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Paul Romanuk has worked in Canadian sports broadcasting for most of 20 years, but he's making plans to pack it in, at least for a while.

He's moving to England, where his wife, Kari Kerr, has accepted a corporate position in marketing with Coca-Cola in London, beginning in the fall.

"We've been to London many times," Romanuk said.

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"I love the city and I think it's going to be a tremendous experience."

Romanuk says he hopes to continue a career in sports broadcasting, but isn't sure what it would be.

A quick study of British sports could be a challenge, but he's versatile and effective as a reporter, anchor or announcer.

He could certainly work as a studio host for discussions on hockey and basketball. Or he could file reports to Canadian television on some of the big European events.

Romanuk was TSN's hockey voice in the 1980s and 1990s. In 2001, he joined CHUM Radio when it launched its national sports network.

After the network failed in August of 2002, he worked in various radio and television jobs, including the Athens Olympics for the CBC last summer.

In 2004-05, he called Toronto Raptors games for The Fan 590 in Toronto.

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Raptors trade talk

Tonight's National Basketball Association draft (TSN, Raptors NBA TV and The Fan 590, 7 p.m. EDT) is of particular interest to Raptors fans because the club has two first-round picks and two in the second round.

A reported rumour yesterday had the Raptors swapping one of their first-rounders (seven or 16) and players Morris Peterson and Aaron Williams for Canadian Jamaal Magloire of the New Orleans Hornets.

Would you make that deal? In a heartbeat, Raptors analyst Paul Jones said.

"The question is, who's better right now: No. 7 or Jamaal?" said Jones, who works on the Fan radio broadcasts and appears on Raptors TV.

"I think Jamaal is a perfect fit. He's a young veteran, 27 years old. He's an all-star, although he was hurt last year. Guys don't really learn to play this game until they're 27. So, it's the best time, 27 to 31, because you're not only at your physical peak, but you've played in the league long enough to understand what's going on.

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"I'd give them No. 7 and anybody else they want off the roster, with the exception of Chris Bosh."

TSN and Raptors TV will pick up ESPN's telecast of the draft. Mike Tirico, who will anchor the three-hour show, will be joined by analysts Jay Bilas, Greg Anthony and Stephen Smith. At midnight, Raptors TV will air a draft review.

He's back

After an absence of six weeks, Bruce Dowbiggin's column appeared in the Calgary Herald yesterday. It had not been in the newspaper since a May 16 piece was found by a reader to contain two consecutive sentences that were almost word for word identical to those in a New York Times report. A few days later, a mea culpa by Dowbiggin was published, but no apology.

The Herald would not confirm that Dowbiggin's absence served as a suspension. Dowbiggin freelances to the Herald. He is not a staff writer. His column yesterday contained no reference to the problematic piece of May 16. His lead item, on the National Hockey League perhaps delaying the entry draft by a year, was not original, but he credited The Eagle-Tribune of Lawrence, Mass.

Big CBC audience

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Football on Saturday nights has caught on quickly. The CBC's first Canadian Football League telecast of the season drew 492,000 viewers, an increase of 47 per cent from last year's opener audience of 335,000. The increase can be attributed to involvement of Canada's two leading English-language markets. The B.C. Lions played the Toronto Argonauts, and it was a close game. The Edmonton Eskimos and Montreal Alouettes were in last year's CBC opener.

The pregame show drew 145,000, a huge increase of 88 per cent from last season.

Some final numbers from the NBA championship series (Detroit-San Antonio): The seventh game earned an 11.9 national rating in the United States (11.9 per cent of U.S. households) and won Thursday night among the main networks. The seven-game series had an average rating of 8.2, a drop of 29 per cent from last year. Viewership decreased because the first four games were uncompetitive. The Pistons-Spurs match-up lacked star power. And the 9:20 p.m. EDT starts were too late.

NBC's coverage of the U.S. Women's Open final round on Sunday earned the best overnight rating for the event since 1997 -- a 3.2 rating (3.2 per cent of U.S. households), 68 per cent larger than last year's final-round coverage (1.9). Saturday's coverage earned a 2.2 overnight rating, 29 per cent larger than last year's 1.7.

whouston@globeandmail.ca

Rating the weekend

Friday
Baseball (Jays-Nationals) Rogers Sportsnet 264,000 Good Jays audience, but football wins night
Football (Renegades-Eskimos) TSN 297,000 TSN's signature CFL show down a bit from
2004 season average
Saturday
Tennis (Wimbledon) TSN 99,000 Good number for a long telecast,
8 a.m. EDT to 3 p.m.
Soccer Conferations Cup (Germany-Brazil) Sportsnet 106,000 Classic match-up produces solid audience
Golf (Women's U.S. Open) TSN 166,000 Strong viewership for women's golf
Football (Lions-Argos) CBC 492,000 Big-time audience for opener, up 47 per cent
Baseball (Jays-Nationals) Sportsnet 224,000 Not bad against CBC's football audience
Auto Racing (IRL IndyCar, Richmond) TSN 65,000 Niche audience on busy sports night
Football (Blue Bombers-Roughriders) TSN 290,000 Despite late start (10:26 p.m.), plenty tuned in
Sunday
Soccer Confederations Cup (Mexico-Argentina) Sportsnet 117,000 Shootout produces exciting finish
Auto Racing (Champ Car World Series) TSN 84,000 Paul Tracy can't lift audience to six figures
Horse racing (Queen's Plate) The Score 79,000 Down from last year's 90,000
Auto racing (NASCAR) Sportsnet 202,000 Strong number for 4.5-hour telecast
Golf (Women's U.S. Open final round) TSN 83,000 Joined in progress, not a good number
Baseball (Mets-Yankees) Sportsnet 222,000 Subway match-up draws large audience
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