TRANSCRIPT – NBC SPORTS GROUP “PRO FOOTBALL FOCUS: GRADING THE 2015 DRAFT”

APRIL 24, 2015

DAN MASONSON:  Good afternoon everybody, and welcome to today’s conference call to discuss our new show, “Pro Football Focus: Grading the 2015 Draft” which debuts this Monday April 27th at 5:30 PM ET.  Joining us on the conference call are Sunday Night Football analyst Cris Collinsworth, Sunday Night Football coordinating producer Fred Gaudelli, and Pro Football Focus’ Neil Hornsby and Steve Palazzolo.  Each of our speakers will offer a brief comment and then we’ll open it up to your questions.

CRIS COLLINSWORTH: This is obviously something new and exciting for us because we don’t cover the draft, specifically.  We’re excited to dip our toe into the water.  And we think we’ve brought a powerhouse lineup to this with Pro Football Focus that is a very unique group of guys.  It’s about 92 people in all, that will be about 130‑something people by football season a year from now, and these guys are the only people that I know of that watch every play of every game in both the NFL and the NCAA, which leads to pretty incredible insight as to the specifics of what we’re going to get in this draft.

Neil Hornsby is the guy that started this company.  He has relationships with half the NFL teams that use his data.  Currently a couple of the NCAA teams are starting to use the data as well; that gets them into game prep.  They issue 38- page scouting reports.  They have integrated film systems that allow them to look very specifically at different players.

So I think you’re going to hear a few things different than what you hear from some other draft shows.  These guys have some great insights and we’ve been studying long and hard for this draft as to some of these players and I think the order of players from our group may be a little different than some of the others and I guess at the end of the year and as we go forward into the next few years we’ll see how we do against some of the traditional views in the draft.

So NBC has been kind enough to allow us the opportunity to put on our first hopefully annual show.  We’re really excited about it.  Spent a lot of time getting ready for it and with that I’ll introduce Neil Hornsby, who is the guy that originated this group and put the whole thing together.

NEIL HORNSBY:  Hi, guys.  I think the key things that I’d like to go through at this stage is we don’t have an opportunity with the medical records of these guys.  We don’t have an opportunity to sit in with the interviews of these guys.  But what we do is we really focus on what we do well, which is production.  The production.  And we believe that is going to translate through to when these guys get into the NFL.  And what we we’ve done is we relied on those grids and that production to drive what we do.

So everything that you’re going to see is going to be pretty much different than what you’ve seen anywhere else, because we are not trying to, in any way, shape or form get us what the NFL teams are going to do.  We are going to tell you what we would do.  And that’s I think the fundamental difference.

STEVE PALAZZOLO:  I’m the senior analyst with Pro Football Focus.  I’m here to represent all the analysts that put the work into making this happen and to actually thank Neil and Cris for helping this to happen.  When I joined Pro Football Focus in 2011, definitely a dream of mine and others within the company was that we could someday be able to grade every single player in college football and every single play.  And the hard work of all the analysts over 30,000 man hours to make it happen.  It’s been a thrilling, challenging, but just amazing process now to see it ‑‑ to see all the data and see it all in front of us.  And to put it to good use in the Draft.  I’m just excited to be here and thanks to Cris and Neil for making it all happen.

FRED GAUDELLI:  The thing that really made this attractive to me, in my former life I was the producer of 12 NFL Drafts at ESPN.  And I got to work closely with Mel Kiper and other good analysts that ESPN has.  But when I found out that somebody had actually watched every single play of every single draft-eligible player, and every single game, that really piqued my interest, because to my knowledge no one had ever done that, certainly not when I was at ESPN. I don’t think anyone is making the claim now at the networks.  That piqued my interest.

And what furthered my interest, is some of the advanced metrics that PFF has come up with, whether it’s pass rushing or grading the quarterbacks, and obviously that’s a big topic this year with Jameis Winston and Marcus Mariota.  So to me, I saw a distinctive difference between what they could provide and what everyone else is doing, and hopefully you guys will see that difference on Monday night, as well.

Cris, ask about the quarterbacks, especially the Titans, do you see that being a good fit for them?  Appreciate the work you guys do, I use you regularly.

CRIS COLLINSWORTH: Marcus Mariota for me is a guy that just keeps moving up.  I don’t think I understood what Oregon was all about, and what Mariota was all about, until I really started watching the tape of him.  You tend to think of him as being sort of this borderline wishbone offense, with a lot of action stuff.

But you watch Mariota drop back in the pocket and he has movement skills and left to right vision going through his reads in a way I just didn’t expect to see.  And then when you point blank compare release times and the ability to get the football out of his hands between these two quarterbacks, Mariota is actually better and quicker with the release.  You add that to a clean history, you add that to obviously a smart guy, and somebody that you want to be the face of your franchise.

I was really big on Winston all the way through this. He looks like a Ben Roethlisberger- type player, the ability of people to bounce off him, and make plays from the packet, which I think is still the No. 1 way to win games in the National Football League.  Mariota, the more you watch him and especially when I saw the comparison of the release times that you’ll see coming up on this program, he makes a big jump in my mind.

Was it a no‑brainer for you, for [th Titans] to take Mariota?

CRIS COLLINSWORTH:  I just think the gap is so big, and if you’re thinking quarterback at all, I think you’ve got to at least consider this guy.  He’s won a lot of football games.  He doesn’t turn the ball over.  He has an occasional wildness to him, that every once in a while he’ll make one of those throws that you’ll think.  Where did that come from?  I’ve seen Brett Favre and a few of those other guys make those throws, and Tom Brady at times.

So I just think the importance of the position and where they are at this point, would I do it, I would probably do it.  At the very least I think someone is going to jump to No. 2 in the trade and get him.  You should listen to my other guys.  They’ve watched every single guy he’s played.

STEVE PALAZZOLO:  With Mariota, I second what Cris said.  I kind of came into watching every one of his throws wanting to pigeonhole him as a player.  But I think the more you watch him and you see him actually go through progressions and his staple throw is like the backside post, the backside dig route.  He does that well.  The Oregon offense helps him a lot.  I think when he transitions to the NFL you do need a coach like what happened with RG III, and Colin Kaepernick in his case in 2012, you want a coach that is going to play to their strengths.

Mariota does a lot of NFL things in the pocket.  He’s not just a runaround and make plays type of guy.  He does have that to him.  He’s a dynamic runner, sometimes he gets in trouble with it, he tries to get a little too much and fumbles.  But he does take care of the ball pretty well, hasn’t thrown a lot of interceptions.  The way we grade it, we’re looking at where the actual throw went, not if it was intercepted or not.  We’re looking at the quality of the throw.  He protects the ball for the most part as a passer.  You have to play to his strengths.  Let him run the ball a little bit, work off of play action, and I think he could be a pretty good QB.

It’s been fun going back.  We have only 2014 data.  I had to go back and look at Winston and Mariota in 2013 to see the comparison.  And there’s a lot of interesting stuff that we found and interesting stuff that we’re going to be talking about Monday night.

CRIS COLLINSWORTH:  Steve, just tell him a little bit about your 2013 findings on Winston.  You really think that he’s going to be the No. 1 pick more based on ‘13 than ‘14, right?

STEVE PALAZZOLO:  I had to go back and watch 2013, because during this entire draft process, I’m asking ‘How is Jameis Winston a lock for the No. 1 overall pick?’ That’s all I’m hearing, he’s a lock.  He did not play like that last season.  It didn’t show in our grade.  It didn’t show in his statistics.  Definitely took too many chances.  He did not look like a first-round quarterback.  I had obviously seen his 2013 as a fan or in passing, and remembered it as being very good.  But when I went back on a throw‑by‑throw basis, I was blown away with how good he was, especially early.  The first seven or eight games he was off the chart, unbelievable quarterback play.  When I went back and graded it, his 2013 was by far the best graded ‑‑ would have been the best graded season this year amongst quarterbacks.  It wasn’t even close.

So now I went back and revisited and said, okay, he took a big step back in 2014.  He was off the charts in 2013.  If I’m looking at No. 1, I’m okay with saying I’ve seen the talent, I’ve seen that upside.  I’m going to take a chance on him, because I’ve seen what he’s able to do, a little bit of Eli Manning in him, where he’s had good seasons, bad seasons.  I think that’s actually worth taking a risk on, because the good can be really, really good.

I’m interested in the receiver class.  For you, Cris, obviously you kind of were there for last year, your thought about the prospects this year versus the breakout group we had last year.  And I’m kind of interested mostly beyond Parker, White and Cooper, guys like Perriman, et cetera, your thoughts on them, if you have some ‑‑ maybe if you have some wisdom on that.

CRIS COLLINSWORTH:  I’ve got to tell you I’ve watched receiver classes for a long time.  And yes, the one last year was very good.  I think this has a chance to be the best draft class that certainly I’ve ever seen since I’ve been studying it for however long that’s been ‑‑ too long, I guess.

But there are guys up and down the board, if someone is going to hit, if Dorial Green‑Beckham ends up being able to keep himself straight and a player, Breshad Perriman from Central Florida can play at a 4.2 level, which apparently he ran at his pro day.  I typically go through what I think are the first two rounds, guys, and then how they fall after that, I’ll rely on Neil and Steve to tell me all about them.

I couldn’t believe how many receivers I watched and thought they were first-round times.  I got down to about 11 players that I thought had first-round ability.  And sort of the sad part about this is that I think you’re going to see in this draft really top end players fall to the second round because teams are going to say I’m going to take an offensive tackle or a pass rusher in the first round, because this draft is so deep in receiver, even in the second round I’m going to get a great player, and there are some really good ones.  You’ll go down the list and these guys will take you through it and I agree the top three are going to be talked about.

If I had to pick two wild cards out of the thing, I think Nelson Agholor from USC has a chance.  If he plays with Peyton Manning or Tom Brady he’ll have a hundred catches.  He’s as good a catch and run guy, as tough a guy as I’ve seen.  And Phillip Dorsett out of Miami can run by pro corners.  He has a burst and he has speed unlike ‑‑ you just don’t see it on tape like this.  And then he showed a tough guy edge during the program, as well.  These are some guys that I think are really going to be outstanding players, and I’m really excited to watch this wide receiver class.

NEIL HORNSBY:  We were talking about what Cris is saying about the receiver class.  The Baltimore Ravens want to take a wide receiver, they have only got Steve Smith left.  And Devin Smith, everybody has talked about Torrey Smith ‑‑ if you need a guy to adjust to a thrown ball, who better than Devin Smith?  Torrey Smith this year had 13 catchable balls, he actually dropped 5.

Devin Smith, with 18 catchable balls, he dropped one.  This guy is a flying machine, and he adjusts to the ball, the totally thrown ball as well as anybody.  And I think he could easily surpass a number of the players that may have been slated to go higher than him.

STEVE PALAZZOLO:  Just to add to what they have said, I love the wide receiver class as well.  Each of these wide receivers seem to bring a little bit something different to the table.  Cris mentioned Agholor, we’re really high on him.  Jaelen Strong is a guy that doesn’t do everything well, but probably goes up and he’s as well as anybody.  Dorial Green‑Beckham does the same.  Perriman is just an interesting case because he played with such core.

Quarterback play, love Devin Smith.  When we were going through our mock draft which is what are we going to do, what would we do as PFF if we’re in the room making these decisions?  We had a hard time keeping a lot of wide receivers out of the first round.  We kept coming back to, well, here is a wide receiver on the board.  Having these wide receiver classes, as good as they are, potentially really a game changer for the league, where I think it’s going to help mask some average QB play over the next few years, if a lot of these guys pan out.

Cris and Steve both mentioned Dorial Green‑Beckham.  If the off‑the‑field stuff wasn’t there is he a top‑10 or better, in your opinion?

CRIS COLLINSWORTH:  Yeah, probably so, even though there are so many other talented guys, I mean you just couldn’t ‑‑ I can’t help but think of Randy Moss a little bit.  He’s nowhere close to Randy Moss’ speed, but it’s that same sort of decision, if you can remember like Jerry Jones backing off of Randy Moss.  And I think for the rest of his life he always wondered sort of what if I had taken him in that position, because the off‑the‑field stuff and all that.  Dez Bryant had off‑the‑field stuff and look at what he’s turned into.  It’s going to be a really interesting decision.

And I’ve got to tell you, I can’t put these guys in order.  There’s almost no order that somebody could come up with that I would go, that’s just foolish.  I personally think Kevin White is the best receiver in this class, kind of a Julio Jones kind of looking guy.  But it wouldn’t surprise me if we had a couple, three guys in the Pro Bowl out of this rookie class next year.

In terms of the 49ers, I wanted to get your assessment on their wide receivers.  They’ve got a hole to fill after this off season.  But wide receivers seem to be a perennial with them.  Just kind of your assessment on the receiving part and why it’s so hard to draft someone?

