SBD/25/Sports Media

MURDOCH'S NEWS CORP. LOOKING AT LIBERTY AS A RIVAL TO ESPN

     TCI Inc. is reportedly in talks with News Corp.'s Fox to
join their TV sports operations in creating a "national rival" to
ESPN.  Terms of a deal "are sketchy," according to the WALL
STREET JOURNAL, but sources say that Fox is in discussions to
purchase a piece of Liberty Sports Inc., the sports programming
division of TCI.  The negotiations still have "unresolved issues"
and could "fall apart."  A deal could allow TCI to "wring more
value" from Liberty's 14 regional cable channels, and an
agreement could give Fox "a boost" with "attractive local games."
A partnership with TCI's John Malone and News Corp.'s Rupert
Murdoch "would create a potent competitor to any sports
programmer, but particularly ESPN" (WALL STREET JOURNAL, 10/25).
Fox and TCI may also "try to bring in" Cablevision Systems, which
through its programming arm of Rainbow Holdings owns 10 key
regional sports networks, including SportsChannel New York and
half of MSG (VARIETY, 10/23 issue).
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