NATIONAL HARBOR, MD – MAY 30: 6-year old Lori Anne C. Madison of Woodbridge, Virginia stands with ESPN reporter Samantha Steele after the second round of the 2012 Scripps National Spelling Bee competition May 30, 2012 in National Harbor, Maryland. 278 spellers are competing in the 85th annual competition. (Photo by Mark Wilson/Getty Images)

Every Sunday, we’ll try to provide you with a preview of the sports programming for the upcoming week. Consider this the weekly version of our daily viewing picks, but with a little more information and background. Our goal is to have this published every Sunday at 9 a.m. ET, so you can read it when you wake up and have your Sunday morning coffee.

This week, it’s up a little later, but this will still be in handy for the upcoming week.


The French Open has begun. Unlike previous years, ESPN will not be involved in the coverage. Tennis Channel which has been the main cable rightsholder since 2007 had sublicensed hours to ESPN, but the Worldwide Leader citing the fact that it was the low man on the totem pole in terms of selection of matches and mainly having low ratings for the early morning portion (4-8 a.m. ET) decided to drop out.

There had been talk of perhaps bringing in another partner, but in the end, Tennis Channel decided to keep the entire cable contract to itself. So with that in mind, viewers who had gotten used to seeing ESPN on the French dating back to 2002 will have to find Tennis Channel on their cable and satellite systems.

Calling the matches for Tennis Channel over the next two weeks will be Paul Annacone, Tracy Austin, Mary Carillo, Lindsay Davenport, Ian Eagle, Brett Haber, Justin Gimelstob, Bill Macatee, Martina Navratilova, Ted Robinson, Leif Shiras, and Steve Weissman. Sports Illustrated’s Jon Wertheim will act as the insider and on-court interviewer.

The schedule for Tennis Channel is as follows:

Tennis Channel’s Live 2016 French Open Coverage

Date                                        Time (ET)                  Event                                     
Monday, May 23                    5 a.m.-3 p.m.               First-Round Action
Tuesday, May 24                    5 a.m.-3 p.m.               First-Round Action
Wednesday, May 25               5 a.m.-3 p.m.               Second-Round Action
Thursday, May 26                   5 a.m.-3 p.m.               Second-Round Action
Friday, May 27                       5 a.m.-3 p.m.               Third-Round Action
Saturday, May 28                    5 a.m.-Noon                Third-Round Action
Sunday, May 29                      5 a.m.-Noon                Round-of-16 Action
Monday, May 30                    5 a.m.-3 p.m.               Round-of-16 Action
Tuesday, May 31                    7 a.m.-1 p.m.               Quarterfinals
Wednesday, June 1                 7 a.m.-1 p.m.               Quarterfinals
Thursday, June 2                     6 a.m.-2 p.m.               Mixed Doubles Final, Women’s Singles Semifinals
Friday, June 3                         6 a.m.-11 a.m.             Men’s Singles Semifinal

NBC will have weekend and semifinal coverage as well. Ted Robinson, John McEnroe and Mary Carillo will call the matches. NBCSN will air the men’s semifinal on Friday, June 3 to provide coverage the time zones which won’t be able to watch the match live. NBC is pulling the dreaded delay for the men’s semifinal match it airs for the Central, Mountain and Pacific time zones. Here’s NBC’s schedule:

Date Time Round Network
Sun., May 22 1 ET First Round (LIVE) NBC
Sat., May 28 Noon ET Third Round (LIVE) NBC
Sun., May 29 Noon ET Fourth Round (LIVE) NBC
Mon., May 30 11 a.m. (all time zones) Fourth Round (LIVE ET) NBC
Thurs., June 2 11 a.m. (all time zones) Women’s Semifinals (LIVE ET) NBC
Fri., June 3 11 a.m. (all time zones) Men’s Semifinals (LIVE ET) NBC
Fri., June 3 11 a.m. ET Men’s Semifinals (LIVE) NBCSN
Sat., June 4 9 a.m. ET Women’s Final (LIVE) NBC
Sun., June 5 5:30 a.m. ET Women’s Doubles Final (LIVE) NBCSN
Sun., June 5 9 a.m. ET Men’s Final (LIVE) NBC


The Conference Finals continue. We know both the East and the West Finals will go at least five games. Here are the schedules for both, as always, all times are Eastern:

Western Conference Finals Eastern Conference Finals
Sunday, May 22: Game 3: Golden State at Oklahoma City — TNT, 8 p.m. Monday, May 23: Game 4: Cleveland at Toronto — ESPN, 8:30 p.m.
Tuesday, May 24: Game 4: Golden State at Oklahoma City — TNT, 9 p.m. Wednesday, May 25: Game 5: Toronto at Cleveland — ESPN, 8:30 p.m.
Thursday, May 26: Game 5: Oklahoma City at Golden State — TNT, 9 p.m. Friday, May 27: Game 6*: Cleveland at Toronto — ESPN, 8:30 p.m.
Saturday, May 28: Game 6*: Golden State at Oklahoma City — TNT, 9 p.m. Sunday, May 29: Game 7*: Toronto at Cleveland — ESPN, 8:30 p.m.

