Crisis Averted! To accurately capture the end of the DirecTV-Fox gentleman’s truce, we turn to the money maker of the group


We’ll go with the info provided by the Wall Street Journal (linked here), which has some deep-rooted ties with News Corp and had an investment in this story getting done the right way:

NEW YORK (Dow Jones)–DirecTV Group Inc. (DTV) and Fox agreed to renew their contract for the programmer’s namesake network, Fox News and a handful of cable channels such as FX and National Geographic, ending a public spat that threatened to leave viewers without certain channels.

In Los Angeles, that would also include keeping Fox Sports West, Prime Ticket, Speed, Fox Soccer Channel … you know, stuff you’d normall watch.

Terms of the multiyear agreement weren’t disclosed. Fox and DirecTV spokesmen declined to give further details on the deal.

Well played. Fight it out in public, then don’t give the public the details of the agreement.

A pact allowing DirecTV to carry a package of Fox cable channels and regional sports networks expired Sept. 30, prompting a dispute between the companies as they initially disagreed on renewal terms. Similar agreements for Fox News and the network — presumably much larger deals — were set to expire at the end of December and January, respectively. Fox’s attempt to bundle all the properties into a single renewal arrangement complicated discussions at times, a DirecTV executive said last week.

C’mon, let’s just get it all done at once…

The two sides used websites and television ads to make their cases to the public. For example, DirecTV had said Fox demanded a 40% rate increase, while the network operator said that was untrue.

And cable companies sat back and waited for the flood of new disgrunteled customers. Didn’t happen.

“We both know the past 10 days have been challenging, but we’re pleased that both sides could eventually come together to ensure our viewers continue to enjoy Fox programming,” the companies said late Monday in a joint statement.

Plus, it insures we continue to make gobs of money.

Such disputes have become increasingly common in the television industry as network owners demand higher compensation for their content, and distributors face stalling subscription growth.

And they usually get resolved.

Fox is owned by News Corp., which also owns Dow Jones & Co., the publisher of this newswire.

Enough said.

Here’s a better way of summarizing what happened, thanks to Entertainment Weekly (linked here)

UPDATED: Tuesday, 9 a.m.:

Do you believe is happy with this decision? Go to this link.

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Play It Forward: Oct. 31-Nov. 6 on your sports calendar



NFL: San Diego at Kansas City, 5:30 p.m., ESPN:

A Chiefs’ victory means they’re tied for the AFC West lead with the Chargers and Raiders at 4-3. The Chiefs could also be the first team since the 2000 Pittsburgh Steelers to start a season 0-3 and then win its next four games.

Series: “Dancing With the Stars,” Channel 7, 8:30 p.m.:


Hope Solo in a Halloween costume? Might be worth checking out. it might also be worth it to her to just get eliminated. She was among 30 soccer players called up Thursday by U.S. women’s head coach Pia Sundhage for a Nov. 17 friendly against Sweden in Glendale, Ariz. The team will start training for two weeks. It won’t be the first time Solo has juggled her dancing duties with her day job. Before Week 2 of “Dancing with the Stars,” partner with Maksim Chmerkovskiy had to fly to Portland to rehearse with Solo as she got in practice for a game against Canada.On the show right after that mess, Solo and Chmerkovskiy scored 19 points for their jive, performed to Avril Lavigne’s “Girlfriend.” It was their lowest score of the season. Check back Tuesday (Channel 7, 9 p.m.) to see if she stayed alive.


Documentary: “Unguarded,” ESPN, 5 p.m.:


Chris Herren’s hoop dreams, and his life, took a downward spiral, and this hour-long project directed by Jonathan Hock captures it all, including his rebound. “It’s painful,” Herren told the Boston Herald after seeing the premiere recently. “That’s the life I had to live. If I look back with regret, guilt or shame, I couldn’t be here today.” Herren, the Fall River, Mass., native who who recently published an autobiography titled “Basketball Junkie,” played briefly for Boston College, had drug problems, caught on with Jerry Tarkanian at Fresno State, then somehow had a dream come true playing for the Boston Celtics. In one scene, though, Herren recalls standing in the rain in his Celtics uniform outside the Boston Garden waiting for his dealer just minutes before tip-off,.

Awards show: “2011 Gold Glove Awards,” ESPN2, 7 p.m.:

The live ceremony to celebrate those who could catch and throw better than everyone else the past season. Better, we’re told, than the Golden Globes.



