Stanley Cup checks O's off HTS tomorrow

May 14, 1991|By Milton Kent

Around this time of year, it takes something mighty important to bump the Orioles off television, especially when it's a game that Queen Elizabeth II will attend.

But come tomorrow night, folks who tune into Home Team Sports expecting to see the scheduled game between the Orioles and Oakland A's will instead find the opening game of the Stanley Cup championship series between Pittsburgh and Minnesota.

But fear not, for WMAR-TV, the broadcast carrier of Orioles games, has moved to televise Her Majesty's introduction to baseball.

Scott Broyles, communications manager for HTS, said that the pay-cable service is obligated to carry the Stanley Cup series live as a part of its affiliation with SportsChannel America.

The Stanley Cup series had been scheduled to begin Friday, but the NHL moved the date up to tomorrow because neither conference final series went to seven games.

Broyles said HTS, which is also contractually obligated to carry 90 Orioles games, elected not to telecast tomorrow's Orioles game on a tape delay, but instead will pick up an Orioles-Boston game from Fenway Park on June 2.

"If you had to choose between a tape delay of a game and a live and exclusive telecast of a game with a key American League East rival, I think you'd choose the Boston game," said Broyles.

Meanwhile, WMAR general manager Arnie Kleiner said the station will attempt to carry the game, if it can obtain necessary clearance from Major League Baseball. It needs approval because Wednesday games are normally blacked out from over-the-air broadcasts by baseball's contract with ESPN, which prohibits head-to-head competition.

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