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CSN adds Caps and Wizards pre-game shows

Maybe you've noticed that this is sort of an exciting time for the Caps and the Wizards. The former are generally considered among the top three choices to win the Stanley Cup by bookmakers, even if fans feel gnawing dread. The latter have a new owner, the No. 1 draft pick and an almost entirely re-made roster, with new uniforms likely on tap. Both teams would figure to have increasing fan interest, and now both fan bases will be rewarded with new pre-game shows on Comcast SportsNet.

The network announced on Wednesday that 30-minute episodes of "Capitals Central" and "Wizards Central" will air before live-game coverage this season, offering news reports, features and analysis. The network will also continue to air Capitals Postgame Live and Wizards Postgame Live; all the programs will come from the network's HD studios in Bethesda.

The Caps pre-game show will be hosted by Al Koken before road games and Russ Thaler before home games. Alan May, Joe Beninati, Craig Laughlin and Jill Sorenson will contribute to the program.

The Wizards show will be hosted by Chris Miller before road games and former Orioles broadcaster Michael Reghi before home games. Ron Thompson, Steve Buchkantz and Phil Chenier will help with the proceedings.

"The success of the Capitals and excitement surrounding the Wizards makes this an ideal time to enhance our game-day lineup of sports coverage," a CSN spokesman e-mailed me.

As always, I should note that The Washington Post has a business relationship with Comcast SportsNet through the Washington Post Live franchise. And have you noticed that the once 90-minute WPL show is now 30 minutes long? Pretty soon you'll be able to see it in its entirety in a little screen-in-screen during commercial breaks. That was a joke.

On other news, the network's daily news shows -- currently branded as SportsNite and SportsDay -- will become "SportsNet Central" next week, with regular anchor pairs at every time slot. Thaler will host at 6 p.m., followed by Chick Hernandez and Julie Donaldson and 10 and 11, and Michael Jenkins on the late-night and early-morning shows.

By Dan Steinberg  | September 29, 2010; 2:03 PM ET
Categories:  Caps, Media, Wizards  
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Next: The Redskins and the game-breaking run


Haven't watched WPL in forever. Ivan Carter doesn't do it for me, I think it was his skeevy Anna Kournikova interview that was the final nail in the coffin.

Posted by: tha_prophet | September 29, 2010 2:13 PM | Report abuse

Steinberg: Washington Post Live lost A LOT by being cut to a half hour. One of the things I liked about it as an hour show was that they covered everything in Washington sports. Now, it is all Redskins. I don't think they have mentioned the Capitals or Nationals since it became a half hour show. A very poor move by the Post or COMCAST or whoever............

Posted by: poguesmahone | September 29, 2010 2:14 PM | Report abuse

I also agree with prophet that Thaler was a better host than Carter.

Posted by: poguesmahone | September 29, 2010 2:32 PM | Report abuse

WaPo live is completely unwatchable. Carter is horrible. The guest anchors are terrible.

Glad we'll have real sports programming on Comcast prior to games instead of a bunch of angry dudes arguing and bi*ching about anything and everything. It's so awkward to watch because Carter doesn't even allow people to answer questions before they all start jibing each other...not in a good way either, but in a really uncomfortable "I actually hate your guts" kind of way.

On WaPo live, it's 100% clear that the hosts hate DC sports teams, yet they try to buddy up to any athlete they interview. And no Feinstein, Navy football is not a DC sports team, nor even worth discussing unless they're playing MD, UVA, or Tech. On Comcast, they actually report interesting news, get good interviews, and have much a far better presentation.

Posted by: Section104 | September 29, 2010 2:41 PM | Report abuse

Ivan Carter is terrible on wpl. I tried to give him time to get used to a completely different job but he's shown no improvement.

Thaler was great and hard to replace but carters lack of professionalism and huge ego make the show nearly unwatchable.

He was great on the Wiz beat, he and we would be much better off if he went back to what he's good at.

Posted by: DMoney28 | September 29, 2010 3:02 PM | Report abuse

Ivan Carter is terrible on wpl. I tried to give him time to get used to a completely different job but he's shown no improvement.

Thaler was great and hard to replace but carters lack of professionalism and huge ego make the show nearly unwatchable.

He was great on the Wiz beat, he and we would be much better off if he went back to what he's good at.

Posted by: DMoney28 | September 29, 2010 3:03 PM | Report abuse

Wow, they are going to be stretching for stories to fill a half hour before every game. Or showing a lot of commercials. On the upside: more Jill Sorenson.

It would be nice to have a Hershey update segment in each episode.

Posted by: LouLewis | September 29, 2010 3:13 PM | Report abuse

Awesome. Maybe one day they'll graduate to bothering to show the preseason.

