NO RATINGS: Final network ratings for last weekend's
sports events were not available at press time (THE DAILY).
NAMES: In N.Y., Phil Mushnick writes that "there's
still movement within Turner Sports to hire Marv Albert as
an NBA play-by-play man" (N.Y. POST, 9/18)....PGA Tour
golfer Tom Lehman and his wife, Melissa, are in the British
Virgin Islands this week "being photographed" for SI's
swimsuit issue. SI won't show Lehman "bare-chested," as he
"insisted on wearing a loose-fitted shirt" (Charley Walters,
ST. PAUL PIONEER PRESS, 9/18)....On the 25th anniversary of
the Billie Jean King-Bobby Riggs tennis match, Destiny
Productions' David Krieff "says he's arranged" for a Jimmy
Connors-Steffi Graf match on December 12, which will air
live on USA Network (Rudy Martzke, USA TODAY, 9/18).
NFL: In Milwaukee, Bob Wolfley writes on ESPN's
branding and ABC/ESPN's NFL cross-promos. Wolfley: "This
branding idea was a bad one. It's kind of creepy, really.
It takes away the independent personalities of these shows
and forces them into lockstep. ... Cross-promotion, branding
obsession, has not made ESPN's and ABC's pro football shows
any better. In fact, there's evidence to suggest they have
been made worse. Or at least, they feel worse" (MILWAUKEE
JOURNAL SENTINEL, 9/18)....In S.F., Susan Slusser calls
ABC's "Monday Night Blast" a "lame attempt to jump into the
frenzied pregame fray." Slusser: "'MNF' has adopted Fox
tactics. Loudness. Tackiness. Football for short
attention spans. Hey, that works for Fox. On ABC, it's
just dumb and annoying" (S.F. CHRONICLE, 9/18).