By SHARON GINN
Published September 15, 2006
CHECK IT OUT
Fox Sports' Kenny Albert and Brian Baldinger call the action when the Bucs take on division rival Atlanta at 1 p.m. Sunday. Unlike last weekend - when Tampa Bay-Baltimore didn't rate as one of CBS's top three games so it didn't get high-definition coverage - the Bucs will be in HD. Not that the designation means anything. All of Fox's games are in HD this year. This matchup will be seen in only 10 percent of the nation's markets.
- Watch what Bryant Gumbel says next on HBO's Real Sports with Bryant Gumbel, which premieres its September edition at 10 p.m. Tuesday. (Last month he got scolded by then-NFL commis-sioner Paul Tagliabue after his com-ments about players union head Gene Upshaw.) Scheduled: features on Danica Patrick and how high school linemen are looking to be 300 pounds.
- FSN Florida's Inside the Devil Rays series focuses on outfielder Damon Hollins, who at 31 last season became the second-oldest "rookie" to play for the team and has become a solid contributor (3 p.m. Saturday).
- The Bucs looked shaky, but that hasn't dulled the bay area's enthusiasm for foot-ball. The opener against Baltimore was by far the top-rated sports program of the week (26.1 rating, meaning 26.1 percent of all households tuned in). But area viewers turned out in big numbers for the regular-season debut of NBC's Sunday Night Football (18.1 rating) and NBC's coverage of Notre Dame-Penn State (7.7, the sixth-best rating among the nation's 55 metered markets).
- So far, the NFL's new lineup is a ratings winner. NBC's 14.3 national rating for Sunday night's Colts-Giants game topped every Monday Night Football opener on ABC since the debut of Dennis Miller in 2000. The game drew 22.6-million viewers. ABC's Monday night opener last year had 19.6-million viewers.
- Meantime, the debut of Monday Night Football on ESPN pulled in 9.178-million households (about 12.5-million viewers) for the Vikings-Redskins, the first game of its season-opening doubleheader. It was the second-largest audience in cable TV history behind the 11.17-million house-holds that tuned in to, of all things, CNN's telecast of a Ross Perot-Al Gore debate on NAFTA in November 1993.
HE SAID IT
"If I had the ability to put a camera in Bill Parcells' head and simply leave him in a room for 24 hours with Terrell Owens, that would be the most entertaining television in the history of the medium."
- NBC studio analyst Cris Collinsworth