SBD/21/Sports Media

MEDIA NOTES

     Fox claims Nielsen ratings for "several key shows" at its
WLUK affiliate in Green Bay are "out of line, and they may
contest the November sweeps ratings book" (REUTER/DAILY VARIETY,
12/21)....Speaking yesterday in Australia, News Corp.'s Rupert
Murdoch said weakness in major U.S. markets will contribute to a
drop in News Corp.'s  half-year profits.  Murdoch said the
performance of Fox U.S. markets was "very mixed, with southern
California soft but other small markets across the country
performing well."  Murdoch: "Southern California is very bad. ...
New York is not so hot but the East Coast is otherwise good --
the Southeast Coast is wonderful" (DAILY VARIETY,
12/21)....Highlights from the "Rudy Awards."  TOP TV STORIES:
NBC's Olympic deals, the death of Howard Cosell, MLB's new TV
deal, ABC/NBC out of The Baseball Network, and CBS, ABC buying
rights to Bowl Alliance.  AGENT OF THE YEAR: IMG's Barry Frank
for negotiating MLB's $1.6B deal.  BEST AGENT MOVE:  Bob Rosen
for getting a new four-year deal for embattled CBS commentator
Ben Wright.  UNSUNG TV EXECS:  CBS' Len DeLuca, NBC's Jon Miller,
ABC's David Downs, Fox's Ed Goren, Turner's Mike Pearl and ESPN's
John Walsh.  Also mentioned is CBS's "mishandling" of the Ben
Wright controversy (USA TODAY, 12/21)....The Magic's Penny
Hardaway will chat with fans tonight on "One-on-One" on the NBA's
Web site.  Address:  http://www.nba.com (Magic)....Five networks
will combine to televise all 34 NASCAR Winston Cup-related
events, including seven events on network television
(NASCAR)....SportsLine USA joined with the FedEx Orange Bowl to
create the Official FedEd Orange Bowl Web Site and become the
"Official Online Service of the FedEx Orange Bowl."  The address
is http://www.sportsline.come/orangebowl/index.html (SportsLine
USA).....Congressional conferees agreed yesterday to
telecommunication reform laws.  The draft bill would keep the ban
on ownership of a TV station and newspaper in a single market and
on owning two TV stations in a single market (REUTER/DAILY
VARIETY, 12/21)....The Mets have announced Gary Cohen will remain
their radio broadcaster, as he signed a two-year deal
(SportsTicker).
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