Friday, May 21, 1999


Reds ratings on cable up from '98

The Cincinnati Enquirer

        One of the results of the Reds going cable-only this year is that cable ratings are way up. The team is averaging a 3.2 this year, up from 2.0 last season.

        Part of that is the way the team is playing. The Reds are over .500 for the first time since last May.

        But Fox Sports Net Ohio General Manager Steve Liverani thinks there's more to it than that.

        “There's not the viewer confusion there was in the past,” Liverani said. “People know they can tune to us and see the games.”

        Last year, the games were split between FSNO, Channel 12 and Channel 64.

        “Say what you want about being cable-only,” Liverani said, “but we're creating viewer habits. People know where to find the games.”

        CHANGES AT HOMER: Within a week, Marc Amazon probably will begin doing his show on HOMER (1360 AM) from 3-6 p.m., beginning an hour earlier than he does now.

        The extra hour opened up when Jim Rome cut back his show from four hours to three. Since Rome cut back, HOMER has been rerunning the first hour of his show from 3-4 p.m.

        “We're negotiating,” operations manager Bill Cunningham said. “(Amazon) has to work out some things with Jewish Community Center. When that happens, he'll be on from 3 to 6.”

        Amazon also works at the JCC.

        HOMER also is looking at adding ESPN Radio's Tony Bruno Show.The show airs from 6 9a.m.

        ROSE TALK: WLW (700 AM) has offered Pete Rose a spot on SportsTalk. The catch is, Rose has to do the show from the studio.

        “I want him reading The Enquirer and The Post, watching local television and going to games,” Cunningham said.

        Rose has homes in Boca Raton, Fla., and Los Angeles.

        “We don't want a syndicated show from the right or left coast,” Cunningham said. “If he'll fly here to do the show, we'll put him on with Furball.”

        Furball is Andy Furman, who has been doing the show solo since Cris Collinsworth moved to mornings.

        Cunningham said he hasn't heard from Rose since he told Rose that he would have to work from the studio.

        CELEBRITY GAME: Channel 19's Fox All-Stars will play the WBOB All-Stars in a basketball game at McNicholas High at 7 p.m. Saturday.

        University of Cincinnati coach Bob Huggins is scheduled to play with the team from 19. Admission is $5. The proceeds will go to Hospice of Cincinnati.

        THE GOOD DOCTOR: Doc Rivers, an analyst on TNT's NBA broadcasts, is one of the best new talents working. Rivers anticipates moves coaches are going to make, and he's not afraid to criticize players. When Karl Malone elbowed Brian Grant, Rivers said: “You can call it dirty, you can call it crappy, or you can call it both ... Malone, at times, can be cheap or dirty.”

        PROGRAMMING NOTE: SportsCentury, the terrific historic series produced by ESPN, shifts over to ABC for two shows this weekend.

        ABC will air Greatest Coaches of the Century from 2-4 p.m. Saturday and Most Influential People in Sports from 2-4 p.m. Sunday.

        Saturday's show, hosted by Chris Berman, will focus on Red Auerbach, Bear Bryant, George Halas, Vince Lombardi, John McGraw, Dean Smith and John Wooden.

        Sunday's show, hosted by Bob Ley, will count down the the 10 most influential people in sports. They are (in alphabetical order): Roone Arledge, Avery Brundage, George Halas, Judge Kenesaw Mountain Landis, Mark McCormack, Marvin Miller, Walter O'Malley, Branch Rickey, Pete Rozelle and David Stern.

        John Fay covers radio/TV sports for The Enquirer. He can be reached at 768-8445.


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