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Liberty Sports announced it has created an event management division -- Prime Sports Event Group -- to develop and coordinate all activities related to Liberty-owned sports events and series. Prime Sports Event Group will be based in L.A., and be responsible for securing events and event series, developing new events, and managing event production. The Group will handle national ad sales while directing regional sponsorships and promotional opportunities within specific affiliate markets. Prime Sports Event Group will also be in charge of developing the Prime Sports Signature Series, creating national distribution for events originating from Prime Sports' regional network markets. Don Meek, formerly VP/Event Properties at Prime-Sports West, will oversee the operation as VP of Prime Sports Event Group. Meek said the Group "is based on a comprehensive model that delivers advertisers a complete array of sponsorship elements, including TV advertising and promotion, on-site signage, and hospitality." Meek: "This integrated approach is a direct response to the demands on the marketplace" (Liberty).
The NBA All-Star Game on NBC gained a 12.0 overnight rating, an 18% improvement from last year. If the national rating holds up close to a 12.0, it will be the forth highest All-Star Game since '74 (Rudy Martzke, USA TODAY, 2/14)....Time Warner's recent purchases and potential segmentation into smaller divisions is examined in this week's BUSINESS WEEK. Time Warner believes that "segregating" their new cable companies would allow investors to enjoy the growth potential of a "clean" entertainment company (BUSINESS WEEK, 2/20 issue). N.Y. NEWSDAY columnist Allen Sloan writes of "embattled" Time Warner Chair Gerald Levin: "If I ever decide to pick a consultant to help me predict Wall Street fads, I don't think I'll hire Gerald Levin" (WASHINGTON POST, 2/14).
Hollyowood super-agent Michael Ovitz has reportedly "joined the growing throng of 'rumored' bidders" for CBS, according to DAILY VARIETY. Ovitz's Creative Artists Agency would join three Baby Bells in bidding for the network. This comes amid reports that CBS Broadcast Group President Howard Stringer may leave the network to "join the venture." However, an offer by Ovitz "could be blocked by federal laws restricting Baby Bells' ownership of entertainment programming." Media analyst Porter Bibb: "There is a lot of wishful thinking on Wall Street about bidding for CBS. Nobody is ready to move" (Baltimore SUN, 2/14).