Scott D. Pierce: Prepare for non-KJZZ broadcasts

Published: Friday, April 25 2008 12:00 a.m. MDT

We might be getting a bit ahead of ourselves by talking about the Utah Jazz in the second round of the playoffs ... but none of us really thinks so, do we?
Assuming Utah makes it to the Western Conference semifinals, there will be some Jazz fans who will be ticked off. Because they won't be able to watch all the games on KJZZ-Ch. 14.
It's not worth expending energy on getting mad because there's not a darn thing you can do to change the situation.
Here's the deal. If a conference semifinal is telecast on either TNT or ABC, local broadcast partners of NBA teams are forbidden from simulcasting the games. That's part of the deal that the league signed with the networks.
If a conference semifinal is telecast on ESPN, local stations can simulcast. So if, say, a Jazz-Lakers game is on ESPN, it can also be on Ch. 14.
Again, this is because of the NBA's television contracts. It is not because KJZZ doesn't want to telecast Jazz games.
As crazy as that sounds, people have called Ch. 14 in past years and made, um, crazy statements like that.
Let's think about this logically. Larry Miller owns the Jazz. Larry Miller owns KJZZ. And KJZZ makes nice money every time it telecasts a Jazz playoff game because the ratings are always good.
So accusing Ch. 14 of deliberately withholding games is, well, crazy.
There's a reason they're called fanatics ...

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To get even further ahead of ourselves, if the Jazz make it to the Western Conference Finals, there will be no local telecasts of any of those games.
Although, of course, if the games are on ABC they'll be seen locally on KTVX-Ch. 4.
This is not a prediction that the Jazz will make it to the conference finals. Although if they do, remember you read it here first ...

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Is TNT's Doug Collins running for president of the Tracy McGrady Fan Club? Here are a few of his comments from Tuesday's Game 2 telecast:
• "He is doing it all for them tonight. ... He's doing his part, now his teammates need to come through for him."
• "(He) has elevated his play in the playoffs. ... But until he gets out of the first round you know what he's going to be hearing. ... I think he's had an amazing year and what he's done with this team has been terrific."
• It's a shame that people will write about Tracy McGrady's (one-point) fourth quarter because he was brilliant through the first three quarters. ... He has to do so much for this team without Yao Ming and without his starting point guard in Rafer Alston, and it just took its toll."

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Quotable: TNT's Charles Barkley on whether the Utah-Houston series is over: "Is the pope Catholic?"

E-mail: pierce@desnews.com

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