SBD/20/Leagues Governing Bodies

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  • ANOTHER LEAGUE TO TAKE A RUN AT SPRING FOOTBALL

         The United Football Association, started by former Army
    assistant coach Bob Darling, has awarded 17 franchises including
    Harrisburg, Norfolk, Akron, Indianapolis, Madison, Miami,
    Tampa/St. Pete, Laramie, WY, Lincoln, NE, and Spokane.  The
    season would run from mid-May through July, and tickets will cost
    $15-35.  Darling says the league is negotiating with prospective
    corporate sponsors and has discussed a TV contract.  Franchises
    will be league-owned and Darling expects the UFA's chances to be
    better than the WFL and USFL.  Darling: "We got rid of the
    millionaires"  (Mike Bullock, Harrisburg PATRIOT NEWS, 9/18).
    

    Print | Tags: Leagues and Governing Bodies
  • HITTING THE ROAD: FEHR IN ATLANTA; SPONSORS GO SHOPPING

         MLBPA Exec Dir Don Fehr makes the first of his seven stops
    around the country today at the Hyatt Regency in Atlanta.  Fehr's
    goal "is to not only update the players, but also get a handle on
    their feelings."  Braves Player Rep Tom Glavine and players from
    other clubs who live in the area will attend.  After Atlanta,
    Fehr heads to Tampa on Wednesday and New York on Friday.  Next
    week, he will be in Chicago, L.A., Phoenix and Grapevine, TX
    (I.J. Rosenberg, ATLANTA CONSTITUTION, 9/20).  Fehr, Acting
    Commissioner Bud Selig and others will appear before House
    hearings on baseball's antitrust exemption on Thursday.
         WHERE TO GO, WHAT TO DO?  AD AGE's Jeff Jensen examines the
    options for advertisers forced to reallocate funds originally
    targeted for baseball:  "Some time is left in NFL broadcasts on
    Fox and NBC but at more than $200,000 per spot.  College football
    on ABC and cable sports networks, as well as [NHL] broadcasts on
    ESPN and Fox, stand to benefit."  While execs at The Baseball
    Network will have to release about $95M of the $130M in sales
    reached for the '94 season, they claim they're seeing "brighter
    prospects" for '95.  One TBN exec said, as of now, '95 sales are
    30% ahead of where they were going into '94.  Others hard hit:
    Dorna USA will have to return 30% of '94 revenue from rotating
    signs; and Anheuser-Busch, which had allocated an estimated $30M
    for the post-season.  Anheuser-Busch Senior VP/Corporate Media &
    Sports Marketing Tony Ponturo:  "We lost a showcase marketing
    vehicle that averages a 20 rating in prime time for at least four
    nights in the fall" (AD AGE, 9/19 issue).
         AD AGE'S BASEBALL STRIKE WINNERS AND LOSERS:
         WINNERS                       LOSERS
    Ken Burns' "Baseball"         The Baseball Network
    Fox's rookie NFL season       Griffey, Thomas, Williams
    Football                      Anheuser-Busch, Texaco
                                  USA Today Baseball Weekly
         KENNEDY ON BOARD:  In a candidates forum in Boston, Sen. Ted
    Kennedy (D-MA) "indicated he was prepared to support eliminating
    the anti-trust exemption ... even though he voted earlier this
    year to retain it."  Kennedy: "I'm more inclined to do it after
    the way (the owners) behaved this year than I was before" (BOSTON
    HERALD, 9/17).
         CREDIBILITY GAP:  Braves pitcher Greg Maddux:  "I heard that
    by canceling the season, the owners can also get out of their
    deal with that new Baseball Network, the one that wasn't for a
    lot of money.  And then they can open up the bidding to the Fox
    network that's buying up football and hockey.  How's that if it's
    true.  And it's always us who are greedy" (Beb Verdi, CHICAGO
    TRIBUNE, 9/20).
         LOOKING BACK:  Astros Owner Drayton McLane, asked whether he
    would still buy a sports franchise knowing what he knows now:
    "Absolutely not, or I wouldn't be standing here.  I'd be selling
    groceries somewhere. ... I've never been around so much conflict
    as I've seen in the two years I've been in baseball. ...But now
    that I'm in, I'm going to stay."  McLane maintains his "hard-
    line" position:  "We're going to work hard to reach an agreement,
    but if not, we'll implement our plan.  We're going to have
    baseball next spring, if you see nothing more than [GM] Bob
    Watson and [manager] Terry Collins and me running around in
    shorts, we're going to play baseball (HOUSTON CHRONICLE, 9/18).
         MORE STAFF LAYOFFS:  The Mets fired 28 of remaining 79 full-
    time administrators, totaling 66 employees laid off since the
    strike began.  The Astros have laid off 19 and the Padres have
    let 25 go ("SportsCenter," ESPN, 9/19).  Mets' layoffs included
    Asst Media Relations Dir Craig Sanders and Traveling Secretary
    Bob O'Hara (N.Y. TIMES, 9/20).
    

