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FS West split screen of Kings, Clippers might not be best solution

May 01, 2013|By Diane Pucin
  • FS West found itself in a quandary when Jonathan Quick and the Kings went into overtime at the same time Lamar Odom and the Clippers were beginning.
FS West found itself in a quandary when Jonathan Quick and the Kings went… (Dilip Vishwanat, Stephen…)

Tuesday night it seemed to be Christmas in April for Fox Sports West. First the defending Stanley Cup champion Los Angeles Kings and then the suddenly struggling Los Angeles Clippers were involved in key playoff games shown on the channel.

Except then the Kings went into overtime, jamming themselves right against the Clippers-Memphis game. The channel dealt with the conflict by showing the games simultaneously on a split screen.

On Wednesday, FS West explained the decision in a statement: "We attempt to work with the leagues to avoid playoff scheduling conflicts in advance. However, with the Clippers, Kings, and Ducks all having games last night, we tried the make the best of a challenging situation. In similar situations going forward, we’ll take a look at our plans and see if there’s a way to serve all teams and viewers better.”

That statement probably won't provide any comfort to people such as Kings fan Kevin Frankel. He emailed a letter to The Times, saying:

"FS West utterly mishandled the entirely predictable situation of the Kings game and Clippers game conflicting. (I say predictable because the Clippers game was, for three days, scheduled to start only 2 1/2-hours after the Kings game began, which left almost no margin for a Kings game ending in regulation, to say nothing of overtime, which we all know is common in hockey.)"

Frankel said FS West left "viewers in the dark as to its plan for the entire break before the Kings overtime began (no ticker on the bottom of the screen telling viewers where they could find the Kings game when overtime began) and then displayed an unwatchable split screen with coveted screen space further cramped by Fox banners on each game."

Frankel suggested that FS West keep the Kings on Prime Ticket and direct Clippers fans to TNT, where the basketball game was also being shown (but without beloved play-by-play man Ralph Lawler) or keep the Clippers game on Prime Ticket and allow CNBC to show the Kings' overtime. CNBC's telecast had been blacked out in Los Angeles for FS West's benefit.

Frankel said that when he called FS West on Wednesday, "FS West defended itself by saying, 'It was a tough situation.'" He was also told CNBC couldn't show the Kings game at all because of the blackout, which ignored the fact FS West could have waived the blackout for overtime.


Notes from the Kings' Game 1 loss to St. Louis

Kings' playoffs: Analyzing Jonathan Quick's play

Outhustled Kings fall to St. Louis, 2-1, in overtime of Game 1

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