In Denver, Nick Groke writes NBC's plans to broadcast every EPL game next season is "great news for U.S. soccer fans -- but worrisome news for fans" of MLS. The NBC-EPL deal "dwarfs the deal" the net has with MLS, which is worth $10M per year. MLS Rapids play-by-play announcer Richard Fleming "knows the power of the EPL." He said, "In my experience, it can be a detriment to the domestic league." Meanwhile, MLS is "still building its star power." Attendance for MLS games "is increasing, but TV ratings haven't ballooned." Fleming's concern for the EPL's arrival in the U.S. "isn't that the British will steal away rapid Rapids fans." He is "concerned about the next generation" (DENVER POST, 4/19).
CHEERING SECTION: In N.Y., Bob Raissman notes SportsNet N.Y.'s Keith Hernandez is close to "crossing over from analyst into Fan Boy territory" when it comes to Mets P Matt Harvey. Hernandez "has not crossed that line but definitely straddled it." When it comes to Harvey, Hernandez "should consider putting the genie back in the bottle and try rocking steady." Raissman: "No one wants to hear someone leading cheers, especially in a booth not known for that kind of broadcast" (N.Y. DAILY NEWS, 4/19).
NEW VENTURE: In St. Louis, Dan Caesar notes sportswriter Vahe Gregorian is leaving the Post-Dispatch for the K.C. Star and he "primarily has been covering Mizzou football and basketball," but will "shift from being a beat writer to a sports columnist." Gregorian said, "I have no issues with my job (here), it's very fulfilling. But this is a chance to expand it and increase the spectrum of what you can write about. It's an enormous responsibility and a thrilling challenge." Post-Dispatch sports editor Roger Hensley said, "The fact of the matter is that this is a terrific opportunity for Vahe" (ST. LOUIS POST-DISPATCH, 4/19).
AIR BALL: In Albany, Pete Dougherty notes Nets fans "could be in for a disappointment Monday night, when their team plays Game 2 of its opening-round NBA playoffs series against the Bulls." The national telecast is "scheduled for NBA-TV, which is required to black out telecasts in home markets." Area fans "normally can get Nets games on YES, but the network has a Yankees conflict and likely will farm off the local telecast to WWOR (My-9) in New York -- which is not available locally." Officials at both networks are "working to determine a way for the telecast to be available in the Capital Region" (Albany TIMES UNION, 4/19).