Puck Back In B’cast Net

KTLA-TV has beaten out KCOP-TV for the rights to the first over-the-air televised hockey game in Los Angeles in nearly six years.

The Tribune-owned station will carry the Los Angeles Kings’ road game with the Edmonton Oilers March 24. Both stations reportedly are interested in airing as many as 15 Kings games during the 1991-92 season.

Sources said the station that wins the longterm deal would have to commit more than $1 million. Before a deal is struck, however, sources said the stations would have to ensure that advertisers were interested – making the March contest a critical test.

The broadcasters’ sudden interest in the Kings, and the team’s ascension to the top of the Smythe Division this season, can in part be traced to the addition of hockey great Wayne Gretzky and several other key players to the club.

Prime Ticket also has played a significant role in the push for over-the-air games. Early this month, Prime Ticket execs began discussions with the Kings about ways to further promote the team and suggested developing a relationship with a broadcast outlet.

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