SBD/18/Sports Media

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         "Entertainment Tonight's" Mary Hart reported on Playboy's
    pay-per-view special "Real Men Don't Watch Pregame," which will
    air live from the Bahamas at the same time as Super Bowl XXX
    pregame festivities on NBC.  Hart:  "On Super Bowl Sunday, you
    could watch a bunch of football analysts go on for a couple of
    hours about kicking games and defense, or you could watch
    Baywatch's Gina Lee Nolan and a bevy of beauties play their own
    game."  The show will feature "competitions" between groups of
    women representing the Playboy Playmates, Hooters Restaurant
    chain, Hawaiian Tropic, and former NFL Cheerleaders.  Hart said
    the PPV special "will put a sexy spin on games you played as a
    kid" -- including Twister, tug-of-war, water sports, football
    throwing, and the limbo ("ET," 1/17).

    Print | Tags: NBC, NFL, Media

         The Golf Channel, celebrating its first anniversary, is
    featured in USA TODAY.  TGC is "finally ... beginning to climb,
    perhaps not walking as steadily as hoped, but at least on its
    feet after some faltering steps," according to Steve Hershey.
    Access to the channel and the initial cost proved troublesome at
    first, but the network is optimistic a new distribution strategy
    will work.  Jon Mandel, Senior VP at Grey Advertising, said what
    "hurt them was starting with a pay basis ... They may have upset
    potential customers."   Golf Channel President & CEO Joe Gibbs
    recently altered the pricing system and made deals with "three
    major cable companies" to improve distribution, while ending
    their year with 1.4 million subscribers.  Gibbs:  "The pricing
    just wasn't working.  If we had understood the rate table at the
    beginning we would have gone in another direction."  Now Gibbs
    said they will leave it up the cable companies to "market us to
    their best advantage."  As far as commercial advertising, Gibbs
    said his "goal it to hold commercials to six minutes an hour,"
    even though they could run more (USA TODAY, 1/18).  The Golf
    Channel is also examined by Dave Shedloski of GOLFWEEK, who
    writes Gibbs will continue to try to increase viewership and
    fundraising, "scouring the nation's fairways for about $50
    million" on top of the original investment of $120M.  Gibbs:
    "Turner spent $300 million before CNN broke even, so we don't
    think our expenditures are out of line" (GOLFWEEK, 1/13 issue).

    Print | Tags: Media

         The International Olympic Committee announced another long-
    term marketing deal, selling Australian TV rights for the 2000,
    2004, 2006 and 2008 Olympic Games to The Seven Network Limited
    for an estimated $140M.  The Seven Network Limited also holds TV
    rights to the '98 and 2000 Games.  A group led by News Corp.'s
    Rupert Murdoch is trying to buy European TV rights for the Games
    for over $2B, but the IOC is "said to be looking for more" (AD
    AGE ONLINE, 1/18).
         SALT LAKE IS LOVING IT: Murdoch's bid for the European TV
    rights is good news to Salt Lake 2002 Olympic organizers. With
    Murdoch's $2B bid, they stand to make twice as much money as
    anticipated from the sales of the European TV rights.  The
    organizing committee originally expected the rights to Europe,
    Canada, Australia, Japan and other foreign markets to sell for
    $126M (Lisa Roche, DESERET NEWS, 1/17).

    Print | Tags: IOC, Media

         Philip Morris's Kraft Foods is one of "a handful of
    advertisers" planning to have a presence on the NFL/NBC Super
    Bowl Web site (, but "only a few Super Bowl
    advertisers have signed up," according to Sally Beatty of the
    WALL STREET JOURNAL.  The site's "late start and status as an
    untested medium apparently inhibited sales."  Microsoft paid
    $225,000 for its title sponsorship and advertisers were "given a
    choice of paying either $100,00 for a banner, or four cents every
    time a browser views the advertiser's page."  According to Andrew
    Batkin, Chair of Interactive Marketing, whose firm is responsible
    for site sales, most advertisers "opted for a per-
    page rate, and will end up paying prices starting at about
    $25,000" (Sally Beatty, WALL STREET JOURNAL, 1/16).
         PRIMESTAR'S AD STRATEGY:  Primestar, the direct satellite
    broadcasting service, will spend nearly $150M on marketing this
    year, with their national campaign beginning on Super Bowl Sunday
    with two new 30-second spots.  The spots "focus on Primestar's
    rental approach, touting 'There's nothing to buy.'"  Primestar
    will target the male sports viewer by running spots during NHL
    and NBA All-Star Games, along with MLB's All-Star and World
    Series telecasts.  Primestar VP/Marketing Dennis Wilkinson said
    only 20-25% of their ad money will be sent on sports programming
    (Jim McConville, BROADCASTING AND CABLE, 1/15 issue).

    Print | Tags: Microsoft, MLB, NBA, NBC, NFL, NHL, Media

         In a "stunning move," Viacom Chair Sumner Redstone fired
    longtime friend and CEO Frank Biondi.  Redstone: "Frank's style
    is very laid back ... I saw the need for a different style -- the
    (Rupert) Murdoch style.  Very aggressive, hands on,
    entrepreneurial."  The Viacom board created an executive
    committee that includes the heads of Viacom's major businesses
    (USA TODAY, 1/18)....HBO's Jones-Sosa fight last Saturday evening
    drew a 14.2 rating and a 21 share in homes that have HBO
    (HB0)....The NBA's "Inside Stuff" will feature Knicks Coach Don
    Nelson this weekend, with a behind-the-scenes look at his recent
    GQ "fashion makeover" (NBA Entertainment)....NewSport television
    has a crew of reporters in Tempe for Super Bowl XXX for a week-
    long series of special programs, interviews, and press
    conferences (NewSport)....CBS Sports announced their golf package
    for the year.  The network will broadcast 22 events this year,
    with The Masters heading the list (CBS Sports)....ESPN has
    acquired the worldwide distribution rights for Formula 3 auto
    racing from Latin America.  ESPN will distribute 11 Formula 3
    races live each year beginning in '96 (ESPN)....Former Bucs Coach
    Sam Wyche told Chris Myers of ESPN's "Up Close" that broadcasting
    is in his future.  Wyche:  "I've been told this is the road you
    should take.  I've always been fascinated with your industry and
    I, of course, have been in involved with it on the other side of
    the microphone.  I'm going to find out what it looks like from
    the other side, too" (ESPN, 1/17)....America Online will provide
    a live cybercast of track & field's '96 World Air Games in
    February.  AOL will create a first full online promotion of the
    event which will take place in Chicago on February 18.  Beginning
    February 4, AOL members can access content at keyword "AOL
    sports" (World Air Games).

    Print | Tags: Cablevision, CBS, ESPN, HBO, NBA, New York Knicks, Media, Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Viacom, Walt Disney
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