* if necessary


Just like the NBA, the NHL is in the midst of its Conference Finals. NBCSN has exclusive coverage of the games for the rest of the way. Mike Emrick, Ed Olczyk and Pierre McGuire call the East while Kenny Albert, Joe Micheletti and Brian Boucher or McGuire are out West. Both series will go at least six games. The schedule is below and again, all times are Eastern:

Eastern Conference Final Western Conference Final
Sunday, May 22: Game 5: Tampa Bay at Pittsburgh — NBCSN, 8 p.m. Monday, May 23: Game 5: San Jose at St. Louis — NBCSN, 8 p.m.
Tuesday, May 24: Game 6: Pittsburgh at Tampa Bay — NBCSN, 8 p.m. Wednesday, May 25: Game 6: St. Louis at San Jose — NBCSN, 9 p.m.
Thursday, May 26: Game 7*: Tampa Bay at Pittsburgh — NBCSN, 8 p.m. Friday, May 26: Game 7*: San Jose at St. Louis — NBCSN, 8 p.m.

*if necessary


With ESPN having NBA conference finals on Monday and Wednesday, it will shift Monday Night Baseball to Tuesday. Instead of having a Saturday game, FS1 will have a game on Monday and MLB Network fills in the gaps where it can. Got it? Here’s the week in MLB for you. All times are Eastern:

Monday, May 22
Anaheim at Texas — FS1, 8 p.m.
Cincinnati at Los Angeles Dodgers or San Diego at San Francisco — MLB Network, 10 p.m.

Tuesday, May 24
Tampa Bay at Miami — MLB Network, noon
Chicago Cubs at St. Louis — ESPN, 7 p.m.

Wednesday, May 25
New York Mets at Washington — MLB Network, 1 p.m. or Chicago Cubs at St. Louis — MLB Network, 1:30 p.m.
Toronto at New York Yankees or Colorado at Boston — MLB Network, 7 p.m.

Thursday, May 26
Arizona at Pittsburgh — MLB Network, 12:30 p.m. or Miami at Tampa Bay — MLB Network, 1 p.m.
St. Louis at Washington or Colorado at Boston — MLB Network, 7 p.m.

Friday, May 27
Los Angles Dodgers at New York Mets or St. Louis at Washington — MLB Network, 7 p.m.

Saturday, May 28
Boston at Toronto — MLB Network, 1 p.m.
New York Yankees at Tampa Bay or Baltimore at Cleveland — MLB Network, 4 p.m.
Los Angeles Dodgers at New York Mets or Pittsburgh at Texas or St. Louis at Washington — Fox, 7:15 p.m.
Houston at Anaheim or Minnesota at Seattle — MLB Network, 10 p.m.


Plenty of soccer action this week:

Monday, May 23
Bundesliga Play-in: Nürmberg vs. Eintracht-Frankfurt — FS1, 1:30 p.m.

Wednesday, May 25
International Friendly: US Men’s National Team vs. Ecuador — ESPN, 8 p.m.

Friday, May 26
MLS: Sporting KC vs. D.C. United — UniMás/Univision Deportes, 7 p.m.

Saturday, May 27
UEFA Champions League Final: Real Madrid vs. Club Atlético de Madrid — Fox, 2:30 p.m.
International Friendly: Mexico vs. Paraguay — FS1/Univision Deportes, 5:30 p.m.
International Friendly: United States vs. Bolivia — FS1/Univision Deportes, 8 p.m.


ESPN continues its coverage of the NCAA Softball Tournament with the Super Regionals starting on Thursday, May 26 at 7 p.m. on ESPN2. It resumes throughout the weekend.

Golf Channel has its second straight year of covering the NCAA Golf Championships starting on Monday with the Women’s Individual and Team Championships. They begin on Monday and will last through Wednesday.


ESPN has its annual coverage of the National Spelling Bee on Thursday with the finals beginning at noon ET on ESPN2 and then again in primetime at on ESPN at 8 p.m. ESPN’s coverage of the Spelling Bee has become so big, it even was part of one episode of Netflix’s Grace and Frankie in the series first season. I kid you not. Watch it if you have a chance.

So there you have a sampling on what’s ahead for this week. Next week, it’ll be up at 9 a.m. ET with more details. We’ll make sure we include Motorsports as well.

About Ken Fang

Ken has been covering the sports media in earnest at his own site, Fang's Bites since May 2007 and at Awful Announcing since March 2013.

He provides a unique perspective having been an award-winning radio news reporter in Providence and having worked in local television.

Fang celebrates the four Boston Red Sox World Championships in the 21st Century, but continues to be a long-suffering Cleveland Browns fan.

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