SBD/9/Sports Media

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         Turner Sports President Harvey Schiller has been in
    discussions about how to make the Goodwill Games financially
    viable.  Although the games have been a "perennially money-
    losing" event, organizers are committed to holding the games and
    are exploring a "winter edition" of the multi-sport contest.
    Schiller is expected to make an announcement on Friday regarding
    format changes, and "among the suggestions are cutting back the
    number of sports, trimming the 16-day schedule or including off
    days in that time period" (Joe Drape, ATLANTA CONSTITUTION, 1/8).

    Print | Tags: Media

         U.S. District Court Judge Hubert Will ruled on Friday that
    the NBA's efforts to force the Bulls off Chicago superstation WGN
    restrained trade in violation of antitrust laws.  The ruling will
    allow telecasts of at least 30 games on WGN.  The league had been
    trying to stop the Bulls from negotiating with WGN because the
    superstation reached 37% of the nation's households outside
    Chicago.  WGN had wanted to show up to 41 games, but the NBA said
    WGN's "saturation" hurt the league and other "teams by reducing
    revenues from national, regional, and local telecasts."  But
    Judge Will said the "NBA and the teams have never been more
    successful."  The decision means millions for both the Bulls and
    the Tribune-owned WGN and will "likely protect superstations from
    similar attacks by other sports leagues, especially baseball."
    Judge Will did order the Bulls and WGN to pay the league a
    "reasonable" negotiated fee to show each game (Matt O'Connor,
    CHICAGO TRIBUNE, 1/7).  NBA Commissioner David Stern said the
    league would appeal the ruling, and put a "positive spin" on the
    decision by adding: "We wanted a fee.  They didn't. ... What is
    important is these superstation telecasts are a league right, or
    the court wouldn't have upheld our right to a fee."  Judge Will
    said evidence "revealed that superstation coverage of the Bulls
    and Hawks may actually have helped to promote" public interest in
    the league (Richard Sandomir, N.Y. TIMES, 1/7).

    Print | Tags: Atlanta Hawks, Chicago Bulls, NBA, Media

         This week's BARRON'S includes an extensive piece on "The
    Race for Smart TV: Video-on-Demand Appears Fast Approaching and
    Software Companies Are Scrambling to Cash In" (Maggie Mahar,
    BARRON'S, 1/9 issue)....N.Y. POST's Phil Mushnick writes on John
    Madden's failure to criticize Emmitt Smith for taking off his
    helmet for the TV cameras. "Either Madden is operating off a
    double standard for stars or he came to the realization that the
    video game carrying his name features computerized players who
    rip off their helmets after a good play."  Mushnick also took Fox
    to task on their "McDonald's Game Breaks," adding they "are
    nothing more than annoying, in-game commercials" (N.Y. POST,
    1/9)....The Lifetime Channel made its "biggest venture into
    sports" last night with a one hour documentary on the all-female
    America3  America's Cup team.  The channel has spent more than
    $1M in sponsorship money for America3 and production costs for
    two specials on women in sports (PHILA. INQUIRER, 1/7)....Seals
    Communication has signed a new agreement with ESPN to continue
    production of motorcycle sports for the cable channel.  The new
    agreement will allow Seals to handle the advertising for ESPN's
    motorcycling program, "which is highly unusual" (ATLANTA
    CONSTITUTION, 1/8)....SI airs a Valentine's Day swimsuit preview
    show on NBC (EXTRA, 1/6).

    Print | Tags: ESPN, McDonalds, NBC, Sports Illustrated, Media, Walt Disney
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