Watchdog

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

NBC lists Bob Costas as day-to-day

Commack's own Bob Costas will take Tuesday night off, ending a streak of 157 consecutive prime time Olympic hosting starts for NBC.

Costas has been suffering from an eye ailment; he will be replaced by "Today" show host Matt Lauer.

Here is NBC's news release on the matter, complete with Costas' explanation of what he has been going through.

“As a practical matter, I simply couldn’t...

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NBC News will cover news in Russia during Winter Olympics

Sportscaster Bob Costas talks before the start of

(Credit: AP)

Every Olympics has the potential for major news away from the actual competitions, and Russia is no exception.

Authorities have been confronted with terrorist attack threats, the country’s policies on gay rights have stirred controversy around the globe and arriving journalists have complained about sub-standard housing.

How will NBC deal with news that impacts the Games?

“NBC...

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Rangers' visit to Bronx a home run for NBC

NEW YORK, NY - JANUARY 26: (EDITORIAL USE

(Credit: Getty Bruce Bennett)

Sunday's Rangers-Devils game at Yankee Stadium was a big hit for NBC.

The game averaged 2.1 million viewers nationally and 1.3 percent of homes, both regular-season bests for NBC - not including Winter Classics.

In the New York area, 5.1 percent of homes watched, on average, the best ever in this market for an NBC regular-season game.

Buffalo was next at 4.5 percent, followed by...

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NBC set for hockey double dip at Yankee Stadium

Sports commentator Doc Emrick waves to fans as

(Credit: AP)

Sure, it would have been an added layer of cool to stage an NHL game at the original Yankee Stadium, but for NBC there are undeniable benefits to the move across 161st Street.

Producer Sam Flood said that as historic as Fenway Park and Wrigley Field are, Yankee Stadium’s modernity makes it far easier to produce a telecast. Unlike Fenway and Wrigley, he said, “This place was built once television...

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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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'Animal Practice' was imperfect

Roger Daltrey, left, Pete Townshend, John Entwistle, and

(Credit: AP)

Remember how NBC infuriated many viewers by interrupting its coverage of the Closing Ceremony in London – delaying The Who and editing out some performances altogether – to show a preview of the show “Animal Practice?’’

Well, NBC does, and is not likely to do anything like that again. “I think that’s one we’d probably take a do-over on,’’ said Jim Bell, executive producer for the Olympics.

“Animal...

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NBC poised to deal with Sochi news

Russian President Vladimir Putin speaks during an interview

(Credit: AP)

Every Olympics has the potential for major news away from the actual competitions, and Russia is no exception.

Authorities have been confronted with a series of terrorist attacks – notably one in Volgograd last month that killed at least 17 – and Russia’s policies on gay rights have stirred controversy around the globe.

How will NBC deal with news that impacts the Games?

“NBC News...

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NBC will show all Olympic figure skating live!

Katarina Witt Won: One Olympic gold medal in

(Credit: USA Network)

NBC’s Olympic coverage took a step into the 21st century in 2012 when every competitive event in London was streamed live.

Two years later the network is poised for what NBC Sports Group chairman Mark Lazarus admitted is “a leap’’ – showing the entire figure skating competition live on NBC Sports Network, then repackaging it with what Lazarus called NBC’s “secret sauce’’ for traditional prime...

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It's golf season! In Hawaii...

(Credit: AP)

Rarely do I read or write about golf in January, but rarely at my house do temperatures fall below zero, providing a frosty glaze to the fallen snow.

So to warm myself up I read a 9,960-word transcript from NBC and Golf Channel in which Johnny Miller, Frank Nobilo and Mark Rolfing discussed the weekend’s Hyundai Tournament of Champions in Maui and the rest of 2014.

Naturally, the subject...

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NFL wild-card games threatened with blackouts

Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers warms up

(Credit: Getty Images)

The NFL has become increasingly concerned about its customers choosing the comforts of their homes and high-def TVs over fighting traffic, paying big bucks, braving the elements and dealing with loutish fans to see games in person.

That is why the league has worked hard to improve the in-stadium experience, including the additions of vast video boards and frequent replays.

The trend...

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