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Fox Broadcasting has announced that it will purchase the remaining 49% of Boston affil WFXT-TV, owned by the Boston Celtics Limited Partnership. The $80M cash purchase gives Fox full ownership of the station, which has been a Fox affiliate for the past eight years. Celtics CFO Joseph DiLorenzo said that Fox had an option last fall to purchase the Celtics 49% of the station for $45M but declined: "This was a prime piece of property" (Nutile & Krasner, BOSTON HERALD, 10/6). Celtics stock was up 2 points yesterday.
ESPN has won exclusive rights to Big Ten Conference football and basketball games not on a national network beginning with the '95 football season through 2000-2001 (THE DAILY)....TSN will air two games from each of the AHL, IHL, and junior hockey leagues over the the next month (TORONTO STAR, 10/7)....Home Teams Sports, the MD-based regional sports cable network, is still offering a full schedule of sports programming. But HTS, will take a "significant hit" -- $2M or more in lost ad revenue -- if hockey is out for an extended period (WASHINGTON POST, 10/7)....NFL ratings were released yesterday: NBC is up 21%; Fox's is 1% better than CBS in '93; TNT is up 12%; and ABC is down 3% (Rudy Martzke, USA TODAY, 10/7).
The NFL and DirecTV, a unit of GM, are expected to announce an agreement to air all regular-season football games on DirecTV's digital-broadcast service. The "NFL Sunday Ticket," will offer the last five weeks of regular NFL games beginning Nov. 27 for a price of around $50. In '95, a full of NFL games is expected to cost $140-$150. The deal will give a "needed boost to the fledgling satellite service, which delivers digital TV signals to 18-inch dishes" (WALL STREET JOURNAL, 10/7).