Live from WKEN sports broadcasting blog, Oct. 9

Ken McMillan

| Times Herald-Record

Welcome to the new home of the “Live from WKEN” sports broadcasting blog.

Welcome to the CFL

The Canadian Football League canceled its 2020 season long ago, but apparently we have the COVID Football League.

The no-bubble National Football League is suddenly running into problems with positive COVID-19 cases. The New York Jets may be the latest team affected with a purported positive player case on Friday morning – how that affects Sunday’s game with Arizona remains to be seen.

We already have a shift of several games, with another week of two Monday night games and now a Tuesday game. The Broncos at Patriots game has been moved to ESPN at 5 p.m. on Monday night – the regular Monday night game between the Chargers and Saints will be 8:15 p.m. on ESPN. The Bills at Titans game has been moved to 7 p.m. Tuesday on CBS. Stay tuned for details as they crop up.

As a result, next Thursday night’s Chiefs at Bills game on Fox and NFL Network will surely be moved to Sunday or Monday. Does the NFL shift a game to Thursday – who knows?

As of 1:30 p.m. Friday, WNYW-5 in New York will get the Cardinals at Jets game at 1 p.m., with Kevin Kugler and Chris Spielman on the call.

CBS Sports (WCBS-2 in New York) will have the doubleheader. In the 1 p.m. opener, the Raiders visit the Chiefs, with Ian Eagle and New Paltz native Charles Davis on the call. The Giants visit the Cowboys for the 4:25 p.m. game, with Jim Nantz and Tony Romo on the call.

Sunday schedule

Jaguars (SXM 388, 814) at Texans (SXM 230, 812), 1 p.m., CBS (Andrew Catalon, James Lofton)

Panthers (SXM 386, 804) at Falcons (SXM 228, 801), 1 p.m., Fox (Chris Myers, Brock Huard)

Raiders (SXM 383, 816) at Chiefs (SXM 227, 815), 1 p.m., CBS (Ian Eagle, Charles Davis)

Eagles (SXM 384, 825) at Steelers (SXM 225, 826), 1 p.m., Fox (Kenny Albert, Jonathan Vilma)

Bengals (SM 387, 806) at Ravens (SXM 229, 802), 1 p.m., CBS (Greg Gumbel, Rich Gannon)

Cardinals (SXM 385, 800) at Jets (SXM 226, 824), 1 p.m., Fox (Kevin Kugler, Chris Spielman)

Rams (SXM 391, 818) at Washington (SXM 223, 831), 1 p.m., Fox (Brandon Gaudin, Daryl Johnston)

Dolphins (SXM 384, 819) at Niners (SXM 225, 827), 4:05 p.m., Fox (Adam Amin, Mark Schlereth)

Giants (SXM 383, 823) at Cowboys (SXM 227, 808), 4:25 p.m., CBS (Jim Nantz, Tony Romo)

Colts (SXM 385, 813) at Browns (SXM 226, 807), 4:25 p.m., CBS (Spero Dedes, Adam Archuleta)

Vikings (SXM 226, 820) at Seahawks (SXM 225, 828), 8:20 p.m. (WestwoodOne, SXM 88), NBC

MOVED TO MONDAY: Broncos (SXM 389, 809) at Patriots (SXM 231, 821), 5 p.m.; ESPN

MONDAY: Chargers (SXM 226, 817) at Saints (SXM 225, 822), 8:15 p.m. (WestwoodOne, SXM 88), ESPN

MOVED TO TUESDAY: Bills (SXM 390, 803) at Titans (SXM 232, 830), 7 p.m., CBS (Tom McCarthy, Jay Feely)

RIP, Whitey

Yankees Hall of Fame pitcher Whitey Ford passed away Friday morning at age 91. YES Network is showing its Yankeeography episodes on Ford at 1 p.m. and 2 p.m. today (Friday). You can be sure YES will have other replays as well.

Yankees on verge

Congratulations, New York Yankees, on winning game 4 on Thursday night and forcing the only game 5 in baseball’s Division Series. The elimination game is 7 p.m. Friday on TBS. That provides one more solid broadcasting effort from Brian Anderson, Ron Darling and reporter Lauren Shehadi.