CRIS COLLINSWORTH:  They also had Joe Montana and Steve Youngs of the world, too, you know.  Hand in hand and some guy named Bill Walsh, too.  So I’m really going to be interested in seeing what new offensive is going to look like.  Because you certainly ‑‑ you’ve got Colin Kaepernick in this case with a unique skill set.  He’s been working with Kurt Warner and some of the guys to tighten up the motion.  I thought he had a few accuracy issues a year ago.  But do you then go out and get some of these guys that may be able to play.  Jaelen Strong, Breshad Perriman, Kevin White, somebody that can go up and make plays, where everything doesn’t have to be pinpoint accurate, in order for it to be effective.

But if you were going to take a chance on a wide receiver class, and I wouldn’t be surprised if some team that needed wide receivers took two.  Took one in the first round and took one in the second round.  Because you could sort of set yourself up for a number of years, between that position and some of the pass rushers that are in this draft, to really be set with some star players.  But I do think there will be a couple of teams thinking we could take one in the first round and maybe get one even better in the second round, depending on how they come out.

What’s the deal with Chris Conley?  Why is he not coming on board?  Looking at all these wide receivers, Chris Conley’s name is usually down there a little bit.  Why isn’t he higher on the board?

STEVE PALAZZOLO:  We didn’t really have him graded amongst the best.  He only played a little over 600 snaps.  I think ‑‑ his rise really happened in February in the Combine.  I think that’s where he really made his rise.  And again, we’re going ‑‑ personally we’re looking at production, and how well they played on the field.  We try to stay away from a lot of the measurable stuff.  I know he’s an intriguing guy because he’s so big and so athletic.  And to me a big part of it is just how deep the class is.

We have, as Cris said, 10, 11, 15 guys that are legit, top‑round talent.  He’s a good player, probably gets lost in the mix and probably gets overrated a little bit because of that athleticism.

Just wonder specifically about the Texans.  Last year they had the No. 1 overall pick.  And in 2013 they went 2-14 and really had ‑‑ seemed like only had three players left on their roster from that entire draft.

Cris, for you and the other guys, if you’re looking at this big picture, whether you’re the Patriots or Baltimore or the Texans, how important is for you to find value when you have an opportunity, not to “blow it” and can the draft really be a separating factor between the teams that annually figure out and some of the ones that don’t, like maybe Jacksonville or Tennessee, Tampa Bay, Cleveland, always seem to be at the bottom tier of the league.

CRIS COLLINSWORTH:  I think if you look at the playoffs, it’s basically the same quarterbacks that are in the playoffs every single year.  Until you get that position figured out I don’t know that a lot else matters.  Can one of these guys step up and be that level of quarterback?  I would have to see that in order for it to happen.  And then you have to ask yourself, ‘Okay, how much ‑‑ if you’re not going to be a quarterback‑driven team — are you really going to spend that much capital on wide receivers, when you could probably, in the second or third round, get a guy that sort of fits the need?’  And then go ahead and add somebody and all the guys you have playing on defense, and try to be the Baltimore Ravens or somebody, and win it that way.

I’ve heard a lot of coaches over the years say that they tend to build on one side of the ball or the other.  That if you’re mediocre or average on both sides of the ball you lose a lot of football games.  So I think you’ll see some teams that build the defense, some teams that build the offense.  And I know it’s not exciting to think about.  But I’m not so sure that this franchise shouldn’t be built around some of the players they’ve got on the defensive side.

Cris, I was going to ask you about rankings over receivers, but you said it would be awfully difficult.  I was wondering if you thought the Dolphins move from Wallace and Hartline to Greg Jennings and Kenny Stills as a wash, an upgrade, a downgrade?

CRIS COLLINSWORTH:  I don’t know.  The hard thing with Greg is you almost have to see him year to year at this age.  Stills can play, I don’t worry about that.  I like this offense.  We didn’t get to do one of their games this year, but I like a lot of the stuff that they do.  There’s not Philadelphia stuff in there, and there’s some things that I really like, and the mobility of the offensive line, getting Pouncey I back to center is going to help this team, obviously.

Do I think they could still upgrade the wide receiver position this year?  Yeah, I think they’re still going to end up needing a guy that’s a consistent playmaker.  And for them maybe it’s one of these guys that goes up over the top, one of the guys that really shows the ability.  There’s some big guys that make plays, Perriman is the guy, Parker, White, Strong, Larry Fitzgerald kind of players, where then they’ve got others that are smaller, the Devin Smiths, the Dorsetts that are smaller, quicker kind of guys, Beckham, there’s a lot of free offense that comes from ‑‑ back in my day, you had to get open to get the ball thrown to you.  You had to have a step on somebody.

The way they play now, in sort of the post Larry Fitzgerald when he came in the league, as long as they’re one‑on‑one, just throw it.  Let these guys go up and make a play.  Let them just jump up over somebody, and you have to think that maybe that frees you up a little bit.  It gives you a deep threat without having to run by somebody all the time.  And it’s always easy to say give me at 4.3 guy, but there is an alternative with the way the game is being played now, and that’s why I think you’ll see such a big run on these receivers, because there’s about five of them up here that just play above the rest.

You have another receivers question.  Talk about the depth of last year’s last class and this year’s class.  My question is, why is this happening?  What are the changes at the college game or whatever, that are yielding all these top prospects for the NFL?

CRIS COLLINSWORTH:  You know, you want to address maybe that one, or maybe it’s more about the decline of the running back position, and kids want to play there instead of some of the other positions.

NEIL HORNSBY:  I think the other thing is just the personnel in the NFL league is the three receiver package.  And that’s why these kids are going to get a chance.  When you look at teams they’re now looking at saying, well, maybe two receivers, no I want three receivers.  I want to be able to give my guy options all over.  We see great guys coming through.  Don’t be surprised to see four or five teams in the NFL playing three very, very good receivers and 11 personnel.

CRIS COLLINSWORTH:  Could we switch over a bit?  Neil Hornsby has done some pretty remarkable things on the pass rushers coming out in this draft.  And the depth of the data that Pro Football Focus can put forth on defensive players and individual players in the pass rush and these sort of things. Neil can you do a little bit of that for everybody?

NEIL HORNSBY:  Sure.  So one of the things about pass rushers that always used to be interesting was that a pass rusher was judged by the number of sacks they got, and that was pretty much it.  People started adding in things like hits.  You started to realize that actual pressure on the quarterback is probably one of the most important things.  You don’t just have to sack him.  If you can put pressure on the quarterbacks statistically, they go down from a 97 NFL rating in the pocket to a 65 NFL rating outside (with pressure on them) ‑‑ and that’s the equivalent of turning Tom Brady into Blake Bortles on every single play that you’re doing.

Getting pressure on the quarterback is the most important thing.  Sacks are great.  Nobody is going to stay there and get sacked, statistically, a very small portion of the picture.  But then you come in and you say, well, okay, so not all sacks are created equal.  It was the difference between getting the sack in 2.5 seconds, or 4.5.  Then you go on and you say, not every pass rushing situation is created equal.  So there’s a difference between a guy who comes in and rushes the passer the third or fourth down, when they don’t have to concern themselves about a run, and somebody who is having to rush on first and second downs, as well.  What we’ve managed to do because we have all that data is to be able to take it on a play‑by‑play basis, the actual opportunity to get pressure, and how much pressure was of use.

So we’ve been able to work with a number of NFL teams to come up with new metrics on passer productivity.  We considered every single metric that we can, and we’ve brought it in.  And then we’ve taken the NCAA level and looked and said, okay, so in order, here’s was a guy, you know, it was always willing to be an example where the guy comes inside.

So what our system did is we can look up pass rushing productivity from both positions on the level playing field, and we’ve been able to work with a number of NFL teams giving them this data to help them to make better decisions in both free agency and the draft.

CRIS COLLINSWORTH:  It helps you compare a Jordan Phillips and a Danny Shelton to a Leonard Williams and a Dante Fowler and a Randy Gregory, right?

NEIL HORNSBY:  That’s exactly what it does.

 

NBC SPORTS GROUP’S PRESS PASS – WHAT TO WATCH APRIL 24, 2015 – APRIL 26, 2015

(All times ET)

The “Press Pass” on NBC Sports Group Press Box is a quick overview of upcoming program information and highlights from the NBC Sports Group Communications team.

For live streaming information on NBC Sports Live Extra, and Golf Channel Live Extraclick here.

 

Friday, April 24

6 p.m. on Golf Channel – LPGA Tour: Swinging Skirts LPGA Classic

6:30 p.m. on NBCSN – NHL Live

7 p.m. on NBCSN – NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs Game 5 – (4) Pittsburgh at (1) N.Y. Rangers

7 p.m. on CNBC – NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs Game 5 – (4) Ottawa at (1) Montreal

9:30 p.m. on NBCSN – NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs Game 5 – (4) Minnesota at (1) St. Louis

Saturday, April 25

1 a.m. on NBCSN – Mecum Auctions Kansas City

6 a.m. on NBCSN – Barclays Premier League Preview

6 a.m. on Golf Channel – European Tour: Volvo China Open

7 a.m. on NBCSN – Premier League Live

7:45 a.m. on NBCSN – Premier League: Southampton v. Tottenham

10 a.m. on NBCSN – Premier League: Burnley v. Leicester City

10 a.m. on Premier League Extra TimeWest Brom v. Liverpool

10 a.m. on Premier League Extra TimeQueens Park Rangers v. West Ham

10 a.m. on Premier League Extra TimeNewcastle v. Swansea City

10 a.m. on Premier League Extra TimeCrystal Palace v. Hull City

10 a.m. on Premier League Extra TimeStoke City v. Sunderland

12:30 p.m. on NBC – Premier League:  Manchester City v. Aston Villa

12:30 p.m. on NBCSN – U.S. Track and Field Penn Relays

1 p.m. on Golf Channel – PGA Tour: Zurich Classic of New Orleans

2:30 p.m. on NBC – Premier League Goal Zone

3 p.m. on NBC – NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs Game 6 – (2) Washington at (3) N.Y. Islanders

3 p.m. on NBCSN – U.S. Track and Field Drake Relays

3 p.m. on Golf Channel – Champions Tour: Bass Pro Shops Legends of Golf at Big Cedar Lodge

5 p.m. on NBCSN – Mecum Auctions Kansas City

6 p.m. on NBCSN – NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs Game 5 – (3) Detroit at (2) Tampa Bay

6 p.m. on Golf Channel – LPGA Tour: Swinging Skirts LPGA Classic

8 p.m. on NBC – NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs Game 6 – (2) Nashville at (3) Chicago

9 p.m. on NBCSN – NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs Game 6 – (2) Vancouver at (3) Calgary

Sunday, April 26

2 a.m. on NBCSN – IndyCar Grand Prix of Alabama Qualifying

6 a.m. on Golf Channel – European Tour: Volvo China Open

6:30 a.m. on NBCSN – Premier League Match of the Day

7:30 a.m. on NBCSN – Premier League Live

8:30 a.m. on NBCSN – Premier League: Everton v. Manchester United

11 a.m. on NBCSN – Premier League: Arsenal v. Chelsea

1 p.m. on NBCSN – Premier League Goal Zone

1 p.m. on Golf Channel – PGA Tour: Zurich Classic of New Orleans

2 p.m. on NBC – Laureus World Sports Awards

2 p.m. on NBCSN – Premier League Download

3 p.m. on NBC – NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs TBD

3 p.m. on NBCSN – IndyCar Grand Prix of Alabama

3 p.m. on Golf Channel – Champions Tour: Bass Pro Shops Legends of Golf at Big Cedar Lodge

6 p.m. on Golf Channel – LPGA Tour: Swinging Skirts LPGA Classic

TBD on NBCSN – NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs

 

NHL STANLEY CUP PLAYOFFS

NBC Sports Group’s weekend coverage of the NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs begins on NBCSN tonight at 6:30 p.m. ET, with NHL Live, followed by the New York Rangers hosting the Pittsburgh Penguins. Coverage continues on NBCSN when the Minnesota Wild host the St. Louis Blues at 9:30 p.m. ET. CNBC’s coverage of Ottawa at Montreal begins at 7 p.m. ET.

Gord Miller and Pierre McGuire call Pittsburgh vs. N.Y. Rangers; Dave Strader and Brian Engblom are on site in St. Louis; and Paul Romanuk, Mike Johnson, Glenn Healy and David Amber cover the Ottawa vs. Montreal game.

Coverage continues Saturday on NBC at 3 p.m. ET, when the Washington Capitals face the New York Islanders. NBC’s coverage of the NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs continues in primetime with Game 6 of the Nashville-Chicago series at 8 p.m. ET. NBCSN’s coverage begins at 6 p.m. ET with Tampa Bay hosting Detroit, followed by the Vancouver Canucks at Calgary Flames at 9 p.m. ET.

