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ESPN, CBS Touch All Bases in Key Dodger-Giant Series

Good news for Dodger fans. All three of the home games against the San Francisco Giants this weekend will be televised.

Tonight’s 7:30 game and Sunday’s 5 p.m. game will be on ESPN, and Saturday’s noon game will be on CBS.

ESPN is able to show tonight’s game in Los Angeles because it is a sellout and it is not on SportsChannel’s schedule. It can show Sunday’s game because ESPN has no restrictions for its national Sunday telecasts.

The ESPN announcers will be Bob Carpenter and Joe Morgan tonight and Jon Miller and Morgan on Sunday.

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Jack Buck, hospitalized briefly in Philadelphia last week for internal bleeding, will work Saturday’s CBS telecast with Tim McCarver.

SportsChannel announced Thursday that it will televise next Wednesday’s home game against the San Diego Padres and make it available, free, to all of its affiliates’ subscribers, meaning it will reach 1.9 million homes.

No word yet about about any additional Dodger telecasts on Channel 11.

Meanwhile, TBS has added three Atlanta Brave telecasts to its schedule--Sunday’s 11:30 a.m. game at Houston, plus two games against the Astros at Atlanta Oct. 4-5.

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Speaking of TBS, someone should tell Skip Caray to quit the cheerleading. He is talking to a national audience, and not everyone is a Brave fan.

Pro football: ABC’s “Monday Night Football” is off to a great start, with good games--and even better ratings.

The first two games won not only the night but also the week, and the next two were barely beaten by CBS’ powerhouse Monday night lineup.

After four weeks, “Monday Night Football” is averaging a 17.4 national Nielsen rating, which is 10% higher than the 15.7 it was averaging after four weeks last season.

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Next Monday’s game, Philadelphia at Washington, should also do well.

Al Michaels on last Monday’s game between Chicago and New York Jets, won by the Bears, 19-13, in overtime: “That was clearly the weirdest game I’ve ever worked. It was the game that refused to die.”

Adding to the weirdness was an instant-replay ruling by the officials, after an apparent winning touchdown pass to Cap Boso, that made the teams come back on the field and run another play.

Then when quarterback Jim Harbaugh sneaked over, that play was also reviewed.

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“Instant replay can be a pain in the neck, but I think it’s a good thing, and it’s here to stay,” Michaels said. “Basically, it rights a wrong.

“Can you imagine what would happen if they got rid of it and the first time a replay showed a bad call? You’ve never seen controversy like that.

“The problem is, it needs to be implemented better. The system needs to be streamlined.”

It’s seems rather simple, really. Take a look, make a call and get on with the game.

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Add pro football: The Raider sellout came as a surprise Thursday. Unfortunately, the game that CBS had to scrap was a good one--Chicago at Buffalo.

The announcers for the Raiders and 49ers will be Pat Summerall and John Madden.

The announcers for the NBC game at 1 p.m. Sunday, Miami at the Jets, will be Marv Albert and Bill Parcells.

Parcells goes back to the studio next weekend, with Paul Maguire returning to join Albert on Oct. 6.

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Maguire’s first assignment after recovering from heart bypass surgery is a Jet game at Cleveland.

College football: ABC has maybe the college game of the year Saturday--No. 1 Florida State vs. No. 3 Michigan, with Keith Jackson and Bob Griese reporting.

Jackson likes Florida State against Michigan, but the team he really likes is fourth-ranked Washington.

“That was my pick going into preseason,” Jackson told the Associated Press. “I like Washington and Clemson, 1-2.”

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Add college football: After the 9 a.m. Florida State-Michigan game will be a regional telecast, Colorado at Stanford, at 12:30 p.m., with Mark Jones and Tim Brant reporting.

A better game, Georgia Tech at Clemson, will be shown in the South.

That is the problem with regional coverage--ABC dictates what areas get what.

Next Saturday it’s worse. ABC will show California at UCLA in the West--nothing wrong with that--but we miss the Syracuse-Florida State game.

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Basketball update: The Clippers and Prime Ticket failed to reach an agreement, so the team made a new deal with Channel 13 that calls for 40 telecasts instead of 35.

“Channel 13 now has the Clippers exclusively,” said Andy Roeser, the team’s executive vice president. “And that is worth a lot.”

Still, the team would like to have made a deal with Prime Ticket.

“We just couldn’t get together this season,” said John Severino, Prime Ticket’s president. “We’d sure like to have the Clippers. Maybe next year, particularly if they have a good season and make the playoffs.”

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One thing that hurt was an out-of-market rights fee Prime Ticket must pay the NBA--1 1/2 cents a game for every subscriber 75 miles or more from Los Angeles.

“That doesn’t sound like much, but we have 1.3 million subscribers in our outer market,” Severino said.

That comes out to about $20,000 a game. Add $25,000 in production costs, and you are talking $45,000 a game before Prime Ticket pays the Clippers anything.

“In the current soft advertising market, there was just no way we could do it,” Severino said. “We were willing to simply break even, but we weren’t willing to lose money.”

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Meanwhile, Prime Ticket has announced that it will televise 36 regular-season Laker games. And Channel 9 announced that it will again televise all road Laker games not shown on NBC.

That means all but five Laker games will be televised this season.

Channel 9’s Laker coverage begins with an exhibition game at Boston Oct. 11, and Prime Ticket’s coverage begins with the GTE Shootout at the Forum, an exhibition tournament Oct. 22-23. Besides the Lakers, the Boston Celtics, San Antonio Spurs and Milwaukee Bucks will participate.

Hockey update: There are several reasons to watch tonight’s hockey exhibition between the Kings and New York Rangers at Caesars Palace in Las Vegas.

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One is to see Wayne Gretzky in his return to the ice, and another is to check on the miniature camera Prime Ticket will mount on King goalie Kelly Hrudey’s helmet.

One more reason: to see if the ice holds up in the Las Vegas heat.

TV-Radio Notes

Dream team: Electronic Media surveyed 40 television news directors from throughout the country, asking them to pick their perfect news team. Peter Jennings and Diane Sawyer were named the co-anchors, and Bob Costas the sportscaster, with Fred Roggin coming in second. Chris Berman finished third. . . . More good news for Roggin: His “Roggin’s Heroes” continues to get impressive ratings. Last Saturday’s show, the first of the new season, got a 9.7 rating in Los Angeles. Just how good is that? Consider this: The Dodgers don’t do a whole lot better than that. The Dodgers’ game against Atlanta that night on Channel 11 got a 13.3 rating, and Tuesday night’s game from San Diego got a 10.3.

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The Ryder Cup gets 21 1/2 hours of coverage on USA and NBC this weekend. Today’s coverage on USA will run from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. (delayed). USA is calling it the longest day of televised golf in history. . . . Recommended viewing: In a three-part series beginning Tuesday, CNN examines the pressures today’s athletes face. The series, “The Game of Life,” will appear on “Sports Tonight” at 8 p.m. and again on “Sports Late Night” at 11:30 p.m. The host is Mike Cowman.

Lee Marshall, formerly of KABC radio, is now doing a Notre Dame pregame show that is carried in Los Angeles on KBLA (1580), formerly KDAY. . . . Tom Lasorda, fined $500 for having honorary batboy Tony Danza in the dugout last week, will be among Danza’s guests next Tuesday on ABC’s “Into the Night.” Danza is the guest host next week. Evander Holyfield will appear on Monday’s show, and Wayne Gretzky will be another guest on Tuesday night.


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