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CABLE TV TO ZOOM IN ON BIG GAME

Times Staff Writer

Orange County’s most ambitious local cable television coverage of a single event will focus on tonight’s annual North-South high school all-star football game at Santa Ana Bowl.

The 8 p.m. game is being taped by Group W of Fullerton-Placentia and will be replayed over all 13 Orange County cable systems during the next several days.

It will be the first time a local sports event has ever been distributed to all 13 cable systems for next-week playback, said Ken Fischer, director of local programming at Group W Fullerton.

“The main reason we don’t have more programming played on all 13 systems is that most of the shows produced locally are of interest mainly to the (cable system’s) franchise area,” Fischer said. “There isn’t much interest in a Fullerton vs. El Dorado High basketball game in Laguna Beach.”

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“Also, in a lot of cases the systems plan programming two months in advance, so I was able to get this on all the systems only because of the countywide nature of the event. Some systems had to override their strict schedules and preempt programming to get this shown.”

Because Group W Fullerton will be inserting announcements acknowledging more than a dozen local businesses that contributed financial underwriting, Fischer said two versions of the game will be produced. One, for local origination channels, will contain the underwriters’ commercials; the other will be without the ads to satisfy the “no advertising” requirements of those public access channels over which the game will be aired.

Former KWVE-FM sports director Kevin Rafferty will call the play-by-play, while KBPK-FM’s Lon Brunk will provide color commentary. (Check with individual cable companies for dates, times and channels on which the game will be shown).

“Most people at the cable systems probably wouldn’t be willing to put the energy into a project like this,” Fischer said, “but to me, it’s important. I’d like to see an inner network between the cable systems and better cooperation between the different companies, and I think this is a step toward that.”

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