SBD/20/Sports Media

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         Fox Sports "made its third volley for a major sports
    property Wednesday with a sizable bid for Wimbledon of about $120
    million for four years."  In a bid entered by News Corp.
    executive David Evans at a meeting in London with the All-England
    Tennis Club and IMG Chair Mark McCormack, Fox offered about $30M
    a year for what it termed "world rights."  Rudy Martzke notes
    "that's substantially more than the combined" $21M incumbent NBC
    and cable partner HBO were paying for Wimbledon rights that have
    expired.  Annual losses for NBC and HBO are estimated between $6-
    7M.  Fox's bid includes:  The Fox Network and its FX cable, BSkyB
    satellite TV in Europe and Star TV satellite TV in Asia.  NBC
    Sports President Dick Ebersol: "If the reports of their offer are
    true, then Mr. Murdoch has one very large piggy bank."  Both NBC
    & HBO, which have been told that they can retain their rights if
    their offers are within 10% of other high bids, "figure to remain
    in the running when they meet with McCormack" tomorrow.  A final
    decision is not expected until mid-November (Rudy Martzke, USA
    TODAY, 10/20).
         AFFILIATE WATCH:  "NBC lost no time yesterday in attacking a
    revised application filed by SF Broadcasting to purchase" a Green
    Bay TV station (WLUK), "contending that the new papers were
    incomplete and still represented an effort by the Fox network to
    mask the true extent of its control over ownership of the
    station."  Fox is already facing a challenge at the FCC over
    whether its parent company, News Corp. of Australia, "really owns
    the Fox stations, in violation of FCC regulations" on foreign
    ownership (Bill Carter, N.Y. TIMES, 10/20).
         CBS ON ICE:  In Dallas, Barry Horn comments on CBS' "Ice
    Wars" figure skating competition: "Would the sequel 'Ice Wars II
    -- The Never-Ending Search for Ratings' include a masked skater
    challenging [Nancy] Kerrigan in a winner-take-all match" (DALLAS
    MORNING NEWS, 10/19).

    Print | Tags: BSkyB, CBS, HBO, IMG, NBC, Media, Viacom

         The FCC is expected to release its plans "spelling out just
    how the phone companies can offer video programs" over their own
    network.  The seven baby bells have been "lobbying hard" to get
    the right to send video over their phone lines ("Bloomberg
    Business News," PBS, 10/20)....TCI is expected to announce an
    alliance today with Acclaim Entertainment.  Analysts expect TCI
    and Acclaim to announce a service where game players will be able
    to play against each other through a nationwide network
    ("Bloomberg Business News," 10/20)....  American Radio Systems
    cited the NHL lockout in suspending the pay of longtime Bruins
    radio announcer Bob Wilson (Kevin Paul Dupont, BOSTON GLOBE,

    Print | Tags: Boston Bruins, NHL, Media, Wilson Sporting Goods

         Viacom Chair Sumner Redstone was the featured speaker at the
    National Press Club yesterday.  Redstone said that Viacom expects
    to sell its cable systems to InterMedia Partners L.P., a group
    led by TCI.  The sale, which could bring in more than $2B for
    Viacom, would help reduce the $9B debt Viacom took on in its
    buyout of Paramount Communications.  It would also get the
    company out of the cable industry, which Redstone said is
    "subject to an onslaught of competition from the telephone
    industry" (Baltimore SUN, 10/20).  After the speech, Redstone was
    asked about Blockbuster Park, the sports theme park slated to be
    built in South FL.  Redstone said its's "premature" to discuss
    whether the park will proceed, "but called the original plans for
    the park 'very extensive and I think very soundly based and very
    attractive to the community'":  "But we have not yet had time to
    resolve every issue that has come about as a result of the
    acquisition of Blockbuster.  It may take us another couple of
    days to solve all those problems" (MIAMI HERALD, 10/20).

    Print | Tags: Media, Viacom
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