Chris Cuthbert and Joe Micheletti call the action in New York for Washington-N.Y. Islanders; Mike ‘Doc’ Emrick, Pierre McGuire and Eddie Olczyk handle coverage from Chicago; John Forslund and Andy Brickley are on site from Tampa Bay; and Jim Hughson, Craig Simpson and Scott Oake have the call in Calgary.

Sunday’s NHL Stanley Cup Playoff schedule will be determined after tonight’s games.

 

PREMIER LEAGUE

NBC Sports Group’s weekend Premier League coverage begins Saturday at 6 a.m. ET on NBCSN with Barclays Premier League Preview, followed by Premier League Live at 7 a.m. ET. Live match coverage begins at 7:45 a.m. ET on NBCSN with Southampton v. Tottenham, followed by Burnley v. Leicester City at 10 a.m. ET. Coverage of West Brom v. Liverpool, Queens Park Rangers v. West Ham, Newcastle v. Swansea City, Crystal Palace v. Hull City and Stoke City v. Sunderland will air on Premier League Extra Time at 10 a.m. ET. Saturday’s live match coverage wraps up with Manchester City v. Aston Villa at 12:30 p.m. ET on NBC, immediately followed by NBC’s Premier League post-game show, Premier League Goal Zone.

NBC Sports Group’s lead Premier League play-by-play announcer Arlo White calls Manchester City v. Aston Villa, joined by Lee Dixon at Etihad Stadium.

Sunday’s Premier League coverage begins at 7:30 a.m. ET with Premier League Live, followed by Everton V. Manchester United at 8:30 a.m. ET, and Arsenal v. Chelsea at 11 a.m. ET.

White calls the second-place Arsenal v. first-place Chelsea match, joined by analyst Lee Dixon at Emirates Stadium. Calling Everton v. Manchester United will be Steve Bower, joined by former Manchester United and Everton player Phil Neville at Goodison Park.

 

Below is a full list of match commentators for this weekend’s Premier League coverage:

Saturday, April 25

7:45 a.m. on NBCSN – Southampton v. Tottenham, commentated by Bill Leslie and Kevin Kilbane

10 a.m. on NBCSN – Burnley v. Leicester City, commentated by Gary Weaver and Garry Birtles

10 a.m. on Premier League Extra Time – West Brom v. Liverpool, commentated by Ian Crocker and Dean Sturridge

10 a.m. on Premier League Extra Time – Queens Park Rangers v. West Ham, commentated by Tony Jones and Tony Gale

10 a.m. on Premier League Extra Time – Newcastle v. Swansea City, commentated by Phil Blacker and Davie Provan

10 a.m. on Premier League Extra Time – Crystal Palace v. Hull City, commentated by Gary Taphouse and Efan Ekoku

10 a.m. on Premier League Extra Time – Stoke City v. Sunderland, commentated by Joe Speight and Andy Walker

12:30 p.m. on NBC – Manchester City v. Aston Villa, commentated by Arlo White and Lee Dixon

Sunday, April 26

8:30 a.m. on NBCSN – Everton v. Manchester United, commentated by Steve Bower and Phil Neville

11 a.m. on NBCSN – Arsenal v. Chelsea, commentated by Arlo White and Lee Dixon

 

All matches will be preceded and followed by Premier League Live pre- and post-match shows. Rebecca Lowe hosts Premier League Live, alongside Kyle Martino and Robbie Mustoe from NBC Sports Group’s International Broadcast Center in Stamford, Conn.

In addition to live match coverage, NBCSN presents Premier League Download: Pundits at the Pub this Saturday at 2 p.m. ET. The new Premier League Download episode, shot during NBC Sports Group’s full on-site studio coverage from the U.K., features Lowe, Martino, Mustoe, and analyst Robbie Earle with NBC’s UK-based team of White, Dixon, Bower and Graeme Le Saux. The team’s discussion covers everything from English clubs’ recent struggles in European competition to the lost art of defending.

 

GOLF

Golf Channel presents coverage of the PGA Tour’s Zurich Classic of New Orleans this weekend, beginning Saturday and Sunday at 1 p.m. ET.

Rich Lerner (play-by-play) and Nick Faldo (analyst) host coverage from TPC Louisiana in Avondale, La. Joining Lerner and Faldo are Jim Gallagher Jr. (tower), Matt Gogel (on-course) and Steve Burkowski (interviews).

Golf Channel’s weekend live tournament coverage also includes the Swinging Skirts LPGA Classic. Coverage begins tonight at 6 p.m. ET, and continues Saturday and Sunday at 6 p.m. ET.

Terry Gannon leads Golf Channel’s team from the Lake Merced Golf Club in San Francisco, Calif. Joining Gannon will be Kay Cockerill (analyst), Tom Abbott (tower), and Jerry Foltz and Karen Stupples (on-course).

Golf Channel’s live tournament coverage continues with the Champions Tour’s Bass Pro Shops Legends of Golf at Big Cedar Lodge, beginning Saturday at 3 p.m. ET, and continuing Sunday at 3 p.m. ET.

Calling the action from Buffalo Ridge at the Top of the Rock in Ridgedale, Mo. will be Bob Papa (play-by-play), Lanny Wadkins (analyst), John Mahaffey and David Marr (tower) and Jim Gallagher Jr. (on-course).

In addition to the PGA Tour, LPGA and Champions Tour events, Golf Channel presents coverage of the European Tour’s Volvo China Open. Saturday and Sunday’s coverage begins at 6 a.m. ET.

Scott Walker hosts coverage from Golf Channel’s studio in Orlando, Fla., joined by Dougie Donnelly (play-by-play), Warren Humphreys (analyst) and Julian Tutt  (on course).

 

INDYCAR GRAND PRIX OF ALABAMA

NBCSN’s presentation of the 2015 Verizon IndyCar Series continues this Sunday at 3 p.m. ET with the Grand Prix of Alabama. In addition, NBCSN will televise qualifying coverage on Sunday morning at 2 a.m. ET.

NBC Sports Group lead IndyCar play-by-play voice Leigh Diffey will call the Grand Prix of Alabama, alongside F1 analyst Steve Matchett, and current driver and analyst Townsend Bell, who recently announced he will be competing in his ninth-career Indianapolis 500 next month. Robin Miller, Marty Snider, Kevin Lee and Kelli Stavast will handle pit reporting duties.

 

MECUM AUCTIONS

NBC Sports Group’s Mecum Auctions coverage continues this weekend with highlights from its Kansas City auction, beginning Saturday at 1 a.m. ET, and continuing at 5 p.m. ET.

NBC Sports Group’s Mecum Auctions telecast team of Scott Hoke, John Kraman, Stephen Cox, and reporter Bill Stephens will call the action. Rutledge Wood will also contribute to this weekend’s Mecum Auctions coverage.

 

TRACK AND FIELD

This weekend NBCSN presents 4.5 hours of live track & field coverage. Coverage begins Saturday at 12:30 p.m. ET with the USA Track and Field Penn Relays, immediately followed by Drake Relays at 3 p.m. ET.

Paul Bumeister hosts coverage of the Penn Relays, joined by Dan O’Brien, Lauryn Williams and Carolyn Manno at Franklin Field in Philadelphia, Pa.

Todd Harris handles the call for the Drake Relays from Des Moines, Iowa, joined by four-time Olympic medalist Ato Boldon, Lewis Johnson, and Paul Swangard.

 

COMCAST SPORTSNET & CSNCHICAGO.COM TO PROVIDE EXTENSIVE, WEEK-LONG COVERAGE OF THE 2015 NFL DRAFT

Draft coverage begins with the “SportsNet Central: AT&T Road to the Draft” preview show, airing this Sunday, April 26 at 10:30 PM CT!

Chicago, IL (April 24, 2015) – Comcast SportsNet, the television and online home for the most in-depth Chicago Bears coverage all year long, is ready to deliver extensive coverage of next week’s 2015 NFL Draft (to be held in Chicago for the first time since 1964), highlighted by a pair of half-hour SportsNet Central NFL Draft specials, nightly reports on SportsNet Central, extensive Round 1 draft night coverage (including a remote edition of SportsTalk Live from Tavern at the Park in downtown Chicago & a 90-minute Bears Draft Special to air on CSN+), along with 24/7 NFL Draft coverage on CSNChicago.com.  Please note Comcast SportsNet and CSNChicago.com’s 2015 NFL Draft coverage schedule beginning this Sunday, April 26:

SUNDAY, APRIL 26

10:30 PM – SportsNet Central: AT&T U-verse Road to the DraftThis half-hour NFL Draft preview show, hosted by Chris Boden (@CSNBoden), along with Bears Pre/Postgame Live analyst Jim Miller (@15miller) and SportsNet Central NFL expert Dave Wannstedt, will provide a detailed recap of the Bears off-season, which included the hiring of new Bears GM Ryan Pace and new Head Coach John Fox, interviews with Bears players/coaches/front office execs, along Miller and Wannstedt providing their expert thoughts on which areas the team needs to improve upon and which potentially available players can fill those spots with on-field success.

MONDAY, APRIL 27 – WEDNESDAY, APRIL 29

10:30 PM – GMC SportsNet Central Chris Boden, Jim Miller, and Dave Wannstedt will continue to provide nightly reports on the latest NFL Draft news and rumors leading up to Round 1 of the NFL Draft on Thursday.

THURSDAY, APRIL 30 – NFL DRAFT DAY COVERAGE presented by MILLER LITE

5:30 PM – SportsTalk Live presented by The Chevy Silverado – Host David Kaplan (@thekapman) and a panel of Bears/NFL experts will set the table for a full night of comprehensive NFL Draft coverage with a special remote edition of SportsTalk Live to be held at Tavern in the Park in downtown Chicago’s Millennium Park.

6:30 PM – SportsNet Central presented by Comcast Business – Kip Lewis (@csnkiplewis), along with Dave Wannstedt and former Bears director of college scouting/current National Football Post columnist Greg Gabriel (@greggabe), will provide the latest draft updates, player analysis, and preview all Bears potential first round (#7 overall) candidates.  In addition, SportsNet Central’s Bears beat reporter Jen Lada (@JenLada) will provide live updates from the Draft (being held at the Auditorium Theatre of Roosevelt University), along with additional reports from Halas Hall via Chris Boden and CSNChicago.com’s Bears “Insider” John ‘Moon’ Mullin (@CSNMoonMullin).

7:30 PM – BEARS DRAFT CENTRAL brought to you by Miller Lite  (NOTE: This Chicago Bears-produced special will air on CSN+; viewers are urged to visit CSNChicago.com’s CHANNEL FINDER  for the exact CSN+ channel location in their area) (TO ALSO BE STREAMED LIVE ON CSNChicago.com and ChicagoBears.com) – Chris Boden, along with “Bears Pre/Postgame Live” analyst Dan Jiggetts and ChicagoBears.com’s Larry Mayer, will host a 90-minute, comprehensive Bears/NFL Draft night special LIVE FROM HALAS HALL featuring detailed pick-by-pick analysis, live press conference coverage featuring Bears GM Ryan Pace and Head Coach John Fox, a live interview with the Bears #1 pick from the Bears Draft Party in Millennium Park, and much more.

10:30 PM – GMC SportsNet CentralComplete Round 1 NFL Draft recap featuring up-to-the-minute player and team news, interviews, and analysis via Kip Lewis, Dave Wannstedt, Greg Gabriel, Jen Lada, Chris Boden and John ‘Moon’ Mullin, along with a look ahead at the potential Bears picks on Friday (Rounds 2-3) and Saturday (Rounds 4-7).

FRIDAY, MAY 1 – SATURDAY, MAY 2

10:30 PM – GMC SportsNet Central Complete coverage of Rounds 2-7 over the weekend featuring detailed analysis of every Bears draft pick, along player highlights, interviews, and more.

SUNDAY, MAY 3

10:30 PM – SportsNet Central: Draft Special Chris Boden, along with Bears Pre/Postgame Live analyst Jim Miller and SportsNet Central NFL expert Dave Wannstedt, will assess the entire draft from both a Bears and overall league perspective.  The show will also feature interviews with Bears management with their reflections on the draft.

