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  • CHECK YOUR LOCAL LISTINGS: WHERE TO FIND BASEBALL TONIGHT

         After months of heavy criticism from baseball and media
    writers, The Baseball Network launches its regionalized playoff
    coverage on NBC tonight at 8pm EDT.  ABC picks up divisional
    playoff coverage on Friday.  The rundown of where each series
    will be shown (USA TODAY, 10/3):
         NOTE:  States are listed by postal code.  States with symbol
    (^) have some markets dedicated to other games.
         BOS-CLE (23%)  NYY-SEA (20%)  CIN-LA (27%)   COL-ATL (30%)
         New England    NJ, NY         Philadelphia   NC, TN
         Erie, PA       AK, HI, OR, WA Pittsburgh     Richmond
         Baltimore      Lancaster, PA  Johnstown, PA  Roanoke
         Wash., DC      Wilkes-Barre   KY, WV, OH^    AL, GA, MS, SC
         Norfolk, VA    C'ville, VA    IL^, IN^       KS^, FL^, NE,
         Fort Myers     Hagerstown, MD AZ^, CA, NV    Springfield, MO
         MI, WI, MN, ND Evansville     Waterloo, IA   Peoria, IL
         Kansas City    Davenport, IA  St. Louis      Des Moines
         Fort Wayne     Miami          Joplin, MO     Sioux City, IA
         Cleveland      Tampa                         CO, ID, MT, UT
         Columbus                                     WY, AR, NM, OK
         Stubenville                                  LA^, TX, SD
         Toledo                                       Phoenix
         Youngstown
         South Bend
         Baton Rouge
         Fort Worth
         Amarillo
         THE GOOD:  In Philadelphia, Mike Bruton writes, "On the eve
    of this not-so-grand experiment, it looks as if things might not
    be so terrible" (PHILADELPHIA INQUIRER, 10/3).  In Washington,
    Tom Boswell writes, "Have pity on our fellow Americans.  If they
    want MTV and Beverly Hills 90210, why not give them baseball in
    quadravision?" (WASHINGTON POST, 10/3).  ESPN President Steve
    Bornstein:  "Why don't we see the playoffs before they're
    criticized?" (USA TODAY, 10/3).  In Atlanta, Prentis Rogers
    writes, "It is worth noting that little of the criticism directed
    at TBN has been aimed at the telecasts themselves" (ATLANTA
    CONSTITUTION, 10/3).
         THE BAD:  In Tampa, Doug Carlson writes the new TV format
    "likely will further tarnish the game's image" (TAMPA TRIBUNE,
    10/3).  Astros Dir of Broadcasting Jamie Hildreth:  "The Baseball
    Network was a good idea for the regular season but not so good
    for the playoffs. ... Any time you get a jewel event like the
    playoffs, it should be seen by the entire country" (Carlton
    Thompson, HOUSTON CHRONICLE, 10/3).
         AND THE UGLY:  NBC's Bob Costas:  "The whole wild-card idea
    in concept and practice is so mindless it's best not to think
    about it if you plan to enjoy the games that remain" (Rudy
    martzke, USA TODAY, 10/3).
         THE WORD FROM TBN:  In New York, Richard Sandomir notes that
    move toward regionalization "ignored such factors as the
    expanding nationalization" of the NBA playoffs.  But TBN "must
    play the denationalized hand it was dealt."  President Ken
    Schanzer:  "We've been given a responsibility to broadcast the
    games regionally and, within that context, we tried to come up
    with a plan that makes it as exciting as possible" (N.Y. TIMES,
    10/3).  Coordinating producer John Filipelli:  "Our goal is to
    make these telecasts as seamless as possible" (Steve Nidetz,
    CHICAGO TRIBUNE, 10/3).
         NO DISH VIEWING:  Restating his Monday report, Jim Baker
    notes that officials from NBC and TBN insist the satellite feed
    will remain scrambled on out-of-market games to protect
    regionalization (BOSTON HERALD, 10/3).
         WILL O.J. PRE-EMPT?  The WASHINGTON POST reported this
    morning that NBC was considering a prime-time O.J. special, but
    NBC's Ed Markey tells THE DAILY that other than a special
    "Dateline" at 11:35pm EDT, he knew of no such plans.
         WAIT 'TIL NEXT YEAR:  New MLB marketing exec Arlan Kantarian
    is said to be pursuing sponsorship deals for next season, which
    include MLB-based promos and time buys with the league's new
    media partners, according to Jeff Jensen of ADVERTISING AGE.
    Kantarian is said to be in the "critical stages" with Pizza Hut,
    while Anheuser-Busch has requested a meeting.  A-B VP/Corporate
    Media & Sports Marketing Tony Ponturo:  "From our standpoint, the
    playoffs and World Series will be a test to see just where the
    national appeal of baseball stands."  A-B will run spots during
    ABC and NBC broadcasts, but nothing baseball-specific.  The same
    goes for TBN sponsor Texaco.  But GM (TBN's biggest sponsor) will
    air new Cal Ripken/Chevy Trucks ads (AD AGE, 10/2 issue).
         OVERNIGHTS ON AL WEST PLAYOFF:  According to preliminary
    Nielsen overnight ratings for the Seattle and L.A. markets, the
    Mariners-Angels AL West playoff game on ESPN yesterday afternoon
    received a 2.8 in L.A. and a 4.5 in Seattle (Nielsen Sports
    Marketing Service).
         ONE LAST SHOT:  David Letterman, on the NL playoff schedule:
    "The Dodgers will be at home against the Reds, the Braves will be
    at home playing the Rockies, and the Mets will be at home playing
    Mortal Kombat" (CBS, 10/2).
    

