Speaking of Sports

With the title as a nod to late ABC Sports commentator Howard Cosell…

BROWNS BITS: Just a couple of things we noticed about the radio broadcast of the Cleveland Browns’ 20-17 pre-season victory over the Buffalo Bills.

For one, during pre-game, Browns Radio Network flagship WMMS/100.7 in Cleveland was clearly on a long delay. We noticed it when network stations WONE/97.5 Akron and WHBC/1480 Canton were airing items a good 10 seconds or so before they were heard on WMMS.

Our guess: WMMS was still using the delay forced by the IBOC/digital/HD Radio feed during pre-game. (Stations which run HD feeds have to delay analog audio if they wish to match the digital feed with the analog feed, so when the digital signal is replaced by analog, it mirrors the digital in timing.)

Sometime later, during the game itself, we noticed that delay had been shut off.

OMW recalls that last year, WMMS had a delay going during games (like a traditional profanity delay), and WTAM/1100 did not have such a delay when it carried Browns games. WMMS was not running its HD Radio feed last season.

We’re wondering if that balance will happen again this year…and if WMMS will turn off either A) the IBOC carrier or B) the analog delay to match that feed during games this year…or at least until WTAM starts airing Browns games on a regular basis.

WTAM, of course, isn’t along for the Browns until after the Cleveland Indians shoot this season out of our misery.

The other thing we noticed, while closely listening to Casey Coleman’s sideline reports on Saturday night: Not only has Verizon Wireless replaced Alltel as the sponsor for said reports, the sponsor content has increased even more this year.

We had the game on for roughly a minute crossing parking lots in the Montrose area, and by the time we got across the street, we heard play-by-play voice Jim Donovan do three sponsor tags.

We jokingly did one of our own in the car after that: “This safe trip across West Market Street has been brought to you by Safe Auto…we keep you legal for less!” Too bad the auto insurance company isn’t paying us for that one…

THAT STO CAR RACE: It turned out to be so much ado about nothing, in regards to SportsTime Ohio airing NBC’s feed of the “Champ Car” race from Montreal. The race was postponed after heavy rain started falling in the Canadian city after just six laps. It’ll run tomorrow morning, but will only be seen on the Champ Car Series’ website.

STO’s carriage of the NBC feed not only showed up on Time Warner Cable – including on the former Adelphia system here at OMW World Headquarters, even on cable 17 – but it also aired in markets like Youngstown. Viewers on Armstrong Cable in that area tell OMW that they were able to watch the Champ Car race not only on WFMJ/21, the local NBC affiliate, but on STO.

We presume that happened because they’d rather have been “safe than sorry”, though the Indians game actually aired in Youngstown on FOX affiliate WYFX “FOX 17/62″…the market’s affiliate for the over-air Indians contests…

THAT GOLF THING: Those interested in watching Tiger Woods continue his domination of Akron golf courses by winning the Bridgestone Invitational at Firestone Country Club may have been confused when they turned on the TV.

Akron Beacon Journal TV columnist R.D. Heldenfels noticed it, according to his blog entry today:

I’d be pretty excited to watch — except CBS is running tape-delayed coverage from much earlier today (nor, at this point, does it have a graphic onscreen identifying this as taped coverage). Because of worries about the weather, which has included rain here and there, the final round started early at Akron, with even the marquee names on the course before CBS started its telecast.

And Rich wasn’t the only one tripped up.

Shortly after hearing an ABC News Radio anchor on WARF/1350 Akron tell listeners that Tiger Woods had just made a birdie putt to win the Bridgestone event in a four-hole playoff, we tuned over to a show that might be expected to elaborate on it…the Golf Show, with Russ Jeske and Gary Trivisonno on WTAM/1100.

Russ and Gary opened up letting us know that Tiger was still in a heated playoff with Stewart Cink. At some point, two listeners returning from Firestone Country Club called them up to let them know it was over. While they probably should have been watching the wires or even listening to the news, we can’t blame them too much with CBS delaying coverage that you’d expect to have been live…

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