In L.A., Steve Dilbeck notes the Dodgers' Spring Training broadcast schedule "calls for only seven games to be televised" after 15 games were aired last spring. FS Prime Ticket is broadcasting "only four games," while KCAL-CBS will "air three." The Dodgers' final season with Fox before moving to Time Warner is "apparently playing no small part in the reduction" (L.A. TIMES, 2/22).
OMINOUS SIGN? In New Jersey, Mary Diduch reports Cablevision will "add a monthly surcharge for sports programming." The $2.98 surcharge will "go into effect in April and will apply to cable television customers that subscribe to Family or Value packages or above." Cablevision VP/Video Product Management Bradley Feldman said, "Unfortunately, the rising cost of programming has resulted in this sports surcharge" (Bergen RECORD, 2/22).
SYMPATHY FOR THE SUN DEVILS: In Phoenix, Paola Boivin writes, "The Pac-12/DirecTV standoff is hurting the Sun Devils more than anybody." Twenty of Arizona State Univ.'s men's basketball games "have been carried by the Pac-12 Network." That translates to 74% of ASU games "not available to DirecTV viewers because the two sides have failed to reach an agreement." ASU is "suffering the most in the conference because it is a dramatically different team from the one that finished 10-21 a year ago" (ARIZONA REPUBLIC, 2/22).
THE GREAT OUTDOORS: Outdoor Channel shareholder UTR Thursday said that "it and deep-pocketed backers are ready to make an all-cash bid that tops the existing offer" of $8 per share for the company. In N.Y., Josh Kosman notes UTR "would not name the investors -- except to say that they are Hollywood heavyweights." The Outdoor Channel in November agreed to a $208M merger with InterMedia Outdoors, "which runs The Sportsman Channel." UTR has been "an outspoken critic" of the merger (N.Y. POST, 2/22).