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REPLACEMENT PROGRAMMING FOR ESPN AND OTHERS
Published April 3, 1995
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).