Posted date: 4/15/2005
Baseball Team Deals Showing New Clout on Local TV Scene
By JAMES NASH
Los Angeles Business Journal Staffhttp://www.labusinessjournal.com/art...671&aID2=86885
The newly dubbed Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim have leaped from the smallest television package in Major League Baseball to the largest, with all but four of the team's games airing on either cable or broadcast this season.
What happens next year could be another question.
Angels owner Arte Moreno has pushed to give the team more exposure in Southern California, primarily through Fox Sports Net West, the programming-hungry outlet of broadcasting giant Fox Entertainment Group, which is owned by News Corp.
In March, Fox Sports Net West bought the rights to an additional 50 Angels games this season from the original 52-game package. Viacom Inc.'s KCAL (Channel 9) plans to air 50 games, with scattered games carried on ESPN, KCOP (Channel 13) and nationally televised Fox broadcasts, seen locally on KTTV (Channel 11).
But after this season, KCAL will give up its contract with the Angels in favor of the Dodgers - a switch that a station spokesman would not discuss other than to call it a business decision. That will leave Moreno and the Angels looking for a new broadcast home next season.
The deals illustrate the growing clout and spending power of regional sports networks such as Fox Sports Net West, as well as the desire by team owners to be on the air as much as possible. Cable plays an increasingly important role in this mix because its viewership is more focused on sports than broadcast stations, and regional networks are willing to pay more for the rights to games. In addition, the mini-networks UPN and WB are gobbling up primetime hours on both KCOP and KTLA (Channel 5), which is when games are typically played.
*The full version of this story is available in the April 11 edition of the Los Angeles Business Journal.
Team's TV schedules clearerhttp://www.dailynews.com/Stories/0,1...780889,00.html
By Tom Hoffarth, Columnist Friday, March 25, 2005
Less than two weeks before the start of the regular season, the Dodgers and Angels finally sorted out their 2005 local TV schedules. The winners: those who pony up for cable or a satellite dish.
In the last year of its over-the-air package with the Dodgers, KCOP/Channel 13 squirmed out of its contractual obligation of 50 games and went with half that -- 25 -- this season. The result, and the reason for the delay in issuing the schedule, is that FSN West 2 juggled enough things around to accommodate the extra Dodgers telecasts, increasing its take to 125, up from 100 a year ago.
"Because this is our last season, we wanted to lessen the impact on our network and regular program schedule," John Frenzel, a spokesman for Channel 13, said Thursday in a statement.
Meanwhile, FSN West increased its Angels take from 81 last season to 102 for the upcoming season, the most the cable channel has had in its 13 years of doing business with the team. KCAL/Channel 9, the Angels' partner for one more season before carrying the Dodgers, will show 50 games. The remaining dates for the Dodgers and Angels have been claimed by Fox and ESPN.
Giving the cable side 125 games probably benefits the Dodgers financially and causes less confusion with viewers, yet it will be those who live in the 20 percent of homes without cable or a dish in Los Angeles who will complain the loudest once the regular season begins.
Because Channel 13 said it didn't want to disrupt its less-than-sparkling UPN network programming, all but two of its telecasts are on a Friday, Saturday or Sunday -- one on Monday, July 4 at Colorado. The other is a Thursday game from San Francisco on Sept. 15, which is the first of a four-game series against the Giants, all on Channel 13 except for Saturday's Sept. 17 game slated for the Fox network.
"KCOP is a part of a network that finds it's more and more difficult each year to clear that many nights for programming, and that's the reality of trying to fit in sports," said Lon Rosen, the Dodgers executive in charge of broadcasting.
Rosen said when the Dodgers switch to Channel 9 for over-the-air games in 2006, it'll go back to a 100-on-cable, 50-on-over-the-air split. The Angels haven't announced what it will do for over-the-air in 2006 with limited options. Last year, after claiming it would televise every game of the season, it patched a schedule together using KDOC and a Spanish-language channel, neither of which are included in the 2005 slate.
Meanwhile, the Dodgers continue to use the exhibition season to give their new broadcast pairings some quality time together. Charley Steiner and Steve Lyons, who will do TV road games east of the Rockies later in the season, are paired for today's radio game. Rick Monday and Al Downing, the radio team during those road games, did a few exhibitions together this week.
Otherwise, the most noticeable improvement on the radio side this spring has been Monday's effectiveness in the role of a color man working with play-by-play man Steiner.http://www.venturacountystar.com/vcs...672154,00.html
Television adds more to Dodgers, Angels rivalry
By Jim Carlisle jcarlisle@VenturaCountyStar.com
April 3, 2005
pictureOne positive thing the flameout of the Lakers has accomplished: It has once again made baseball cool in Southern California.
