SBD/11/Sports Media

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  • CTV, NBA ANNOUNCE BROADCAST AGREEMENT TO BEGIN THIS JUNE

         CTV President & CEO John Cassaday and NBA Commissioner David
    Stern announced yesterday a broadcasting agreement that will
    cover three full seasons and start with the NBA Finals this June.
    Under the deal, which runs through the '98 season, CTV will
    broadcast four regular season games in prime time, including the
    Grizzlies and the Raptors' home openers and two head-to-head
    matchups between the Canadian expansion teams.  In addition, CTV
    will carry 15 Sunday afternoon games -- five Raptors, five
    Grizzlies, and five other matchups.  Also included:  The NBA All-
    Star Game, six playoff games and the NBA Finals (CTV).  CTV VP of
    Sports Doug Beeforth described the deal as a "win-win revenue
    sharing agreement," and Cassaday said that the actual dollar
    value of the deal "will have to be determined somewhere down the
    road" (Dan Stinson, VANCOUVER SUN, 5/11).  However, one industry
    source said the league and CTV would earn $20M a season "if sales
    go well," and $5M if they don't (Craig Daniels, TORONTO SUN,
    5/11).  CTV will produce the games that originate from Canada.
    For other games, CTV will pick up NBC's feed with a "Canadian
    wraparound" including CTV-produced pre- and post-game shows
    (Robert MacLeod, Toronto GLOBE & MAIL, 5/11).  Beeforth also said
    that NBC games carried by Seattle's KING and seen in Vancouver
    will not be blacked out (Howard Tsumura, Vancouer PROVINCE,
    5/11).
         LOCAL DEAL:  The Grizzlies' local broadcast deal with BCTV
    is expected to be announced soon.  The deal is expected to allow
    BCTV to carry 25 Grizzlies games and 25 Canucks games (Robert
    MacLeod, Toronto GLOBE & MAIL, 5/11).
    

    Print | Tags: Maple Leaf Sports and Entertainment, NBA, NBC, Canucks Sports and Entertainment, Media, Toronto Raptors, Vancouver Canucks
  • MEDIA NOTES

         The Golf Channel has signed distribution agreements with
    five new MSOs covering more than three million subscribers
    nationwide.  The new Golf Channel carriers are Adelphia
    Communications, Marcus Cable, TCA Group, Post-Newsweek Cable,
    Cable America Inc. (The Golf Channel)....The SAN FRANCISCO
    CHRONICLE reports that the ratings for the first three Giants
    games on KTVU "were excellent."  Sunday's 6.3 rating topped the
    5.4 average for all weekend day games from last year (S.F.
    CHRONICLE, 5/11)....Bob Sales was replaced as Sports Editor at
    the BOSTON HERALD yesterday.  His interim successor is Mark
    Torpey, the assistant sports editor (Jack Craig, BOSTON GLOBE,
    5/11)...Microsoft has announced the more than 40 different
    offerings to be available on Microsoft Network (MSN), the
    company's online service that will be available on the new
    version of Windows software debuting in August, Windows 95.  In
    addition to QVC and Home Shopping Network, MSN's partners include
    New York Times Co.'s sports publications and Starwave, home of
    ESPNET SportZone (WALL STREET JOURNAL, 5/11)....This weekend's
    SITV examines the dilemma facing Cuban baseball players.  Cuban
    3B Omar Linares tells of being offered $1.5M by the Yankees, but
    choosing instead to stay with his family (SITV).
    

    Print | Tags: Microsoft, New York Yankees, Media, YankeeNets
  • MURDOCH, MCI ANNOUNCE $2B JOINT INTERACTIVE DEAL

         "In what could be the most potent alliance yet between a
    telephone company and a media firm," MCI Communications announced
    Wednesday that it will invest up to $2B in Rupert Murdoch's News
    Corp. to form a joint venture to deliver electronic information
    services, according to Jube Shiver in this morning's L.A. TIMES.
    The deal calls for a 50-50 joint venture company that will
    distribute News Corp. TV shows, movies and published materials
    via MCI's network -- "though it was not at all clear exactly how
    this will work, since MCI's network does not extend all the way
    to individual households -- at least not yet" (L.A. TIMES, 5/11).
    The first venture between the two is likely to be an online
    service for business drawing on Murdoch's "international news
    gathering apparatus" (Schatz & Pessah, N.Y. NEWSDAY, 5/11).  In
    addition, Delphi, News Corp.'s commercial online service, "is
    expected to be folded into MCI's information services business"
    (Steve Lohr, N.Y. TIMES, 5/11).
         FOOTBALL AS LEVERAGE:  Both MCI Chair Bert Roberts and
    Murdoch said the alliance would provide the leverage necessary
    for transmission deals with cable companies or regional bells.
    Murdoch:  "We have a lot of bargaining strength and we have a lot
    of money. ... (Bell Atlantic) is not going to be supplying
    (programs) to people in Washington without the Redskins games"
    (WASHINGTON POST, 5/11).
         REAX:  MCI's cash infusion "enables Murdoch to resume the
    role of an aggressive buyer of media properties that he
    relinquished after the company's 1990 liquidity crisis" (DAILY
    VARIETY, 5/11).  News Corp. "is positioning itself for the day
    when broadcasters can deliver digital television into people's
    homes" (Cassandra Burrell, SAN FRANCISCO CHRONICLE, 5/11).  MCI
    Exec VP Tim Price:  "We just got  a big-time content provider"
    (N.Y. TIMES, 5/11).  Roberts:  "Until now, no one has put
    together the right building blocks -- programming, network
    intelligence, distribution and merchandising -- to offer new
    media services on a global scale" (FINANCIAL TIMES, 5/11).  The
    "potentially powerful alliance of content and distribution could
    well force other media and communication giants into similar
    deals, lest they be left behind in multimedia wars" (Keller &
    Landro, WALL STREET JOURNAL, 5/11).  "The deal marks one of the
    most startling alliances yet in the communications industry"
    (Andrews & Fabrikant, N.Y. TIMES, 5/11).
    

    Print | Tags: News Corp./Fox, Media, Washington Redskins
  • TISCH SAYS CBS IS NOT FOR SALE; HOW ABOUT A PARTNER?

         CBS Chair & CEO Laurence Tisch "said that despite constant
    rumors he is discussing a sale of CBS, the network isn't for
    sale," according to Elizabeth Jensen of the WALL STREET JOURNAL.
    Tisch made the comment to reporters immediately after CBS' annual
    shareholders meeting.  Jensen notes, "Tisch's pronouncements have
    caused skepticism before, however" (WALL STREET JOURNAL, 5/11).
    In comments to the L.A. TIMES, Tisch "drew a distinction between
    outright sale of the network and a possible merger."  Dillon Reed
    media analyst Ed Atarino:  "I think Wall Street has been too
    quick to say Larry wants out.  I believe he does want to effect a
    change in the structure of CBS.  But he may not want out -- he
    may want help in the form of a partner" (Jane Hall, L.A. TIMES,
    5/11).  Ted Turner and Barry Diller, among others, have been
    mentioned as CBS suitors.
    

    Print | Tags: CBS, Media, Viacom
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