SBD/20/Sports Media

MORE CABLE NEWS: NFL GETS A RECORD AUDIENCE ON TNT

     The Cowboys' OT win over the Vikings on TNT Sunday drew a
"whopping" 14.0 cable rating, "the highest of any programming on
basic cable this year, including CNN's numbers for the Oklahoma
City bombing and the O.J. Simpson trial," according to Prentis
Rogers of the ATLANTA CONSTITUTION.  The 14.0 is the third
highest-rated telecast in TNT's history and third on cable's all-
time sports list behind Bears-Vikings in '87 and Lions-Dolphins
last year,  both on ESPN (ATLANTA CONSTITUTION, 9/20).  In
Baltimore, Milton Kent notes that Sunday's TNT game drew "nearly
twice the audience" that watched ESPN's coverage of Cal Ripken's
record-breaking game (Baltimore SUN, 9/20).
     ESPN'S REACH:  The current issue of ELECTRONIC MEDIA
examines ESPN's recent milestone:  becoming the first cable
network to reach 70% of U.S. TV homes.  While USA Network Senior
VP/Research Tim Brooks notes that ESPN is now in "the same basket
with start-up networks and some syndication," Doug Seay, Senior
VP and Dir of National Broadcast at Hal Riney & Partners, adds,
"On the flip side of that coin, then they can't use distribution
as an excuse for small ratings" (Wayne Walley, ELECTRONIC MEDIA,
9/18 issue).
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