SBD/10/Sports Media

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  • BABY BELLS-OVITZ PROJECT GETS A NAME, TELE-TV

         Before 800 members of the Hollywood Radio and Television
    Society, officials of a new Baby Bells venture into programming
    gave their new company a name -- TELE-TV --"and told Hollywood's
    creative community that they are open for business," according to
    this morning's L.A. TIMES.  The panel representing the new
    company, TELE-TV President Sandy Grushow, Chair Howard Stringer,
    CAA Chair Michael Ovitz and the CEOs of Bell Atlantic, Nynex and
    Pacific Telesis, announced that before fully upgrading the wiring
    to their customers' homes, they would launch programming by late
    '96 via a wireless transmission.  To meet that date, TELE-TV
    "will have to begin making deals for programming almost
    immediately" (Saylor & Hofmeister, L.A. TIMES, 5/10).  REUTERS'
    Kevin Smith reports that TeleTV claims its service will be in 20
    million homes by the end of '97, with the Baby Bells installing
    the wireless technology "similar to cellular phone systems" in
    six of the seven largest urban areas next year ("Nightly Business
    Report," PBS, 5/9).
         NEWS FROM DALLAS:  The National Cable Television Association
    continued its meeting in Dallas yesterday.  FCC Chair Reed Hundt,
    whose agency "has been the bane of the cable-TV industry" since
    it forced cable companies to freeze rates, told the gathering
    that if Congress doesn't pass a Telecom bill this year, cable
    execs can expect more pro-consumer and pro-competition actions by
    the FCC (ORLANDO SENTINEL, 5/10)....The WALL STREET JOURNAL's
    Mark Robichaux writes that the cable industry sees itself in the
    "wild, wild West" -- with the FCC as the "tough sheriff" and a
    looming "deadly showdown" with telephone companies (WALL STREET
    JOURNAL, 5/10)....A survey soon to be released by investment firm
    Morgan Stanley shows that the cable industry "could lose half its
    customers to telcos once they start offering video services."
    The survey assumes similar pricing, which the cable industry
    disputes.  But Morgan Stanley telco analyst Stephanie Comfort
    told the NCTA that cable customers "are not happy and are willing
    to switch" (DAILY VARIETY, 5/10 issue).
    

    Print | Tags: Media
  • MEDIA NOTES

         The Raptors and the Grizzlies are expected to announce a
    national TV deal today with CTV.  According to Vancouver
    PROVINCE's Kent Gilchrist, that "will be quickly followed" by
    announcements of local TV and radio deals for both teams
    (Vancouver PROVINCE, 5/10)....The Golf Channel President Joe
    Gibbs estimates their number of subscribers at between 80-
    100,000, short of the channel's 2 million break-even point.
    Gibbs says they could hit 2 million "anywhere from 18 to 36
    months" (Barry Horn, DALLAS MORNING NEWS, 5/9)....The Baseball
    Network released its announcer line-up yesterday for the July 15
    debut of "Baseball Night in America" on ABC.  New faces include
    former Met Keith Hernandez, ESPN analyst Roy Smalley, CBS Radio
    Sports' Jim Hunter, former pitcher Paul Splittorff and former
    Royals manager John Wathan (TBN).... America Online said
    yesterday that it has begun offering World Wide Web access to its
    2 million subscribers (WASHINGTON TIMES, 5/10)....Following the
    departure of Julie Moran to "Entertainment Tonight," Jack O'Hara,
    Exec Producer of "ABC's Wide World of Sports" said the show will
    employ a rotating host setup until the show's August hiatus.  A
    decision will come later on what to do for next season (Michele
    Greppi, N.Y. POST, 5/10)....DiAMAR Interactive has entered into a
    licensing and distribution agreement with GOLF TIPS magazine to
    develop an instructional CD-ROM based on the magazine's content
    (DiAMAR).
    

