Dick Vitale, finally, to call NCAA Final Four action
by Michael Hiestand, USA TODAY Sports
ESPN’s Dick Vitale is a rarity: Despite being arguably the best-known broadcaster in his sport, he’s never worked its championship action.
But during the upcoming March Madness, he will: ESPN will use him as a game analyst on the NCAA Final Four — for its international feed.
That overseas TV broadcast, going to 156 countries, will include Vitale working with play-by-play announcer Brad Nessler, on one semifinal game as well as the NCAA championship game. Jay Bilas, along with Nessler, will call the other semifinal.
Says ESPN executive vice-president John Wildhack: “In the history of ESPN, he’s one of our most-important personalities. … This is a reward and a thank you.”
Spice rack: NBC says it will begin its Olympic coverage for the Sochi 2014 Winter Olympics a day earlier than the traditional start date. Rather than beginning its prime-time broadcast with opening ceremony on Friday, NBC will open coverage on Feb. 6, 2014, with events already underway such as women’s frreestyle skiing slopestyle moguls.
NBC, which Tuesday will begin running on-air promotions for its Sochi Games, also says in 2014 it will continue what it did at the 2012 London Olympics — live-streaming the Olympic world TV feed.