SBD/29/Sports Media

PIG PILE ON THE BASEBALL NETWORK! MEDIA WRITERS LEAD CHARGE

     The heavy media criticism of The Baseball Network's
regionalized coverage of the playoffs continues in earnest this
morning.  In New York, Bob Raissman writes, "Network executives
can whine about how afternoon playoff or regular-season games
don't get ratings.  But they fail to comprehend that playing all
games at night does nothing to grow the game of baseball.  And
baseball owners have never realized their goals are not the same
as the networks'" (N.Y. DAILY NEWS, 9/29).  Steve Zipay:  "Here
we are on the cusp of October, that most treasured month, when
the best baseball drama occurs across America.  Just when
baseball had a chance to renew its autumnal ties with lost fans,
the networks and the owners sliced it and diced it and devoured
the chance" (NEWSDAY, 9/29).  In Baltimore, Milton Kent (citing
Expos GM Kevin Malone's "satan" theory) writes that fans "are in
for no little share of hell" (Baltimore SUN, 9/29).  In L.A.,
Larry Stewart writes, "No matter how well the Baseball Network
people switch back and forth among the games, there will be
problems, guaranteed.  It will be sort of like watching the early
rounds of the NCAA basketball tournament on CBS.  Only this is
major league baseball, the national pastime.  At least it used to
be.  We're bracing for all the complaints" (L.A. TIMES, 9/29).
     WHAT ABOUT THE PENNANT RACES?  TBN Coordinating Producer
John Filipelli, on markets that will be denied games with playoff
implications tonight:  "I think you must always protect the home
market and be respectful of the game people are watching.  But we
plan to be more aggressive on the updates, possibly updating
every run from every one of those games" (Prentis Rogers, ATLANTA
CONSTITUTION, 9/29).
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