SBD/16/Sports Media

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         Athletic directors from the Big 12 voted in favor of playing
    an annual football championship with their first game scheduled
    for December 7, 1996, at the Trans World Dome in St. Louis.  The
    agreement still has to be ratified by the college presidents, but
    is expected to pass with ease.  The deal was expedited by ABC,
    which increased its bid from $2.5M to close to $4M, the amount it
    spends on the SEC championship.  ABC "anticipates a blockbuster"
    (Tom Wheatley, ST. LOUIS POST-DISPATCH, 11/16).  In "exchange for
    the increased rights fee, ABC, rather than the conference, will
    take control of a title sponsor and the revenue it generates."  A
    Big 12 source indicated the game could bring about $6.9M to the
    conference or about $575,000 per school.  Although the ADs
    recommend rotating sites, they tabled consideration of a second
    site until their spring meeting citing many factors, including
    uncertainty over ownership of the Astrodome (Jonathan Feigen,
    HOUSTON CHRONICLE, 11/16).  The selection of St. Louis was
    unanimous.  The city has pledged to sell out the 35,000 seats not
    reserved for Big 12 schools and officials, and will stage a
    Fanfest and other events around the game (ST. LOUIS POST-
    DISPATCH, 11/16).

    Print | Tags: ABC, Media, Walt Disney

         Because ABC is required to televise golf's Skins Game on
    Saturday of Thanksgiving weekend, college football fans will only
    get to see one of the two premier matchups that day -- OSU-
    Michigan and FSU-Florida.  The games will share the noon EST time
    period.  OSU-Michigan will be seen in about 61% of the country,
    while FSU-Florida gets 39%.  Both games will be available on pay-
    per-view for $9.95.  ABC's Mark Mandel called the situation a
    "fluke" that "won't occur the rest of this decade," but "by no
    means is it an attempt for ABC Sports to gouge the public."
    Mandel said they considered changing FSU-Florida to prime time
    but "that didn't work" (Rudy Martzke, USA TODAY, 11/16).
         BIG 10 BOOST:  ABC, which has rights to the Comp USA Citrus
    Bowl and the Rose Bowl, "stands to be the beneficiary of higher
    ratings and increased interest among advertisers" if Ohio State
    and Northwestern continue their successful seasons.  The Citrus
    Bowl airs in the afternoon on January 1, followed by the Rose.
    One New York ad exec believe viewers will stay with ABC for both,
    citing the excitement generated by Northwestern.  ABC has sold
    more than 80% of its commercial time for the Citrus Bowl and over
    70% for the Rose (George Lazarus, CHICAGO TRIBUNE, 11/16).

    Print | Tags: ABC, Media, Walt Disney

         SFX Broadcasting, New York, has entered into agreement to
    purchase Liberty Broadcasting, owner and operator of 19 radio
    stations in six markets, for $223M.  SFX will transfer 11 of the
    stations to Multi-Market Radio and retain stations in DC,
    Baltimore and Long Island (AD AGE ONLINE, 11/16).... ABC's Al
    Michaels, on whether he believes O.J. Simpson has any interest in
    returning to broadcasting:  "I don't think at this point he does.
    I think there are a lot of other things he has to be concerned
    with right now -- the situation with his children, the pending
    civil litigation that will come his way right now" ("Up Close,"
    ESPN, 11/15). ....TNT's 3.4 rating for Tuesday's Bulls-Magic game
    was its second highest all time regular-season NBA rating.  With
    two appearances by Michael Jordan, TNT has a five-game rating of
    2.1, up 29% from last year (USA TODAY, 11/16)....The '95 NASCAR
    Winston Cup, which ended Sunday, saw total viewership for the
    year exceed 91 million for their 31 point races.  Combined cable
    ratings (ESPN, TNN, TBS) showed a 25% increase from '94
    (NASCAR)....Sony has formed a alliance with Visa USA to create a
    global info/entertainment center on the World Wide Web (N.Y.
    TIMES, 11/16).

    Print | Tags: ABC, Cablevision, Chicago Bulls, ESPN, NASCAR, NBA, New York Liberty, Orlando Magic, Media, Turner Sports, Visa, Walt Disney

         Wisconsin Independent Networks Sports has yet to televise
    any games nearly a year after getting approval for a $300,000
    loan from the state.  Network organizers had hoped to begin
    providing cable viewers with Wisconsin pro, college and high
    school sporting events "as early as February," but have yet to
    even take out the loan.  Mike Hegan, one of the organizers of
    WINS and a TV analyst for the Indians, said they are still
    working on "trying to put something together."  Hegan said
    organizers were "poised and ready to go" in February but were
    never able to get deals with cable companies and the Brewers and
    Bucks.  But Vince Sweeney, who handles TV for the Univ. of WI,
    said they have not heard from WINS "in a while" and do not know
    "what happened to them" (WISCONSIN STATE JOURNAL, 11/16).

    Print | Tags: Cleveland Indians, Milwaukee Brewers, Milwaukee Bucks, Media
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