After a four-month drought, professional sports returned to television this week with live play, because the Phillies, Flyers and 76ers all competed in exhibition games as they got ready because of their delays in an interrupted season.
The Phillies made their TV debut Sunday against the Baltimore Orioles. Monday they appear at 6 pm on NBC Sports Philadelphia for the match against the New York Yankees.
The way Major League Baseball will work for the abbreviated 2020 season is for teams to play only in their regional divisions, but against both leagues. This means the Phillies will face every Eastern Division team in the National League and America. In order to stay competitive, they will play twice as many against NL East rivals – Washington Nationals, Atlanta Braves, New York Mets, and Miami Marlins – as they do against their navy counterparts from Boston, Tampa Bay, Toronto, Baltimore, and New York.
The Sixers act on NBCSP at 3:30 pm Friday against the Memphis Grizzlies. The contest was joined by two more, at 12 noon Sunday against the Oklahoma City Thunder and at 8:30 pm on July 28, against the Dallas Mavericks, both matches airing on NBCSP +.
Flyers face off at 4 pm on July 28, against one of their storied rivals, Pittsburgh Penguins, on NBCSP +.
Television will be the main way to see this game because social precautions will prevent fans from entering the stadium to attend directly. (It would be nice if the team could design a kind of gift mask as a souvenir from this strange season.) It would be interesting to see how we respond to the absence of cheers and other crowd responses.
Besides television, all games are available for streaming in the MyTeam application and by visiting www.nbcsportsphiladelphia.com.
The local NBC Sports channel must be happy to continue the new game as fans have it. I have talked to many people who say they will have an easier time to quarantine if a sports franchise is there to entertain them. Reviving drive banners, Super Bowl wins, or key games have its benefits, but the glory of sport is witnessing skill, teamwork, momentum, or ordinary fate.
Phillies, Sixers, and Flyers, have been answered. Maybe it’s a mental antidote for COVID confinement to get it back.
The parade continues … virtually
Sports programming is not alone affected by coronavirus and wise steps to reduce its spread.
Philadelphia announced last week that all public activities – except for demonstrations!?! – will be suspended until February.
It blocks out some of the big events seen by many people on television, but especially the annual 6ABC Thanksgiving Day Parade, which is produced and broadcast on Channel 6, and the Mummer Parade, the New Year’s main broadcast on Channel 17.
None of the presenting stations picked up lying news.
Neither Channel 6 nor Channel 17 stated their respective demonstrations.
Both of them saved the celebration from sad reality by wearing a virtual parade that was married to the documentary section, and from Channel 17, some new material.
In a statement acknowledging the safety of the players, fans, occupants and employees of the station, Channel 17 general manager Vince Giannini, said Channel 17 was committed to delivering in 2021 with the Mummer program. At present, that means a mix of highlights from last year’s New Year parade and new material that will be produced over the next five months.
Channel 6 is not specific but indicates that it will broadcast a Thanksgiving Day program which includes highlights from 35 years of Turkish Trots since the station saved the Philadelphia Thanksgiving extravaganza from oblivion.
Philadelphia is not alone in taking reasonable steps to limit COVID transmission. The annual Rose Bowl Parade has been canceled in Pasadena, and there will be no Macy march on Broadway in New York.
Neal Zoren’s television column appears every Monday.