SBD/27/Sports Media

BROADCAST NEWS: CHECKING TED TURNER'S TO-DO LIST

     TURNER & NBC:  In New York, John Durie reports on what TBS
Chair Ted Turner needs before he can go ahead with his bid for
NBC.  First, Turner must sell "a sizable asset like his cartoon
network in exchange" for Time Warner's equity stake in his
company.  Then, he needs TCI Chair John Malone to sell down his
24% stake in TBS to 5% to get around restrictions on broadcast TV
nets owning cable operating systems.  GE CEO Jack Welch would
like to sell NBC for more than $5.5B "to help the market forget
his Kidder Peabody debacle.  If you want to sell an asset, it's a
good idea to create some noise to establish a bidding race, and
Turner is a convenient vehicle to meet this end" (N.Y. POST,
10/27).
     CBS AD WATCH:  Despite being the No. 1 net in ratings the
past three years, CBS is "being forced to give back to
advertisers free commercial time to compensate for a severe
ratings shortfall in specific age groups."  Ad execs estimate
that CBS will have to give back $25-40M in ad time to satisfy
sponsors.  Privately, CBS sources say the figure is closer to
$25M.  Last year, CBS had to give sponsors about $10M in free ad
time (WALL STREET JOURNAL, 10/27).
     FOX FIGHTING ON:  Fox Sports, which has an offer pending for
Wimbledon, might add boxing, possibly on Saturdays.  Fox Sports
President David Hill: "We're the new kid on the block.  We're
looking at opportunities in all sports" (Rudy Martzke, USA TODAY,
10/27).
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