SBD/1/Sports Media

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  • BASEBALL STRIKE LEAVES TELEVISION EXECUTIVES WITH QUESTIONS

         As the work stoppage in baseball continues, "baseball
    advertisers are growing increasingly concerned about the quality
    of product they're buying" and the TV ratings that will follow,
    according to a piece by INSIDE MEDIA's Langdon Brockington.
    After contacting 18 TV stations that hold local rights to teams
    in their markets to get "a fix on ad sales,"  Brockington reports
    mixed responses.  Some stations characterize "sales as brisk,"
    while others report "a lot of wait and sees."  Some "wary
    advertisers" have been able to cut deals "containing protective
    contingency plans" should replacements be used -- those could
    include additional merchandise, guaranteed ratings, or
    supplemental spots to "satisfy the advertisers' ratings
    delivery."  Many broadcasters are "flexible" by offering
    advertisers a two-tiered pricing structure, or allowing them to
    withdraw from the telecast if replacements are used.  Whether or
    not people will watch is also disputed.  BBDO Dir of Local
    Broadcasting Pete Stassi is seeking guarantees for his clients
    for a "monetary" refund "equivalent to a ratings decline."
    Stassi: "We won't buy otherwise."  Anheuser-Busch has rating
    guarantees "chiseled into each of its contracts."  Tony Ponturo,
    A-B's VP/Sports Marketing:  "We have a guarantee of delivery; it
    makes it simple, and protects us."  Some stations, such as San
    Diego's KFMB-TV, won't air replacement games.  Nationally, The
    Baseball Network is yet to lose any "long-term" advertisers, and
    is reportedly signing on new sponsors (COWLES BUSINESS MEDIA,
    1/30).
         NO REPLACEMENT RADIO IN TORONTO:  The FAN 1430, the radio
    voice of the Blue Jays, announced that it will not broadcast
    games with replacement players (TORONTO STAR, 2/1).  The Blue
    Jays' TV partners -- TSN, Baton Broadcasting and CBC -- "are
    taking a more cautious, pragmatic approach."  TSN President Jim
    Thompson, noting that Labatt owns both the team and TSN, said it
    would not be a "collective decision":  "Paul Beeston makes the
    decision for the Blue Jays, we make the decision for TSN and
    Labatt has to decide, as a sponsor of the product, what's best
    for them" (TORONTO SUN, 2/1).
    

    Print | Tags: Anheuser Busch, BBDO, Canadian Broadcasting Corp., Labatt Brewing, Media, Toronto Blue Jays
  • FOX RELEASES ITS ALL-AMERICAN NHL SCHEDULE

         Fox Sports announced its NHL regular-season schedule --a
    regionalized format starting on April 2 and carrying through the
    last five Sundays of the season.  Fox will show a total of 28
    games -- none involving any of the eight Canadian clubs.  The
    only U.S. team that will not be shown is the Hartford Whalers.
    Fox Sports Dir of Media Relations Vince Wladika "makes no
    apologies":  "We're rated via U.S. markets.  We have to attract
    advertisers."  Wladika said Fox will promote the NHL the same way
    it did with the NFL:  "We need to get people who have never
    watched hockey before -- men, women and children."  Wladika
    promised the network would "take the helmets off" NHL players
    (Len Hochberg, WASHINGTON POST, 2/1).  Fox Sports Exec VP Tracy
    Dolgin denied reports that Fox offered to pay NHL players for
    promotional spots to air during Fox's broadcasts.  Dolgin said
    Fox will use the spots to highlight players and explain the rules
    of the game.  Dolgin:  "We've got to teach people who the players
    are, how the game is played.  It's missionary work" (Michael
    Hiestand, USA TODAY, 2/1).
    

    Print | Tags: News Corp./Fox, NFL, NHL, Media
  • MEDIA NOTES

         The final rating for the Super Bowl was a 41.3 with a  62
    share, officially ranking it 22nd out of the 29 Super Bowl games
    (N.Y. TIMES, 2/1)....Ticketmaster's entertainment magazine is
    scheduled to be out by the end of the year.  The magazine, still
    untitled, will cover all events Ticketmaster serves --
    entertainment, sporting and music events.  Alan Citron, a former
    L.A. TIMES columnist, will oversee the project (COWLES BUSINESS
    MEDIA, 1/30)... "CBS This Morning" profiled the Boston Garden and
    the new Shawmut Center today.  New Boston Garden Corp. President
    Larry Moulter:  "Anybody that uses [the Shawmut Center] for a
    sporting event or a family event will feel at home" (CBS,
    2/1)....Prime Sports Radio, the 24-hour all sports network, will
    go on air in Boston this month at a frequency of 890, just above
    all-sports WEEI-850.  Prime Sports Radio has grown from 12 to 23
    cities (BOSTON GLOBE, 2/1).... SportsChannel Ohio has moved to
    Coaxial Cable's Standard Service and Warner Cable's Variety Plus
    package in OH, increasing subscribers to 75,979 on Coaxial and
    175,154 on Warner (GOULD MEDIA).
    

    Print | Tags: CBS, Media, Ticketmaster, Viacom
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