Media notes version 08.02.18: On Spectrum Deportes’ departure, Alex Faust perhaps jeopardizing his career, Steve Levy at 25, and the ESPN Ocho revival

246x0wA story posted on an ESPN platform back in 2016 attempted to round up information that accurately portrayed the importance of a Spanish-language broadcast as it related to Lakers’ fans in Southern California.
Julio Manteiga, an associate director of media monitoring and Latin America communications for the NBA, said at the time the Hispanic fan attendance for Lakers games was 42 percent; the 2015 U.S. Census showed that the Hispanic population of Los Angeles County was 48.4 percent.
Today, Los Angeles has listed 4.6 million Hispanics and Latinos, or nine percent of the entire U.S. population, and47 percent of the city’s population.
However you want to slice it, the launch of an all-Spanish language sports regional network in 2012 seemed worthy of having. Hispanic outreach has always been important to the team.
Then thing change. Perhaps demographics, habits, desires on where to watch …
You open a restaurant, serve authentic fare, and hope it resonates.
The decision to drop Spectrum Deportes as of Aug. 15, per our story here,  is disappointing on many levels. Some who work there express remorse in not having the channel sufficiently publicized. Viewers had complaints about how difficult it could be to find on the TV menu. As for live events, other than the Lakers and MLS Galaxy, there wasn’t much to look forward to on a nightly basis.
That, and the fact Spectrum is trying to launch a 24/7 English-language all-news service, much like Spectrum News NY1 in New York City, makes Deportes expendable, if you go with the research.
The Lakers have had no comment yet. Team chief operating officer Tim Harris is out of the office and would be best to address it.
Also more on this from our new GameTakes app podcast.

Item 2:

If Alex Faust could become the successor to Bob Miller, would it really jeopardize his career if he pondered some flattering news that Alex Trebek endorses him as possibly the next host of “Jeopardy!” should a retirement decision come into play soon?
To our credit, we did ask that in the form of a question. But we really don’t question it.
To the credit of the 29-year-old Faust, who became the Kings’ TV play-by-play man on Fox Sports West starting with the 2017-18 season after Miller’s retirement, responded on Twitter after a TMZ interview with Trebek became public that he has been impressed with Faust’s work:

And then the Kings responded:

Faust does have a degree from Northeastern University in political science and economics, and was a data analyst at PricewaterhouseCoopers,  if that helps on the resume.
Another sports-anchored host of note, Dan Patrick, has put in a few seasons of “Sports Jeopardy!” taped at the same Sony studios in Culver City as the mainstream prime-time version that airs weeknights on ABC. Patrick responded Tuesday on his syndicated radio and three-hour daily sports-talk show that airs on DirecTV’s Audience Network and NBCSN by saying in essence: “Jeopardy! is not in my future.”:

The Crackle-distributed version of “Sports Jeopardy!” launched in 2014 but is in hiatus as of late 2016 after more than 100 episodes as the producers decide how to go forward with it.
The L.A.-based Canadian-born hockey fan Trebek, 78, has been with “Jeopardy” since 1984 – yet we still, for a second, expect the show’s announcer to say each night: “And here’s your host, Art Fleming.” And it is always a bit sad for a New York Times or a Washington Post or even The Associated Press to have to follow up on a TMZ or Fox News report, but there you go again.

Item 3:

More hockey-related news, as relayed by LAKingsInsider Jon Rosen:

* FSW reporter Patrick O’Neal won a Los Angeles Area Emmy Award last Saturday night for Outstanding Sports Reporting. He’s the son of Academy Award-nominated actor Ryan O’Neal.
* Josh Bogorad, a West LA native who prepped at University High and grew up a Kings fan, has been named the Dallas Stars’ TV and radio play-by-play man. Rosen wonders if Bogorad is the first “team-specific NHL play-by-play broadcastger from the L.A. area.” Rosen, the LAKingsInsider reporter since 2013, did 30-some games for the Kings’ radio broadcast in the 2016-17 season as well as a fill-in on one FSW TV game, and one radio game for the Anaheim Ducks. He is also an L.A. native out of Oakwood High in North Hollywood before going to the University of Michigan. He also did work for NBC’s men’s and women’s Olympic hockey in PyeongChang for their 4K service, calling games off a monitor in Stamford, Conn.

