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Michael Jordan is the subject of the first-ever collector's edition of Sports Illustrated for Kids. "Michael!: The Story of Michael Jordan From His Childhood to His Comeback" is sponsored solely by McDonalds Restaurants. The magazine will be available on Chicago newsstands Monday, May 22, and will reach other parts of the country during the following two weeks. The collector's edition will be limited to a 200,000-copy distribution and will sell exclusively at newsstands for $3.95 (SI FOR KIDS, 5/18).
The NHL's "scramble to please" Fox "has some team executives fuming." According to David Shoalts, one "potential schedule sent out to teams" has the Red Wings and Canucks playing back-to- back in each city (if the Canucks advance against the Blues) "so Fox could televise Game 4 of the series on May 28 as part of its Sunday afternoon package." This "would come at the expense of Hockey Night In Canada on CBC, since it usually would have had the Vancouver-Detroit game as the second half of its Saturday night doubleheader" (Toronto GLOBE & MAIL, 5/19)....NBC's NBA playoff coverage has the highest cumulative playoff average in 18 years. NBC's national average is a 7.0 rating and 19 share. That is the highest rating after the first three playoff weekends since '77 when CBS posted an 8.5 for its eight telecasts (NBC)....ESPN's baseball ratings are down 29% from last year -- "another piece of evidence baseball hasn't recovered from its strike hangover" (USA TODAY, 5/19)....Prime Sports will broadcast the '95 Pac-10 Baseball Championship tonight featuring Washington State vs. USC at 7pm (Prime)...Liberty Sports will televise the NCAA Division I, II, and III Women's Lacrosse playoffs live this weekend on the Women's Sports & Entertainment Network, and on tape delay on various Liberty regionals (Liberty)....Fox Broadcasting and Western Pacific Airlines have unveiled the carrier's first "flying billboard" -- a Boeing 737-300 adorned with the faces of "The Simpsons" (AD AGE, 5/19).
The '95 NBA Draft Lottery will be hosted by Bob Costas and televised live this Sunday on NBC at 3:30 PM/ET. Chris Webber, Juwan Howard, Bill Fitch, John Lucas, Doug Collins, Mike Dunleavy, and Isiah Thomas are expected to make appearances. "NBA Showtime" on NBC will preview the lottery and look at this year's top picks during two NBA-produced features: "Underclassmen" and "Top Prospects." "Underclassmen" examines the issue of college players leaving school early to enter the draft, while "Top Prospects" profiles Ed O'Bannon, Rasheed Wallace, Corliss Williamson, Jerry Stackhouse, and Joe Smith. The NBA Draft will take place June 28 in Toronto (NBA Entertainment).
At yesterday's shareholders meeting in New York, Time Warner Chair Gerald Levin confirmed the company is selling 15 of its cable systems for $263.7M. The sale represents "the latest move by Levin to whittle down Time Warner's $15 billion in debt and marks the continuation of an agressive debt reduction plan started just over three months ago," according to Greg Clarkin in today's NEW YORK POST. Systems serving 144,000 customers in AK, KS, MS, MO, NJ, TN, and PA will be bought by TCA Cable TV, TCA Partnership, Classic Cable, York Cable TV, Lenfest Communications, Raystay, and Intermediate Partners. Time Warner shares dropped one point yesterday to close at 39 1/4 (NEW YORK POST/Mult., 5/19). NO COMMENT, SOME COMMENT: When asked if Revlon and New World Communications head Ron Perelman is trying to buy 14.9% of Time Warner stock currently held by Seagram's, Levin declined to comment (AD AGE ONLINE, 5/19). However, Levin did say that Time Warner and AT&T have had discussions about providing joint telephone service, and that the company "is interested in expanding its relationship with Japanese partners Itochu and Toshiba" (N.Y. POST, 5/19). MEANWHILE, ON THE UPPER WEST SIDE: Capital Cities/ABC Chair and CEO Thomas Murphy told shareholders yesterday that the company has not "ruled out the possibility of a major corporate acquisition," but will focus on growth through expansion of television production and overseas operations. Cap Cities/ABC President Robert Iger said ESPN has had "excellent" performance and that ESPN2 "should be in the black late in 1995, somewhat ahead of projections" (AD AGE ONLINE, 5/19).