Weekly media notes version 09.22.16: Si, se puede (Yes, it’s possible) ESPN move speaks volumes in FS1’s L.A. backyard

In addition to notes posted Thursday about the launch of the Fox drama series “Pitch,” here are more things worth posting now heading into the weekend:

If only Regis Philbin had been bilingual — and we can’t be sure he isn’t — imagine how the launch of Fox Sports 1 could have been so very diferente.
The current L.A.-based FS1 tries to recycle in more talking older males (white, black) to supposedly broaden the genre of vapid sports gab, yet ESPN has countered in a language all its own with a combination of “SportsNation” and “Nacion ESPN” as it has been airing on ESPN Deportes.
A one-hour weekly show from the ESPN L.A. studios in LA Live, also called “Nacion ESPN,” aims to debut on Monday at 2 p.m. on ESPN2 by filling a niche of an interactive show “dedicated to covering the most relevant and diverse sports news and information tailored to young, bilingual U.S. Hispanic sports fans,” as per the network mission statement.
Jorge Sedano, a co-host of the recently launched KSPN-AM (710) show with Keyshawn Johnson and LZ Granderson, will be on the set with boxing reporter Bernardo Osuna and baseball writer Marly Rivera as they, according to the press release, “reflect a dynamic Hispanic population, promoting culturally relevant content and information they want in the most authentic manner and in the language they prefer.”
It also promoted the fact that sponsors such as Toyota, Allstate, Gillette and Taco Bell are on board to target an important demographic.
We echo the sentiment of Alex Putterman at AwfulAnnouncing.com: Criticize ESPN for a lot of stuff, but not about diversity, in light of the recent launch of The Undefeated. This can only lead to a website that will make an even greater impact — and financial return — for the company.

== For those who missed the announcement of the Clippers’ making a six-year deal with Prime Ticket/Fox Sports West/Fox Sports San Diego to continue their local rights arrangement, the interesting aspect is how this keeps the Steve Ballmer plan of trying to expand digital rights.
Our Dan Woike quotes Steve Greenberg from Allen & Co., who worked on the deal, as saying the NBA was excited about this venture.
“The league is all for experimenting and finding our way to the future,” Greenberg said.
Our sources, however, intimate that Ballmer was not completely happy that the NBA shot down his idea of full digital product distribution and is not trying to give any one team an advantage over another in this media platform. The NBA is careful to do its own R&D on the subject before handing it off and the league will always have final approval of ideas like this.

spectrum== Officially, the merger of Time Warner Cable and Charter Cable are to be called Spectrum on all branding opportunities. Including references to the Dodgers’ SportsNet LA (as we saw first from Tuesday’s telecast) and the Lakers’ Spectrum SportsNet.
It scrubs all traces of a Time Warner Cable connection to the distribution of SportsNet LA and tries to throw a new cloak over the partnership as a fresh start.
Is the rebranded AT&T/DirecTV impressed?

== West Hills Chaminade (3-1), ranked No. 15 in the latest MaxPreps.com California state poll, travels to Gardena Serra (1-3) for the CIF-SS high school footbal game of the week on Prime Ticket (Friday, 7:30 p.m., Sam Farber and Chris Rix, with John Jackson on assignment Friday with USC, and Michelle Margaux on the sidelines)
The rest of the schedule on PrepZone and Fox Sports Go (all are Friday at 7 p.m.): St. Bonaventure at Hart (Dennis Ackerman and Lorenzo Booker), Murrieta Valley at Oaks Christian (David Caldwell and Tony Moskal), Rancho Cucamonga at Citrus Hill (Paul Westphal and Chris Hale) and Kaiser at Serrano (Fred Salas and Ralph Brown).
Prime Ticket has also announced it will take the Rancho Cucamonga-Upland game as the Oct. 7 selection, with JSerra-Orange Lutheran, Hart-Valencia, Vista Murrieta-Murieta Valley and Calabasas-Westlake on the PrepZone.

