TV programs honor Al Arbour

With the passing of NHL coaching legend Al Arbour on Friday, the MSG Networks have added New York Islanders programs to the weekend schedule.
On Saturday on MSG Network, “MSG Vault” will show “Birth of the Islanders” at 2 p.m. and “1975 Islanders: The Comeback” at 3 p.m. On Sunday, “Birth” will air at 5 p.m. and “1975″ will air at 6 p.m.
MSG Plus will air “Birth” at 10 p.m. Saturday and “1975″ at 11 p.m. Saturday.
There’s been no word whether NHL Network will alter its weekend programming to show Al Arbour programming but don’t be surprised if some of the Stanley Cup clinchers for the Islanders (1980-81-82-83) show up on the schedule.

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CBS announces NFL broadcast teams

Jim Nantz and Phil Simms are once again CBS Sports’ top NFL announce team for the coming season, joined by reporter Tracy Wolfson. They will call the Thursday Night Football games on CBS and NFL Network, in addition to select Sunday afternoon contests.
Ian Eagle, Dan Fouts and reporter Evan Washburn make up the No. 2 broadcast team, which will be the top Sunday team when Nantz and Simms have off.
Greg Gumbel, Trent Green and reporter Jamie Erdahl have the third team, Kevin Harlan and Rich Gannon the fourth and Sperdo Dedes and Solomon Wilcots the fifth. The remaining announce pairings have Andrew Catalon with Steve Tasker and Steve Beuerlein, Tom McCarthy with Adam Archuleta and Brian Anderson with Chris Simms. On occasion, there will be regional sideline reporters for the latter broadcast teams.
The NFL Today studio team has James Brown, Boomer Esiason, Bill Cowher, Tony Gonzalez, Bart Scott, NFL Insider Jason La Canfora and former NFL official Mike Carey.

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Port Jervis, Delaware Valley football on radio again

Once again Port Jervis and Delaware Valley (Pa.) football will be broadcast on radio stations WDLC and WYNY.
Port Jervis games can be heard on WDLC (1490-AM, 107.7-FM), on the web at and via the TuneIn app. Kevin Halpenny returns as play-by-play voice, joined by Tom Faggione. Air time begins a half-hour before kickoff.

Port Jervis schedule (kickoff times):
Friday, Sept. 4 – at Minisink Valley, 7 p.m.
Friday, Sept. 11 – vs. Poughkeepsie, 7 p.m.
Friday, Sept. 18 – at Wallkill, 7 p.m.
Saturday, Sept. 26 – at Monticello, 1:30 p.m.
Friday, Oct. 2 – at New Paltz, 7 p.m.
Saturday, Oct. 10 – vs. Middletown, 1:30 p.m.
Friday, Oct. 16 – vs. Cornwall, 7 p.m.
Friday, Oct. 23 – vs. Saugerties, 7 p.m.
Playoff and cross-over games – to be determined

Delaware Valley games can be heard on WYNY (1450-AM, 106.9-FM), on the web at and via the TuneIn app. Paul Gerrity returns as play-by-play voice, joined by Craig Brown. Air time begins a half-hour before kickoff.

Delaware Valley schedule (kickoff times):
Friday, Sept. 4 – at Upper Dauphin, 7p.m.
Friday, Sept. 11 – at Wyoming Valley West, 7p.m.
Friday, Sept. 18 – vs. Hazelton, 7 p.m.
Saturday, Sept. 26 – at Abington Heights, 1 p.m.
Friday, Oct. 2 – vs. West Scranton, 7 p.m.
Friday, Oct. 9 – at North Pocono, 7 p.m.
Saturday, Oct. 17 – vs. Valley View, 4 p.m.
Friday, Oct. 23 – at Scranton, 7 p.m.
Friday, Oct. 30 – vs. Scranton Prep, 7 p.m.
Friday, Nov. 6 – vs. Wallenpaupack, 7 p.m.
Playoff games – to be determined

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World track championships get 48 hours on NBC, Universal Sports

Nine days of the World Track and Field Championships from Beijing will be televised by Universal Sports and NBC starting this weekend.
The world championships are held every two years, in the years preceding and following Olympic years. The famed Bird’s Nest stadium should be very familiar for Olympic fans after hosting the 2008 Beijing Games.
The NBC announce team includes Tom Hammond, Ato Boldon, Todd Harris, Lewis Johnson and Craig Masback. will webstream all telecasts that will air live on the Universal Sports channel. NBC’s taped-delayed telecasts will air on NBC Sports Live Extra.
Beijing is 12 hours ahead of New York time.

