SBD/5/Sports Media

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         In Houston, all-sports KILT-AM has signed a three-year deal
    to be the Astros flagship station beginning with the '96 season.
    The deal includes full rights to all spring, regular and post-
    season games through the '98 season (Astros).  In a "major coup,"
    KILT landed Astros rights by "taking valuable programming from
    rival" KPRC-AM, the team's flagship for the past five years.
    KILT's deal is believed to be worth $1.5M annually, and "has a
    termination clause to protect the station in the event the Astros
    leave Houston before the agreement expires."  Astros VP/Business
    Operations Bob McClaren:  "We felt KILT's overall package was
    better for us all around.  They have a much stronger signal and
    we know they're going to give 100-percent support.  The other
    station sometimes weaved us in between talk radio" (Carlton
    Thompson, HOUSTON CHRONICLE, 1/5).

    Print | Tags: Houston Astros, Media

         Shareholders of Walt Disney Co. and Capital Cities/ABC
    "overwhelmingly" approved Disney's $19B takeover of yesterday
    after meeting separately in New York.  The deal cannot be
    finalized until approval by the FCC, most of whose employees are
    furloughed in the current government shutdown.  Disney officials
    "were confident of gaining approval soon after the government
    resumes business" (Mike Dorning, CHICAGO TRIBUNE, 1/5).  NBR's
    Scott Gurvey said "sources say it should take about four weeks to
    close the deal once government approval arrives" (PBS, 1/4).
    Disney Chair Michael Eisner sought to allay concerns among ABC
    News execs that Disney might try to "exert some control" over the
    news.  Eisner: "ABC will continue to operate in the public
    interest without corporate interference" (N.Y. TIMES, 1/5).
         NOT SO FAST:  The antitrust review of Time Warner's bid for
    Turner Broadcasting "is expected to drag into summer, heightening
    concerns the deal could fall apart," according to Gruley &
    Shapiro of the WALL STREET JOURNAL.  Analysts contend that the
    longer the deal is reviewed by the FTC, the more difficulty the
    two sides will have in closing the agreement.  But sources close
    to Time Warner say the deal could be approved as early as May, if
    the FTC "demands no changes in the transaction" (WALL STREET
    JOURNAL, 1/5).

    Print | Tags: ABC, Media, Walt Disney

         IndyCar Public Relations Dir Adam Saal said a national TV
    deal is in place for the U.S. 500 -- which is set to run opposite
    the Indy 500 on May 26 -- but he would not reveal which network.
    Saal said an announcement could come within the next few days
    (DETROIT FREE PRESS, 1/4)....NBA ratings are up 33% on TNT and
    40% on TBS.  Turner Sports' Kevin O'Malley calls Michael Jordan
    "probably the single biggest draw of any team athlete in memory."
    ... NBC's Joe Montana will flip the coin before Super Bowl XXX.
    ... Arnold Palmer will reportedly be on The Golf Channel on
    Monday at 8:00pm to announce a deal with Time Warner Cable (Rudy
    Martzke, USA TODAY, 1/5)....NBC's Bryant Gumbel announced that
    this will be his last year on the "Today" show.  Gumbel is also
    host of HBO's "Real Sports" (N.Y. DAILY NEWS, 1/5).  Janice
    Kaplan, Senior Editor of TV Guide, said Gumbel "is clearly going
    to be very much in our attention in the next year.  It's an
    election year, he's a political guy.  It's an Olympic year, he's
    fascinated by the Olympics" ("ET," 1/4). ....Bucks VP/Business
    Operations John Steinmiller said while the team does not have a
    signed agreement with Group W for the 15-game cable TV package
    that Warner Cable in Wisconsin is presenting, the two sides "were
    moving in the right direction and that's why the club allowed the
    game to air Wednesday night" (MILWAUKEE JOURNAL SENTINEL,
    1/5).... Canada's TSN will premiere a magazine show called "TSN
    Sunday with John Wells."  Exec Producer Scott Moore compares the
    format to one like Charles Kuralt's "On the Road" series (TORONTO
    STAR, 1/5)....Time Warner Cable has added ESPN2 to its lineup
    "for about half" its customers in Orange and Seminole counties,
    about 100,000 subscribers.  The remainder of the company's
    350,000 customers in Central FL should receive ESPN2 by the end
    of '97 (ORLANDO SENTINEL, 1/5).... More Fiesta Bowl reviews:  In
    St. Petersburg, Ernest Hopper writes that the "mistakes" in CBS'
    coverage of the Fiesta Bowl Tuesday "were so glaring it almost
    seems unfair to rip the effort.  Almost" (ST. PETERSBURG TIMES,
    1/5).  In Minneapolis, Rachel Blount writes the telecast left
    "much to be desired" (Minneapolis STAR-TRIBUNE, 1/5).

    Print | Tags: CBS, ESPN, HBO, Milwaukee Bucks, NBA, NBC, Media, Turner Sports, Viacom, Walt Disney

         In "only" her second year of national syndication,  Nanci
    Donnellan, a.k.a. The Fabulous Sports Babe, "has become the
    hottest new voice in the airstream," according to Curry
    Kirkpatrick of NEWSWEEK.  Her show, which started on less than 30
    stations in '94, now is heard on more than 170 stations.  In
    addition to lively "atmospherics," Donnellan does hard news, as
    she broke the story on the NHL lockout settlement and "bagged a
    rare interview" with former baseball Commissioner Fay Vincent.
    Surveys show that upwards of 200,000 callers try to call The Babe
    monthly, about 200 a day.  She is also heard in nine of the top
    ten markets -- with only New York missing -- "a relatively rare
    accomplishment" for a new show."  The show is televised daily on
    ESPN2 for an hour.  With a reported $225,000 book deal and more
    TV appearances, Donnellan "may be on the way gaining big national
    exposure" (NEWSWEEK, 1/8 issue).

    Print | Tags: ESPN, NHL, Media, Walt Disney

         "Be A Player! The Hockey Show" will kick off its second
    season when it premieres on ESPN2 on January 6.  The 13 episodes
    of the 30-minute NHLPA-produced program will be hosted by Paul
    Romanuk of The Sports Network and co-hosted by former NHL player
    Craig Simpson.  The show will air four times weekly on TSN and
    twice weekly on ESPN2.  Electronic Arts and Upper Deck are title
    sponsors for the show, with Starter and Playoff Corp. as segment
    sponsors.  Exec Producer Michael Merhab said it will "continue to
    feature the players in a relaxed atmosphere" along with new
    segments to "appeal to hockey fans of all ages."  A new
    interactive element to the trivia segment allows viewers to
    respond through the Net at the NHLPA Web site, with the winner
    receiving a EA Video game and a Grand Prize of a game worn
    autographed NHLPA authentic jersey (NHLPA).  In Toronto, Rob
    Longley writes the union-sponsored show "promises to be upbeat as
    well as informative."  Merhab said he wanted the show to "be a
    lot like the game itself and have a lot of younger people
    watching the show" (TORONTO SUN, 1/5).

    Print | Tags: ESPN, NHL, Media, Upper Deck, Walt Disney

         Conde Nast Inc., which publishes Vogue and GQ among others,
    is testing a magazine for high school basketball coaches and
    players "that plays on the popularity of the NBA."  Varsity high
    school hoops coaches were sent 20 copies of the test and Sal
    Schiliro of Conde Nast-owned Street & Smith Sports Group said
    they have received no negative response.  Street & Smith hopes to
    produce three editions of their NBA Playbook next year, up from
    one edition in '95 (Carolyn White, USA TODAY, 1/5).

    Print | Tags: NBA, Media
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