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Wait 'Til Next Year for Dodger Bonanza

September 27, 1996|LARRY STEWART

Big news for Dodger fans. The 40 games scheduled to be carried on a new service called Tele-TV beginning next season will also be available on basic cable.

Fox Television announced Thursday the creation of a second regional sports network for Los Angeles and also that it has reached an agreement for the new network to carry Tele-TV's Dodger package.

With Channel 5 scheduled to carry 52 regular-season Dodger telecasts next season, this mean 92 will be available on local television. That's a big improvement over the 46, all on Channel 5, that were scheduled for this season.

Fox, which has taken control of Prime Sports through a merger with Liberty Media and will change

Prime's name to Fox Sports West on Nov. 1, has created its own channel to be launched sometime early next year. The new channel, yet unnamed, will also carry the Mighty Ducks, the Clippers, some college sports and local high school sports. The Lakers, Kings, Angels, Forum boxing, USC and UCLA will remain on Fox Sports West.

Tele-TV, a 135-channel wireless digital system created by Pacific Bell, is also scheduled to be launched early next year.


If you're confused about who is televising what during the first round of the baseball playoffs, you're not alone. The best-of-five round begins Tuesday, and about all that's known is that ESPN will televise anywhere from six to 12 games, Fox will do five and NBC three.

Chris Berman, whose many ESPN duties include baseball play-by-play, said he told his wife he'd be gone for eight days beginning next week.

"I told her I had no idea where I'd be, and it would take too long to explain why I had no idea."

ESPN colleague Jon Miller said, "Each day, they'll hand me a plane ticket and I'll go wherever that ticket takes me."

ESPN will have two games on both Tuesday and Wednesday. The games Tuesday will be at 10 a.m. and 1 p.m. The games Wednesday will be 1 p.m. and either 10 a.m. or 8 p.m.

ESPN will have only a 1 p.m. game on Thursday and either a 1 or 8 p.m. game on Friday.

NBC will have 5 p.m. games on Tuesday and Friday, Fox will have 5 p.m. games Wednesday and Thursday.

Any Dodger telecasts carried by ESPN will also be on Channel 5 for those who don't have cable.

There will be some semblance of order after the first round. Fox will televise the National League championship series, NBC the American League championship series. Fox has the World Series.

Of the first round, Berman said, "Sure, it's confusing, but in the big picture, the good thing is all games will be on television."

He was referring to last season's disastrous regionalized coverage by the ill-fated Baseball Network.

"People who lived in American League areas such as myself didn't see the [Atlanta] Braves until they got to the World Series last year," he said.

"Someday we may look back at October of 1996 and say it marked the start of getting the fans to come back to baseball. This is the most positive thing to happen to baseball since Cal Ripken made his trip around Camden Yards last year."


After 14 years at KABC radio, Eric Tracy, the ultimate utility man, has been told his services are no longer needed. During those 14 years, which is an eternity for one job in the radio business, Tracy did almost everything. He filled in all the gaps, hosting, producing, sweeping up--whatever needed to be done. But he was best known for his work on such shows as "Dodger Confidential," "Dodgertalk" and "Baseball Forecast." He and Steve Edwards were the co-hosts of "Sportstalk" from August 1994 to October 1995.

Tracy since then had been doing sports on the "Ken and Barkley Co." morning show. But KABC, under a new management team, this week brought Peter Tilden over from sister station KMPC to work with Ken Minyard in the mornings as a replacement for the discarded Roger Barkley. Along with Tilden came Chuck Madden to do the sports, with Joe West left to handle both sports and news at KMPC.

Tracy was the odd man out, the victim of a corporate downsizing. A station spokesman said it was also a case of Madden's style fitting in better with Tilden.

"I'm not bitter or mad at anyone," Tracy said. "The only thing that bothers me is that the new people at the station weren't aware of all the different jobs I did and the loyalty I showed the station over the years."

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