SBD/1/Sports Media

ESPN MAKING ITS WAY THROUGH BARREN PRO SPORTS SEASON

     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).
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Related Topics:

Anheuser Busch, ESPN, NHL, Media, Walt Disney

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