SBD/7/Sports Media

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  • ESPN2 TO EXPAND MINOR LEAGUE BASEBALL COVERAGE

         In '95, ESPN2 will televise the Baseball Across America
    Tour, a series of 20 games from all levels of the minors.  The
    series will be featured primarily on Thursday evenings. The
    telecasts "will center around the special elements of minor
    league baseball -- its fascinating ballparks, current and rising
    stars and unique fan promotions."  Mike Moore, President of
    NABPL, which announced the deal jointly with ESPN2 at the minor
    league winter meetings in Dallas:  "Our fans have long enjoyed
    the entertainment derived from a night at the ballpark.  The
    'Baseball Across America Tour' will bring this entertainment to
    millions more" (ESPN2).
    

    Print | Tags: ESPN, Media, Walt Disney
  • NBC TO LAUNCH INTERACTIVE "GOLF FEST" DURING '96 USGA EVENTS

         The USGA and NBC Sports will launch "USGA GolfFest:  Inside
    the Ropes" -- an "interactive traveling golf festival that will
    debut at selected USGA championships in 1996," according to an
    announcement by USGA Exec Dir David Fay and NBC Sports Senior VP
    Jon Miller.  In '96, GolfFest will be held in conjunction with
    the U.S. Open (Oakland Hills CC, Birmingham, MI), the U.S. Senior
    Open (Cantebury Golf Club, Cleveland, OH), the U.S. Women's Open
    (Pine Needles Resort, Southern Pines, NC), and the U.S. Amateur
    (Pumpkin Ridge CC, Cornelius, OR).  The USGA and NBC hope to
    extend GolfFest to other championships in later years.  Miller:
    "The NBA has Jam Session, the NFL has NFL Experience, MLB has
    FanFest and now golf will have its own interactive golf festival
    in USGA GolfFest."  Interactive technology, instruction and
    analysis, course design, merchandise, travel tips and resort
    information will all be components of GolfFest.  NBC and USGA
    will use an independent event marketer to help "design and
    implement" GolfFest (NBC).
    

    Print | Tags: MLB, NBA, NBC, NFL, Media, USGA
  • RIGHTS TO "MARCH MADNESS" WORTH $1.7 BILLION TO CBS

         The NCAA announced a new TV contract granting CBS the
    exclusive rights to the Division I Men's Basketball Championship
    from 1995 through 2002.  The new deal replaces an existing
    contract, which ran from 1991 through 1997, and extends it for
    five years.  CBS will pay the NCAA $1.725B for the rights to the
    men's basketball championship, two games of the College Baseball
    World Series, the Women's Gymnastics Championship, the Div. I
    Men's and Women's Outdoor Track & Field Championships and the
    Div. II Men's Basketball Championship.  Annual payments under the
    new deal will average $215.6M; they had been $143M/year (NCAA).
         THE WORD FROM BLACK ROCK:  CBS Sports President David Kenin:
    "We wanted to aggressively plan our future further out than we
    have in the past.  The NCAA basketball tournament has become a
    huge, huge event, and we see it continuing to be powerful
    programming" (Prentis Rogers, ATLANTA CONSTITUTION, 12/7).  CBS
    Sports VP Len DeLuca:  "We've built a strategy since early this
    year to make college sports our foundation.  This deal is a
    recognition of the qualitative value of the CBS-NCAA
    relationship.  And this is a deal that has been profitable and
    will continue to be" (Richard Sandomir, N.Y. TIMES, 12/7).  Grey
    Advertising Senior VP Jon Mandel, on CBS:  "They essentially had
    to do everything they could to protect their franchise.  It's one
    of the best in the business" (John Helyar, WALL STREET JOURNAL,
    12/7).  Michael Hiestand:  "Whether CBS overpaid, it still has
    one ace on network rivals who've signed the pros:  The collegians
    can't go on strike" (USA TODAY, 12/7).  CBS "has done well since
    losing the NFL" -- gaining 2/3 of next year's bowl alliance,
    regular season Big East and SEC basketball/football and the '98
    Winter Games, and extending its Big Ten deal (Milton Kent,
    Baltimore SUN, 12/7).
         WINDFALL:  Big Ten Commissioner Jim Delany:  "It's more than
    I expected.  I think the Fox factor came into play.  I think CBS'
    desire to maintain this product came into play.  It was the right
    time to come into the market" (Steve Weiberg, USA TODAY, 12/7).
    NCAA Exec Dir Cedric Dempsey:  "The partnership between the NCAA
    and CBS has been positive and beneficial for both organizations.
    ... The CBS agreement will provide needed resources for NCAA
    members that are struggling to finance comprehensive sports
    programs" (NCAA).
         RIGHTS FEES:  "TV rights fees still look like they have the
    growth potential of Jack's famous beanstalk" (Michael Hiestand,
    USA TODAY, 12/7).  The price for the new deal is the largest
    amount ever guaranteed for any TV sports package (Bill Knight,
    SEATTLE POST-INTELLIGENCER, 12/7).
         WOMEN'S HOOPS:  The deal did not include the Women's Div. I
    Basketball Championship, which CBS has carried since 1982.  ESPN
    announced this morning they will begin carrying the Women's Final
    Four and 18 other NCAA championships in '95-96.  ESPN's deal runs
    through 2001-2 (ESPN).
    

    Print | Tags: CBS, ESPN, NCAA, News Corp./Fox, NFL, Media, Viacom, Walt Disney
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