St. Petersburg Times Online: Business

Weather | Sports | Forums | Comics | Classifieds | Calendar | Movies

Remote patrol: Down for the count

Published October 8, 2004

If the boxing reality show scene is any indication, makers of NBC's The Contender might want to have a slot on MSNBC ready.

Fox has moved its attempt at a rip off, The Next Great Champ, to Fox Sports Net on Sunday nights at 6 after it flopped in prime time.

The show was airing at 9 Tuesdays on Fox, but ratings and reviews have just about sunk the Oscar De La Hoya-led project. At 5 p.m. Sunday, FSN will catch viewers up with a four-episode marathon of the previously aired shows. It will begin in its new, regular time slot Oct. 17.

Fox Entertainment president Gail Berman said in a statement: "Despite its local core audience, the underlying boxing theme of the series has proved too narrow for us. In the end, it belongs on an outlet better suited to serve the boxing fan."

Instant replay

With no Tampa Bay Lightning games to produce, Sunshine Network will roll out some of the greatest hits from last season, starting Oct. 26 when it televises the team's final eight wins of the playoffs.

Sunshine will show replays of the Eastern Conference and Stanley Cup finals. Some never have been seen by Lightning fans, as Sunshine will air game productions from the NHL's Canadian television partners, CBC and TSN.

Around the dial

Shaquille O'Neal's debut with Miami will air live Sunday on Sunshine, but only viewers in South Florida will be able to see it. ... Cold Pizza, ESPN2's live weekday morning show, will move to 8-10 daily beginning Monday with a repeat from 10-noon each day. ... Fox's ratings for the baseball playoff opener between the Twins and Yankees were down 24 percent from last year, but went up against the vice presidential debate from 9-10:30 p.m. ... NASCAR prerace host and lead pit reporter Bill Weber will continue to add play-by-play duties to his role while Allen Bestwick recovers from surgery for a broken left leg he sustained last week in a hockey game. ... Don King might be done with HBO, as he expressed a great deal of dissatisfaction over his camera time and the network's promotional efforts after the Ricardo Mayorga- Felix Trinidad boxing card Saturday. HBO seems pretty content to let him walk if he wishes.

© Copyright, St. Petersburg Times. All rights reserved.