ESPN Radio has Dan Shulman and Chris Singleton on the call. It is available on the ESPN app, and locally on WEPN (98.7-FM). The Yankees radio network has the venerable team of John Sterling and Suzyn Waldman, on WFAN (660-AM, 101.9-FM), WGNY (1220-AM, 105.3-FM) and WJGK (94.5-FM).

Friday schedule:

Game 5 – Yankees (SXM 176, 858) vs. Rays (SXM 89, 866), 7 p.m., TBS (Brian Anderson, Ron Darling, Lauren Shehadi), ESPN Radio, SXM 179, WEPN 98.7-FM (Dan Shulman, Chris Singleton); WFAN 660-AM, 101.9-FM, WGNY 1220-AM, 105.3-FM, WJGK 94.5-FM (John Sterling, Suzyn Waldman)

The American League Championship Series between the Houston Astros and either the Yankees or Rays runs potentially seven days in a row starting Sunday. Dan Shulman and Chris Singleton will call the ALCS. Shulman, Singleton and Jessica Mendoza have the World Series for ESPN Radio – it will be Shulman’s tenth World Series for ESPN Radio, Singleton’s third and Mendoza’s first.

Starting Monday and running potentially seven days in a row, the Atlanta Braves and Los Angeles will duel in the National League Championship Series on Fox (WNYW-5) and Fox Sports 1. Joe Buck and John Smoltz have the TV call on Fox. Boog Sciambi and Jessica Mendoza have the ESPN Radio call.

ESPN Radio playoff calls are available on the ESPN app, and SiriusXM Radio Ch. 80. ESPN Radio New York (WEPN 98.7-FM) will carry all Yankees games and likely will carry the ALCS, NLCS and World Series.

I thought Don Orsillo and Jeff Francoeur did a fine job on the Astros-Athletics series on TBS. I believe rookie Adam Amin is a star on the rise, having provided a solid call on the Braves-Marlins series for Fox Sports 1. Great banter between his analysts, AJ Pierzynski and late addition Adam Wainwright from the St. Louis Cardinals.

Off days return for the World Series. Baseball’s championship series begins Tuesday, Oct. 20, on Fox Sports (WNYW-5 in New York). Off days are Thursday, Oct. 22, and Monday, Oct. 26.

College football weekend

The ESPN networks have adjusted schedules with games being moved due to Hurricane Delta. Take a look at the changes below.

ESPN’s “College GameDay” will be hosted at the University of Georgia, ahead of the No. 4 Bulldogs’ game with No. 7 Auburn. ESPN and ESPNU will carry the 9 a.m.-noon show live.

Fox Sports will have its “Big Noon Kickoff” pregame show at 10 a.m., ahead of the Texas-Oklahoma showdown in Dallas. The pregame is hosted by Rob Stone, with analysts Brady Quinn, Reggie Bush, Matt Leinart and Urban Meyer. Another Fox host, Emmanual Acho, will have live segments from the Cotton Bowl in Dallas.

Friday schedule:

Louisville (SXM 380, 970) at Georgia Tech (SXM 193, 955), 7 p.m. (ESPN)

Saturday schedule:

SEC alternate – No. 17 LSU (SXM 192, 963) at Missouri (SXM 387, 977), noon (Dave Flemming, Andre Ware) RE-AIRING ON SEC NETWORK at 4 p.m.

