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BOSTON'S WSBK BACKS OUT OF RENEWING RED SOX
Published September 28, 1995
Boston's WSBK-TV and parent company Paramount have pulled out of negotiations to renew Red Sox TV rights for next season, according to this morning's BOSTON HERALD. WSBK has been the Red Sox's flagship station for 21 years. Paramount Stations Group Exec VP Ray Rajewski: "We can only assume they have concluded a deal elsewhere." While officials from rivals WABU-TV and WLVI-TV would not comment, Red Sox Dir of Broadcasting Jim Healey said, "We have no deal with any station." Healey went on to express "disappointment" that Paramount decided to terminate the relationship -- and with "the manner in which it was done." Red Sox rights jumped to $17M for the last year of the current deal, but Paramount refused to go over $10M for '96. Sources say WSBK's bid for the Red Sox was not the highest. The Red Sox have also noted concern with the expanded UPN programming on WSBK. Rajewski said Paramount will still own 20% of NESN (to the Red Sox's 48% and the Bruins' 32%), but the HERALD's Jim Baker notes the team will have to rebuild its New England TV network and will miss WSBK's satellite presence (BOSTON HERALD, 9/28).