuesday night's Chick-Fil-A Bowl. In case you missed it because you have a social life, Johnny Manziel led a wild rally by Texas A&M over Mrs. WatchDog's Dukies and helped ESPN draw 5.3 percent of homes in major markets - its best ever for a non-BCS bowl game.

Wednesday...

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Football Nation tuned in again in '13

Denver Broncos quarterback Peyton Manning throws a pass

(Credit: Getty)

There are those who fear for the future of football, given increasing concerns about its dangers. But in the present the sport never has been stronger.

Nielsen released its year-end roundup of television viewing and it showed nine of the top 10 programs were NFL related. The lone exception was the Academy Awards, at No. 7 with 40.4 million viewers.

No. 1 was Super Bowl XLVII at 108.7...

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