SBD/14/Sports Media

TURNER REMAINS TENACIOUS IN HIS BID FOR A NETWORK

     In its latest attempt to acquire a broadcast network, Turner
Broadcasting is "pressing forward" with a proposal to acquire NBC
from GE in a deal that would give GE 35% of a combined Turner-NBC
company.  In the proposed deal, Turner would get NBC "in a plan
valued at about $5 billion, including about $2 billion in Turner
stock."  GE has discussed a sale with Time Warner and Disney, but
"those talks haven't been fruitful."  Turner has the support of
TCI, which owns around 25% of Turner stock.  Time Warner, which
owns 20% of Turner stock, is said to have some "disagreements"
with the deal and would agree to the purchase "only if Turner is
willing to trade Time Warner's stake for an asset such as TNT or
the Cartoon Network.  In the past, Turner has been reluctant to
part with any broadcasting assets (Lippman & Sharpe, WALL STREET
JOURNAL, 12/14).  The deal is expected to be discussed at a GE
board meeting this Friday, however, it was stressed that it was
"highly unlikely any decision would be reached" (Robin Schatz,
N.Y. NEWSDAY, 12/13).  According to sources close to TCI, Time
Warner continues to be "cautious and unwilling to make a
commitment" (Frederic Biddle, BOSTON GLOBE, 12/13).
     MORE FROM THE WRIGHT?  Wright, asked why NBC waited until
now to challenge the foreign ownership of Fox: "We probably
wouldn't have challenged Fox had it not been for the formation of
a holding company called Fox Savoy ... to purchase affiliates
through the country."  Wright on what NBC hopes to gain from the
FCC complaint: "I hope we get a clear picture from the FCC of
what the foreign-ownership rules are."  Wright on the possible
sale of NBC: "GE is not panting to part with NBC" (NEWSWEEK,
12/19). Sources tell the WALL STREET JOURNAL that Wright "favors"
the Turner proposal (Lippman & Sharpe, WALL STREET JOURNAL,
12/14).
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