SBD/9/Sports Media

RAYCOM, LIBERTY CLOSE TO COMPLETING MERGER

     Raycom is expected to sell a controlling interest in the
company to Liberty Sports within the next 60 days, "forming one
of the nation's biggest sports programmers," according to the
issue of the Charlotte BUSINESS JOURNAL released today.  Raycom
CEO Rick Ray:  "A lot is happening right now with negotiations,
but it's just a little premature to go into the details.  Things
are progressing very well; I expect we'll have something in the
next two months."  Those close to the deal say Liberty will buy
80% of Raycom, with Raycom parent Ellis Communications retaining
the other 20%.  Ellis Communications President Bert Ellis said
the joint business plans are still under discussion.  Ellis:
"The idea is that Liberty will be able to grow the company.
Liberty doesn't have enough management to handle all their sports
properties and Raycom would like to grow their sports
properties."  The deal, which has been under discussion since
early May, "has become potentially more attractive for Raycom"
since TCI Chair John Malone announced plans to split TCI and
Liberty into two stocks.  PaineWebber cable analyst Christopher
Dixon:  "Dividing the stock creates expansion.  As for Raycom,
they would be a clear beneficiary of that because it makes
(Liberty) that much more valuable."  Raycom is "one of the
largest programmers and syndicators in college sports," while
Liberty offers the cable systems through parent TCI, as well as
its RSNs (Erik Spanberg, Charlotte BUSINESS JOURNAL, 6/12 issue).
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Cablevision, New York Liberty, Media

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