What’s coming up for Sunday:
The announcement this week that Cal State Northridge plans to raise the bar with producing more sports-related content in expanding its current MatadorTV program into the launch of what it is calling the CSUN Sports Network should get everyone’s attention in the Southern California academic/sports world.
What four-year universities should be doing in the second-largest media market is ramping up their training the next generation of technicians, editors, graphic designers and on-air talent. Programs in place at USC and UCLA may seem to have more international exposure, but CSUN can shed any “mid-major” connotation with what it is attempting here, not just augmenting the Big West in production of live-streaming video but also improving its brand of a place to go for those who want to learn the business.
Take note, Long Beach State, Dominguez Hills, Pepperdine, LMU …
(Which seems to raise the question: Doesn’t Cal State University Channel Islands have the brand name and natural synergy in getting its own sports channel?)
That, with all the CSUN alums already involved in the media business in the area who want to assist in this project, gives it much more momentum.
We have more with CSUN athletic director Dr. Brandon Martin on how this project will work.
What’s also worth nothing at this point in the week:
== DirecTV CEO Mike White, who landed at No.19 on the LANG list of the 50 most powerful sports people in L.A. but could easily disappear in future rankings, reasserted his company’s disdain for the Dodgers’ SportsNet L.A. distribution via Time Warner Cable during a Wednesday earnings conference call with analysts this week, according to Variety.
Amidst all that angst also came the most jarring quote from his assessment of the impact the channel has on his company as it stands today: “The channel’s probably worth less to us than it was a year ago.”
Perhaps full context of his statement in response to a question from James M. Ratcliffe of Buckingham Research, pulled from a transcript provided by TheStreet.com and cited by TVPredictions.com, is really needed here.
Despite another quote that “we haven’t lost any customers” because of the channel issue, White did admit that by his count as many as 3,000 customers have left DirecTV because of the SportsNet L.A. situation. Count us, Daily News columnist Dennis McCarthy and KSPN-AM (710) afternoon co-host Steve Mason among them.
Because we think you do care — despite another White assertion — here is his full quote, which also makes a reference to DirecTV not having the Pac-12 Network:
“I think in the case of the Dodgers, frankly at this stage, it’s probably for AT&T to make a decision. But it was a reckless deal at many multiples of what was being paid before, well above what anybody else would have bid and then they tried to force customers to pay for it.
“We had very minimal churn last year. I think something like 2,000 customers, which was — like half that this year, so I think, my view we made a very fair offer last year. It was rejected out of hand by Time Warner Cable.
“Frankly, now that we haven’t lost any customers, the channel is probably worth less to us today than it was a year ago. But you know, I have to say I think it’s … when you abuse customers by overpaying for stuff and then trying to jam them, which there’s a lot of in this industry, whether it is for a college network or whether it is for a regional sports network, you know, I think what we’ve learned out of our Houston experience and our Los Angeles experience is you know what? Customers don’t care that much.”
White said he expects a $48.5 billion acquisition merger with AT&T to be approved in the next few months after it is reviewed by the FCC and Justice Department, and then it would be up to the new AT&T company execs to decide if it wanted the SportsNet L.A. deal for its combined customers.
== In the meantime, may we interest you in a meet-and-greet with Dodgers Hall of Famer Vin Scully?
Willing to drive about 2 1/2 hours north to somewhere in Central California?
The Kern Golden Empire website (run by KGET Channel 17) confirms that the 87-year-old Scully, who isn’t calling Dodgers games this week, will make the trek to the city of Taft — specifically at 515 Cascade Place — to visit a Wiffle ball named in his honor on Saturday, as well as “visit with local children and celebrate the work being done every day in support of the community.” Ceremonies begin at 11:30 a.m. More information: Westside Parks and Recreation District at (661) 763-4246.
== If you missed the clip of the Dodgers fan who video taped himself catching a home-run hit by Arizona’s Aaron Hill at Dodger Stadium last weekend, it’s at this link. And as Scully said, “It’s the selfie of all selfies.”
== With David Letterman’s late night show coming to and end on May 20, we’ve dug up this Scully appearance on the program from almost exactly 25 years ago — May 11, 1990 when Scully was traveling with the Dodgers in New York.
Move the video to the 25:30 mark to see Scully, then in his 41st season with the Dodgers, drop the word “bitchy” into the conversation.
How Letterman will retire before Scully remains one of TV’s greatest mysteries.