SBD/6/Sports Media

NBA PUTS KIBOSH ON SONY DEAL; HOPE PLAYERS ZIP THE LIP

     The NBA "reportedly has put the brakes" on a $10-20M deal
with Sony that would bring surround sound of on-court action to
viewers, according to NEWSDAY's Steve Zipay.  The league is
apparently "concerned about the X-rated language on the court and
at courtside," especially during the use of replacement refs.
The NBA had been in negotiations with Sony since the beginning of
the season, but has stalled talks "until there is more order on
the court."   A source familiar said the "league is more
concerned then ever about on-court dialogue ... The microphones
would pick up an awful lot of the comments, including exchanges
with the crowd."  NBA officials refused to comment, but "denied
that replacement refs have anything to do with negotiations."
The NBA went to Sony about being "a major sponsor" of the league
along with discussions on getting their games "miked for Surround
Sound."  Surround Sound "provides the listener an illusion of
acoustic depth" (NEWSDAY, 12/6).
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