SBD/5/Sports Media

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).
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