For Orioles' TV games, Proctor will touch 'em all

RADIO-TV

March 04, 1994|By RAY FRAGER

Some athletes can do it all. Score, pass, rebound. Hit for average, hit for power, run, field, throw. Renegotiate contracts, win at arbitration, demand trades.

Mel Proctor is getting a chance to do it all this baseball season -- he says he'll call play-by-play on every Orioles local telecast.

That's a lot of play-by-play. Among Home Team Sports and channels 13 and 54, 148 regular-season games are being televised.

Proctor, who's been HTS' Orioles voice for the past 10 seasons, just has signed a three-year contract with HTS, he said. Proctor also is HTS' Bullets play-by-play man.

HTS is producing all of the Orioles local telecasts this season under the new television deal with the club in which rights are owned by Group W, corporate parent of HTS and Channel 13. With Jon Miller going back exclusively to radio this season, Proctor couldn't have remained strictly on HTS without the need for another TV voice.

Proctor will be rejoined by analyst John Lowenstein for most games, with Jim Palmer (headed back to ABC this season, too) and rookie broadcaster Mike Flanagan also part of the mix.

There's no word so far on the status of Brooks Robinson.

He typed it with one arm

Proctor already has made several TV acting appearances, most recently as an obnoxious reporter -- is that redundant? -- on "Homicide." Now, he's branching out into writing.

Proctor said he recently found a publisher, Longmeadow Press, for a book he has written on "The Fugitive" TV series, tentatively titled "Back to 'The Fugitive.' " The book should be out in six months, he said.

"I had always been mesmerized by the show as a kid," he said, "and they started running the show again on A&E."

Proctor ended up taping all 142 episodes, and began interviewing people associated with the series when he made a trip to Los Angeles. Then, 1 1/2 years later, he had a manuscript.

"I kind of wanted to do something outside the realm of what I do for a living," he said.

That's fine, Mel, but I got dibs on the "Baywatch" book.

Lookin' for a home

They have a coach, a quarterback, a schedule and, now, even a name. So all the Baltimore CFL Colts need is a TV station to show their games.

Apparently, there have some early talks between the Baltimore CFL Colts and some stations, but things haven't progressed far yet.

"We're speaking with them. It's a little premature," said Emily Barr, Channel 2 assistant general manager.

"I wouldn't rule it out," said Joe Koff, Channel 54 GM. "I would think that most of the stations would want to wait to see."

Let's play the speculation game (by Milton Bradley, for ages 7 and up, two or more players): Maybe someone would pick up the Baltimore CFL Colts opener, then check out the amount of subsequent interest -- marked by, among other things, ratings for the game and home crowds. Initially, at least, Baltimore CFL Colts games might be carried on tape.

That opens up the field considerably. Which, after all, is what the CFL is all about.

And, because it's also about avoiding legal problems, please note that I used the team's full name every time, your honor.

No sharing

NBC, which previously had decided against another Olympics TripleCast -- bet it really took months of research on that one -- yesterday said the network also won't place any coverage of the 1996 Atlanta Summer Games on cable TV.

"The single most important factor in our decision to keep the Games exclusively on broadcast television is that our six owned stations and 207 affiliates . . . feel that the value of broadcast exclusivity should be protected for them," said NBC Sports president Dick Ebersol.

NBC will telecast 165 hours of the Atlanta Olympics, much of it live. During the 1992 Barcelona Olympics, nearly all of NBC's coverage was taped.

Champing at the bit

CBS has the NCAA basketball tournament and March Madness. Beginning tomorrow, ESPN has Championship Week. Should we call it Winter Neurosis?

ESPN is carrying 26 conference title games. ESPN will show 24 teams getting automatic NCAA bids. On March 13, ESPN has seven games in 14 1/2 hours.

It all begins with the Trans America Athletic Conference championship tomorrow at noon.

Sharing studio duties will be John Saunders, Chris Fowler, Dick Vitale and Digger Phelps. Vitale's days will be Monday, Tuesday and March 10 through 13. Plan your schedule accordingly.

Berman sighting

Chris Berman will have his annual ESPN "SportsCenter" stint Sunday (11 p.m.), Monday and Tuesday (11:30 each night). Two precautions: Turn down the volume, and if there are any hockey games in Canada that night, you'll need your French-English dictionary.

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