NFL Network, Andrew Catalon win Behind the Broadcast Year-End Awards
I don’t consistently hand out awards for network of the year and broadcaster of the year. But if you read my final column of 2012 last Saturday, there were a number of events in sports media that shaped the year.
So, this year, I will hand out two Behind the Broadcast awards.
Behind the Broadcast Network of the Year — NFL Network
Time Warner Cable subscribers waited from the day NFL Network premiered Nov. 4, 2003 until Sept. 21 — a total of 3,244 days — to see what the network was all about.
Well, we finally got to see “Thursday Night Football” (and just in time, considering NFL Network had a nearly full-season schedule this season). We also got to see the incredible NFL RedZone, which shows touchdowns from every Sunday afternoon game. It was addictive. I found myself watching that more than the games on CBS and FOX.
The dispute lasted longer than it should have, but it was well worth the wait.
Behind the Broadcast Broadcaster of the Year — Andrew Catalon
It was a big year for Catalon of NBC13 (WNYT). He was back calling the Masters for DirecTV, was named play-by-play announcer of UConn women’s basketball telecasts on SNY and called the Summer Olympics tennis matches from Wimbledon for NBC Sports, as well as the U.S. Open. The Wimbledon experience at the Olympics was especially thrilling for Catalon. He called the epic semifinal match between Roger Federer and Juan Martin del Potro that ended with Federer winning, 3-6, 7-6 (5), 19-17, in four hours, 26 minutes. The match started on Bravo, and then was picked up by NBC Sports.
A couple of weeks ago, it was announced that Catalon would trade places with Chris Onorato. Catalon became a 30-hour employee, while Onorato was promoted to full-time status.
Behind the Broadcast Story of the Year — NFL Network, Time Warner Cable end dispute.
The dispute lasting 3,244 days was probably 3,244 days too many for most TWC subscribers. Now, if we can only get the NHL lockout settled.