SBD/9/Sports Media

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  • AL, DAN & FRANK-LESS IN SEATTLE

         While "Monday Night Football" celebrates its 25th
    anniversary this season, fans in Portland and Seattle continue
    their 25th year of aggravation.  Because stations KOMO in Seattle
    and KATU in Portland refuse to "give up" their local and national
    news between 6pm and 7pm, viewers see MNF on tape-delay.  While
    football fans have vocally opposed the practice for a quarter-
    century, there's little chance for a change.  The NFL "didn't
    know about it" until contacted by THE SPORTING NEWS.  The league
    was not even aware of the stations' policies.  But NFL
    Communications Dir Greg Aiello explained:  "It's a situation that
    has been grandfathered" (Ted Rogers, THE SPORTING NEWS, 12/12
    issue).
    

    Print | Tags: NFL, Media, Vulcan Ventures
  • ESPN AND THE SEC ANNOUNCE DUAL FOOTBALL/BASKETBALL DEAL

         In a joint announcement by SEC Commissioner Roy Kramer and
    ESPN Senior VP/Programming John Wildhack, ESPN and the SEC have
    reached an agreement for the network to televise football and
    basketball through the 2000-2001 season.  The deal calls for 12
    football games per year on ESPN and up to eight additional men's
    and women's basketball games, with the women's championship on
    ESPN2 (ESPN).
    

    Print | Tags: ESPN, Media, Walt Disney
  • LABATT BLUE ON $13M BASEBALL LOSS; POSSIBLE TSN MOVE?

         John Labatt, Ltd. announced yesterday that it took a $13M
    loss on its second quarter earnings because of the baseball
    strike.  Labatt is looking to "spin off" up to 49% of its sports
    and entertainment assets.  Labatt President George Taylor said in
    a conference call that the company is exploring "several -- both
    Canadian and international -- possibilities for making a deal
    with a partner."  There was discussion earlier of a public
    offering, but Taylor said a "relationship with a strategic
    partner is a stronger possibility" (Bertrand Marotte, OTTAWA
    CITIZEN, 12/9).  Labatt owns The Sports Network, Canada's
    national cable channel, 80% of the Discovery Channel, 90% of the
    Blue Jays, and 41% of the SkyDome.  The "lure" for prospective
    buyers are the TV licenses the company has, and Taylor admitted
    the TV properties have "attracted outside interest."  Taylor
    announced that, surprisingly, the NHL lockout and baseball strike
    have not hurt earnings at TSN and they were "extremely successful
    in minimizing losses in advertising commitments" (Art
    Chamberlain, TORONTO STAR, 12/9).
    

    Print | Tags: Labatt Brewing, NHL, Media, Toronto Blue Jays
  • MEDIA NOTES

         Gannett is shutting down Usa Today/Sky Radio, its two-year-
    old in-flight news and information service.  The company cited
    insufficient ad sales (WASHINGTON POST, 12/9). ....In L.A., Larry
    Stewart writes that the Diners Club Matches "figure to become
    another popular television golf event."  The match-play event was
    created by Jack Nicklaus and Terry Jastrow, the former ABC Sports
    senior golf producer who heads Jack Nicklaus Productions (L.A.
    TIMES, 12/9)....NBC Sports President Dick Ebersol refused to
    gloat about the AFC leading the NFC on Fox through 14 weeks.
    Ebersol cited the "great god of good games" and the big-name QBs
    in the AFC --Marino, Kelly, Montana, Elway and Esiason:  "With
    everything on TV, the questions are:  Is it exciting?  Does it
    have stars" (Michael Hiestand, USA TODAY, 12/9).
    

    Print | Tags: ABC, NBC, News Corp./Fox, Media, Walt Disney
  • NBC TO SELL OFF INTEREST IN SPORTS CHANNEL

         Cablevision's investment in Madison Square Garden "triggered
    a clause that allows NBC to relinquish" its 50% stake in the
    Sports Channel and another jointly owned cable program, News 12
    Long Island.  And according to Cablevision Senior VP of Finance
    Barry O'Leary, NBC may sell its stake to its partner, Cablevision
    Systems Inc. for $92M.  But O'Leary did say he was not sure
    whether NBC "plans to go ahead with the sale."  NBC has until 30
    days after the close of the Garden sale, expected at the end of
    the year, to make a decision (BLOOMBERG BUSINESS NEWS/N.Y. POST,
    12/9).
    

    Print | Tags: Cablevision, Madison Square Garden, NBC, Media
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