In addition to the extensive coverage on Comcast SportsNet, viewers are urged to visit CSNChicago.com for even more comprehensive 24/7 NFL Draft coverage (presented by AT&T U-verse), including the following highlights:

  • For a deeper look at potential NFL draftees, fans need to check out CSNChicago.com’s comprehensive “Road to the Draft”  section (presented by AT&T U-verse), featuring over 200 extensive player draft profiles, including video analysis for players projected to go in the first two rounds provided by NBC Sports and Rotoworld NFL Draft analyst Josh Norris.
  • In addition, CSNChicago.com’s “Road to the Draft” section will be the home for everything NFL Draft-related throughout the week, including instant reaction and analysis during the draft with updated profiles, an up-close look on how the draft affects the Bears rivals in the NFC North, along with a detailed draft overview of the entire NFL.
  • Bears “Insider” John ‘Moon’ Mullin (@CSNMoonMullin) will file daily reports leading up to and throughout the 2015 NFL Draft from Halas Hall, featuring the latest news and on-camera reports.  Plus, CSNChicago.com Bears digital reporter Scott Krinch (@scottiekrinch) will be covering the Draft from Roosevelt University and will provide a number of “digital exclusives,” including coverage of the “NFL Draft Gold Carpet” event on Thursday night.
  • Fans can chat NFL Draft and potential Bears moves by utilizing the Twitter hashtag #BearsTalk and by visiting the “Bears Pulse” page at CSNChicago.com.  For 24/7 Bears/NFL Draft updates on Twitter, fans are urged to follow @CSNBears.
  • CSNChicago.com will profile numerous mock drafts from a number of CSN anchors and reporters.
  • CSNChicago.com will work closely with NBC Sports and “Pro Football Talk” throughout the week for additional nationally-based NFL Draft content.

Comcast SportsNet Chicago, a partnership between the Chicago Blackhawks (NHL), Chicago Bulls (NBA), Chicago Cubs (MLB), Chicago White Sox (MLB) and the NBC Sports Group, features over 275 live pro games in high definition each year.  In addition, CSN delivers extensive pre/post-game coverage for its core pro team partners, as well as the Chicago Bears, along with Emmy Award-winning regional sports news and analysis via SportsNet Central and SportsTalk Live.  Through the network’s growing digital platform, CSNChicago.com, Chicago sports fans tap into the most comprehensive and dedicated 24/7 online destination for breaking news, up-to-the-minute game previews/recaps, highlights, multimedia video clips, blogs and standout coverage from CSNChicago.com’s team of “Insiders.”  Follow the network on Twitter via @CSNChicago.

NBC Sports Regional Networks, part of the NBC Sports Group, consist of 11 regional networks that deliver more than 2,400 live sporting events annually, along with award-winning breaking news, comprehensive analysis, digital content and original programming to more than 43 million homes. The NBC Sports Regional Networks are: Comcast SportsNet Bay Area, Comcast SportsNet California, Comcast SportsNet Chicago, Comcast SportsNet Mid-Atlantic, which serves Baltimore and Washington D.C., Comcast SportsNet New England, Comcast SportsNet Northwest, The Comcast Network, Comcast SportsNet Philadelphia and SportsNet New York. For more information, visit ComcastSportsNet.com. For more information about NBC Sports Group properties, including press releases, photos, talent and executive bios and headshots, please visit NBCSportsGroupPressBox.com

 ####

FOX Sports 1 Presents First Ever U.S. OPEN MEDIA DAY SPECIAL

fox-sports-1-logoHour-Long Program Previews 115th U.S. Open at Chambers Bay

Joe Buck, Greg Norman, Holly Sonders and Brad Faxon Host

New York – With the U.S. Open Championship just around the corner, FOX Sports presents U.S. OPEN MEDIA DAY SPECIAL, a one-hour showcase previewing the 115th U.S. Open Championship. Originating from the United States Golf Association’s Media Day at Chambers Bay, the program, recorded earlier in the day, airs in primetime Monday, April 27, (9:30 PM ET) on FOX Sports 1.

Hosted by Holly Sonders and Joe Buck, with insights and special features from analysts Greg Norman and Brad Faxon, the special also includes sit-down interviews with USGA Executive Director Mike Davis and President Tom O’Toole Jr., who provide a comprehensive preview of our country’s national championship.

“We are excited to present the first ever U.S. Open Media Day show,” said Bill Richards, senior vice president of FOX Sports production. “Chambers Bay is one of the most unique courses in the country, and we look to capture those iconic images for viewers and bring a one of a kind behind-the-scenes look at the preparation for golf’s greatest championship event.”

Course architect Robert Trent Jones Jr. also joins the show, providing a detailed look at the course layout and challenging links design. Reigning U.S. Open champion Martin Kaymer appears via satellite, sharing insights on his championship experience and what he expects from this year’s venue. Norman and Faxon walk viewers through each hole, offering analysis on particular points of interest and spots that could spell trouble for competitors during championship week.

U.S. OPEN MEDIA DAY SPECIAL also showcases the innovative technology which FOX Sports expects to integrate into the U.S. Open telecast. Featuring never-before-seen enhancements, such as augmented reality graphics illustrating the contours of greens as well as wind speed and direction, in addition to drone fly-overs and 4k Flex technology that brings super slow motion shots and drop down robotic cameras for unique angles throughout the course, FOX Sports promises a golf broadcast with new and distinct perspectives.

FOX Sports’ coverage of the 2015 U.S. Open begins Thursday, June 18, at 12:00 PM ET on FOX Sports 1, culminating with the final round Sunday, June 21, at 2:00 PM ET on FOX.

– FOX SPORTS-

MetroPCS Friday Night Knockout on truTV to Debut Friday, May 1, at 10 p.m. ET

tru-tvNew Primetime Series to Include First-Ever Use of “Spidercam” for Live Boxing Telecast

Kevin Kugler to Provide Play-by-Play with World Class Welterweight

Timothy Bradley & Reporter Crystina Poncher

truTV and Top Rank will partner to exclusively present the MetroPCS Friday Night Knockout on truTV, a live primetime boxing series set to debut Friday, May 1, at 10 p.m. ET.  The new boxing series, in association with Turner Sports and HBO Sports, will launch on the eve of the Floyd Mayweather vs. Manny Pacquiao pay-per-view fight with a card featuring two title bouts inside The Chelsea at The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas.

The network’s presentation will feature the first-ever domestic use of “Spidercam” technology for a live boxing telecast, providing dynamic coverage of this new series.  “Spidercam” operates on a four-point system of cables from designated points beyond the corners of the boxing ring. The suspended camera has the ability to provide compelling 360-degree angles of the action including the ability to move in three dimensions – left/right, forward/backward and up/down.

“Spidercam” will provide the definitive views of the action throughout the series, including a main event on Friday, May 1, showcasing Takahiro Ao (27-3-1, 16 KOs) from Chiba, Japan, vs. Ray Beltran (29-7-1, 17 KOs) from Los Mochis, Mexico, in a 12-round bout for the vacant WBO Lightweight World Championship.  The undercard will include two undefeated fighters in action – Mikael Zewski (26-0, 23 KOs) from Quebec, Canada, vs. Konstantin Ponomarev (27-0, 13 KOs) from Miass, Russia – in a 10-round bout for the NABF Welterweight Championship.

Commentators for the event will include Kevin Kugler providing play-by-play with analyst Timothy Bradley and reporter Crystina Poncher. Kugler is a veteran announcer who has called college basketball and NFL coverage for Westwood One and college football for the Big Ten Network.  Bradley is a former WBO welterweight champion and former WBO and two-time WBC junior welterweight champion, including a win over Pacquiao during his career.  Poncher is a commentator and reporter for Top Rank, as well as a host, reporter and correspondent for NFL Network and NFL.com. Additionally, closed captioning in Spanish will be available.

The second week of the MetroPCS Friday Night Knockout on truTV series – live from Prudential Center in Newark, N.J., on Friday, May 8, at 10 p.m. – will be headlined by Top-10 contenders Glen “Jersey Boy” Tapia (23-1, 15 KOs) from Passaic, N.J., and “Irish” Seanie Monaghan (23-0, 15 KOs) in action.  Tapia will defend his NABO junior middleweight title against Michael Soro (25-1-1, 15 KOs) from France, with Monaghan (defending his WBC Continental Americas light heavyweight title) facing Cleiton Conceicao (20-6-2, 16 KOs) from Brazil.

As part of its entitlement sponsorship of the boxing series on truTV, MetroPCS will receive camera-visible center ring and corner pad brand placement for each fight, as well as inclusion in all promotional messaging across truTV and other Turner Broadcasting networks.

-30-

FOX Sports Programming Highlights: UFC, NASCAR, Soccer & More

fox-sports-logoFOX SPORTS HIGHLIGHTS – 3 THINGS YOU NEED TO KNOW

UFC: Groundbreaking New Season of THE ULTIMATE FIGHTER Premieres Tonight on FOX Sports 1                                                                                      

NASCAR: Toyota Owners 400 Airs Saturday Evening on FOX

SOCCER:  MLS Soccer Sunday Features Doubleheader on FOX Sports 1

#ICYMI: On AMERICA’S PREGAME, UFC Flyweight Champion Demetrious Johnson says he can KO Floyd Mayweather in 15 seconds:

 

*******************************************************************************************************

NASCAR

WITH HEAVY HEARTS, NASCAR ROLLS INTO RICHMOND FOR FULL WEEKEND HIGHLIGHTED BY TOYOTA OWNERS 400 SATURDAY UNDER THE LIGHTS ON FOX

With the passing of longtime FOX NASCAR broadcaster Steve Byrnes on Tuesday, the NASCAR community gathers in Richmond this weekend, just one week removed from an amazing showing of support for Byrnes at Bristol Motor Speedway, returning to the business of racing he represented so well for more than 30 years. Of note, Saturday’s TOYOTA OWNERS 400 originally was scheduled to air on FOX Sports 1, but now airs on the FOX broadcast network after an early season schedule change.

FOX Sports offers 19 hours of live NASCAR SPRINT CUP SERIES and NASCAR XFINITY SERIES coverage from Richmond International Raceway, culminating with the NASCAR SPRINT CUP SERIES race live on FOX on Saturday, April 25 (6:30 PM ET), with pre-race coverage beginning at 6:00 PM ET.

Matt Kenseth took the checkered flag last week at Bristol for his first victory of the season. Defending champion Kevin Harvick, Denny Hamlin, Jimmie Johnson, Brad Keselowski and Joey Logano likely have locked up spots in the NASCAR Chase for the Sprint Cup via wins in the season’s eight opening races.

2012 champ Keselowski serves as race analyst for FOX Sports 1’s NASCAR XFINITY SERIES race coverage on Friday, April 24 (7:30 PM ET). Keselowski is one of five NASCAR SPRINT CUP SERIES drivers announced as part of a rotation in the FOX and FOX Sports 1 booth for FOX Sports’ coverage of the 2015 NASCAR XFINITY SERIES season.  Also scheduled as guest analysts this season are Jeff Gordon, Harvick, Clint Bowyer and Danica Patrick. This season, FOX Sports adds coverage of the NASCAR XFINITY SERIES for the first 14 races of the year. FOX Sports 1 telecasts 10 of the events, while FOX broadcasts the races from Phoenix, Talladega, Charlotte and Dover.

In the NASCAR XFINITY SERIES, Chris Buescher and Ty Dillon are tied for the points lead, followed by defending champion Chase Elliott (-12), Darrell Wallace Jr. (-22) and Ryan Reed (-38) after seven races. At Richmond, FOX Sports’ coverage of the NASCAR SPRINT CUP SERIES and NASCAR XFINITY SERIES on-track sessions begins with Cup Series practice on Friday, April 24 (11:00 AM ET).

NASCAR SPRINT CUP SERIES RACING

  • Network/When: FOX & FOX Sports GO, Saturday, April 25 (6:30 PM ET)
  • Talent: Play-by-play announcer Mike Joy; analysts Darrell Waltrip and Larry McReynolds; reporters Jamie Little, Chris Neville and Matt Yocum

FOX NASCAR PRE-RACE SHOW

  • Network/When: FOX & FOX Sports GO, Saturday, April 25 (6:00 PM ET)
  • Talent: Host Chris Myers; analysts Darrell Waltrip and Michael Waltrip; reporters Jamie Little, Chris Neville and Matt Yocum
  • This Week: A tribute to longtime FOX NASCAR broadcaster Steve Byrnes, who lost his battle to cancer on Tuesday; a feature about Denny Hamlin’s 2015 season; Michael Waltrip’s Grid Walk; and an examination of what ails Tony Stewart’s on-track performance.

NASCAR XFINITY SERIES RACING

  • Network/When: FOX Sports 1 & FOX Sports GO, Friday, April 24 (7:30 PM ET)
  • Talent: Play-by-play announcer Adam Alexander; analysts Michael Waltrip and guest analyst Brad Keselowski; reporters Vince Welch, Chris Neville and Matt Yocum

NASCAR RACEDAY-XFINITY

  • Network/When:  FOX Sports 1 & FOX Sports GO, Friday, April 24 (7:00 PM ET)
  • Talent: Host Danielle Trotta; analysts Larry McReynolds and Kenny Wallace; reporters Vince Welch, Chris Neville and Matt Yocum
  • This Week: A feature on Harrison Rhodes, a business school student at North Carolina State University during the week and a NASCAR driver on the weekends.

