SBD/14/Sports Media

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  • ABC TO WIN THE SEASON, BUT OVERALL RATINGS DOWN FOR NETS

         ABC is expected to emerge as the top-rated broadcast network
    in prime time when the '94-95 season ends Sunday night, "but
    overall, the three-network share of the TV audience dropped
    significantly in the period."  The three major networks combined
    -- ABC, NBC and CBS -- drew just 57% of the TV-viewing audience
    this season, down significantly from 61% last season.  Basic
    cable services "benefited most from" the networks' loss.  David
    Poltrack, CBS Exec VP in charge of ratings, blames the decline on
    the lack of big events, such as the Olympics and the World
    Series.  CBS fared the worst among, down 21% from last year.  In
    fact, among adults 18-49, CBS is expected to finish a close
    fourth behind Fox in ratings.  Fox's ratings growth is the best
    for that network since it expanded its prime-time schedule to
    seven nights (Elizabeth Jensen, WALL STREET JOURNAL, 4/14).
         ON THE HEELS OF THAT:  Cap Cities/ABC, GE and News Corp.,
    "boosted by a buoyant advertising market, expect to report
    strong" 1st quarter earnings gains.  CBS posted a 68% decline in
    its 1stQ net income (WALL STREET JOURNAL, 4/14).
    

    Print | Tags: ABC, CBS, NBC, News Corp./Fox, Media, Viacom, Walt Disney
  • CAPS SKATE ON TO THE INFO-SUPERHIGHWAY

         America Online and the Capitals announced yesterday that the
    team now has a site on the online service.  With the launch of
    "Washington Capitals Online," the team becomes the first pro team
    to have a dedicated area on a commercial online service.  By
    accessing the site, users can order merchandise and tickets, and
    receive information about the team, including player photos and
    breaking news.  Users will also be able to discuss the team with
    other fans (Capitals).
    

    Print | Tags: Media, Washington Capitals
  • ESPN CLOSING DEALS WITH BOTH THE BIG 12 AND THE WAC

         ESPN and the Big 12 have reached a multi-year agreement that
    gives ESPN, ESPN2, and Creative Sports exclusive rights to all
    men's basketball games for five years.  The agreement calls for
    the Big 12 to be televised on ESPN's Big Monday during conference
    play from January to March, additional non-conference and
    conference appearances on ESPN and ESPN2, and primetime and
    weekend afternoon games syndicated by Creative Sports.  ESPN and
    Creative Sports also hold the rights to the Big 12 tournament.
    The Big 12 begins play in '96 when Texas, Texas A&M, Baylor and
    Texas Tech join Big Eight schools Colorado, Kansas, Kansas State,
    Iowa State, Missouri, Nebraska, Oklahoma and Oklahoma State
    (ESPN).  CBS has "expressed an interest" in televising the Big 12
    championship (Steve Richardson, DALLAS MORNING NEWS, 4/13).
         REALLY BIG MONDAY?  The WAC and ESPN are "close" to
    finalizing a new basketball TV package, with money reportedly
    "all that stands in the way" of a deal.  The WAC would reportedly
    join Big Monday and receive selected prime-time exposures on
    Thursday and Saturday.  Also included is a six-game women's
    schedule on ESPN.  WAC Commissioner Karl Benson:  "It's a good
    package.  It addresses our need for increased exposure and it
    provides a national outlet for our women's programs" (Joe Baird,
    SALT LAKE TRIBUNE, 4/13).
    

    Print | Tags: CBS, ESPN, Media, Viacom, Walt Disney
  • PROGRAMMING NOTES: "PASSION TO PLAY" ON ABC; C- SPAN FORUM

         ABC will debut its four-part woman's sports series -- "A
    Passion to Play" -- on Sunday at 3:00pm EDT.  Nike, State Farm
    and Tampax are all helping underwrite the series.  Sunday's
    episode features Eastern European champions Nadia Comaneci and
    Katarina Witt "evolving from state-supported athletes, used as
    ads for socialism, into world-class capitalists" (Michael
    Hiestand, USA TODAY, 4/14).  The second episode looks at African-
    American women in sports, the third examines women's involvement
    in extreme sports such as rock climbing and kayaking, and the
    last episode will look at motherhood and sports (Terry Blount,
    HOUSTON CHRONICLE, 4/14).  ESPN/ABC's Robin Roberts, who hosts
    the show, was interviewed with Nadia Comaneci on "Good Morning
    America."  Roberts: "It takes putting something on consecutively
    every weekend on ABC to see these women in this role."  Noting
    UConn's win, Roberts added:  "It's a perfect time to glorify
    women in sports" (ABC, 4/14).
         HEY, MEDIA JUNKIES:  C-SPAN will air a panel discussion on
    the future of TV tomorrow at 11am EDT, featuring top industry
    execs.  The April 4 program was taped in New York.  Panelists
    include:  Cap Cities/ABC COO Robert Iger, Viacom CEO Frank
    Biondi, HBO CEO Michael Fuchs, Comcast President Brian Roberts,
    NBC CEO Robert Wright, New Media Co. CEO Howard Stringer and New
    World Entertainment Chair Brandon Tartikoff (John Carmody,
    WASHINGTON POST, 4/14).
    

    Print | Tags: ABC, Comcast-Spectacor, ESPN, HBO, NBC, Nike, Media, Time Warner, Viacom, Walt Disney
  • RAMS MOVE, DAY TWO: IS FOX A WINNER OR A LOSER?

         The day after the agreement between the Rams and the NFL
    allowing the team's move to St. Louis, the national reaction
    centers around the ramifications for Fox.  In New York, Richard
    Sandomir reports on some of the reasons L.A.-based Fox Sports
    wanted the team to stay.  Sandomir:  "Now Fox lacks a National
    Football Conference home team for entertaining clients. ... And
    KTTV, the Fox-owned Los Angeles station, will lose the local
    Rams-oriented advertising revenues that flowed directly to the
    Fox bottom line."  Sandomir reports that the league will argue
    against a Fox rebate, noting the doubleheader possibilities in
    L.A. and the added Rams home games Fox can now air in sold-out
    St. Louis.  But Sandomir calls the Raiders "the clearest
    beneficiary" (N.Y. TIMES, 4/14).  In Washington, Leonard Shapiro
    writes that Fox, despite its well-publicized objections to losing
    the No. 2 media market, "could also be a big winner in this move.
    Fox can now ask for a rebate on its initial four-year $1.58
    billion contract after losing about 4 percent of its potential
    audience."  Estimates on Fox's compensation range anywhere from
    $47M to $250M.  However, Shapiro notes, "It's not as if the Rams
    had been a hot TV property in recent years," and now Fox can air
    games of "the far more popular" 49ers and Cowboys in L.A.
    Shapiro also points out that the move will help Fox "jump-start"
    one of its newest affils, St. Louis' KTVI, which switches to Fox
    for the start of the '95 season (WASHINGTON POST, 4/14).
    

    Print | Tags: Dallas Cowboys, News Corp./Fox, NFL, Oakland Raiders, San Francisco 49ers, Media, St. Louis Rams
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