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It’s Lights! 21 Cameras! Action! in Atlanta

Is the Dodgers’ series in Atlanta this weekend big or what?

Tonight’s game will be shown at 4:30 p.m. on both Channel 11 and TBS. Also, ESPN will televise it to most of the country outside of Los Angeles.

All told, there will be 21 cameras at the game. That’s more than at most Super Bowls.

Most of the country will see Saturday’s Dodger-Brave game on CBS, but in Los Angeles, Channel 11 gets the honors.

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CBS didn’t put the Dodgers and Braves on its schedule until Sept. 4, and because the game already was on Channel 11’s schedule, the network deferred to the Dodgers’ flagship station.

TBS, a national network, wasn’t so lucky. It lost the game, which was scheduled for 4 p.m. but will now be played at noon.

Sunday’s game, at 11 a.m., will be on both Channel 11 and TBS.

Also, TBS has added the Braves’ games at San Francisco Monday and Tuesday to its schedule.

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The CBS game in Los Angeles Saturday is Oakland at Toronto.

Los Angeles teams dominate Turner Broadcasting’s sports schedule this weekend.

Besides the two Dodger games on TBS, UCLA’s football game at Tennessee Saturday at 9:30 a.m. will be on TBS, and the Rams’ game at New Orleans is the Sunday night TNT game at 5 p.m. That means TNT commentator Pat Haden gets to talk about his former team.

NFL audible: Channel 2 has switched NFL games Sunday. Instead of San Francisco at Minnesota, it will be the New York Giants at Chicago, CBS’ main game. Pat Summerall and John Madden report.

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The NFL game on NBC in Los Angeles at 1 p.m. will be Seattle at Denver, with Don Criqui and Bob Trumpy calling the action.

Los Angeles also would get Miami at Detroit at 10 a.m. on NBC if the Raiders weren’t playing Indianapolis at the Coliseum.

Tennis beat: Jimmy Connors, an NBC employee, did wonders for CBS during the U.S. Open.

Connors’ semifinal match against Jim Courier last Saturday drew a national Nielsen rating of 7.3, making it the highest-rated tennis match since Boris Becker and Ivan Lendl drew a 7.4 for the 1989 U.S. Open final.

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The Open, overall, averaged a 4.4 on CBS, the highest rating since the 1985 Open averaged a 4.8.

Connors’ quarterfinal match against Paul Haarhuis on the USA network last Thursday drew a 5.9 cable rating, which translates to an overall 3.7 rating.

Add Open: John McEnroe showed during his guest commentator appearances on USA that he has a future in broadcasting if he so chooses. He was tremendous.

If he had a fault, it was an obvious bias toward Connors. McEnroe almost completely ignored Haarhuis.

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But then Connors was the story.

It’s a big day in college football for ABC Saturday, with Notre Dame playing at Michigan at 12:30 p.m. and Penn State meeting USC at the Coliseum at 6 p.m.

But it would have been even bigger if USC hadn’t lost to Memphis State.

Bo Schembechler makes his ABC debut this weekend as a studio analyst.

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More ratings: NBC’s first Notre Dame telecast last Saturday drew a 4.4 national Nielsen rating.

ABC, with four regional telecasts, including Washington-Stanford in the West, outdrew NBC, averaging a 5.5.

Tuesday night’s Dodger telecast from Cincinnati on Channel 11, surprisingly, got only a 6.0 rating in Los Angeles.

You can bet the weekend series in Atlanta will do better than that.

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Boxing beat: What next for Mike Tyson? A television commentator’s job, of course.

Anything to attract viewers.

Showtime will use Tyson on its Saturday night boxing show from the Mirage in Las Vegas.

The feature bout on the card matches undefeated Julio Cesar Chavez against Lonnie Smith in a super lightweight title bout.

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The first half of the doubleheader has Julian Jackson and Dennis Milton squaring off in a middleweight title fight.

Add boxing: TVKO’s pay-per-view fight of the month is tonight’s Tony (the Tiger) Lopez-Brian Mitchell rematch in Sacramento for a junior lightweight title.

Mark Breland and Meldrick Taylor are also on the card in separate bouts.

TVKO won’t glamorize Tyson by using him as a guest commentator, but it does plans to address the Tyson legal situation during the telecast.

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Add Tyson: CNN’s Nick Charles pulled a coup Wednesday when he was able to get an exclusive one-on-one interview with Tyson.

The best part was there was no Don King.

TV-Radio Notes

Ed Arnold has signed a new three-year contract with Channel 5. . . . Maybe KMPC’s Jim Healy is tone-deaf. He says Roy Firestone’s singing is just a notch better than Roseanne Arnold’s. Actually, the multitalented Firestone can sing, and he proved it while serving as the host of ABC’s “Into the Night” this week. . . . Small-world Dept.: Firestone lives across the street from Rick Dees in Toluca Lake. Dees used to be the host of “Into the Night.” . . . Artie Gigantino, out of coaching after 10 seasons at USC and four with the Rams, may want to trying broadcasting as a career. He has been appearing on Firestone’s “Up Close” recently and shows a real knack for the business.

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Michael Cooper, the special assistant to Laker General Manger Jerry West, was a guest on Prime Ticket’s “It’s Your Call” Wednesday night. He said a trade he would like to see is James Worthy, Vlade Divac and next year’s first- and second-round draft choices for Patrick Ewing. . . . Prime Ticket’s “Greatest Games Ever Played” series focuses on Game 7 of the 1975 World Series between the Boston Red Sox and the Cincinnati Reds Sunday night at 10:30, after “Press Box.”

The cartoon show, “ProStars,” starring Wayne Gretzky, Bo Jackson and Michael Jordan, makes its debut on NBC Saturday at 8:30 a.m. Marv Albert also will be a regular. . . . Here is something different. Channel 4 has made a deal with Prime Ticket to supply two surfing specials to Channel 4, which will carry them on Oct. 12 and 19. The first one-hour special was on Prime Ticket last Sunday, and the second will be on Sept. 22.

In the battle of the NFL pregame shows, CBS’ “NFL Today” edged NBC’s “NFL Live” in the ratings last weekend, 4.4 to 4.1. . . . Joe Bugel of the undefeated Phoenix Cardinals will be featured on “NFL Today” Sunday.

The Kings will play their first exhibition game Sunday at 5 p.m. against the Quebec Nordiques at Madison, Wis. There is no TV, but XTRA will carry the game, with Bob Miller and Nick Nickson reporting. It’s sort of a homecoming for Miller, who was once the voice of the Wisconsin Badgers. . . . Channel 5 has closed a deal to carry seven King telecasts this season. The first will be a home game against Winnipeg on Oct. 12. Miller and Jim Fox, who will announce the 70 games on Prime Ticket, also will call the Channel 5 telecasts.

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XTRA’s Lee Hamilton pulled off his rare doubleheader last Sunday, working the Chargers’ game at San Francisco, then catching a plane and doing a simulcast on San Diego State’s home opener against Cal State Long Beach that night for XTRA and Prime Ticket. “I was fine Sunday, but by Monday afternoon I felt like I’d played two games on artificial turf,” Hamilton said. “I hurt all over.” . . . Ready for the Winter Olympics? Channel 2 begins a six-part series, “Albertville ’92,” Sunday at 2 p.m. The series is produced by GGP of the San Francisco Bay Area.


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