SBD/26/Sports Media

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  • BASEBALL PARALYZED IN FACE OF PLAYOFF REGIONALIZATION

         The criticism continues of The Baseball Network's
    regionalized playoff coverage -- Divisional and League
    Championship playoff games all played simultaneously with fans
    seeing only one.  In Boston, Jack Craig -- who calls the setup
    the "final insult of The Baseball Network" --reports that in the
    time since the strike "a few owners inquired about cable, but the
    top network carriers, NBC and ABC, nixed the idea, not wanting
    their advertising rates skewed by far cheaper spots available on
    cable."  One cable exec who spoke with acting MLB Commissioner
    Bud Selig on the possibility of putting some games on cable "came
    away with a better understanding on how the PR disaster has come
    to be.  He said Selig did not comprehend the long reach major
    cable channels have with sports fans" (BOSTON GLOBE, 9/26).
         AD SALES:  TBN has sold about 75-80% of commercial time for
    its playoff broadcasts, according to a number of ad agency execs
    cited by INSIDE MEDIA.  One newcomer to TBN is McDonald's (INSIDE
    MEDIA, 9/20-10/3 issue).
         THE PLACE TO GO?  CBS Radio will broadcast games
    simultaneously -- four games during the Divisional Playoffs and
    two games during the LCS (CBS Radio).
    

    Print | Tags: ABC, Anheuser Busch, CBS, McDonalds, MLB, NBC, Media, Viacom, Walt Disney
  • MEDIA NOTES

         The $7.5B Turner-Time Warner merger may face another
    lawsuit.  Continental Cablevision is considering action to secure
    the same terms received by TCI in exchange for its shares in TBS
    (N.Y. POST, 9/26).  Meanwhile, US West, which has already filed
    suit over the deal, is considering joining the Baby Bells
    involved in Tele-TV.  That move could violate US West's "non-
    compete" clause in its partnership with Time Warner (WALL STREET
    JOURNAL, 9/26)....HBO Sports will debut "Rebels with a Cause:
    The Story of the American Football League" in December.  Fox's
    John Madden is serving as a consultant on the project
    (HBO)....Tom Marsillo, Local Sales manager at SportsChannel New
    York, reports that ad sales for the Devils are up 10%.  Among the
    newcomers buying time:  PaineWebber, SkyTel and Six Flags/Great
    Adventure.  Renewals include:  A-B, Discover, GMC Trucks,
    American Airlines, Volvo and the U.S. Postal Service (INSIDE
    MEDIA, 9/20-10/3). ....Grant Hill makes an appearance on NBC's
    Saturday morning series "Hang Time" on October 7 (NBC)....Steve
    Zipay notes that NFL officials are "touchy" about anything
    related to gambling -- and that includes the Taco Bell spots on
    the Hakeem-Shaq match-up which ran during NFL games Sunday.  The
    ads had a "Trump Taj Mahal" logo.  Zipay notes that Fox's promos
    for Tyson-Mathis will have an "MGM Grand" logo (NEWSDAY,
    9/26)....Chronicle Publishing, owner of the San Francisco
    Chronicle, said it has no plans to sell its interest in the paper
    to Hearst (WALL STREET JOURNAL, 9/26)....MCI is petitioning
    Congress and the FCC to have an auction for the last remaining
    license to provide DBS.  Analysts estimate the license could
    bring in as much as $300M.  MCI would then join DirecTV,
    Primestar and USSB in DBS business (WASHINGTON POST, 9/26)....CBS
    is expected to renew its U.S. Open contract with the rights fee
    averaging $30M a year (Rudy Martzke, USA TODAY, 9/26).... WGN
    will use its home page on the World Wide Web for another
    "webcast" of a Cubs game Thursday at 1pm CDT.  Address:
    http://www. wgntv.com (CHICAGO TRIBUNE, 9/26).
    

    Print | Tags: American Airlines, Anheuser Busch, Cablevision, CBS, Chicago Cubs, DirecTV, General Motors, HBO, NBC, New Jersey Devils, News Corp./Fox, NFL, Media, TBS/TNT, Time Warner, US West/Qwest, Viacom, YankeeNets
  • NBA SMALL-MARKET TEAMS SHORE UP THEIR TV SITUATIONS

         With the Kings' recent move to cable in Sacramento and
    surrounding areas, only three NBA teams are without cable
    packages -- the Pacers, Bucks and Clippers -- and that list could
    soon shorten to two.  According to the INDIANAPOLIS STAR, the
    Pacers are reportedly working on deals with at least two cable
    companies in the Indianapolis area to provide broadcasts of 20-30
    games.  Of the Pacers' 82 games, 30 are committed to WTTV-TV and
    five to NBC.  Cable could pick up as many as 30 of the remaining
    games.  However, with the Pacers reporting a $3.1M loss in '93-
    94, a cable deal is not believed to be "the difference between
    them making money and not making money," according to Patrick
    Early, President of Indianapolis' Capital Improvement Board,
    which operates Market Square Arena.  Pacers Dir of Broadcasting
    Larry Mago expects cable to provide "significant" revenue, but
    should the team make deals with all cable companies within their
    75-mile radius broadcast rights area at 15 cents monthly per
    subscriber (the figure cited by several local cable execs), they
    are only looking at $1M or more.  In addition, the team is
    negotiating on a share of revenues from ads sold during the
    broadcasts.  Local media buyer Diane Nichols-Hayde said a 30-
    second spot during games on WTTV go for as much as $1,200, but
    she had no estimate for how much those rates would be on cable
    (Mary Francis, INDIANAPOLIS STAR, 9/26).
         GROUP W EXPANDS ITS NBA FAMILY:  Group W Sports Marketing
    has signed a multi-year agreement with the Bucks to handle
    national and local TV ad sales for all Bucks games, which are
    carried on WVTV-TV in Milwaukee.  WVTV will carry 35 regular
    season games and playoff games.  Production responsibilities will
    also be handled by GWSM as part of the agreement (Group W Sports
    Marketing).
    

    Print | Tags: Indiana Pacers, Los Angeles Clippers, Milwaukee Bucks, NBA, NBC, Media
  • REVIEWS FOR THE RYDER CUP -- A GOLF PURIST'S DREAM?

         Reviews are in for NBC's handling of the Ryder Cup.  In New
    York, Richard Sandomir calls the event "the perfect televised
    golf tournament" and says "NBC's production usually captured its
    essence."  He does note, however, that NBC's on-course reporters
    "faltered in some of their interview work" (N.Y. TIMES, 9/26).
    In Boston (where NBC got its top rating -- a 7.3 overall), Jack
    Craig writes, "Blessed are the announcers who say little and shun
    adjectives, and that was the case in spades for all of the Ryder
    Cup telecasts" (BOSTON GLOBE, 9/26).  GOLF DIGEST  Senior Editor
    Peter McCleery, in a piece carried on The Microsoft Network,
    writes that NBC Producer Tommy Roy "basically needed to show more
    golf and eliminate some of the fluff."  McCleery also was
    critical of NBC's interviewers, writing, "Too bad [SI's Rick]
    Reilly can't stick around to do interviews of players, because
    NBC's other crew members are hopeless" (The Microsoft Network).
    Jimmy Roberts:  "It was three days of pure sport, with hardly a
    logo to be found" ("SportsCenter," ESPN, 9/25).
    

    Print | Tags: ESPN, Microsoft, NBC, Sports Illustrated, Media, Walt Disney
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