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Time Warner chair Gerald Levin says the company's efforts to purchase a minority stake in NBC are "on the back burner" and that any major investments will "broaden our cable footprint" (NEW YORK TIMES, 10/22)....Liberty Sports has created a new sales department called Liberty Sports Ad Sales. Former Prime Ticket Senior VP Mike Kincaid is president, and there is speculation he will consolidate advertising efforts (INSIDE MEDIA, 10/19 issue)....Despite the recent addition of five weekends to the "NFL Sunday Ticket" pay-per-view package, NFL Enterprises Sales and Marketing VP Tola Murphy Baran says "it would be bad politics, bad business, bad economics and just plain dumb for us to ever take Sunday afternoon football off broadcast television" (SALT LAKE TRIBUNE, 10/23)....WOR-radio is losing money on its 5- year, $18M N.Y. Giants contract. Bob Raissman reports, if the Giants' package becomes available after '95, WFAN could be interested. WFAN has only one-year remaining in its Jets contract (N.Y. DAILY NEWS, 10/23). ....DIRECTV announced it will be the "flagship" sponsor of the Great Eight college basketball festival (BC, Florida, UcOnn, Duke, Missouri, Purdue, Michigan and Arizona) presented by ESPN and Raycom. The event will air from The Palace in Auburn Hills, MI, on November 29-30 and a portion of the proceeds will go to Challenging Athletic Minds for Personal Success -- CHAMPS (DIRECTV, 10/19)....Sportstel's international sports and TV convention in Monte Carlo last week awarded the "Golden Podium" award to NFL Films for cinematography in a '91 Giants-Bucs game (NFL)....
"NBC, ABC and CBS will soon begin a major push top sell commercial time for their respective telecasts of the 1995 PGA Tour, and all indications point to a robust golf marketplace for the Big Three," according to a report in the latest issue of INSIDE MEDIA. A surge in spending from equipment and apparel manufacturers "will again help drive the market," with equipment sponsors likely to spend even more in '95 than they did in '94. But sports media buyers also say the nets expect a "heavy infusion of bucks" from computer companies. With demand so strong, some ad execs expect network rates to open 10-20% higher than last year. Notes one longtime sports media buyer: "Not bad for a f---ing three-rated sport." Kathleen Brookbanks, Exec Media Dir for Ogilvy & Mather/Chicago, which buys for Wilson Golf, notes the golf market usually moves in mid-November, but says, "NBC is trying to make the market move earlier than usual." Whether CBS follows NBC's pace "remains to be seen." CBS VP of Sports Sales Michael Guariglia expects a strong '95, but adds: "We haven't entered the marketplace yet" (Langdon Brockington, INSIDE MEDIA, 10/19-11/1 issue).