SBD/21/Sports Media

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  • CROCKETT LEADING COMSAT INTO NEW TERRITORIES

         In a Baltimore SUN profile, Michael Dresser examines Comsat
    President & CEO Bruce Crockett, who has helped the satellite
    telecom company assemble "an eclectic group of businesses" --
    including the Nuggets and On-Command Video.  Dresser: "It's all
    been a little too eclectic for investors.  Always wary of
    uncertainty, Wall Street has punished Comsat for Mr. Crockett's
    terrestrial ventures.  From a 52-week high of $32.75, Comsat
    stock has lost more than one-third of its value, hitting a low of
    $19.375 last week.  To some extent that reflects a general
    weakness in the [telecom] sector, but its price-earnings-ratio of
    11 is paltry, even by industry standards."  But Crockett, who
    hopes to add an NHL franchise in Denver, is "unapologetic about
    Comsat's growing role in the high-risk, high-reward sports and
    entertainment businesses": "There are some investors who would
    rather see us just be a communications company.  We would hope
    over time to attract investors with different philosophies"
    (Baltimore SUN, 11/20).
    

    Print | Tags: Denver Nuggets, NHL, Media
  • NASCAR CRAFTSMAN SUPERTRUCK SERIES CRUISES ONTO 4 NETWORKS

         The Nashville Network, ESPN, CBS, and ABC will share
    coverage in 1995 of the inaugural season of the NASCAR SuperTruck
    Series by Craftsman.  TNN will televise 10 of the events,
    including the season's first and last races on February 5 and
    October 27; ESPN will televise seven of the races, two in prime
    time and three that are companion races to the NASCAR Winston Cup
    events; CBS will cover three races during July as part of the
    network's "Eye on Sports" program; and ABC will debut the series
    on national broadcast television on April 22 (NASCAR).
    

    Print | Tags: ABC, CBS, ESPN, NASCAR, R J Reynolds, Media, TNN, Viacom, Walt Disney
  • NFL "SUNDAY TICKET" HITS HOME NEXT WEEKEND ON LITTLE DISHES

         Starting November 27, and for $49.95/month, the NFL and
    DirectTV will make the league's "Sunday Ticket" package available
    to fans with 18-inch satellite dishes, according to Leonard
    Shapiro in the WASHINGTON POST.  "Big dish owners have had it all
    year," and -- so far -- approximately 200,000 big dish owners are
    subscribers to "Sunday Ticket."  Shapiro also reports that
    DirecTV, a division of GM Hughes Electronics, currently has
    "150,000 subscribers with the little dish, and the company is
    selling between 2,000 and 3,000 RCA-made dishes a day"
    (WASHINGTON POST, 11/19).
         IF IT WALKS LIKE A DUCK:  "When it comes to the subject of
    pay-per-view television," most NFL officials "shake their heads
    no, a thousand times no," according to Shapiro, who believes that
    "if the 'NFL Sunday Ticket' looks like pay-per-view, sounds like
    pay-per-view, and definitely costs like pay-per-view (okay,
    bargain basement pay-per-view), it must be -- additive."  Ron
    Bernard, president of NFL Enterprises:  "Anything we do in this
    area is an additive service.  In no way will we take anything
    away from the viewer on free television.  It's additive.  In no
    way will we do pay-per-view" (WASHINGTON POST, 11/19).
    

    Print | Tags: DirecTV, NFL, Media
  • THIRD SPORTS CHANNEL FOR FLORIDA?

         The MIAMI HERALD reports that Sunshine "is planning to
    launch a third Florida sports network within the next 18 months."
    According to Sunshine, "programming on the new network will
    include women's sports and events that are pushed off Prime
    Network by live pro sports" (Barry Jackson, MIAMI HERALD, 11/20).
    

    Print | Tags: Media
  • TV NETWORK VIEWERSHIP CONTINUES DECLINE -- DOES SPORTS HELP?

         "The undercurrent of shrinking network television audiences
    continues unabated," according to Tim Jones in this morning's
    CHICAGO TRIBUNE.  Since the '83-84 season, viewership has dropped
    19% for ABC, 17% for NBC, and 12.6% for CBS.  "The most recent
    figures from Nielsen show a continued network viewing decline of
    2.7 percent in the year ended last month.  The cancellation of
    baseball playoffs and the World Series likely hurt last month's
    viewer count.  There is, however, no evidence to suggest the
    overall downward trend is reversing itself."  Jones adds that
    "sports is not automatically the savior of any network," in fact,
    "as CBS learned with its money-losing contract with Major League
    Baseball, sports is an anchor that can pull the ship under."
    James Goss, media analyst with Duff & Phelps:  "Sports
    establishes an image but doesn't necessarily do a lot for the
    bottom line" (CHICAGO TRIBUNE, 11/21).
         VIACOM EYEING CBS?  USA TODAY reports this morning that
    Viacom "is taking a preliminary look at CBS."  According to an
    unnamed source, "Viacom is understood to have met within the past
    two weeks with investment bankers who want it to buy CBS"
    (Lieberman & Dorfman, USA TODAY, 11/21).
    

    Print | Tags: ABC, CBS, NBC, Nielsen, Media, Viacom, Walt Disney
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