Redskins and Seahawks Will Get Max Local Media Coverage Sunday

James WilliamsAnalyst IIIJanuary 4, 2013

Robert Griffin, III looks forward to his first NFL playoff game.
Robert Griffin, III looks forward to his first NFL playoff game.Patrick McDermott/Getty Images

The entire country spent the week focused on Washington, where Congress was in a major battle to keep the country from going off the fiscal cliff. But that wasn't the sole area of focus in D.C. area.

The world could be going to Hell or the country's tax cuts set to expire, but hey, the Redskins are in the playoffs.

In this town, that is news transcends just sports pages. At the local sports talk outlets, business could not be better due to the Redskins' first playoffs appearance in five years.

Washington's matchup against Seattle Sunday at 4:30 Fed Ex Field will be seen nationally on Fox.

A home playoff game means all-hands-on-deck when it comes to the local sports media.  

At the radio home of the Redskins Chuck Sapienza, ESPN 980's vice president of programming, said his station certainly is going all in.

"The demand for Redskins coverage has been growing all season," Sapienza said. "From the time Robert Griffin III was their top pick to the defeat of Dallas, the interest level in the Skins has reached all-time levels. ESPN 980 expanded the pregame show for the Dallas game to 8 hours, increased the number of Redskins-related programming leading up to the playoff game and seen the demand for our broadcast team, Larry Michael, Sam Huff and Sonny Jurgensen, jump off the charts.

"The biggest jump has been with our 2 p.m. show, 'Inside the Locker Room with Doc Walker and Brian Mitchell.' Fans want to hear the insight and opinions from former Redskins that have actually won the Super Bowl. They have been doing a majority of their shows from ESPN 980's exclusive studio at Redskins Park."

Sunday ESPN 980am will start their pregame show at 9 a.m. leading up to the Redskins-Seahawks live game broadcast at 4:30 p.m.. There will be an extended postgame show that will go till at least midnight.     

Chris Kinard, the program director at 106.7 the Fan, said his station isn't doing any less even if it is not the flagship station for the Redskins.

"The Redskins are the hottest topic in town, and we're talking about the win over Dallas and the upcoming playoff game all day starting before 6 a.m. with the Sports Junkies," he said. "Listeners can't get enough of RGIII and the Skins right now. We also provide the sports reports to our sister station, All News WNEW 99.1 FM, where interest has also been off the charts. Come Sunday, our pregame coverage will start at 9 a.m., and we won't stop until 2 a.m. when our postgame signs off."

Meanwhile, on the TV side of mass media, Comcast SportsNet has kicked things into high gear for the playoffs.

Saturday at 9 p.m. they will air : Wild Card Weekend will preview Sunday’s match-ups with extensive news, analysis and interviews. Led by host Michael Jenkins and analysts Trevor Matich and Qadry Ismail, the show will feature the network’s full roster of football experts, including Charley Casserly, Antonio Freeman, Brad Jackson, Brian Mitchell, Matt Stover and Doc Walker.

Exclusive interviews with head coaches Mike Shanahan and John Harbaugh will be provided by Chick Hernandez and Brent Harris, respectively. Redskins Insider Tarik El-Bashir and Ravens Insider J. Michael will also contribute to the show.

Comcast SportsNet’s live game-day coverage begins with an hour-long Ravens Kickoff on Sunday at 12 p.m.,leading up to the Colts-Ravens 1 p.m. start time.

Ravens Postgame Live will air immediately after the game from approximately 4 to 5 p.m. Both programs will be live on location at M&T Bank Stadium’s Gate B and will be led by Chris Miller. The comprehensive gameday shows will feature Freeman, Jackson and Stover, with reporting and interviews from Harris and J. Michael.

Redskins Kickoff will begin at 3 p.m. Sunday in advance of the Seahawks-Redskins game at 4:30 p.m. A 90-minute edition of Redskins Postgame Live will begin immediately following the game on Comcast SportsNet Plus (CSN+) and will be joined in progress on Comcast SportsNet after the Wizards-Heat game.

Both programs will be on location at FedExField and will be led by Hernandez. Matich and Mitchell will serve as analysts, along with Walker and Shawn Springs, with reporting and interviews from Rob Carlin and El-Bashir.

All quotes in this story were obtained first hand from ESPN 980AM,106.7FMThe Fan and CSN mid-Atlantic in phone conversations conducted this week.