SBD/3/Sports 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).
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