SBD/8/Sports Media

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         In a special "collector's edition," ADVERTISING AGE devoted
    a supplemental issue to fifty years of television advertising.
    Among the many rankings and lists were the fifty best ads (which
    were not ranked).  A sampling of sports related ads: Nike's Bo
    Diddley and Bo Jackson; Coca-Cola's Mean Joe Greene; and Miller
    Lite's Bubba Smith.  AD AGE also listed "50 who made a
    difference" in TV advertising.  Among the list:  ABC's Roone
    Arledge for "MNF" and "Wide World of Sports" etc; A.C. Nielsen
    Sr. for his marketing research; Frederick Pierce, the leader of
    ABC in the '70s credited with helping "steer" the company in its
    early cable ventures -- ESPN and A&E; and Ted Turner for his
    superstation and cable work (ADVERTISING AGE, Spring '95).

    Print | Tags: ABC, Coca-Cola, ESPN, Nike, Media, Walt Disney

         CBS and ABC are making "early pitches" for their potential
    college football championship games, which begin next January on
    CBS with the Dial Fiesta Bowl, according to Eric Schmuckler in
    the current issue of MEDIAWEEK.  CBS is said to be asking
    $500,000 per ad unit, nearly double the top unit price this year
    -- the Orange Bowl's $275,000.  CBS is looking to lure autos,
    beers and athletic shoes into the Fiesta, as well as the
    network's regular-season college football package.  "Several
    buyers last week scoffed at the rumored $500,000 asking price for
    the potential championship game, predicting it would pull a 22 or
    23 rating and merited $400,000-per-unit, tops."  ABC, which will
    have the potential national championship game with the '97 Nokia
    Sugar Bowl, "is floating some three-year packages" including its
    Rose and Citrus Bowls (MEDIAWEEK, 3/6 issue).
         FOX AFFILS:  Affiliate switches helped Fox during the
    February sweeps in five of seven markets where New World
    Communications has stations, according to Jon Lafayette in the
    current issue of ELECTRONIC MEDIA.  New World said its local
    news-driven program strategy showed gains at nearly all its
    stations.  In the seven New World markets, Fox's prime time
    ratings rose an average of 14% to a 7.6.  Nationally, NBC earned
    its first February sweeps victory in five years, leading in all
    key demographics, and "leaving it anxious to take on ABC for the
    top-ranked network spot next season" (ELECTRONIC MEDIA, 3/6

    Print | Tags: ABC, CBS, NBC, Media, Viacom, Walt Disney

         Fox Sports has reached agreement with five play-by-play
    broadcasters and four analysts to call the network's NHL regular-
    season games.  Fox's hockey coverage premieres on April 2.
    Devils play-by-play announcer Mike Emrick and Rangers color
    analyst John Davidson form the network's lead broadcast team.
    Kenny Albert (Caps), Dave Strader (Red Wings), Pat Foley
    (Blackhawks) and Sam Rosen (Rangers) also joined the Fox play-by-
    play crew.  Joining Davidson as NHL ON FOX analysts are Joe
    Micheletti (Blues), Denis Potvin (Panthers) and Mickey Redmond
    (Red Wings).  Fox Sports President David Hill: "The challenge
    these men now face is to impart their hockey expertise to an
    audience we expect to expand beyond the game's loyal core" (Fox
    Sports).  Fox said scheduling conflicts precluded Sean McDonough
    (Red Sox/ESPN/ CBS) from consideration (Michael Hiestand, USA
    TODAY, 3/8).
         NEAR SELL-OUT:  In the current issue of MEDIAWEEK, Eric
    Schmuckler notes that 70% of ad units have been sold for the Fox
    NHL telecasts.  Ad prices have been "strong, thanks in part to
    Chrysler's deal for 12 units per game in exchange for auto
    exclusivity."  Buyers say regular-season units are going for $25-
    30,000 and playoffs are in the mid-$30,000s.  Fox TV President of
    Sales Jon Nesvig claimed playoff units "fetched well into the
    $40,000s, with finals spots in the $75,000 range."  Anheuser-
    Busch and Nike purchased exclusivities from the league last fall,
    committing for eight and two units per game, respectively.
    Buyers said Fox "is not thrilled about those deals, feeling it
    could have gotten higher prices" (MEDIAWEEK, 3/6 issue).  On
    another note, Blackhawks GM Bob Pulford told WSCR-AM in Chicago
    that team officials will use the upcoming Hawks home games on Fox
    as a gauge to look at the possibility of airing Hawks home games
    on free TV in the future (CHICAGO TRIBUNE, 3/8).

    Print | Tags: Anheuser Busch, Atlanta Hawks, Boston Red Sox, CBS, Chicago Blackhawks, Detroit Red Wings, ESPN, New Jersey Devils, NHL, Nike, Media, St. Louis Blues, Viacom, Walt Disney

         GTE VP/Video Division Bob Calafell announced the company's
    planned cable TV service yesterday.  With GTE's service,
    customers may order a "novel futuristic interactive television
    service or just sign up for a service with movie channels and
    regular programming."  Calafell expects FCC approval by the end
    of March or mid-April.  GTE has lined up AT&T to help build the
    separate network needed to offer TV services and General
    Instruments Corp. to provide specialized set-top cable boxes to
    provide the "crisp video and sound associated with digital
    television."  The first areas to be wired for GTE's service are
    Tampa Bay; Ventura County, CA; and Honolulu.  The initial roll-
    out will be offered to 500,000 customers.  By '97, that number
    will increase to 900,000, and to an estimated 17 million
    customers in 66 U.S. markets over next 10 years (Frank Ruiz,
    TAMPA TRIBUNE, 3/8).

    Print | Tags: ATT, Media

         According to the current issue of NEW YORK magazine, Hearst
    and ESPN (in which Hearst has a stake) are looking into starting
    a "glitzy new sports magazine.  Talks are well beyond the
    preliminary stage; a small staff has been assembled, and mockups
    have been produced.  It remains to be seen whether the still-
    unnamed magazine will be a weekly or monthly" -- though NEW YORK
    reports Hearst and ESPN are leaning toward making it a monthly.
    The tone and content "will mirror those of ESPN's sports coverage
    -- geared toward those under 35."  John Mack Carter, head of
    Magazine Development for Hearst:  "We're talking about a less
    clubby atmosphere, faster-moving and more participatory sports.
    There won't be the golf coverage that is so important in Sports
    Illustrated.  The project is promising, but we're still in the
    exploratory stage" ("Intelligencer," NEW YORK, 3/13 issue).
    Yesterday's WALL STREET JOURNAL reported that News Corp.'s
    periodical division is exploring the launch of its own weekly
    sports magazine (See THE DAILY, 3/7).
    "Magazine of the Year," calling it "the franchise."  AD AGE sites
    the success SI has had in building a brand name as well as from
    starting SI FOR KIDS to SITV to SI's new online service on
    CompuServe.  AD AGE also lauded SI for its efforts in selling
    regional advertising and its custom publishing for sponsors (AD
    AGE, 3/6 issue).

    Print | Tags: ESPN, Sports Illustrated, Media, Walt Disney
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