Those scanning their DirecTV service for the Lakers-Blazers game on Halloween night might have seen it listed on NBA TV, the league-owned channel.
Nope, it was just a ghost. The message up on the screen:
“Sorry, a channel where it is viewable has not been found, but we’re still searching.”
And the search continues. For reasons, retribution and rebuttals.
Interestingly, NBA TV reported today that its coverage of the Lakers-Blazers game generated 868,000 total viewers — the network’s best-watched telecast ever. The previous high: A documentary on the Dream Team (847,000), and a Spurs-Grizzles playoff game in 2011 (835,000).
So, what did make it into this week’s media column: How Prime Ticket is trying to make the Clippers’ experience a whole new visual effect — as it takes on the Lakers tonight. Plus, more on the Breeders’ Cup coverage on NBC Sports Net, and other notes.
What could have made the column, but didn’t:
== The NBC coverage of the Breeders’ Cup from Santa Anita starts with host Tom Hammond, who did the first event for the network in 1984. He’s with former jockeys Gary Stevens and Jerry Bailey, handicappers Mike Battaglia and Bob Neumeier; reporters Laffit Pincay, Kenny Rice, Donna Brothers, Jay Privman and Nick Luck, plus Michelle Beadle to do the Hollywood stuff. With producer Rob Hyland (who has been on the sport for the network since 2001) is director Jeff Simon. The coverage on NBC Sports Network will be produced by Billy Matthews. NBC Sports exec producer Sam Flood has produced 11 Triple Crown races for the network.
== Fox’s Gus Johnson, Charles Davis and Julie Alexandria will call USC’s game Saturday against Oregon from the Coliseum (4 p.m., Channel 11). The Pac-12 Network’s Ted Robinson, Glenn Parker and Ryan Nece have UCLA’s game against Arizona from the Rose Bowl (7:30 p.m.).
The rest of the conference schedule: Tonight, Carter Blackburn, Rod Gilmore and Jemele Hill call Washington-Cal (6 p.m., ESPN2). Saturday, Justin Kutcher, Eric Crouch and Darius Walker have Stanford-Colorado (11 a.m., FX), Joe Tessitore, Matt Millen and Tom Luginbill do Arizona State-Oregon State (7:30 p.m, ESPN2), and Kevin Calabro, Adam Archuleta and Yogi Roth have Washington State-Utah (Pac-12 Network, noon).
Meanwhile, ESPN’s “College GameDay” originates from Baton Rouge, La., prior to the Alabama-LSU game that CBS will cover (5 p.m., Channel 2, with Verne Lundquist and Gary Danielson). That means Kirk Herbstreit has to climb aboard the Disney charter and head to Manhattan, Kan., for the Oklahoma State-Kansas State contest (5 p.m, Channel 7) with Brent Musburger and Heather Cox. The best of the rest: Brad Nessler, Todd Blackledge and Holly Rowe have Texas A&M at Mississippi State (9 a.m., ESPN), Dan Hicks (subbing for Tom Hammond while he’s at the Breeders’ Cup) joins Mike Mayock and Alex Flanagan for Pitt-Notre Dame in South Bend, Ind. (12:30 p.m., Channel 4), Bob Wischusen, Danny Kanell and Maria Taylor have Texas vs. Texas Tech (12:30 p.m., Channel 7), Sean McDonough, Chris Spielman and Quint Kessenich have Nebraska-Michigan State (12:30 p.m, ESPN2), Craig Bolerjack, Joel Klatt and Petros Papadakis have TCU at West Virginia (noon, Channel 11) and James Bates, Aaron Taylor and Lauren Gardner have San Diego State-Boise State (7:30 p.m., CBS Sports Network).
== The NFL’s menu: CBS’ doubleheader covers Denver at Cincinnati (10 a.m., Channel 2, with Greg Gumbel and Dan Dierdorf) and Pittsburgh at New York Giants (1:25 p.m., Channel 2, with Jim Nantz and Phil Simms). Fox’s lone game: Arizona at Green Bay (10 a.m., Channel 11, with Joe Buck, Troy Aikman and Pam Oliver). NBC has Dallas-Atlanta (5:20 p.m., Channel 4, with Al Michaels, Cris Collinsworth and Michele Tafoya).
== Mike Tirico and Hubie Brown (with Chris Broussard on the sidelines) have the Lakers-Clippers call for ESPN tonight, only because Mike Breen, Jeff Van Gundy and Doris Burke are scheduled to do the Miami-New York game from Madison Square Garden (5 p.m.) to open the double header.
== In addition to Hannah Storm, ESPN will use John Anderson as the New York City Marathon co-host for Sunday’s coverage, with analysts Carrie Tollefson and Tim Hutchings, plus reporters Lewis Johnson, Juli Benson, Ed Eyestone and David Willey (actually running the course).