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RAMS MOVE, DAY TWO: IS FOX A WINNER OR A LOSER?
Published April 14, 1995
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).