In N.Y., Bob Raissman cited sources as saying that Showtime's "The Franchise" has been "scrapped for this season." But MLB VP/Business PR Matt Bourne said, "No decisions have been made yet. We expect to make one soon." Raissman wrote with Spring Training underway, getting the show "up and running could be tough" (N.Y. DAILY NEWS, 2/24).
SUN SPOTS: In Tampa, Marc Topkin noted Sun Sports "plans to televise" 150 Rays games this season, with Dewayne Staats, Brian Anderson and Todd Kalas "again handling the broadcast duties." Five Rays games are "currently slated for Fox national broadcasts, and two others will be shown regionally" by FS Florida, which "leaves five games unaccounted for" (TAMPABAY.com, 2/22).
TIME FOR A CHANGE, BABY: In Jacksonville, Brian Hodges wrote ESPN's Dick Vitale is "overly exuberant" and "no longer effective." It is "time for changes" at ESPN. Hodges wrote of Vitale during ESPN's Indiana-Michigan State college basketball telecast last Tuesday, "I couldn't really understand him anymore. His muffled voice doesn't carry over a boisterous crowd anymore." Hodges: "Put him in the studio, and he'll be OK" (JACKSONVILLE.com, 2/23).
ONE TIME IN BAND CAMP: In N.Y., Phil Mushnick writes ESPN's "College GameDay" feature on LSU C Andrew Del Piero, who was "recruited from the LSU band," was "superb." Del Piero, "a tuba player," was on a music scholarship before joining the basketball team (N.Y. POST, 2/25).