Deal for Albert
night’s game between the Lakers and Nets was the swan song for Marv
Albert on NBC who said “Yes” to a six-year deal with TNT
starting next season. Albert
will be the play-by-play man for their NBA Thursday night package, the
“All Star Game” and one of the conference finals, which will be on
cable for the first time. In
a conference call, Albert said he felt loyalty to Turner Broadcasting,
which was the first national network to hire him in April 1999 after his
sex scandal in 1997. Albert
lost his jobs at Madison Square Garden Network and NBC after he pled
guilty to a misdemeanor assault charge amid tabloid tales of biting,
toupee pulling, and kinky sexual escapades.
Albert was first hired back by MSG and eventually NBC, where he
had worked since 1977, rehired him.
Albert is just one of many celebrities who have survived a sex
scandal. Maybe Hugh Grant
should apply for the color analyst position on TNT. It’s been a good
week for Albert, as he was also named the play-by-play man for the
Monday Night Football broadcasts on the Westwood One/CBS Radio Sports
Network. Boomer Esiason
will return to provide color commentary.
Basketball continues to be more popular than hockey
as the ratings for the NBA Finals going into game four were a 10.0
rating/18 share for NBC compared to a 3.4 rating/7 share for the Stanley
Cup Finals on ABC going into game five.
Even “The Belmont Stakes” got higher ratings than the NHL
playoffs with a 9.2 rating/21 share for NBC Saturday.
Each national rating point is equal to a little over a million
The Lennox Lewis/Mike Tyson fight was the highest grossing
pay-per-view event in PPV history with $103 million from 1.8 million
orders. A replay of the
bout is on HBO Saturday at 9:45 p.m.
Comcast SportsNet’s Dei Lynam is in Beijing, China for TNT to
cover the possible drafting of Yao Ming by the Houston Rockets in the
NBA draft this weekend. Don’t
be surprised if Lynam ends up fulltime on TNT eventually.
When the cameras showed Nets’ coach Byron Scott,
viewers could see radio announcer Brent Musburger at the press table in
a blue, checkered shirt that looked more appropriate for judging a
bakeoff than a basketball game.