Book signing: Jerry West signs “West By West: My Charmed Tormented Life,” 6 p.m., ESPN Zone at L.A. Live:

Yup, this was supposed to be part of the festivites tied to the opening of the NBA season. But West will still show and sign copies across from the empty Staples Center.


NHL: Kings vs. Edmonton, Staples Center, 7:30 p.m., FSW:

Oilers first overall draft pick Ryan Nugent-Hopkins had nine points (and a team-best five goals) in his first 10 games — and by playing in that 10th game last week, he has to stay with Edmonton for the remainder of the season. Is that even a question now?


MLS playoffs: Western Conference semifinals Game 2: Galaxy vs. New York Red Bull, Home Depot Center, 8 p.m., ESPN2:

The back end of a home-and-home series comes to L.A., with the Galaxy just needing a tie to advance. Post-game melee optional. The Red Bull needs a win of two or more goals to move on. Don’t count on it. The Galaxy, who haven’t lost at home this season (one of their five ties was against the Red Bulls in May) would end up facing the winner of the Seattle-Salt Lake City in a one-game match on Sunday at 6 p.m. at Home Depot Center for the Western Conference title. Then it’s a 13-day wait for the title match, back in Carson.



College football: USC at Colorado, 6 p.m., ESPN2:

The hangover from Saturday’s triple-OT loss to Stanford could have been worse. The Trojans could be in Eugene, Oregon. Instead, a trip to Boulder, Colo., against a 1-8 Buffaloes team that still hasn’t won a Pac-12 game, and may never do so the rest of this season. Colorado is ranked 117th in the country in points allowed a game — 38.3, or about 20 points a game more than they score.


College football: UCLA vs. Arizona State, Rose Bowl, 4:30 p.m., Versus:

The rest of the college football world may not care — it’ll be going head-to-head with No. 1 LSU at No. 2 Alabama (5 p.m., Channel 2) — so the Bruins’ potential throttling by the Pac-12 South-leading Sun Devils will likely not be on anyone’s watch list. Unless, of course, they somehow win again, as Lee Corso predicted would happen a week ago against Cal.

NHL: Kings vs. Pittsburgh, Staples Center, 7:30 p.m., FSW:


Once more anticipated in Hollywood than “Happy Feet Two” in 3D and “Mr. Popper’s Penguins” combined, the first visit to L.A. in two seasons by Pittsburgh’s Penguins is more like a kick in the head. It probably won’t be the first game back for Sidney Crosby since sustaining a concussion last January. He’s been cleared for contact in practice, but still doesn’t seem to be game-ready. Fortunately for Pittsburgh, Evgeni Malkin is back in the line-up after going down with a knee injury last February. Then again, the Pens won the Atlantic Division last year and took eight of their first 12 games this season. Back in Nov., 2009, the Kings slapped a 5-2 loss on the Penguins and shut Crosby out.


Horse racing: Breeders Cup Day 2: 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m., Channel 7; 12:30 p.m. to 4:15 p.m., ESPN:

Last year, it was Zenyatta who tried to cap off her career by beating the boys one last time. It didn’t happen. In this year’s $5 million Breeders’ Cup Classic, Havre de Grace (left) will see if she’s up to it in a 13-horse field. The 4-year-old filly is 5-of-6 this year and a solid challenge to Uncle Mo and Flat Out. Havre de Grace’s owner, Rick Porter, also entered her in the $2 million Ladies’ Classic on Friday as a backup plan. “The only reason we wouldn’t run in the Classic is if we drew the 1 hole or if we saw a complete difference in the weather on Friday and Saturday,” he said. A record total of 193 horses (nine more than last year), including 29 from overseas, were pre-entered for the $26 million, 15-race card at Churchill Downs in Louisville, Ky. Bob Baffert has 11 entries, including Santa Anita Handicap winner Game On Dude, ridden by Chantal Sutherland and co-owed by former Dodgers manager Joe Torre, for the Classic.



Running: New York City Marathon, 6-9:30 a.m., Universal Sports; 11 a.m. to 1 p.m., Channel 4 (delayed):

Pray for more snow. And a Lance Armstrong appearance again.

NASCAR: AAA Texas 500, Fort Worth, Tex., noon, ESPN:

Three more stops in the Chase for the Cup, with Tony Stewart scrambling back into second place behind Carl Edwards.

NFL: Green Bay at San Diego, 1:15 p.m., TBA; Baltimore at Pittsburgh, 5:20 p.m., Channel 4:

The Chargers actually sold this out a couple of weeks ago. Does that mean it’s important, or just a lot of Packers fans in Southern California?

