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Best/Favorite Sports Network


Chawls

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ESPN gets a lot of flack here, most of it deservingly so. So with the multitude of sports networks out there, which is your favorite? Which is the best?

Keep in mind that "favorite" and "best" aren't necessarily mutually exclusive terms.

At one time, it was the NFL Network. I became a fan of the NFL in 2003 because of them back when they broadcasted exclusively with DirecTv. Now I found most of their programming to be really stale.

For now, only because I watch more of their programming thatn anyone else, I'll say ESPN. SVP show, Around the Horn, and PTI are my must-watch shows of the day.

But because I now have Dish Network, I have ESPN, ESPN2, ESPNU, ESPNews, NFL Network, NBA TV, MLB Network, NHL Network, CBS Sports, SPEED, and Fox Sports (Southwest). Of course, depending on your cable or satellite provider, you'll have different networks available to you.

Also, with the ones I have available to me, which of these should I pay more attention to?

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ESPN's the only real sports network, imho. You've got CSN(regional) which is decent but only worth it for local games and pre/postgame coverage. I loathe ESPN's fluff coverage like ESPN First Take, which is like getting a battery acid enema, but I guess they're on top of breaking news pretty quickly.

NHL Network has taken over as the "I'm going to fall asleep to this" channel. It's dreadfully boring during the offseason, obviously, but NHL Tonight/On The Fly is usually a lot of fun to watch, unless the blackhawks piss away a game in which case I'm changing the channel.

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I'm a big fan of CSN being here in Chicago. I used to love watching Monsters in the Morning before it went off the air. As much as I loathe ESPN, it's really the only sports network I watch. I used to hate ATH, but it's become one of my favorite shows. Unfortunately I work till 5, so I barely get to catch it.

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Mike and Mike, SportsCenter and First Take are the only shows on ESPN that I have any interest in anymore, and Mike and Mike is the only one I actually like.

SportsCenter isn't what it used to be, and First Take wins out by default due to its timeslot. Its either listen to Skip Paige make dumb statements, listen to Rachael Ray blabber on about cookware or watch Wayne Brady try to salvage what's left of his career. Its not like there's many choices to be had at the 10AM hour. I'm just going with the one that wants me want to hit my TV the least.

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My favorite is MLB Network. Once the season starts, MLB Tonight is great. They have live cut-ins to every game in progress, which is nice if you don't have the Extra Innings package. MLB Network has replaced ESPNews as my background noise channel of choice.

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I used to hate ATH, but it's become one of my favorite shows. Unfortunately I work till 5, so I barely get to catch it.

They air a rerun of it on ESPNews at 5, followed by PTI at 5:30.

I felt the same way as BayouJim about ATH, maybe because I'm not a fan of Max Kellerman; Tony "Stat Boy" Reali is a much better host, and became a more entertaining show. I've been a fan of Pardon the Interruption almost since day one; I'm at work when both shows are on, but I catch it live (or actually on a two-minute delay) on SiriusXM's ESPN Xtra channel. The only-other ESPN show I tune in regularly to is SportsNation (I actually DVR it now); Colin Cowherd is rather tame here than on his radio show, and I like to look at Michelle Beadle.

Being here in Southern California, we have Fox Sports West and Prime Ticket...it's too bad that they don't a local sports news program anymore, which was done away altogether by the Fox Sports higher-ups. I have the DirecTV sports pack, which has most of the other regional sports networks plus the second-tier networks, and it's always good to sample other sports content from other parts of the country. However, they're all pretty useless because most of the live sports are blacked-out, thus forcing you to buy the seasonal pay-per-view packages. Personally, I think MSG Network is the best of the bunch, although ever since they lost the Mets (and the Yankees before that), their spring/summer programming is pretty threadbare.

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Twitter. :P

In all seriousness, MLB Network is far & away the best sports network around. They've got the best nightly show (MLB Tonight), great fill-in viewing (classic games, countdowns, documentaries), & the production value on their live games are pretty good as well. It's definitely my favorite, especially after NFL Network began to devolve into simply a souped-up ESPN.

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I'm not much of a baseball fan at all, but I did watch MLB Tonight on the last day of the regular season.

It was almost enough to convert me into a full-fledged baseball fan. Very exciting to follow along with.

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MLB Network is the best and my favorite. They will air EVERY Spring Training game , whether live or tape delay. They also have "30 Clubs in 30 Days" which profiles each team leading up to Opening Day. Great way to get a breakdown of the teams, how the divisions are gonna stack up, and what might unfold over the season. Intentional Talk is great fun, especially during the season when they get interviews from players and managers before the games. I would watch MLB Tonight more often, but I am usually watching the Brewers during that time. All the special programming is really cool and well produced. My only gripe is the late night highlight show, Quick Pitch. It airs live at like 10/11 CDT and then re-runs for about 5-6 hours. I keep thinking I am going to get breaking news when I tune in.

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I'll divide this into two groups: by sport for live games and as a whole

-Baseball: MLB Network (it helps when you're going up against Buck/McCarver on Fox, YANKEES-SAWX AND MAYBE PHILLIES ALL DAY AY DAY on ESPN, and OHHHHH WRITTTEN IN THE STAAAARRRSSS A MILLION MILES AWAAAYYYY on TBS, but more on MLBN later)

-Basketball: TNT

-Football: NBC

-Hockey: NBC/NBCSN by default but I do enjoy their coverage, especially NHL Overtime for highlights

-Soccer: Tie between ESPN and FSC (ESPN's great with the World Cups and the Euro, FSC's great with the EPL)

-College Sports: ESPN's networks

-NASCAR: Fox though ESPN's starting to come close to them as of late

As a whole? As others have discussed, MLB Network. MLB Tonight might just be the best show in sports, too. NBCSN's starting to become one of my favorites in terms of the 6 pm NBC Sports Talk, hockey from 7-10, then NHL Overtime around midnight, but still needs to fill up quite a bit of dead periods. ESPN's still solid for live events and PTI. But as a whole, MLB Network tops all of them top-to-bottom with all the programming and MLB Tonight they've got on all day

Local network's I'll probably go with SNY, if only because they have Big East football and hoops during the Mets offseason whereas MSG has very little to offer in the summer save for Red Bulls games and Boomer and Carton in the Morning

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NHL Network has taken over as the "I'm going to fall asleep to this" channel.

Funny you say that as it has also just recently became the channel I fall asleep to.

NFL, NHL, NBA, and MLB are great obviously when i'm in for a certain sport.

ESPN is top dog with multisport. NBC Sports is looking like it could maybe rival ESPN later on down the road and NHL is prominent so I love that aswell.

Root Sports is a regional Pittsburgh channel that is pretty good for around here.

I love reading Sports Illustrated so I always thought that if Sports Illustrated had a network it be pretty good in my weird opinion for some reason lol.

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I can say that I have enjoyed MLB Network since it debuted three years ago, and its MLB Tonight completely blows away ESPN's Baseball Tonight. I'm more of a causal NHL fan, but I try to catch NHL Network's simulcast of Hockey Night in Canada whenever I can, just to see what hideous pimp suit Don Cherry wears each week (guilty pleasure).

Turner Sports has done a really great job in running NBA TV, giving it more of a polished look compared to the network's early years. I just the miss the classic games though; they still show them on occasion but not as much as before.

As far as the NFL Network, I enjoy Gameday Final, the Top 10 series, A Football Life, and a few other of the NFL Films documentaries.

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