SBD/18/Sports Media

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  • CANADIAN NBA TEAMS FINALIZE THEIR LOCAL TV DEALS

         The two Canadian teams are in the process of making final
    decisions among broadcasters "willing to cough up millions of
    much-needed dollars" for TV/radio rights.  The Grizzlies'
    regional market includes British Columbia and Alberta, while the
    Raptors have the rights to Ontario.  The Raptors are considering
    six local packages, each of which includes half-season (41
    games).  They expect a decision by the end of '94.  In Toronto,
    Tom McKee suggests the Raptors will "be looking for something in
    the neighbourhood" of $200,000 a game, or $8M for the season.
    Baton Broadcasting is the "logical" choice to carry the Raptors,
    having a proven record "with its financially successful Blue Jays
    telecasts."  The Grizzlies "might not get figures as high as the
    Raptors, but similar enthusiasm is evident" and BCTV "has the
    inside track."  Nationally, the NBA is only talking with CTV and
    CBC for 12-14 games and is expected to make the decision in the
    next two to three weeks.  Speculations "would favour" CTV since
    the net recently lost its bid to air the '96 Olympics.  TSN
    "could snap up a cable package similar" to TNT's U.S. arrangement
    (Tom McKee, Toronto GLOBE & MAIL, 10/18).
    

    Print | Tags: Canadian Broadcasting Corp., Maple Leaf Sports and Entertainment, NBA, Media, TBS/TNT, Toronto Blue Jays, Toronto Raptors
  • FOX LOOKING TO SELL TV RIGHTS TO WORLD FOOTBALL LEAGUE

         Fox Sports and Twentieth Century Fox International TV "have
    begun shopping European TV rights" to the "revamped" World League
    of American Football.  Fox began selling the package in September
    and "will offer it this week at Sportel, the sports programming
    market in Monte Carlo."  In a taped presentation, Fox describes
    the WLAF as their way to bring "its revolution of televised
    football to Europe."  According to George Krieger, Executive VP
    of Fox Sports, the goal is to "create two-tier partnerships in
    each European city," such as "selling a package of games to a
    terrestrial broadcaster, while offering another package to a
    satellite or cable service within the country."  The six-team
    World League will begin an 11-week season on April 8 (Wayne
    Walley, ELECTRONIC MEDIA, 10/17 issue).
    

    Print | Tags: News Corp./Fox, Media
  • GE DUMPS KIDDER; IS NBC THE NEXT TO GO?

         PaineWebber announced yesterday that they have signed a
    "definitive purchase agreement" to take over most of Kidder
    Peabody, the troubled investment banking subsidiary of General
    Electric, for $670M in common and preferred stock.  The deal ends
    GE's troubled eight-year ownership of Kidder, which has been hit
    this year by tumbling bond markets and an alleged bond trading
    fraud which resulted in fictitious profits of $350M.  The deal
    will leave GE with a seat on the board and a 25% stake in
    PaineWebber (Richard Waters, FINANCIAL TIMES, 10/18).  In all, GE
    officials said the company expects a $500M write-off to cover the
    transaction.  But that figure is well under the $1B or more that
    some analysts had suggested it would cost to close Kidder
    (Douglas Frantz, N.Y. TIMES, 10/18).  John Durie writes GE Chair
    Jack Welch may look for a "blockbuster sale to wipe out the
    Kidder memory" -- with NBC the prime target. Welch "is aiming for
    a sale price of about $5.5 billion, or a capital gain of $2
    billion."  Michael Eisner is Welch's "best hope," but a combo of
    ITT and a baby bell or John Malone and Ted Turner is possible
    (N.Y. POST, 10/18).
    

    Print | Tags: NBC, Media
  • LET'S GET READY TO RUMBLE! CBS SET TO AIR "ICE WARS"

         CBS held a news conference yesterday to promote "Ice Wars:
    The USA vs. The World," a "manufactured" competition to be held
    in November featuring U.S. Olympic skaters Nancy Kerrigan, Kristi
    Yamaguchi, Brian Boitano and Paul Wylie.  Their international
    opponents on the "icy battlefield" will include Oksana Baiul,
    Viktor Petrenko, Katarina Witt and Kurt Browning.  The winning
    team will receive $400,000 to be divided evenly among team
    members.  But Kerrigan took issue said with the "Ice Wars"
    billing, calling it "a little harsh."  Kerrigan:  "I'd like to
    promote something other than war."  In Boston, Kevin Paul Dupont
    writes, "The event rings exceedingly heavy-handed. ... To pair
    ice skating and war is, at best, a reach.  At worst, it's yet
    another marketing spin that scorches beauty with an overkill
    branding iron" (BOSTON GLOBE, 10/18).
    

    Print | Tags: CBS, Media, Viacom
  • MEDIA NOTES

         Paramount sources have indicated that the company is
    interested in purchasing Boston station WSBK Channel 38 as an
    affiliate in its planned fifth network.  WSBK carries the Red
    Sox, Bruins and Celtics, and one "highly placed source" said
    WSBK's sports programming "won't get in the way -- at least for a
    few years."  WSBK is owned by New World Communications (Jim
    Baker, BOSTON HERALD, 10/18)....WFCT, Tampa Bay has agreed to
    televise 12 games of the Lightning's IHL affiliate, the Atlanta
    Knights (TAMPA TRIBUNE, 10/18)....The Hawks yesterday held
    tryouts for a new public address announcer (ATLANTA CONSTITUTION,
    10/17).
    

    Print | Tags: Atlanta Hawks, Boston Bruins, Boston Celtics, Palace Sports & Entertainment, Media, Tampa Bay Lightning, Time Warner
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