SBD/2/Sports Media

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  • BASEBALL'S RADIO PARTNERS PONDER REPLACEMENT BALL

         Radio stations holding the rights to MLB teams are
    questioning their obligation to carry replacement baseball.  John
    Mainelli, program director for WABC, which holds the Yankees
    rights, says his station will question broadcasting the
    replacement games.  Mainelli: "If we're legally bound, we'll have
    to do it.  But until we know more, we're not sure how it will
    play out."  Stations are also questioning the amounts they have
    to pay for replacement ball.  WFAN in New York paid $5.5M for the
    Mets' rights and is worried about the prospect of replacement
    ball.  WFAN Program Dir Mark Chernoff:  "First, are listeners
    willing to listen to games played by replacement players, and
    will advertisers want to advertise on games that have replacement
    players, not regular players.  Everybody would feel more
    comfortable if we were dealing with regular players, not
    replacement players" (Donna Petrozzello, BROADCASTING & CABLE,
    1/30).    BANNED IN BOSTON?  Officials from NESN and WSBK-TV
    "soft-pedaled" reports from Boston's advertising community that
    the use of replacement players woould reduce the value of spots
    on Red Sox broadcasts by up to 90%.  While NESN GM John Claiborne
    and WSBK GM Stu Tauber would not specify the potential damage,
    other officials at the stations estimated the impact at about
    50%.  Tauber admitted many advertisers "are voicing concern and
    some are refusing to buy spots" for replacement games, but he
    called a 90% cut "way too cheap, even ludicrous" (Jim Baker,
    BOSTON HERALD, 2/1).
         NETWORK INTEREST IN PLAYERS' LEAGUE?  CBS is "denying a
    report that it's interested in televising a series of games
    played by baseball stars if the strike is not settled," according
    to USA TODAY's Rudy Martke.  CBS Sports President David Kenin
    said the network has had no "conversations of late" about a
    players' league.  Fox "also was approached," but will not carry
    any games (Rudy Martzke, USA TODAY, 2/2).
    

    Print | Tags: Boston Red Sox, CBS, MLB, New York Mets, New York Yankees, News Corp./Fox, Media, Viacom, YankeeNets
  • PAC-10 REJECTION OF ESPN HAS SOME COACHES ASKING WHY?

         The Pac-10's rejection of a four-year, $3M offer from ESPN
    in favor of Liberty Sports has raised some questions within the
    conference.  The ESPN deal was reportedly rejected due to the
    network's desire to add the conference to the end of its "Big
    Monday" package, starting games at 9pm PST.  Conference leaders
    were apparently concerned about the effect of late starting
    times, including attendance, fan safety, study time and travel
    schedules.  But Oregon Coach Jerry Green was not pleased with the
    decision: "I'm for anything that gets us on national television
    more.  I don't care where we play.  I don't care when or what
    time of day."  Oregon State AD Dutch Baughman, a member of the
    Pac-10 TV committee, says the sale of the package to Liberty
    means the conference could be distributed to a variety of cable
    outlets, including ESPN.  However, ESPN spokesperson Mike Soltys
    says that's "not an option" for the next few years.  Another
    unnamed ESPN source "ripped" the Pac-10:  "I think sometimes you
    throw up your hands with them.  They're the only conference dumb
    enough to do this."  Green noted the Liberty package calls for
    games to start no later than 8:30pm PST:  "What's the difference?
    One hour?"  (Ken Goe, Portland OREGONIAN, 2/1).  More from
    Soltys:  "We're surprised they gave up the exposure. ... Liberty
    says it has a lot of homes (55 million), but a lot of people are
    counted twice.  I have MSG and New England Sports Channel."  CBS'
    Len DeLuca: "Liberty Sports has established itself as a real
    competitor to ESPN" (Rudy Martzke, USA TODAY, 2/2).
    

    Print | Tags: Cablevision, CBS, ESPN, Madison Square Garden, New York Liberty, Media, Viacom, Walt Disney
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