tampabay.com

Remote patrol

By SHARON GINN
Published March 24, 2006


Admit it, part of the fun of tennis is watching hotheaded players chew out officials after a bad call. That is now a thing of the past. Pro tennis has jumped on the fairness bandwagon and launched an instant replay system at the Nasdaq-100 Open in Miami. Rest assured, there will still be some pouting going on: Players will each be allowed two challenges per match (with one more each in the event of a tiebreaker). Instant replay, featuring the so-called "ShotSpot" technology, will be used on both men's and women's tours and at the U.S. Open.

Keith Jackson is giving ESPN executives a chance to talk him out of retiring. Jackson, 77, told the New York Times he has made on-air mistakes, "and I hate it." He has been the voice of the Rose Bowl in recent years - including the 2006 BCS title game - after deciding, following a brief retirement in 1998, to limit himself mostly to West Coast games.

CHANNEL SURFING

ESPN Classic gets ambitious Wednesday when it airs a three-hour All-Time Greatest College Basketball Tournament, featuring the top 64 men's teams in NCAA history, as selected by a panel of experts. The virtual tournament, which starts at 8, will feature real-time voting from viewers who visit espn.com. The four top seeds are the 1984 Georgetown, 1992 Duke, 1967 UCLA and 1976 Indiana teams. Online voting for the first-round matchups has begun and continues through Wednesday.

FSN Florida will air a Devil Rays preseason special at 12:30 p.m. Saturday, hosted by Dewayne Staats and Todd Kalas. It reruns at 2:30 p.m. Sunday and 7 p.m. Thursday.

Sun Sports profiles Lightning goaltender and U.S. Olympian John Grahame in the latest installment of Inside the Lightning, which premieres at 10 p.m. Saturday after the Rangers' game at the Lightning.

RATINGS WATCH

Another week, another chance for Fox to brag about its NASCAR ratings. Despite Sunday's rainout of the Golden Corral 500, the network earned a 3.7 rating for interviews and old clips, beating national ratings for the PGA's Bay Hill Invitational (2.5 rating, NBC) and the Lakers-Cavaliers (1.7, ABC).

Of course, all three were surpassed by CBS' second-round NCAA Tournament coverage, which drew a 6.8 average rating for that time period Sunday. Overall, CBS averaged a 5.6 rating over the first four days of the tournament, down slightly from last year.

The inaugural World Baseball Classic drew relatively strong ratings, averaging a 1.1 for 12 games on ESPN, which is slightly higher than the network's 1.0 average for last year's Major League Baseball broadcasts. Ratings for the 20 games on ESPN2 averaged 0.6.