Today, SportsNet LA announced its programming schedule — the new 24/7 Dodger network will televise thousands of hours of exclusive Dodger programming each year, giving fans around-the-clock access to the team for the first time ever.
SportsNet LA programming will be highlighted by the new behind-the-scenes show about the team, “Backstage: Dodgers,” the network’s signature live studio program “Access SportsNet: Dodgers,” the social media-driven “Leadoff LA” and the weekly all-access show “Dodgers Clubhouse.”
A more robust description of each program:
“Backstage: Dodgers” is a weekly documentary series that will give fans true inside access to the team from the first day of Spring Training through the last pitch of the season. The series will debut on SportsNet LA’s launch night on February 25 and weekly episodes all season long will keep fans updated on of-the-moment Dodger news and happenings, following players, coaches, executives and Dodger legends inside the clubhouse, outside of the stadium and more. The launch-night episode will take fans to Clayton Kershaw’s home in Texas the day he found out he won the 2013 National League Cy Young Award and inside the Dodger clubhouse and the first few weeks of Spring Training.
“Access SportsNet: Dodgers” will be SportsNet LA’s signature live daily studio show. It will air nightly during Spring Training and then serve as the network’s pre- and post-game show during the regular season, featuring expert analysis, highlights, interviews and more. The show will be anchored by studio host John Hartung live from the SportsNet LA studio in Los Angeles and include commentary from analysts Orel Hershiser, Nomar Garciaparra and Jerry Hairston Jr. SportsNet LA in-game reporter Alanna Rizzo will provide live interviews and coverage from at home and on the road. During the regular season, “Access SportsNet: Dodgers” will air for 30 minutes before each live regular season game on SportsNet LA and also following the game.
“Leadoff LA” will air live for half an hour from the SportsNet LA studios before “Access SportsNet: Dodgers” on game days during the regular season, giving fans a full hour of live pre-game analysis. The program will be hosted by Hartung and Rizzo and include commentary from SportsNet LA’s full analyst team and other Dodger experts, including live look-ins to Dodger batting practice. Leadoff LA will be an interactive program that lets fans participate live via social media.
“Dodgers Clubhouse” will air weekly all season long and cover all aspects of the club, both on and off the field. The half-hour show will include special Dodger features, interviews and a weekly one-on-one manager segment with Don Mattingly. It will be hosted by Rizzo and debut on Mondays.
The interview series “Connected With…” will feature in-depth, sit-down interviews with Dodger personalities. The candid interview series will profile players, coaches, executives and Dodger legends throughout the season and debut dates for episodes featuring Clayton Kershaw and Don Mattingly will be announced shortly.
Other original SportsNet LA programming will include Dodger legends and personalities having candid, roundtable conversations about their favorite Dodger memories on “Talkin’ Blue,” Dodger countdown shows listing the greatest moments, players and events in Dodger history, hour-long “Dodgermentary” biographies about past and present Dodger personalities and classic “Timeless Dodgers” games.
Additional SportsNet LA programming will be announced throughout the season.
By Jon Weisman
Charley Steiner hasn’t gotten that much attention this offseason among Dodger announcers, given the spotlight on the new members of the Dodger broadcast team at SportsNet LA (Orel Hershiser, Nomar Garciaparra, Jerry Hairston, Alanna Rizzo and John Hartung) and the focus that rightfully always falls on Vin Scully.
But Steiner, believe it or not, is entering his 10th season as a Dodger play-by-play man (the only one who does 162 games a year in that role). It’s not only a milestone, it also dwarfs his tenure doing New York Yankee games and is beginning to catch up to his long-running stint at ESPN.
I always find Steiner a warm, positive presence, someone who enjoys the game and appreciates it but never takes it excessively seriously. So I took the opportunity before Monday’s Town Hall to chat with him for a few minutes.
Steiner is always quick to credit Scully for inspiring his love for radio and career as a sportscaster.
“Radio was the first thing that attracted me to broadcasting,” Steiner said, “when I was 7 years old – listening to Vin, in New York.”
That’s why Steiner has always been comfortable even in years – unlike the coming year – when he has been paired with Rick Monday on radio and hasn’t done games for television. But he’s happy to switch between the two formats – and is eager to work with Hershiser on TV.
“It’s the difference between softball and hardball,” he said. “You still have to score runs, and you still have to put people on base. … In television, obviously, the picture tells the story, and in radio, it’s your responsibility to paint the picture. So we are backselling a play. Everybody has seen it, then it will be up to Orel to explain why we saw what we just saw, whether it’s a pitch or how a team is defending a given player. On radio, we have to do that all in a hurry.
“Orel is a really bright guy, who above and beyond the experience and career he had as a player, has coaching experience, front-office experience, television experience. His baseball IQ is way off the charts. So getting to work with him and getting to learn from him – we’ve spent a fair amount of time already in the offseason – it’s exciting. It’s exciting for me, that I’ll be able to just basically throw him BP fastballs and listen to him. He’s gonna be something.”
It won’t hurt that the Dodgers figure to be anything but dull in 2014.
“This is just a wonderful confluence of events,” Steiner said. “Ownership. A franchise that has really been reborn. Then you throw into the mix this unbelievable television network that’s about to start.
“What I find so remarkable about beginning SportsNet LA is the people we are beginning it with. A: Vin – let’s set that aside. But the group that they’ve put together – Orel and I will get to do a ton of television games, and get to do a little with Nomar. Alanna’s a great talent; we all saw her at the MLB network. John Hartung has been in town forever and he’s just a perfectly cast quarterback – how’s that for a mixed metaphor – for the set. We’re working for and with one of the elite, iconic franchises in all of sports. We’re starting fresh and new with essentially an All-Star team. It’s hard to beat.”
Good news from Up Over about Down Under …
Vin Scully told Steve Dilbeck of Dodgers Now that he will be in Sydney for the Dodgers’ Opening Series against the Diamondbacks in Australia.
… “They asked me to go because they’re the first games to be broadcast by Time Warner,” Scully said. “So I said, `Sure, I’ll go.’ ”
Scully said he would be in Phoenix Feb. 25 when the Dodgers’ regional sports network makes its debut and then broadcast the first spring games the next two days. He said he would return for one game against the San Francisco Giants on March 9 and return one week later for the final game in Phoenix, March16 against the Colorado Rockies before the team takes off for Sydney.
The Dodgers then return home to play an exhibition Freeway Series against the Angels, and Scully will broadcast the games March 27-28 at Dodger Stadium. That’s a lot of work and travel for the 86-year-old broadcaster.
“With ESPN doing the season opener in San Diego followed by an off day, so I’ll get two days off and should be fine,” he said. “I do love it, so I’ll give it a shot.” …
By Josh Tucker
Los Angeles, meet the SportsNet LA Dodger Dog truck. Coming soon to a neighborhood near you, the Dodger Dog truck will make its way around the city of Los Angeles. And where there’s a SportsNet LA Dodger Dog truck, there will be free Dodger Dogs.
— SportsNet LA (@SportsNetLA) January 24, 2014
Saturday, the truck will make its first stop in Santa Monica. Head down to Ocean Ave. just north of the Santa Monica pier at high noon.
— John Hartung (@_JohnHartung) January 24, 2014
Remember, if you’re eager to ensure that the 24/7 Dodgers channel airs on your home television, one click will take you somewhere to express that desire to your provider: ineedmydodgers.com.