City cable gives viewers brighter view

Media Watch

January 24, 1996|By Milton Kent

Ever so quietly, city cable franchiser TCI left a nice little Christmas present for subscribers with the permanent addition of ESPN2 to its channel lineup, and there may be another nice little bundle under the tree by year's end.

Lynette Locke, public and community affairs coordinator, said TCI added the 2-year-old channel to the system on channel 43 on Christmas Eve, a move that had been long awaited.

TCI did not choose to add ESPN2 when it launched in October 1993, but twice reached temporary agreements with the channel to air feeds of Canadian Football League playoff games involving the Baltimore franchise in the 1994 and 1995 seasons.

As a part of the negotiation for airing the 1995 Grey Cup, won by the Stallions, ESPN2 extracted a firm commitment from TCI to make the "Deuce" a permanent part of the system.

On another front, Locke said city subscribers can expect to see Home Team Sports become a part of basic service before the end of 1996, though she said she couldn't give a specific date.

Now that Comcast has moved HTS from premium to basic status on its lineups in Baltimore, Harford and Howard counties and Jones Intercable in Anne Arundel has carried the regional channel on basic for some time, TCI is the only system in the metro area to charge an additional fee for HTS.

We'll keep you posted.

And the winner is . . .

The nominees for 24 of the 34 categories in this year's "ESPY Awards" have been announced, and Orioles shortstop Cal Ripken -- surprise, surprise -- is one of three nominees in the male athlete of the year category.

Ripken's competition includes Hakeem Olajuwon of the Houston Rockets and Atlanta Braves pitcher Greg Maddux. The nominees for female athlete of the year include Steffi Graf, Rebecca Lobo and skier Picabo Street.

The Braves, the Rockets, the Nebraska football team, the Dallas Cowboys, the Pittsburgh Steelers and the Connecticut women's basketball team are nominated in the outstanding team of the year category, and Northwestern football coach Gary Barnett, UCLA men's basketball coach Jim Harrick, Rudy Tomjanovich of the Rockets and Super Bowl coaches Barry Switzer and Bill Cowher compose the field for the outstanding coach or manager of the year award.

Just a thought: If Connecticut women's coach Geno Auriemma guided his team to a perfect season, if one of his players, namely Lobo, is up for two awards and if his team is nominated for outstanding team of the year, how does Auriemma not get a nomination for outstanding coach?

The winners in the 24 categories are determined by a vote of a select panel of media, coaches, players and general managers, and the other 10 winners come from the result of a viewer vote.

The awards will be handed out Feb. 12 in a ceremony with Tony Danza as host from Radio City Music Hall in New York.

A warm thought

Here's something to take the brace off this nippy winter: Spring training is a little more than a month away, and with it comes a new schedule of Orioles radio broadcasts on WBAL (1090 AM).

The station has announced a 14-game spring training broadcast schedule, beginning March 2 with a game against the Florida Marlins from Melbourne, Fla., at 12:35 p.m, and concluding with the final exhibition contest against Philadelphia at Camden Yards on March 30 at 1:05 p.m. Sandwiched in between are four night games on March 4, 9, 13 and 15, against the Yankees, Mets, Expos and Mets, respectively.

In addition, station manager Jeff Beauchamp said the Orioles' announcing team of Jon Miller, Fred Manfra and Chuck Thompson will return this season, with Josh Lewin getting occasional fill-in slots.

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