NEW YORK, NY – June 5, 2000 – New York is a sports mecca. Its athletes and teams are well represented in the record books, the collective consciousness and the hearts of sports fans everywhere. Beginning Thursday, June 8th and throughout the weekend, Metro is paying tribute to New York’s legendary teams and its wealth of local talent with Metro’s Subway Series Weekend, more than five hours of original programming about New York’s rich baseball past and present, and the launch of Gameface, New York’s first weekly primetime interactive sports talk show.
These premieres are part of an overall plan to add hometown-focused sports talk and entertainment shows to Metro’s programming mix. Twenty-year sports programming veteran Michael Lardner, newly-named as Metro Executive Producer, will oversee this new sports programming.
“Metro is the authentic voice of New York,” explains Patrice Andrews, SVP, programming and promotion of Metro. “And nothing brings out the passions and opinions of New Yorkers more than hometown sports. With Gameface, we’re delivering a much-needed television platform where fans can express both their well-formed views, and also impassioned rants, about our local sports heroes and goats.”
“As part of our dedication to all things New York, Metro will discover and produce programming that feeds the appetite of the New York sports fan,” adds Lardner. “Our programming will showcase the rich history of New York sports as well as provide in-depth features about up-and-coming local athletes, teams and events.” Metro will unveil its new programming line-up during the first Subway Series of the Century. Here’s what’s in store as the Yankees and Mets battle for hometown bragging rights.
Gameface (Premieres – Thursday, June 8th @ 8 PM)
New York metro area sports fans will be introduced to the future of television when Metro launches Gameface. This first-of-its-kind program combines the energy of live television with no-holds-barred commentary from expert commentators, athletes and fans to provide the ultimate forum for information, debate and rumor about the world’s most diversified and exciting sports scene.
Gameface, the first New York-based weekly primetime interactive sports show, will take metro area fans off the sidelines and into the game to get up close and personal with the experts. Every Thursday at 8 PM on Metro (Time Warner – Channel 70, Cablevision – Channel 16), two-time Emmy Award winning sportscaster Dave Sims goes beyond the headlines with roundtable debates that include athletes, writers and of coursethe fans.
Telecast live from Metro’s studio and selected area sports bars, Gameface provides fans with unique access to the biggest names in New York sports. Metro’s new interactive program will also allow fans that can’t make it to the studio or sports bar the opportunity to sound off via email and web polls.
Gameface segments include:
Metro’s Subway Series Weekend (Thursday, June 8th – Saturday, June 10th)
When it comes to baseball, New York truly is the center of the universe. There’s the winning traditions of our still vital Yankees and Mets and the pangs of loss for the departed Brooklyn Dodgers and New York Giants. And nothing brings passions to a boil in this city like a crosstown contest between our local favorites.
Metro’s Subway Series Weekend will premiere four original documentaries about New York’s rich baseball past and present.
A 90-minute Metro original documentary about the most winning baseball team under the sun – the 25-time World Champion New York Yankees. Narrated by Robert Klein, this fast-moving special traces the heritage of The Bronx Bombers, from the Roaring 20’s romps of Ruth and Gehrig to the Swingin’ 50’s with Joe D. and 60’s feats of Mantle and Maris.
A lively, hour-long roundtable discussion where Golden Era Great and Brooklyn Dodger Ralph Branca joins host Fran Healy, Met manager Bobby Valentine, New York Times sports columnist Dave Anderson, former player and current Yankee scout Gene “Stick” Michael and a very special high profile guest — to relive the greatest metro moments in the great natural pastime.
A 90-minute Metro original documentary profiling the most passionate love affair in sports – that between the borough of Brooklyn and their beloved Dodgers. This special focuses on the heyday of “dem bums,” and their magical 1955 season when they rose to World Champions. Dem Bums from Brooklyn includes never before heard interviews with Hall of Fame catcher Roy Campanella and home movies from legendary first baseman Gil Hodges.
(Premieres – Saturday, June 10th @ 10 AM)
This 90-minute film traces the rise of the Amazing Mets, from their disastrous 120-loss debut season in 1962 to their World Championship romp against the Orioles. Rarely seen footage abounds, including interviews with mystical first skipper Casey Stengel to 1968’s biggest stars – Seaver, Koosman, Grote, Swoboda and more.
Viewers will also be given VIP access to Metro special sports events (i.e. local professional tennis and golf tournaments, original programming and documentaries about New York’s great events and superstars of past and present.) Metro’s cameras will go where the drama unfolds, providing a front row perspective to the untold exciting world of New York area sports, interviews with top athletes, historians, owners, managers and writers.
“We intend to capture the excitement of the metro area’s sports scene,” concludes Andrews. “Metro will give viewers the opportunity to experience this excitement by just clicking on their remote control.”
Rainbow Media’s MetroChannels are the first and only suite of television networks devoted entirely to the experience of living in the New York metropolitan area. MetroChannels consist of METRO, Metro Learning, and Metro Traffic&Weather. METRO showcases what New Yorkers are passionate about by providing regularly scheduled original programs focusing on everything from fine dining to live music and sports, classic New York TV series and documentaries about the people, places and history of New York. MetroLearning provides unfiltered coverage of events unfolding in the many diverse communities throughout this metropolis. Metro Traffic&Weather is the tri-state’s first and only 24-hour local traffic, transit, and weather channel. Since its 1998 launch, MetroChannels has received numerous accolades for its programming — the 1999 & 2000 Community Spirit Award, New York Festivals Awards, Omni Awards and the Communicator Awards. In addition, MetroChannels was among the top 10 networks nominated for the 1999 local New York Emmy Awards.
Aileen Budow – MetroChannels
Darcey Agostino – Cataldi PR