SBD/8/Franchises

CELTICS CHAIR GASTON LOOKS AHEAD TO A CASH-FILLED FUTURE

     With the FCC's decision not to force Rupert Murdoch and News
Corp. to restructure their U.S. TV station holdings to comply
with foreign ownership rules, the way is cleared for the sale of
Boston's WFXT-TV back to Murdoch from the Boston Celtics Limited
Partnership.  In a Q & A with the BOSTON GLOBE, Celtics Chair
Paul Gaston addressed the possible uses of the estimated $60M or
more in cash the team is expected to reap from the sale.  Gaston:
"It's fair to say we're actively looking for scenarios that would
fit with the core business of the Celtics and would also fit with
our painfully developed acumen in the communications industry."
Gaston was posed with several options, including a purchase of
the Red Sox and the Boston Herald.  On the Red Sox, Gaston said,
"Fits with other sports teams are a natural, certainly from the
media point of view. ... We're not saying no to anything.  I
think it's fair to say that as all the teams have come on the
market in New England in the last few years we've looked at them
all, and should the Red Sox be in that position, we'd look at
them too."  Gaston noted the emergence of new media technologies
(e.g. telephone systems carrying video) and said that owning
sports teams are "a way to capitalize on that."  Asked about
rumors that Gaston is intersted in the Herald, he admitted to an
interest in the publishing business but expressed the belief that
the paper was not for sale (Steve Bailey, BOSTON GLOBE, 5/7).
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