SBD/6/Sports Media

MLB ALL-STAR GAME IS A HIT WITH ADVERTISERS

     Next Tuesday's MLB All-Star Game on ABC "has generated
robust sales of commercial time despite sagging attendance at
ball parks" and the dissolution of The Baseball Network,
according to the AP's Skip Wollenberg.  Sales by TBN have hit
about $18M -- up 24% from the estimated $14.5M generated from ad
sales on '94 Game.  Wollenberg writes, "Ad buyers say a resurgent
advertising marketplace and the lack of competing sports
showcases such as the Olympics helped baseball overcome the
legacy of unresolved labor problems, at least for one game"
(AP/TORONTO STAR, 7/6).
     WHAT'S NEXT?:  Wollenberg also says "advertisers will be
watching" the ratings for sign of fan disenchantment already
evident in the 23% decline (through July 4) in average attendance
at MLB parks.  Ratings for MLB's All-Star Game have risen in each
of the past two seasons (AP/TORONTO STAR/AP, 7/6).  Arnold Chase
of Vitt Media International says MLB has benefited from its
multiyear contracts with "big advertisers like Anheuser-Busch,
General Motors, Toyota, and MCI on the All-Star Game," but is
cautious about the rest of the season.  Chase:  "Baseball has
major problems after the All-Star Game.  Most local market
baseball is going begging" (AP/WASHINGTON TIMES, 7/6).
     ON THE RADIO:  CBS Radio Networks carry three MLB games each
week, "but advertising is down, as are the number of stations
carrying [baseball], to 275 from 300 a year ago."  Bob Kipperman,
GM of CBS Radio:  "A number of advertisers have put their money
in other areas" (AP/Balto SUN, 7/6).
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