The schedule (NBC in red; all the rest airs live on Universal Sports):
Friday, Aug. 21 – Saturday’s daytime session, 7:30 p.m.
Saturday, Aug. 22Saturday’s evening session, 3 p.m. on NBC (delay); Sunday’s daytime session, 8:30 p.m.
Sunday, Aug. 23Sunday’s evening session, 1 p.m. on NBC (delay); Monday’s daytime session, 9:30 p.m.
Monday, Aug. 24 – Monday’s evening session, 7 a.m.
Tuesday, Aug. 25 – Tuesday’s evening session, 7 a.m.; Wednesday’s daytime session, 9:30 p.m.
Wednesday, Aug. 26 – Wednesday’s evening session, 8 a.m.; Thursday’s daytime session, 9:30 p.m.
Thursday, Aug. 27 – Thursday’s evening session, 7:30 a.m.; Friday’s daytime session, 8:30 p.m.
Friday, Aug. 28 – Friday’s evening session, 7 a.m.; Saturday’s daytime session, 7:30 p.m.
Saturday, Aug. 29Saturday’s evening session, 2:30 p.m. on NBC (delay); Sunday’s daytime session, 7:30 p.m.
Sunday, Aug. 30Sunday’s evening session, 2 p.m. on NBC (delay)

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Four Section 9 football games to air on TWC SportsChannel

Time Warner Cable SportsChannel will broadcast four Section 9 football games in the fall, and 85 across New York State.
The Section 9 games are Middletown-Newburgh (Sept. 18), Kingston-Monroe Woodbury (Oct. 2), Cornwall-Wallkill (Oct. 23) and Class A playoff (Nov. 6).
Five East Regional finals from Kingston’s Dietz Stadium will be aired on Nov. 20 (Class D, 4 p.m.; class A, 8 p.m.) and Nov. 21 (Class C, 11 a.m.; Class B, 3 p.m.; Class AA, 7 p.m.).
The state finals from Syracuse’s Carrier Dome will also be broadcast. On Nov. 27, there will be Class D (12 p.m.), Class A (3 p.m.) and Class C (6 p.m.). On Nov. 29, there will be Class AA (12 p.m.) and Class B (3 p.m.).
Additional Section Two games from the Capital Region will include Shaker-CBA (Sept. 4), Broadalbin Perth-Schuylerville (Sept. 11), Amsterdam-Troy (Sept. 18), Saratoga Springs-Shenendehowa (Sept. 25), Stillwater-Mechanicville (Oct. 2), two games to be determined (Oct. 9 and 16), playoff games (Oct. 23 and 30) and Section Two finals for Class AA (Nov. 6) and Class B and Class A (Nov. 7).

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Frank Gifford, 84, was outstanding football player, announcer

