Weekend Watch – World Series Edition

Another edition of the fall classic is set to start this weekend, but how many people are going to be watching? The matchup of the Cardinals and Tigers is one of two old-school franchises that have plenty of history between them and a previous (1968) classic already in the books. The FOX network seems pretty confident that they will do just fine ratings-wise, and as usual, they’ve got plenty of innovations and gimmicks ready to trot out. See some of the media columns below for more information. The first game is Saturday night at 8:00.

The Patriots return to our televisions after a week off on Sunday. CBS has the game at 1:00, and Patriots 5th Quarter will air on CBS4 immediately following the game. The Patriots Game Day page will check in on the action over the weekend, and you can keep up with the local stories on the Patriots Daily Links mashup page.

Check out the Buffalo side of things in the Rochester Democrat and Chronicle and in the Buffalo News.

Weekend Viewing Highlights

Saturday
UCLA/Notre Dame, 2:30pm – 7NBC.
Boston College/Florida State, 3:30pm – ABC, (Iowa/Michigan is the national game). Bruins/Sabres, 7:00pm – NESN.
Celtics/Knicks (preseason), 7:30pm – FSN.
Tigers/Cardinals Game 1, 8:00pm – FOX.

Sunday
Patriots/Bills, 1:00pm – CBS4. (Greg Gumbel and Dan Dierdorf)
Jets/Lions, 1:00pm – FOX. (Sam Rosen & Tim Ryan)
NASCAR Nextel Cup: Subway 50, 1:00pm – 7NBC.
Revolution/Fire, 1:00pm – ABC.
Redskins/Colts, 4:15pm – FOX. (Dick Stockton, Troy Aikman and Pam Oliver)
Tigers/Cardinals Game 2, 8:20pm – FOX

Here’s a full local weekend sports schedule from the Globe.

Here’s the NFL coverage maps for this weekend: CBS Single Game, and Fox Game 1 and Fox Game 2.

Here is your weekend college football TV schedule.

On NFL Countdown Sunday morning on ESPN, there will be a segment on Tedy Bruschi. Last summer, Bruschi granted a wish for six-year-old Andrew Geracoulis. Born with a heart defect, Geracoulis wished to meet Bruschi, his favorite player. Chris Connelly will report on a wish granted by Bruschi through the Make-A-Wish Foundation. (This feature was originally aired as part of SportsCenter’s “My Wish” series)

At the same time the Patriots are playing on Sunday, the Revolution will be playing on ABC in their Eastern Conference Semifinal playoff game against the Chicago Fire. (1:00 PM) Rob Stone, Eric Wynalda and Brandi Chastain will broadcast the game for ABC.

The summer radio ratings are out, and WEEI bounced back pretty strongly, but still came in third in the overall ratings, behind WBZ and WJMN.

An interesting article on Slate by Josh Levin looks at how YouTube is becoming a haven for those looking to prove that the refs did screw their hometown team.

The Big Show crew and whiner line callers have been giving Pete Sheppard a hard time this week for changing his signature sports flash sign off from “I’mPeteSheppardnthatsthesprkflsh” to “I’m Pete Sheppard and that IS the sports flash.” You’d think people could get behind even a small effort by Sheppard to make himself more intelligible.

Speaking of WEEI…Maybe it’s just me, but I have had my fill of middle-aged white men lecturing on the air this week about what too much bling is, and why young black men shouldn’t drive flashy, expensive cars.

National Sports Media Columns

Susan Bickelhaupt has Fox Sports president Ed Goren expressing confidence that the World Series will do well for his network. John Howell has the network coming up with yet another camera angle innovation for the World Series, this time the “CableCam” which is suspended above on a cable that will run down the first base line. David Scott checks in with former NESN anchor Paul Devlin after he was dumped by the network last week. John Molori’s Media Blitz reports on Larry Ridley getting set to join 7NBC here in Boston.

New York

Phil Mushnick says that the networks must be conducting some strange experiments to determine what it is going to take to finally drive off baseball viewers once and for all.