== Fox reports 1.298 million viewers saw a Major League League telecast last Sunday on its network — the largest audience for an MLS game of any kind on any network in 12 years. The Galaxy’s 2-2 draw at Kansas City, highlighted by Landon Donovan’s late goal, had an 11 a.m. broadcast and went to markets that aired a late NFL game — such as the Fox coverage of the Rams’ home opener against Seattle. Except in L.A., as KTTV-Channel 11 decided to carry an otherwise horrific expanded three-hour pregame mess hosted by … let’s not even go there … the Galaxy-K.C. game was dumped on KCOP-Channel 13, losing all leverage it had as an NFL-adjacent program. In other markets with an early NFL game, Fox sent the Toronto-New York Red Bulls contest in the 5 p.m. EDT slot.

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Why wouldn’t new TV series ‘Pitch’ pitch itself to Scully?

pitch-s1_27-ginny-dugout_3027As the producers of the new baseball-based drama “Pitch” were mulling ways to incorporate their unique ability to use real team names, real ballparks and real broadcasters through its negotiated tie-in with Major League Baseball, the thought has occurred: Why not ask if Vin Scully could be part of this?
The premise is all about how Ginny Baker (played by Kylie Bunbury, the daughter of a former pro soccer player), after five years in the minor leagues, is pushed into the spotlight as the first female MLB pitcher. There are plenty of comparisons to a Jackie Robinson-like storyline about to unfold — aside from the fact that she, like Robinson, is black.
Who better than Scully to bridge those two moments, even if we’re all just pretending right now that it’s really happening?
We asked co-creator Rick Singer that and more

 

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Vin Scully memories from the media: Josh Rawitch

(Photo by Jon SooHoo/LA Dodgers 2009)

(Photo by Jon SooHoo/LA Dodgers 2009)

They have been Vin Scully’s colleagues in the Dodgers’ media-related front office.  As a week-long tribute to Scully begins at Dodger Stadium for his final seven home games, these are some of their stories:

Josh Rawitch, the Senior Vice President of Content and Communications with the Arizona Diamondbacks, was the Dodgers’ Vice President of Communications and a member of the organization from 1995 to 2011. He covered the Dodgers as a daily beat reporter for MLB Advanced Media at one time after working in the Dodgers’ advertising and special events department as well as marketing and public relations.
Rawitch shares these memories of Scully:

cry-lpuw8aavdaq“I was an advertising intern in the mid ‘90s and having grown up idolizing him and wanting to become a Dodger broadcaster, meeting him for the first time is incredibly vivid in my mind. He was in line in front of me in the press box dining room (not yet named Dave’s Diner) and I worked up the courage to introduce myself to him. He shook my hand and said, ‘Hi, Josh. Nice to meet you.’
“Hearing the same voice in person that I had heard for so many years on radio and TV was almost jarring. I don’t think I expected him to sound exactly like he did as a broadcaster but of course, he did. There’s nothing phony about him, including his golden voice.
“I’ve had so many great interactions with him, it’s truly hard to pick one that sums him up. But everyone who has had the great fortune of knowing Vin knows that he really never complains. He’s always positive and friendly and upbeat with everyone he meets.
“So the one time he wasn’t is what I remember the most because it sums up best who he really is.

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College football Week 4 in the L.A. TV market: UCLA puts on its Saturday night home best

(Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports)

(Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports)

Kirk Herbstreit starts the day in Knoxville, Tenn., for ESPN and ends it at the Pasadena Rose Bowl for ABC, with a private jet excursion in between.
Such is his life.
The A-team of Chris Fowler, Herbstreit and Sam Ponder have UCLA’s Saturday afternoon contest at the Rose Bowl against Stanford (Channel 7, 5 p.m.). That’s all after Herbstreit spends the morning with ESPN “College GameDay” (6-to-9 a.m.) as it previews the Florida-Tennessee contest from the Vols’ home stadium.
Meanwhile, as they’re having “Vin Scully Appreciation Night” at Dodger Stadium on Friday, newest Dodgers play-by-play man Joe Davis will be calling USC at Utah for Fox Sports 1 with Brady Quinn and Jenny Taft at 6 p.m.
(Sports USA also has John Ahlers and John Robinson calling USC-Utah on the national syndicated radio network as well as Isaac Lowenkron and Doug Plank on UCLA-Stanford).

