SBD/28/Sports Media

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  • BROADCAST NEWS: RUPERT SPEAKS; TURNER HAS EYE FOR THE EYE

         News Corp. Chair Rupert Murdoch "made an aggressive and
    personal response" to the regulatory challenge posed to his Fox
    Television network, saying that Fox had fully informed the FCC of
    all details of its ownership structure in '85. The NAACP has
    challenged Fox, saying that Fox did not "make clear" to the FCC
    that the amount of foreign ownership in the network would
    "greatly exceed" the 25% limit.  Speaking at a news conference in
    New York, Murdoch responded directly to comments by federal
    regulator Roy Stewart that he was not aware in '85 that News
    Corp. was supplying 99% of the equity for Fox.  Murdoch: "He did
    not say we misled him or the FCC.  Nor did he say we were not
    candid.  He said he simply didn't know."  Murdoch "attempted to
    counter any damage" that Stewart's comments might have done by
    citing declarations from three former FCC staffers that Fox's
    applications had made clear that News Corp. was supplying the
    equity.  Murdoch accused the NAACP and NBC, which had also
    challenged Fox's foreign ownership until dropping its case, of
    "abusing the regulatory process" (Bill Carter, N.Y. TIMES, 2/28).
    As part of the formal response, 48 Fox affils submitted letters
    of support, and African-American producers of two Fox shows
    submitted letters "applauding the opportunities" Fox gives
    minority producers (WALL STREET JOURNAL, 2/28).  The FCC is  also
    studying whether NBC's decision to drop its complaint against Fox
    was a result of an improper "greenmail" arrangement (Paul Farhi,
    WASHINGTON POST, 2/28).
         TURNER IN THE EYE:  TBS Inc., in the wake of failed merger
    talks with NBC, has resumed talks with CBS Inc., according to
    this morning's WALL STREET JOURNAL.  The talks are "preliminary"
    according to those close to the talks, but  CBS is reportedly
    asking about $5.3B.  TBS is said to be weighing a stock-and-cash
    offer.  Wall Street analysts believe CBS Chair Laurence Tisch is
    under "increased pressure" to make a deal because the network's
    ratings slide will soon "translate into lower revenue and
    profits."  Others reportedly interested in CBS include former QVC
    Chair Barry Diller and Walt Disney Co., "long-rumored" to be a
    suitor (Lippman & Sharpe, WALL STREET JOURNAL, 2/28).
    

    Print | Tags: CBS, NBC, News Corp./Fox, Media, TBS/TNT, Time Warner, Viacom, Walt Disney
  • MEDIA NOTES

         ET's John Tesh previewed the swimsuit edition of INSIDE
    SPORTS, which hits newsstands today.  Tesh: "Competition is
    intense to get your swimsuit on a model in the INSIDE SPORTS
    special issue.  800 swimsuit-makers vie for a spot, but only 25
    make it" ("Entertainment Tonight," 2/27)....TNT Exec Producer
    Mike Pearl says he will ask Lawrence Taylor for a month's
    extension on a decision to return to TNT's NFL "Stadium Show."
    Pearl is also considering Boomer Esiason and Ronnie Lott (Rudy
    Martzke, USA TODAY, 2/28)....Agent David Fishof denied that his
    client, Phil Simms, has any "wanderlust" to leave ESPN.  But
    Simms is believed to have made an inquiry to NBC.  ABC said there
    has been no contact (Richard Sandomir, N.Y. TIMES, 2/28)....In
    addition to partnering on in a new multimedia venture, Bell
    Atlantic, Nynex and Pacific Telesis are combining efforts for
    their purchase of TV set-top "boxes," spending upwards of $800M.
    The devices will act as in-home gateways for interactive
    programming (WALL STREET JOURNAL, 2/28).
    

    Print | Tags: ABC, ESPN, NBC, NFL, Media, TBS/TNT, Walt Disney
  • ONE REGIONAL NETWORK'S EFFORTS TO PROMOTE PRIME SPORTS

         HSE's marketing strategy for its name change to Prime Sports
    revolves around the theme "Same Game, New Name," to be rolled out
    next month as part of a multi-faceted campaign to introduce
    viewers to its new name.  The campaign will run through March and
    April leading up to HSE's first of 114 MLB telecasts on April 4.
    The network has a new logo designed by PMCD Design Group of New
    York.  With the name change and uniformity of Liberty Sports'
    regional networks, Liberty says viewers will see a new
    programming structure offering more "consistent programming
    blocks" (GOULD MEDIA).
    

    Print | Tags: Cablevision, MLB, New York Liberty, Media
  • USOC, TURNER SPORTS AND LIBERTY HANDLE PAN-AM PRODUCTION

         The USOC, Turner Sports and Liberty Sports will jointly
    produce 25 hours of TV coverage from the XIIth Pan American Games
    in Argentina, March 11-26.  The English coverage will be produced
    by SportSouth, Turner Broadcasting's regional sports network in
    the Southeast, and be distributed by Prime Sports regional
    networks across the country, as well as other Liberty affiliates
    within the U.S.  The production will include one-hour daily
    highlights during the week, with expanded coverage on weekends.
    The telecasts will reach more than 25 million cable households.
    Prima Deportiva, the U.S.'s first national Spanish-language
    sports cable service, will also provide coverage (USOC).
    

    Print | Tags: Cablevision, New York Liberty, Media, Time Warner, USOC
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