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DIANE PUCIN / ON SPORTS MEDIA

Dodgers game to be televised in English and Spanish

Prime Ticket and FS West are combining to offer two broadcasts at 1 p.m., with Hall of Famers Vin Scully and Jaime Jarrin.

August 21, 2009|DIANE PUCIN | ON SPORTS MEDIA

Sunday the Dodgers will play the Cubs, and of course the game will be televised.

Twice.

The Dodgers and Prime Ticket and FS West are combining to offer English- and Spanish-language broadcasts at 1 p.m. It's a great idea that is overdue.

Lucky Los Angeles fans can choose between two of the best baseball voices in the world, Hall of Fame broadcasters Vin Scully and Jaime Jarrin.

Fox will provide three extra cameramen, all of them bilingual, to illustrate with video any points that Jarrin and analysts Fernando Valenzuela and Pepe Yniguez might make in Spanish.

The telecasts won't be identical and they shouldn't. As Jarrin said, "I've tried to do this for many, many years, and finally last year Frank McCourt told me he was thinking of doing some games on Spanish TV and I said that would be great.

"The Dodgers have a large following among Spanish speakers, and it will be nice for that audience to get something on television in its own language."

Steve Simpson, senior vice president and general manager of FS West and Prime Ticket, said his network has multiple goals.

"We're trying to showcase Jaime, who is a Hall of Famer, and offer something extra to a big fan base that we have," Simpson said.

"This is a bit of an experiment. We aren't sure what all the content will be, how it will all turn out. But until you try it, you don't know how it will turn out. We're just trying to figure out what we'll do with the Spanish broadcast rights we own."

Shaq, continued

According to the Nielsen ratings service, the Tuesday debut of ABC's newest reality show, "Shaq Vs.," where Shaquille O'Neal tested his quarterback skills against Ben Roethlisberger, wasn't a ratings hit. The show ranked fourth among programs that began at 9 p.m., with an average of 4.2 million viewers (292,000 average viewership in Los Angeles, and somewhere Kobe Bryant may be laughing).

And Arizona Republic columnist Paola Boivin on Thursday wrote that according to her sources it was Phoenix Suns guard Steve Nash who first suggested a television show where he would test himself against athletes in other sports.

According to Boivin's sources, after O'Neal began pitching the idea, tension grew between Nash and O'Neal.

In the credits, Nash does have the title of an executive producer.

O'Neal issued a statement in response Thursday and said: "Steve is a good guy and was a fantastic teammate. He has made great contributions as an executive producer . . . and we are all excited about the show."

O'Neal is now a Cleveland Cavalier, and maybe if LeBron James has any reality television show ideas he should keep them to himself.

Once a Little Leaguer ...

When Brent Musburger was 11 years old his father began the first Little League baseball program in Billings, Mont. So Musburger is again looking forward to his assignment to cover the Little League World Series, which will be on ESPN, ESPN2 and Channel 7 at almost all times day and night beginning today at 10 a.m. on ESPN. And he considers it a major league assignment.

"I know it's sometimes criticized, all this television coverage of kids, or that there's an overemphasis on winning," Musburger said. "But I'm always struck by how much fun the kids are having."

Still, it's unsettling to see kids crying. Please, please, ESPN cameras, we know it hurts to lose. We know kids cry when they lose. We don't need to see so much of that.

Good today

It's probably not a coincidence that Lance Armstrong is riding in cycling's Tour of Ireland and that Versus is televising the race for the first time, at 3 p.m. And the Golf Channel will offer comprehensive coverage of the Solheim Cup, the women's version of the Ryder Cup, beginning at 6 a.m. Michelle Wie is making her Solheim Cup debut for the favored U.S. team, and former Solheim Cup captain Judy Rankin will make her debut as a Golf Channel analyst.

Good on Saturday

More power to you who can watch four NFL exhibition games in one day. Now is your chance -- Pittsburgh at Washington at 4:30 on the NFL Network; Oakland at San Francisco, Channel 5, 5:15 p.m.; San Diego at Arizona, Channel 2, 7 p.m.; Denver at Seattle, NFL Network, 7:30 p.m. Or you could choose the European version of football (soccer of course), at 6:45 a.m. on ESPN2, English Premier League-style, Wigan against Manchester United. Then go back to sleep.

Good on Sunday

New York Yankees at Boston Red Sox is the Sunday night baseball game on ESPN again. They play every week, right? Keep up on who's playing tennis well before the U.S. Open, at 9:30 a.m. on Channel 2, the men's ATP Western & Southern Financial Group final; and the (tape-delayed) WTA Rogers Cup final at noon on ESPN2.

--

diane.pucin@latimes.com

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