    Print | Tags: ABC, LA Angels, Anaheim Sports, Anheuser Busch, Atlanta Braves, CBS, Cincinnati Reds, Colorado Rockies, ESPN, Houston Astros, Los Angeles Dodgers, MLB, NBA, NBC, New York Mets, News Corp./Fox, Nielsen, Seattle Mariners, Media, Time Warner, Viacom, Walt Disney
  • MEDIA NOTES

         The Women's Basketball Association will begin its fourth
    season with a three-year TV deal with Liberty Sports.  This year,
    the WBA expands its schedule to 36 games, with Liberty carrying
    80 regular season games, the All-Star Game and the playoffs on
    its Prime Sports RSNs and the Women's Sports & Entertainment
    Network (WBA)....The Broncos topped the Rockies in the ratings
    Sunday.  Broncos-Seahawks drew a 25 rating/47 share, while the
    Rockies wild card clincher drew a 17/33 (Colorado Springs GAZETTE
    TELEGRAPH, 10/3).... The Big East Conference has launched a site
    on the Web on ESPNET SportsZone (ESPN)....Int'l Skating Union
    President Ottavio Cinquanta announced the completion of the ISU's
    "multi-million dollar, worldwide" TV agreement yesterday, which
    will extend through '99.  Networks involved include ABC (U.S.),
    CTV (Canada), TF/1 (France), and most likely EBU (Europe).
    Negotiations are ongoing in Japan, the Far East and Southeast
    Asia.  The networks will have exclusive rights to the 11 ISU
    Championships, including the World and European Figure Skating
    Championships (ISU)....NESN has developed a site on the Web
    featuring info on the Bruins and Red Sox (GOULD MEDIA,
    10/3)....Fox Sports has announced it '95-96 NHL schedule, which
    kicks off with the All-Star Game January 20.  The Bruins,
    Blackhawks, Rangers, Flyers and Devils are the only teams to be
    featured every week (Fox).
    

    Print | Tags: ABC, Boston Bruins, Boston Red Sox, Cablevision, Chicago Blackhawks, Colorado Rockies, Comcast-Spectacor, Denver Broncos, ESPN, New Jersey Devils, New York Liberty, News Corp./Fox, NHL, Philadelphia Flyers, Seattle Seahawks, Media, Vulcan Ventures, Walt Disney, YankeeNets
  • NFL DEALS WITH FALLOUT FROM WEEKEND BLACKOUT CONTROVERSIES

         NFL Dir of Communications Greg Aiello spoke to the ORLANDO
    SENTINEL regarding NBC's switch on Sunday to Jaguars-Oilers
    before the 1pm Dolphins-Bengals game had ended.  Aiello:  "Your
    fans hit us pretty good.  The good news is that it won't happen
    again."  Aiello was not referring to a change in policy -- only
    that the Jaguars (who have designated Orlando as their secondary
    market) will not follow the Dolphins for the rest of this season
    (Jerry Greene, ORLANDO SENTINEL, 10/3).  Aiello and NBC's Ed
    Markey also clarified the situation in L.A., where the same game
    was abandoned for the Chargers.  Markey had cited league policy,
    but said, "I stand corrected."  Aiello:  "It was, as we said at
    first, a miscommunication problem, and it won't happen again"
    (Larry Stewart, L.A. TIMES, 10/3).
         NFL FILES SUIT ON RENEGADE DISH USERS:  The league filed a
    lawsuit in U.S. District Court in Buffalo Monday against 30 bars,
    restaurants and bowling alleys charging that they showed games
    that were blacked out.  The suit asks for $200,000 in damages
    from each establishment.  Bills attorney Vincent Tobia believes
    there is a direct correlation between non-sellouts this year and
    illegal satellite broadcasts (AP/Minneapolis STAR TRIBUNE, 10/3).
    

    Print | Tags: Buffalo Bills, Cincinnati Bengals, Edmonton Oilers, Jacksonville Jaguars, Miami Dolphins, NBC, NFL, San Diego Chargers, Media
  • OH WHAT A NIGHT: TVKO SAYS BOWE-HOLYFIELD ON FOR NOVEMBER 4

         The Bowe-Holyfield heavyweight fight will remain scheduled
    for November 4 at Caesars Palace, according to an announcement
    this morning by TVKO, Time Warner Sports, Caesars Palace, Spencer
    Promotions and Main/Events Monitor. The live pay-per-view event
    will begin at 9pm EST, with the main card scheduled to begin
    around 11:30pm.  The event will go head-to-head with Fox's
    broadcast of Mike Tyson's second fight since being released from
    prison.  The Bowe/Holyfield PPV special will carry a suggested
    retail price of $39.95.  Time Warner Sports President Seth
    Abraham said they "were very pleased that our partners at
    Caesars, Spencer Promotions, Main Events/Monitor and the cable
    industry were able to re-affirm their commitment" (TVKO).
    

    Print | Tags: News Corp./Fox, Media, Time Warner
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