NFL Week 16 in the L.A. TV market UPDATE: Rams seem to take high road with Raiders on head-to-head

Oakland Raiders fan Wayne Mabry aka Violator. (Kirby Lee/Image of Sport-USA TODAY Sports)

Oakland Raiders fan Wayne Mabry aka Violator. (Kirby Lee/Image of Sport-USA TODAY Sports)

Updated Thursday at  6 p.m. from original post of Wednesday morning based on KCBS changes in schedule:
One of the NFL’s seemingly etched-in-stone commandments concerning the protection of a local team’s TV market is the all-out prevention if possible of another game coming into to go head-to-head on a competing network.
Meaning, when the Rams take on San Francisco at the Coliseum on Saturday at 1:25 p.m. (not Christmas Sunday this week), Fox’s KTTV-Channel 11 should expect no other NFL game on CBS in that afternoon slot. Both networks try to stock up on games in the early and afternoon window to accommodate this situation for every market each weekend.
4996933135_4f2f636b9eExcept there now appears to be an exception that could set some precedent if only to keep L.A. content.
KCBS-Channel 2, the CBS affiliate  contractually bound to air Chargers games as the franchise claims L.A. as its secondary TV market and, by all indications, may be moving north to actually be in the market in 2017, will not carry San Diego’s 10 a.m. game at Cleveland as originally planned. A 5-9 vs. 0-14 matchup shouldn’t be watched by anyone, but rules are rules.
Instead, a KCBS spokesman confirmed Wednesday night they have been given permission by the NFL to not only drop the Chargers but, instead of another 10 a.m. window game, they can carry the Oakland Raiders’ home game against Indianapolis at 1:05 p.m.
Up against the 4-10 Rams, losers of five straight, against the 1-13 49ers, whose only win was in Week 1 against the Rams on a Monday night.
Last week, the rumblings out of Cleveland was that so few in that city wanted to watch their winless Browns have to face Buffalo (the Bills won 33-13), they lobbied their local CBS affiliate to instead air the Pittsburgh-Cincinnati game, featuring the other Ohio team. That didn’t happen whether or not you want to believe that discussion actually took place.
We aren’t aware of any sort of “please switch us away from the Chargers” card played by some L.A. viewers here. And having the Raiders, no matter what time slot, always seems to work for KCBS in the past.
Continue reading

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Play It Forward Dec. 19-25: Christmas, you say? Well, well, it’s Lakers-Clippers … shake a leg, Tiny Tim

aalakersThe NBA will market this Christmas Day Sunday as “The Most Dunktastic Time of the Year,” putting out some TV spots that include the Clippers’ Blake Griffin and the Lakers’ D’Angelo Russell jingling through it all. As if we need to be sold on NBA Christmas, the 12-hour holiday gift that keeps on giving something to watch on an NFL-light Sunday. Conversely, if you’re not part of this made-for-TV package, they you’re not on the national radar.
So, at the end of the day, after we’ve plowed through Boston at New York (9 a.m., ESPN), a Golden State at Cleveland rematch from last year’s final (11:30 a.m., Channel 7), Chicago at San Antonio (2 p.m., Channel 7) and Minnesota at Oklahoma City (5 p.m., ESPN) we get our geographically friendly Clippers-Lakers 7:30 p.m. game at Staples Center, ESPN and Spectrum SportsNet and Prime Ticket, for two teams that you can only hope haven’t overindulged on eggnog during the day-long gift exchange.
aaclipersOtherwise this could come out looking uglier than some of the Ugly Christmas sweaters the NBA actually also tries to sell this time of year as some sort of quirky thing to wear.
The league waited nearly two full months before making the two L.A. teams face off for the first of four scheduled meetings. Maybe it so each could find their footing before trying to claim hallway right-of-way protocol. The Clippers’ and Lakers’ records are, to this point, pretty much reversed, as sort of expected, except that Luke Walton’s team was probably better equipped to face Doc Rivers’ group earlier, before this December-not-to-Remember stretch happened. It’s the first time the Lakers are able to take their home court in weeks, having been banished (as well as the Clippers and Kings) because of a Disney ice show.
If something goes wrong here, the Lakers can consider regifting another loss to the Clippers when they meet again on Jan. 14, March 21 and April 1.
The rest of the week for the Lakers, Clippers, Rams, Kings, Ducks and about the worst schedule of college bowl games ever…

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Sunday media: How Craig Sager fashioned his reporting skills

cz6nnmxuuaaheft-jpg-largeThe three things that we’ll forever have etched in our heart about Craig Sager, the TNT NBA sideline reporter who ran out of days in his fight against acute leukemia …
Well, we’ll list them here at this link that posted as our Sunday column.

We also want to link to some really nice remembrances from others in the media:
= AP Houston reporter Kristie Rieken, who helped make this a national story and was affected by just one visit.
= ESPN reporter JA Andande, on Sager’s reporter-first role
= A USA Today piece on the fashion designers who did his clothes
= From USA Today reporter Jeff Zillgitt
= The HBO Real Sports piece on him:

== More beautiful tweets: Continue reading

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It’s Out of the Question: Shining a light on UCLA’s Rose Bowl blindspot

uclasun

How many UCLA Phi Beta Kappas does it take to unscrew the light bulb over a dim-witted idea?
Forgive us for throwing major shade on this latest plan to improve the football program’s chances of finishing above .500.
An apparent gloom-and-doom concern that Jim Mora’s boys are at a disadvantage by having to constantly squint through operating on the sun-drenched side of the Rose Bowl sidelines during home games has now blistered to the point where school officials are considering if this could be a pivotal moment in their sports history.
Meaning, if they just flip the scenario, might it lead to some wins of change?
It ain’t that simple.
More at this link.

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Friday media: The tragic life of Lawrence Phillips, and the action items left to achieve

Armen Keteyian discusses Lawrence Phillips documentary, RB’s tragic life

There is at least one former Rams running back that you’d wish could show up on the team’s sidelines this season. Just for one more game, without raising a stink about it.
But he died last January at age 40. While in jail. Perhaps a suicide, but all things considered, likely not.
A Showtime documentary called “Running For His Life, The Lawrence Phillips Story” is by no means a Hallmark Channel kind of thing you’d want to watch time of year. Showtime debuts it Friday, with many repeat airings through Christmas.
Ross Greenburg is the director and producer, with Armen Keteyian as the lead interviewer as well as executive producer.
Greenburg admits it was not easy getting some interview subjects because “it was hard to describe what our intent was for the piece. We were not trying to vilify anyone, including Lawrence.  We just wanted to tell the truth and find out the question: ‘Why’? Eventually we gained their trust.”
A key interview with Amaliya Weisler, twice a Phillips’ domestic violence victim, yet someone Phillips wrote love letters to from his prison cell over the last four years proclaiming his intent to marry her, sheds incredible context as well.
“He just wanted his mother to say she was sorry and that she loved him, and I don’t think she ever told him that,” said Weisler, who still wrote a letter to Phillips’ judge asking for lenience. “I think he felt rejected by her.”
It was Phillips’ last act as a free man — stealing Weisler’s car in San Diego, driving to L.A. and then using the car to try to run over some kids playing football on the grass outside the Coliseum — that led to his eventual arrest and 31-year prison term in 2012.
Here’s a link to the story online and a trailer below:

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