SBD/20/Sports Media

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  • MEDIA NOTES

         Microsoft co-founder/Trailblazers owner Paul Allen sold his
    remaining 548,000 shares of America Online for $72 each, giving
    him a profit of $28.5M over his original investment.  An Allen
    spokesperson said the sale was on the open market and "unrelated
    to reports last week that cable giant TCI was interested in
    acquiring Allen's stake."  Allen is looking to build
    "technological 'syunergy'" among his investments:  Microsoft,
    Ticketmaster, Asymetrix, and Starwave (SEATTLE TIMES,
    9/19)....The first installment of Ken Burns' "Baseball" received
    a 5.1 preliminary Nielsen overnight rating.  Part I of his '90
    "Civil War" documentary received a 9.0 (N.Y. TIMES,
    9/20)....Rupert Murdoch is scheduled to visit the Twin Cities in
    an effort to convince KSTP-TV to switch from ABC to Fox
    (Minneapolis STAR TRIBUNE, 9/17).
    

    Print | Tags: ABC, Microsoft, News Corp./Fox, Nielsen, Media, Ticketmaster, Walt Disney
  • MOLSON HOCKEY NIGHT IN CANADA TO BE TWICE AS NICE

         Molson Hockey Night in Canada has announced that starting
    this season they will double their coverage of Saturday night
    hockey coverage with two consecutive NHL games.  The Saturday
    night telecasts, co-hosted by Don Cherry, will be broadcast for
    26 consecutive weeks by the Canadian Broadcasting Corp.  CBC GM
    Peter Kretz declined to divulge projected ad revenues under the
    new agreement: "I would say that the second game is a nice piece
    of change for us in what was before basically off-prime
    programming.  It's not only a go; we're out in the marketplace
    and successfully selling it."  Chrysler Canada and General Motors
    of Canada have joined other advertisers in buying time during
    second games.  Last season's regular Saturday night game
    attracted an average of 1.4M viewers.  Molson owns the production
    rights of Hockey Night in Canada and is the exclusive beer
    sponsor (Don Angus, ADVERTISING AGE, 9/19 issue).
    

    Print | Tags: Canadian Broadcasting Corp., DaimlerChrysler, General Motors, NHL, Media
  • SPECULATION CONTINUES TO FLY AROUND TIME WARNER

         Turner Broadcasting and Time Warner are discussing swapping
    Time Warner's stake in Turner for joint ownership of either TBS,
    TNT, or the Cartoon Network.  Talks have "heated up" in recent
    weeks, in light of their "growing desire to break free from an
    increasingly contentious marriage" (Anita Sharpe, WALL STREET
    JOURNAL, 9/20).
         GE DENIES INTEREST:  GE yesterday denied that it was
    involved in talks with Time Warner about a possible purchase of
    the media giant.  Despite GE's denial, Time Warner stock closed
    $1.38 higher on the NYSE, while GE was down $.75.  NatWest
    Securities analyst Nicholas Heymann:  "There's a better chance
    we'll have a World Series this year than GE will buy Time Warner"
    (REUTERS/WASHINGTON TIMES, 9/20).
    

    Print | Tags: Media, TBS/TNT, Time Warner
  • VIACOM SETTLES BLOCKBUSTER DISPUTE, LOOKS FORWARD TO CBS

         Viacom and Blockbuster have settled the lawsuits brought by
    Blockbuster shareholders in January of this year that challenged
    the proposed merger.  The settlement "opens the door" for a
    merger by resolving all pending litigation over the planned deal
    (VARIETY, 9/20).  Shareholders of both companies vote on the
    merger September 29.  Paine Webber's Craig Bibb predicts that the
    merger will be approved at the shareholder meetings (Don
    Finefrock, MIAMI HERALD, 9/20).
         VIACOM AND CBS:  In an attempt to become the "undisputed
    multimedia powerhouse," Viacom has become "actively involved" in
    merger discussions with CBS.  One exec close to the negotiations
    told AD AGE while talks are "certainly happening," they could
    take some time to conclude due to regulatory and financial
    details involved:  "Viacom can't do anything until they complete
    their Blockbuster and TCI deals" (Joe Mandese, ADVERTISING AGE,
    9/19).
    

    Print | Tags: CBS, Media, Viacom
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