In Fox's case, it has been charged with trying to alienate the affections of baseball fans by presenting the opposite of what the audience would logically expect to see and hear.

Richard Sandomir takes the opposite approach, praising FOX announcers Joe Buck and Tim McCarver for their work last night. Neil Best also praises the broadcast team for their “usual understated, solidly professional” performance. Bob Raissman says that as usual, FOX was guilty of excess in its game 7 coverage. Andrew Marchand says it may one-and-done for Tony Kornheiser in the Monday Night Football booth.

"This is the one year,'' Kornheiser said. "I have no plans at the moment, but I don't think anyone should be stunned or shocked or surprised or blow their brains out if I just say, 'That was fun. Thanks a lot. See ya.'''

Marchand’s Memo of the Week is addressed to NHL Commish Gary Bettman for not promoting the start of the league’s season more.

Eastern

Michael Hiestand looks at how far Tim McCarver and Joe Buck have come from their first meeting…when Buck was four years old. Jim Williams breaks down the new MLB television contract for FOX and TBS that will run from 2007 to 2013. Aaron Bracy notes that despite having a pair of TV deals with CSTV and ESPN, the Atlantic 10 may still be hurting when in comes to getting games on the air. He has more quotes in his blog that didn’t make it to the column. Laura Nachman checks in with Rob Alberino, executive producer of the Eagles Television Network. Chris Zelkovich notes that Canadian viewers have choices when it comes to choosing a World Series telecast, but not so much when it comes to events like the Breeder’s Cup.

South

Barry Jackson says that the media, specifically ESPN, needs to tone down their condemnation of the University of Miami and broadcaster Lamar Thomas for the incident last weekend. Jim Sarni has more on the new MLB TV deal, which includes having the World Series start mid-week (Tuesday) rather than Saturday nights. Dave Darling notes that FOX is not just focused on providing great camera angles for the World Series broadcasts, 80 microphones placed around the field pick up the sounds of the game and park as well. Barry Horn talks to James Brown about his return to CBS this season. David Barron updates us on the sports radio battle in Houston. His 4 DVRs, No Waiting blog looks at NFL local ratings from around the country.

Midwest

Dan Caesar looks at the coverage of the Cardinals advancing to the World Series with their win over the Mets last night. Ed Sherman looks at a pair of new DVD’s that serve as video biographies/tributes to two legendary broadcasters, Jack Buck and Harry Caray. He also notes that Lou Piniella will make things interesting for the Cubs’ beat writers next season. Bob Wolfley looks at the Brewers dismal season reflecting strongly in their TV ratings. Judd Zulgad looks at fans losing the ability to watch a game and listen to it on the radio at the same time due to the implementation of 7 second delays to “prevent the broadcast of any indecent material.” Jeffrey Flanagan has former Chief Rich Gannon who will be working Sunday’s game for CBS talking about Chargers QB Phillip Rivers and if he’ll be effected by the crowd at Arrowhead.

West Coast

Larry Stewart reports on the mixed reactions to the firings of Steve Lyons and Lamar Thomas. Joe Davidson has more on the firings:

Steve Lyons and Lamar Thomas lost their jobs because of what they said. And -- let's face it -- because it's far easier to cut them loose than it is to offer any sort of damage control. You offend anyone on air, and you're history.

Stewart also has Tim McCarver addressing his internet geek critics. Jay Posner has FOX hoping that the World Series isn’t another quickie romp for the AL. Tom Hoffarth advises people not to judge the FOX broadcasts solely on whatever numbers “the Nielsen nincompoops” put out saying that they’re a failure. He also looks at the firing and media junket of Lyons. John Maffei looks at San Diego State fans getting a glimmer of hope that they soon might be able to watch their team on TV finally. Michael Lev says that the time for instant replay in baseball has come. Jim Carlisle says that FOX now has better things than baseball to show during prime time, which is why the network cut back slightly on its coverage in the new MLB deal.