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Why the new Cal Lutheran University football stadium can really be considered a work of art


Photo by Erik Hagen/Cal Lutheran University
From the field level at William Rolland Stadium, fans in the East grandstand have a view of the new clock tower and the archway entrance.


Photo by Tom Hoffarth
From inside the William Rolland Gallery of Fine Art, fans can watch Cal Lutheran’s game Saturday against Claremont-Mudd-Scripps — or at least part of the scoreboard.

Go to a football game now at Cal Lutheran, and a self-guided museum art tour is liable to break out.

Today, for example, you could have been taking a slow walk around a bronze sculpture created almost 100 years ago by Henri Louis Levasseur. A football flying through the goalposts would have been in your line of vision as well.

So while you’re interpreting the French artist’s work called “Two Figures Laboring,” the Kingsmen were hardly laboring putting another three on the scoreboard, to pad their third-quarter lead over Claremont-Mudd-Scripps.


CalLu may be a tiny, private school that loves its NCAA Division III level football. But it’s also a heralded liberal arts college.

Bill Rolland, one of CalLu’s big-time donors, figured out a way to marry the two concepts.

His latest donation to the school was two-pronged — he helped finance a new $8.9 million football field on campus cristened as William Rolland Stadium, across the street from the old Mount Clef Stadium. Attached to it is a 2,200-square-foot Gallery of Fine Art, also in Rolland’s name, right off the southeast corner of the end zone and a few steps away from a nifty 70-foot clock tower.

A dedication ceremony to coincide with Homecoming and Founder’s Day weekend attraced more than 4,000 people to today’s game, a 54-6 victory.

The peaceful refuge of the air-conditioned veranda, where Native American Indian sculptures, oil-on-canvas landscapes and even a former Indianapolis 500 car once driven by Jim McElreath co-exist, may be the only thing of its kind in all of college football.

Think of this CalLu creation as if USC figured out a way to drag the L.A. County Museum of Art out of the La Brea tar pits and attach it to the peristyle end of the Colieum.

“I wish I could claim having this idea,” school president Chris Kimball said. “But it was all about Bill asking us if he could combine the two. The more we thought about it, why not bring athletics and academics together rather than separate them?”


Photo by Tom Hoffarth
Bill Rolland poses Saturday next to the Jim McElreath Indianapolis 500 car that ran in the 1979 and 1980 races, built by Grant King. The 1,500-pound car is one of six that Rolland has in his collection, and will be rotated into the Gallery of Fine Art named after him at the new stadium on the Cal Lutheran University campus.

Rolland stood off to the side of his field-level gallery opening an hour before kickoff and admitted he was overwhelmed by the response from first-time visitors.

“I’m so emotional now, just taking it all in,” said the Medal of Valor-honored former L.A. City firefighter and Thousand Oaks native who ammassed his fortune in Southern California land development.

“Football is an art form, you know?” he continued.

Such as …

“I see the no-huddle offense, especially the one used by this team, as art,” said the former quarterback and linebacker at Army. “It’s constantly evolving. It’s so well-organized. It takes practice to make it perfect.”

Rolland says he has amassed enough in his eclectic collection to fill the current gallery three times over — including six Indy-style cars. But he’ll gladly use it the facility that can hold up to 300 visitors as a place to rotate exhibits from all kinds of collectors.


The only thing that will be permanent: A 7-foot-2 bronze just outside the stadium entrance unveiled Saturday called “Heading For The End Zone,” a statue (left) depicting a running back with the ball in one arm and holding off the defense with the other. Rolland commissioned it, and David Spellerberg created it.

Rolland, Kimball and Kingsman head coach Ben McEnroe were part of the pre-game ceremony to dedicate the new stadium, which has about 3,000 permanent seats and much more standing room for the time being.

On a piece of land where Sparky Anderson once taught baseball (the diamond named after him is just a punt away), where Tom Landry once brought his Dallas Cowboys for preseason NFL workouts and where John Wooden could visit the two of them during his summer basketball camps, William Rolland Stadium is a work of art until itself.

There are new vistas to appreciate. Look out past the North end zone, about a quarter-mile up, and not far from the “CLU” logo in the hills sits the home of Karsten Lundgren , one of the first university alumns and another major donor (i.e., the Lundgren Events Center). The view from his living room might as well serve as the first built-in luxury suite for the stadium.

McEnroe congratulated the workers for “staging one of the greatest comebacks in construction history,” since rain delays messed with the two-year time frame from conception to near-completion (there’s still a few bricks to be laid outside).

