SBD/4/Sports Media

GOLF CHANNEL GETTING READY TO TEE-OFF

     In this morning's WASHINGTON TIMES, John Hawkins reports on
plans for The Golf Channel, scheduled to launch in January 1995.
(1) Tour Programming -- "the handful of PGA Tour events that
currently aren't televised ... most likely will become the Golf
Channel's.  Otherwise, live coverage probably be limited to Nike
Tour events, with a sprinkling of LPGA, Senior Tour and various
foreign tours carrying the balance."  (2)  "Golf Center" -- this
"evening centerpiece" will provide pre- and post-tournament
programming, "although there's some question as to whether the
Golf Channel will limit those wraparounds to the tournaments it
televises live." (3) Other Programming will include "visual
lessons, the celebrity-golfer gamut, lots of resort travel
features, and as much news as the game can generate."  (4) Viewer
Cost -- "the Golf Channel is treating itself as a 'premium'
channel, although there's a lingering suspicion it may have to
settle for 'tiered' status."  Mark Watts, premium product manager
for Comcast:  "From a cable marketing standpoint, their success
seems predicated on what makes them any different from CBS or
ESPN.  The key is to give people a reason why they should spend
an extra $5 on it" (John Hawkins, WASHINGTON TIMES, 10/4).
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