SBD/21/Sports Media


     NBC announced Friday that it has withdrawn a request for a
government ruling on the legality of Fox Broadcasting's
ownership.  The decision to drop the request came after News
Corp. agreed to carry NBC programming on its Asian satellite
broadcasting system.  "Dropping the request allowed NBC to resume
a 'normal business relationship' with Fox" (Paul Farhi,
WASHINGTON POST, 2/18).  The FCC will proceed with a decision on
the complaints brought by NBC, but several execs close to the
dispute said News Corp. Chair Rupert Murdoch was "gambling that
removal of NBC [from the complaint] ... would make it easier" for
the FCC to find a way to resolve the foreign ownership issues "on
a basis favorable to Fox" (Bill Carter, N.Y. TIMES, 2/18).
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