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Behind the Broadcast: ValleyCats’ game broadcasts move to Web (with video)

Saturday, June 20, 2009
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If you are planning to listen to the Tri-City ValleyCats’ New York-Penn League games this season, you better have a computer.

The ’Cats will broadcast their 76-game regular-season schedule on their Web site, www.tcvalleycats.com. The team was unable to land a radio deal with Siena College radio station WVCR-FM (88.3), which had carried the games the past few years.

The Web cast will work this way: Mike Demos, who calls the Siena women’s basketball games on WVCR, will handle the play-by-play duties for home games, starting tonight at 7 when the ’Cats host the Oneonta Tigers. For road games, the ’Cats will use the feed of the opposing team.

“We were unable to renew our association with WVCR,” ’Cats assistant general manager Vic Christopher said. “We enjoyed a partnership that was a three-year relationship. They’re moving in a different direction, unfortunately for us, and we loved working with them.

“I think for our fans, and our players’ families located across the world, it’s an opportunity to listen to every pitch, and that’s what important for the folks who can’t come to a ValleyCats game.”

Christopher said he spoke with other radio stations in the Capital Region — he declined to say which ones — but was unable to get a deal done.

“Selfishly, I’m a guy that likes to ride around in my car and listen to the ballgame when the team is on the road,” Christopher said. “I won’t be able to do that this year, so I’m little disappointed that we weren’t able to get something done. Maybe next year.”

So, ’Cats fans will have to take their laptops in the car, and listen to the games. Make sure there is plenty of battery life for the computer.

HIRE SUB HOSTS

Recent cutbacks at Clear Channel of Albany have affected Rodger Wyland’s “Big Board Radio Sports” talk show on WOFX-AM (980).

In the past, when Wyland took some shows off, he would have substitute hosts, generally WNYT

(Ch. 13) sports anchor Andrew Catalon or Times Union sportswriter James Allen. But now, when Wyland is off, WOFX is going with a live airing of “The Dan Patrick Show,” which is usually heard, on tape, at 3 p.m.

I’m sorry, but I think Clear Channel can spare a few bucks to hire a fill-in for Wyland. This is the only local daily show it has on the station. It appears to be making money, especially judging by the number of eateries Wyland has as sponsors.

If you don’t want to have a substitute host, then think about having a best of “Big Board Radio Sports” show. The way Clear Channel is handling it right now its amateurish.

NHL RATING

My prediction of a 6 rating for last Friday’s Game 7 of the NHL Stanley Cup finals between the Pittsburgh Penguins and Detroit Red Wings didn’t happen. Despite that, the game turned in the best numbers for NBC in nearly 40 years.

The Penguins’ championship-clinching 2-1 win over the Red Wings averaged 8 million viewers. The network said Monday that’s the most since Game 6 of the 1973 Stanley Cup finals between the Montreal Canadiens and Chicago Blackhawks.

Game 7 earned a 4.3 rating and 8 share. It was the highest rating for a series-ending game since Game 7 of the 2003 Anaheim-New Jersey series.

Hopefully, the NHL will take advantage of this next season. The last two years have been good to the league.

In case you missed any of the Cup finals, the NHL Network is re-airing all of the games today. “Saturday With Stanley” coverage begins at 8 a.m. with Game 1. Game 2 will air at 10, Game 3 is at noon, Game 4 is at 2 p.m, Game 5 is at 4, Game 6 is at 6 and Game 7 is at 8.

NBA NUMBERS

Ratings for the NBA Finals are down from last year.

The five games on ABC between the Los Angeles Lakers and Orlando Magic averaged an 8.4 rating. That’s down nearly 10 percent from last season’s 9.3 for the six-game Lakers-Celtics series.

There is some good news for ABC. The rating is up 35 percent from the record-low 6.2 for San Antonio’s sweep of Cleveland two years ago.

The five games averaged nearly 14 million viewers, and were the five most-watched programs so far in June.

JACQUES WINS AWARD

Capital News 9 sports anchor Marisa Jacques recently won an Associated Press Broadcast Award best sports feature in Category 2, which encompasses the Albany, Syracuse, Buffalo and Rochester markets, for a story she did on Hudson Valley Community College basketball player Ramel Alexander, who has straightened his life out after getting arrested three times.

Fellow Capital News 9 sports anchor Joe Calderone got an honorable mention for a Super Bowl report.

PARTING SHOTS

NBC has coverage of the U.S. Open today and Sunday. Today’s broadcast starts at 10 a.m., with Sunday’s coverage starting at 1:30 p.m. It can be seen on WNYT and WNYT HD. . . .

Fox Sports has the Tampa Bay Rays-New York Mets game today at 4 p.m. It will be on WXXA (Ch. 23) and WXXA HD.

 
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