SBD/12/Sports Media

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  • CBS HEADS BACK INTO SPORTS IN "NON-FLAMBOYANT" MANNER

         CBS Sports has committed "billions in 1994 to let the world
    know that it's still in the sports business," according to a
    report in the current issue of BROADCASTING & CABLE.  CBS Sports
    President David Kenin has overseen the network's purchase of
    "multisport" rights to the NCAA, the college bowl alliance, and
    the PGA Tour.  Kenin has "earmarked millions to build an
    anthology franchise, Eye on Sports, as well as various figure
    skating events and a boxing series."  Kenin: "It was never the
    case that we as a sports division should have been written off.
    We were never out of business, and it was never our goal to leave
    the business." Kenin calls the NCAA deal his "most important deal
    to date," and he is committed to make CBS' boxing series "work"
    at least through next summer, despite poor ratings thus far.
    Kenin said the series attracted a major sponsor in Quaker State
    and "came close to paying for itself."  Kenin said CBS will
    continue to invest in "Eye on Sports" (Steve McClellan,
    BROADCASTING & CABLE, 1/9 issue).
         CBS TALKS WITH BIG-12:  CBS Sports is "considering"
    broadcasting both the Southwest Conference and Big East
    Conference post-season men's basketball tournament in '96.  The
    network is also in discussions about a basketball TV package with
    the Big 12 in its inaugural season in '96-97 (Steve Richardson,
    DALLAS MORNING NEWS, 1/11).
    

    Print | Tags: CBS, NCAA, PGA Tour, Media, Viacom
  • FROM HERE TO INFINITY: FALCONS JOIN FM RADIO WAVE

         The Falcons "broke from tradition" yesterday, giving local
    radio rights to Z-93 (WZGC-FM) -- a classic rock and roll
    station, owned by Infinity Broadcasting  -- for the next three
    years.  It will mark the first time in franchise history the
    flagship station will be on the FM dial, and the team becomes the
    sixth NFL franchise acquired by Infinity.  Terms were not
    disclosed, but it could reportedly fall in the $2-$3M range,
    which "doubles the rights fee" from WSB-AM last year (Prentis
    Rogers, ATLANTA CONSTITUTION, 1/12).
    

    Print | Tags: Atlanta Falcons, NFL, Media
  • MEDIA NOTES

         "Off the Record with Pat Summerall," a Raycom-Summerall
    Group production that has Summerall speaking with NFL and Super
    Bowl heros, will run in syndication from January 21-January 29.
    The hour-long show is cleared in approximately 80% of the
    country, and 17 of top 20 markets (Raycom)...ESPN led all basic
    cable networks in fourth quarter 1994 ratings.  ESPN rating a 2.6
    for primetime coverage, up from a 2.0 of last year.  The USA
    Network rated second at 2.3, up from 2.2.  Virtually all basic
    networks showed a ratings jump from last year, with only TBS and
    MTV showing slight drops (BROADCASTING & CABLE, 1/9 issue)....CBS
    Radio will air eight regular season NCAA basketball games from
    January 22-March 12 (CBS Radio)....Prime SportsChannel announced
    "wall-to-wall" coverage of Super Bowl week, January 23-29, on its
    network.  Prime will cary live coverage of photo day, team
    interviews, Commissioner Tagliabue's address to the media, and
    coach's press conferences (NewSport)....The America 3 all-women's
    yacht team was profiled on last night's "Dateline NBC."... Sports
    Illustrated returns its Golf Plus section in the January 16 issue
    (SI).
    

    Print | Tags: CBS, ESPN, NBC, NCAA, NFL, Sports Illustrated, Media, TBS/TNT, Time Warner, Viacom, Walt Disney
  • NBC'S OHLMEYER GOES ONE ON ONE WITH FOX

         NBC West Coast CEO Don Ohlmeyer yesterday "attacked the
    business practices, programming and regulatory activities of his
    Fox competitors" in a session with the media.  Ohlmeyer addressed
    the question of whether Fox is in violation of FCC rules limiting
    foreign ownership: "Nobody was aware until May of this year that
    99% of the equity was owned by News Corp. ... If the rule is a
    foreign entity may not own more than 25% ... then they did
    something -- and I hate to use the word -- illegal."  On the
    FCC's efforts to encourage competition and the growth of a
    network by exempting Fox from certain regulations:  "You can't
    have just one of four people in a business play by one set of
    rules and the three other guys play by a total different set of
    rules just because you have arbitrarily said they're not a
    network" (Eric Mink, N.Y. DAILY NEWS, 1/12).
    

