SBD/18/Sports Media

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         Sony Corp. announced yesterday that it has taken a
    "staggering" $2.7B write-off on Sony Pictures Entertainment, on
    top of a $510M operating loss on the studio.  The news, "shook
    the entertainment industry and raised new questions about Sony's
    long-range commitment to Hollywood" (L.A. TIMES, 11/18)....Milton
    Kent notes this weekend "will be fairly noteworthy for women
    sports announcers," with two all-female crews covering live
    network TV events.  On ABC, ESPN's Robin Roberts and analysts
    Betsy Nagelsen and Pam Shriver work the Virginia Slims
    Championships.  Meanwhile, ESPN kicks off women's college
    basketball with Beth Mowlins, Mimi Griffin and Christine Brennan
    (Baltimore SUN, 11/18).

    Print | Tags: ABC, ESPN, Media, Walt Disney

         The Patriots announced that will leave WBZ-AM radio next
    season and shift their broadcasts to "rock 'n roll WBCN," marking
    the first time in the team's 35 years that play-by-play will be
    on the FM dial.  Although no figures were announced, WBCN's
    owner, Infinity Broadcasting reportedly will pay the Pats $3.5M
    next season and $10.5M over the next three years, "the most
    lucrative package" in the NFL.  WBZ is paying the team $1.85M
    this season.  WBZ offered close to $2M, as did American Radio
    Systems on behalf of WEEI.  WBCN GM Tony Beradini: "Yes, it is a
    lot of money, but I believe that three years from now this deal
    is going to look like a bargain."  The fact that all Pats games
    are expected to be on TV in the foreseeable future because of
    home sellouts "handicaps radio sales."  On the positive side, the
    fact that the team also owns Foxboro Stadium provides
    merchandising possibilities, "linking sponsors to signage in the
    stadium" (Jack Craig, BOSTON GLOBE, 11/18).  The Pats are
    Infinity's fifth NFL team, which includes the Cowboys, Eagles,
    Buccaneers and Jets.  It also has the Mets, Rangers, 76ers and
    Flyers, and is looking to establish a sports-marketing network,
    "offering advertisers key spots in multiple markets with better
    rates than they could get in single-station deals" (Jim Baker,
    BOSTON HERALD, 11/18).

    Print | Tags: Comcast-Spectacor, Dallas Cowboys, New England Patriots, New York Jets, New York Mets, NFL, Philadelphia 76ers, Philadelphia Eagles, Philadelphia Flyers, Media, Tampa Bay Buccaneers

         Cable-giant TCI said it will proceed with a "sweeping plan
    to split the company into four separate businesses, each with its
    own class of stock."  Wall Street "reacted favorably" to the news
    with TCI's class A stock rising $.75 to $24.125 a share.  TCI is
    creating a holding company to house four separate divisions:
    domestic cable operations, domestic programming, technology
    ventures, and international cable and programming.  By splitting
    the company, TCI is betting that Wall Street "will assign a
    greater value to the parts than the whole."  TCI execs promised
    to give a "clearer picture" at an investor meeting December 6
    (Robichaux & Shapiro, WALL STREET JOURNAL, 11/18).

    Print | Tags: Media
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