SBD/8/Sports Media

FOX NAMES NHL ANNOUNCERS LINEUP

     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).
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