SBD/25/Sports Media

NBC DOESN'T WAIVE BASEBALL RIGHTS -- JUST A FORMALITY?

     NBC said that it will refuse to waive its exclusive
negotiating period of 45 days with MLB, which starts today.
While a statement from the network said there would be "no
further comment," the announcement was seen "purely as a legal
move and was not expected to signal any renewed interest in
bidding for baseball by NBC."  ABC similarly refused to waive its
rights, but is said to be interested in re-bidding (WASHINGTON
POST, 8/25).  NBC's strategy most likely is to keep Fox and CBS
away until negotiations open on October 9 (Rudy Martzke, USA
TODAY, 8/25).
     THE GRAND PLAN:  Hal Bodley reports that MLB's TV committee
met with chief negotiator Barry Frank in New York on Wednesday
and decided that their next contract will include two over-the-
air networks and two cable outlets, similar to the NFL (USA
TODAY, 8/25).
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