Item 4:

Consider the entry point to finally getting up to speed for HBO’s next season of “Hard Knocks”:
* NBC dispatches Al Michaels, Cris Collinsworth and Michele Tafoya to fill a three-hour window during a live prime-time broadcast at the NFL Hall of Fame Game in Canton, Ohio (Thursday, 5 p.m., Channel 4). It will also feature purported members of the Chicago Bears and Baltimore Ravens performing football-like game drills within the illusion of an actual exhibition contest with RPOs and all the new-jargon. Part of the broadcast team added to help with that filibuster is Terry McAulay, the recently retired NFL official hired by NBC as their new rules expert.
* The NFL Network then covers the Pro Football Hall of Fame inductions Saturday (4 p.m.) hosted by Rich Eisen and Steve Mariucci. After the enshrinements, an episode of “NFL Total Access” airs at 8 p.m. with Reggie Bush as one of the analysts appearing with host Cole Wright.
* Then the reality sets in. The first of five “Hard Knocks: Training Camp with the Cleveland Browns,” the 13th edition of the Emmy Award winning series orchestrated by NFL Films, starts Tuesday at 10 p.m.
The blurb already crafted for Episode 1: “Enthusiasm building for the 2018 Cleveland Browns. As training camp begins, all eyes are on QB Baker Mayfield, the NFL’s number one overall draft pick and future of the franchise. General manager John Dorsey and head coach Hue Jackson welcome a new batch of veteran acquisitions, including former Buffalo Bills Pro Bowl QB Tyrod Taylor and outspoken receiver Jarvis Landry, who led the NFL in catches with the Miami Dolphins last season. Evaluations begin as 90 players vie for 53 coveted spots on the starting roster.
It’ll all sound better with Liev Schreiber’s narration.
And for what it’s worth, there’ll be no entering a private RV parked nearby during the course of the series. already has video on why no video will be allowed there.

Item 5:

Steve Levy’s
25 years at ESPN is apparently worth a celebration. And a hashtag #SteveLevySC25. As a result — and whether Levy authorized this or not — Keith Olbermann and Kenny Mayne will join Levy on Thursday’s 8 p.m. SportsCenter to mark the occasion of Levy joining ESPN for his first SportsCenter – the 11 p.m. PDT/2 a.m. EDT edition on Aug. 7, 1993 with Karl Ravech.

Items 6 and 7, as they might pertain to Item 8:

* The NBA Africa game (Saturday, 8 a.m., ESPN2, ESPN Deportes) from Pretoria, South Africa – a contest where NBA players born in Africa or of direct African ties to the continent – play another squad of NBA players loosely called “Team World.” Ryan Ruocco calls it with Seth Greenberg. Team Africa includes current Laker roster-spot holder Luol Deng, while new Laker JaVale McGee and the Clippers’ Danilo Gallinari are on Team World.
* CBS Sports has the Reebok Crossfit Games from Madison, Wisc. – formerly from StubHub Center in Carson – on Saturday at 11 a.m. and Sunday at 9 a.m. CBSSN also has coverage Thursday and Friday at 7 p.m.

Item 8:

Wednesday, August 8, aka 8/8, will revive an ESPN promotion of having an “ESPN Ocho” day of programming actually come to fruition on ESPN2 – all those small-time sports that seem to have already been a staple of ESPN2 this summer, but now get packaged into one full day capped off twice airing the 2004 Vince Vaughn, Ben Stiller, Rip Torn movie “DodgeBall: A True Underdog Story,” which created the “Ocho” label in the first place.
(And can’t get enough of the Lance Armstrong cameo. Or Chuck Norris. Or William Shatner. Or, for real, Hank Azaria).
The 24 hours of “seldom-seen programming,” as per the ESPN release, has its own corporate sponsor (we don’t bother telling you, because it’s part of the gag), but events scheduled to air include trampoline dodgeball, spikeball, cornhole, Major League Eating (brat eating and hamburger eating from 2006), ping pong, hurling, darts, kabaddi, sumo, roller derby and something called chess boxing, where contestants … well, it’s self explanatory. Jeremy Schaap will also host a special E:60 on ESPN8: The Ocho, and Kenny Mayne will anchor a SportsCenter full of highlights.
The “DodgeBall” movie airing actually starts on Aug. 7 – 9 p.m. PDT here, but it’ll be midnight Aug. 8 EDT, and it caps things off at 7 p.m. PDT/10 p.m. EDT on Aug. 8
The movie holds a 70 percent “Tomatometer” rating on, and a 76 percent audience score. “Proudly profane and splendidly silly,” it reads.
What would really complete the menu is if they dare ran the 1998 Trey Parker/Matt Stone movie “BASEketball,” where broadcasters such as Bob Costas and Al Michaels still consider it one the most embarrassing moments of their career.
For the record, “BASketball” has a 42 percent critics rating on, but a 74 percent audience rating. “Jenny McCarthy and Ernest Borgnine together at last,” writes one reviewer.

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