Frank Gifford, who passed away at age 84 on Sunday, was a Pro Football Hall of Fame inductee and lifelong New York Giant, and known to ensuing generations of football fans as a broadcaster. In fact, he was one of the first NFL standouts (like Pat Summerall) to become a successful play-by-play man, a role often held by reporters and anchors with no playing background.
Gifford made his broadcasting debut as an NFL analyst in 1965 working for CBS Sports. He worked as an analyst alongside Jack Whitaker calling Giants games for four seasons. In 1969 Gifford made his debut as a play-by-play announcer, filling in for Jack Buck and Chuck Thompson, while still serving as an analyst with Whitaker. In 1970 he called two NFL games with Frank Clarke and served as analyst on CBS’s No. 2 team with Frank Glieber and Don Criqui.
In 1971 ABC Sports hired Gifford as the play-by-play voice for Monday Night Football, replacing Keith Jackson, who had worked the first season. Gifford would serve as the lead play-by-play man for 16 seasons. In 1987 he was replaced by Al Michaels but continued to work in the analyst role through the 1997 season.
In all, Gifford got to call five Super Bowls (only one as play-by-play announcer, Niners-Dolphins in Jan. 1985) and three NFL title games. Gifford was the analyst for Super Bowl I (Packers-Chiefs) for CBS. In 1995, Gifford received the NFL’s Pete Rozelle Television-Radio award.
Gifford was sidelined in 1961, while recovering from a vicious hit he took from Eagle Chuck Bednarik a year earlier – he took the opportunity to join WCBS-2 in New York as a sports reporter, a role he continued in ensuing years.
While at ABC, Gifford appeared regularly on Wide World of Sports and reported on ABC’s Olympics coverage during three Summer Games and four Winter Games, including skiing and the 1972 men’s basketball tournament. He also called some golf action.

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SF Giants, Blue Jays get big August air time on MLB Network

The San Francisco Giants and Toronto Blue Jays will get a lot of air time in the New York TV market during MLB Network’s schedule of August games. The Giants will appear seven times and the Blue Jays six times.
The Detroit Tigers will air five times, with the Kansas City Royals, Minnesota Twins, Baltimore Orioles, Anaheim Angels, Chicago Cubs, Pittsburgh Pirates and Los Angeles Dodgers all appearing four times.
Yankees and Mets games on MLB Network are blacked out in the New York market as per MLB rules.
There will be 10 afternoon contests (not including three Yankees 1 p.m. starts that are blacked out locally), 14 games starting at either 7 p.m. or 8 p.m. and eight contests with 10 o’clock starts.

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NBC, NBCSN to televise 105 NHL games

