SBD/21/Sports Media

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         The BBC is planning to launch its 24-hour satellite news
    service, BBC World, in the U.S. in February.  Former CNN
    President Reese Schonfeld's International News Network is a
    partner with the BBC in the new venture.  BBC World would include
    international sports news in its 24-hour "news wheel" (Mult.,
    12/21)....AT&T is ready to join the on-line services market with
    its apparent victory in the battle to purchase Ziff
    Communications Co.'s Interchange Online Network....Fox
    Broadcasting has solicited the opinions of several former FCC
    officials "to help convince the FCC that it complied with rules
    limiting foreign ownership of TV stations to 25%" (WALL STREET
    JOURNAL, 12/21)....WASHINGTON POST TV critic Tom Shales gives
    Direct Broadcast Satellite a a glowing review:  "Clearly, this is
    the greatest new toy since the VCR, with pictures so sharp and
    rich that it's as if a veil were lifted from in front of the
    screen.  Cable cannot compare.  We keep hearing about the '500-
    channel universe' just around the corner, but it looks like an
    enormous corner.  The 150-channel universe is here now, and it's
    a hoot" (WASHINGTON POST, 12/21).

    Print | Tags: ATT, Media

         TCI, Inc. and Time Warner are discussing a joint venture to
    "launch a group of cable sports networks," according to this
    morning's WALL STREET JOURNAL.  Sources close to both companies
    said the deal would include five new sports cable channels,
    including one with Time Warner's Sports Illustrated magazine, a
    women's sports channel, and other channels that would air local
    sports news.  The channels would "be bundled in a so-called tier
    and would not be part of basic cable TV service."  TCI and Time
    Warner control 18M of the nation's 60M cable homes, and both
    companies stand to gain from a partnership.  Time Warner does not
    have a large sports programming center, and TCI "could use Time
    Warner's subscribers and its Sports Illustrated franchise to help
    boost its own sports presence on a national level."  TCI's
    Liberty Media already has a wide array of regional sports
    ventures, and owns or has an interest in 14 regional sports
    networks, most of which "would not be included in any deal with
    Time Warner."  Liberty may also invest in the Classic Sports
    Network that is set to start next year.  Classic Sports is backed
    by New York investment bank, Allen & Co., and AT&T, and could be
    "folded into a joint venture with Time Warner."  Finally, a TCI-
    Time Warner partnership would allow the companies to share the
    risks in launching a sports network in a crowded field, dominated
    by ABC/Capital Cities' ESPN and ESPN2 (John Lippman, WALL STREET
    JOURNAL, 12/21).

    Print | Tags: ABC, ATT, Cablevision, ESPN, New York Liberty, Sports Illustrated, Media, Walt Disney
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