    Print | Tags: ABC, Anheuser Busch, Atlanta Braves, ESPN, Houston Astros, Leagues and Governing Bodies, NBC, New York Mets, News Corp./Fox, NFL, NHL, San Diego Padres, Time Warner, Walt Disney
  • NBA CAP TO BE ANNOUNCED THIS WEEK; MORE MONEY FOR ROOKIES?

         The NBA this week will finalize a league-wide salary cap for
    the coming season.  The "ceiling could hit" between $15.8M-16.2M,
    an increase from last year's $15.175M.  NBA teams hope to use the
    increase to sign 1st round picks.  76ers owner Harold Katz said
    he needs an estimated $1M more in space under the cap to sign his
    first round picks, Sharone Wright and B.J. Tyler, and said the
    "sum would probably be made up by 'restructuring' contracts of
    signed veterans (Frank Lawlor, PHILADELPHIA INQUIRER, 9/20).  The
    signing of Wright may have an impact on other rookie deals.  The
    Bullets and Timberwolves both have had trouble signing 1st round
    picks Juwan Howard and Donyell Marshall.  The Wolves have
    apparently "invited trade feelers" on Marshall.  Bullets GM John
    Nash: "We hear the cap is going to be less than $16M and that is
    going to cause problems for some teams" (Richard Justice,
    WASHINGTON POST, 9/20).
         GRANT WORKS WITH MAGIC:  Horace Grant signed an NBA-
    approved 5-year deal with the Magic.  The contract, which has a
    two-year, early-release option, comes a week after a federal
    judge ruled that Grant's first contract violated the NBA salary
    cap (mult., 9/20).
    

    Print | Tags: Comcast-Spectacor, Leagues and Governing Bodies, Minnesota Timberwolves, NBA, Orlando Magic, Philadelphia 76ers, RDV Sports
  • NHL LOCKOUT LOOMS IF TALKS SHOULD FALTER THIS WEEK

         The key in today's round of NHL collective bargaining will
    be "how long the owners and union stay at the table and whether
    they're still talking" by tomorrow.  If nothing positive emerges
    today, there is "little hope" of avoiding a labor dispute (Hornby
    & Morrison, TORONTO SUN, 9/20).  A source close to the
    negotiations told the WINNIPEG FREE PRESS that a lockout will
    occur later this week: "If there isn't an agreement this week,
    there won't be a season, unless of course the owners ultimately
    decide to try replacement players."  The source "made it clear"
    that a lockout would be lengthy: "For the first time in history,
    the owners are in complete agreement."  The source added: "The
    players had better come up with something quick because at this
    stage, they aren't in any position to flex their muscles"
    (WINNIPEG FREE PRESS, 9/19).
         HOW ABOUT THAT ROOKIE CAP?  The FREE PRESS source indicated
    that the owners "might be willing to discuss" a rookie salary cap
    (WINNIPEG FREE PRESS, 9/19).  But NHLPA Exec Dir Bob Goodenow met
    yesterday with Kings and Might Ducks players in an attempt to
    convince them that a rookie cap is "unacceptable."  Goodenow: "I
    think the notion of a rookie salary cap is not, contrary to some
    reports, something the players are going to accept."  Goodenow
    was responding to weekend reports that some players -- most
    notably Patrick Roy of the Canadiens and Kelly Buchberger of the
    Oilers -- would be willing to compromise on a rookie cap.  Roy:
    "The way I see it, that might save the small-market teams"
    (CANADIAN PRESS/VANCOUVER SUN, 9/20).
    

    Print | Tags: Edmonton Oilers, Leagues and Governing Bodies, Montreal Canadiens, NHL
  • SANDERS' CONTRACT APPROVED -- AFTER GOOD POLICY MOVES

         The NFL's management council approved Deion Sanders'
    contract with the 49ers, "thereby silencing critics of the
    signing."  The announcement came after 49ers President Carmen
    Policy, "infuriated by reports of at least two clubs -- believed
    to be Dallas and Atlanta -- questioning the legitimacy of the
    move, contacted NFL Commissioner Paul Tagliabue on Monday morning
    and asked the league to move expeditiously in reviewing the
    contract" (Clark Judge, SAN JOSE MERCURY NEWS, 9/20).  At
    halftime on "Monday Night Football," Sanders responded to the
    rumor that Nike is "paying part of his contract" with the 49ers:
    "I really can't wait to see the check.  I really don't understand
    how people can make accusations like that" (ABC, 9/19).
    

    Print | Tags: ABC, Leagues and Governing Bodies, NFL, Nike, San Francisco 49ers, Walt Disney
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