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SPECULATION HAS THE MLB TV DEAL BEING ANNOUNCED THIS WEEK

     "The faxes and phone calls between executives" at Fox, CBS
and MLB's TV negotiators are continuing, according to NEWSDAY's
Steve Zipay.  He reports a formal announcement of MLB's reported
$1B, four-year deal with Fox, CBS and cable partners could happen
Thursday or Friday (NEWSDAY, 10/24).
     ABC OUT OF THE BIDDING?  The current issue of BROADCASTING &
CABLE reports that a "well-placed ABC source" told the magazine
that ABC would not make a bid for MLB (Jim McConville,
BROADCASTING & CABLE, 10/24).
     CBS/FOX AFFILIATES HAPPY:  Many CBS and Fox affiliates "said
last week that they would welcome the chance to carry" baseball,
according to BROADCASTING & CABLE.  Station managers at many Fox
stations "were smiling at the prospect of televising the World
Series, the Stanley Cup playoffs and the Super Bowl in 1997."
And in spite of heavy losses incurred by CBS' last go at
baseball, CBS affiliates "still say the network needs a major
sports franchise to maintain credibility with sports fans."
Overall, Fox affiliates back the network's goal to become a year-
round player in sports programming.  WSVN-Miami GM Robert Leider,
who is also chair of Fox affiliates' board: "Going after the
sports audience will give us the chance to expand our reach in
both audience delivery and ad sales" (BROADCASTING & CABLE, 10/23
issue).
     SOME FRIENDLY ADVICE:  Former CBS Sports President Neal
Pilson, who was "at the helm when the network lost" $500M on
baseball from '90-93, was "skeptical" of the dollars and the
format being discussed for MLB's new network contract.  Pilson:
"Unless the economics of baseball has improved, I would be
surprised if a deal gets done at those levels."  As for CBS,
Pilson would be surprised if CBS picked up 14 prime-time
weeknight regular season games.  Pilson:  "CBS needs to
restructure its fall entertainment schedule and it's hard to
imagine how regular-season baseball is part of the scenario"
(Steve Zipay, NEWSDAY, 10/24).
     WORLD SERIES NOTES:  The Gillette promotion, in which an
Ohio man will attempt to throw a strike for $1M, is not expected
to be shown live on tonight's NBC telecast (BOSTON GLOBE,
10/24)....ABC's Al Michaels was not the only one nominating
potential MLB commissioners last week.  NBC's Bob Costas, during
his conference call with sports media writers, suggested that Cal
Ripken agent Ron Shapiro would make a good commissioner.  Costas
called him a "moderate" acceptable to both sides (Baltimore SUN,
10/24).
     HOWDY, PARTNER:  ABC, NBC's partner in The Baseball Network,
counters Game 3 tonight with the premier of "NYPD Blue" -- which
was hyped enthusiastically by Dan Dierdorf during last night's
"MNF" broadcast (THE DAILY).
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ABC, CBS, MLB, NBC, News Corp./Fox, Viacom, Walt Disney

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