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News » Doubleheaders to air as NFL lifts blackout


Doubleheaders to air as NFL lifts blackout


Doubleheaders to air as NFL lifts blackout
Christmas is done, but the gifts keep coming. Houston is one of four markets nationwide in which the NFL is waiving the home team blackout regulation Sunday, which means CBS and Fox will be allowed to show doubleheaders here on the regular season's final weekend.


Bears-Texans will air on KRIV (Channel 26), with Matt Vasgersian and JC Pearson calling the action, and KHOU (Channel 11) will be allowed to show Patriots-Bills, which has playoff implications, in the noon window.

A league spokesman described the blackout lift as a limited experiment.

Cowboys fans also will benefit Sunday. The league's decision to switch kickoff for Cowboys-Eagles to 3:15 p.m. means it won't clash with the Bears-Texans game and, thus, will air on Channel 26.

Meanwhile, the NFL says about 9.2 percent of its subscriber base, or about 3.8 million households, watched the Ravens-Cowboys game Saturday.

Not bad, although the game would have had a larger audience had it been on ESPN or an over-the-air network.

Ravens-Cowboys had a 3.2 Nielsen household rating in Houston, which, given that NFL Network probably isn't carried in more than 25 to 30 percent of the market, isn't half-bad (or quarter-bad, if you want to pick nits).

We will, however, pick nits regarding the network's coverage of the Texas Stadium shutdown ceremonies.

NFL Network spent too much time with its talking heads in the studio and too much time with player news conferences.

Sound problems also made it tough to hear some of the speeches by former players who came back to Irving for the final game at the stadium.

Arbitron oops

After months of speculation, we'll get our first full four-station look at Houston's sports radio marketplace Thursday, when Arbitron releases its first monthly report that includes KGOW (1560 AM) in addition to KILT (610 AM), KBME (790 AM) and KFNC (97.5 FM).

However, before we get too caught up in Arbitrons as the only measure of success, consider this tidbit reported by Inside Radio:

A Georgia family equipped with one of Arbitron's portable people meters apparently spent a lot of time listening to New York station WBLS during a recent visit to the Big Apple. Accordingly, given that Arbitron weights the listening habits of a few listeners to reflect the entire market, WBLS was credited with a weekly cumulative audience of 30,600 listeners in Atlanta.

"The fact four people can represent 30,000 and a station thousands of miles away? shows the thinness of the ice on which the entire industry is skating," Cox Radio CEO Bob Neil, a longtime critic of PPM, told Inside Radio. "It's embarrassing to our industry and an insult to the intelligence of any advertiser that cares about accountability."

Arbitron did not reply to Inside Radio's request for a comment.

Four DVRs, no waiting

After our request last week, several readers passed along word that Gene Peterson and Jim Foley's call of Eddie Johnson's buzzer-beater in the 1997 NBA playoffs can be found at clutchcity.net. ?

Fox Sports' broadcast of the BCS Championship Game between Oklahoma and Florida will air in 3-D at 35 theaters nationwide, including the Rave Yorktown, 15900 Yorktown Crossing Boulevard. Check out cinedigm.com for ticket information. ?

Broadcast teams for bowls involving Texas teams include Terry Gannon and David Norrie for Houston-Air Force in the Armed Forces Bowl (ESPN), Pat Summerall and Brian Baldinger for Texas Tech-Mississippi in the Cotton Bowl (Fox), Fran Charles and Tom Waddle for Rice-Western Michigan in the Texas Bowl (NFL Network), and Matt Vasgersian and Tim Ryan for Texas-Ohio State in the Fiesta Bowl (Fox).

By the way, NFL Network will air the Texas Bowl to an over-the-air station in Grand Rapids, Mich., Western Michigan's home market, but will not do so in Houston.

Unfortunate, in my humble opinion.



Author:Fox Sports
Author's Website:http://www.foxsports.com
Added: December 27, 2008

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