SBD/5/Sports Media

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  • BROADCAST NEWS: MURDOCH'S GRAND PLAN TAKING HOLD?

         Rupert Murdoch's "football mega-investment has fumbled in
    its drive to carry an audience in to Fox' prime-time lineup on
    Sunday's."  Ratings are down 13% compared to last season when
    there was no football lead-in and two Sunday shows have already
    been cancelled.  Murdoch's quest for new affiliates has led to
    "viewer confusion," left a trail of "bitter" former Fox affils,
    and two "simmering lawsuits."  These troubles, combined with a
    17% drop on "advertiser-rich" Thursday, were enough to cost Fox
    Network Chief Sandy Grunshow his job (Eric Mink, N.Y. DAILY NEWS,
    10/5).
         PEACOCK WATCH:  "Speculation mounted on Wall Street" that GE
    was close to selling its retail brokerage operation, Kidder,
    Peabody & Co.  A Wall Street source said "the disposition of
    Kidder was linked to an effort by GE to sell its NBC television
    network" (REUTERS/BOSTON GLOBE, 10/4). ....The Patriots are a
    "financial bonanza" for WBZ Channel 4 in Boston.  The team is
    attracting huge audiences at a time when "TV sponsor money that
    would have gone to baseball and hockey is looking for action and
    ... political advertising, always sold for a premium, is pouring
    in" (Jack Craig, BOSTON GLOBE, 10/4).  After declining ratings,
    NBC declined to renew its deal to cover the Heisman Trophy
    presentation.  ESPN announced it had reached agreement to cover
    it in '95 (Milton Kent, Baltimore SUN, 10/5).
         EASY AS ABC:  ABC won the second straight week of the new
    fall season, finishing with a 12.2 rating, .2 points over NBC,
    and .5 points over third place CBS (Mult., 10/5).  Bad News --
    Monday Night Football continued to be slide, and fell 3% below
    last year's average.  In Baltimore, it placed third in its time
    slot (Milton Kent, Baltimore SUN, 10/5).
         BOXING'S BACK ON CBS:  CBS Sports is now the only broadcast
    net with boxing, and N.Y. TIMES' Richard Sandomir writes they may
    have scored a "coup" by "snaring a fighter like Oscar de la
    Hoya."  CBS hopes it can "sustain boxing beyond this year" and
    that their sponsor Quaker State will return.  In the past,
    advertisers have been "reluctant about the image" of boxing.  CBS
    Sports Senior VP Rick Gentile: "We're not in this to be minor
    leagues. We're optimistic we'll be in boxing for a long time"
    (NEW YORK TIMES, 10/5).
    

    Print | Tags: ABC, CBS, ESPN, NBC, New England Patriots, News Corp./Fox, Media, Viacom, Walt Disney
  • MEDIA NOTES

         New Pres. Harvey Schiller "is expected to use his contacts
    with event organizers" to help secure Ted Turner's position in
    sports.  Michael Hiestand of USA TODAY writes of a "very
    preliminary" interest in a Winter Goodwill Games, possibly in
    '99.  Schiller and Turner also still hope to "secure some
    involvement" in the '96 Atlanta Games (USA TODAY, 10/5)....TNT
    posted strong ratings for the third quarter as all five NFL on
    TNT games ranked among the seven highest-rated basic cable
    programs in the quarter.  TNT is averaging an 8.7, its best start
    ever (THE DAILY)....Avis has allocated part of its baseball
    advertising investment to Prime Network telecasts of the Arizona
    Fall League next month.  Eight games will be covered (Jack Craig,
    BOSTON GLOBE, 10/4)....N.Y. POST's Phil Mushnick criticizes
    SportsChannel New York for selling a half hour of airtime to "a
    trio of the country's most notorious scamdicappers" -- those 1-
    900 football handicappers (N.Y. POST, 10/4)....CCTV, the national
    network of the People's Republic of China, has acquired the ATP
    Tour's Tier 1 broadcasting package, which includes the IBM/ATP
    Tour World Championship in Frankfurt and the ATP Tour World
    Doubles Championship in Indonesia (THE DAILY)....Empire Sports
    Network and Greater Rochester Cable launched an agreement that
    will bring the Sports Network to Rochester.  Time Warner's
    Greater Rochester Cablevision has nearly 200,000 subscribers.
    Empire Sports carries the Sabres (THE DAILY)....Time Warner cable
    TV systems in New York City announced today that a $1.045M
    license fee credit received from Madison Square Garden Network
    for canceled Yankees games will be passed on to system customers
    as credits on their cable bills during the next several weeks.
    For subscribers to SportsChannel, Time Warner's cable systems
    previously announced that subscribers would receive the premium
    service for free from August 12 through the end of September (THE
    DAILY).
    

    Print | Tags: ATP, Buffalo Sabres, Cablevision, IBM, Madison Square Garden, New York Yankees, NFL, Media, TBS/TNT, Time Warner, YankeeNets
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