SBD/21/Sports Media

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  • BASKETBALL NIGHT IN CANADA: NBA TO SIGN ON WITH CTV?

         CTV is close to signing a deal to become the primary
    national carrier for the Raptors and Grizzlies.  Sources have
    indicated that CTV's deal with the NBA calls for the network to
    receive eight Raptors games and eight Grizzlies games each
    season.  That package would be supplemented by CTV picking up
    another 10 or so NBA games provided by NBC.  TSN will not be the
    primary NBA carrier in Canada, but the cable network will be sold
    a 15-game package of Raptors and Grizzlies games (Neil Campbell,
    Toronto GLOBE & MAIL, 10/21).  Farouk Muhammad, VP of Programming
    for CFMT, a multicultural TV station, is negotiating a contract
    with the Raptors to have the teams' games telecast in languages
    other than English or French (Ken McKee, TORONTO STAR, 10/21).
    

    Print | Tags: Maple Leaf Sports and Entertainment, NBA, NBC, Media, Toronto Raptors
  • LIBERTY SPORTS FACES HURDLES IN ITS BID TO GO NATIONAL

         Liberty Sports' attempt to become a more aggressive player
    in attracting national sports programming contracts "will be
    hampered if it does not have cooperation from the SportsChannel
    services, which have yet to be incorporated in its plans,"
    according to industry observers.  Liberty is in the process of
    consolidating its nine regional services into "one cohesive
    unit," according to a top regional executive.  One Liberty exec:
    "It hasn't been a secret that we want to compete against ESPN.
    We're just putting ourselves in a position to do that."  Liberty
    was recently outbid by Cablevision/ITT in its attempt to acquire
    the Madison Square Garden package, seen as an "important piece of
    Liberty's move to national status."  One Liberty source said
    losing out on MSG "hurt" the relationship with Cablevision's
    Rainbow Programming Holdings, which combined forces with Liberty
    in the '93 Prime/SportsChannel merger.  The Liberty source:  "The
    industry was moving toward consolidation with two major regional
    sports network owners.  We've actually taken a step backwards."
    Rainbow President & COO Josh Sapan denied any "animosity" between
    Rainbow and Liberty.  But Paul Bortz, president of Bortz & Co., a
    sports analyst firm said, without MSG Network and key
    SportsChannel regional services, Liberty will have trouble
    exopanding to a national presence (Thomas Umstead, MULTICHANNEL
    NEWS, 10/17 issue).
    

    Print | Tags: Cablevision, ESPN, Madison Square Garden, New York Liberty, Media, Walt Disney
  • MEDIA NOTES

         Time Warner CEO Gerald Levin acknowledged yesterday that his
    company has abandoned efforts to acquire a percentage of NBC.
    Levin emphasized that Time Warner is racing to meet the planned
    launch of its own broadcast net in January (WALL STREET JOURNAL,
    10/21)....For the first time since 1980, AFC ratings are ahead of
    the NFC's after 7 weeks.  NBC's AFC coverage is up 23% to 11.7,
    Fox's NFC is minus-5% from CBS in '93 to 11.2.  College football
    ratings continue to climb with ABC up 11% to 6.9, Notre Dame
    games up 49% to 5.5 and ESPN up 52% to 3.5 (Rudy Martzke, USA
    TODAY, 10/21)....ITT Corp. said yesterday that it has asked two
    investment banks to look into selling all or part of its hotel
    franchising business, about 220 of its 395 Sheraton hotels
    worldwide (N.Y. TIMES, 10/21)....In Miami, CBS' Harlequin romance
    movies have received higher ratings than Fox's NFL coverage the
    past two Sundays (MIAMI HERALD, 10/21).... SportsChannel New
    England will air delayed coverage of the Japanese Baseball
    Championship Series between the Yomiuri Giants and the Seibu
    Lions (HARTFORD COURANT, 10/21)....ESPN SportsCenter analyst
    Chris Meyers has been offered Roy Firestone's host job on ESPN's
    "Up Close" (MIAMI HERALD, 10/21)....ESPN ran "Super Dogs! Super
    Jocks!" last night, a SPORTS BUSINESS DAILY "must see"....TNT
    will show "A Salute to Michael Jordan" on November 1 (TNT,
    10/20).
    

    Print | Tags: ABC, CBS, Detroit Lions, ESPN, NBC, News Corp./Fox, NFL, Media, TBS/TNT, Time Warner, Viacom, Walt Disney
  • NBC LOOKS TO EXPAND ON POPULAR GOLF "SKILLS CHALLENGE"

         "The Skills Challenge," the made-for-TV golf event owned by
    NBC Sports and SNI Sports Network, earned higher ratings on both
    Saturday and Sunday than the '93 broadcast, including a 38% jump
    on Sunday.  The combined 3.0 was a 25% increase over the average
    2.4 in '93.  The Sunday show showed a 54% jump among Men 18-49
    and 53% among Men 25-54.  The Sunday show did benefit from an NFL
    lead-in featuring a Raiders-Dolphins overtime game.  Sources tell
    THE SPORTS BUSINESS DAILY that ad time for "The Skills Challenge"
    was completely sold-out.  Enterprise Rent-A-Car is the title
    sponsor.  NBC is looking to expand the "Skills" idea next year,
    including the addition of amateur winners of a planned grassroots
    golf event being developed by Streetball Partners, another NBC
    Sports Ventures partner (THE DAILY).
    

    Print | Tags: Miami Dolphins, NBC, NFL, Oakland Raiders, Media
  • NEWSWEEK TENNIS TOURNAMENT TO BE PLAYED ON PRIME TIME

         The final singles championship of the '95 Newsweek Champions
    Cup, one of the "Super Nine" tournaments of the IBM/ATP Tour,
    will be played on Monday, March 13 and broadcast on prime time by
    ESPN at 9:00pm EST.  This is the first time since the inception
    of the ATP Tour in '90 that a tournament final has been scheduled
    for a Monday.  Tournament Dir Charlie Pasarell: "Years ago some
    tournaments had Monday night finals and the ATP Tour and ESPN
    asked us to try this concept once again" (Newsweek).
    

    Print | Tags: ATP, ESPN, IBM, Media, Walt Disney
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