The popularity of the Dodgers and the Angels, after both won division titles last season, continues to climb. So much, in fact, the teams have become rivals off the field now more than ever.
That rivalry has spread even to television. The Dodgers announced last November they would be moving their over-the-air telecasts in 2006 to KCAL (Channel 9), the station that now carries the Angels.
The big stink between the two teams, of course, is the Angels' name change from Anaheim Angels to Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim. The idea by team owner Artie Moreno is to help the team's marketing ability by associating it with the second largest city in the nation.
It's a big thing around here -- the Dodgers are miffed about it and the city of Anaheim has taken the Angels to court -- but elsewhere in the baseball world, the general response is a collective yawn.
"The Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim?" said ESPN's Jon Miller, rolling the name around a little on his tongue before planting it firmly in his cheek. "A lot of teams ought to really do the same thing. I was thinking you could have the San Francisco Athletics of Oakland or the Vancouver, B.C., Mariners of Seattle. It's limitless.
"I'm thinking it really could be a good marketing plan for teams to urge their fans to rename the team as appropriate to their community. Like 'the Ventura County Angels of Anaheim and Los Angeles,' if you happen to live in Ventura County. 'The Camarillo Dodgers of Los Angeles,' or whatever. The possibilities of marketing are limitless. Think of all the caps and T-shirts and whatnot that you could have marketed just for Camarillo or Ventura County. So, a stroke of genius, and they have hardly even scratched the surface.
"This is sort of a long way of saying that I think for the rest of the nation this is absolutely a non-issue and who cares?" Miller continued. "I think it's cool that they're called the Los Angeles Angels, although 'Los Angeles' in Spanish mean 'the Angels.' So it's really 'the Angels Angels.' So in that way, it's really sort of bizarre."
Miller and Joe Morgan return for their 16th season on ESPN.
Throw me a cable: More this season than ever before, in order to really enjoy the Dodgers or Angels on TV, you'll need cable. The Dodgers will show a record 125 games on FSN West 2 in 2005. KCOP (Channel 13), which now has lame-duck status as the Dodgers over-the-air station, was given only 25 games to show.
Vin Scully, 77, will scale back on his schedule a little more starting this season, his 56th with the Dodgers. He'll continue to call all televised home games on FSN West 2 and Channel 13, but he'll travel only to games against National League West opponents. That figures out to a total of about 100-110 games, considering some of those games will be picked up by national broadcasters ESPN and Fox.
Meanwhile, the Angels, who had a complicated patchwork TV schedule last year, are putting the bulk of their games on FSN West. They'll put 102 games on the cable channel this season, up from 81 last year and 50 the year before that. The team will also show 50 games this season on Channel 9. They won't show any games on KDOC (Channel 56) and KPXN (Channel 30) as they did last season.
New faces: After a messy incident in which the Dodgers fired Ross Porter, who had been an announcer for the team for 28 years, the team will have three new voices at the microphone in 2005.
Charley Steiner, known primarily for his work as an anchor for ESPN, takes Porter's place as the No. 2 play-by-play man. Since leaving ESPN, Steiner, 55, has worked primarily in baseball play-by-play on radio. He did Sunday night broadcasts for ESPN Radio before spending the last two seasons with the New York Yankees.
Scully will continue to work alone and the first three innings of his call will continue to be simulcast on radio. With Scully cutting back a little, Steiner will be on TV a little more than it originally appeared when he was hired. Joining Steiner on TV will be Steve Lyons, known mostly for his work as an analyst on Fox telecasts. Rick Monday will work exclusively on radio. Al Downing will serve as an analyst occasionally as well on TV and radio.
Dodgers radio broadcasts will continue to be heard on Ventura's KVEN (1450 AM) and flagship KFWB (980 AM). Picking up either of those stations in eastern Ventura County at night will still be difficult. The radio broadcasts are also available at http://dodgers.com.
Angels broadcasts enjoy the status quo. On TV, Steve Physioc teams on TV with the manic Rex Hudler, while the capable team of Rory Markas and Terry Smith continues on radio. The Angels can be heard on KVTA (1520 AM) and on flagship KSPN (710 AM).
Around the nation: When it comes to baseball on network TV, the question primarily is: How many times can we show the Yankees and Red Sox?
Fox and ESPN plan at this point to show five games between the two uber-rivals, starting with today's season opener on ESPN.
Fox's Saturday schedule starts May 21 with interleague games, including the Dodgers and Angels.
-- Jim Carlisle is a staff writer for The Star. E-mail address: jcarlisle@VenturaCountyStar.com
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