SBD/9/Sports Media

LEGISLATION ON CAPITOL HILL PUTS A VIACOM DEAL IN JEOPARDY

     The House Ways and Means Committee approved a bill that
would "repeal a tax break for minority owned media companies."
The act could jeopardize Viacom Inc.'s plans to sell its cable TV
systems for $2.3B "while avoiding hundreds of millions of dollars
in taxes."  Viacom wants to sell its systems to a Sacramento-
based company Mitgo, owned by black entrepreneur Frank
Washington.  Viacom officials said the deal "could not be
preserved unless the tax deal was preserved."  Viacom is "anxious
to exit" the cable business because the sale would help reduce
debt acquired when it bought Paramount last year (Edmund Andrews,
N.Y. TIMES, 2/9).  A cancellation of the deal would "delay
indefinitely a sweeping agreement now pending" between Viacom and
TCI (Calmes & Robichaux, WALL STREET JOURNAL, 2/9).
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