SBD/5/Sports Media

CASUALTIES CONTINUE TO MOUNT IN BASEBALL NETWORK DISPUTE

     MLB team execs "were surprised and saddened last week to
hear of the resignation of 12-year MLB veteran David Allworth,"
VP of MLB's broadcasting department.  According to the latest
BROADCASTING & CABLE, Allworth's departure stems from a
"disagreement" with The Baseball Network President Ken Schanzer
over MLB's future TV strategy.  B&C reports, "Sources say
Allworth had encouraged team owners to exercise their option to
renegotiate the terms of the TBN venture with ABC and NBC.  One
MLB source:  "He felt the league had nothing to lose because
there appears to be significant interest by outside parties,
including Fox and CBS."  Schanzer, according to sources, "sided
with NBC and ABC, and was trying to persuade the league to
discount the first strike-hampered year of TBN and enter year
three of the venture before considering other options."  Yankees
Exec VP David Sussman:  "The news [of Allworth's departure] was
like a thunderbolt, and I was shocked.  Baseball is losing a
consummate professional and a great resource person on
broadcasting issues" (BROADCASTING & CABLE, 7/3 issue).
     MORE TBN FALLOUT:  Writing the guest "TV Column" in USA
TODAY this morning, Turner Sports President Harvey Schiller said
his network is "very interested" in carrying part of MLB's
package while maintaining their Braves coverage (USA TODAY,
7/5)....Some media buyers believe that confusion over coverage of
this year's postseason could diminish sales of TBN's remaining ad
spots.  TBN claims to have sold 50% of World Series avails
(BROADCASTING & CABLE, 7/3)....In Baltimore, Milton Kent notes
that the cost to USA TODAY for running NBC and ABC's side to the
TBN story without a response to MLB will be one full-page ad in
the paper.  USA TODAY promised the league free space (a five-
figure value) as a way to "placate" MLB leadership (Baltimore
SUN, 7/4).   ....In Miami, Barry Jackson writes that if he were
Fox and got baseball, he would hire Bob Costas away from NBC for
the lead baseball job, as well as giving him a newsmagazine show
(MIAMI HERALD, 6/30)....In San Francisco, Bruce Adams notes that
ABC and NBC officials say they don't want MLB talking to CBS and
Fox until after the current deal expires on October 31.  Adams
writes, "If ABC and NBC are so disgusted, why not step aside now
and let CBS and Fox ... begin negotiations on next season's
package.  Sounds almost like a ploy.  Some insiders say ABC and
NBC simply are not happy with their share of revenues from
advertising sales and wants a bigger piece of the action" (S.F.
EXAMINER, 7/1).
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