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Troops in Kosovo can watch the NHL

American troops serving in Kosovo will be able to watch Tuesday’s NHLgame between Pittsburgh and Philadelphia, the only trouble being that the faceoff starts at 1 a.m. local time.

The game will be televised on the Versus Network, which will show pictures of the American soldiers, airmen and sailors who are currently serving at Camps Film City and Bondsteel, Kosovo.

For those folks in the United States, pictures of the troops will be shown in six different segments during the game and also in intermissions.

The telecast here starts at 6 p.m.

• A reminder, tonight’s Wild at Detroit game will be shown on Charter Communications Channel 7 (6:30).

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The game is on KSTC-TV, which is not available on Charter Communications.

Around the tube

• If you believe the ratings, the NFL has never been hotter.

For example, last Monday’s game between unbeaten New England and Baltimore attracted the largest household audience in cable history and broke the record for most viewers. It also made ESPN the most-watched station that night, the third time this season Monday Night Football won the night.

The game was seen by 17,522,000 viewers, breaking the record set by Disney Channel’s "High School Musical 2,’’ which drew 17,241,000 million viewers on Aug. 17.

ESPN’s previous best rating and biggest audience this year was a 10.5 (10,163,000 homes) on Oct. 29 when Green Bay beat Denver 19-13 on the first play of overtime.

Not as many viewers watched the Green Bay and Dallas game last Thursday, but the 14.6 rating was the highest such rating on ad-supported cable since November 1993 with CNN’s Larry King Live: Al Gore-Ross Perot debate.

Ratings are determined by the number of sets in use at the time.

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• ESPN will televise the Masters Par 3 contest on the Wednesday before the tournament starts, on April 9, from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m.

The event, which began in 1960, has never been televised.

The contest takes place on the Par 3 course built in 1958 by architect George Cobb and Masters co-founder Clifford Roberts. The nine-hole course is par 27, 1,060 yards and played over DeSoto Springs Pond and Ike’s Pond.

The tournament features Masters participants, non-competing past champions and honorary invitees.

For the first time, the first two rounds of the tournament will be televised on ESPN.

• Bob Ley will host today’s live coverage on ESPN of Barry Bonds’ arraignment in San Francisco and on Monday, Michael Vick’s sentencing in Richmond, Va. 

• Every Big Ten wrestling team will make at least one live appearance this winter on the Big Ten Network.

The network will televise 11 events, and 10 of those — including the Big Ten championships and portions of the Midlands Classic — will be carried live.

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The network will have a live wrestling and hockey doubleheader on six consecutive Fridays in January and February. It begins on Jan. 18 with Iowa at Ohio State.

Minnesota is at Northwestern on Feb. 8.

The BTN also televised the Iowa State at Minnesota match live last Sunday.

• Fox announced its broadcast teams for the Bowl Championship Series and includes Thom Brennaman and Charles Davis on the Jan. 1 Sugar Bowl and the Jan. 7 national championship. Matt Vasgersian, Pat Haden and Terry Donahue will do the Jan. 2 Fiesta Bowl, and Kenny Albert, Daryl Johnston and Barry Alvarez are on the Jan. 3 Orange Bowl.

Fox will also televise the Jan. 1 Cotton Bowl, with legendary Pat Summerall on the play-by-play with Brian Baldinger as analyst.

Paul Christian is a Post-Bulletin sports writer. He writes a weekly Friday column devoted to TV and radio sports and can be reached at pchristian@postbulletin.com

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