SBD/3/Sports Media

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  • CBS EXPECTS BIG RATINGS FOR TONIGHT'S NCAA FINAL

         Since the showdown between Michigan State's Magic Johnson
    and Indiana State's Larry Bird in '79 set a ratings record with a
    24.1, the men's NCAA basketball title game has never drawn less
    than 18.8, according to Prentis Rogers in Atlanta.  CBS' Jim
    Nantz:  "The three most watched games in the history of
    basketball are NCAA championship games, and nine out of the 10
    highest rated games are in college, not pro."  In the '90s, the
    men's NCAA final has averaged a 21.2, and tonight's UCLA-Arkansas
    matchup "doesn't figure to hurt that average" (ATLANTA
    CONSTITUTION, 4/3).  According to Rudy Martzke, tonight "figures
    to rank among the five most watched basketball games in history"
    (USA TODAY, 4/3).
    

    Print | Tags: CBS, NCAA, Orlando Magic, RDV Sports, Media, Viacom
  • HBO'S REAL SPORTS TAKES A LOOK BEHIND AUGUSTA'S GATES

         In the debut airing of HBO's "Real Sports," Frank Deford
    took a critical look at The Masters tournament and the Augusta
    National Golf Club.  Deford:  "The Masters is the last
    dictatorship in sport.  It is the American Singapore -- small and
    rich, efficient and successful, spotless and humorless, and
    totally unforgiving."  After noting CBS golf analyst Gary
    McCord's dismissal from the Masters broadcast for saying the
    Masters greenskeepers use "bikini wax" to keep the greens fast,
    Deford quoted CBS golf producer Frank Chirkinian, who "dares to
    speak against" the customary green-jqacket ceremony.  Chirkinian:
    "The worst thing in the world to do is go into that cabin.  We
    just finished at a high, and all of a sudden there is this
    deathly silence because you are down in the catacombs ... This
    presentation has always been so sanitized that you could just
    hear all the sets clicking off" (HBO, 4/2).
         MORE AUGUSTA INTRIGUE:  As Deford's piece noted, Stanford
    star Tiger Woods, last year's U.S. Amateur winner, will play The
    Masters this year.  John Feinstein:  "Augusta is a long way from
    utopia.  The day that a black golfer dons a green jacket will be
    a historic one, for golf, the Masters, and all of us" ("Sports
    Reporters," ESPN, 4/2).  Woods is also profiled in NEWSWEEK.
    Curry Kirkpatrick writes, "Already he is blessed with first-name
    recognition, the signature of legends Pele, Magic, Elvis because,
    in his own sphere, at least, he is one" (NEWSWEEK, 4/2 issue)
    

    Print | Tags: CBS, ESPN, HBO, Orlando Magic, RDV Sports, Media, Time Warner, Viacom, Walt Disney
  • HEARST, ESPN LAUNCH MAGAZINE; ESPN LAUNCHES ONLINE SERVICE

         "ESPN's Total Sports" is the name of the new sports magazine
    to be published jointly by Hearst Corp.'s Magazine Division and
    ESPN, according to INSIDE MEDIA's Chuck Ross and Langdon
    Brockington.  Hearst and ESPN will test market four issues,
    starting with a football preview on August 1.  The second issue
    will be a NBA preview, dated October 1.  The dates and content of
    the third and fourth test issues are still being decided.  The
    original concept was to make "ESPN's Total Sports" weekly -- as a
    "younger skewing, hip competitor to Time Inc.'s Sports
    Illustrated."  The editorial staff would prefer to go weekly,
    "but there are lots of politics here about that," said one
    source.  Ross & Brockington note it is hard to test a weekly's
    viability by launching preview issues.  The Hearst/ESPN venture
    will go up against SI's preview issues as well as Street & Smith.
    Said one source: "This will be more of a market test of the pull
    of the ESPN brand name" (COWLES BUSINESS MEDIA, 3/31).      ESPN
    ONLINE:  ESPN Enterprises Inc. and Paul Allen's Starwave unveiled
    their multimedia sports-information service on Sunday during the
    Final Four in Seattle.  Announced as ESPNET SportsZone, the
    service (formerly Satchel Sports) is on the World Wide Web at
    http://ESPNET. SportsZone.Com.  People attending the Final Four
    Fan Jam this weekend, as well as the nation's sports media, will
    get a chance to experience ESPNET SportsZone through live demos.
    It was also announced that ESPNET SportsZone will be a "major
    provider" of sports info on The Microsoft Network, Microsoft's
    online service planned for release later this year.  Sponsor
    involvement includes the "Gatorade Cooler Site."  The site
    includes a Michael Jordan section, along with current event
    listings, a user bulletin board and facts about personalities and
    sports performances (ESPN/Starwave).
    

    Print | Tags: ESPN, Microsoft, NBA, Sports Illustrated, Media, Time Warner, Walt Disney
  • RAIDERS MAY HAVE NO STADIUM, BUT THEY HAVE A NEW RADIO DEAL

         KLSX-FM, the station that carries Howard Stern's nationally
    syndicated show, will replace KFI as the Raiders' flagship radio
    station.  KLSX signed a multi-year deal with the team on Friday.
    Scott Nederlander, President of Nederlander Sports Marketing, who
    has sold the Raiders' radio-rights since '93:  "KLSX has a bold,
    cutting-edge, forward-looking style that is so well suited to the
    dynamic nature of Raider football."  Al LoCasale, the Raiders'
    exec assistant, said KLSX will carry a considerable amount of
    Raider promos not only surrounding games but also on weekdays.
    LoCasale said the Raiders become the seventh NFL team to have an
    exclusive flagship deal with an FM station.  Nine others have an
    AM-FM combination deal (Larry Stewart, L.A. TIMES, 4/1).
    

