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Published January 5, 1996
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).