NASCAR RACEDAY

  • Network/When: FOX Sports 2 & FOX Sports GO, Saturday, April 25 (5:00 PM ET)
  • Talent: Host Danielle Trotta; analysts Larry McReynolds and Kenny Wallace; reporters Andrew Doud and Kaitlyn Vincie

NASCAR RACE HUB & NASCAR RACE HUB WEEKEND EDITION

  • Network/When: FOX Sports 1, Wednesday, April 22-Thursday, April 23 (6:00 PM ET), Friday, April 24 (12:30-1:00 PM, 2:30-3:00 PM and 5:00-5:30 PM ET), Monday, April 27-Thursday, April 30 (6:00 PM ET)
  • Talent: Co-hosts Adam Alexander, John Roberts and Danielle Trotta; analysts Larry McReynolds, Jeff Hammond and Wally Dallenbach; reporters Alan Cavanna, Andrew Doud and Kaitlyn Vincie
  • This Week: On Wednesday, April 22, a look at some of longtime FOX NASCAR broadcaster Steve Byrnes’ greatest on-air moments; driver guest Regan Smith in-studio; “RadioActive” Bristol feature; and interviews with Richard Childress, Kyle Larson and Jason Ratcliff
  • Next Week: Driver/guest analyst AJ Allmendinger on Monday, April 27; driver/guest analyst Joey Logano on Tuesday, April 28

UFC

JOHNSON BEST TECHNICAL FIGHTER IN THE UFC, SAYS FOX UFC ANALYST STANN

This weekend’s UFC 186: JOHNSON VS. HORIGUCHI features flyweight champion Demetrious Johnson defending his title against No. 7-ranked Kyoji Horiguchi. FOX UFC analyst Brian Stann believes Johnson is too tough for the Japanese fighter. “I believe Johnson is technically the most proficient fighter in the UFC,” says Stann. “Everything he can do from the right, he can do the left. He can pass the guard from both sides and take you down from both sides. He’s one of the most fun champions to watch because he’s so technically sound and so fast.” FOX Sports 1 begins coverage Saturday, April 25 (7:00 PM ET) with the UFC 186 PREFIGHT SHOW, leading into the PRELIMS at 8:00 PM ET. Follow the link for a preview of UFC 186: https://youtu.be/7l4xdc_mbJs

UFC TONIGHT: TUF PREVIEW AND INTERIVEWS WITH GYM OWNERS, PLUS UFC 186 PREVIEW AND DOLLAWAY INTERVIEW

  • Network/When: FOX Sports 1 & FOX Sports GO, Wednesday, April 22 (8:00 PM ET)
  • Talent: Kenny Florian, Daniel Cormier, Karyn Bryant and Ariel Helwani
  • This Week: On this week’s UFC TONIGHT, hosts Kenny Florian and Daniel Cormier preview UFC 186: JOHNSON VS. HORIGUCHI and interview No. 11-ranked middleweight CB Dollaway about his bout against Michael Bisping.  Plus, they talk to American Top Team owner Dan Lambert and Blackzilians owner Glenn Robinson about the new season of THE ULTIMATE FIGHTER and their bitter rivalry. Karyn Bryant and Ariel Helwani add reports.

UFC TONIGHT GOES NIGHTLY NEXT WEEK, AIRS AT MIDNIGHT MONDAY – FRIDAY

  • Network/When: FOX Sports 1 & FOX Sports GO, Monday, April 27 – Friday, May 1 (12:00 AM ET)
  • Talent: Kenny Florian, Daniel Cormier, Karyn Bryant and Ariel Helwani
  • This Week: For one week only, UFC TONIGHT airs at Midnight (12:00 AM ET) each week night. Guests include UFC president Dana White on Monday, heavyweight champion Cain Velasquez Tuesday, former light heavyweight champion Rashad Evans Wednesday, bantamweight champion Ronda Rousey Thursday, and Cris “Cyborg” Justino on Friday evening.

THE ULTIMATE FIGHTER SEASON 21 PREMIERES WITH ALL-NEW FORMAT: AMERICAN TOP TEAM VS. BLACKZILIANS

  • Network/When: FOX Sports 1 & FOX Sports GO, Wednesday, April 22 (10:00 PM ET)
  • Talent: Dana White, Dan Lambert, Glenn Robinson
  • This Week: The long-running reality series THE ULTIMATE FIGHTER returns to FOX Sports 1 for Season 21 with an all-new team vs. team format. A long standing rivalry between two of MMA’s top gyms, American Top Team and The Blackzilians, finally gets its day of reckoning. Two teams, 16 fighters, and two fiery gym owners battle it out for the chance to win up to $500,000 and a coveted trophy to prove which team dominates South Florida.

FOX SPORTS LIVE PRESENTS TUF TALK RECAPS PREMIERE EPISODE, PLUS INTERVIEWS WITH FIGHTERS, GYM OWNERS AND UFC PRESIDENT

  • Network/When: FOX Sports 1 & FOX Sports GO, Wednesday, April 22 (11:30 PM ET)
  • Talent: Karyn Bryant, Dominick Cruz
  • This Week: Host Karyn Bryant and analyst Dominick Cruz discuss the premiere of the new season of THE ULTIMATE FIGHTER and interview rival gym owners Dan Lambert of American Top Team and Glenn Robinson of Blackzilians. In addition, they catch up UFC president Dana White, and with gym members Rashad Evans and Tyron Woodley and cast member Kamarundeen Usman.

UFC 186 WEIGH-INS FEATURE ANALYSIS FROM CRUZ AND EVANS

  • Network/When: FOX Sports 2 & FOX Sports GO, Friday, April 24 (4:00 PM ET)
  • Talent: Karyn Bryant, Dominick Cruz, Rashad Evans and Ariel Helwani
  • This Week: The UFC 186 WEIGH-INS features host Karyn Bryant, with analysts Dominick Cruz and Rashad Evans breaking down the fighters on the card as they attempt to make weight. Ariel Helwani interviews fighters during the show.                            

FOX SPORTS 1 UFC 186 PREFIGHT SHOW: JOHNSON VS. HORIGUCHI PREVIEW

  • Network/When: FOX Sports 1 & FOX Sports GO, Saturday, April 25 (7:00 PM ET)
  • Talent: Jay Glazer, Dominick Cruz, Rashad Evans and Ariel Helwani
  • This Week: Host Glazer and analysts Cruz and Evans preview the exciting evening of fights including the much anticipated title fight between flyweight champion Demetrious Johnson and No. 7 Kyoji Horiguchi. Glazer, Cruz and Evans also analyze the other matchups on the main card and prelims.

FOX SPORTS 1 UFC 186 PRELIMS FEATURE FOUR EXCITING BOUTS 

  • Network/When: FOX Sports 1, FOX Deportes & FOX Sports GO, Saturday, April 25 (8:00 PM ET)
  • Talent: Joe Rogan and Mike Goldberg
  • This Week: The two-hour FOX SPORTS 1 UFC 186 PRELIMS feature four exciting fights, including welterweight Patrick Cote (21-9) against Joe Riggs (40-15). No. 3-ranked bantamweight Alexis Davis (16-6) battles No. 5 Sarah Kaufman (17-2, 1NC). Undefeated Chad Laprise (10-0) takes on Bryan Barberena (10-2) in a lightweight scrap, while Olivier Aubin-Mercier (6-1) and David Michaud (8-1) open the PRELIMS with another lightweight bout.

FOX SPORTS 1 UFC 186 POSTFIGHT SHOW RECAPS FLYWEIGHT TITLE FIGHT AND MORE 

  • Network/When: FOX Sports 1 & FOX Sports GO, Saturday, April 25 (1:00 AM ET)
  • Talent: Jay Glazer, Dominick Cruz, Rashad Evans and Ariel Helwani
  • This Week: Host Glazer and analysts Cruz and Evans break down the evening’s biggest bouts including the headliner between flyweight champion Johnson and Horiguchi. They also interview the big winners.

UFC STAR CONOR MCGREGOR’S RISE FOLLOWED IN SPECIAL WEEK-LONG EVENT: THE NOTORIOUS

  • Network/When: FOX Sports 1 & FOX Sports GO, Sunday, April 26 – Friday, May 1 (12:30 PM ET)
  • Talent: Conor McGregor
  • This Week: THE NOTORIOUS follows the meteoric rise of the UFC’s enigmatic Irish featherweight fighter Conor McGregor. Airing nightly at 12:30 PM ET from Sunday, April 26 to Friday, May 1, the six-episode series goes behind-the-scenes for an intimate look at McGregor as he develops as a fighter, a publicity machine and a businessman.

 

MLB

INDIANS AT TIGERS; METS CLASH WITH YANKEES SATURDAY ON FOX SPORTS 1

  • Network/When: FOX Sports 1 & FOX Sports GO, Saturday, April 25
    • Cleveland Indians at Detroit Tigers: Joe Davis and Eric Karros (1:00 PM ET)
    • New York Mets at New York Yankees: Kenny Albert, Tom Verducci and Ken Rosenthal (4:00 PM ET)
  • This Week: The MLB on FOX Sports 1 pregame show (12:30 PM ET) precedes Indians at Tigers with host Kevin Burkhardt and analysts CJ Nitkowski & Frank Thomas. In this week’s program, FOX Sports 1 goes behind the scenes for an all-access feature on Tigers right fielder J.D. Martinez, he trio also discusses who the Mets’ “Franchise Four” are, and Nitkowski breaks down how Mets pitcher Matt Harvey has responded since coming back from Tommy John surgery.

MLB WHIPAROUND

  • Network/When: FOX Sports 1 & FOX Sports GO, weekdays
    • Thursday, April 23 (7:00 PM ET) Talent: Kevin Burkhardt, Dontrelle Willis & Frank Thomas
    • Friday, April 24 (12:00 AM ET) Talent: Kevin Burkhardt, Dontrelle Willis & Frank Thomas
    • Monday, April 27 (7:00 PM ET) Talent: Chris Myers, CJ Nitkowski & Ken Rosenthal
    • Tuesday, April 28 (7:00 PM ET) Talent: Chris Myers & CJ Nitkowski
    • Wednesday, April 29 (7:00 PM ET) Talent: Kevin Burkhardt & CJ Nitkowski
  • Show Description: MLB WHIPAROUND is FOX Sports 1’s nightly in-progress highlights and analysis studio show. The 60-minute program features live look-ins at games from across the country, courtesy of FOX Sports Regional Sports Networks, in addition to recaps and analysis from some of the games most respected journalists and former players.

ORIGINAL PROGRAMMING

GARBAGE TIME WITH KATIE NOLAN AIRS AT 11:30 PM ET THIS WEEK, FOLLOWING MLS DOUBLEHEADER ON FOX SPORTS 1

  • Network/When: FOX Sports 1 & FOX Sports GO, Sunday, April 26 (11:30 PM ET)
  • Talent: Katie Nolan
  • This Week: Katie Nolan continues to tackle the hottest topics in sports, interjecting her wit, sarcasm and comedy in the weekly show GARBAGE TIME WITH KATIE NOLAN on FOX Sports 1. In case you missed it, last week Nolan called out marathon cheaters, chatted with actor Anthony Anderson and more. This week, Nolan sits down with Chicago Cubs first baseman Anthony Rizzo.

FOX SPORTS 1-ON-1: NFL OWNERS MEETING EDITION

  • Network/When/Talent: FOX Sports 1, studio wraps by Molly McGrath, interviews by Jay Glazer and Chris Myers
    • Sunday, April 26:
      • New Orleans Saints head coach Sean Payton
      • FOX Sports 1 & FOX Sports GO (10:30 AM ET)
      • Interview by Chris Myers
    • Monday, April 27:
      • Legendary actor and comedian Bill Murray
      • FOX Sports 1 & FOX Sports GO (10:30 PM ET)
      • Interview by Chris Myers
    • Tuesday, April 28:
      • Arizona Cardinals head coach Bruce Arians
      • FOX Sports 1 & FOX Sports GO (10:00 PM ET)
      • Interview by Jay Glazer
  • This Week: The National Football League is a year-round business as fan interest and passion carries the sport throughout its nominal “offseason.” With that in mind, FOX Sports attended last month’s NFL Owners Meetings in Phoenix, securing interviews with a number of the league’s most prominent and impactful decision-makers. Presented in both 30-minute and one-hour installments under the umbrella of the FOX SPORTS 1-ON-1 series, the interviews go in-depth with both head coaches and personnel executives, discussing the free agency period and looming NFL Draft among several other league issues.

