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WHAT DO RECENT MEDIA SHAKE-UPS MEAN FOR SPORTS RIGHTS?
Published August 3, 1995
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).