SBD/21/Sports Media

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  • CRAZY LIKE A FOX: SI PROFILES MURDOCH FORAY INTO TV SPORTS

         "Just 13 months ago Fox had never so much as televised a
    live sporting event.  Now the Fox name crops up every time an
    event comes up for bid," writes E.M. Swift in this week's issue
    of SPORTS ILLUSTRATED.  Describing the network as "a major player
    in sports since landing the rights to the National Football
    Conference in 1993," Swift examines the recent deal with Don King
    to broadcast the November 4 Tyson-Mathis bout.  He notes that
    "Murdoch, who acts globally while others just talk it," will also
    carry the fight in the UK over his Sky TV satellite service.
    Swift also cites sources who say the deal stipulates Fox will
    also get the rights to a dozen more King-promoted fights.  Fox
    Sports President David Hill: "Underpromise, overdeliver.  That's
    the sports division's credo."  Swift also writes that Fox's
    hockey broadcasts next year will see a computer enhancement of
    the televised image of the puck.  In the final stages of
    development, the system would make the puck appear slightly
    larger and three dimensional.  NBC Sports President Dick Ebersol,
    on Fox's NFL approach:  "It's like they decided ESPN is doing
    football for football people.  NBC has carved out a niche in news
    and information gathering.  So they took the entertainment
    angle."  Swift: "Guess what sports fans?  The entertainment angle
    is selling" (SI, 9/25 issue).
         LETTERMAN'S TOP TEN GOOD THINGS ABOUT BEING A FOURTH-PLACE
    NETWORK:  10) People can't say your show sucks, because they
    haven't seen it; 9) You can address all of your viewers by name;
    8) Once TV Guide decides to stop listing your shows, the magazine
    is lighter and easier to carry; 7) Heartwarming feeling when
    canned goods arrive from local grade schools; 6) Get to use
    inspiring chant: "We're No. 4"; 5) Fourth ain't so bad -- I mean
    imagine you're the fourth handsomest guy in the world   -- you'd
    be pretty damn handsome!; 4) Don't get that paranoid feeling that
    people are watching you; 3) New slogan: "If networks were
    Beatles, we'd be Ringo!; 2) Andy Rooney gets a lot of sympathy
    sex; 1) You have reached maximum sucking potential (CBS, 9/20).
    

    Print | Tags: CBS, ESPN, NBC, News Corp./Fox, NFL, Sports Illustrated, Media, Time Warner, Viacom, Walt Disney
  • KINGS PARTNER WITH GROUP W; NBA NON-CABLE LIST NOW AT THREE

         The Sacramento Kings have announced that the team will
    televise an additional 25 games on local cable this season via
    the Kings Broadcasting Network with the debut of Kings Cable
    Television (KCTV), a product of a partnership with Group W Sports
    Marketing.  Prior to this deal, the Kings were one of four NBA
    teams without a cable package with the Pacers, Bucks and
    Clippers.  The 25 cable games will be in addition to the 35 games
    carried over-the-air on flagship KPWB-TV.  Group W will offer
    Kings games to each local cable system in the team's "marketing
    territory" -- including Sacramento, Stockton, Modesto and other
    communities (Kings).
    

    Print | Tags: Indiana Pacers, Los Angeles Clippers, Milwaukee Bucks, NBA, Media
  • MEDIA NOTES

         The dual-channel experiment on Tuesday's Phillies-Marlins
    game by PRISM and SportsChannel Philadelphia had many voting for
    the "conventional" broadcast.  While the game was shown regularly
    on PRISM, SportsChannel featured a "three-screen" broadcast
    offering insights into coaching and managerial strategy.  Sam
    Donnellon writes, "Instead of making us feel like we were there,
    the multiscreen approach often created a lack of intimacy, and
    perspective. ... But give SportsChannel credit for trying
    something new in a sport dominated by ideas older than infield
    dirt" (PHILADELPHIA DAILY NEWS, 9/20)....International Figure
    Skating magazine plans to go public and offer shareholders a
    chance to control one-third of the business.  $50 will buy a
    lifetime subscription to IFS and 100 shares (INSIDE MEDIA
    ONLINE)....The boards of Turner Broadcasting and Time Warner meet
    in New York today to consider the proposed $8B merger.  The best-
    case scenario could have both boards approving the deal tomorrow
    (N.Y. POST, 9/21).  According to the ATLANTA CONSTITUTION, TCI
    Chair John Malone would receive Turner's 44% stake in SportSouth
    as part of his compensation as a 21% shareholder in TBS (ATLANTA
    CONSTITUTION, 9/21).
    

    Print | Tags: Miami Marlins, Philadelphia Phillies, Media, TBS/TNT, Time Warner
  • RYDER CUP ROUND-UP: GOLF'S BIENNIAL EVENT TEES OFF TOMORROW

         The Ryder Cup, the U.S. vs. Europe match play tournament
    held every two years, will be carried on USA Network on Friday
    (with 10 hours beginning at 8am EDT) and NBC on Saturday and
    Sunday.  Saturday's NBC coverage will be wrapped around Notre
    Dame football, while Sunday will start at 9am and end at 3:30pm,
    to be followed by the NFL.  NBC Exec Producer Tommy Roy, on the
    different pace from regular tour events:  "You're not bouncing
    around from shot to shot as you would a stroke-play tournament.
    You stay with a group or match.  You slow it down for the viewer
    and set up stories and situations" (GOLFWEEK, 9/16-22 issue).
         SPONSORS:  Ping is the sole equipment sponsor, with 18 spots
    on USA coverage and six a day on NBC.  Titleist and Foot-Joy are
    also counting on the Ryder Cup for a fourth-quarter boost, as
    they are the official ball, glove and shoe sponsors (Jayne Hynes,
    GOLFWEEK, 9/16-22 issue).
         CYBER CUP:  NBC Sports is providing online coverage of the
    Ryder Cup from its NBC SuperNet Sports area on The Microsoft
    Network and from NBC's Web Site ("NBC HTTV").  In addition to
    stats, player bios, course layouts, and continual score updates,
    accessers will be able to "Ask the Announcers" questions via e-
    mail.  The site be rached at http://www.NBC.com or
    http://www.GOLF.com (NBC Sports).
         OTHER PRE-MATCH NOTES:  Collin Montgomerie, who is "emerging
    as the leader" of the European team, believes a loss could damage
    the European Tour.  Montgomerie:  "There's been so much build-up
    and, if we lose, everything will go flat again" (NEWSDAY,
    9/18)....USA Network analyst Peter Kostis:  "This is the only
    event in golf that you can compare to the Olympics. ... This is
    pure golf.  The players don't get any money and they're not
    allowed to wear any product logos.  It's a hugely different
    environment" (USA Network)....NEWSWEEK's Mark Starr, on Ryder Cup
    mania:  "Evidently, there are now enough of us to justify the
    kind of coverage that the networks have trouble extending to
    political conventions" (NEWSWEEK, 9/25 issue).
    

    Print | Tags: Acushnet, Microsoft, NBC, NFL, Media, USA Networks
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