The starting time of Tuesday's basketball game between Virginia and North Carolina State on WFTY-TV-50 has been changed to 7 p.m. so as not to conflict with President Bush's State of the Union speech, which is at 9.


ESPN announced its Thursday night football schedule for next season, which will include Virginia at Georgia Tech on Sept. 19. . . .

"NFL GameDay," ESPN's preview show that was extended to an hour this year to compete with NBC and CBS shows, had a 13 percent increase in viewership and an 8 percent rise in ratings from last year.


Giants kicker Matt Bahr will be the field reporter for SportsChannel America's coverage of the U.S. national soccer team's exhibition vs. Bayern Munich Feb. 3 in Miami. Bahr played soccer at Penn State and in the North American Soccer League.


From Fox's "Off the Record" political talk show (Sunday, 9 a.m., WTTG-TV-5), some Super Bowl predictions:

Sen. Alfonse D'Amato (R-N.Y.): "Look, I've always been a stand-up guy. You know, they say Al D'Amato takes a position. Except now. Close game. Three points. You pick 'em."

Rep. Charles Rangel (D-N.Y.): "Giants by six points. I was with the Bills, until my mayor {David Dinkins} explained that it makes more sense for the city to be with the Giants. . . . And so I'm with them all the way."

Rep. Robert Torricelli (D-N.J.): "Easy game to call. Giants by four. Simple rule of thumb: Jersey boys never lose to New Yorkers."


ESPN has been sensitive about the Persian Gulf War by trying to put its college basketball coverge in perspective. Although game announcers have not been instructed to say anything specific about the conflict, often they have made personal statements.

"We want to explain to the audience we're all sports and we're going to show our games, but if something important breaks we will definitely give our viewers the news" from the studio in Bristol, Conn., an ESPN spokesman said.