SBD/23/Sports Media

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).
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