ABC Sports (WABC-7, plus – No. 19 Virginia Tech (SXM 380, 970) at No. 8 North Carolina (SXM 193, 955), noon (Bob Wischusen, Dan Orlovsky); Texas Tech (SXM 384, 974) at No. 24 Iowa State (SXM 199, 953), 3:30 p.m. (Mark Jones, Dusty Dvoracek); No. 7 Miami (SXM 193, 955) at No. 1 Clemson (SXM 84, 382, 972), 7:30 p.m. (Chris Fowler, Kirk Herbstreit)

Fox Sports / WNYW-5 (plus, FoxSportsGo app) – No. 22 Texas (SXM 199, 953) vs. Oklahoma (SXM 83), noon (Gus Johnson, Joel Klatt); Kansas State (SXM 385, 975) at Texas Christian (SXM 83), 4 p.m. (Tim Brando, Spencer Tillman)

NBC Sports / WNBC-4 (plus, NBC Sports app) – Florida State (SXM 388, 978) at No. 5 Notre Dame (SXM 129), 7:30 p.m. (Paul Burmeister, Tony Dungy), plus WBBR 1130-AM

CBS Sports / WCBS-2 (plus – No. 14 Tennessee (SXM 191, 962) at No. 3 Georgia (SXM 81), 3:30 p.m. (Brad Nessler, Gary Danielson)

CBS Sports Network (plus – The Citadel at Army (SXM 202, 965), 1:30 p.m. (Ben Holden, Ross Tucker); Temple (SXM 387, 977) at Navy (SXM 202, 965), 6 p.m. (John Sadak, Randy Cross)

ESPN (plus, ESPN app) – No. 4 Florida (SXM 191, 963) at No. 21 Texas A&M (SXM 81), noon (Dave Pasch, Greg McElroy) – also on ESPNU; MOVED TO ESPN Arkansas (SXM 386, 976) at No. 15 Auburn (SXM 190, 961), 4 p.m. (Taylor Zarzour, Matt Stinchcomb); No. 2 Alabama (SXM 192, 963) at Mississippi (SXM203, 967) (ESPN Radio SXM 80), MOVED TO 7:30 p.m. (Sean McDonough, Todd Blackledge)

ESPN2 (plus, ESPN app) – MOVED TO ESPN2 Louisiana Monroe at Liberty, noon (Mike Couzens, Jay Walker); Texas San Antonio at No. 15 Brigham Young, 3:30 p.m. (Anish Shroff, Tom Luginbill); Texas El Paso at Louisiana Tech, 7:30 p.m. (Dave O’Brien, Mike Golic)

ESPNU (plus ESPN app) – No. 4 Florida (SXM 191, 963) at No. 21 Texas A&M (SXM 81), noon (Dave Pasch, Greg McElroy) – also on ESPN; Middle Tennessee at Florida International, 4 p.m. (Clay Matvick, Rocky Boiman); Charlotte at North Texas, 8 p.m. (Roy Philpott, Kelly Stouffer)

SEC Network (plus, ESPN app) – South Carolina (SXM 381, 971) at Vanderbilt (SXM 190, 961), noon (Dave Neal, DJ Shockley); Mississippi State (SXM 81) at Kentucky (SXM 190, 961), 7:30 p.m. (Tom hart, Jordan Rodgers)

ACC Network (plus, ESPN app) – North Carolina State (SXM 382, 972) at Virginia (SXM 194, 956), noon (Wes Durham, Tim Hasselbeck); Pittsburgh (SXM 194, 956) at Boston College (SXM 193, 955), 4 p.m. (Chris Cotter, Mark Herzlich)

ACC regionals (plus YES, – Duke (SXM 383, 973) at Syracuse (SXM 203, 967), 12:30 p.m. (Tom Werme, James Bates)

ESPN+ (subscription) – East Carolina (SXM 380, 970) at South Florida, 7 p.m. (Lincoln Rose, Stanford Routt) – Mercer at Jacksonville State, 3 p.m.; Central Arkansas at Arkansas State, 3:30 p.m.; Texas State at Troy, 3:30 p.m.

Stadium (plus FoxSportsGo app) – Florida Atlantic at Southern Mississippi, POSTPONED; Marshall at Western Kentucky, 7:30 p.m. (Chris Hassel, AJ Hawk), and MSG Plus

Mr. Freeze Coming

The Los Angeles Lakers have seized a 3 games to 1 lead in the NBA Finals, ready to extinguish the Miami Heat.

ESPN has the broadcast rights once again and will utilize ABC Sports (WABC-7 in New York), with Mike Breen, Mark Jackson and Jeff Van Gundy on the call. Rachel Nichols will work the sidelines.

