SBD/15/Sports Media

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  • ITT INCREASES ITS CASH POSITION -- PRELUDE TO A BID FOR CBS?

         Continuing its restructuring, ITT Corp. said that it would
    sell three buisnesses from its ITT Financial Corp. subsidiary to
    GE Capital Corp. for $1.8B.  The deal is the third sale of
    portions of ITT's financial subsidiary, as the company is seeking
    to expand its entertainment segment and raise a net of around $3B
    in the process.  Analysts estimate ITT Corp. would net about
    $400M from the sale to GE Capital.  ITT management has said it is
    considering breaking ITT Corp. into three separate companies:
    ITT Hartford (insurance), ITT Industries (manufacturing) and ITT
    Sheraton/Caesars World (hotels, gaming and entertainment).  ITT's
    shares rose by $1.50 to 96 3/4 on NYSE upon news of the deal
    (Kenneth Gilpin, N.Y. TIMES, 2/15).  Some Wall Street "insiders"
    speculate ITT's added cash could go toward a bid for CBS, which
    some analysts see as a "good strategic fit for the emerging
    entertainment group."  This week, ITT is finishing its deals for
    MSG (with partner Cablevision) and Caesar's World (Paul Tharp,
    N.Y. POST, 2/15).
    

    Print | Tags: Cablevision, CBS, Madison Square Garden, Media, Viacom
  • MEDIA NOTES

         As expected, James Brown was named as Fox's studio host for
    its NHL coverage, which begins April 2.  In Baltimore, Milton
    Kent writes that Brown's star "took a tremendous rise" on Fox's
    "NFL Sunday" where he was a "calm, clear presence" (Baltimore
    SUN, 2/15).  Brown, on severing ties with CBS:  "That life has
    been completed -- this is where the opportunities are" (Michael
    Hiestand, USA TODAY, 2/15). ....ABC, CBS and Fox-owned TV
    stations all reported stronger than expected quarterly operating
    earnings, with Fox estimating a jump at its stations of more than
    50% (ELECTRONIC MEDIA, 2/13 issue)....ESPN2 has expanded its
    distribution to more than 7.7M households, now hitting over 18M
    homes through 2,600 affiliates, according to A.C. Nielsen
    (ESPN2)....Norm Van Lier, former Chicago Bulls guard, is now
    hosting "The CBA Today," on SportsChannel Chicago (CBA
    News)....Liberty Sports will unveil Prime Deportiva, the first
    national Spanish-Language sports network, on February 23 at the
    Texas Cable Show (Liberty).
    

    Print | Tags: ABC, Cablevision, CBS, Chicago Bulls, ESPN, New York Liberty, News Corp./Fox, NFL, NHL, Nielsen, Media, Viacom, Walt Disney
  • NBC'S ALL-STAR GAME RANKS AS FOURTH HIGHEST SINCE '74

         NBC Sports' telecast of the NBA All-Star Game on Sunday
    earned a 10.7 rating (a 17 share) making it the fourth-highest-
    rated NBA All-Star Game over the past 20 years.  NBC estimates
    that between 35-40M people watched all or part of the telecast.
    The 10.7 rating is an increase of 18% over last year's game
    (NBC).
    

    Print | Tags: NBA, NBC, Media
  • SPORTS ILLUSTRATED GOES ON-LINE ON COMPUSERVE

         SPORTS ILLUSTRATED announced a deal to create an on-line
    presence on CompuServe.  "SI Online" will bring SI's extensive
    sports content to users of CompuServe, the largest online service
    with more than 2.6M subscribers.  In addition to full text and
    select photos from current issues, SI Online also will provide a
    forum where members can partake in discussions with the
    magazine's editorial staff, an SI library of special collector
    editions, and a sports clipping service.  The service will also
    have up-to-the minute scores of pro and college games, and an SI
    Online store with authentic, league-licensed merchandise (SPORTS
    ILLUSTRATED).
         INTEGRATED MARKETING PAYS OFF:  SI's "gamble" in refocusing
    its advertising around integrated marketing and multimedia
    "appears to be a solid hit, if not a grand slam," writes Keith
    Kelly in the latest ADVERTISING AGE.  In '94, SI "reversed a
    three-year ad page slide to finish up 19.4%, with 2,415.9 pages.
    And this year with an increased TV presence through its own
    production arm, ad pages appear to be rising even more."  One
    example of multimedia selling is the annual swimsuit issue --
    $297,000 got an advertiser a 30-second spot on NBC's special last
    night, an ad page in the swimsuit issue (5.1M circ.), and an ad
    page in a regular SI issue (3.1M circ.).  Other opportunities
    range from spots on SITV on ABC's "Wide World of Sports" to
    monthly poster giveaways at Foot Locker stores.  Sports
    Illustrated President Donald Elliman:  "With a mature title, you
    always have to reinvent yourself" (ADVERTISING AGE, 2/13 issue).
    

    Print | Tags: ABC, Foot Locker/Venator Group, NBC, Sports Illustrated, Media, Time Warner, Walt Disney
  • SWC, RAYCOM EXTEND FOOTBALL PACT FOR '95 SEASON

         The Southwest Conference and Raycom, Inc., have agreed to
    extend their syndicated TV agreement for the 1995 football
    season.  The 10-game package will be offered by Liberty Sports
    and Prime Network to regional cable systems throughout the
    country to expand the viewership areas outside the traditional
    SWC markets.  The agreement, in addition to the SWC's package
    with ABC and ESPN, will assure the conference of a four-year
    record of at least 79 telecasts (SWC).  After the '95 season, the
    SWC will disband with its teams splitting between the Big 12 and
    the WAC.
    

    Print | Tags: ABC, Cablevision, ESPN, New York Liberty, Media, Walt Disney
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