    Print | Tags: NFL, Oakland Raiders, Media
  • REPLACEMENT PROGRAMMING FOR ESPN AND OTHERS

         ESPN, which was to televise last night's opener between the
    Mets and Marlins, instead carried an extended "SportsCenter,"
    NCAA Final Four films and a tape delay of an America's Cup race.
    Other cable and broadcast networks prepared to carry regular-
    season games next week, such as TBS, were preparing alternate
    programming, including movies, sitcoms and rebroadcasts of other
    sports events.  An ESPN spokesperson said the network will carry
    minor league baseball on Sunday nights and NHL hockey on
    Wednesday nights (Steve Zipay, N.Y. NEWSDAY, 4/2).  As for the
    premiere of HBO's "Real Sports," the change in the baseball
    situation forced Exec Producer Ross Greenburg and correspondent
    Sonja Steptoe to re-dub some of her story on the baseball strike
    (ATLANTA CONSTITUTION, 4/2).  In New York, Richard Sandomir notes
    that if no replacement games are played, TV and radio outlets
    would not have to pay rights frees for games not played (N.Y.
    TIMES, 4/2).  In Chicago, Steve Nidetz notes that if the season
    starts April 26, ESPN's "exclusive coverage of baseball's season
    opener -- part of its six-year deal -- also is in jeopardy"
    (CHICAGO TRIBUNE, 4/3).  In another programming note, Jack Craig
    in Boston notes that a long-running PGA Senior tournament left
    ESPN 15 minutes behind CNN last night in covering the
    announcement of the end of the baseball strike (BOSTON GLOBE,
    4/3).
    

    Print | Tags: ESPN, Miami Marlins, HBO, NCAA, New York Mets, NHL, PGA Tour, Media, TBS/TNT, Time Warner, Walt Disney
  • THE NHL ON FOX PREMIERES WITH PLENTY OF ADVERTISERS

         Yesterday's premiere of the NHL on Fox received a 2.5 rating
    and a 6 share in Nielsen overnights, according to Fox Sports
    spokesperson Vince Wladika.  Wladika noted that their 2.5 is up
    47% from ABC's premiere telecast on March 27, 1994.  ABC received
    a 1.7 rating a 4 share.  The three top markets for Fox yesterday
    were Detroit with a 6.0/13; St. Louis with 5.7/18; and Boston
    with 5.0/13 (THE DAILY).  In New York, Phil Mushnick notes that
    the best feature was the camera angles on power plays -- "low and
    from directly above and behind the short-handed team's goalie"
    (N.Y. POST, 4/3).  In Atlanta, Prentis Rogers writes the "much-
    hyped" FoxBots, animated robots appearing after goals, "were not
    nearly as impressive as those live, low-angle, rink-level views
    from behind the goalie" (ATLANTA CONSTITUTION, 4/3).  In Boston,
    Jack Craig notes "telltale" signs of Fox's strength with its
    affiliates is the fact it obtained clearance from 95% to air the
    NHL.  When CBS and NBC covered the NHL in the '70s, the networks
    had to "hustle" to reach 80% (BOSTON GLOBE, 4/2).
         AD MONITOR:  According to a survey by THE SPORTS BUSINESS
    DAILY, 97 ads ran during the Bruins/Capitals game. During game
    action, play was stopped eight times in the 1st period for
    commercials, seven in the 2nd period, and five times in the 3rd.
    Listed as official sponsors on the telecast: Network MCI, Bud
    Ice, Pizza Hut, The New Dodge, Michelin, Pringles, Sharp, and
    Mennen.  Ads for Budweiser ran seven times, with a heavy emphasis
    on the Bud Ice -- "Proudest Sponsor of the Coolest Game on
    Earth."  Pizza Hut ran nine spots, including the Donald/Ivana
    Trump ad, Howie Long in Fox gear pushing Pizza Hut, and the
    Dennis Rodman and David Robinson ad for the stuffed-cheese crust.
    The New Dodge ran seven spots while its sister car, Eagle, ran
    two spots.  Other notables: Michelin (4), MCI (4), Mennen (4),
    Lexus (4), Texaco (3), the following all ran two: Exxon, MTD Yard
    Mach, Coors, Wendy's, Napa, American Express, Lotrimin, Mobil,
    U.S. Army, Discover, STP, Nike/Cam Neely ad, Midas and Pringles.
    The following brand/companies ran one spot:  Busch, Fisher Nuts,
    Sharp, Bold Plus, Head & Shoulders, Int'l Paper, Pert Plus, Geico
    and NHL/Nike (THE DAILY).
    

    Print | Tags: ABC, American Express, Anheuser Busch, Boston Bruins, CBS, DaimlerChrysler, NBC, News Corp./Fox, NHL, Nielsen, Nike, Media, Viacom, Walt Disney, Washington Capitals, Wendys
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