SBD/12/Sports Media

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  • ESPN AMONG A GROUP LOOKING TO SALVAGE CANADA'S TSN

         The management of Canada's The Sports Network (TSN) "has
    lined up partners" in Montreal, Vancouver and the U.S. in a bid
    to keep control of the all-sports cable network when Labatt's
    ownership ends, according to this morning's GLOBE & MAIL.  Labatt
    Communications -- TSN, its French counterpart Reseau des Sports,
    Dome Productions, ad agency The Rep Shoppe, 80% of the Discovery
    Channel, a minority share in PPV outlet Viewer's Choice, and a
    35% interest in interactive programmer NTN Canada -- is expected
    to go on the block if Belgian brewer, Interbew SA, succeeds in
    buying John Labatt Ltd.  A source close to ESPN says the U.S.
    sports network is among those helping TSN management in its bid.
    Others involved:  Former Expos Owner Charles Bronfman and
    Northwest Entertainment Group, owner of the Canucks, Grizzlies
    and GM Place.  Canadian interests are thought to control 70% of
    the consortium.  Grizzlies VP/Commun. Tom Mayenknecht, on behalf
    of NEG:  "All I can say is that we have been considering options
    available to our group in terms of Canadian and international
    broadcast properties and partnerships.  It is certainly not off-
    strategy for our group to be exploring such partnerships."
    Labatt's broadcast assets are said to be worth between C$350-
    500M.  Other bidders:  CanWest Global Communications, and Western
    Int'l Communications, run by Frank Griffiths, brother of NEG's
    Arthur Griffiths (Neil Campbell, GLOBE & MAIL, 6/12).
         ANOTHER REGIONAL BID:  The GLOBE & MAIL piece also notes
    that NEG is exploring a bid to start a regional sports network
    featuring Vancouver teams.  While TSN "bitterly opposed" an
    application filed by CTV last year with the CRTC (Canada's FCC)
    to start a series of RSNs called S3, it is believed that TSN
    management would "embrace" NEG's planned sports channel.  CTV
    will reapply for S3 this year, with NEG remaining in touch with
    them should the TSN deal fall through (Neil Campbell, Toronto
    GLOBE & MAIL, 6/12).
    

    Print | Tags: ESPN, Labatt Brewing, Canucks Sports and Entertainment, Media, Vancouver Canucks, Walt Disney
  • MEDIA NOTES

         On Friday, officials from ITT termed as "fiction" a N.Y.
    POST report that ITT and Barry Diller had made an unsuccessful
    run at CBS.  The same day, ITT announced that it had sold the
    remaining assets in ITT's Financial Division for $5.5B (N.Y.
    POST, 6/12)....Salt Lake City's KJZZ-TV, owned by Jazz Owner
    Larry Miller, has reached a tentative agreement to carry Ute
    football, basketball and gymnastics beginning this fall.  KJZZ
    already carries the Jazz.  KUTV had been the Univ. of Utah's TV
    outlet since 1967 (SALT LAKE TRIBUNE, 6/10).... Fox's NFL slogan
    this year will change to "Same game, more attitude" from "Same
    game, new attitude" (PHILADELPHIA DAILY NEWS, 6/9)....ESPN has
    reportedly contacted former Packers WR Sterling Sharpe to replace
    Phil Simms in ESPN's NFL studio.  Former Redskin Charles Mann has
    also auditioned (Barry Jackson, MIAMI HERALD, 6/9).... Houston's
    KMJQ-FM has changed its name from "Majic 102" to "Clutch City
    102" for the duration of the NBA playoffs (HOUSTON CHRONICLE,
    6/9)....United Video made its pay-per-view debut Friday with the
    Tommy Morrison-Razor Ruddick heavyweight bout.  The network was
    hoping to attract 300,000 buyers at $29.95 each (ATLANTA
    CONSTITUTION, 6/10)....ESPN's Beano Cook, on SI's cover story
    suggesting that Univ. of Miami drop football:  "If I am UM, I
    would say to Sports Illustrated, we will drop college football
    when you drop the swimsuit issue" (MIAMI HERALD, 6/11)....This
    morning's N.Y. TIMES profiles new CBS Entertainment head Les
    Moonves (Bill Carter, N.Y. TIMES, 6/12).  CBS President Peter
    Lund introduced Moonves on the "Late Show."  The pair sang a duet
    of Bob Seger's "Like a Rock" (CBS, 6/9).
    

    Print | Tags: CBS, ESPN, Green Bay Packers, NBA, News Corp./Fox, NFL, Sports Illustrated, Media, Time Warner, Utah Jazz, Viacom, Walt Disney
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