SBD/31/Sports Industrialists

TYSON STILL WITH KING FOR A DAY AS HE ANNOUNCES BOXING DEALS

     In a short statement, MIKE TYSON announced his decision to
remain with promoter DON KING, a multi-year agreement with
Showtime Networks, and a six-fight, 2 1/2 year contract with MGM
Grand Hotel in Las Vegas.  A following is a summary of the
coverage of yesterday's announcement (Mult., 3/31):
     BIG DEAL:  The package deal with Showtime and MGM Grand
could be worth $150M to King and Tyson.  His first fight could
come in August or September (Gerald Eskenazi, N.Y. TIMES, 3/31).
LARRY WOOLF, Chair of the MGM Grand Hotel, from CNBC's "Business
Insiders":  "Having Mike Tyson fight here for 2 1/2 years 6
fights, is going to be a major boon to Las Vegas, and a major
boon to the MGM."  Thomas Ulmstead, Senior Editor of MULTICHANNEL
NEWS, said Tyson's deal with Showtime, "basically leaves HBO on
the sidelines looking in" (CNBC, 3/30).  In New York, Bob
Raismann calls King's decision to keep Tyson with Showtime
without entertaining other offers, "surprising."  Raismann:
"Sources said Time Warner was prepared to bid $100 million more
than Showtime" (N.Y. DAILY NEWS, 3/31).  Tyson's decision "was a
stunning KO for Showtime that left boxing rival HBO climbing
slowly off the canvas," according to Steve Zipay of NEWSDAY.  It
will "immediately boosts Showtime's profile, which had been
slipping."  HBO execs were "upset, not only because they were not
given a chance to bid," but because they felt they had more
"resources and experiences to offer."  One cable exec: "HBO has
more subscribers, but pay per view is where the money is.  And
(Showtime Event Television) Pay Per View is more powerful in
marketing and distribution and exhibiting than TKVO (HBO's PPV
arm)" (N.Y. NEWSDAY, 3/31).
     LONG LIVE THE KING:  In staying with King, Tyson "shocked
many people in the boxing world."  King's rivals "underestimated
the hold" he has on Tyson.  King's presence was "underscored"
when "virtually everyone in Muslim garb at the news conference
was asked to leave" (Gerald Eskenazi, N.Y. TIMES, 3/31).  Wallace
Matthews writes rumors of King's dismissal may have been "an
orchestrated campaign to dupe the media and rival promoters"
(N.Y. POST, 3/31).
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