Posted by: kittypawz | September 29, 2010 3:18 PM | Report abuse

The Caps pre-game show on CSN in the past has been pretty worthless anyway. They would spend the first segment about the game and then fill the rest of the half hour talking about the Wizards and the Redskins. I will s&*# my pants if they end up filling a half hour before every game with only Caps related programming.

Posted by: FusilliJerry1 | September 29, 2010 3:33 PM | Report abuse

Thaler levaing WPL, was a show killer.
And that's all good on CSN pregame shows, but still shake'n my head over them nto keeping Hillary on board.

Posted by: Hattrik | September 29, 2010 3:40 PM | Report abuse

Yet, they will still cut to someone on the bench or a broken stick when Ovi is streaking down the wing and about to take a shot.

Posted by: SuperZ3383 | September 29, 2010 4:09 PM | Report abuse

They should ditch WaPo live and go with The Best Damn Sports Show Period.

(is that still on, by the way????)

Posted by: bs2004 | September 29, 2010 4:10 PM | Report abuse

Steinberg failed to mention (shocker): Reghi is a former Cavs TV guy, so it's not like he's without basketball experience. re: other comments: If anyone thinks Thaler left WPL on his own, they're smoking something. CSN thought Carter was a star in the making, so they dumped Thaler. Guess they were wrong. Hillary left for a better job, CSN didn't want her to leave. Pregame shows are brutal for ratings. No one is home to watch them, so it's much ado about nothing. And Caps Preseason hockey on TV? that should generate at least a .1 rating LOL.

Posted by: swinging4thefence | September 29, 2010 4:16 PM | Report abuse

Caps preseason hockey >>>>>>>>Terrapin Playback.

Posted by: tha_prophet | September 29, 2010 4:36 PM | Report abuse

"The Caps pre-game show on CSN in the past has been pretty worthless anyway. "

There hasn't been a Caps pre-game show on CSN (otherwise the word "adds" in the headline "CSN adds Caps and Wizards pre-game shows" wouldn't make a lot of sense). There was a brief cutaway to the Caps or Wizards reporters for a game preview as part of a general sports update show.

Posted by: zimbar | September 29, 2010 4:44 PM | Report abuse

hopefully it's worth tuning in for. my expectations are not too big. :\

Posted by: bcatron11 | September 29, 2010 5:22 PM | Report abuse

Nothing personal, BUT... Ivan Carter is awful!

Posted by: riceldi | September 29, 2010 10:06 PM | Report abuse

Wizards...yawn. You have to love the overinflated expectations the media is shoving down everyones throat about those losers. Despite Wall, they aren't going to be much better and in the division they're in, they aren't going to make the playoffs for years.

But oooooooh new uniforms!!!!!

Posted by: jollyroger2 | September 29, 2010 10:59 PM | Report abuse

with nitwit fans like jollyroger2 - why should the players even show up for games.
watch it like it's sports not AI you DF.

Posted by: Rocc00 | September 30, 2010 12:22 AM | Report abuse

I like watching CSN every night . The pregame shows are decent if the game is agaisnt a good opponet. I loved watching Hillary do her thing with the caps . I will never forget the show when she let the ( C ) word slip out her pretty mouth ohhhh what a word for a pretty cougar to say . I think the guys who do the support on the CAPS durning shows are giving it there best .Not really sure though on the wizards I never watch the pregame cause I just can't stand Buchkantz and the Thompson fellow looks like a comic charcheter with that big ( big ) shinny head , Marshen like big bald head , no phan inteded sorry lol.

The guys covering the pre game for the CAPS make thing interesting , Al , Craig and Joey B give facts which I like . But what I do not like is when Joey B starts bibling like a blonde in a bar who just had her 3rd Absolut shot and does not know that she is not there to report on the other teams players . Joey you just talk to fing much about others that do not matter WTF is that about ?

Ivan carter simply just makes my late nite snack turn to mush on the way out .His personal remarks on the famous ( package ) quote by CP was stupid . He should not be hosting anything , nothing at all. I spoke to B. Mitch last week and he was saying the money for doing the show was decent but other then that Carter is clueless on getting a good product across.. It would appear to me the WaPO will hire anyone with big mouths and bald heads . Doesn't Carter remind you of Fenty ? I witness Fenty walking down Half st where the Nats park is . We all know what type of people use to stroll done Half st ! oo----Q ~"( suckers...lolol

Posted by: terryreece | September 30, 2010 7:17 AM | Report abuse

I think this is a good idea and there is no better time than right now for the teams to do this!

Posted by: Beltwayboy7 | September 30, 2010 12:32 PM | Report abuse

I stopped watching WaPo Live a few months ago because the "Viewer Texts" that scroll across the bottom of the screen were way too distracting and stupid. If the stopped, I'd start watching again.

Posted by: colerwilson | September 30, 2010 3:37 PM | Report abuse

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