The NBA Countdown show will be hosted by Maria Taylor, joined by Jalen Rose, Stephen A. Smith, Jay Williams and Paul Pierce, plus reporter Adrian Wojnarowski.

ESPN Radio will have the radio call, with broadcasters Marc Kestecher, Doris Burke and Jon Barry. Those games will air on WEPN (98.7-FM) when there is no Yankees conflict, and only on WEPN (1050-AM) when there is a conflict.

The upcoming schedule:

Friday – Game 5, Heat vs. Lakers, 9 p.m., SXM 895 (Heat), 893 (Lakers), 80 (ESPN), WEPN (1050-AM), WEPN (98.7-FM if no Yankees game)

Sunday (if nec.) – Game 6, Lakers vs. Heat, 7:30 p.m., SXM 895 (Heat), 893 (Lakers), 80 (ESPN), WEPN (98.7-FM, 1050-AM)

Tuesday, Oct. 13 (if nec.) – Game 7, Heat vs. Lakers, 9 p.m., SXM 895 (Heat), 893 (Lakers), 80 (ESPN), WEPN (1050-AM), WEPN (98.7-FM if no Yankees conflict)


The UEFA Nations League has a busy schedule through the middle of next week. A total of 54 matches will be shown on ESPN, ESPN2, (nine matches) and subscription ESPN+ (42 matches on that channel).

Here are the matches featuring Top 20 FIFA ranked teams:

Saturday – Spain vs. Switzerland, 2:45 p.m. (ESPN+)

Sunday – England vs. Belgium, noon (ESPN+); Croatia vs. Sweden, noon (ESPN+); Poland vs. Italy, 2:45 p.m. (ESPN+); France vs. Portugal, 2:45 p.m. (ESPN)

Tuesday – Germany vs. Switzerland, 2:45 p.m. (ESPN2)

Wednesday – Italy vs. Netherlands, 2:45 p.m. (ESPN2); England vs. Denmark, 2:45 p.m. (ESPN+); Croatia vs. France, 2:45 p.m. (ESPN+); Portugal vs. Sweden, 2:45 p.m. (ESPN+)

Here’s the Major League Soccer national TV schedule for October:

Saturday – Miami at Houston (5 p.m.) and Colorado at Los Angeles Galaxy (7 p.m.), both on Spanish-language UniMas, with English on SAP button

Sunday – Los Angeles FC at Seattle (7 p.m.) on ESPN

Oct. 17 – Chicago at Kansas City, 3:30 p.m. (Spanish-language Univision, with English on SAP button)

Oct. 21 – Nashville at Dallas (8:30 p.m.) on FS1

Oct. 24 – Miami at Orlando (3:30 p.m.) on Univision (English SAP)

Oct. 25 – Los Angeles FC at Los Angeles Galaxy (4:30 p.m.) on WABC-7

Oct. 28 – Orlando at Atlanta (7:30 p.m.) on FS1; and, Portland at Los Angeles Galaxy (10 p.m.) on ESPN

Oct. 31 – Dallas at Houston (3:30 p.m.) on Univision (English SAP)

Nov. 1 – Columbus at Philadelphia (3:30 p.m.) on WABC-7

French Open nearly finis

The French Open heads into the final weekend of action with just one American player still alive: Sofia Kenin. Roland Garros will air on NBC Sports Network and Tennis Channel.

Dan Hicks, Mary Carillo and John McEnroe have the NBC broadcast call. NBC Sports has televised the French Open from 1975-77 and 1983-present.

The NBC schedule (, NBC Sports app):

Friday – DELAYED Men’s semifinals, 11 a.m.- 2 p.m. (NBC Sports Network). Second semifinal pits Stefanos Tsitsipas against Novak Djokovic.

Saturday – LIVE Women’s final, 9 a.m. (WNBC-4). The final pits Iga Swiatek vs. American Sofia Kenin

Sunday – LIVE Men’s final, 9 a.m. (WNBC-4). The final pits Rafael Nadal vs. either Stefanos Tsitsipas or Novak Djokovic

The Tennis Channel schedule:

Friday – (LIVE) men’s semifinals, 8:45 a.m.-2 p.m.

