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With the news that CBS was "soundly beaten" as it came in third in the net ratings reports its stock finished down 8 1/4 points ("Business Insiders," CNBC, 9/28)....NBC Sports announced that it reached a multiyear agreement to continue televising the Bayou Classic football game, between Grambling State and Southern University (THE DAILY)....PRIME announced a College Hockey Game of the Week schedule that includes 25 games from four conferences: CCHA, Hockey East and the ECAC. The package includes post-season tournaments (THE DAILY)....ESPN announces today an "interactive sports entertainment center," possibly called ESPN World, at Disney World in FL. Patrons can watch about 50 TV screens -- or see ESPN create programming on-site (USA TODAY, 9/29)....CBS Sports announced the addition of two nights of prime-time figure skating, featuring Nancy Kerrigan and Oksana Baiul. The event will be shown on Nov. 9 or 10 as well as Nov. 12 from the Nassau Coliseum. The November dates could "provide maximum impact during the network sweeps period in November" (Richard Sandomir, N.Y. TIMES, 9/29).
A study shows that CBC-TV made money broadcasting pro sports, according to CBC VP of Finance Steve Cotsman. The CBC prepared the study "after controversy broke out over CBC spending on sports." In July, rival network CTV released a report claiming CBC was losing millions of dollars each year on sports programming. CTV claimed sports represented 10% of CBC programming hours, but 27% of direct programming expenditures. But Cotsman told a House of Commons committee that the CBC spent C$105M -- or 12.1% of its C$872M budget -- on sports in '93-94. The public network receives C$950M from the Canadian treasury (EDMONTON JOURNAL, 9/29).
Blockbuster Entertainment shareholders meet in Ft. Lauderdale today to vote on the company's proposed merger with Viacom. Analysts expect the deal to be approved with 22% of Blockbuster stock committed to the deal. Management needs to win about a third of the uncommitted shares to win the vote. Craig Bibb, Paine Webber media analyst: "95% of all deals recommended by the board happen" (Don Finefrock, MIAMI HERALD, 9/29). Viacom and Blockbuster stocks were "among the most active" stocks yesterday. Blockbuster stock closed +3/4 to 28 1/8 while Viacom B stock was +1 3/4 to 38 3/4 ("Business Insiders," CNBC, 9/28).