Wednesday, February 09, 2005

Time to Get Your Tivo Programmed

Today's LA times reported that the Angels announced their plans for televising 140 games of the upcoming season on local television outlets Fox Sports West, Channel 9 and Channel 56. In addition 10 more games will be broadcast nationally on ESPN or Fox 11 in LA. The breakout has Fox West and Channel 9 each showing 50 games while Channel 56 will get 40 more. That leaves a sparse 13 games unspoken for and Angels Communication Director Tim Mead says those games could be added later by one of their broadcast partners.

This represents a sharp increase in Angel broadcasts as this time last year Arte Moreno was aghast at the limited exposure the Angels had on local television (less than 100 games committed to be broadcast by Fox Sports and Channel 9) and quickly signed up a motley crew of alternate stations to fill out the Angels broadcast schedule including Channels 22, 30 and the Food Network. While the Fox deal is in place until 2008, the Angels will be getting a new local broadcast partner in 2006 when Channel 9 dumps the Angels in favor of the Dodgers. No one is quite sure where the Halos will land but it should be interesting to see if there are any traditional outlets available for them. As more independent stations affiliate with national networks (UPN, WB, etc) they are forced to air the national networks prime-time programming which precludes them from having the flexibility to broadcast 50 baseball games, many of which are in prime time. Perhaps Arte will take a cue from Ted Turner and George Steinbrenner and decide to start his own network. Anyone remember the promise of ESPN West?

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