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NETWORK: Fox Sports Detroit debuts today with a full lineup to include live events and reruns (DETROIT NEWS, 9/15)....In Hartford, WFSB-TV will televise four regular- season ABL Blizzard games this season. The deal includes a preseason special, and an option on playoff games (HARTFORD COURANT, 9/13)....In Tacoma, Bob Condotta put the Mariners' new KIRO radio deal at $6M/season (NEWS TRIBUNE, 9/13). PUBLICATIONS: The N.Y. Times introduced format changes today that includes a stand-alone sports section seven days a week, color photos on the front page of the sports section, and more "complete and streamlined" sports results pages, organized league-by-league, with capsule reports on each team (N.Y. TIMES, 9/15). TV PROGRAMMING: In N.Y., Kay Gardella gave the SI For Kids Show four stars. Gardella: "[I]t's not just for kids, either. Adults like myself, who aren't fanatical followers of sports, can learn from this" (N.Y. DAILY NEWS, 9/13). ...In Toronto, Rob Longley: "Perhaps its time for ABC to consider starting Monday Night Football at 8 p.m. Games that are consistently ending after 12:30 a.m. are creating weary viewers that are surely contributing to the 18% decline in ratings" (TORONTO SUN, 9/15). In Miami, Barry Jackson wrote that while ratings are down for "MNF," the game "seemingly despite itself now -- continues as the NFL's venerable flagship. Gray and listing, perhaps, but a flagship nonetheless" (MIAMI HERALD, 9/14). PERSONALITIES: As Marv Albert prepares for his September 22 assault trial, Joel Myers will replace him in NBC's NFL lineup (Rudy Martzke, USA TODAY, 9/15).
The Flames, Oilers and Canadiens are the only three NHL teams without an official Web site, according to Mitch Garber of the Montreal GAZETTE. Garber: "Did you know you could sell more Canadiens merchandise off the Internet than you will ever sell out of the Molson Centre store?" While the NHL's web site at www.nhl.com "is doing a good job," the league is planning a "total graphic and content relaunch" on October 1, making the new site "easier to navigate and more fan-friendly" (Montreal GAZETTE, 9/14). ONLINE NOTES: The A-10 has launched www.atlantic10.org (Atlantic 10)....Packers.com, the team's official site, has surpassed the 10 million hit mark less than two months after it was launched (Packers.com)....ABC Sports Online has launched a new "Monday Night Football" site at www.abcmnf. com. The site features "real time" displays with data coming directly from ABC Sports' control room (ABC).