STUDIO SHOWS

FOX SPORTS LIVE – NBA AND NHL PLAYOFF RECAPS NIGHTLY, TUF TALK RETURNS WEDNESDAY, DONTRELLE WILLIS IN STUDIO FOR MLB, FEATURE ON TOP DRAFT PROSPECT SHELTON SUNDAY

  • Network/When: FOX Sports 1, nightly (11:00 PM ET)
  • Talent: Jay Onrait, Dan O’Toole, Charissa Thompson, Don Bell, Ryan Field, Donny Marshall, Petros Papadakis, Bill Reiter, Peter Schrager.
  • This Week: FOX Sports 1’s flagship nightly highlight, news and opinion show rolls on this week featuring extended highlights and analysis, covering the action from across the spectrum of sports. FOX SPORTS LIVE recaps all of the nightly action of the NBA and NHL playoffs at the top of the show. FOX Sports 1 analyst and former 14-year NBA veteran Jim Jackson returns to the studio, breaking down all of the night’s biggest moments from the hardwood. On the NHL front, coverage continues with highlights and postgame reactions live from site at the conclusion of games. With the 21st season of THE ULTIMATE FIGHTER debuting on FOX Sports 1 on Wednesday, the popular weekly segment, “TUF TALK” returns to the top of the show, immediately following the premiere episode. Host Karyn Bryant is joined in studio by show contestants and coaches, while UFC president Dana White joins for an interview via satellite. One of the newest additions to the FOX Sports 1 on-air lineup, MLB analyst Dontrelle Willis is in studio all week, weighing in on the nightly matchups and results. The 2015 NFL Draft is right around the corner and coverage begins Sunday night as FOX Sports 1 NFL reporter Peter Schrager tells the story of first-round prospect Danny Shelton, a defensive tackle from the University of Washington who overcome significant adversity earlier in his life that included witnessing the murder of his older brother. The feature profiles Shelton over a period of weeks during his preparation for the draft in his home state of Washington. Draft coverage continues all week from Chicago with Mike Garafolo, Jay Glazer, Joel Klatt and Schrager on hand covering the NFL’s marquee offseason event.

AMERICA’S PREGAME – NIGHTLY PLAYOFF GAME PREVIEWS,

  • Network/When: FOX Sports 1, weekdays (5:00 PM ET)
  • Talent: Mike Hill, Molly McGrath, Jill Arrington, Joel Klatt, CJ Nitkowski, Peter Schrager, Frank Thomas
  • This Week: APG airs at 5:00 PM ET Monday through Thursday this week, setting the stage for all of the nightly action, including extensive preview coverage of the NBA and NHL playoffs. With games beginning in the early evening, APG goes to site, getting live reports from local correspondents who have covered the playoff teams throughout their regular seasons and provide insights and analysis in advance of the postseason games. Additionally, FOX Sports 1 NBA analyst Donny Marshall is in studio this week, breaking down the playoff matchups. Nightly Major League Baseball previews come in from the regional sports networks around the country, profiling the night’s biggest contests as the season kicks into full gear. Wednesday’s show is highlighted by a number of UFC guests in preparation for the evening premier of THE ULTIMATE FIGHTER, including Rashad Evans, Tecia Torres and Steve Carl. Due to the NASCAR Sprint Cup Practice at Richmond on Friday afternoon, the show is preempted, returning Monday evening at 5:00 PM ET.

GOLF

U.S.OPEN MEDIA DAY SPECIAL TEES OFF FOX SPORTS’ USGA COVERAGE

  • Network/When: FOX Sports 1 & FOX SPORTS GO, Monday, April 27 (9:30 PM ET)
  • Talent: Joe Buck, Brad Faxon, Greg Norman and Holly Sonders
  • This Week: With the U.S. Open Championship just around the corner, the FOX Sports golf team travels to Chambers Bay for the USGA’s U.S. Open Media Day. FOX Sports interviews USGA Executive Director Mike Davis and President Tom O’Toole to discuss everything to expect from the hardest test in golf. Course architect Robert Trent Jones Jr. also joins the show to reveal some secrets of the famed links design and reigning U.S. Open champion Martin Kaymer weighs in via satellite. In addition, the FOX Sports golf team will have a chance to play Chambers Bay and offer their analysis on particular points of interest and their predictions for the 115th U.S. Open.

SOCCER

UEFA EUROPA LEAGUE QUARTERFINALS WRAP UP TOMORROW; MULTIMATCH 90 RETURNS

  • Matchup/Network/When:

o    Zenit vs. Sevilla, FOX Sports 1 & FOX Sports GO, Thursday, April 23 (2:30 PM ET)

o    Napoli vs. Wolfsburg, FOX Sports 2 & FOX Sports GO, Thursday, April 23 (2:30 PM ET)

o    MULTIMATCH 90, FOX Soccer Plus & FOX Soccer 2Go, Thursday, April 23 (2:30 PM ET)

o    Fiorentina vs. Dynamo Kiev, FOX Soccer Plus & FOX Soccer 2Go, Thursday, April 23 (7:00 PM ET)

o    Dnipro vs. Club Brugge, FOX Soccer Plus & FOX Soccer 2Go, Thursday, April 23 (9:00 PM ET)

  • Talent: Rob Stone hosts pregame, halftime and postgame coverage alongside analysts Eric Wynalda, Warren Barton and Alexi Lalas.
  • This Week: The UEFA Europa League Quarterfinal Leg 2 matches take place on Thursday beginning with a 30-minute pregame show, while whip-around show MULTIMATCH 90 returns to feature highlights and goals in near real-time from the four quarterfinal matches.

MLS SOCCER SUNDAY CONTINUES WITH DOUBLEHEADER ON FOX SPORTS 1

  • Matchup/Network/When:

o    Orlando City FC vs. Toronto FC, FOX Sports 1, FOX Deportes & FOX Sports GO, Sunday, April 26 (7:00 PM ET)

o    Seattle Sounders vs. Portland Timbers, FOX Sports 1, FOX Deportes & FOX Sports GO, Sunday, April 26 (9:30 PM ET)

  • Talent: JP Dellacamera calls the first match alongside Stuart Holden and sideline reporter Grant Wahl, live from the Citrus Bowl. John Strong calls the second match alongside Alexi Lalas and sideline reporter Julie Stewart-Binks live from CenturyLink Field.
  • This Week: FOX Sports 1’s coverage of its second MLS doubleheader begins with a studio show hosted by Rob Stone, with Eric Wynalda and Cobi Jones providing analysis during pregame, halftime and postgame of both matches.

COLLEGE SPORTS

BASEBALL: BAYLOR WELCOMES K-STATE IN BIG 12 BATTLE

  • Network/When: FOX Sports 1 & FOX Sports GO, Sunday, April 26 (3:00 PM ET)
  • Talent: Dave Barnett and Pat Combs
  • This Week: K-State and Baylor meet in Waco for a Big 12 Conference showdown this weekend, with Sunday’s three-game series finale televised live on FOX Sports 1. The Wildcats and Bears are tied in the conference standings, each at 5-10, and both squads look to make up ground with the Big 12 Tournament right around the corner.

TENNIS: BIG 12 CHAMPIONS CROWNED ON SUNDAY

  • Network/When: FOX Sports 2 & FOX Sports GO, Sunday, April 26 (1:00 PM ET)
  • This Week: The Big 12 Conference crowns its men’s and women’s tennis team champions on Sunday, April 26, live on FOX Sports 2. The men’s teams take the courts first, at 1:00 PM ET, followed by the women’s championship. Matches are played at Baylor’s Hurd Tennis Center in Waco, Texas.

SiriusXM to Broadcast 2015 NFL Draft Live from Chicago

SIRIUS XM RADIO LOGO

SiriusXM NFL Radio covers every selection from every round live from Chicago’s historic Auditorium Theatre and Grant Park April 30-May 2

Expert analysis from former NFL players, executives and coaches including Gil Brandt, Pat Kirwan, Jim Miller, Phil Savage, Mark Dominik, Brad Hopkins and Rick Neuheisel

SiriusXM Fantasy Sports Radio channel will feature live broadcasts featuring former NFL running back Maurice Jones-Drew and others from “Draft Town” in Chicago’s Grant Park

NEW YORK – April 23, 2015 – SiriusXM will provide listeners nationwide with the most comprehensive coverage of the 2015 NFL Draft available on radio, with live coverage of every selection from every round, as well as four days of special programming – on the SiriusXM NFL Radio and SiriusXM Fantasy Sports Radio channels – live from Chicago.

From the first round on Thursday, April 30, through the final round on Saturday, May 2, SiriusXM NFL Radio (channel 88) will broadcast live from the 2015 NFL Draft as it happens at Chicago’s historic Auditorium Theatre of Roosevelt University (Thursday and Friday) and at Selection Square in Grant Park (Saturday).  Listeners will hear the live announcements of all 32 teams’ selections through all seven rounds, as well as interviews with NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell and dozens of draftees, general managers and coaches.

SiriusXM NFL Radio’s on-site broadcast team will include Gil Brandt, the former VP of Player Personnel for the Dallas Cowboys; Pat Kirwan, a former NFL scout, coach and front-office executive; veteran NFL QB Jim Miller; former college coach and NFL general manager Phil Savage; and lead host Jason Horowitz.

On Thursday and Friday, Miller and Kirwan will host their daily show, Movin’ the Chains, from the Auditorium Theatre starting at 3:00 pm ET and leading into each day’s live Draft coverage (starting Thursday at 7:00 pm ET and Friday at 6:00 pm ET).

On Saturday, former Tampa Bay Buccaneers GM Mark Dominik and Howard David will host The Weekend Kickoff starting at 8:00 am ET and leading into live coverage of rounds four through seven (starting at 12:00 pm ET).

Following the conclusion of round one on Thursday, Dominik will host SiriusXM NFL Radio’s post-Draft show alongside Casey Stern.  After rounds two and three on Friday, the post-Draft show will be hosted by former college coach Rick Neuheisel with Jeff RickardOn Saturday, after rounds four through seven, the post-Draft coverage will be hosted by former NFL Pro Bowl lineman Brad Hopkins and Bill Lekas.

SiriusXM’s coverage from Chicago starts on Wednesday, April 29, when Miller and Kirwan will broadcast from NFL Play 60 in Grant Park (11:00 am – 1:00 pm ET).

On Wednesday, April 29, SiriusXM NFL Radio will broadcast live (8:00 – 11:00 pm ET) from the NFL Draft Eve Party at Park West in Chicago, where hosts Gil Brandt and Alex Marvez will interview several of the NFL Legends who will be at the event.

SiriusXM Fantasy Sports Radio, SiriusXM’s 24/7 fantasy sports talk channel (XM channel 87 and Sirius channel 210) will also be in Chicago, broadcasting live from Grant Park during the first three rounds on Thursday and Friday.

The channel’s coverage will air Thursday from 7:00 pm to midnight ET and Friday from 6:00 to 11:00 pm ET featuring pick by pick analysis from a fantasy football perspective.  Former NFL running back Maurice Jones-Drew and fellow SiriusXM Fantasy Sports Radio hosts John Hansen, Jeff Mans, Mike Dempsey and Bob Harris will host live in front of the fans at “Draft Town.”  SiriusXM’s Pilar Lastra will also be a part of both days’ broadcasts in Grant Park, where she will talk with fans in attendance before and after team selections.

As the Official Satellite Radio Partner of the NFL, SiriusXM airs live play-by-play of every NFL game from the pre-season through the Super Bowl.

Follow our channels on Twitter: @SiriusXMNFL and @SiriusXMFantasy.

###

DAYS 10-12 – NBC SPORTS GROUP’S “NHL PLAYOFF PASS”

Game 5 – (4) Penguins-(1) Rangers – Rangers Lead 3-1 – Tonight at 7 p.m. ET on NBCSN

Game 5 – (4) Senators-(1) Canadiens – Canadiens Lead 3-1 – Tonight at 7 p.m. ET on CNBC

Game 5 – (4) Wild-(1) Blues – Series Tied 2-2 – Tonight at 9:30 p.m. ET on NBCSN

Saturday’s Telecast Schedule and Game Commentators Announced

Coverage of 2015 IPC Paralympic Sled Hockey World Championship Begins Sunday; Team USA vs. Russia at 8 p.m. ET on NBC Sports Live Extra

 

STAMFORD, Conn. – April 24, 2015 – Tonight’s 7 p.m. ET coverage on NBCSN and CNBC features a pair of elimination games in the Eastern Conference, as the (1) New York Rangers and (1) Montreal Canadiens look advance in the bracket to the second round of the Stanley Cup Playoffs with Game 5 victories.

Henrik Lundqvist and the Rangers host Sidney Crosby and the (4) Pittsburgh Penguins at 7 p.m. ET on NBCSN, as the Rangers look to eliminate the Penguins from the postseason for the second straight year. Coverage on CNBC begins at 7 p.m. ET, as P.K. Subban and the Canadiens look to close out their first-round series against Erik Karlsson and the (4) Ottawa Senators in Montreal.

Game 5 coverage continues at 9:30 p.m. ET on NBCSN, when David Backes and the (1) St. Louis Blues host Zach Parise and the (4) Minnesota Wild, with their series tied at two games apiece.

