SBD/20/Sports Media

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  • CBS FACES SOME STIFF COMPETITION: MUST SEE TV, SKATING

         CBS's Thursday NCAA coverage will face NBC's top-rated
    Thursday prime-time lineup and the World Figure Skating
    Championships on ABC.  In Atlanta, Prentis Rogers notes ABC's
    decision to match figure skating against the hoops could have a
    "significant impact" on CBS' ratings (ATLANTA CONSTITUTION,
    3/20).  In 1994, NBC carried the skating head-to-head with the
    NCAA on CBS, beating basketball with a 10.4 rating, compared with
    CBS's 8.5 (USA TODAY, 3/20).
         ZERO-FOR-THE BIG TEN:  Rogers notes another potential
    ratings problem lies with the failure of the Big Ten to advance
    any teams to the Sweet 16, since those schools "command 25
    percent of the home market."  CBS' Len DeLuca hopes the Big Ten's
    absence will be nullified by the 7 teams left from the ACC and
    Big East (ATLANTA CONSTITUTION, 3/20).
    

    Print | Tags: ABC, CBS, NBC, NCAA, Media, Viacom, Walt Disney
  • COMCAST SOON TO BE TOP SPORTS PROGRAMMER IN PHILLY MARKET?

         Comcast President Brian Roberts, on the deal to purchase
    majority interest in the Flyers, 76ers and the city's two arenas:
    "The potential synergies from our cable, cellular and electronic
    retailing businesses with this new partnership seem limitless.
    We expect over 350 events each year in the two arenas -- many of
    these will be of interest to the 3 million cable homes in this,
    the fourth largest ADI in the country" (Comcast).  Flyers Owner
    Ed Snider, a 34% partner with Comcast, comparing their deal to
    MSG:  "I see this as an incredible opportunity to make [this
    partnership] the showcase sports and entertainment organization
    in the country and across the world" (Les Bowen, PHILADELPHIA
    DAILY NEWS, 3/20).
         ANALYSIS:  CNN's "Moneyline" reported that Comcast has over
    750,000 subscribers in the Philadelphia area and will now have
    greater leverage over competitors looking to fill cable channels.
    Josephthal Lyon & Ross analyst Dennis McAlpine:  "It assures
    you're going to have product for your cable system and if you
    can't keep monopolistic value of that programming, at least
    you're going to get paid a heck of a lot of money by any
    competitor" (CNN, 3/19).  Shares of Comcast were up 1/4, closing
    at 18 1/4 (CNBC, 3/19).
         "BRAINSTORMING":  One Comcast exec noted the possible ties
    with their cellular business (free tickets for certain usage
    levels) or through home shopping (Comcast owns QVC).  The exec:
    "QVC has always been interested in trying to develop some form of
    regional shopping.  What better way of putting a foundation
    together ... than to have ownership of the teams" (Sokolove,
    etc., PHILADELPHIA INQUIRER, 3/20).
         LOCAL COVERAGE:  The deal should lead to a Comcast-run all-
    sports channel that would exclude SportsChannel Philadelphia and
    PRISM from local distribution, according to Sam Donnelon of the
    DAILY NEWS.  But since SC's 76ers deal runs "into the next
    century" and PRISM's Phillies contract runs through '97, Donnelon
    notes, "It's not going to be that easy for Comcast to make PRISM
    and SportsChannel go away.  At least not right away."  PRISM
    Senior VP & GM Laureen Ong:  "We are not just sitting here
    blowing in the wind.  Who is going to pay the rights fees we do?
    ... We have confidence that this is probably going to be a very
    good thing for all of us" (PHILADELPHIA DAILY NEWS, 3/20).  The
    INQUIRER's Mike Bruton notes an MSG-style network is likely down
    the road.  But Snider said, "We have contracts that have to
    expire and we're not saying that we won't go back with the people
    we're working with if the deal that's offered is proper."
    Broadcast rights for the 76ers and Flyers are up after this
    season, but Comcast's Roberts promised there will be a "mix" of
    broadcast and cable (PHILADELPHIA INQUIRER, 3/20).
         BEHOLD THE FUTURE:  One NHL exec predicted cable and
    broadcasting companies will own "most" of North American
    franchises, or have major investments:  "Sports is the cheapest,
    most spontaneous, direct-type of programming in the world.  Turn
    the lights on and there you are. ... There's nothing like it when
    programming demands exceed inventory" (Toronto GLOBE & MAIL,
    3/20).
    

    Print | Tags: Cablevision, Comcast-Spectacor, Madison Square Garden, NHL, Philadelphia 76ers, Philadelphia Flyers, Philadelphia Phillies, Media, Time Warner
  • FROM THE BOOTH: YOU'RE LOOKING LIVE AT ....

         Fox has named former Giants catcher and coach Bob Brenly as
    a game analyst for its baseball coverage.  Brenly has previously
    served as an analyst for Chicago's WGN radio and currently works
    for San Francisco's KNBR-AM (Fox).  In Baltimore, Milton Kent
    reports that former O's Ken Singleton and Rick Dempsey are being
    considered for other Fox positions (Baltimore SUN,
    3/20)....Miami's WQAM sports announcer Phil Schoen will be ESPN's
    primary play-by-play announcer for MLS coverage, while Washington
    Univ. coach Ty Keough will handle analysis (USA TODAY,
    3/20)....WFAN's Suzyn Waldman will work 13 Yankees broadcasts on
    WPIX-TV this season.  WPIX also will announce that Paul Olden
    will handle eight games and Phil Rizzuto 20.  WPIX's primary
    announcers, Rick Cerone and Bobby Murcer, will call all 50 (N.Y.
    POST, 3/20)....CBS has lined up Pete Carril of Princeton, Mike
    Krzyzewski of Duke and Jim Harrick of UCLA as studio analysts for
    this weekend's coverage (ATLANTA CONSTITUTION, 3/20).
    

