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         With the NHL considering a postponement of the season, the
    AP reports that ESPN may try to replace its NHL coverage with AHL
    minor league hockey, at least for a while.  The substitute for
    this Saturday's Rangers-Devils telecast would be Binghamton and
    Syracuse (AP/WASHINGTON POST, 9/27).

    Print | Tags: AHL, ESPN, New Jersey Devils, NHL, Media, Walt Disney

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    Print | Tags: Media

         A federal antitrust probe of the cable TV home-shopping
    business will force Comcast and TCI to extend the expiration date
    for their offer to buy shares of QVC to October 21 (USA TODAY,
    9/22)....Of cable TV's top 10 shows for week of September 5-11,
    five were sports programming, including the top-rated Ginats-
    Cardinals NFL game on TNT (MULTICHANNEL NEWS, 9/19)....Viacom
    announced it will offer SportSouth, which carries Braves games,
    to all of its cable customers in the Nashville area (Nashville
    TENNESSEAN, 9/21).

    Print | Tags: Atlanta Braves, Comcast-Spectacor, NFL, Media, Turner Sports, Viacom

         Former Bruins player, coach and assistant GM Mike Milbury
    has been hired as a studio analyst by ESPN for NHL broadcasts.
    He will also work on "The Deuce" (HARTFORD COURANT,
    9/27)....Marcus Allen, who gets a week off since the Chiefs have
    a bye week, will do color for Fox's coverage of the Lions-Bucs
    game this Sunday.  The Chiefs do not play either team this year
    (Michael Hiestand, USA TODAY, 9/27). ....Phil Simms will stay in
    the studio as an ESPN analyst after deciding not to sign with the
    Cardinals (mult., 9/27).

    Print | Tags: Boston Bruins, Detroit Lions, ESPN, Kansas City Chiefs, NHL, Media, Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Walt Disney

         Negotiations are "intensifying between" Disney and GE over
    Disney's possible acquisition of NBC.  Disney Chair Michael
    Eisner was in New York yesterday for further talks, "with the
    major stumbling block still being price."  One possibility that
    has been discussed would have Disney paying "primarily in cash,
    with another component being a new issue of convertible preferred
    stock."  That price range is said to be between $4-5B.  GE is
    said to be carrying NBC on its books at a value of $4.2B.
    Although Time Warner also has been in discussions about NBC -- in
    this case, a 49% stake   -- "many analysts and observers have
    become more skeptical of that plan" (Richard Turner, WALL STREET
    JOURNAL, 9/22).

    Print | Tags: NBC, Media, Walt Disney

         NBC, in a filing with federal regulators, "contended that
    Fox Television Stations Inc. is trying to sidestep federal limits
    on the number" of TV stations a single company may own.  NBC
    asked the FCC to stop the transfer of an NBC affiliate in Green
    Bay to SF Broadcasting of Green Bay LLC, a venture of News
    Corp.'s Fox and movie distributor Savoy Pictures Entertainment
    Inc.  NBC suggested that the FCC require more information on SF
    Broadcasting's capital structure.  Under the Fox-Savoy venture,
    the Green Bay station is listed as being owned by a corporation
    held by the two Savoy principals, Victor Kaufman and Lewis
    Korman.  Although the two own just 1% stake in the station, they
    hold all the voting control.  Savoy holds a 74% stake and Fox
    owns 25% (Carnevale & Jensen, WALL STREET JOURNAL, 9/27).  NBC
    contends that recent moves by Rupert Murdoch to acquire Fox
    affiliates "amount to an effort to get around federal limitations
    on the number of stations that one network can own."  The NAACP
    has already asked the FCC to examine the foreign ownership of Fox
    because of News Corp.'s financing of the initial Fox purchase
    (Bill Carter, N.Y. TIMES, 9/27).

    Print | Tags: NBC, Media

         Sports Illustrated Television (SITV) is "close to making a
    couple of big plays" in the upcoming months.  SITV President Ted
    Shaker said that while the unit has produced several successful
    programs in recent months, SITV is continuing to expand: "We want
    to be as ubiquitous as we can be.  We've got positions on two of
    the four networks, soon to be three of four."  While Shaker did
    not identify the third network, it has been speculated that SITV
    will produce a Sports Illustrated for Kids program to be seen on
    Fox.  SITV has produced programs previously with both ABC and NBC
    (Joe Mandese, ADVERTISING AGE, 9/27).

    Print | Tags: ABC, NBC, Sports Illustrated, Media, Walt Disney

         With Disney out of running to buy NBC from GE, speculation
    is now focused on Ted Turner.  In New York, Geraldine Fabrikant
    notes that although Turner "has not publicly acknowledged
    interest in acquiring NBC," the TV industry "has begun assuming
    that he would like to buy the network."  But industry experts say
    Turner would encounter "regulatory and financial obstacles in
    trying to complete such an acquisition."  One NBC exec said that
    GE and NBC considered Turner's "ambitions so unrealistic that
    they did not take him to be a serious bidder."  Turner
    Broadcasting's fate is "entwined" with its two major
    shareholders, TCI and Time Warner.  Time Warner could not buy NBC
    without "major cross-ownership issues arising."  One person
    familiar with talks between Turner Broadcasting and its investors
    said that "contrary to published reports," Time Warner has not
    given Ted Turner the green light to explore a bid for NBC.
    Turner could not bid for NBC without Time Warner's support, and
    that would not likely happen until Time Warner itself gave up
    interest in NBC (N.Y. TIMES, 9/27).
         TCI'S HELP:  In New York, John Durie notes that TCI Chair
    John Malone met with GE's Jack Welch to let him know that he
    supported Turner's bid for NBC.  Durie adds, "Forget the reports
    that Disney backed out of the NBC deal because Welch changed his
    mind and now only wants to sell half the asset.  The facts of the
    matter are that Disney wasn't putting up enough money" (N.Y.
    POST, 9/27).
         WHAT NOW?  CBS and Cap Cities/ABC stocks rallied Monday on
    reports Disney had pulled out of the NC chase (USA TODAY, 9/27).
    According to analysts, Disney may now focus on CBS or ABC
    ("Nightly Business Report," PBS, 9/26).

    Print | Tags: ABC, CBS, NBC, Media, Viacom, Walt Disney
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