TNT airs "Before They Were Pros" tonight at 8:00pm ET.
The 90-minute show from TNT & NFL Films features the careers
of NFL players, Brett Favre, Marcus Allen, John Elway, Wayne
Chrebet and Troy Aikman (TNT). In N.Y., David Bianculli
gives the program two stars, noting, "Some stories are every
bit as inspirational as intended. In particular, those of
Allen ... and Chrebet" (N.Y. DAILY NEWS, 9/30).
GENERAL: B&C reports that ESPN Internet Ventures will
soon use its GameTracker technology to track NFL games on
ESPN SportsZone. No official word on when the service will
kick off, but "expect to see it debut" when ESPN takes over
the Sunday night NFL game next month (BROADCASTING & CABLE,
9/29 issue)....The "Fabulous Sports Babe" has been dropped
be all-sports WEEI-AM in Boston (BOSTON GLOBE, 9/30).
ABC and Finland-based telecom company Nokia "are
closing in on the first major sponsorship deal for the
network's new College Football Championship Series," set to
start in January '99, according to Langdon Brockinton of
MEDIAWEEK. The deal, "said to be worth" $40M over four
years, would allow Nokia to retain its title sponsorship of
the Sugar Bowl and would also get commercial time on ABC's
three other major games in the series -- the Rose, Orange
and Fiesta Bowls -- as well as spots on ABC and ESPN's other
bowl game telecasts (MEDIAWEEK, 9/29 issue).
MLB's postseason begins today at 1:00pm ET with the
Astros-Braves on ESPN, which will be followed by the Giants-
Marlins at 4:00pm ET. ESPN will broadcast the same two
games, at the same times, tomorrow. Fox will telecast the
Indians-Yankees tonight at 8:00pm ET, while NBC makes its
postseason debut Wednesday night for Game One of the
Orioles-Mariners series. Fox will also telecast Game Two of
the Indians-Yankees series on Thursday, while ESPN has Game
Two of the Orioles-Mariners beginning at 4:00pm ET (MLB).
The most postseason games ESPN could show is 12 (ESPN).
CLICK AND HIT: MLB, MSNBC and NBC Sports have joined to
create the official Web site of the MLB postseason at www.
mlbworldseries.com. The site will provide daily postseason
coverage, pre- and post-game audio coverage of all press
conferences, video highlights after each game and chat
sessions with MLB players and NBC Sports broadcasters. In
addition, a player, not yet announced, will host a live, in-
game cybercast from each World Series game (MLB).
MLB NOTES: In Miami, Barry Jackson writes the "only
negative" of the postseason TV format is the "starting time
of some games will put us to sleep." He notes that Game
Four of the Marlins-Giants series will start at 11:00pm ET
on Saturday. Jackson adds that "as usual," Fox and ESPN
will superimpose the score, inning and count "most of the
time," but that NBC won't "because of concerns it might hurt
ratings" (MIAMI HERALD, 9/30)....A cable TV movie based on
the life of Joe Torre, "Joe Torre: Curveballs Along The
Way," will premiere on Showtime on October 17, on "the eve
of the World Series" (USA TODAY, 9/30).