Dr. Jerry Buss’ induction into the Basketball Hall of Fame on Friday (3 p.m., NBA TV) is for his contributions to the game.
Dancing girls, Hollywood celebs courtside and waitress service aside, there was the 1985 creation of the Prime Ticket cable TV channel that probably had more to do with any of the non-roster issues than anything he could have achieved.
As we go back to the beginnings of the channel in Friday’s media column, we asked Kings Hall of Fame play-by-play man Bob Miller to reflect on how he saw Prime Ticket’s emergence affect not just the hockey boom of Los Angeles, but the ripple effect it had on other sports as well:
“I remember Prime Ticket being an innovation since I believe it was the first regional network put together to carry local teams games. It was only one channel then and it came just in time for the arrival of Gretzky when the Kings increased their televised games from about 25 to 62.
“I know Bruce McNall got most of the credit for making the Gretzky trade but I had heard that Dr. Buss has started ooking into it just before he sold the team to Bruce. I guess Bill Daniels was involved also because at the news conference announcing the trade, I know Dr. Buss was on the dais and also Tony Acone who worked for Bill Daniels (and was in charge of the cable channel’s distribution). The public profile of the Kings increased tremendously with the arrival of Gretzky and Prime Ticket since we were televising so many more games.”
There’s more from those who worked on the launch of Prime Ticket in Friday’s column.