SBD/3/Sports Media

WHAT DO RECENT MEDIA SHAKE-UPS MEAN FOR SPORTS RIGHTS?

     Response to comments from Disney CEO Michael Eisner and Cap
Cities Chair Tom Murphy indicating an interest in baseball:
ABC's Brent Musberger said the sport still needs a long-term
labor deal and a commissioner; Phillies President Bill Giles (who
is on MLB's TV committee) noted the "synergies" between MLB and
Disney; Disney Dir of Corporate Communications Ken Green called
any talk about baseball rights "premature"; and ABC VP for
Corporate Projects Julie Hoover said the network's position on
baseball is not likely to change because of Disney.  As for CBS,
former CBS Sports President Neal Pilson says, "My guess is that
Westinghouse would seem to be more interested in getting back
into the NFL than into baseball" (Rudy Martzke, USA TODAY, 8/3).
Stanford Univ. sports economist Roger Noll notes that Disney
offers Major League Baseball a chance to "go international," but
adds of MLB's leaders, "Show a little enterprise and imagination
and they drum you out of the club" (Thomas Mulligan, L.A. TIMES,
8/3).
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