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Behind the Broadcast: ‘Survival Sunday’ offers all of the Premier League season finales

Saturday, May 12, 2012
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Fans of Barclays Premier League soccer are going to be in their glory Sunday morning.

For the first time ever, all of the final games of the regular season will be available on American tel­evision and other devices. The bulk of the matches will be shown by the FOX Sports networks. ESPN2 and ESPN2 HD will also show a game.

Called “Survival Sunday,” the league championship is up for grabs. Manchester City and Manchester United are tied for first place, but Manchester City holds the tiebreaker. Manchester City is seeking its first Premier League title since 1968.

ESPN2 and ESPN2 HD will have Manchester City’s game against Queens Park. FX and FX HD will carry Manchester United’s game against Sunderland.

The other games that the FOX networks will show are Blackburn at Chelsea on Speed and Speed HD, Liverpool at Swansea City on Fuel TV and Fuel TV HD, West Bromwich Albion against Arsenal on MSG Plus and MSG Plus HD, Fulham against Tottenham on FOX Soccer and FOX Soccer HD and Bolton vs. Stoke City on FOX Soccer Plus and FOX Soccer Plus HD.

Three other games will be available either on the Internet or on your mobile phone. The Newcastle United-Everton matchup will be on www.foxsoccer.com. Two games will be available on your mobile phone on FOX Soccer 2GO — Wigan vs. Wolverhampton and Aston Villa against Norwich City.

FOX Soccer executive vice pres­ident and general manager David Nathanson discussed the “Survival Sunday” programming strategy during a Thursday conference call.

“We take more risk, not just with the Barclays Premier League, but with the UEFA Champions League and a number of our other soccer rights, and as we’ve seen the aud­ience grow across FOX Soccer and the other FOX Sports Media Group platforms, it justifies taking on more risk and trying new things,” Nathanson said. “We’ve done a lot this year with the delayed and live games in conjunction with the NFL on FOX. ‘Survival Sunday’ is an extension of that.

“Beyond that, it is the right thing to do for viewers. In the past, people who are a follower of a particular team, and not necessarily the most popular team, are waiting to see where they end up at the end of the season and particularly those that risk relegation. They are some of the most dramatic and interesting stories that are told the entire year. The ability to showcase that across our properties is really unique, and we all couldn’t be more excited to be a part of that.”

Kentucky Derby rates

NBC earned a 9.0 rating and a 20 share for its Kentucky Derby broadcast last Saturday, the network announced Tuesday. The rating is up 6 percent from last year.

A total of 14.8 million watched the race, won by I’ll Have Another. It’s the third most-watched Kentucky Derby in 23 years, and up two percent from last year’s Derby, according to official national data provided by The Nielsen Company.

NBC will continue its Triple Crown coverage next weekend. NBC Sports Network and NBCSN televises the Black Eyed Susan Stakes at 4 p.m. Friday, and the Preakness Stakes undercard at 2:30 p.m. next Saturday. NBC has the Preakness Stakes at 4:30 p.m., and it will be on NBC13 and NBC13 HD.

NCAA lacrosse

The NCAA men’s lacrosse tournament begins this weekend with eight first-round games.

Two of the games will be tel­evised by ESPN and ESPN HD. They are Syracuse vs. Duke at noon today, and Princeton against Virginia at 1 p.m. Sunday.

The other six games will be on ESPNU and ESPNU HD. The three games on those channels today are Colgate against Massachusetts at 2:30 p.m., Canisius vs. Loyola at 5 p.m. and Denver against North Carolina at 7:30 p.m.

On ESPNU and ESPNU HD Sunday, it’s Stony Brook vs. Johns Hopkins at 3 p.m., Yale against Notre Dame at 5:15 p.m. and Maryland vs. Lehigh at 7:30 p.m.

Parting shots

Game 7 of the thrilling NHL Stanley Cup Eastern Conference playoff series between the Washington Capitals and New York Rangers is on NBCSN and NBCSN HD tonight at 7:30. The winner faces the New Jersey Devils, who eliminated my Philadelphia Flyers in five games, in the Eastern Conference finals. . . .

Game 1 of the Western Conference finals, between the Los Ang­eles Kings and Phoenix Coyotes, will be on at 8 p.m. Sunday on NBCSN and NBCSN HD. . . .

If you want more hockey, check out the United States against Finland in pool play at the World Hockey Championships at 9 a.m. Sunday on NBCSN and NBCSN HD. . . .

FOX Sports (FOX23 and FOX23 HD) has the New York Mets-Miami Marlins game today at 1 p.m. Kenny Albert and Tim McCarver will call the game. . . .

NBC and the Golf Channel have the final two rounds of The Players Championship this weekend. The Golf Channel and Golf Channel HD starts its coverage today and Sunday at noon. NBC (NBC13 and NBC13 HD) takes over at 2 p.m. . . .

FOX Sports has the NASCAR Sprint Cup Southern 500 tonight at 6:30. . . .

TNT has an NBA playoff double-header tonight. At 8, it’s Game 1 of the Eastern Conference semifinals between the Philadelphia 76ers and Boston Celtics. That’s followed at 10:30 p.m. by Game 7 of the Western Conference quarterfinals between the Denver Nuggets and Los Angeles Lakers. . . .

Time Warner Cable Sports-3 and TWCS-3 HD has a Suburban Council softball game between Shaker and Shenendehowa at 7 p.m. Wednesday.

 
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