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MALONE'S HARD BARGAINING ANGERS COMPETITORS
Published October 4, 1995
TCI Chair John Malone lived up to his reputation of "rarely leaving anything on the negotiating table" in his recent dealings in the Time Warner/TBS merger. Investors, Wall Street analysts, and cable competitors are "puzzling over Malone's package of concessions -- and in some cases are questioning its fairness." Analysts say his purchase of two regional sports networks to fold into Liberty Sports would "add to Malone's efforts in building a rival to ESPN." What "irks" many cable operators is the discount rates that Malone's cable systems would have for 20 years to run Turner's Cable News Network, TNT and its cartoon and movie channels. One cable exec: "Watch out. This lowers TCI's costs." These lower costs could give TCI an advantage "in a bidding wars for additional systems as the cable industry consolidates" (Sallie Hofmeister, L.A. TIMES, 10/4). TURNER RALLIES HIS TROOPS: Over 3,000 Turner Broadcasting Network employees went to the Omni yesterday, with other offices watching via closed circuit TV, to hear TBS Chair Ted Turner explain why "he wants to sell his company to Time-Warner." Turner's 35-minute presentation was his first address to employees since the merger was approved on September 22. Observers said Turner didn't reveal any new details, and "discounted any significant layoffs would be caused by the merger" (Haddad & Unger, ATLANTA CONSTITUTION, 10/4). VIACOM INTEREST? Wall Street rumors suggest that Viacom "was considering a counterproposal to Westinghouse's bid for CBS," according BROADCASTING & CABLE. A source at Viacom would not rule out a bid, but said a decision was "not imminent" (BROADCASTING & CABLE, 10/2 issue).