The New York Rangers will play in the first of 105 games to be televised by the NBC networks this season, one of a dozen scheduled appearances. The Rangers will be on hand when the Chicago Blackhawks raise their Stanley Cup banner on Oct. 7 in an 8 p.m. game on NBC Sports Network.
The New York Islanders will get five games on NBCSN and the New Jersey Devils will get just one. Chicago will appear 12 times, as will Pittsburgh, Detroit, Minnesota, Colorado and St. Louis.
NBC’s national TV schedule is very similar to last season with NBCSN airing a 24-game Wednesday Night Rivalry series (the Rangers have five exclusive dates, with no simulcast on MSG Network), with six nightcap games featuring Western Conference hosts, and 12 Sunday night games starting in January.
NBC will air a Black Friday doubleheader, including a Rangers-Bruins game at 1 p.m., and a Game of the Week (generally on Sundays) starting Jan. 24.
To no one’s surprise, Canadian teams Winnipeg, Ottawa, Vancouver and Calgary will receive no regular-season appearances on NBC or NBCSN.
The teams that will see increases in NBC/NBCSN appearances include Colorado and the Islanders (plus-5), Montreal (+4), Nashville and Tampa Bay (+3). The teams that will see a notable decrease are Buffalo (minus-6), Boston (-5), Anaheim and Los Angeles (-3).
The NHL Network has yet to announce its schedule. If true to form, many Saturdays on NHL Network will feature “Hockey Night in Canada” telecasts, which will feature those Canadian teams that do not get on NBC’s networks.
The 2015-16 schedule (all games on NBCSN unless indicated) (doubleheader/tripleheader games in green):
October: Wed. 7 – Rangers-Chicago, 7:30 p.m.; San Jose-Los Angeles, 10 p.m.; Thur. 8 – Minnesota-Colorado, 9 p.m.; Tues. 13 – Tampa Bay-Detroit, 7:30 p.m.; Wed. 14 – Chicago-Philadelphia, 8 p.m.; Tues. 20 – Dallas-Philadelphia, 8 p.m.; Wed. 21 – Philadelphia-Boston, 8 p.m.; Tues. 27 – Tampa Bay-St. Louis, 8 p.m.; Wed. 28 – Pittsburgh-Washington, 8 p.m.; Nashville-San Jose, 10:30 p.m.
November: Tues. 3 – Los Angeles-St. Louis, 8:30 p.m.; Wed. 4 – St. Louis-Chicago, 8 p.m.; Tues. 10 – Buffalo-Tampa Bay, 7:30 p.m.; Wed. 11 – Montreal-Pittsburgh, 7:30 p.m.; Tues. 17 – Minnesota-Pittsburgh, 7:30 p.m.; Wed. 18 – Washington-Detroit, 8 p.m.; Wed. 25 – Philadelphia-Islanders, 7:30 p.m.; Chicago-San Jose, 10 p.m.; Fri. 27 – Rangers-Boston, 1 p.m. (NBC); Chicago-Anaheim, 5 p.m.
December: Tues. 1 – Minnesota-Chicago, 8 p.m.; Pittsburgh-San Jose, 10:30 p.m.; Wed. 2 – Rangers-Islanders, 8 p.m.; Tues. 8 – Detroit-Washington, 7:30 p.m.; Wed. 9 – Boston-Montreal, 7:30 p.m.; Pittsburgh-Colorado, 10 p.m.; Tues. 15 – Colorado-Chicago, 8:30 p.m.; Wed. 16 – Pittsburgh-Boston, 8 p.m.; Tues. 22 – Montreal-Minnesota, 8 p.m.; San Jose-Los Angeles, 10:30 p.m.; Tues. 29 – Nashville-St. Louis, 8 p.m.; Wed. 30 – Rangers-Tampa Bay, 8 p.m.; Philadelphia-San Jose, 10:30 p.m.
January: Fri. 1 – Montreal-Boston, 1 p.m. (NBC); Mon. 4 – Los Angeles-Colorado, 9 p.m.; Tues. 5 – Montreal-Philadelphia, 7:30 p.m.; Wed. 6 – Pittsburgh-Chicago, 8 p.m.; Thur. 7 – Philadelphia-Minnesota, 8 p.m.; Sun. 10 – Devils-Minnesota, 8 p.m.; Tues. 12 – Tampa Bay-Colorado, 9 p.m.; Wed. 13 – Boston-Philadelphia, 8 p.m.; Thur. 14 – Chicago-Montreal, 7:30 p.m.; Sun. 17 – Philadelphia-Detroit, 7:30 p.m.; Mon. 18 – Pittsburgh-St. Louis, 8 p.m.; Tues. 19 – Chicago-Nashville, 8 p.m.; Wed. 20 – St. Louis-Detroit, 8 p.m.; Minnesota-Anaheim, 10:30 p.m.; Sun. 24 – Pittsburgh-Washington, 12:30 p.m. (NBC); Mon. 25 – Buffalo-Rangers, 7:30 p.m.; Tues. 26 – Chicago-Carolina, 7:30 p.m.; Colorado-San Jose, 10 p.m.; Wed. 27 – Philadelphia-Washington, 8 p.m.; Colorado-Los Angeles, 10:30 p.m.
February: Tues. 2 – Florida-Washington, 7:30 p.m.; Wed. 3 – Detroit-Tampa Bay, 8 p.m.; Thur. 4 – Islanders-Washington, 7:30 p.m.; Anaheim-Los Angeles, 10 p.m.; Sun. 7 – Philadelphia-Washington, 12 p.m. (NBC); Tues. 9 – Dallas-Minnesota, 8 p.m.; Wed. 10 – Rangers-Pittsburgh, 8 p.m.; Sun. 14 – Boston-Detroit, 3 p.m. (NBC); Philadelphia-Rangers, 7:30 p.m.; Tues. 16 – Dallas-St. Louis, 8 p.m.; Wed. 17 – Chicago-Rangers, 8 p.m.; Thur. 18 – Detroit-Pittsburgh, 7 p.m.; Sun. 21 – Pittsburgh-Buffalo, 12:30 p.m. (NBC); Chicago-Minnesota, 3 p.m. (NBC); Detroit-Rangers, 7 p.m.; Mon. 22 – San Jose-St. Louis, 8 p.m.; Tues. 23 – Columbus-Detroit, 7:30 p.m.; Wed. 24 – Pittsburgh-Boston, 7:30 p.m.; San Jose-Colorado, 10 p.m.; Thur. 25 – Nashville-Chicago, 8 p.m.; Sat. 27 – Detroit-Colorado, 8 p.m. (NBC); Sun. 28 – Washington-Chicago, 12:30 p.m. (NBC); Tampa Bay-Boston, 6:30 p.m.; Los Angeles-Anaheim, 9 p.m.
March: Tues. 1 – Edmonton-Buffalo, 7:30 p.m.; Wed. 2 – Chicago-Detroit, 8 p.m.; Sun. 6 – St. Louis-Minnesota, 8 p.m.; Mon. 7 – Arizona-Colorado, 9 p.m.; Tues. 8 – Pittsburgh-Islanders, 7:30 p.m.; Wed. 9 – Chicago-St. Louis, 8 p.m.; Sun. 13 – Pittsburgh-Rangers, 12:30 p.m. (NBC); Toronto-Detroit, 7:30 p.m.; Mon. 14 – Los Angeles-Chicago, 8 p.m.; Tues. 15 – Detroit-Philadelphia, 7:30 p.m.; Boston-San Jose, 10 p.m.; Wed. 16 – Philadelphia-Chicago, 8 p.m.; Sun. 20 – Washington-Pittsburgh, 6 p.m.; Minnesota-Chicago, 8:30 p.m.; Mon. 21 – Philadelphia-Islanders, 7:30 p.m.; Tues. 22 – Los Angeles-Minnesota, 8:30 p.m.; Wed. 23 – Boston-Rangers, 8 p.m.; Sun. 27 – Rangers-Pittsburgh, 7:30 p.m.; Mon. 28 – Buffalo-Detroit, 7:30 p.m.; Los Angeles-San Jose, 10 p.m.; Tues. 29 – Colorado-St. Louis, 8:30 p.m.; Wed. 30 – Washington-Philadelphia, 8 p.m.
April: Sun. 3 – Boston-Chicago, 12:30 p.m. (NBC); St. Louis-Colorado, 8 p.m.; Tues. 5 – Tampa Bay-Rangers, 7:30 p.m.; Wed. 6 – Philadelphia-Detroit, 8 p.m.; Sat. 9 – Pittsburgh-Philadelphia, 3 p.m. (NBC); TBD-TBD, TBD

