tampabay.com

Remote patrol

By JOHN C. COTEY
Published September 16, 2005


CHECK IT OUT

BILLS-BUCS, 1 P.M. SUNDAY, CH. 10: The Bucs make only two appearances on CBS, which are about the only two weeks Fox ever loses in the local Sunday ratings.

COLLEGE FOOTBALL, SATURDAY NIGHT, FSN FLORIDA AND SUN SPORTS: Cable is the only place this weekend to see the top two teams in the country as Rice plays at No. 2 Texas at 8 on Sun Sports (joined in progress), followed by Arkansas at No. 1 USC at 10:30 on FSN Florida.

BOXING, 11 TONIGHT, HBO: Instead of paying 50 bucks for Saturday's should-not-be-PPV match between Marco Antonio Barrera and Robbie Peden, check out the free rebroadcast of Barrera- Erik Morales (from 2004) and Oscar De La Hoya- Shane Mosley (2000). It replays at 9 a.m. Saturday morning on HBO2.

SPORTSCENTER, 11:30 P.M. SUNDAY, ESPN: The ESPN staple will have a feature on Destiny Rhodes, who was diagnosed with a rare brain disorder when she was 18 months old that caused life-threatening seizures. At age 9, she attended her first baseball game and developed a bond with Atlanta Braves second baseman Marcus Giles. "We went from three to five seizures a day when we were in the hospital, to two days later going to the Braves game and not having a single seizure for eight months," Rosa Rhodes, Destiny's mother, said.

BAY SPORTS WITH DICK CRIPPEN, 8 TONIGHT, CATCH-47: Crippen said a piece on Yankees manager Joe Torre is so revealing about what he went through as a youth living with an abusive father that he is considering making tapes to distribute to abuse shelters in Tampa Bay. Torre has a foundation aimed at helping youngsters in abusive situations as well.

NEWSMAKERS

Sun Sports will broadcast every Lightning game this season. One of the Sun Sports games will be shown on FSN Florida because of a scheduling conflict. The coverage begins at 6:30 p.m. with the raising of the Stanley Cup banner Oct. 5 at the St. Pete Times Forum in Tampa.

Disney's family of ABC, ESPN and ESPN2 will combine to televise all 14 races of the IndyCar series schedule in 2006. The season will cover 25 weeks, as opposed to the 33 this season.

XM Satellite Radio and the NHL announced a 10-year, $100-million agreement that makes XM the exclusive satellite radio network of the league beginning with the 2007-08 season.

Barry Melrose, ESPN's lead NHL studio analyst since 1996, signed a long-term contract keeping him with the network. Melrose will be featured regularly on SportsCenter and ESPNews, and also be a contributor to ESPN2's Cold Pizza and additional studio shows. But OLN landed veteran NHL analyst Bill Clement, announcing he will serve as the host of its studio show for NHL coverage.

Dish Network has begun carrying NFL Network to its customers on Channel 154.

The Devil Rays are going bilingual, simulcasting three more games in Spanish on the new TV Informa 30. The dates of the games are Sept. 19, 20 and Oct. 2. The games are called by Ricardo Tavarez with color commentary by Marlon Mejia.

RATINGS

ESPN's season-opening telecast of Monday Night Countdown was seen in an average of 1.96-million households, making it the most-viewed Monday Night Countdown in the show's 13-year history. Fox had the best local ratings for its Bucs pregame show, Tailgate Sunday, scored a comfortable ratings win with its national studio show, trounced the Sunday competition with its Bucs-Vikings coverage and cleaned up with its Sunday night sports recap.

THE LAST WORD

"The entire offseason, the Eagles maintained that all the training camp turmoil would not be a distraction. ... I don't care what anyone says, when you can't prepare properly during the offseason because of constant disruptions, it's going to affect your performance on the field as a team. They need to win convincingly this weekend to silence the critics." - Fox NFL analyst Daryl Johnston.