New era in cable set to begin 

Ted Griggs has a vision, and it’s safe to say infomercials are not a part of it.

The vice president and general manager of Comcast SportsNet Bay Area is going "a mile a minute" this week as the network makes final preparations for its Monday debut. The rebranded station — the Fox Sports Net Bay Area name goes away — will air an hourlong edition of "Giants Pregame Live" at noon from Dodger Stadium prior to San Francisco’s season opener in Los Angeles. It will be the first of 50 Giants and 20 A’s pregame shows scheduled to air this year, and Griggs said he is dedicated to bringing more original programming to the network to supplement the coverage of live events.

"The goal is to kick the infomercial habit — it’s like being addicted to a drug," Griggs said Tuesday. "[By the fall] we’re hoping to have five to six hours of original programming every day."

On Monday, the network will kick off the new season with a viewer appreciation day at AT&T Park. Fans are invited to go to the stadium beginning at 11 a.m. and can watch the pregame show and the game on the scoreboard. Free hot dogs will be provided to the first 5,000 fans and batting practice will be available on the field.

Monday’s debut marks the official beginning of a collaboration between the Giants and the network. The team announced it had bought an interest in Fox Sports Net Bay Area in December and joined with Comcast to form the new partnership (Comcast had purchased FSN Bay Area earlier in the year).

The station will broadcast 140 Giants and 80 A’s games over the course of the year, with 100 of those (60 Giants, 40 A’s) available in high-definition. Greg Papa will host 35 of the 50 scheduled editions of "Giants Pregame Live" this season and all 65 of the "Giants Postgame Live" shows. Renel Brooks-Moon will anchor the remaining pregame shows, with Bip Roberts and F.P. Santangelo offering color commentary. The postgame show, filmed at the Acme Chophouse, will also feature a televised broadcast of the KNBR (680 AM) wrapup.

On the A’s side, Mindi Bach and Shooty Babbitt will host the 20 scheduled editions of "A’s Pregame Live" and the 40 postgame shows, all from McAfee Coliseum. The station will also continue carrying Sharks and Warriors games under the Comcast SportsNet Bay Area name.

By the fall Griggs is envisioning an even fuller programming schedule. The network is now looking for studio space, and the plan is to film an hourlong commentary show starting at 5 p.m., followed three editions of a local highlights show sandwiching the game — one before the pregame show, one following the postgame show and one late at night that will replay early in the morning.

melliser@examiner.com

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A daily newspaper covering San Francisco, San Mateo County and serving Alameda, Marin and Santa Clara counties.
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