SBD/29/Sports Media

NETWORK NEWS: DR PEPPER ON ABC; NBC & SUPER BOWL XXX

     Dr Pepper has signed a 3-year deal with ABC to be the
presenting sponsor of the network's coverage of the SEC football
championship games through '98.  The company also holds a 2-year
option that could extend the association through 2000.  Since
'93, Dr Pepper has been the presenting sponsor of the game.  The
deal gives Dr Pepper "category exclusivity" in addition to ten
30-second spots and a minimum of three on-air billboards for each
game.  Category exclusivity includes not only soft drinks, but
isotonic beverages as well.  To supplement its media buy, Dr
Pepper plans to run a marketing/merchandising campaign tied to
the game that involve southern-based retail chains.  Also as part
of the ABC deal, Dr Pepper becomes the presenting sponsor of the
network's Thanksgiving Day college football games, which also
includes category exclusivity.  Dr Pepper would not disclose the
deal's total price tag (Brockington & Reynolds, INSIDE MEDIA,
3/15-3/28).
     NBC & SUPER BOWL XXX:  NBC, which will televise Super Bowl
XXX, has been negotiating with a couple of traditional Super Bowl
advertisers, PepsiCo and Anheuser-Busch, with discussions
reportedly focused on ad positioning.  It is unclear how much NBC
is seeking for a 30-second spot.  While the "sports marketplace
is quite healthy now, INSIDE MEDIA's Brockington & Reynolds note
that Super Bowl XXX "takes place in an Olympic year," and the '96
Games will "drain millions of dollars from the market" (INSIDE
MEDIA, 3/15-3/28).
     FOX & THE NHL:  Fox will use animated characters during its
coverage of the NHL, according to Michael Hiestand of USA TODAY.
The "Fox Bots" are animated robots who will appear after goals to
"do battle via steamroller or laser beams."  Also, Wayne Gretzky
will be an in-studio guest analyst during Fox's debut coverage
this Sunday.  Gretzky might even lace up his in-line skates in
Fox's in-studio the mini-rink in L.A. (USA TODAY, 3/29)....TSN's
Gary Green has been enlisted by Fox Sports to be a game analyst.
He will be teamed with Fox's Kenny Albert (TORONTO SUN, 3/29).
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