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NFL Network loaded up for preseason

The NFL Network will broadcast 12 live preseason games, and all 65 exhibition games will be shown on tape delay. There will also be five editions of NFL RedZone on Aug. 13, 14 and 22 at 7:30 p.m. and Aug. 29 and Sept. 3 at 7 p.m.
The network will provide nine hours “Inside Training Camp Live” every day (10 a.m.-7 p.m.) between July 29 and August 11 – in addition, coverage from the Steelers and Vikings camps (those two teams will participate in the Hall of Fame Game) will be shown at 3 p.m. on July 27 and 28. The show will provide extensive on-location coverage of the Bengals (Aug. 2), Steelers (Aug. 3), Cardinals (Aug. 4), Cowboys (Aug. 5), Rams (Aug. 6) and Browns (Aug. 7). “Training Camp PrimeTime” will be a three-hour nightly report at 8 p.m.
The show “NFL Preseason HQ” will air on weekdays at 8 a.m. starting August 3.

Thursday, Aug. 13
Green Bay at New England, 7:30 p.m.
Dallas at San Diego, 10:30 p.m. (joined in progress)
Friday, Aug. 14
Tennessee at Atlanta, 7 p.m. (Marcus Mariota debut)
Denver at Seattle, 10 p.m.
Saturday, Aug. 15
Tampa Bay at Minnesota, 8 p.m. (Jameis Winston debut)
Sunday, Aug. 16
Indianapolis at Philadelphia, 1 p.m.
Friday, Aug. 21
Seattle at Kansas City, 8 p.m.
Saturday, Aug. 22
Baltimore at Philadelphia, 7 p.m.
San Diego at Arizona, 10 p.m.
Saturday, Aug. 29
Pittsburgh at Buffalo, 4 p.m.
Thursday, Sept. 3
Tampa Bay at Miami, 7 p.m.
San Diego at San Francisco, 10 p.m.

