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  • "SEVERE BLOW" TO CANADIAN TV IF NHL LOCKOUT IS NOT AVERTED

         The possibility that the start of the NHL regular season
    "could be put on ice" would be a "severe blow" to CBC-TV,
    according to the network's head of sports, Alan Clark.  Clark
    said that so far there is not "contingency plan" if a lockout
    occurs: "We must have hockey.  Hockey wasn't broken so there was
    no need to fix it."  Molstar Communications VP Ron Harrison,
    whose company produces "Hockey Night In Canada": "We are worried,
    but we are also helpless."  Both Clark and Harrison mentioned the
    "added frustration that the current unrest creates, coming just
    when hockey fever is at an all-time high."  CBC, which would have
    televised baseball's World Series, would not comment on what
    viewers would see if the hockey season is put on hold.  TSN
    Public Relations officer Steve Rayment noted that unlike
    mainstream TV stations, TSN has "fewer fallback options in the
    case of a lockout": "For the NHL to go out in the wake of the
    baseball situation would be another blow to TSN"
    (MacLeod/Campbell/McKee, Toronto GLOBE & MAIL, 9/23).  In the
    U.S., the Fox deal starts with the January, 1995 All-Star game.
    But if October 21's telecasts are not played on ESPN or ESPN2,
    the NHL will loose $2.7M in rights fees from ESPN (Rudy Martzke,
    USA TODAY, 9/23).
    

    Print | Tags: Canadian Broadcasting Corp., ESPN, News Corp./Fox, NHL, Media, Walt Disney
  • ABC REACHES NEW AGREEMENT WITH TRIPLE CROWN

         ABC Sports reached a new multi-year agreement with the
    Triple Crown.  ABC President Dennis Swanson: "The agreement also
    includes marketing and promotional rights."  Swanson added: "We
    think it positions us better with the people we do business with
    to satisfy not just media buying, but the full range of
    opportunities being sought by our clients."  In addition to the
    Triple Crown races, ABC has acquired the rights to package the
    Triple Crown for television.  The network will provide marketing
    and promotional opportunities for sponsors, including
    hospitality, event tickets, and on-site exposure for its
    television sponsors (THE DAILY).
         FIGHT FOR YOUR RIGHTS:  In this morning's USA TODAY, Rudy
    Martzke writes that the $8M deal "signifies the new reality in TV
    sports rights fees," since ABC is willing to pay $1M more than
    last year for a property that has experienced a 23% ratings
    decline over the past six years.  According to Martzke, the
    reason is the "prospect of hungry competitors CBS and Fox waiting
    to bid on the latest available property 'jewel'" (USA TODAY,
    9/23).  In New York, Steve Zipay also notes CBS and FOX's
    interest.  ABC "exercised its negotiating exclusivity clause,
    effectively boxing them out from bidding."  Using exculsivity
    clauses to protect programming rights "before they become a jump
    ball   -- with CBS and Fox leaping in with big bucks -- might
    become a pattern" (NEWSDAY, 9/23).
    

    Print | Tags: ABC, CBS, News Corp./Fox, Media, Viacom, Walt Disney
  • CBS PUTS LOOKS TO THE ICE FOR WEEKEND FARE

         CBS has announced the launch of "Eye on Skating," a series
    of six figure skating championships to run from November 24
    through December 25.  The schedule includes:  The U.S. Ladies
    Outdoor Skating Challenge at Sun Valley (11/24 & 27); The Nikon
    Skating Championships (12/3-4); The Northwestern Mutual Life
    Insurance World Team Skating Championships (12/10-11); The Vicks
    44 North American Open Skating Championships (12/18; and the
    Canadian Professional Skating Championships (12/24-25).  Skaters
    slated to compete include:  Oksana Bayul, Kristi Yamaguchi, Brian
    Boitano, Vicktor Petrenko, Paul Wylie, and the team of Yekaterina
    Gordeyeva and Sergei Grinkov.  David Winner will produce, Bob
    Fishman and Bob Matina will direct, and Verne Lundquist and Scott
    Hamilton will provide commentary (THE DAILY).
    

    Print | Tags: CBS, Media, Viacom
  • ESPN EXTREME GAMES OFFERING GOLDEN OPPORTUNITIES

         In this week's INSIDE MEDIA, Mike Reynolds reports that ESPN
    is looking for six $2M sponsors for its inaugural "Extreme Games"
    to run on ESPN and The Deuce between June 24 and July 2 in '95.
    ESPN VP of Business Development Tom Hagel:  "We're looking for
    six 'gold' sponsors.  We went out with proposals to our incumbent
    advertisers just after Labor Day, beginning with fast-food and
    soft drink clients because they had expressed the most interest
    since we announced the Extreme Games back in April."  Reynolds
    says the "umbrella sponsorship" packages will control
    approximately 70% of the program inventory and include commercial
    time during 22 live hours on ESPN, 19 live hours on ESPN2, as
    well as seven hours to be re-aired in West Coast primetime.  The
    "gold sponsors" will also "benefit from the association with 24
    hours of programming on the networks leading up to the
    competition," promotional vignettes, on-site hospitality, and
    event signage.  The Extreme Games is a first step by ESPN "to
    expand its reach beyond that of rights holder to event marketer,
    controlling everything from hospitality and course design to
    promotion and integrated marketing packages" (Mike Reynolds,
    INSIDE MEDIA, 9/21 issue).
         BRING ON THE 18-34 CONSUMERS:  The Extreme Games, to be held
    in Newport, RI, will feature events in 9 "alternative sports":
    bungy jumping, mountain biking, sky surfing, windsurfing, kite-
    skiing, and barefoot jumping.  "ESPN is estimating a 1.6
    household rating for its universe, and a 0.9 rating within
    ESPN2's world" (INSIDE MEDIA, 9/21 issue).
         HAPPY ANNIVERSARY, ESPN:  In a column this morning, Leonard
    Shapiro notes ESPN "has changed the viewing habits of most of
    America's sports fans is celebrating its [15th] anniversary this
    month."  In addition to supplying "four times the 1,288 hours of
    [sports] coverage provided in 1979 by ABC, CBS, and NBC," Shapiro
    says that "ESPN has also made a significant impact in TV sports
    journalism, taking it into enterprise reporting where few major
    networks have dared to go" (WASHINGTON POST, 9/23).
         ALSO FROM INSIDE MEDIA -- HOLA, SENOR:  Marty O'Loughlin
    reports that JSA Publishing in Santa Monica, CA, will deliver
    "Mundo Deportivo" [Sports World] "door-to-door in plastic bags in
    census tracts with a minimum of 70 percent Hispanics."  The bi-
    monthly publication will begin February and reach 1.2M Hispanic
    men in LA, NY, Miami, Chicago, San Antonio, El Paso, Houston, San
    Francisco, San Diego, and Dallas.  "Editorially, the magazine
    will focus on sports that appeal most to Hispanic men, notably
    boxing, baseball, auto racing, and domestic and international
    soccer" (Marty O'Louglin, INSIDE MEDIA, 9/21 issue).
    

