SBD/13/Sports Media

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  • NBC LOOKS INTO MSG

         NBC retains an option to buy a "significant minority stake"
    in Madison Square Garden as part of the ITT Corp/ Cablevision
    Systems acquisition of MSG holdings from Viacom.  NBC signed off
    on Cablevision's investment and "could decide as soon as October
    whether to join the MSG partnership."   One exec close to the
    deal says "NBC's involvement would significantly enhance the
    value of MSG to its new owners" and that ITT/Cablevision would
    benefit from the experience of NBC Sports.  The joint venture
    could also help NBC's portfolio, "especially its flagship TV
    station," WNBC-NY.  NBC's stake in MSG could lead to a combined
    broadcast and cable TV schedule that would put certain games on
    WNBC and others on cable (Joe Mandese, ADVERTISING AGE, 9/12
    issue).
    

    Print | Tags: Cablevision, Madison Square Garden, NBC, Media, Viacom
  • SURF'S UP: MEDIA NOTES

         In L.A., Jane Hall reports that all four broadcast networks
    are "posting record revenues in terms of advertising dollars
    spent" for TV ads in prime time for the new season (L.A. TIMES,
    9/13)....Andre Agassi's victory in the men's final in the U.S.
    Open "did not galvanize viewers as CBS had hoped."  In
    preliminary overnight Nielsen ratings, the Open received a 5.5
    rating, down 5% from 5.8 a year ago.  Football was the
    "preliminary culprit" (N.Y. TIMES, 9/13)....The 49ers-Chiefs game
    was the highest-rated regular-season 49ers telecast in 10 years.
    The game had a rating of 38.9 and a 74 share in the Bay Area.  It
    was the first regular-season 49ers game on Fox affiliate KTVU
    (SAN JOSE MERCURY NEWS, 9/13)....In Atlanta, Kris Jensen notes
    that SI's 40th anniversary TV show, scheduled for 10:00pm ET on
    NBC, "shows how the magazine is branching into television and
    other media."  This special is the first show produced by SI's TV
    division (ATLANTA CONSTITUTION, 9/13)....With less than three
    weeks to go before the "crucial shareholder vote" on the Viacom-
    Blockbuster merger, execs at Blockbuster Entertainment plan to
    "hit the road next week to rally support" for the merger (MIAMI
    HERALD, 9/12).
    

    Print | Tags: CBS, Kansas City Chiefs, NBC, News Corp./Fox, Nielsen, San Francisco 49ers, Sports Illustrated, Media, Viacom
  • TIME WARNER EXPANDS CABLE SYSTEMS IN JOINT VENTURE

         Time Warner, the nation's second-largest cable company, said
    yesterday that it would merge some of its extensive cable systems
    with those owned by Newhouse Broadcasting cable systems, which
    serves 1.4B subscribers.  In a separate deal, Time Warner will
    pay $375M in stock to Summitt Communications to acquire a cable
    system in Winston-Salem, NC, and two in suburban Atlanta.  Both
    transactions, which Time Warner accomplished without spending any
    cash, will increase Time Warner's customer base to 8.9M.  Though
    a value wasn't put on the Newhouse transaction, market analysts
    estimate the total value at $8.4B (Mark Robichaux, WALL STREET
    JOURNAL, 9/13).  Under the deal, Time Warner will "thoroughly
    dominate" markets in Charlotte, NC, upstate NY and Orlando, FL
    (Paul Farhi, WASHINGTON POST, 9/13).
         BEEFING UP FOR A FIGHT?:  In New York, Geraldine Fabrikant
    writes that the venture is a "way to survive the consolidation
    sweeping the industry as even the biggest players brace for
    expected competition from the regional telephone companies" (N.Y.
    TIMES, 9/13).  Time Warner Chair Gerald Levin contended the deal
    will improve "growth prospects" not only for cable business and
    advertising sales, but also telephone and "future interactive
    services" (James Bates, L.A. TIMES, 9/13).  Newhouse President
    Robert Miron:  "To be prepared for the future, I need three
    things: the size of these geographic clusters, technological
    expertise and a sound financial partner.  We got all three in
    Time Warner" (WASHINGTON POST, 9/13).
    

    Print | Tags: R J Reynolds, Media, Time Warner
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