For a sport that was assumed to be moribund, at least nTC terms of its domestic appeal, horse racing is creating a nice little comeback. Fox and its cable part, Fox Sports Net, announced yesterday that it’ll offer exclusive protection of a brand-new series of races for horses older and 4, beginning next year, during the auspices of the National Thoroughbred Racing Association. The bundle of races, to be known as the NTRA Championship Racing Series, will include eight to 10 center space dirt races in different tracks and will occur from January through August. The schedule commences Jan. 30 with live reporting of the Donn Handicap in Gulfstream Park in Hallandale, Fla. that is not far from Miami the website of the season’s Super Bowl, which, not so coincidentally, Fox is going to be carrying.
At least four races will be also offered up by Fox Sports Net from the series. Moving on up – Discussing of HTS, the Bethesda established regional sports station has declared that Chris Grain will be lead manufacturer of its own Washington Wizards coverage, whenever the NBA and its own players create nice and come to an agreement in their labor squabble. Grain, a 1991 Howard in 1991, joined HTS eight years ago on a freelance basis and had been an associate producer working on the channel’s studio programs as well as on Orioles, Bullets/Wizards and college basketball telecasts.
In the meantime, ESPN has given Solomon Wilcots career a big time boost, creating him the sideline reporter on his Sunday night National Football League telecasts. Wilcots, who combined ESPN in June as a Cincinnati established bureau reporter, is a former free security for the Bengals, seeing player time from the 1989 Super Bowl before moving on into the Minnesota Vikings and, finally, the Pittsburgh Steelers, where his playing career ended from 1993. After retiring, Wilcots, an all-Big Eight defensive back in Colorado, combined Cincinnati’s NBC affiliate as a reporter, weekend sports analyst and football analyst, and he also produced shows.
PGA on target – CBS PGA Championship ratings rose slightly over last season’s figures. The two days of broadcast tournament policy did a 5.5 rating and 13 shares from the overnight Nielsen survey, a 4 percent rise in last season’s 5.3/13. Which was the highest rise in 12 decades. Sunday’s final round did a 6.1/14 and was the most watched PGA Championship final round since 1993, while Saturday’s third round did a 4.9/13, the best rating since 1986. Blown coverage – Frankly, we hoped that Channel 13 would do more with that strip on the bottom of the screen Saturday mid-day throughout the Ravens game than offer a lame excuse for leaving the PGA Championship from the center of CBS coverage.