SBD/7/Sports Industrialists

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  • NAMES IN THE NEWS

         A's infielder STEVE SAX says he will run for the CA General
    Assembly next year.  Sax, a Republican, says the decision doesn't
    mean he is retiring from baseball (S.F. CHRONICLE, 4/7)....NBC
    will feature Cavs' owner GORDON GUND at halftime of Sunday's
    Chicago-Cleveland matchup (USA TODAY, 4/7)....Rumors have
    Clippers Owner DONALD STERLING offering Knicks Coach PAT RILEY
    part-ownership of the team, the GM job and the head coach
    position (N.Y. DAILY NEWS, 4/7).... New Boston Garden Chair LARRY
    MOULTER reportedly refused an offer by BARBRA STREISAND to sing
    at the opening of Boston's FleetCenter (BOSTON GLOBE,
    4/7)....JOHN PARIS, coach of the IHL Atlanta Knights, is featured
    as "Pro Hockey's First Black Coach" in the current issue of SPORT
    (SPORT, 5/95).... Liberty Sports has hired KELLY MILLER as
    Director of Communications and Distribution (Liberty)....
    "Entertainment Tonight" previewed the new BILLY CRYSTAL movie,
    "Forget Paris." The movie, about an NBA ref, will be released
    next month, and includes such NBA stars as CHARLES BARKLEY, KEVIN
    JOHNSON and KAREEM ABDUL-JABBAR ("ET," 4/6).
    NOTICE:  THE SPORTS BUSINESS DAILY is expanding again and is
    seeking qualified applicants for entry-level positions on both
    the marketing and editorial staffs.  If interested, call David
    Abrutyn (Marketing) or Stephen Bilafer (Editorial) at (703) 518-
    4700.  Both openings are immediate.
    

    Print | Tags: Cablevision, Los Angeles Clippers, NBA, NBC, New York Knicks, New York Liberty, Oakland Athletics, People and Pop Culture
  • SPORTS PLAYS A BIG ROLE IN THE GROWTH OF DIRECTV

         DirecTV is a new satellite television service available for
    homes equipped with a digital satellite system.  This week, THE
    SPORTS BUSINESS DAILY spoke with JIM RAMO, Exec VP for DirecTV,
    about the service and where sports fits into their marketing
    plans for today and the future.
         THE DAILY: What is your strategy for sports marketing?  Who
    is the target demographic?
         RAMO:  We want to be the place where sports junkies go to
    watch sports.  The initial target is men, who live in single
    family homes, as the people who make the decision to buy the
    hardware -- the initial service and satellite dish.  Those who
    live in single-family dwellings are the targets because that's
    the way the technology is geared.  We have four different
    television ads on the air and have bought time on both cable and
    network TV.  CNN and ESPN have primarily carried the ad geared
    toward sports.  Other ads emphasize non-sports entertainment.
    All of the ads are designed to help educate the consumer about
    the technology.
         THE DAILY:  How many regional sports networks are currently
    available on DirecTV?  How many will be added?
         RAMO:  All of the Liberty-affiliated regional sports
    networks as well as a few independent networks.  We are currently
    negotiating with all the SportsChannels.  The hope is to have all
    23 regional sports networks on our service.  As of now, we have a
    little more than half of all those networks.  TBS is the only
    SuperStation available on DirecTV and there are no plans to add
    any other SuperStations.
         THE DAILY:  Where do you see DirecTV in five years?  How can
    you expand your base, bring the price down, and market to a
    bigger income demographic?
         RAMO:  We hope to be in eight million hopes in five years.
    Down the road, we hope to expand into multi-dwelling complexes,
    i.e. condos and apartments.  Our market base will expand as the
    price of the equipment comes down.  More manufacturers will soon
    enter the 18-inch satellite dish market, driving the price down.
    Again, we want to be the leader in specialty sports programming.
         THE DAILY:  What are your plans with league-based packages?
    Are baseball or college sports coming?
         RAMO:  We currently have deals with the NFL, NBA and NHL and
    are beginning talks with MLB now that the strike is over.  There
    are no plans to package all of the league deals together.  The
    NFL deal did not start until last November, in the middle of
    their season, the NBA package did not start until January and the
    NHL package did not start until after the lockout.  So we have
    not had a full year to market these packages.  We will be able to
    fully grasp the marketing potential of these packages next fall
    as we start full seasons in all of those sports.  As for college
    sports, we worked with ESPN on distributing their pay-per-view
    college football package and I think we may have been their best
    distributor.  Also, ESPN is working on a college basketball pay-
    per-view deal and when that happens, it will likely be available
    on DirecTV.  As of now, there is no college sports package, but
    the regular sports service which includes all regional sports
    networks, minus the NBA & NHL, allows the consumer to get a full
    plate of the college sports available on those stations, there
    are no college blackout rules.
              THE DAILY:  What blackout rules pertain to DirecTV?
         RAMO:  For the NFL, it is the same for us as it is for
    anybody else. If your local game is blacked-out for the local
    viewing area then we cannot bring that game into your home, but
    we can bring all of the other games into your home.  As for any
    regional blackout rules, any game that is being broadcast for the
    package the consumer has ordered can be brought into your home.
    The only way an NBA or NHL game is blacked-out is if the
    station/network that owns the rights to that game decides not to
    telecast it -- then DirecTV cannot bring it into your home.
         THE DAILY: What regional sports network advertising will a
    DirecTV subscriber be exposed to?
         RAMO:  If a viewer is watching a game on another area's
    regional sports network, they will be exposed to the national TV
    ads, but local ads that are sold by the local cable system are
    not aired on the DirecTV package.  To fill that time, we make
    programming or service announcements.  There are no plans as of
    yet to sell time for advertising, as the subscription base is too
    small to think about selling ads.  Our service does not interfere
    with ad programming of the regional sports networks.
    

    Print | Tags: Cablevision, DirecTV, ESPN, MLB, NBA, New York Liberty, NFL, NHL, People and Pop Culture, TBS/TNT, Time Warner, Walt Disney
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