SBD/2/Sports Media

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         SportsFan Radio Network has signed a deal with the NHL to
    syndicate the national talk show, "In the Crease."  The show will
    feature live reports from NHL games, team profiles and interviews
    with players and coaches.  The deal "marks the first national
    radio show for the NHL officially licensed by the league"
    according to SportsFan and NHL officials.  The hour show debuted
    last week and the network plans to syndicate the show to some 70
    affiliates in the U.S. (BROADCASTING & CABLE, 2/27 issue).

    Print | Tags: NHL, Media

         ESPN's Chris Berman led last night's "SportsCenter" with a
    report that ESPN "GameDay" analyst PHIL SIMMS will be sign play
    QB for the Browns (ESPN, 3/1)....Viacom Chair Sumner Redstone and
    CEO Frank Biondi are interviewed in this morning's USA TODAY.
    Redstone says the repeal of the tax break for selling cable
    franchises to minority investors could "unravel Viacom's truce
    with TCI."  TCI is helping with the cash in the deal that would
    allow black entrepreneur Frank Washington to purchase the Viacom
    franchises.  As part of TCI's involvement in the deal, Viacom had
    planned to withdraw a lawsuit it launched against TCI because the
    company would not guarantee carriage of its Showtime channel.
    Biondi says dropping the lawsuit is "all tied to the cable deal
    going through" (USA TODAY, 3/2)....     SportsChannel New England
    has announced plans to televise "A Night of Unity" honoring the
    late-Celtic Reggie Lewis, live from Northeastern University on
    March 21 from 8-9pm.  The program will raise money for the Reggie
    Lewis Foundation (SportsChannel New England)....Yesterday's
    BOSTON HERALD chronicled the making of the Fox NHL promotional
    spots which will feature Bruins' Cam Neely, Adam Oates and Don
    Sweeney (BOSTON HERALD, 3/1).  Fox ran another promo for its
    April NHL schedule during last night's episode of "Beverly Hills,
    90210."  The Capitals Joe Juneau explains the fine points of
    checking ("Beverly Hills 90210," Fox, 3/1)

    Print | Tags: Boston Bruins, Cleveland Browns, ESPN, NHL, Showtime, Media, Viacom, Walt Disney, Washington Capitals

         This morning's N.Y. POST reports that publishing giant
    Harcourt General Inc. has joined the "growing throng" of possible
    bidders for CBS.  But Wall Street is skeptical.  Media analyst
    Dennis McAlpine: "It's a little out of left field but the name
    has come out before.  They were supposedly playing for NBC so why
    not CBS" (Jonathan Auerbach, N.Y. POST, 3/2).  As for Turner
    Broadcasting's interest in CBS, both the N.Y. POST's John Durie
    and ATLANTA CONSTITUTION's Charles Haddad write that NBC is a
    better fit.  Durie writes Ted Turner "will be wrong if he hopes
    that by talking with CBS' Larry Tisch he may get [GE Chair Jack]
    Welch worried and force him to back down" on who would control
    NBC under a merger (N.Y. POST, 3/2).  Haddad:  "This much is
    clear.  The 'for sale' sign has been taken down at NBC and tacked

    Print | Tags: CBS, NBC, Media, Viacom

         The NBA has signed a five-year agreement with Nielsen Media
    Research through which the league will have access to a broad
    range of national and local TV audience information.  For the
    first time, the NBA will have access to customized marketing data
    on broadcast and cable TV across Nielsen's national and local
    services, on both a league and team-by-team basis.  NBA
    Television Ventures President Ed Desser: "The Nielsen
    relationship will help us understand the needs and desires of our
    fans.  Also, we will be able to better serve advertisers,
    networks, teams and other business partners."  Robert Taragan,
    Exec VP/Marketing Nielsen Media Research:  "By this agreement,
    Nielsen has literally broken the mold in how we deal with the
    unique needs of modern sports and entertainment organizations
    such as the NBA.  In order to be responsive to these
    organizations, Nielsen has created a new Sports Marketing Service
    capable of providing customized reports with open access to
    information such as age, sex and income delivery that cuts across
    all of Nielsen's national and local services" (Nielsen/NBA).
         NUTS AND BOLTS:  Nielsen spokesperson Jack Loftus told THE
    SPORTS BUSINESS DAILY that the NBA will not only have access to
    information such as what age groups are watching NBA telecasts,
    but also specially designed breakdowns of on demographics and
    consumer attitudes.  For example, Nielsen could tell the NBA how
    many many people watching games have not bought a car in more
    than three years.  Loftus noted that 12 NBA teams subscribe to
    the customized service on a local level.  Nielsen can track what
    visiting teams or visiting superstars attract the biggest
    audiences.  According to Loftus, the NBA came to Nielsen and
    asked for a more customized service that cuts across all of the
    various services Nielsen offers, such as ratings among different
    ethnic groups.  Some of the data the NBA receives from Nielsen
    will be made public, but more detailed numbers will not be
    available.  Nielsen is also in discussions with the NFL, NHL and
    NCAA.  They were in "very active discussions" with MLB, but the
    labor strife has put those talks on hold.  Other clients to
    Nielsen's Sports Marketing Service include a number of ad
    agencies and major sponsors, ESPN, numerous TV stations and
    regional cable networks (THE DAILY).

    Print | Tags: ESPN, MLB, NBA, NCAA, NFL, NHL, Media, Walt Disney

         Microsoft's foes launched a potent new attack that has
    opened yet another inquiry into Microsoft's business tactics."
    America Online, Compuserve and Prodigy, "the Big Three home-
    oriented online services," charge that Microsoft's impending
    entry into the on-line market  "constitutes an unfair advantage."
    The on-line services fear "devastating competition" from
    Microsoft, which intends to incorporate its own on-line service
    into the next version of its DOS/Windows operating system, which
    now controls 80% of the world's personal computers.  Microsoft
    spokesperson on legal affairs Greg Shaw:  "This is to be
    expected."  Shaw noted that the company has anticipated for
    months that federal investigators will review the company's on-
    line plans.  In other on-line news, America Online announced that
    German media conglomerate Bertelsmann's $50M investment will give
    them a 5% stake in the service.  The two companies' planned
    venture to provide on-line services in Europe will be split 50-50
    (James Coates, CHICAGO TRIBUNE, 3/2).

    Print | Tags: Microsoft, Media
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