Breaking The Mold: Patriots To Try New Format For Preseason TV Broadcasts
Patriots preseason games airing on WBZ-CBS this season will be "considerably different from the preseason broadcasts of recent seasons," as the station is going away from the traditional set-up of a play-by-play announcer and analyst, according to Chad Finn of the BOSTON GLOBE. Kraft Sports Productions Exec Producer Matt Smith said the games will be a "talk-radio-type program without the yelling and the screaming and the agenda-driven stuff." Smith: "We're looking at the preseason games as an opportunity to try something different. Make it more conversational, make it more analytical and insightful." Finn reports changing the format "means a change in personnel," as long-time broadcast team Don Criqui and Randy Cross will not return. The on-air talent has yet to be finalized, but "all signs point" to WBZ's Dan Roche "taking over as host rather than a conventional play-by-play voice." Former NFLer Christian Fauria likely will serve as the in-booth analyst, and another former Patriots player will be "on the field as an analyst rather than a conventional sideline reporter." Smith said that he is "unaware of any other NFL team trying this" (BOSTON GLOBE, 6/14).
BUCS LAND ON NEW STATION: The Buccaneers on Thursday announced a new multiyear TV rights deal with WFLA-NBC to broadcast preseason games through the '17 season. The station will produce and air three games this preseason; the team's fourth game is a national Fox broadcast. WFLA also will produce and air pregame specials prior to each preseason game, and the net's Dan Lucas will host "Bucs Bonus," a half-hour program airing Saturday nights at 7:00pm ET during the NFL season (Buccaneers).