SBD/3/Sports Media


     The Red Sox announced yesterday they have signed a one-year
contract with WABU-TV to carry 80 games next season.  Terms were
not announced, but Jack Craig of the BOSTON GLOBE writes the
station will guarantee the Sox approximately $9M, "some $5
million less than they have averaged over the last five years."
A one-year deal is "highly unusual," but Craig notes, "so was the
delay in choosing a TV station, something normally done in late
summer."  Red Sox VP/Broadcast Jim Healy:  "It would have taken
too much more time to agree on five years."  Over the past week,
the team saw a five-year, $67M syndication package led by Kevin
Dunn dissolve "when his investors pulled out."  The new deal
reportedly has options for both sides -- WABU could pull out if
"losses are severe," and the team could "auction off rights again
in 1997, when they might come closer to their former $14M
plateau" (Jack Craig, BOSTON GLOBE, 1/3).  Jim Baker of the
BOSTON HERALD writes Red Sox officials "swallowed a multimillion
dollar decline and a heaping platter of pride" with the deal,
which he pegged at $10M (BOSTON HERALD, 1/3).
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