SBD/30/Sports Media

THE SAGA OF THE RED SOX TV DEAL CONTINUES

     The Red Sox and WABU-TV both denied a Wednesday BOSTON GLOBE
report that the team will announce it has moved games to the
Boston University-owned WABU next year, ending a 21-year
association with WSBK.  In today's BOSTON HERALD, Red Sox
Broadcast Dir Jim Healy said the station choice "is not
determined yet," and that WABU or WLVI could carry games.  WABU
President & CEO Bob Gordon:  "I don't have a deal with anybody"
(Jim Baker, BOSTON HERALD, 11/30).  Yesterday, the GLOBE reported
the selection of WABU was made "with team approval" by Kevin
Dunn, whose KSA Communications purchased Red Sox TV rights for
$67M over five years.  One attraction of WABU to Dunn is its
willingness to provide added air time, even in the offseason.
The strength of WABU's signal is "debatable," but, according to
the GLOBE's Jack Craig, the "justification" for Dunn's bid,
reportedly $3M more than the next highest, is a plan to establish
a New England Red Sox network enabling him to sell ads for higher
prices.  Skeptics doubt Dunn's ability to profit and even
"survive" for the term of the deal (BOSTON GLOBE, 11/29).  Today,
the HERALD quotes WSBK GM Stu Tauber as saying Dunn's plan is
"fraught with problems."  For starters, at least one-quarter or
more has been lost in terms of selling ads for next season.  In
addition, Tauber notes difficulties in clearing time in other New
England markets.  One source at Paramount, parent company of
WSBK, said the belief is the Red Sox will use Dunn for one year,
"make a couple of million more," and then go back to the market
when he fails.  The source:  "The story here is greed, pure and
simple.  You're dealing with Sox accountants who don't know how
to deal with people and negotiate" (Jim Baker, BOSTON HERALD,
11/30).
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