SBD/8/Sports Media

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  • COMSAT VIDEO ENTERTAINMENT CONSIDERS MOVE TO DENVER

         Comsat CEO Bruce Crockett announced yesterday that Comsat
    Video Entertainment may move to Denver as the city becomes more
    of an "entertainment hub" for the company.  Crockett said that
    the construction of a new arena for the Comsat-owned Nuggets and
    an adjacent television production studio might make it logical to
    move Video Enterprises from Comsat's Bethesda, MD, headquarters
    to Denver.  Crockett said that the Nuggets franchise "fits well"
    with Comsat's strategy of building a multi-tiered entertainment
    company.  Crockett: "Franchises have gotten legitimacy as
    corporate assets.  They are no longer playpens for idiosyncratic
    millionaires" (Jeffrey Leib, DENVER POST, 11/7).
    

    Print | Tags: Denver Nuggets, Media
  • ESPN ACQUIRES MAJORITY INTEREST IN SPORTSTICKER

         Dow Jones & Co. is selling 80% of SportsTicker, its sports
    news service, to ESPN.  Dow Jones will retain a 20% interest in
    SportsTicker, a 24-hour sports news and information service.
    ESPN has "wanted to acquire SportsTicker for several months, but
    Dow Jones was not looking to sell."  However, Roger May,
    spokesperson for Dow Jones, said, "ESPN made us a pretty good
    offer" (Richard Sandomir, N.Y. TIMES, 11/8).  ESPN plans no major
    changes at SportsTicker and as part of the agreement, Dow Jones
    and ESPN said they will develop TV programming.  Dick Glover,
    Senior VP at ESPN Entertainment said the "two companies could
    report on sports business or offer ESPN's sports news feed to Dow
    Jones's desktop video service" (N.Y. POST, 11/8).  Glover: "We've
    bought an experienced well-oiled machine."  SportsTicker
    President Peter Bavasi will continue to oversee the operation.
    Bishop Cheen, analyst for Paul Kagan Associates, said "he
    expected SportsTicker and ESPNet to merge into one computer on-
    line service, which would have a growing appeal to gamblers eager
    for up-to-date information" (Richard Sandomir, N.Y. TIMES, 11/8).
    

    Print | Tags: ESPN, Media, Walt Disney
  • MEDIA NOTES

         Final bids for at least a five-year TV deal for Wimbledon
    will be made in New York today and Wednesday, with a decision
    expected next week.  The scouting report favors incumbents NBC
    and HBO.  For Fox to win the tournament, it will have to outbid a
    $25M combined bid by NBC and HBO.  The Fox bid would have to be
    in excess of $30M (Rudy Martzke, USA TODAY, 11/8)...The SEC has
    extended its agreement with Jefferson-Pilot Sports for the
    syndicated television rights to broadcast SEC Football and Men's
    Basketball through the 2000-2001 academic year (SEC)....Rupert
    Murdoch's News Corp. will be "hit" by Fox's $20M first quarter
    losses.  Prudential Bache media analyst Mike Mangan said that
    Fox's "aggressive but strategic" bid for the NFL can be
    attributed for the quarter losses (WASHINGTON TIMES,
    11/8)....Creative Artists Agency Multimedia Chief Bob Kavner is
    interviewed in ELECTRONIC MEDIA on "Plotting the Dawn of the
    Interactive Age."  Kavner:  "We're in a period of restructuring
    industry definitions, and history will look back at this time as
    part of the process of people beginning to develop an
    understanding of the opportunities that will develop over the
    next 20 years" (ELECTRONIC MEDIA, 11/7 issue).
    

    Print | Tags: HBO, NBC, News Corp./Fox, NFL, Media, Time Warner
  • PERELMAN TAKEOVER OF CBS SEEN AS HIGHLY UNLIKELY

         Industry analysts yesterday said they were skeptical about
    the possibility of a merger involving New World Communications
    Head Ron Perelman and CBS.  Duff & Phelps' James Goss said a
    Perelman takeover of CBS was "unlikely": "I would find it
    surprising if Perelman would be a buyer because he just
    structured his involvement in New World by aligning stations with
    Fox" (N.Y. POST, 11/8).
         MORE NETWORK SHUFFLE:  Upon reports that Cablevision and
    Time Warner were considering a joint venture, Stanbdard & Poor's
    Ratings Group placed Time Warner's debt on "CreditWatch."
    Cablevision serves about 1.3 million subscribers in New York
    (WALL STREET JOURNAL, 11/8)....In Atlanta, Charles Haddad writes
    that Ted Turner must become a "mega-media company" and purchase a
    network: "If Turner Broadcasting is not one of those mega-media
    companies, it could become a has-been.  And Turner wants to play
    only if he is among the best.  Otherwise, he's cashing out"
    (ATLANTA CONSTITUTION, 11/8)....
    

    Print | Tags: Cablevision, CBS, News Corp./Fox, Media, Time Warner, Viacom
  • UNITED BASEBALL LEAGUE SEARCHES FOR TV OUTLETS

         While the proposed United Baseball League (UBL) is looking
    for broadcast networks interested in carrying its games, UBL Co-
    Founder Robert Mrazek says local TV "is more important to our
    financial base than national."  The UBL has "not projected how
    much broadcast revenue it would need to be viable."  Mrazek says
    TV contracts for the UBL will be performance-based, making them
    "largely risk-free" to the networks.  If ad sales exceed a set
    level, the UBL and net will share the revenue, and the UBL will
    partially reimburse the net if sales fall short.  Mrazek said by
    the time the UBL starts, six broadcast nets could be "potential
    entities looking for programming," as well as telephone
    companies.  The league will also explore cable contracts and
    broadcasting rights in countries outside the U.S.  However, "the
    networks are not showing great interest" in the league at this
    point.  CBS Sports President David Kenin says he has talked to
    people "informally" but noted:  "I don't really know if there is
    a real league."  A Fox spokesperson said no one has talked to the
    UBL.  Local stations are also "wary." Jacksonville ABC affiliate
    WJKS-TV's GM Jim Matthews says "most affiliates can't afford the
    pre-emptions and can't afford the strains on the network
    relationship" (Jon LaFayette, ELECTRONIC MEDIA, 11/7 issue).
    

    Print | Tags: ABC, CBS, News Corp./Fox, Media, Viacom, Walt Disney
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