The new artificial FieldTurf had actually been tested twice before Saturday. After CalLu’s first home game was moved to Moorpark College, the games on Oct. 1 and 8 were at Rolland Stadium before it was fully finished.

A 28-24 win over Redlands was under the new lights — the first home game at night in CalLu history. A full house saw the Kingsmen trail 24-0 before rallying late.

Saturday was actually the first time Rolland’s museum had been game-tested. The East side of the stadium, which supports 2,000 seats, structurally sits on top of the gallery.

You’d hate to think that if the crowd really started stomping its feet and rocking the joint, paintings could come unhinged and get punctured by tipped-over sculptures.

“If that game where we had the huge comeback didn’t break a window,” Rolland said, “I don’t think anything ever will. We’re solid.”


Photo by Tom Hoffarth
The view looking West from the Rolland Stadium is referred to as the Wildwood Mesa, which was seen in the 1939 movie “Wuthering Heights” starring Laurence Oliver.

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Pencil-pushing Corso gets his wood on for Stanford’s tree in latest ‘GameDay’ prediction


Maybe it has something to do with the fact he works for the Dixon Ticonderoga Company, makers of the famous yellow No. 2 pencil. He’s the director of business development, waiving a pencil as he makes his point on the ESNP “GameDay” set.

Or maybe he really thinks that Stanford, almost a nine-point favorite at USC, will really win.

That Lee Corso left the set and came back before the end wearing the complete Stanford tree get-up — a money tree, at that, with dollar bills taped to it — should make watching tonight’s Cardinal-Trojan game an afterthought.


Corso, as we pointed out in Friday’s media column (linked here and linked here), is 8-for-8 in mascot head-gear picks when “GameDay” has come to L.A. The last two visits — counting a year ago when Oregon played USC — he has gone against the Trojans.

Corso keeps his perfect 15-0 streak in tact when picking USC to win — avoiding the Trojans this time. He was also 1-0 when picking against Stanford.

His record, however, is also 3-0 when picking against USC. He’s 6-2 this season and 137-63 in the previous 200 picks.

And for the record, plenty of Dan Patrick show-related signs did appear in the background during the three hours that the show aired on ESPNU (6-7 a.m.) and ESPN (7-9 a.m.) One referred to the Rick Neuheisel “passion bucket.” Another, to Patrick’s recently wearing a plaid shirt. A “Where’s Waldo DP” sign got some airtime. Surely, others were on that we didn’t quite catch but we’ll find at come Monday.

We did, however, notice one that surely ESPN can’t be too pleased about. Just as Kirk Herbstreit was about to talk about the USC-Stanford matchup near the end of the telecast, a sign came out of nowhere that effectively used the letters “ESPN” to incorporate into the stacked spelling of the word “penis” four times — with pictures of Lou Holtz’s face.

You’re tackling rowdy kids with any DP references, but this “penis” work of art slips in. Nice work, weiner security.

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Reggie on Billy: Racial slurs and anti-Semitic words bothered me


The Associated Press

Reggie Jackson said he heard manager Billy Martin use racial and anti-Semitic remarks then, and felt it was time to talk about them now.

“You need to set the record straight,” the former Yankees and Angels Hall of Fame slugger told The Associated Press on Friday. “They’re the truth.”

The late Martin managed the New York Yankees in the late 1970s, a fiery time that included a pair of World Series championships in ’77 and ’78 against the Dodgers. Jackson spoke about Martin in an interview with the MLB Network that will be shown Monday night.

“I did not accept the way he managed me. I did not accept the way he managed (Jewish pitcher) Ken Holtzman. I thought there was anti-Semitism there,” Jackson said in the MLB Network interview with Bob Costas.

“I couldn’t accept the racial epithets in reference to players like (black players) Elliott Maddox or Billy Sample. There are players that played for him that would tell you that.”

Jackson told the AP that “sometimes it’s uncomfortable, but it’s real and you can’t ignore it. … There’s a certain time that when somebody asks you a question, you answer them. I don’t think I said anything with venom. If you can express yourself without anger and make it as palatable as you can, that’s what you do.”

Jackson was asked how often Martin used such language.

“Sometimes,” he said. “It wasn’t all the time.”

The relationship between Jackson and Martin was tumultuous, played out against a backdrop of what became known as “The Bronx Zoo.”

“He was a guy I never got to know really well. Obviously, we didn’t see eye to eye,” Jackson said.

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