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CRAZY LIKE A FOX: SI PROFILES MURDOCH FORAY INTO TV SPORTS
Published September 21, 1995
"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).