Scott D. Pierce: Jazz continue cable migration

Published: Friday, Sept. 26 2008 12:40 a.m. MDT

Have you noticed how KJZZ is telling local viewers they ought to be all excited because, for the first time ever, Ch. 14 will be telecasting all seven preseason Jazz games?

Man, I haven't been this excited since I ignored all those meaningless preseason NFL telecasts. Who cares?

(OK, who cares very much?)

What KJZZ isn't mentioning is that it will be airing 60 percent fewer regular-season games. During the 2007-08 campaign, Ch. 14 telecast 40 regular-season games; during the upcoming season, it will telecast only 16.

I'm all for making lemonade out of lemons. But it's insulting to the intelligence of Jazz fans — particularly those without cable or satellite hook-ups — to tell them that something so much worse is actually something great.

This is just the latest example of sports migrating to cable. And it's waaaaay too late to complain about that.

FSN-Utah will carry 60 games this season, up from 40 last season. TNT has exclusive rights to six games; ESPN will air five (which will be simulcast on KJZZ or FSN-Utah).

The reason Larry Miller bought KJZZ in the first place was he was unhappy with Jazz's previous local TV arrangements. When the team aired games on KSTU-Ch. 13 and, before that, on KSL-Ch. 5, it had to take a back seat to network programming on those stations.

But if the Jazz are going to have such a reduced presence on KJZZ, does Miller really need to own the station?

REVISIONIST HISTORY: This past Saturday on ESPN's "College GameDay," Kirk Herbstreit tried to rewrite recent history.

He insisted that all he had ever said about BYU was that we should wait a few games before deciding the Cougars were a legitimate contender for a BCS berth. Which is only half the story.

Yes, Herbie said that. But that wasn't all he said. Since he's forgotten, let's remind him.

After insisting that it would take "six or seven or eight or nine wins" before we could even "start to talk" about BYU in the BCS, Herbstreit stated, "In my opinion, the best non-BCS team is Fresno State. ... In my opinion, they are much better than BYU."

Thus, he was, um, warping the truth on "GameDay."

Ah, well. How a guy who forecast Fresno State and East Carolina, not Utah and BYU, as top contenders for a BCS berth — how a guy who picked UCLA to beat BYU — is considered some sort of college football guru is beyond my ability to understand.

IF SOME UCLA FANS get their way, the Bruins will apparently be leaving the Pacific 10 Conference.

Last week, I told you about bruinsnation.com, which included all sorts of derogatory comments about the Versus coverage of the BYU-UCLA game. Including this one: "Never, ever agree to any scheduling arrangements in future, which would entail broadcasting UCLA games on a joke network such as Versus."

Versus has a contract with the Pac-10. It bought a number of games from Fox Sports Net.

Gee, if the Bruins leave the league, I can think of a couple of schools that would jump at the chance to replace them.

BYU ACTUALLY USED its video screen to show some scores last week. And perhaps the reaction from the crowd when East Carolina's loss was posted proved that the fans are interested.

The next time the Cougars are at home, perhaps the video screen operators could show something other than the same few games over and over and over again. And, perhaps, keep an eye on other Mountain West Conference teams.


E-mail: pierce@desnews.com

Get The Deseret News Everywhere

Subscribe

Mobile

RSS