SBD/7/Sports Media

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  • BLUES TO OFFER PLAYOFF GAMES ON PAY-PER-VIEW BASIS

         The Blues are close to placing some of their home playoff
    games on pay-per-view, according to Dan Caesar in this morning's
    ST. LOUIS POST-DISPATCH.  Blues President Jack Quinn: "Yes, it
    has been under discussion.  That's all I want to say about it
    now."  Sources estimate the telecasts would be priced in the $15-
    20 range per game.  Prime Sports GM Tim Griggs:  "We are going to
    the cable operators formally next week."  Prime has the rights to
    Blues home games for the first two rounds of the playoffs.  Most,
    if not all, road playoff games would remain on KPLR-TV.  The pay-
    per-view area would affect any homes in a 35-mile radius of the
    Kiel Center.  Outside the area, the telecasts would appear at no
    extra charge on the regular Prime channel.  Conference and
    Stanley Cup Finals games would be on ESPN and Fox and would not
    apply (ST. LOUIS POST-DISPATCH, 4/7).
    

    Print | Tags: ESPN, News Corp./Fox, Media, St. Louis Blues, Walt Disney
  • CANADA'S TSN DENIES REPORTS OF NO EXPOS COVERAGE

         TSN VP Jim Thompson said there is "absolutely no truth" in
    the report that TSN is not interested in televising Expos games.
    He did say that TSN has yet to reach an agreement with the Expos
    for '95, but that the fault was with the Expos.  He also "denied
    the team's claim that there was no deal because TSN couldn't sell
    advertising for Expos games."  Thompson: "We reached a tentative
    agreement six weeks ago.  It wasn't signed at that time because
    of the uncertainty over the strike.  When the strike ended, we
    went back to the Expos and they were asking for far more money
    than we had agreed to."  Thompson said he will be in Montreal
    today to talk with Expos President Claude Brochu and Expos VP
    Richard Morency about a deal.  More Thompson:  "For the past 10
    years, we have been the only telecaster offering English-language
    coverage of the Expos, and we hope to continue."  In Montreal,
    Pat Hickey notes with the trades the Expos made this week, the
    value of the Expos' TV rights has decreased (Montreal GAZETTE,
    4/7).  Two conference calls between TSN and the Expos were held
    yesterday where it is believed TSN up their offer "marginally"
    (TORONTO STAR, 4/7).
    

    Print | Tags: Media
  • CBS BRASS DEFENDS GRIN-AND-AIR-IT POLICY WITH THE MASTERS

         CBS celebrates its 40th year of telecasting The Masters this
    weekend, with sports media writers across the U.S. and Canada
    noting the event and the compromises the network has had to make
    to maintain the relationship.
         MCCORD GOT WAXED:  CBS coordinating producer Frank
    Chirkinian defended, once again, CBS' decision on the suspension
    of commentator Gary McCord from Masters' coverage for what
    tournament officials considered inappropriate comments.
    Chirkinian:  "CBS was in a no-win situation and made a pragmatic
    decision.  If we'd stood on principle, that would have been the
    end of us at Augusta, pure and simple."  In Boston, Jim Baker
    writes, "CBS blew baseball, the NBA and NFL and it wasn't about
    to blow the Masters over bikini wax and body bags" (BOSTON
    HERALD, 4/7).  Chirkinian:  "The door is not locked on McCord ...
    I have a feeling he will be back next year" (Rob Longley, TORONTO
    SUN, 4/7).
         AUGUSTA CALLS THE SHOTS:  In Chicago, Steve Nidetz writes,
    "There are only 4 minutes of commercials per hour, no station
    breaks, no network promotions, no 'talking heads' -- and no free
    speech.  And the only thing CBS officials can do is take it"
    (CHICAGO TRIBUNE, 4/7).  CBS has never shown a front nine, even
    though the holes are wired. Chirkinian's explanation:
    "Tradition."  In Boston, Jack Craig writes, "Less coverage means
    less revenue, of course, but that is of no interest to the folks
    who run the Masters.  They've had 40 one-year contracts with CBS
    ... The year-to-year deal puts pressure on CBS to conform."
    Cadillac and Traveller's Insurance are the sole sponsors (BOSTON
    GLOBE, 4/7).  In New York, Richard Sandomir writes that "control"
    is "what makes the Masters great.  It is unlike all other sports
    on TV, where TV is the money master" (N.Y. TIMES, 4/7).  John
    Helyar calls Augusta "the corporate Woodstock," not for any
    sponsorship presence, but the "Who's Who of Corporate America"
    membership at the club (WALL STREET JOURNAL, 4/7).     SINGAPORE
    SLINGS:  Chirkinian took issue with Frank Deford's recent piece
    on HBO's "Real Sports" comparing Augusta National to Singapore.
    Chirkinian, who is quoted in the HBO piece criticizing the
    Masters' green jacket ceremony:  "How many domestics have they
    hung at Augusta lately? ... It showed a lot of the current
    tabloid mentality in television" (Larry Stewart, L.A. TIMES,
    4/7).
         GEEZ, IF THEY THINK MCCORD IS IRREVERENT:  David Letterman,
    after being pre-empted by a half-hour by Masters highlights:
    "Ladies and gentleman, are you like me?  Do you have Masters
    fever?" ("Late Show," CBS, 4/6).
         MORE SELECTIVE SERVICE:  In New York, Phil Mushnick notes
    that ESPN and the USGA deny that ESPN's Chris Berman was left off
    early-round U.S. Open coverage (to be carried on ESPN) because of
    his McCord-like persona.  Officials claim the USGA simply wants
    "four rounds of continuity from its broadcast team."  But
    Mushnick notes, "It all sounds kinda fishy, as if Berman got the
    boot, or if NBC didn't want a strong ESPN talent presence" (N.Y.
    POST, 4/7).
    

    Print | Tags: CBS, ESPN, General Motors, HBO, NBA, NBC, NFL, Media, Time Warner, USGA, Viacom, Walt Disney
  • MURDOCH TO START UP A NEW RUGBY LEAGUE

         Rupert Murdoch's News Corp. has launched a "daring bid for
    dominance in world television sport with far-reaching plans to
    create an international Rugby League 'Super League' just after
    snapping up rights to top international boxing matches."  Rugby
    will be shown on News Corp.'s Sky Sports, with the boxing on
    BSkyB (FINANCIAL TIMES, 4/7).  In other Murdoch news, CBS' "60
    Minutes" Exec Producer Don Hewitt confirmed that Murdoch has
    approached a high level executive at CBS about buying the show
    from CBS.  CBS Chair Laurence Tisch said the show is not for sale
    (N.Y. NEWSDAY, 4/7).
    

    Print | Tags: BSkyB, CBS, News Corp./Fox, Media, Viacom
  • TBS SAYS 60% OF BRAVES TELECASTS ARE SOLD

         Turner Sports President Harvey Schiller said that TBS has
    sold about 60% of its available advertising on Braves broadcasts.
    Schiller:  "We're in a very strong position.  We're actually
    selling the air time at higher rates than last year. ... It's
    nonsense that there's been irrevocable damage.  It's a public
    relations problem but not a problem like the Black Sox scandal of
    1919 when people lost faith in the game" (Henry Unger, ATLANTA
    CONSTITUTION, 4/7).
    

    Print | Tags: Atlanta Braves, Media, TBS/TNT, Time Warner
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