SBD/27/Sports Media

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         The Sharks are not on TV as much as their fans would like
    since the team "bears the financial burden of airing their own
    games," according to Colin Seymour of the SAN JOSE MERCURY NEWS.
    The team pays for air time and sells their own ads, "which don't
    always move fast at the rate of $1,000 per 30-second spot."  The
    Sharks are not selling enough ads to offset the expenses of
    producing telecasts and paying arena and announcing costs, and
    fees to TV stations.  The team has worked with KICU to air as
    many games as possible.  In addition to the production cost, "the
    real problem is scarce viewership."  Sharks ratings on KICU have
    doubled this season to a 2.0 rating share, but still trail
    Warriors telecasts (SAN JOSE MERCURY NEWS, 2/26).
         HORNETS EXTEND RADIO DEAL:  The Hornets and WBT-AM have
    agreed on a contract extension that will keep the team on the
    flagship station for at least five more years.  WBT also has
    local broadcast rights to the Panthers, giving the
    Jefferson/Pilot-owned station radio rights to Carolina's two
    major league franchises.  The new contract provides for an
    additional Hornets talk show on WBT, and promotional ties during
    the station's other programming.  The Hornets produce their own
    programming, sell advertising and keep the revenue.  WBT pays no
    "up-front rights fees -- its financial commitment in the deal is
    in the form of providing the air time and the commercial slots
    included in it for the Hornets to sell" (David Poole, CHARLOTTE
    OBSERVER, 2/25).
         YANKS ON THE FAN?  WFAN's deal with the Mets expires at the
    end of the season, and Bob Raissman of the N.Y. DAILY NEWS
    reports WFAN might not renew.  Instead The FAN might make a run
    at the Yankees when the Yanks deal with WABC runs out in two
    years.  WABC has reportedly lost "big bucks" on its Yankee
    contract and Raissman writes that Yankee Owner George
    Steinbrenner may like the "thought of having FAN at his disposal
    -- a place to do his spin-doctoring on a moment's notice" (N.Y.
    DAILY NEWS, 2/26).
         TORONTO:  Canadian broadcast sources indicate that TSN is
    interested in acquiring local TV rights to the Maple Leafs to add
    to its 80-plus Blue Jays schedule.  The Leafs' 15-year deal with
    Molson's Molstar Communications expires after this season and the
    club is looking for "huge gains both in revenue and the number of
    games broadcast."  Maple Leafs President & GM Cliff Fletcher has
    indicated that he is seeking C$15M per season and wants to double
    the number of games currently shown.  The team, through
    negotiator IMG, is still talking to Molson (Rob Longley, TORONTO
    SUN, 2/27).

    Print | Tags: Golden State Warriors, IMG, Maple Leaf Sports and Entertainment, New Orleans Pelicans, New York Mets, New York Yankees, San Jose Sharks, Media, Toronto Blue Jays, Toronto Maple Leafs

         ESPN Radio's "The Fabulous Sports Babe" will be heard on
    WQXI in Atlanta.  ESPN Spokesperson Dan Quinn: "She started on
    July 4, 1994 with 35 affiliates and now it's up to 110."  Quinn
    noted that The Babe is in seven of the top 11 markets (Prentis
    Rogers, ATLANTA CONSTITUTION, 2/26). ....CTV Sports is expected
    to be awarded a 4-year contract by the Int'l Skating Union for
    the World Figure Skating Championships over CBC (TORONTO SUN,
    2/27).....Rick Gentile, CBS' Sports Senior VP/Production and the
    "brains behind March Madness," is profiled in the current edition
    of INSIDE SPORTS.  Gentile: "There's nothing I'd rather do
    anywhere, any time, than the NCAA Tournament" (Bob Rubin, INSIDE
    SPORTS, 4/95 issue)....The Fox network has been in NHL cities
    filming promos with some of the league's best players.  Fox wants
    to make the messages "lighthearted and humorous, to help viewers
    see the players as everyday guys" (Mike Bruton, PHILADELPHIA
    INQUIRER, 2/24)....Larry Sorensen, former MLB pitcher, reportedly
    has been asked to join new No. 1 Tigers announcer Frank Beckmann
    as color analyst (DETROIT FREE PRESS, 2/27)....TCI is reportedly
    the leading bidder for the cable systems of Chronicle Publishing
    which has subscribers in HI, NM and CA (WALL STREET JOURNAL,
    2/27)....Pete Sampras, Michael Chang, MaliVai Washington,
    Jonathan Stark and the Jensen brothers have all filmed spots that
    will run on ESPN as part of the ATP Tour's image campaign.  The
    15- and 30-second spots begin airing in March (ATP Tour)....A
    MIAMI HERALD ratings analysis shows that a serious decline after
    football season.  Ratings for both the Heat and Panthers are down
    from last year's numbers (Barry Jackson, MIAMI HERALD, 2/26).

    Print | Tags: ATP, CBC, CBS, Detroit Tigers, ESPN, Miami Heat, MLB, NCAA, NHL, Media, Viacom, Walt Disney

         Many reports over the weekend note that Ted Turner is back
    in discussions with the Big Three networks for a possible merger
    or another venture with Turner Broadcasting.  Last week, Turner
    met with top execs from each of the major networks, NBC, CBS and
    ABC.  And according to BLOOMBERG BUSINESS NEWS, a number of
    scenarios are being "bandied about."  One would include the
    combination of Turner, NBC and some parts of TCI.  One of the key
    reasons Turner is again speaking with the networks is that Turner
    Broadcasting and TCI are getting closer to settling on a price
    for buying Time Warner's 19.4% stake in Turner (N.Y. POST, 2/25).
         FOX WOES:  In a development that could mean "new legal
    trouble" for News Corp. Chair Rupert Murdoch, a top federal
    regulator said that he had not known in '85 that News Corp.
    controlled 99% of the equity in six TV stations that Murdoch
    acquired to launch the Fox network.  As a result, "it breathes
    new life into the FCC's current investigation" of Murdoch,
    according to Edmund Andrews of the N.Y. TIMES.  The federal
    regulator, Roy Stewart, said he thought Murdoch, who was about to
    become an American citizen, was going to own the stations, not
    News Corp. (N.Y. TIMES, 2/25).
         TIME WARNER:  Sunday's N.Y. TIMES reports that Time Warner
    Chair Gerald Levin is "campaigning hard" for shareholders'
    confidence so that he can avoid the fate of CEO's of other
    companies who have been forced from their job after the
    companies' stock lagged (N.Y. TIMES, 2/26).
         BLACK EYE AT BLACK ROCK:  David Letterman on Howard Stringer
    leaving CBS:  "Why would anybody want to leave the Titanic?  I
    have no idea" ("Late Night," 2/24).

    Print | Tags: ABC, CBS, NBC, Media, Viacom, Walt Disney
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