Television could bring good karma for Ravens

The Baltimore Sun

It's a new year of sports media notes but, sorry, the same old writer:

Ravens fans wouldn't mind if this were a preview as much as a replay: At 8 a.m. today, the NFL Network is running the CBS telecast of the Ravens' victory in Miami in October.

* And maybe there is more good karma in ESPN's Sunday NFL Countdown (11 a.m.). ESPN has scheduled interviews with Joe Flacco and members of the Ravens' defense - conducted by Trent Dilfer. So the Ravens' Super Bowl-winning quarterback will interview their current quarterback.

* Looking ahead to the Ravens-Dolphins game Sunday, Phil Simms - who will call the game on CBS with Jim Nantz - had this to say in a news release from the network:

"I give the Dolphins a little bit of an advantage in this respect: They played the Baltimore Ravens. They experienced it. And so they realized how strong they were, how hard they play and how unique their defense is when you see it live. Knowing they have that experience, the Dolphins can use that information and design, prepare and practice."

But Simms also gave the Ravens an edge because of that October meeting.

"They did so many things well in the first game that they are just going to try and do it again. They physically dominated the game. They did not let the so-called Wildcat disrupt much. They will draw upon that and tell themselves, 'Hey, it's playoffs. We just have to ratchet it up another notch.' "

* On the last Sunday of the regular season, NFL games ranked as the week's top-rated television program in all 30 of the league's markets. The league tells us that, in those cities, NFL games were the week's top-rated programs 88 percent of the time this season, surpassing last year's record of 86 percent.

And however much Baltimore fans dislike Pittsburgh, once again the ratings point to how very devoted the Steelers faithful are. Pittsburgh had the NFL markets' highest rating Sunday, with 43.2 percent of the audience. Keep in mind this was for a game, though against the rival Cleveland Browns, the outcome of which was meaningless, yet Pittsburgh out-rated cities whose teams were playing for playoff berths, including San Diego (37.4), Minneapolis (34.7) and, yes, Baltimore (33.3).

* Maryland's Humanitarian Bowl appearance drew 5.8 percent of the Baltimore audience, ESPN reports. Considering the weekday afternoon kickoff time, that's not bad at all. The national rating was 2.1.

* Is your pitching arm loose? The MLB Network debuted last night, available to Comcast, DirecTV and Verizon customers (not on Dish Network, though). Comcast subscribers need to have digital service. To find where the channel for the MLB Network resides on your system and to see a programming schedule, go to At 7 tonight, the Hot Stove show - which is being repeated throughout the day - airs live.

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