SBD/15/Sports Media

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         Manitoba-based CanWest Global Communications, headed by NHL
    Jets suitor Izzy Asper, said yesterday that it is "counting
    itself out of any bidding war for John Labatt Ltd.'s broadcasting
    properties," according to this morning's FINANCIAL POST.  But
    industry sources believe CanWest may still be a potential bidder,
    and some say the firm has already offered C$550M for The Sports
    Network and The Discovery Channel.  CanWest Deputy Dir of
    Corporate Development Greg Gilhooly:  "Not true."  Gilhooly said
    they were rebuffed on their bids for the stations, and consider
    themselves only a "buyer of last resort."  Sources say the
    remaining bidders include Vancouver-based Western International
    Communications Ltd. (WIC), Toronto-based Baton Broadcasting and a
    group led by current TSN management (Michael Urlocker, FINANCIAL
    POST, 6/15).  In Vancouver, David Baines notes that WIC "has the
    financial capacity" -- the company showed C$100M in cash flow in
    '94 and projects C$120M for '95 -- but also notes that "there is
    no assurance TSN will maintain its monopoly" (VANCOUVER SUN,

    Print | Tags: Labatt Brewing, New York Jets, NHL, Media

         The NHL's decision to carry Stanley Cup playoff games in the
    afternoon "has been a ratings bust" for CBC, according to the
    CANADIAN PRESS.  Only two of seven matinee games have drawn more
    than 1 million viewers.  CBC Sports spokesperson Susan Proctor:
    "Evening numbers on the whole are about a million higher."  NHL
    VP of Broadcasting Glenn Adamo:  "We're trying to grow this sport
    on a whole bunch of levels in both countries. ... [But] there are
    weights on both sides that we have to keep playing with" (OTTAWA
    CITIZEN, 6/15)....When it comes to lower ad revenue for MLB
    broadcasters, "radio has been hit harder than TV," according to
    ADWEEK.  The Marlins' WQAM-AM has seen a 40% drop in ad sales
    from '94, according to Exec Dir of Sales Ray Perry.  But Ted
    Ewanciw of HTS, the regional sports network arm of Group W Sports
    Marketing and Orioles cable outlet, reports that they are all
    sold out.  In fact, Group W Senior VP & GM Bob Kunath cites a 7-
    10% increase in O's ad revenues (ADWEEK, 6/12 issue)....Primestar
    Partners President & CEO John Cusick resigned last week.
    Primestar Chair Jim Gray will act as CEO until a new president is
    found (BROADCASTING & CABLE, 6/12 issue).  Primestar will serve
    as video supplier to this week's U.S. Open.  Coverage of the
    tournament will be shown on 200 on-site TVs via Primestar's
    satellite service (Primestar)....ESPN's June 19 edition of
    "Outside the Lines" focuses on the phenomenon and impact of
    sports talk radio (ESPN)....Starting today, tennis fans will be
    able to access information on Wimbledon on a World Wide Web site
    jointly established by the All England Lawn Tennis Club and IBM.
    Address: (IBM).

    Print | Tags: Baltimore Orioles, CBC, Comcast-Spectacor, ESPN, Miami Marlins, IBM, MLB, NHL, Media, Walt Disney

         When it comes to TV viewership, "other sports just can't
    compete" with the NFL, according to an analysis of the sport in
    the current ADWEEK.  Glenn Macnow writes, "The game practically
    sells itself.  The product is so good, the demographics so
    strong, that the best way to broadcast the NFL is just to turn on
    the cameras and stay out of the way."  Weeks before the NFL
    selling season opens, sources from the five nets that carry the
    league predict ad rates 15-20% above '94.  Factors cited:
    Increased competition among advertisers, last year's high
    ratings, Fox's "strengthening" in many markets, and residual
    effects of the baseball strike.  Fox President of Sales Jon
    Nesvig:  "It could be the best market since 1975-76."  Sources
    say TNT has raised rates about 20%, putting the cost of a 30-
    second spot on the smallest network carrying the NFL at around
    $75,000.  Fox looks to benefit from last year's "wait-and-see"
    strategy, which allowed sponsors to sign on for one year rather
    than the usual four-year deals.  Given the market, one media
    buyer predicted Fox "will now go after people hammer and tong."
    Fox typically charged $110,000 per 30-second last year.  The '95
    season should also be "profitable" for NBC, which has rights to
    Super Bowl XXX as well as the L.A. market to itself with the Rams
    gone (ADWEEK, 6/12 issue).

    Print | Tags: NBC, NFL, Media, LA Rams, Turner Sports
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