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.
== 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.