SBD/10/Sports Media

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).
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