    Print | Tags: CBS, ESPN, MLS, New York Yankees, News Corp./Fox, Media, Viacom, Walt Disney, YankeeNets
  • MEDIA NOTES

         Prime Sports West is reportedly working on rights deals with
    the Diamondbacks and Phoenix's yet-to-be-named NHL team (CABLE
    WORLD, 3/18 issue)....The new women's magazine from Conde Nast
    Publications will be titled "Conde Nast Sports for Women."  The
    magazine, initially called named "Jump," is due to premiere in
    '97 (AD AGE ONLINE, 3/20)....ESPN will air the new Haka Bowl,
    live from New Zealand.  The three-year deal with the bowl begins
    with this year's December 26 matchup between the Pac-10 third
    place finisher and an at-large participant (USA TODAY,
    3/20)....The Japanese Olympic Committee will open a home page on
    the internet (KYODO NEWS, 3/19)....IBM will be sole sponsor of
    the "NBC Interactive Viewer's Guide" to the '96 Olympic Games," a
    CD-ROM featuring Olympic info (AD AGE ONLINE, 3/20).
    

    Print | Tags: Arizona Diamondbacks, ESPN, IBM, NBC, NHL, Media, Walt Disney
  • NEED SOMEONE TO TALK TO? A CHAT-LINE UPDATE

         Tommy Morrison will do a live chat session on ESPNET
    SportsZone today at 3:00pm EST (ESPNET)....On March 25, Prodigy
    will host Mike Douchant, author of "Encyclopedia of College
    Basketball" (Prodigy)....This week is "International Week" on
    NBA.com, as the league Web site will host several foreign NBA
    players on chat-lines, including: Dino Radja, Vlade Divac, Rick
    Smits and Detlef Schrempf (NBA).
    

    Print | Tags: NBA, Media
  • NOTES FROM INSIDE MEDIA: MLB AD SALES HEATING UP

         Fox Sports, which has already secured GM as a sponsor for
    its MLB games, is "on the prowl" to lure other auto sponsors,
    along with fast food and drug marketers.  INSIDE MEDIA's
    Brockinton & Reynolds report Fox has made proposals to several
    import auto companies, including Nissan, Toyota, Honda and
    Mitsubishi, with one asking price at $12M.  The packages include
    three 30-second spots on each regular season broadcast, along
    with three 30-second spots in post-season games.  Fox is also
    offering packages that run from $8M-$12M for similar regular
    season opportunities and one less postseason spot per game.  Fox
    is said to be seeking an additional domestic auto partner, but
    whether Ford or Chrysler has any interest "is unclear."
    Meanwhile, GM is also reportedly close to a major deal with NBC.
    INSIDE MEDIA also reports Fox "was on the verge" of a deal with
    Pizza Hut, and is also said to be pitching other fast-food
    outlets, including Red Lobster, Burger King, McDonald's and
    Wendy's.  In the "highly competitive" antacid category, Fox is
    "close" to extensive baseball deals with Warner-Lambert, which
    will introduce Zantac 75 OTC next month, and Johnson & Johnson,
    producers of Pepcid AC (INSIDE MEDIA, 3/20 issue).
         OTHER MLB NOTES:  Similar to its NHL tie-ins, 7-Eleven will
    make MLB-themed Super Big Gulp cups available in July and August.
    The cups will contain MLB and Fox logos and the network's
    baseball schedule.  In addition, 7-11 will run a MLB promotion
    with players featured on phone cards.  Also,
    ESPN and Sherwin-Williams have struck a deal to give the paint
    maker commercial time on its "Wednesday Night Baseball"
    broadcasts this season (INSIDE MEDIA, 3/20 issue).
    

    Print | Tags: Burger King, DaimlerChrysler, ESPN, McDonalds, MLB, NBC, News Corp./Fox, NHL, Nissan, Media, Toyota, Walt Disney, Wendys
  • WEDNESDAY WEB SITE OF THE WEEK

         Buying into the vision that the Web will break down
    geographical and cultural barriers and create virtual communities
    on-line, Reebok's Planet Reebok Web site is one of the first
    attempts to use sports as a unifying theme.  Found at
    http://www.planetreebok.com, the site has an active bulletin
    board, called "Between Us," and live chats -- with past
    appearances by Frank Thomas, Roger Clemens and Yankees players
    transcripted.  Yesterday, the site was promoting the company's
    cross-promotional efforts with MCA/Universal's new movie, "Ed,"
    with "Friends" star Matt LeBlanc.  Other key themes are women's
    sports, with a page devoted to the Women's Sports Foundation and
    Reebok's Versa Training line both featured prominently.  On the
    Olympics, Reebok and SI are combining to offer journals from
    Olympic athletes.  The Heart & Sole page offers bios of Reebok-
    backed Olympic track athletes.  The Sports & Fitness page offers
    training tips and a charter on coaching.  One interesting feature
    was a link to MIT's StockMaster service, which tracked the
    company's stock.  Planet Reebok offers plenty of content for
    sports and fitness enthusiasts.  But, as with any Web site, the
    challenge is to keep the info fresh (THE DAILY).
    

    Print | Tags: New York Yankees, Reebok, Sports Illustrated, Media, YankeeNets
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