Keeping Up with Changes on the Dial

Article excerpt

The past 12 months have been quite the busy ones in the world of sports television. With so many networks armed with so much money going after the same entities, one needs a scorecard to keep track of what's on where - and when.

Let's run down who and what have moved where:


* ESPN avoided major egg on its face by keeping regular-season baseball. Had the network failed to hang on to one of its top two franchises, who knows how it would have filled those hours?

* WBAL Radio (AM-1090) landed a new deal this week to keep the Baltimore Orioles. That also should mean the continuance of games on WTOP (AM-1500).

* Marv Albert: NBA, NBC. That just sounds right. In the nearly three years since his Arlington hotel escapade, Albert has resurrected his career - first at MSG Network in New York, and then with Turner Sports. Now he's back on NBC, and he will be back as the lead play-by-play announcer for the 2000-2001 season.

* CBS kept the NCAA men's basketball tournament through 2014 despite having the bidding opened to other networks. That generated major interest from Fox and ABC/ESPN. Now CBS needs to work on getting more games on.

* NBC and the Ryder Cup. Not so much that they showed the event but that between NBC and USA, the entire event was shown live - even the 8 a.m. Friday matches.


* The NHL on ABC. Don't worry, you haven't missed anything. Despite doling out $600 million, the network hasn't shown any games yet. It will start with next month's All-Star Game. John Davidson, who does game analysis for the Rangers on MSG and did so when Fox had the contract, joins ABC as its studio analyst. Expect a lot of ESPN's hockey folk to pull double duty on ABC.

* Dick Enberg on CBS. The deal hasn't been officially announced yet but the lure of the NFL was too much for one of NBC's top dogs. Since NBC lost pro football, Enberg has been working primarily on golf and tennis, both of which he can do at CBS with the Masters (golf) and the U.S. Open (tennis).

* Bob Costas on HBO. Won't happen until 2001. He'll get to do a weekly show that is kind of like "Nightline" and kind of like "Later" - the show he helped launch on NBC. …