SBD/1/Sports Media

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         Capital Cities/ABC and Imax Corporation announced yesterday
    a joint venture to develop and produce giant-screen motion
    pictures in the IMAX format.  The agreement calls for both
    companies to jointly finance the development of and co-produce
    large-format films for worldwide distribution by Imax.  The
    companies also stated an interest in creating projects to
    capitalize on ABC's position in news and sports (Capital

    Print | Tags: ABC, Media, Walt Disney

         Today's WALL STREET JOURNAL examines the effect the loss of
    baseball and hockey games have had on ESPN.  The network is not
    "suffering any bruising effects from the baseball strike or the
    postponement of the hockey season," but ratings and ad revenue
    could have been higher without so much replacement programming.
    ESPN gave clients the chance to pull out their dollars, but
    according to Bob Perlstein, Exec VP at SFM Media, advertisers
    have stayed with the network primarily because "there is nothing
    else out there to reach a big male audience."  Budweiser has not
    "moved a single dollar out of its sponsorship of hockey games."
    A spokesperson for Anheuser-Busch: "We have a fantastic program
    planned with the NHL.  We're willing to sit patiently until
    hockey begins."  Surprisingly, ESPN's ratings have risen from a
    year ago, as an ESPN spokesperson attributes the increase to
    college football, but officials are worried about the "impact of
    a lingering delay of the hockey season" (Kevin Goldman, WALL
    STREET JOURNAL, 11/1).

    Print | Tags: Anheuser Busch, ESPN, NHL, Media, Walt Disney

         The canceled baseball season and the continuing hockey
    lockout have turned into a big TV gain for football.  Ratings for
    NFL games on ABC and NBC are up from a year ago; Fox's broadcasts
    are performing "above expectations;" and TNT has had its best
    ratings ever for NFL telecasts.  College football ratings are
    also up significantly for ABC and ESPN.  NBC has also reported
    that its demographic rting for men are up across the board from
    last year with a 21% increase in Men 18-24, a 12% increase in Men
    18-34, a 19% increase in Men 18-49 and a 20% increase in Men 25-
    54 (Wayne Walley, ELECTRONIC MEDIA, 10/31 issue).  This past
    weekend, Fox "had the tight, competitive NFL games," and topped
    NBC in the ratings -- 15.4 to 13.8.  Fox's pre-game show also
    came out on top, 5.9 to 4.4 (Rudy Martzke, USA TODAY, 11/1).

    Print | Tags: ABC, ESPN, NBC, NFL, Media, Turner Sports, Walt Disney

         Speculation has arisen that the MSG Network could attempt to
    replace Tony Kubek with Mets color-man Tim McCarver should
    McCarver not re-sign with WWOR.  Mets Broadcasting VP Mike Ryan
    admits negotiations with McCarver "will be difficult."  If MSG
    and the Yasnkees do not sign McCarver, ESPN's Jim Kaat could be
    next in line (Richard Sandomir, N.Y. TIMES, 11/1)....Former
    Bullets coach Wes Unseld has agreed to replace Bob Lanier as lead
    analyst for NBA Radio (Baltimore SUN, 11/1)....On November 8,
    ESPN will televise "Dreamfield" -- a 60-minute program hosted by
    James Earl Jones focusing on the stories of people who have
    traveled to the remote town of Dyersville, IA to see the baseball
    field featured in the movie "Field of Dreams" (ESPN)....CNN is
    talking with Time Warner about a Manhattan test for the network's
    recently-announced subscription service, "CNN At Work," which
    delivers live Headline News or CNN broadcasts over personal
    computer networks (COWLES BUSINESS MEDIA, 10/31)....Richard
    Parsons, named yesterday as Time Warner's new president, was
    interviewed on CNBC.  Asked what Time Warner would do about TBS
    Chair Ted Turner's desire for a network: "The posture of the
    company right now is that Ted Turner is free to go out and do
    whatever deal is best for his company and we'll review it and
    comment on it" ("Business Insiders," CNBC, 10/31).

    Print | Tags: Cablevision, ESPN, Madison Square Garden, NBA, New York Mets, Media, Turner Sports, Walt Disney

         CAA Chair Michael Ovitz, along with Bell Atlantic, Nynex and
    Pacific Telesis, announced yesterday that they have entered a
    video entertainment venture to deliver video over telephone
    lines.  The plan calls for the creation of a "media company" that
    will work with Ovitz's Creative Artists Agency to license and
    acquire old movies and TV shows, create new film products and
    develop interactive entertainment such as home shopping, video
    games and educational software (Mike Mills, WASHINGTON POST,
    11/1).  The Bells will form two ventures: One will concentrate on
    developing programming, while the other will create technical
    systems needed to deliver programming into homes.  The two
    companies will be jointly owned by the three Bells.  Pacific
    Telesis CEO Phillip Quigley said that the three partners may take
    on additional investors later: "We'll gladly entertain other
    arrangements with others, Bells and non-Bells, as we move
    forward" (Cauley & Turner, WALL STREET JOURNAL, 11/1).  Ovitz
    represents several corporate clients, including Coca-Cola, Nike
    and Sony (WASHINGTON POST, 11/1). Ovitz said that the new Bell
    deal is a way "to whip up work" for current clients (Maney &
    Wiseman, USA TODAY, 11/1).  In New York, John Durie writes, "The
    sure winners [from the deal] also include programmers like
    Viacom, News Corporation and Time Warner.  They offer the best
    routes to information superhighway pay dirt for investors" (N.Y.
    POST, 11/1).

    Print | Tags: Coca-Cola, Nike, Media, Viacom
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