******************************************************************************

“NHL Playoff Pass” on NBC Sports Group Press Box provides a quick daily overview of Stanley Cup Playoff coverage, plus information and highlights. The Pass will be published weekdays to preview that evening’s games. Friday editions will include weekend information.

******************************************************************************

All Stanley Cup Playoff games will be presented on NBC, NBCSN, USA Network, CNBC and NHL Network. NBC Sports Live Extra – NBC Sports Group’s live streaming product for desktops, mobile devices, and tablets – will provide streaming coverage of games airing on NBC, NBCSN, USA Network and CNBC via “TV Everywhere.”

For more information on NBC Sports Group’s overall NHL Playoff coverage, please click here.


TONIGHT – APRIL 24

NHL Live begins at 6:30 p.m. ET on NBCSN, hosted by Liam McHugh with analysts and former players Jeremy Roenick and Keith Jones. Host Dave Briggs will anchor CNBC’s studio coverage alongside analyst and former player Anson Carter.


THE PASS – FRIDAY, APRIL 24-SUNDAY, APRIL 26 (All times ET)

 

FRIDAY, APRIL 24

Time Coverage Network Commentators
6:30 p.m. NHL Live NBCSN Liam McHugh, Jeremy
Roenick, Keith Jones
7 p.m. Game 5 – (4) Pittsburgh at (1) N.Y. Rangers NBCSN Gord Miller, Pierre
McGuire
7 p.m. Game 5 – (4) Ottawa at (1) Montreal CNBC Paul Romanuk, Mike Johnson,
Glenn Healy, David Amber
  NHL Live (Intermission Reports) CNBC Dave Briggs,
Anson Carter
9:30 p.m. Game 5 – (4) Minnesota at (1) St. Louis NBCSN Dave Strader,
Brian Engblom

SATURDAY, APRIL 25

Time Coverage Network Commentators
3 p.m. Game 6 – (2) Washington at (3) N.Y. Islanders NBC Chris Cuthbert,
Joe Micheletti
6 p.m. Game 5 – (3) Detroit at (2) Tampa Bay NBCSN John Forslund,
Andy Brickley
NHL Live (Intermission reports) NBC Liam McHugh, Mike
Milbury, Keith Jones
8 p.m. Game 6 – (2) Nashville at (3) Chicago NBC Mike “Doc” Emrick, Eddie
Olczyk, Pierre McGuire
9 p.m. Game 6 – (2) Vancouver at (3) Calgary NBCSN Jim Hughson, Craig
Simpson, Scott Oake

SUNDAY, APRIL 26

Time Coverage Network Commentators
3 p.m. Game 6* – (1) N.Y. Rangers at (4) Pittsburgh NBC TBD
TBD Game 6* – (1) Montreal at (4) Ottawa TBD TBD
TBD Game 6 – (1) St. Louis at (4) Minnesota TBD TBD

*if necessary

 
GAME 5 – (4) PENGUINS-(1) RANGERS – TONIGHT AT 7 P.M. ET ON NBCSN – RANGERS LEAD 3-1

The Rangers look to eliminate the Penguins from the postseason for the second straight year with a Game 5 victory in New York. All four games in the series have been decided by one goal, including the Rangers’ overtime win in Game 4 in Pittsburgh, as rookie Kevin Hayes scored on a rebound to give New York the victory and a 3-1 series lead. Last year, the Rangers overcame a 3-1 series deficit to the Penguins, rattling off three straight wins to eliminate Pittsburgh.

Gord Miller (play-by-play) and Emmy Award-winning Inside-the-Glass analyst Pierre McGuire will have the call from Madison Square Garden in New York.


GAME 5 – (4) SENATORS-(1) CANADIENS – TONIGHT AT 7 P.M. ET ON CNBC – CANADIENS LEAD 3-1

The Canadiens return to Montreal in hopes of closing out their series with a Game 5 win over the Senators. Ottawa avoided elimination with a 1-0 win in Game 4, led by Mike Hoffman’s game-winner midway through the third period, and a 28-save shutout by goaltender Craig Anderson.

Paul Romanuk, Mike Johnson, Glenn Healy, and David Amber will call the action from the Bell Centre in Montreal, Que.
GAME 5 – (4) WILD-(1) BLUES – TONIGHT AT 9:30 P.M. ET ON NBCSN – SERIES TIED 2-2

The Blues’ series with the Wild shifts back to St. Louis tonight for Game 5, as David Backes’ club looks to build off of a road win in Game 4. Backes and Paul Stastny scored their first goals of the series, while Vladimir Tarasenko scored twice to total five goals in four games against Minnesota, as the Blues defeated Minnesota 6-1.

Dave Strader (play-by-play) and Brian Engblom (Inside-the-Glass analyst) will have the call from Scottrade Center in St. Louis, Mo.

If tonight’s Penguins-Rangers game on NBCSN runs past 9:45 p.m. ET, into the start of Wild-Blues, puck drop of Wild-Blues will be shown live on NHL Network until Penguins-Rangers has concluded. Wild-Blues will return to NBCSN immediately following the conclusion of Penguins-Rangers.


SATURDAY, APRIL 25

 

GAME 6 – (2) CAPITALS-(3) ISLANDERS – SATURDAY AT 3 P.M. ET ON NBC – CAPITALS LEAD 3-2

John Tavares and the (3) New York Islanders look to stave off elimination on Saturday afternoon in their Game 6 matchup with Alex Ovechkin and the (2) Washington Capitals at 3 p.m. ET on NBC. The Caps took a 3-2 series lead with a 5-1 win over the Isles on Thursday night in Washington. A Caps victory would eliminate the Islanders and mark the final game in Nassau Coliseum, as the Isles will move to the Barclays Center in Brooklyn next year.

Chris Cuthbert (play-by-play) and Joe Micheletti (Inside-the-Glass analyst) will have the call from the Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum in Uniondale, N.Y.


GAME 5 – (3) RED WINGS-(2) LIGHTNING – SATURDAY AT 6 P.M. ET ON NBCSN – SERIES TIED 2-2

The (2) Tampa Bay Lightning and (3) Detroit Red Wings face off in Game 5 of their series on Saturday evening at 6 p.m. ET on NBCSN with their series tied at two games apiece, after a furious Game 4 comeback led by Lightning forward Tyler Johnson. Johnson scored Tampa Bay’s first goal in the third period, assisted on the tying goal just 1:17 later, and scored the game-winner in overtime to shock the Red Wings, giving Tampa Bay the 3-2 win.

John Forslund (play-by-play) and Andy Brickley (Inside-the-Glass analyst) will have the call from Amalie Arena in Tampa, Fla.


GAME 6 – (2) PREDATORS-(3) BLACKHAWKS – SATURDAY AT 8 P.M. ET ON NBC – BLACKHAWKS LEAD 3-2

Jonathan Toews and the (3) Chicago Blackhawks look to close out their first-round series against Pekka Rinne and the (2) Nashville Predators on Saturday night at 8 p.m. ET on NBC. Chicago leads the series 3-2, but the Predators fought off elimination with a 4-1 Game 5 win on Thursday, led by a hat trick from rookie forward Filip Forsberg.

Emmy Award-winning play-by-play commentator and Sports Illustrated 2014 Media Person of the Year Mike ‘Doc’ Emrick, U.S. Hockey Hall of Fame member and analyst Eddie Olczyk, and Inside-the-Glass analyst Pierre McGuire will have the call from United Center in Chicago, Ill.


GAME 6 – (2) CANUCKS-(3) FLAMES – SATURDAY AT 9 P.M. ET ON NBCSN – FLAMES LEAD 3-2

Johnny Gaudreau and the Calgary Flames look to eliminate Ryan Miller and the (2) Vancouver Canucks with a Game 6 win Saturday night at 9 p.m. ET on NBCSN. Miller kept Vancouver alive with a win in Game 5, stopping 21 of 22 shots in a 2-1 victory.

Jim Hughson, Craig Simpson and Scott Oake will call the action from Rogers Arena in Vancouver, B.C.

If Saturday evening’s Lightning-Red Wings game on NBCSN runs past 9:11 p.m. ET, into the start of Canucks-Flames, puck drop of Canucks-Flames will be shown live on NHL Network until Lightning-Red Wings has concluded. Canucks-Flames will return to NBCSN immediately following the conclusion of Lightning-Red Wings.


SUNDAY, APRIL 26

Sunday’s game telecast schedule has yet to be finalized. The NHL will release Sunday’s full telecast schedule following the conclusion of tonight’s games.


COVERAGE OF 2015 IPC PARALYMPIC SLED HOCKEY WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP BEGINS SUNDAY; TEAM USA VS. RUSSIA AT 8 P.M. ET ON NBC SPORTS LIVE EXTRA

NBC Sports Group’s unprecedented coverage of the 2015 IPC Paralympic Sled Hockey World Championship begins this Sunday with four matchups on NBC Sports Live Extra, highlighted by a rematch of the 2014 Olympic gold-medal game, when Team USA faces Russia at 8 p.m. ET.

Click here for more information and full telecast and streaming schedule of the 2015 IPC Paralympic Sled Hockey World Championship.

 

COMPREHENSIVE LOCAL COVERAGE

Comprehensive coverage of the Stanley Cup Playoffs will be provided daily via NBC Sports Regional Networks, available in more than 50 million U.S. households. Comcast SportsNet Chicago and Comcast SportsNet Mid-Atlantic will provide the hometown fans of the Chicago Blackhawks and Washington Capitals, respectively, with comprehensive coverage throughout their teams’ Stanley Cup Playoff runs, including exclusive regional coverage of first-round games, pre- and post-game shows and extensive on-line coverage via Comcast SportsNet’s team of NHL Insiders.

For teams that advance past the first round, NBC Sports Regional Networks will deliver extensive pre- and post-game coverage as well as breaking news and analysis throughout each team’s playoff run.


NBC SPORTS LIVE EXTRA
COVERAGE

NBC Sports Live Extra – NBC Sports Group’s live streaming product for desktops, mobile devices, and tablets – will stream comprehensive coverage of games airing on NBC, NBCSN, USA Network and CNBC on NBC Sports Live Extra via “TV Everywhere,” giving consumers additional value to for their subscription service, and making high quality content available to MVPD customers both in and out of the home and on multiple platforms. The NBC Sports Live Extra app is available on the iTunes App Store, Google Play and Windows Store.

For more information about NBC Sports Group shows and properties, including press releases, photos, talent and executive bios and headshots, please visit NBCSportsGroupPressBox.com.

— NBC Sports Group —

CBS & SHOWTIME Announce Full, Multi-Platform Programming Schedule Surrounding Mayweather vs. Pacquiao

hbo-fightSHOWTIME Sports Offering More Than A Dozen Hours of First-Run Shoulder Programming Including Documentary Series INSIDE MAYWEATHER vs. PACQUIAO

NEW YORK (April 24, 2015) – Showtime Networks Inc. and parent company CBS Corporation have scheduled a broad range of programming and promotion across the Company’s diverse portfolio of media platforms in anticipation of the showdown between Floyd Mayweather and Manny Pacquiao on Saturday, May 2.

SHOWTIME Sports® is anchoring the charge with 13½ hours of first-run shoulder programming, including its acclaimed documentary series INSIDE MAYWEATHER vs. PACQUIAO, classic fights and a comprehensive offering of digital assets.

In addition, the CBS Television Network will run promotional spots in primetime and late-night programming throughout fight week.  This will be supplemented with marketing support and editorial coverage from CBS Sports Digital, significant coverage across CBS Sports Radio and a dozen CBS Radio stations throughout the country, and a robust schedule of shoulder programming and marketing support on CBS Sports Network.

“The Company is uniquely positioned to support an event of this magnitude with media assets across virtually every medium,” said Stephen Espinoza, Executive Vice President and General Manager, SHOWTIME Sports.  “We’re grateful for the company-wide support and look forward to an all-encompassing push leading to May 2 leading into this milestone sports event.”

SHOULDER PROGRAMMING AND PROMOTIONAL SUPPORT WILL INCLUDE:

INSIDE MAYWEATHER vs. PACQUIAO delivers a unique perspective of the pound-for-pound champion Mayweather in the weeks leading up to the marquee event. The four-part documentary series from SHOWTIME Sports includes the Sports Emmy Award-winning “Epilogue” which shines the spotlight on Fight Week and takes viewers inside the ropes on Fight Night.  A full schedule of the four-part series is detailed below.

 

CBS Television Network will run Mayweather vs. Pacquiao promos during primetime and late-night throughout Fight Week.

CBS owned and operated television stations throughout the country have been actively engaged in coverage of the event since the March 11 kick-off press conference in Los Angeles.  These affiliate stations, located in the nation’s top markets, will have access to all the news and footage of fight week through the distribution network of CBS Newspath.