    Print | Tags: ABC, CBS, ESPN, NBC, Media, Viacom, Walt Disney
  • MEDIA NOTES: ENOUGH TV HOMES FOR BAY AREA BASEBALL?

         KTVU-TV and the S.F. Giants are expected to extend their 36-
    year relationship for another five years, a deal which was
    threatened by Rupert Murdoch's "now-dormant bid" to buy NBC-
    affliiate KRON-TV.  If KRON had gone to Fox, KTVU would have been
    NBC's "only realistic alternative" -- and "networks and baseball
    don't mix these days. ... NBC doesn't like KRON's pre-emptions
    for A's games, and the KRON-A's deal reportedly was an impediment
    to Murdoch."  While both the A's and KRON claim to be happy with
    the deal, which was done at a timne when the Giants seemed headed
    to St. Petersburg.  But the A's "aren't doing KRON much good.
    There won't be many places for the A's to go if KRON doesn't re-
    enlist."  The A's deal with KRON is up in five years. With the
    team for sale, "problems with the next TV contract  contract
    could discourage proespective buyers" (Colin Seymour, SAN JOSE
    MERCURY NEWS, 9/23)....Buddy Ryan is reportedly looking to go
    after ESPN analyst Phil Simms as Cardinals QB and inquired about
    his availiability.  Simms: "I can't say waht I'll do until I hear
    what it's about" ("SportsCenter," ESPN, 9/22).
    

    Print | Tags: ESPN, NBC, News Corp./Fox, Oakland Athletics, Media, Walt Disney
  • NBC HAS OPTION ON STAKE IN MSG

         GE and NBC have 45 days to buy into Madison Square Garden
    for $250M, according to this morning's NEW YORK POST.
    Cablevision, which just joined with ITT to pay over $1B for MSG,
    "have offered half its stake -- in other words a quarter of MSG -
    - to NBC to help bankroll that deal."  About $180M would be
    required in cash, the rest in stock or debt, according to terms
    of the deal contained in a filing with the SEC.  Under the terms
    of a 1989 agreement between NBC and Cablevision's Rainbow
    Programming Holdings Corp., NBC is entitled to participate in new
    Cablevision programming ventures.  Cablevision's Norm Fein:
    "They are partners in most of our programming ventures.  In the
    course of normal business where we got into a new venture, they
    would have the option to participate" (Paul Tharp, N.Y. POST,
    9/23).
          UNCERTAINTY FOR DISNEY?  One possible suitor for NBC is
    Walt Disney, and this morning's NEW YORK TIMES reports that
    Disney "is suffering the consequences" of Jeffrey Katzenberg's
    departure -- and that even the company's "interest in acquiring
    the NBC television network from General Electric ... has been
    shadowed by the departure."  Industry observers are reportedly
    "watching Disney as if passing a car wreck," and a wide range of
    the company's arms -- including the studio and theater divisions,
    interactive games, and marketing -- are troubled.  One Disney
    producer: "It's an incredibly distressed organization.  When
    someone as powerful as Jeffrey leaves, insecurity in the ranks
    takes a tremendous toll" (Weinraub & Fabrikant, N.Y. TIMES,
    9/23).
    

    Print | Tags: Cablevision, Madison Square Garden, NBC, Media, Walt Disney
  • SKILLS CHALLENGE MOVES WEST THIS YEAR

         This year's Enterprise Rent-A-Car "Skills Challenge,"
    produced by NBC Sports and SNI Sports Network, will originate
    October 15-16 from the Pointe-Hilton Resort in Phoenix, and
    feature three new sponsors:  Motorola, NASDAQ, and Toyota.
    Returning sponsors include Enterprise, Buick, and MCI.  Don
    Roennigke, SNI VP and General Sales Mngr:  "Overall sales for the
    Skills Challenge have been excellent.  Sponsors recognize this as
    an established event with growth ratings.  They also appreciate
    that both NBC Sports and SNI are willing to work with our
    advertisers to design a completely integrated sponsorship
    package."  The Skills Challenge features PGA pros Hale Irwin, Chi
    Chi Rodriguez, Phil Mickelson, Gary Player, Ben Crenshaw, Tom
    Weiskopf, and Peter Jacobsen testing their golf skills.  In '92
    and '93 the program originated from Orlando (THE DAILY).
    

    Print | Tags: General Motors, Motorola, NBC, PGA Tour, Media, Toyota
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