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  • BROADCAST NEWS: UNITED PARAMOUNT OUTLINES PROGRAM SCHEDULE

         The United Paramount Network will start up on January 18
    with a schedule of five programs over two nights.  United
    Paramount President Lucille Salhany announced that the new
    network, "in a race with the Warner studio to become the fifth
    broadcast network," has signed up stations to reach about 65% of
    the country.  But 21 of the 72 stations announced as part of the
    network "are to be secondary affiliates, meaning they will
    broadcast only some of the United Paramount" shows because they
    have other affiliation responsibilities.  United Paramount plans
    to add other nights in coming years (Bill Carter, N.Y. TIMES,
    10/6).  Kerry McCluggage, Chair of Paramount's TV division: "The
    other networks tend to program for women, so we're
    counterprogramming for young men."  The network will kickoff with
    a Star Trek spinoff, "a sure fire male favorite," and the other
    shows will be male oriented action and comedy (Jefferson Graham,
    USA TODAY, 10/6).
         TIME WARNER TALKS WITH NBC SLOW DOWN:  Time Warner's
    negotiations to acquire a stake in GE's NBC unit "have been
    halted after the two sides couldn't agree on the price and other
    terms."  A source close to Time Warner said talks are "stalled";
    no other sessions are scheduled."  One senior exec at GE said
    Time Warner CEO Gerald Levin had "balked at the terms" proposed
    by GE (Johnnie Roberts, WALL STREET JOURNAL, 10/6).  PaineWebber
    is involved in "preliminary" discussions to buy the brokerage
    operations of GE unit Kidder, Peabody, & Co.  Analysts call the
    sale a "long shot" (Michael Siconolfi, WALL STREET JOURNAL,
    10/6).
         AFFILIATES COSTLY TO THE BIG THREE:  NBC, CBS, and ABC will
    "collectively lose between $150M-$250M in annual earnings" to
    keep their affils from switching to Fox or among each other.
    Chris Dixon, media analyst for PaineWebber, says that
    "underestimating the growing impact of costs factors like the
    increased price of maintaining a strong affiliate base and
    producing more programs" in-house could be a costly mistake for
    any network buyer (Diane Mermigas, ELECTRONIC MEDIA, 10/3 issue).
    

    Print | Tags: ABC, CBS, NBC, News Corp./Fox, Media, Time Warner, Viacom, Walt Disney
  • MEDIA NOTES

         FROM THE LATEST ISSUE OF ELECTRONIC MEDIA:  Viacom is
    expected to announce the "sale of its 1.1 million-subscriber
    cable systems to a minority affiliate of TCI, InterMedia
    Association for what could be more than $2B in cash."  The deal
    includes the development of a new pay movie service by combining
    TCI's Encore with Viacom's Showtime and Movie Channel.  Also, Fox
    "plans to launch a second cable network, "fXM: Movies From Fox,"
    as part of an effort to expand the company's presence in cable
    TV.  The 24-hour commercial free network will use only Twentieth
    Century Fox films, and launch October 31....Home Team Sports of
    Bethesda, MD, raised more than $135,000 during it's second annual
    Sports-a-Thon, a three hour live telethon and sports memorabilia
    auction to benefit the Leukemia Society....ESPN is commemorating
    its 15th anniversary with a special glass-topped stainless steel
    time capsule doubling as a coffee table in the company's lobby
    (ELECTRONIC MEDIA, 10/3).
         FROM THE LATEST ISSUE OF MULTICHANNEL NEWS:  Pay-per-view
    event distributors and cable operators are searching for a mega-
    heavyweight PPV boxing event after the recent loss by Lennox
    Lewis killed a potential multimillion dollar spring '95 bout.
    Mark Taffet, Senior VP of TVKO, who would have distributed the
    fight: "For the time being the big loser is the PPV
    industry....The momentum towards a national horse racing channel
    has slowed, but "a few individual tracks are taking modest-steps
    toward in-home wagering" in ways that could create new revenue
    for cable operators.  In New York, Cablevision Systems Corp. is
    looking at starting a 90-day trial of "presenting live video
    feeds of racing cards in its systems homes in Long Island and
    parts of New York city this winter" (MULTICHANNEL NEWS, 10/3
    issue).
         ALSO:  Prime Network announced yesterday that it will
    provide closed captioning on all remaining live telecasts in its
    1994 college football package (THE DAILY).
    

    Print | Tags: Cablevision, ESPN, News Corp./Fox, Showtime, Media, Viacom, Walt Disney
  • SPORTS NETWORKS TRY TO SURVIVE WITH ABSENCE OF GAMES

         Regional sports networks, already struggling due to the loss
    of a significant amount of baseball games and ad revenues, are
    bracing themselves for more programming losses if the hockey
    postponement is prolonged.  Many regional broadcast and cable
    execs, having exhausted a significant amount of inventory to
    cover canceled baseball telecasts, said they have not considered
    what replacement programming they will use if regular season
    games are lost.  In a best-case scenario, the NHL has proposed
    playing a full schedule beginning October 15 and lasting into
    July.  But MSG Network President Douglas Moss said even that
    "could complicate network programming and advertising efforts by
    putting NHL games in direct competition with the Knicks and
    Yankees" (Thomas Umstead, MULTICHANNEL NEWS, 10/3 issue).  John
    Claiborne, GM of New England Sports Network which carries the
    Bruins and the Red Sox, said that the work stoppages have had a
    "negative impact" on programming: "There's no question we've lost
    subscribers -- more than a reasonable amount" (Jim Baker, BOSTON
    HERALD, 10/5).
         ESPN GOES TO SCHOOL:  Bruce McLeod, commissioner of the
    Western Collegiate Hockey Association, said he has been contacted
    by ESPN about the possibility of broadcasting some  WCHA games to
    fill spots intended for the NHL (John Gilbert, ST. PAUL PIONEER
    PRESS, 10/5).
    

    Print | Tags: Boston Bruins, Boston Red Sox, Cablevision, ESPN, Madison Square Garden, New York Knicks, New York Yankees, NHL, Media, Walt Disney, YankeeNets
  • VIACOM EXECS KEEPING MUM ABOUT BLOCKBUSTER PARK

         Top Viacom execs were in Ft. Lauderdale yesterday visiting
    the headquarters of the company's latest acquisition --
    Blockbuster Entertainment.  Viacom Chair Sumner Redstone and
    President Frank Biondi were briefed on Blockbuster operations
    during a meeting that lasted much of the day.  "No word on
    whether the executives discussed Blockbuster Park, however."
    Viacom has not said whether it wants to build the 3,000-acre
    theme park, although Blockbuster is moving forward with plans.
    Blockbuster has applied for approval to build the park (MIAMI
    HERALD, 10/6).
    

    Print | Tags: Media, Viacom
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