Michaels appreciates Steelers

When “Sunday Night Football” kicks off tonight with the Bears visiting the Steelers at Heinz Field, it will mark the 25th prime-time game play-by-play man Al Michaels has worked in Pittsburgh.

According to NBC Sports, the Steelers are the seventh team to host at least 25 games called by Michaels.

In addition to the games in Pittsburgh, Michaels called the Steelers’ two most recent Super Bowl victories.

“There has been no better NFL game for me than Pittsburgh-Arizona in Super Bowl XLIII,” Michaels said. “That was the No. 1 game in terms of drama and excitement. There is always an argument about which Super Bowl is the best.

“But how many Super Bowls have not one, but two plays for the ages – James Harrison’s interception-return touchdown just before halftime and Santonio Holmes’ touchdown catch in the waning seconds in the corner of the end zone? Those two plays are as iconic as any I have ever seen.”

Tuner tidbits

n Former Steelers all-pro running back Jerome Bettis landed at ESPN this year after an opportunity with NBC Sports and “Football Night in America” did not work, or at least did not work well enough for him to keep that job.

Likewise, former Steelers all-pro receiver Hines Ward keeps trying to earn his position with NBC Sports. He contributes to “Football Night in America” (after an OK debut season in 2012) and handles studio duties for college football.

n After numerous complaints from fans during the first two weeks of the NFL season, CBS Sports said it would address the colors it uses for its bottom-the-the-TV-screen score update and ticker. It had been using yellow to indicate final scores, but viewers complained about similarities to the color typically used to indicate penalties. If and when the change happens, it will impact the on-screen look for CBS Sports Network as well.

n Fox Sports 1 has mimicked ESPN and tried to cut back live to shows during its commercial breaks, to give viewers some sort of behind-the-scenes access or sense of immediacy. During “Fox Football Daily” last week, the cutback caught former Steelers quarterback Terry Bradshaw uttering a profanity – giving viewers perhaps a bit more than they expected.

n In an effort to give “Fox Sports Live” co-hosts Jay Onrait and Dan O’Toole more exposure and as a bit of cross promotion, the duo will host post-game highlights on “Fox NFL Sunday” this evening.

Steve Sampsell covers the broadcast side of sports. He can be reached at