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Prepped, Primed, and... Pigskinned?
By: Amanda Stamat

To non-natives, PPR is just a random assortment of letters. To most San Diegans, PPR is what avid sports fans and San Diego enthusiasts look forward to every Friday night. PPR, or the Prep Pigskin Report, focuses on local San Diego teams and players, primarily those in high school. Although the name of the report alludes to a primary focus on football, do not let it fool you. The report stands strong during the football off-season, with an emphasis on the other teams in San Diego. Everything from baseball to basketball to soccer to lacrosse is discussed in the report. The PPR, which was awarded a local Emmy, is one of KUSI's most popular locally produced shows. The PPR All-Sports Report only airs weekly for an hour, but its content extends much further than that.

After KUSI-TV lost the rights to showing the San Diego Padre games in full, they felt that they needed a sports niche of their own. Thus, the PPR program began. Every Friday night at 10:30, host Paul Rudy breaks down the week's local and great stories. Everything that happened in sports in San Diego is covered. In a typical PPR show, a viewer can expect action packed clips from the games, interviews with players and coaches, and special features on local sporting events and programs. When it comes to the broadcast, nothing about sports is left out. General Manager of KUSI Michael McKinnon says "We take pride in our PPR report. It's one of our most popular features." In the fall, during football season, the PPR has a greater impact in our news schedule. For 17 weeks during the fall, the emphasis is on local High School football and its players. McKinnon says "We here at KUSI focus more content- rather than the 'fluff and stuff' that other stations have." When it comes to detailed sports reports- KUSI has them.

Lev Mizan, a previous high school football player at University City High School was featured with his team often on the Prep Pigskin Report. "I would often see myself on T.V. with the guys. It was great seeing our progress," he says. Local students could often depend on the PPR to highlight their hard work and dedication to the game. It was common for students to be interviewed after a game. Another great feature of the report is the fact that it follows its San Diego High School players even after they leave San Diego. Often, hometown heroes who play college football outside of San Diego are featured as well.

The most important aspect of the PPR is perhaps its off-air participation. Although the actual show is only on-air for one hour a week, its impact reaches greater lengths: primarily online. On the KUSI-TV website, you can find a special link that takes you right to the PPR directory. On the website, one can find full length videos of each episode that aired on Friday. Cleverly signed by host Paul Rudy "Yours In Pigskin," is the PPR online blog. Rudy updates the blog often with news stories as the occur, and also notifies everyone of special events that are occurring. Also featured is the ability for the community to provide feedback, ask questions, or comment on the blog. Perhaps the most interesting feature is the "Nominate A Team" section, in which viewers at home can nominate a local sports team to be featured on the program. Responses and insight from the community are important to keeping the program interesting and community based.

The Prep Pigskin Report has a bright future ahead of itself. It not only allows viewers to ask questions, participate, and respond to blog posts online, but it also paves the way for bright young athletes throughout the city. There are many new changes that will be coming to the All-Sports Report that viewers and executives are looking forward to. "We're hoping to add another weekly program for PPR," McKinnon says. With the rising interest in sports, and the sense of community that it brings to the city of San Diego, another time slot for sports doesn't seem like such a bad idea.



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