The rest of the Pac-12 schedule:
= Cal at Arizona State, Saturday at 7 p.m., ESPN2 with Mike Patrick, Ed Cunningham and Dr. Jerry Punch
= Colorado at Oregon, Saturday at 2:30 p.m., Pac-12 Network with Ted Robinson, Yogi Roth and Cindy Brunson
= Washington at Arizona, Saturday at 7:30 p.m., Pac-12 Network with Roxy Bernstein, Anthony Herron and Lewis Johnson
= Boise State at Oregon State, Saturday at 12:30 p.m., FS1 with Tim Brando and Spencer Tillman

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NFL Week 3 in the L.A. TV market: Remember when Dick Stockton was …Dick Stockton?

(Credit: 30FPS.com)

(Credit: 30FPS.com)

A week removed from Fox’s A-team of Joe Buck and Troy Aikman, reality sets in for the Rams. And L.A.
Them’s the hard knocks of broadcasting hierarchy.
Dick Stockton and Chris Spielman, the former Ohio State and Detroit Lions linebacker who this year Fox hired off the ESPN college ball staff to join its NFL roster, draw the Rams’ Week 3 performance in Tampa Bay (Sunday, 1:05 p.m., Channel 11), going to just 10 percent of the country.
Fox has only six games to pick from on Sunday. If you were to rank the Fox NFL broadcasting roster, this would probably be team No. 6, ahead of Sam Rosen and David Diehl, who are off. 8849-19bkDiehl was Stockton’s partner last year. The year before was a rotation of Kirk Morrison, Brady Quinn and Donovan McNabb. It was Ronde Barber the previous year, and John Lynch before that. Charles Davis. Trent Green. Brian Billick. Brian Baldinger.
You see now how if Fox has a new guy, they ship him to Stockton?
At one point about 10 years ago, Stockton was slotted as the No. 2 play-by-play man behind Buck and given the Tony Siragusa-Moose Johnston alignment. He even had fresh-off-the-boat Aikman in 2001, when Summerall and Madden were the No. 1 NFL team, and after a long run with Matt Millen.
But we digress.
Fox reports that the L.A. market had a 12.0 rating and 27 share for the Rams-Seahawks telecast last Sunday on KTTV-Channel 11, which was a 45 percent boost over last year’s L.A. average for a season’s worth of games on Fox (8.3/20).

The rest of the NFL TV week for the L.A. market (for those without DirecTV’s “Sunday Ticket”):
Thursday:
= Houston at New England, 5:25 p.m., Channel 2 and NFL Network, with Jim Nantz, Phil Simms and Tracy Woodson.

Sunday:
= CBS has the doubleheader and the Rams-Bucs are the only game Fox can show in the L.A. market. That means no access to Washington-N.Y. Giants (with Buck and Aikman, going to 31 percent of the country — or likely to L.A., if the Rams were not here) or  Arizona-Buffalo, Detroit-Green Bay or Minnesota-Carolina in the 10 a.m. window, or San Francisco-Seattle in the 1:25 p.m. window.
= Oakland at Tennessee, 10 a.m., Channel 2 with Andrew Catalon, Steve Tasker and  Steve Beuerlein. (CBS picks this one over Cleveland-Miami, Baltimore-Jacksonville and Denver-Cincinnati)
= San Diego at Indianapolis, 1:25 p.m., Channel 2 with Kevin Harlan and Rich Gannon (CBS is allowed to air this opposite the Rams. It also picked this one over N.Y. Jets-Kansas City and Pittsburgh-Philadelphia, which has Jim Nantz and Phil Simms).
= Chicago at Dallas, 5:30 p.m., Channel 4 with Al Michaels, Cris Collinsworth and Michele Tafoya.

Monday
= Atlanta at New Orleans, 5:30 p.m., ESPN with Sean McDonough, Jon Gruden and Lisa Salters.

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