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MICHAELS SPEAKS LIKE A TRUE PRO ABOUT MLB ON TV
Published July 10, 1995
In this morning's CHICAGO TRIBUNE, Steve Nidetz writes that while ABC and NBC "have all but written off their collaboration with The Baseball Network after this season," ABC's Al Michaels doesn't see the All-Star telecast "as any different from any other year." Michaels: "Those of us responsible for the telecast will approach it as if it were the first year of a 100-year contract. If you go in thinking you're a lame duck, the only ones who suffer are you. Our reputations are at stake, too. We went through this in 1989. Only it was worse in 1989 because we knew CBS had made a deal for the next four years." Michaels says "the jury is still out" on elimination of Saturday afternoon weekly telecasts and is "disturbed" by regional playoff coverage. Michaels: "I understand the reality of it. So much of sports today is dictated by economics. The accountants have taken control" (CHICAGO TRIBUNE, 7/10). FATE OF THE TROIKA: Michaels, Tim McCarver, and Jim Palmer "will get out of baseball broadcasting after this season," and it is "a question" whether McCarver will "remain the most prominent announcer in the sport" should Fox gets baseball and go for "a fresh, new voice." McCarver: "If something happens with one of the networks, that's fine. I'm 53 and I have done this for a long time and I still enjoy it" (Barry Jackson, MIAMI HERALD, 7/9). MORE PUNDITRY: The HERALD's Jackson also laid out "several scenarios for the next [MLB] TV contract": MLB sells rights to one network, with Fox the front-runner; Fox and CBS "split up postseason coverage on a rotating basis," with Fox placing first- round games on cable arm fX; MLB sells LCS and Series rights to Fox and/or CBS, but places first-round games on ESPN or Turner (MIAMI HERALD, 7/9).