HTS comes through in the pinch Cable channel adds 3 Orioles games


September 17, 1993|By RAY FRAGER

You've checked that Orioles schedule up on the refrigerator, and you're distraught.

The problem is that the club closest to your heart -- not to mention your frozen foods -- is in a pennant race, and you're afraid of missing some of it. The original television schedule for the season shows a Channel 2 telecast tonight from Milwaukee, but then no TV until the Orioles return home in a week.

Actually, things aren't that bleak. Home Team Sports has decided to pick up the entire series in Cleveland -- Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday.

Channel 2 could have added games on this road trip, but apparently has chosen not to do so and instead will stick with its scheduled programming. I don't know about you, but a pennant race can't compare to the college hijinks of those wacky "Saved by the Bell" kids.

In the past, if one of the broadcasters wished to add games beyond the contracted number of telecasts, the club and broadcaster could work out a deal, most likely involving payment for the additional game.

There is good news for fans, though, courtesy of HTS. If you have cable, you'll most likely get to see the Saturday, Oct. 2 Toronto-at-Orioles game -- part of the season-ending series that everyone fervently hopes will be fraught with meaning -- even if you don't subscribe to HTS.

HTS, which is a premium channel (meaning you pay extra for it), has worked out a deal with most local cable systems to provide the Saturday game for free. The systems have agreed to provide the HTS signal to basic service subscribers from 4-6 p.m., when HTS will carry a sports celebrity telethon and auction to benefit the Leukemia Society. An HTS spokesman said deals have been worked out on most Baltimore-area systems to keep the signal open that evening as well, providing the Orioles-Blue Jays game to viewers who have only basic cable service.

Surely, that's a move just about all of us can applaud. Hey, who's that not applauding? Oh, you folks over there who just bought HTS this month so you wouldn't miss the deciding games in the race? Let's not forget, HTS does have the entire final homestand. So don't be greedy.

Here's an idea: Invite your non-HTS neighbors over to see the Tigers and Yankees series, and let them bring the food and drink.

Don't you worry about a thing

Perhaps members of the Jeff Rimer Fan Club -- let's sing that song, Rimerteers, "J-E-F, F-space-R, I-M-E-R. . . . Forever let us turn our volume high, high, high" -- are worried about Rimer's new assignment in Florida. Rimer, voice of WBAL Radio's "Sports Line" and Channel 20's Washington Capitals games, will call play-by-play on 33 of 36 television games of the expansion Florida Panthers. Have no fear, because Rimer said, when it comes to hockey, "The Capitals are my first priority." That means he won't miss any of the 20 scheduled regular-season games, plus playoff road games (with the Caps' recent history, that should be maybe four), on WDCA to call the Panthers.

We'll always have Paris

NBC has extended its rights agreement with the French Open tennis tournament with a new multi-year contract. The deal will be voided if Bud Collins steals tablecloths from Paris restaurants to make his pants. . . . Ted Patterson and Nestor Aparicio will team up to broadcast Spirit indoor soccer games this season on WWLG (1360 AM). As the play-by-play man, Patterson will broadcast all 40 home and away games. Aparicio will be the commentator for the 20 home games, plus selected road games. The Spirit opens at home against Chicago on Oct. 29.

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