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U.S. Open tennis fans can use direct approach

August 24, 2007|Larry Stewart | Times Staff Writer

Major sporting events these days are getting more than just traditional television coverage, and the upcoming U.S. Open is only the latest example.

The USA Network beginning Monday will offer 107 hours of weekday coverage, with 95 being live, while CBS will have more than 37 hours of mostly weekend coverage.

But another 300 hours -- up to 100 matches -- will be available through a multichannel DirecTV package that is free to subscribers during the first five days of the Open.

On DirecTV channels 692-696 will be matches not on USA. There is also a "mix channel" (690) that will have five matches on the screen at once. Customers with interactive system equipment can click on any one of those matches and it goes to full screen.

For The Record
Los Angeles Times Saturday, August 25, 2007 Home Edition Main News Part Page News Desk 1 inches; 64 words Type of Material: Correction
Sports on television: The TV-Radio column in Friday's Sports section said that when the Tennis Channel launches on DirecTV on Monday, it can be found on Channel 617. It will be on Channel 217. The column also said that Keith Olbermann's special "Countdown" show on NBC would be shown at 4 p.m. before Sunday's NFL exhibition game. It will be shown at 10 p.m.

DirecTV offered a similar package for the first time last year.

A new interactive feature this year provides a schedule of current and upcoming matches that users can click on to go to the correct channel.

The USA weekday coverage all next week will be on from 8 a.m.-2 p.m. and again from 4-8 p.m., with the match of the day being shown at 11 p.m.

The DirecTV supplemental coverage more than likely will continue after USA signs off the air at 2 p.m. and will also include interviews and news conferences not available on USA.

After the first five days, there will be coverage only on CBS and USA. CBS, which Sunday at 9 a.m. will show highlights of Arthur Ashe Kids' Day, will have Open coverage throughout Labor Day weekend and on the final three days, Sept. 7-9. USA will also televise the Open Sept. 4-6.

And in case that isn't enough tennis for DirecTV customers, the satellite service launches the Tennis Channel on Monday. It can be found on channel 617.

Short waves

The Dodgers' game against the Mets at New York on Saturday is the featured Fox game of the week, going to 57% of the country. The announcers will be Kenny Albert and Tim McCarver, but in the third inning, it will be McCarver and Ralph Kiner. Those two worked together as Mets announcers from 1983 through '98 and Fox is reuniting them. . . . Tonight's Dodgers-Mets game will be on Channel 9 and Sunday night's will be on ESPN and ESPN Deportes.

The next edition of "Before the Bigs" will feature the Dodgers' Brad Penny, and, as an experiment, will air before and after the Dodgers' game against the Washington Nationals on Monday. On Tuesday, a repeat of the Jeff Kent "Before the Bigs" will be shown before and after that night's game.

Golf's first playoff, the FedEx Cup, begins this weekend with the Barclays at New York's Westchester Country Club, and to generate interest, Saturday's telecast on CBS will begin with the Yankees' Derek Jeter talking about his 11 playoff experiences. What would have generated more interest would have been Tiger Woods competing.

Speaking of lack of interest, that seems the case with the World Track and Field Championships, which begin Saturday in Osaka, Japan, and conclude Sept. 2. NBC and Versus will supply tape-delayed coverage.

The $1-million Travers Stakes, featuring Kentucky Derby winner Street Sense, will be televised by ESPN on Saturday at 1 p.m. The two-hour telecast also includes two other races at Saratoga in upstate New York -- the Grade I $250,000 King's Bishop Stakes and the Grade II Bernard Baruch Handicap.

The FIBA Americas Championship in Las Vegas is getting blanket television coverage. ESPN2 has the U.S.-Canada and U.S.-Brazil games this weekend, and FSN's 12-game schedule includes the third-place and championship games Sept. 2. . . . NBA TV is also covering the Las Vegas tournament as well as the FIBA Africa Championship at Luanda, the capital of Angola. Thursday's semifinals will be shown Saturday at 11 a.m. and Saturday's championship game will be shown Sunday at 11 a.m.

To promote the newest member of its NFL studio announcing team, NBC will televise a special edition of the MSNBC show, "Countdown With Keith Olbermann," Sunday at 4 p.m. before a telecast of a Philadelphia-Pittsburgh exhibition.

Former USC quarterback Rodney Peete will join Lindsay Soto and Jeremy Hogue on the "Trojans Live" postgame shows this season on FSN West and Prime Ticket. . . . The regional network's weekly block of programming, "Bruin Mondays" and "Trojan Tuesdays," don't begin until next month, but the half-hour news conference shows begin next Monday and Tuesday at 11 p.m. Following the UCLA news conference show Monday will be a repeat of the network's UCLA football preview show. And the USC preview will follow Tuesday night's USC news conference show.

CBSSportsline.com has changed its name to CBSSports.com. CBS bought Sportsline.com in 2004 and, according to CBS News and Sports President Sean McManus, wants to "promote, market and sell the CBS Sports brand across all platforms." . . . NBCSports.com and Rotoworld.com this week started a contest for fantasy football players with a $100,000 prize. The catch is players can start a player only once, which intensifies the decision-making.

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larry.stewart@latimes.com

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