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A dispute between Adidas and newsletter Sporting Goods Intelligencer will be heard by the OR Supreme Court next week after a ruling in a local court Tuesday denied the newsletter the right to print technical details about the shoemaker's product line. The OREGONIAN's Jeff Manning reports that Portland-based Adidas America claimed that SGI printed details about its Spring '97 line in identical language to an internal company booklet. SGI Publisher John Horan, who also co-owns a market-research company, said in an affidavit that Adidas "is accusing him of gathering proprietary information in his role as a marketing researcher and then selling it to the highest bidder." Horan claims "outrage" that Adidas is insinuating that he is abusing his position as a journalist. Attorneys for SGI vow to fight the ruling (Portland OREGONIAN, 3/13).
The NCAA tournament, which begins today, has become the NCAA's "cash cow," according to Paul Kenyon of the PROVIDENCE JOURNAL-BULLETIN. The NCAA's $1.725B rights deal with CBS is one of the reasons NCAA revenue has "skyrocketed" from $99M in '89-90 to a budgeted $222.2M for this year. That is mostly TV revenue, but '95 ticket sales hit $14.1M with radio rights at $2.87M and merchandising bringing i,n another $500,000. More than 80% of the NCAA budget is derived from basketball revenue. Distribution includes a Broad Based Distributing Plan where all member schools share in the plan, with money "awarded based on the number of varsity sports a college offers and the number of scholarships it provides." The Basketball Fund distributed almost $40M to schools last year by conference. Last year, the ACC received $5.3M, the Big East $4M, and the A-10 $1.7M (PROVIDENCE JOURNAL- BULLETIN, 3/14).
Promoters Bob Arum and John Parks were in Houston yesterday on their U.S. tour to promote the closed circuit Julio Cesar Chavez-Oscar De La Hoya fight. They would like to use The Summit, but if that is not available due to the Rockets playoff schedule, Hofheinz Pavilion is the next choice (HOUSTON CHRONICLE, 3/14)....Walt Disney noted that 82% of Cap Cities/ABC stockholders chose an all-stock payment in the recently completed merger (N.Y. TIMES, 3/14). ....TNT, Fox and CBS are all reportedly interested in Ronnie Lott as a football analyst, while Fox is looking at Bill Maas as game analyst and Chuck Knox in the studio (USA TODAY, 3/15)....The "CoreStates John Lucas Show" will be televised in the new CoreStates Center this weekend. It is the first taped tour of the facility (76ers)....NBC will air an NBA special, "The Global Game" on the international growth of basketball, Sunday at 2:30pm (NBA)....Time-Warner and U.S. West went to court yesterday, as U.S. West tries to block the merger with TBS. While sources close to the trial say they would be "flabbergasted at any settlement," Columbia Law Prof. John Coffee suspects that during trial, both sides will try to "read" the judge to see if a settlement may be the best option ("Moneyline," CNN, 3/13).
CBS hopes to rebound from a 22% drop in NCAA tournament ratings since '93. CBS Sports Exec Producer Rick Gentile said they have "legit excuses" for the drop, citing the O.J. trial and Michael Jordan's return to the NBA last year, and the lack of close games in '94. But Grey Advertising's Jon Mandel said CBS "has the potential to fall again" because of the loss of many star players to the NBA. Mandel: "But even if the NCAA's are below break-even, it's a good event. Nothing else is comparable for male viewers at this time of year, and it shows that CBS still is in the game" (Rudy Martzke, USA TODAY, 3/14). In Baltimore, Milton Kent writes CBS "needs this tournament to produce in a big way to promote its flagging prime-time lineup" (Baltimore SUN, 3/14). CBS Sports President David Kenin said he had "no specific" rating in mind, but expects to be "about where we were last year" (Michael Starr, N.Y. POST, 3/14). MAS MADNESS: Prime Deportiva will broadcast the entire tournament live to Latin America for the first time (Prime Deportiva)....CBS Radio's home page on the Web -- http:// www.cbsradio.com -- also will provide coverage (CBS Radio).