Saturday – girls singles and doubles finals, 5-9 a.m.; replay, women’s final, men’s doubles final, 1 p.m. and 6 p.m.

Sunday – women’s doubles final, 5:30-9 a.m.; replay, men’s singles final, 2 p.m.; replay, men’s singles and women’s doubles finals, 6 p.m.

Tennis Channel broadcasters include Ted Robinson, Brett Haber, Steve Weissman, Alex Faust and Noah Eagle for play by play. Analysts include Martina Navratiola, Jim Courier, Lindsay Davenport, Tracy Austin, Chanda Rubin, Paul Annacone, Mark Knowles and Nick Monroe.

English-language radio coverage is available at

YES for Women

YES Network has a handful of women’s sports over the long weekend.

Friday – Boston College at Pittsburgh women’s volleyball (live), 7 p.m.; Miami at Clemson women’s volleyball (delayed), 9 p.m.

Sunday – Boston College at Syracuse field hockey (live), 11 a.m.; Louisville at Wake Forest field hockey (delayed), 8 p.m.

Monday – Virginia at North Carolina field hockey (live), noon

Free agent hockey

The hockey market quickly turns to free agency, which starts Friday.

MSG Network will have Free Agency Preview specials on Friday at 8 p.m. on MSG Network and 10 p.m. on MSG Plus.

Let’s go Bowling

The PBA Playoffs begin Saturday at 8 p.m. on Fox (WNYW-5 in New York). New Paltz native Dave Ryan, Randy Pedersen and the lovely Kimberly Pressler host the telecast. The next event is Oct. 17.

The event will be held at Centerville (Va.) Bowlero, just outside of Washington, D.C.

Proud Peacock skating

Plumage is nothing new on figure skating outfits, so perhaps it’s fitting that NBC’s new streaming service, Peacock premium, will take over the 2020-21 figure skating coverage. NBC and NBC Sports Network will continue to show coverage, and Peacock premium will provide on-demand replay coverage and select live coverage.

Skate America on Oct. 23 will be the premiere of Peacock’s offering, showing live coverage of the ladies short programs. Peacock premium will also show the U.S. Figure Skating Championship Series, as well as the 2021 Championships.

Peacock premium will show Skate America, Skate Canada International, Cup of China, Internationaux de France, Rostelcom Cup, NHK Trophy, the U.S. Figure Skating Championship Series (seniors and juniors), plus 2021 championships (U.S., European, Four Continents, U.S. Synchronized, Worlds and World Synchronized).

The NBC and NBC Sports Network figure skating schedules will be announced later.

NHL rights up for grabs

Front Office Sports is reporting that ESPN, Fox Sports and CBS Sports may pursue NHL broadcast rights in the United States, which open up following the end of next season.

NBC Sports has held the rights since the 2005-06 season, and had one more season under a 10-year, $2 billion deal. NBC Sports spread its cable deal with the Outdoor Life Network (OLN), which later became Versus, which then became NBC Sports Network.

Negotiations are expected to start before the end of the calendar year, and the NHL may split its broadcast rights.

New York horsies

The thoroughbreds have resumed fall action on cable TV. Racing from Belmont Park (and additional tracks) will be shown on MSG networks and Fox Sports 1 and 2.

The upcoming schedule (plus YouTube’s NYRA channel):

Friday – MSG, MSG+, 12:30-5:30 p.m.

Saturday – FS1, 12-6 p.m.; MSG+, 12:30-6 p.m.

Sunday – MSG, MSG+, 12:30-6 p.m.; FS2, 12:30-1 p.m. and 3-4 p.m.; FS1, 1-3 p.m. and 4-6 p.m.

Monday – MSG+, FS2, 12:30-5:30 p.m.

Ken McMillan is the sports editor of the Times Herald-Record and former broadcaster and producer.

[email protected]

Twitter: @KenMcMillanTHR

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