SBD/3/Sports Media

ITT, DOW JONES TO COMBINE ON NYC BIZ-SPORTS CHANNEL

     The ITT Corp. and Dow Jones & Co. have agreed to pay New
York City $207M for the city-owned WNYC-Channel 31, with the plan
of transforming the station into a "24-hour sports, financial
news and entertainment service," according to this morning's N.Y.
TIMES.  Richard Sandomir reports, "The goal is to make what is
now a public television station into a superstation, like WTBS in
Atlanta and WGN in Chicago, that can be beamed by satellite to
cable systems around the country."  With the Yankees, Knicks and
Rangers, whose broadcast rights are held largely by MSG Network,
owned by a ITT-Cablevision partnership -- and the expectation
that the new WNYC would negotiate for partial rights to the Mets,
Nets, Islanders and Devils -- the station could have a lineup of
seven New York teams.  During the day, Dow Jones would provide
business and financial programming.  ITT would also provide
programming from its Caesar's hotels -- concerts, boxing and
tennis.  One exec involved in the talks said MSG and WNYC "would
not show games simultaneously.  Instead, the strategy will be to
allow viewers without cable television to see some games of local
teams."  ITT-Dow Jones would look to double WNYC's signal
strength.  The timetable on turning the station into a
superstation has not been determined (N.Y. TIMES, 8/3).  Because
of must-carry provisions, WNYC will have immediate access to the
large metropolitan New York cable TV audience.  Another likely
way of going national would be through direct broadcast satellite
(Reilly & Jensen, WALL STREET JOURNAL, 8/3).
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