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NBA PUTS KIBOSH ON SONY DEAL; HOPE PLAYERS ZIP THE LIP
Published December 6, 1995
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).