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VANCOUVER'S GRIFFITHS LOOKS REGIONAL; NO DECISION ON TSN
Published June 20, 1995
Arthur Griffiths, Chair of Northwest Entertainment Group -- owner of the Canucks, Grizzlies and GM Place, failed in his bid to get involved in the purchase of The Sports Network from Labatt buyer Intrebrew. But, according to Jim Taylor of the Vancouver PROVINCE, that "doesn't mean NEG is out of the cable picture." At the media event to introduce Brian Winters as new Grizzlies coach, Griffiths reiterated his desire to start a regional sports network built around his Vancouver teams. Griffiths: "Regional sports. That's the future in terms of cable. And we (NEG) are positioned very well to be the leaders in Western Canada" (Vancouver PROVINCE, 6/20). NO WORD ON LABATT'S SALE: There was no decision by Intrebrew yesterday on the C$630M bid for Labatt Communications Inc. by a consortium led by top LCI execs. LCI's holdings include TSN, The Discovery Channel, and the French-language sports channel, RDI. The LCI group includes ESPN, Claridge Inc., the Seagram-owned holding company run by former Expos Owner Charles Bronfman, and Jeremy Reitman. One source, noting a rival bid by Alliance Communications and TCI's Liberty Media, said the LCI group has "the inside track," but added: "I don't think the race is over quite yet" (FINANCIAL POST, 6/20). This morning's GLOBE & MAIL reports that Intrebrew, which is forced by law to divest itself of Labatt's broadcast holdings by July 27, may split the assets and sell Discovery, LCI's 25% in Viewer's Choice pay-per-view and Dome Productions to the Alliance-Liberty group (Harvey Enchin, Toronto GLOBE & MAIL, 6/20).