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The WALL STREET JOURNAL is set to launch a weekend sports section. One source at the JOURNAL: "Let's face it, sports is really just a business these days" (Neal Travis, N.Y. POST, 11/3)....La Cadena Deportiva Prime Ticket has signed a five-year agreement with New Forever, Corp. to televise eight tournaments and more than 1,000 league matches from Brazil, Columbia, Ecuador and Peru in the U.S. (Prime Ticket)....Midwest Sports Channel has signed an agreement to air a minimum of 38 CBA games during the '94-'95 season (GOULD MEDIA, 11/2)....Fox gained another large market over NBC when the NFL placed Carolina in Fox's NFC West and Jacksonville in the NBC's AFC Central. Charlotte is the No. 28 media market, while Jacksonville is No. 55 (Rudy Martzke, USA TODAY, 11/3)....ESPN's Bob Ley received the Sports Journalism Award for Sports Media as host of ESPN's "Outside the Lines" at the Northeastern Univ. Sports and Society Hall of Fame dinner (Mult., 11/3).
The NCAA may prohibit newspapers that publish college sports betting lines from covering the basketball Final Four. The idea will be discussed at the NCAA Div. I Men's Basketball Committee meetings this month in New York. SAN JOSE MERCURY NEWS Executive Sports Editor David Tepps says the betting lines "are more than merely gambling information; they give the fan an idea of how teams match up." Tepps: "I would hate to be blackmailed like that by the NCAA" (SAN JOSE MERCURY NEWS, 11/3).
Cable operators that make up Primestar Partners "are furious at the NFL for not cutting a deal with the direct broadcast satellite venture." John Malone, President and CEO of TCI, a partner in Primestar: "For them to make an exclusive deal with DirectTV makes no economic sense." DirectTV, owned by GM, recently signed a deal with the league allowing them to be the exculsive DBS supplier to sell NFL games to customers. One cable exec in the Primestar partnership said the NFL "left $20 million on the table by not dealing with us." The cable group will now push Primestar to their own customers who want DBS over cable. One cable exec of a Primestar partner: "It's much smarter to cannibalize ourselves and keep the business rather than let some other DBS supplier get it" (Chuck Ross, INSIDE MEDIA, 11/2 issue).