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Catching up on Sports TV/radio headlines

Here are some odds and ends around the sports broadcasting business.

Cowherd changing ships – Colin Cowherd will be leaving ESPN for Fox Sports, creating interesting scenarios at both networks. ESPN will need to fill in a critical mid-day slot on ESPN Radio (Cowherd’s program was also simulcast on ESPNU). Cowherd had also been hosting a Sunday morning NFL pregame show, which may be what’s in store for him at Fox Sports.

Prime Time Jackson – Longtime ESPN studio analyst and former Denver Bronco Tom Jackson was named the 2015 recipient of the Pro Football Hall of Fame’s Pete Rozelle Radio-Television Award for exceptional contributions to the game. Jackson is about to start his 29th season at ESPN.
The list of previous winners is a who’s who of NFL broadcasting. Some of the recipients include Curt Gowdy (1993), Pat Summerall (1994), Frank Gifford (1995), Dick Enberg (1999), John Madden (2002), Jim Nantz (2011) and Al Michaels (2013).

All-Star Game on decline – I don’t get it. Major League Baseball has cleaned up its drug problem, and features some incredible young talent and yet ratings for the All-Star Game posted a record-low rating of 6.6 and an audience of only 10.9 million, down from the 11.3 million of a year earlier. This year’s game proved very entertaining.

Saturday night’s alright for sports – ABC has added Saturday night NBA broadcasts for the coming season. ABC will feature a Saturday Night NBA series on Jan. 23 and 30, Feb. 20 and 27, March 5, 12, 19 and April 9.
ABC will air its NBA Sunday Showcase on Jan. 31, Feb. 7 (All-Star Game) and 21, March 6 and 13 and April 3. ABC will air two NBA games on Christmas afternoon.
ESPN farmed college football games to ABC for Saturday nights beginning in 2006. ABC has drawn more than six million viewers for all but one season (2013).

A soccer high – Fox Sports drew a 12.9 rating and averaged 25.4 million viewers for the USA-Japan women’s World Cup soccer final. Viewership topped out at 30.9 million in the match’s final minutes. The previous records for viewership was 18.22 million for a June 2014 USA-Portugal men’s World Cup match and 17.98 million for a women’s soccer match, the 1999 final between USA and China on ABC.

The Voice moves on – Veteran NHL play-by-play man Dave Strader has taken the Dallas Stars job. He has previously called action for the Detroit Red Wings, Florida Panthers and Phoenix Coyotes. Strader has been working for ESPN, Fox and NBC. Strader, a longtime No. 2 voice on the networks, will no longer work for NBC – that’s a great disappointment since Strader has been one of my favorite announcers for years. Strader has called the Stanley Cup Finals for NHL International since 1997.

Transactions – ESPN has extended Dick Vitale’s contract to call college basketball through the 2017-18 season. Vitale started work with ESPN in 1979-80. … Matt Millen will be the lead analyst for the Big Ten Network college football coverage. Millen, the former Penn State linebacker, has worked for CBS, Fox Sports, ESPN, NFL Network and NBC. Millen will also serve as a studio analyst for the NFL and college football on Fox Sports 1 … Once Jeff Gordon concludes his final season on the NASCAR circuit, he will join Fox Sports for its auto racing coverage to work alongside Darrell Waltrip and play-by-play voice Mike Joy.

Acquisitions – NBC Sports Group has extended its deal for the Belmont Stakes and additional thoroughbred events through 2020. … NBC Sports Group has added the British Open golf tournament starting in 2017, ending a 50-year association with ABC and ESPN. Included in the deal are the Senior Open, Women’s Open and British Amateur, and Walker Cup and Curtis Cup in years hosted by Great Britain. … CBS Sports Network has extended its TV deal with the Patriot League, and has licensed football and basketball games from the Mid-American Conference from ESPN.

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    Ken McMillan

    Ken McMillan has been covering sports since he got his first writing job in 1979. He has covered Section 9 athletics for most of the past 28 years. He reports on college sports, including Army and Marist College. He also writes on TV/radio sports ... Read Full
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