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NBC PREPS FOR ORIOLES-YANKEES; SETS POSSIBLE RAIN POLICY
Published October 8, 1996
NBC Sports covers the ALCS tonight in New York with the Orioles-Yankees beginning at 8:00pm ET. Bob Costas handles the play-by-play and is joined in the booth by Joe Morgan and Bob Uecker. Jim Gray will report on the scene and the telecast will be produced by David Neal and directed by Andy Rosenberg (NBC). MLB Int'l will produce a worldwide TV feed live of the LCS and World Series to 200 countries (MLB). IT'S RAINING HERE: If tonight's opener is rained out, the teams "probably will play" 4pm ET games Wednesday and Thursday. NBC would still televise both games. A Thursday game would not be played at night due to the Cardinals-Braves on Fox that night and NBC "prefers not to pre-empt its prime-time schedule" (Lennon & Zipay, NEWSDAY, 10/8). WOUNDED PEACOCK: NBC Sports is still upset they were unable to switch the Yankees-Rangers Game Four to their network for Saturday night coverage. MLB kept the game on ESPN and NBC received Cardinals-Padres. Cards-Padres rating of a 6.9 was at least 30% less what NBC estimated for the Yankees-Rangers. NBC Sports President Dick Ebersol: "We were shocked and saddened and extremely disappointed by the actions that were taken. Obviously, the (Cardinals-Padres) game unperformed by about 35 percent in the ratings. More importantly, the fans were denied the game of greater interest." MLB Exec Dir/PR Rich Levin: "They've got the Yankees this week, so they should be happy with that" (Rudy Martzke, USA TODAY, 10/8). In New York, Steve Zipay writes, "If NBC wanted the game so badly, why didn't they secure it when the schedule was announced?" Zipay: "In recent years, ESPN has been more loyal to baseball" (NEWSDAY, 10/8). NEWS & NOTES: Ratings after the first four days on NBC and Fox are down 28% from last year's regional coverage of The Baseball Network (USA TODAY, 10/8). In Philadelphia, Mike Bruton calls TV coverage of the MLB playoffs a "good week for viewers," adding "Regionalization is dead, thank goodness!" (PHILADELPHIA INQUIRER, 10/8)....In New York, Richard Sandomir gives his MLB post-season TV awards for the divisional series. Best announcing team went to NBC's Costas, Morgan and Uecker. Best production: ESPN (N.Y. TIMES, 10/8)....NBC's Costas, on what kind of reaction Roberto Alomar can expect in Yankee Stadium: "My guess is they will be very tough. Maybe the word is brutal" (Bill Fleischman, PHILA. DAILY NEWS, 10/8). David Letterman previewing the ALCS: "Yankee fans are tough. A pick-off play at first base usually involves a high powered rifle. ... There better not be any trouble with Roberto Alomar because New Yorkers spit back" ("Late Show," CBS, 10/7).