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On a cumulative basis 32.1 billion people around the world watched one or more of the games of World Cup '94 -- one billion more than expected and 5.4 billion more than watched ITALIA '90, according to figures compiled by SRi, the research arm of FIFA's marketing partner, ISL. A total of 16,539 hours of World Cup '94 were broadcast around the world, almost 2,000 more than the 14,693 hours of ITALIA '90. Regional breakdowns follow (FIFA NEWS).NO.
REGION1990199419901994 Europe35547,643,4456,773,389 N. Amer/Caribbean2321389,522373,149 Cent/SouthAmerica20203,281,5464,289,105 Africa49502,552,3883,387,024 Middle East1312498,0161,474,677 Asia202312,318,05415,797,360 Pacific789,75820,948 World Totals16718826,692,72932,115,652
The Sharks and San Jose Arena have announced that they have joined with Sun Microsystem Computer Co. of Mountain View, CA, in a collaborative venture to build the Sharks' and the Arena's Home Pages on the World Wide Web "into a pair of the most popular and advanced sports and entertainment web sites on the Internet." As exclusive internet technology provider to the Sharks and San Jose Arena, Sun Microsystems will provide their Netra server and other software, as well as design expertise and access to the latest technology to upgrade the Sharks' two-month old Web presence. Sun will also become title sponsor of both home pages. Address: http://www.sj-sharks.com (Sharks). FRENCH OPEN ONLINE: Beginning May 26, USA Network and Prodigy will offer online tennis fans "a complete menu" of features from the French Open in Paris. Included: daily updates including quotes from USA analysts John McEnroe and Tracy Austin; a quiz; interviews with Austin and USA Network Exec Producer Gordon Beck; bio information on USA staff; a complete USA Network broadcast schedule; photo gallery; French Open history; player rankings; and players to watch. USA Network will carry 33 hours of the French Open, starting Monday, May 29 at 10am EDT (USA Network). OTHER ONLINE NOTES: NEWSWEEK and S.F.-based Virtual Communications are launching "Virtual City" -- "the first mass- market, service-oriented lifestyle magazine aimed at making cyberspace accessible to everyone." The first issue will be distributed in September. The magazine will start as a quarterly (BUSINESS WIRE)....MCI Chair & CEO Bert Roberts spoke with USA TODAY concerning his company's foray into multimedia. Roberts predicted that MCI will "be very different" from the other telcos by the end of the decade (Kevin Maney, USA TODAY, 5/24). Today's WALL STREET JOURNAL examines the telcos' entry into the entertainment world, noting that "investing in media is about as sure a bet as gambling in Las Vegas (WALL STREET JOURNAL, 5/24).
There is more criticism this morning for the NHL league office from Canada, this time concerning the decision to have the Canucks and Blackhawks play back-to-back games in each city this weekend in order to accommodate Fox's need for a Sunday game. In Vancouver, Archie McDonald writes, "The Fox's tail is wagging the NHL's dog here." While the other major sports have made "significant concessions" to TV, "they didn't grovel the way the NHL seems to be now" (VANCOUVER SUN, 5/24). In Toronto, Gare Joyce writes, "The Stanley Cup is supposed to be a showcase for the best hockey the NHL can offer. But even the elite teams and the exemplary players can't perform at a high level given the demands of consecutive games not 18 hours apart further complicated by travel across a couple of time zones." Joyce writes that, out of respect for the integrity of the game and the players' well-being, NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman "should have stood up to Fox and told the network two games with travel in less than 18 hours was not only unreasonable but impossible" (Toronto GLOBE & MAIL, 5/24).
Capital Group Companies, Inc., one of the largest institutional shareholders in CBS Inc., declined to vote its 6.22% stake in favor of management's slate of directors. Gordon Crawford, the Capital Group fund manager who oversees most of their media investments, is said to believe that CBS Chair Laurence Tisch "dismantled what was once a great communications empire, and that the company could be performing far better" (WALL STREET JOURNAL, 5/24)....With the Stars out of the NHL playoffs, ratings in the Dallas-Fort Worth area for last Sunday's Flyers-Rangers game dropped to 0.9 -- the lowest among cities with NHL franchises (DALLAS MORNING NEWS, 5/23).... The Baseball Network's Mike Trager says that TBN has signed more than 30 advertisers -- nearly double last year's total, with a dozen more possible. Trager argues that ESPN's 32% ratings drop-off isn't an adequate indicator for TBN's regionalized coverage. Trager: "Local baseball ratings aren't off anywhere near ESPN's numbers (Mike Heistand, USA TODAY, 5/24)....Nintendo, NBC and Blockbuster will join together on an estimated $5M fall promo to push Nintendo's new 3D "Virtual Boy" system, drive retail traffic at Blockbuster and hype NBC's fall lineup (BRANDWEEK, 5/22).