    Print | Tags: ABC, CBS, ESPN, Kansas City Royals, Maple Leaf Sports and Entertainment, Media, Toronto Raptors, Viacom, Walt Disney
  • NBC STEPS UP TO ITS FIRST MAJOR WITH THE U.S. OPEN

         NBC faces a "major challenge" as it assumes coverage of the
    U.S. Open after a 29-year reign on ABC, according to a preview of
    the tournament in the June issue of GOLF DIGEST. Peter McCleery
    writes that pictures and words of NBC's  telecast "will be
    palpably different."  NBC won the rights to the Open this year by
    outbidding ABC with a $40M guaranteed deal over the first three
    years of the contract.  NBC Exec Producer Tom Roy: "I think we'll
    take it to new heights."  McCleery credits Roy's takeover as
    NBC's primary golf producer in '92 for improved quality in golf
    coverage, and writes that this year's open "will be its
    culmination."  McCleery: "It's a chance to prove that NBC can do
    golf, at a huge occasion, on a level with CBS and ABC."  As for
    the coverage, McCleery notes that the USGA, unlike the Masters,
    "is much more subtle" in imposing restrictions on broadcasts, so
    the network will have more control.  NBC, unlike ABC, uses fewer
    stationary cameras in its coverage, replacing them with movable
    cameras mounted on the backs of utility vehicles called "rat
    packs."  The network says these allow for more flexibility.
    Finally, McCleery notes that NBC's addition of early afternoon
    coverage will "probably" bring down total ratings numbers because
    "the longer the telecast, the lower the rating" (GOLF DIGEST,
    6/95 issue).
    

    Print | Tags: ABC, CBS, NBC, Media, USGA, Viacom, Walt Disney
  • RED WINGS OFFICIAL DEFENDS NO-STROBE POLICY

         Red Wings VP Atanas Ilitch said it was his decision to pull
    the plug on the strobe lights before Game 1 of the team's opening
    playoff series after complaints from players and fans, according
    to this morning's DETROIT FREE PRESS.  The decision resulted in a
    Sports Illustrated photographer being unable to shoot Red Wings
    star Paul Coffey for the magazine's cover.  The cover -- and the
    story -- were subsequently pulled by SI Managing Editor Mark
    Mulvoy. Ilitch:  "The lights weren't focused perfectly in the
    right directions.  We talked to our coaching staff and with
    (goalie) Mike Vernon.  It's one of those jump balls.  It was a
    difficult decision. ... We love all our media partners, but as
    you can appreciate, we're trying to win the Stanley Cup."  The
    lights will be working tonight.  But another team exec was
    "outraged":  "That's a decision that affects all of us in this
    league, and to have something like that cost us a chance to reach
    23 million readers, something's wrong" (Gave & Bernstein, DETROIT
    FREE PRESS, 5/10).
    

    Print | Tags: Detroit Red Wings, Sports Illustrated, Media, Time Warner
  • TURNER GOES FOR A RECORD WITH BULLS-MAGIC GAME TONIGHT

         Tonight "could be legendary" for TNT when the Bulls and
    Magic meet in game 2 of their Conference semi-final, writes
    Prentis Rogers in this morning's ATLANTA CONSTITUTION.  Noting
    the arrival of Kareem-Abdul Jabbar as studio analysts and the
    Bulls-Magic's 13.3 overnight for NBC's Sunday coverage, Rogers
    writes that Turner's single-game record of 4.3 million homes
    "appears ripe for a fall."  To break that mark (set in Game 2 of
    the '93 Knicks-Bulls Eastern Finals), TNT would need a 6.8
    (ATLANTA CONSTITUTION, 5/10).  Turner Senior VP Kevin O'Malley:
    "To top a 6 rating in this day and age of cable television is
    unbelievable.  We certainly have the ideal circumstances" (USA
    TODAY, 5/10).
         PROUD PEACOCK:  NBC announced yesterday that the national
    rating for the Bulls-Magic on Sunday was a 12.2/24, making its
    the most watched conference semi-final in NBA history.  Through
    six NBA playoff telecasts, NBC is averaging a 7.3/19, and
    increase of 18% over ratings the same six games in '94 -- 6.2/17
    (NBC Sports).
    

    Print | Tags: Cablevision, Chicago Bulls, NBA, NBC, New York Knicks, Orlando Magic, RDV Sports, Media, TBS/TNT
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