    Print | Tags: NBC, News Corp./Fox, Media
  • TV NETWORKS SCRAMBLE TO PREPARE HOCKEY SCHEDULE

         With yesterday's settlement, local broadcasting and TV
    networks began rushing to put together hockey coverage for the
    abbreviated season.  ESPN and Fox both were waiting on a season
    schedule from the league to finalize plans.   ESPN will have 14
    telecasts, with a 39-game schedule for ESPN2 (Rudy Martzke, USA
    TODAY, 1/12).  Fox, who just signed a five-year $155M deal with
    the league, was scheduled to make its debut January 21 with the
    All-Star Game.  Fox Sports spokesperson Vince Wladika told THE
    SPORTS BUSINESS DAILY yesterday that the original marketing plan
    will continue. Wladika:  "We have a marketing plan. The plan
    itself was a nine month plan, now it just has to be scrunched and
    be done in 90 days, or however it is when we first come on the
    air."  Wladika said it was doubtful that Fox could begin
    promotions this weekend, during the Cowboys/49ers NFC
    Championship game, saying "at this late date it doesn't look
    optimistic that we would be able to get something on time to put
    on the air. ... The whole basic premise on selling the game,
    whether its marketing, advertising, promotion, etc. doesn't
    change.  That all remains exactly the same as we envisioned it
    back in early October and late September. All that marketing
    doesn't change. It is still the same sport, it is still the same
    players" (THE DAILY).
         OTHER NETWORK NEWS:  In Canada, when the NHL confirms a
    schedule, CBC's "Hockey Night in Canada" will get first pick of
    coverage, TSN second, and then local deals (Vancouver PROVINCE,
    1/12).  Ron Harrison, VP of Molstar Communications, the
    production wing for Canadiens rights-holder Molson Breweries,
    said sheduling is a "nightmare": "Normally, you'd have the better
    part of September to work these things out.  Now, you've got to
    deal with all the same problems within a 48-hour time frame"
    (Allan Ryan, TORONTO STAR, 1/12).  The No. 1 announcing team for
    Fox's hockey telecasts is reportedly Mike Emrick and John
    Davidson.  A second team of Sean McDonough, and ex-Islander Denis
    Potvin is also a possiblity.  James Brown is "the top candidate"
    for studio host (Rudy Martzke, USA TODAY, 1/12).
         A WORD FROM THEIR SPONSORS:  Tony Ponturo, VP of Corporate
    and Media Sports Marketing for Anheuser-Busch, one of the NHL's
    marketing partners, released the following to THE SPORTS BUSINESS
    DAILY:  The settlement "is obviously good news for Anheuser-Busch
    and our Bud Ice brand family.  With Bud Ice, we plan...on
    following through with the original and complete marketing and
    advertising program designed specially for the NHL and, most
    importantly, its fans (THE DAILY).  John Helyar notes that A-B
    was prepared to build the identity of its new Ice Draft around
    being the "official beer of the NHL," but that they were left to
    "swallow a lot of NHL pocket schedules and forgo other
    promotions" (WALL STREET JOURNAL, 1/12).  CBC Spokesperson Tom
    Curzon said major advertisers, such as Molson and Ford Motors of
    Canada, have confirmed their ad commitments for the season, but
    other sponsors have found "alternative homes" for their dollars.
     McKim Media of Canada will try to negotiate discounts for some
    of its clients that advertise on NHL games if audience "levels
    dip from historic levels" (Marina Strauss, Toronto GLOBE & MAIL,
    1/12).
    

    Print | Tags: Anheuser Busch, Canadian Broadcasting Corp., Dallas Cowboys, ESPN, Montreal Canadiens, News Corp./Fox, NHL, San Francisco 49ers, Media, Walt Disney
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