There's still more than two months before the NBA season, but the networks that spent big to acquire the broadcast rights already are making news.

After persuading Pat Riley to leave the Lakers to be its studio host, NBC announced it will use former Hawks coach Mike Fratello as its No. 1 analyst alongside Marv Albert.

Meanwhile, analyst Steve Jones is expected to move from Turner Broadcasting's TNT to NBC and join Bob Costas in the booth. After eight years with CBS -- which lost the rights to NBC -- Hubie Brown jumped to TNT, probably to be No. 2 analyst behind Doug Collins and ahead of Rick Barry.

NBC's unofficial first broadcast is Saturday with a tape of the Magic Johnson NBA Classic in Los Angeles.


In his soon-to-be-released book, "Elvis Don't Like Football," new Falcons coach and part-time loony Jerry Glanville takes a shot at former Redskins architect Bobby Beathard, who said last fall as an NBC analyst that the then-Oilers coach Glanville would be fired if he didn't take the team to the Super Bowl.

Says Glanville: "He was so boring {on the air}, he tried to become something through shock television. So for the record, I predict he'll be fired in San Diego {as general manager}. Who can believe a man who wears tennis shoes without socks anyway?"


As a tribute to Jim Palmer's recent induction to the Baseball Hall of Fame, Channel 2 (WMAR) in Baltimore has produced a 45-minute video of the former Oriole that will be in stores starting Aug. 27. Chuck Thompson narrates.


ESPN's award-winning motorsports coverage will try a new tack for Sunday's NASCAR Winston Cup Budweiser at the Glen. Instead of two commentators in a fixed booth and two in the pit area, host Bob Jenkins and analysts Ned Jarrett and Benny Parsons will announce from various spots on the 2.428-mile course. John Kernan and Jerry Punch will report from the pit as usual.