SBD/10/Sports Media

ESPN'S ON-LINE SERVICE GETS A POWERFUL PARTNER -- PAUL ALLEN

     ESPN plans an on-line sports service with Microsoft co-
founder/Blazers Owner Paul Allen, offering scores, statistics,
rotisserie baseball, and eventually ticketing, over the Internet
and the planned Microsoft Network.  The alliance between links
part of Allen's growing collection of multimedia companies with
Microsoft.  The new sports service, which will be free to start,
will first appear in April on the Internet as part of the World
Wide Web.  It will be available on the Microsoft Network when
that commercial on-line service begins operating later this year.
Allen's Starwave Corp., a Bellevue, WA, multimedia company, has
been testing a free sports-information service called Satchel on
the World Wide Web for several months.  ESPN has offered its own
service, ESPNet, on Prodigy for the past year.  The only hangup
in the new deal is the name of the service.  ESPN wants to
"retain a strong link" to ESPNet, while Starwave is "resisting
the move."  ESPN's exclusive one-year deal with Prodigy expires
this month, so ESPN is looking to get its service on other online
services, such as America Online and the Microsoft Network.  The
sports service would also affect Starwave's relationship with
another online service, ATT's Interchange network.  Starwave had
agreed to launch a sports service for that new online service,
but those plans are now on hold.  Ad and subscription revenue
from the new service will be shared by Starwave and ESPN.  The
service is expected to debut during the Final Four (Bart Ziegler,
WALL STREET JOURNAL, 3/10).
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ESPN, Microsoft, Media, Walt Disney

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