SBD/6/Sports Media

DBS -- THE HOTTEST ITEM IN CONSUMER ELECTRONICS HISTORY?

     This morning's WALL STREET JOURNAL reports that direct-
broadcast satellite, "has shaken awake the sleeping giant cable
industry, who has launched some of the most aggressive
advertisements" the TV industry has seen.  The ads, some of which
are produced by TCI, emphasize the "downside" of disconnecting
cable.  The piece contrast those ads with ones from the major DBS
program distributors (Kevin Goldman, WALL STREET JOURNAL, 2/6).
In a profile in the WASHINGTON TIMES, Doug Abrahms writes that
DBS is "fast becoming the darlings of telecommunications
regulators and Republican members of Congress" who like the
competition it bring to "cable monopolies."  Stanley Hubbard,
Chair of U.S. Satellite Broadcasting:  "This is the lowest-cost
introduction of a major home appliance in history, and the
hottest introduction in consumer electronics history.  Cable's
got a big problem" (WASHINGTON TIMES, 2/4).
     NHL COVERAGE BEGINS TOMORROW: DirectTV customers will be
able to preview "NHL Center Ice" beginning tomorrow, with the
program officially beginning next week.  The cost for the regular
season package is $69 for residential subscriptions (DirectTV).
NHL VP Steve Solomon said the money coming into the league from
DBS "will be supplemental income," with the league getting
revenue "only from a portion of the user fee" (Jack Craig, BOSTON
GLOBE, 2/5).
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