SBD/10/Sports Media

FOX, CBS NOW ELIGIBLE TO ENTER INTO NEGOTIATIONS WITH MLB

     MLB can now open negotiations with Fox and CBS after ABC and
NBC let Monday's deadline pass without exercising their exclusive
negotiating rights on a new TV rights deal, according to Richard
Sandomir of the N.Y. TIMES.  Giants Exec VP Larry Baer, a member
of MLB's TV committee:  "This will be an active week."  Baer said
that the owners' goal is a new deal by month's end (N.Y. TIMES,
10/10).  ESPN is still in its exclusive negotiating period for
cable channels (Rudy Martzke, USA TODAY, 10/10).  In Sunday's
N.Y. TIMES, Phillies President Bill Giles outlines the likely
post-season package under the new deal:  National prime-time
coverage of the divisional series Tuesday-Monday, with no
Thursday off and staggered starts; 13 other games in the
afternoon or late night on cable or the nets; Wednesday, Saturday
and Sunday starts at 1pm, 4 pm, 7pm, and 9 or 10pm.  The LCS
would also have full coverage, but Giles was not sure whether
there would be some cable involved.  Giles, on afternoon games:
"We're willing to take less to market the game.  Exposing more
quality players is of equal importance to money" (Richard
Sandomir, N.Y. TIMES, 10/9).  In Boston, Jack Craig reports, "It
was anticipation of the furor over dividing LCS coverage that
prompted baseball to announce last Wednesday that all post-season
games will be on television for everyone next season" (BOSTON
GLOBE, 10/8).
     M'S-YANKEES BOOSTS RATINGS:  Sunday's Mariners-Yankees Game
5 did a 13.4 for ABC in Nielsen overnights, after a 10.4 on
Saturday and a 12.4 on Friday.  Jack Craig notes, "It may signify
nothing, but the largest audience of the five nights of
baseball's divisional coverage was on Sunday, when Yankees-
Mariners became a national game" (BOSTON GLOBE, 10/10).  Sunday's
game drew a local 23.2 rating and 36 share in New York, with more
than half of NYC TV sets tuned into the final 15 minutes (Josef
Adallan, N.Y. POST, 10/10).
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