SBD/1/Sports Media

MEDIA NOTES: CHANGES COMING IN BOSTON SPORTS SCENE?

     As expected, Viacom announced its purchase of Boston
independent station WSBK-TV from New World Communications for
$100M.  The station will serve as the Boston home to Viacom's
planned fifth network, United Paramount.  Noting that United
Paramount's initial plans are only to carry shows on two nights -
- Viacom officials don't foresee any schedule conflicts with
WSBK's sports programming.  The station is the broadcast home to
the Red Sox, Bruins and Celtics.  In fact, officials said that at
the outset games would have "precedence" over the new net's own
programming.  However, a key decision looming for Viacom is
whether to renew WSBK's pact with the Red Sox, who are scheduled
to receive $15M for '95.  The team is in the final year of its 5-
year, $70M contract with the station (Biddle & Craig, BOSTON
GLOBE, 12/1)....The Grey Cup drew a record TV audience of 3.8M on
CBC, but it did not fair well in the U.S. where it was carried
live on ESPN2 and repeated the next night on ESPN.  Live on
ESPN2, the game drew a .9 rating and a .6 on ESPN tape-delay.  In
both cases, the Grey Cup was competing against the NFL (Toronto
GLOBE & MAIL, 12/1)....DirecTV President Eddy Hartenstein, whose
company kicks off its $150 package for 400 regular season NBA
games tonight:  "We fully expect to do deals with the NHL and
Major League Baseball.  If the hockey lockout ended tomorrow, we
have the channel capacity and technical capability ready to go"
(Michael Hiestand, USA TODAY, 12/1).  The NBA will also allow
Liberty Satellite Sports to expand distribution of all its
regional sports network NBA games in the large-dish market for
both Satellite Sports Network and SportsChannel packages. ... Due
to the limited availability of transponder space on C-band
satellites, Liberty's KBL Sports Network will move to a KU-band
satellite (Liberty Satellite Sports)....Disney Chair Michael
Eisner:  "The likelihood of us buying a network is way behind
that of Ted Turner. ...  The networks that are talked about often
as being for sale are rather expensive.  You'd have to be having
a good day to make that kind of investment.  So, I don't think
they are going to sell quite as quickly as many analysts think"
("Moneyline," CNN, 11/30).
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