CBS, Time Warner Promoting Fight NBC Ratings Down For NHL Over Weekend Outlook Murky For Dodgers' RSN After Deal Collapse Comcast Drops Plans To Acquire TWC Cablevision Offering Cord-Cutting Package MLB National Viewership Off To Good Start Mets Outpacing Yankees In Early Season Ratings Showtime, HBO Pleased So Far With Fight Effort Longtime Stars Announcer Strangis Leaving Team McHenry Returning To Previous Role
Upcoming Conferences and Events
FOX AND TCI READY TO ANNOUNCE CABLE COMPETITOR TO ESPN
Published October 31, 1995
Fox Broadcasting and Tele-Communications Inc. are expected to announce a new joint cable sports venture as early as this week, according to reports in this morning's L.A. TIMES and N.Y. TIMES. In L.A., Sallie Hofmeister sees it as a "challenge" to ESPN. Hofmeister reports, as part of the agreement, Fox would take a "substantial equity stake" in Liberty Media, TCI's programming arm which has interests in numerous regional sports networks. For Fox, a strong cable outlet gives them "leverage in bidding for sports rights against the three stronger networks," especially ABC -- sister network to ESPN. For Liberty, Fox "brings financial firepower to its longstanding ambition to use its far-flung regional networks to take on ESPN." Questions still remain on the relationship between Liberty and Cablevision, which jointly operate some SportsChannel RSNs, including New York, and on the local-national split of coverage on a new network. Hofmeister reports, "Sources close to the company [Liberty] say those questions are still being worked out, as is the configuration of the partnership" (L.A. TIMES, 10/31). In New York, Geraldine Fabrikant notes that Cablevision Chair Charles Dolan "has shown no interest in joining the merger" -- which could become a "particularly sticky point." However, one exec familiar with the talks said there were still hopes Dolan would join (N.Y. TIMES, 10/31).