CBS Sports Network will provide live Fight Week coverage from Las Vegas, including the official Weigh-In on Friday, May 1 (6 p.m. ET), as well as immediate reaction and analysis following the fight and the post-fight press conference.   During the week leading up to the bout, the Network also will air encore presentations of classic Mayweather fights and INSIDE MAYWEATHER vs. PACQUIAO episodes

CBS Sports Digital has launched a landing page at CBSSports.com, a one-stop shop for everything Mayweather vs. Pacquiao.  The ‘Tier 1’ support from CBS Sports Digital includes static homepage promotions, additional marketing and significant editorial coverage on all digital platforms, including breaking news, commentary and placement of live event streams.

CBS Radio is backing May 2 with stations from 10 of the country’s top markets broadcasting live from MGM Grand, including WFAN in New York, KROQ-FM in Los Angeles, KRLD-FM in Dallas and WIP-FM in Philadelphia.  Additionally, CBS Sports Radio’s nationally syndicated “The Doug Gottlieb Show” and (Scott) “Ferrall On The Bench” will be in Las Vegas for Fight Week.  “The Doug Gottlieb Show” is simulcast on CBS Sports Network on Friday, May 1.

CBS Radio coverage also includes a special broadcast hosted by WFAN’s No. 1 morning show personalities Boomer and Carton on Saturday prior to the fight from 6-8 p.m. ET.  The program is available on WFAN, CBS Sports Radio, and select CBS Radio stations nationwide. The special also will be simulcast for television on CBS Sports Network.

CBS Local Digital Media has created a comprehensive array of online audio, video and editorial features to promote the fight which can be experienced across a variety of digital and mobile platforms.

#MayPac:Daily is a daily online show hosted by SHOWTIME Sports personality Mauro Ranallo.  The series will deliver the buzz of Fight Week in Las Vegas with special guests from sports and entertainment, insider analysis and more.  Taped live from the casino floor at MGM Grand, #MayPac:Daily will be posted nightly TuesdayFriday on http://www.sho.com/sho/sports/home and Youtube.com/shosports.

Additionally, the SHOWTIME Sports digital team is working closely with SnapChat to deliver exclusive content, launching a new boxing blog on TUMBLR called Pound for Pound, and working with Twitter on a unique feature capturing the years of social conversation leading to #MayPac.

Classic Floyd Mayweather fights are being offered across the premium network’s portals, including nightly on SHOWTIME EXTREME, SHOWTIME ON DEMAND and SHOWTIME ANYTIME.  Those platforms will also offer the media workouts of Mayweather and Pacquiao and the live stream of the final press conference.  Fans can tune-in to the final stare-down between the fighters on Friday, May 1 when SHOWTIME airs WEIGH-IN LIVE: MAYWEATHER vs. PACQUIAO.

SHOWTIME Sports also delivers a host of short-form content available across multiple platforms, including original music videos, Mayweather greatest hits, a Spanish web analysis and more.

Below is a sampling of select SHOWTIME programs and air times:

  • INSIDE MAYWEATHER vs. PACQUIAO:
    • Episode 2 premieres Saturday, April 25, at 7:30 p.m. ET/PT on SHOWTIME.
    • Episode 3 premieres Wednesday, April 29 at 10 p.m. ET/PT on SHOWTIME
    • Epilogue premieres Saturday, May 9
  • WEIGH-IN LIVE: MAYWEATHER vs. PACQUIAO: Friday, May 1 at 6 ET/3 PT, live on SHOWTIME
  • COUNTDOWN LIVE: MAYWEATHER vs. PACQUIAO: Saturday, May 2 at 8 p.m. ET/5 p.m. PT, live on SHOWTIME

# # #

A DOZEN THINGS YOU DIDN’T KNOW ABOUT

FLOYD MAYWEATHER AND MANNY PACQUIAO

Top Fighters Of This Generation Prepare To Square Off

On Saturday, May 2 At The MGM Grand Garden Arena

LAS VEGAS (April 24, 2015) – There is just over one week until Floyd “Money” Mayweather and Manny “Pacman” Pacquiao square off for their epic welterweight championship showdown taking place Saturday, May 2 at the MGM Grand Garden Arena that will be co-produced and co-distributed by HBO Pay-Per-View® and SHOWTIME PPV® beginning at 9 p.m. ET/ 6 p.m. PT.

While fans have gotten glimpses into the lives of these fighters through preview shows and social media postings, there are still many aspects of their lives that the public knows nothing about. Before training camp ends and the fighters lace up for fight night, take a look at some interesting things that you might not know about Mayweather and Pacquiao.

FLOYD MAYWEATHER

1.  Twizzlers are one of his go-to favorite snacks

2. Ramen noodle soup is one of his favorite meals and he doesn’t like 5 star restaurants

3. Averages over 1000 sit-ups a day during training camp

4. He doesn’t use ketchup or mustard on hotdogs but uses BBQ sauce

5. A guilty pleasure is playing Mega Touch and holding the highest scores in every game on there- his favorites are Spades, Dominos and word scrambles.

6. The movie Troy with Brad Pitt is one he likes to watch over and over again.

7. Every juice he drinks during training camp is made from scratch

8. When out to eat, He always orders a glass of hot water to let his silverware soak in the glass before using them.

9. The tree trunks he has been using to chop wood are brought in from Big Bear and weigh nearly 700 pounds each.

10. He gets a manicure and pedicure at home once a week during training camp

11. He doesn’t use a microwave, only eats food cooked and heated up on a stove and in an oven.

12. His morning routine includes brushing teeth for 10 straight minutes.
MANNY PACQUIAO

1 He eats steamed white rice and chicken or beef broth at almost every meal

  1. Manny will only drink hot or room temperature water.  Never cold water because he feels it is not healthy
  1. Manny averages over 2,500 sit-ups daily during training camp
  1. Manny eats five meals and consumes 8,000 calories daily to keep his weight and energy up
  1. Manny regularly has 500 fans follow him on his morning runs in Los Angeles
  1. He starts every morning with a Bible reading
  1. He loves his Butterfinger Peanut Butter Cups
  1. Over the past 12 months Manny has met with President Obama, President Clinton and Prince Harry
  1. Pacman, Manny’s nine-year-old Jack Russell terrier and beloved companion, accompanies Manny on all his morning runs and to his workouts at Wild Card.  He even has his own frequent flier account
  1. Manny is a Lt. Colonel in the reserve force of Philippine Army
  1. Floyd Mayweather will be the third consecutive undefeated world champion Manny has faced in the past 13 months
  1. Manny is a big photography buff.  This week he purchased two Canon flagship cameras – the 1DX — complete with lenses and accessories.

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Mayweather vs. Pacquiao is a 12-round welterweight world championship unification bout promoted by Mayweather Promotions and Top Rank Inc., and is sponsored by Tecate con caracter, Paramount Pictures and Skydance Productions –Terminator Genisys, in theaters July 1st, Paramount Pictures & Skydance Productions present MISSION IMPOSSIBLE: ROGUE NATION, in theaters & IMAX July 31st, The Weinstein Company and the new movie Southpaw, starring Jake Gyllenhaal, in theaters everywhere July 24 and Mexico, Live it to Believe it.

Notes from NBA on TNT Playoff Coverage ­ Thursday, April 23, 2015

nba-on-tntTNT’s NBA coverage of the playoffs continues Saturday, April 25, with doubleheader action featuring the Atlanta Hawks @ Brooklyn Nets at 3 p.m. ET and the Chicago Bulls @ Milwaukee Bucks at 5:30 p.m.

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TNT NBA Tip-off presented by Autotrader 

Ernie Johnson, Shaquille O’Neal, Charles Barkley and Kenny Smith

Barkley on the idea of Cleveland intimidating the Celtics: “The words ‘intimidation’ and ‘bulletin board material,’ I think that’s always overused.”

O’Neal on the effect of intimidation: “For me, intimidation was my whole thing.  The guys I couldn’t intimidate, I had trouble with; Hakeem [Olajuwon] and Tim Duncan on certain days.  The guys I could intimidate, it made it easier for me.”

O’Neal on LeBron James’ ability to intimidate opponents: “LeBron, to me, is more on the Magic [Johnson] side of things; great player, Hall of Famer, first ballot..but he’s not really intimidating.  Guys are not really going to fear him.”

Smith on how intimidation factors into the game: “At the beginning of the game, you’re not intimidated, but as the game goes on and you realize you can’t stop them, that’s intimidating.”

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Cleveland Cavaliers (103) @ Boston Celtics (95); Cavaliers lead 3-0
Marv Albert (play-by-play) Chris Webber (analyst) with Rachel Nichols (reporter)

Webber on Cavaliers’ center Timofey Mozgov: “I love Mozgov.  He just does his job…He cut down the lane and finished like a big guy’s supposed to.”

Webber on a big man’s job on offense: “As a big man, you have to be two things – aware and ready to catch the ball.”

Webber on Kevin Love’s all-around offensive game: “Everyone in Cleveland should be excited when Kevin Love gets it in the post.  He’s a great passer and more than capable in the post.”

Webber on Tristan Thompson and teams intentionally fouling below-average foul shooters in the playoffs: “If you want people to quit hacking you, make your free throws.”

Webber on LeBron setting the pace for the Cavaliers’ offense: “He wanted to make sure he led by example, and the example was getting to the basket.”

Webber on Kevin Love’s impact: “It’s how he did it, not just shooting threes, but being in the post and also getting back on defense.”

Webber on LeBron’s minutes this season: “I know a lot of Cleveland fans are worried that LeBron played almost 42 minutes a game, but this season he’s played the least amount of minutes of his career.  Coach [David] Blatt said they’ve prepared for this all season.”

Webber on the Celtics’ team depth: “In the playoffs, 90% of teams… shrink their rotation.  [Coach Brad] Stevens said he knows that’s the way it usually goes, but he thinks they have strength in numbers and depth.  They want to play more [players], as opposed less.”

Webber on the match of the Celtics’ style and the Boston crowd: “Young teams needs energy.  They need to get it from the crowd and from hustle plays… When you show the crowd, you’re in it on those hustle plays; they give you all the support that you need.”

Webber on Boston’s philosophy: “This team is known for sharing the ball and getting guys open shots.”

Webber on silver linings for Boston: “There are no moral victories if you lose, but there are building blocks.”

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Golden State Warriors (123) @ New Orleans Pelicans (119) in OT; Warriors lead 3-0
Brian Anderson (play-by-play) Steve Smith (analyst) with Tracy Wolfson (reporter)

Smith on Stephen Curry’s development: “Because of his ability to handle the basketball, show shot and drive, and take the contact, he’s a little bit stronger and more confident than in his first year.”

Smith on Curry aggressively driving to the basket: “He uses his speed and ability to get the rim and he’s a tough puppy.”

Smith on Klay Thompson: “That’s the next evolution for Klay Thompson…putting some pressure on little guards and get to the free throw line and also be effective with his size at the two-guard position.”

Smith on the Warriors needing to cool off the Pelicans offense: “They have no problem scoring, but right now, they have to defend.”
Smith on how Ryan Anderson affects the Pelicans: “This is a different team with Ryan Anderson…[when he’s effective], it allows them to rest Anthony Davis.”

Smith on the Pelicans’ transition offense: “That’s what a missed [Golden State] three point shot does for you; it starts the fast break because it’s a long rebound and guys can’t get back.”

Smith on Anthony Davis: “That’s what makes him special.  Being able to play both ends, and with his length, he can guard you [either] out to the three point line [or] at the rim.”

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Inside the NBA presented by Kia

Johnson, O’Neal, Barkley, Smith

Barkley on match-up problems caused by Anthony Davis: “I would go to Anthony Davis every time and make [the Warriors] double [team] him, or get Draymond Green in foul trouble.”

O’Neal on Davis: “[Charles and I] love when big men come ready to play, and this kid is ready to play…he can do it all…he’s the best power forward in the game today.”

Barkley on momentum: “Once this game went to overtime, it was a rap.”

Barkley on New Orleans blowing the big lead: “If I was the coach, I would say I had a lot to do with us losing that game.”

Barkley on Golden State’s comeback: “Take your hat off to the guys from Golden State, but they had a lot of help from New Orleans.”

Smith on the Celtics effort: “I loved the way the Celtics compete, they just don’t have the talent level… They fought, they just don’t have enough.”

Barkley on Derrick Rose’s health: “I like the way he’s attacking the basket…When he doesn’t have confidence in his body, he shoots a lot of jumpers.  When he’s going forward towards the basket, he has confidence in his legs.”

Smith on Rose’s offensive versatility: “When he’s playing a mixed game, he’s one of the best guards in the NBA.”

Barkley on the Bulls this year: “This is a different Bulls teams than a few years ago, they’ve got a lot of weapons.”

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