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  • BROADCASTING & CABLE EXAMINES THE "FOXIFICATION" OF MLB

         This week's cover story in BROADCASTING & CABLE examines the
    "Foxification" of baseball, and what impact the network will have
    on MLB.  Steve McClellan profiles Fox's promotional strategy and
    notes they will attempt to generate $195M in ad revenue in '96 --
     with rights fees and promotional costs reaching $170M.
    McClellan notes, "After agency commissions, baseball on Fox would
    be hovering around break-even."  These numbers assume Fox will be
    able to generate rate-card prices of $35,000 per 30-second spot
    in regular-season Saturday afternoons; $100,000 per unit in the
    Divisional playoffs; $140,000 per unit in the LCS's and $320,000
    per 30-second during the World Series.  According to sources, Fox
    is guaranteeing advertisers a 4.2 Saturday rating and has sold
    about 50% of regular season inventory.
         ON THE AIR:  Fox Sports Exec Producer Ed Goren said the
    network's on-air look "is going to take somewhat of a videogame-
    graphics look," with "hot" animation.  Fox plans on regionalizing
    coverage with four games, as opposed to The Baseball Network,
    which regionalized with as many as 14.  Goren also said Fox will
    not switch between games as much as TBN.  A "Fox Box" score
    indicator will be used, but producers have yet to determine how
    much.  Goren discussed other enhancements requiring MLB
    cooperation, including miking players and the filming DH's
    warming up (BROADCASTING & CABLE, 3/25 issue).  Fox will have its
    talent lineup completed within three weeks, with Goren saying he
    would like to hire "a more animated personality" to work along
    studio analyst Dave Winfield.  James Brown is a possible studio
    host (Minneapolis STAR-TRIBUNE, 3/26).
         LOCAL STORY: In a separate B&C piece, Jim McConville reports
    that advertisers are returning to local rights-holders after a
    strike-marred '95 season.  The Brewers and the Mariners' local
    broadcast partner, KIRO-TV, both report ad sales up 20%, and
    KTVU-TV in San Francisco says they could "post record sales
    figures" in '96.  Other stations reporting increased ad sales:
    KSMO (Royals) and WJZ (Orioles).  However, in Pittsburgh, Prime
    Sports GM Bill Craig calls his $3M-a-year deal with the Pirates
    "a loss leader," but notes that MLB anchors his network's summer
    coverage.  Officials from Marlins carrier WBFS say "the jury is
    still out" for '96 (BROADCASTING & CABLE, 3/25).
    

    Print | Tags: Baltimore Orioles, Miami Marlins, Kansas City Royals, Milwaukee Brewers, MLB, News Corp./Fox, Pittsburgh Pirates, Seattle Mariners, Media
  • MEDIA NOTES

         AT&T will initially concentrate marketing of its DirecTV
    programming service in Tampa Bay, Dallas, L.A. and Hartford.
    However, anyone may purchase the system.  AT&T unveiled TV ads
    for the service during last night's Oscars (ST. PETERSBURG TIMES,
    3/26)  The service was also advertised in a full-page ad in this
    morning's N.Y. Times (N.Y. TIMES, 3/26)....New World Television
    will produce a new comedy to air on Fox this fall, "Fenway."
    Based on a second-rate sports agency, the show is from Greg and
    Jeff Nathanson, producers of "Bakersfield P.D." (BROADCASTING &
    CABLE, 3/25 issue)....News Corp. Chair Rupert Murdoch unveiled a
    new broadcast network yesterday aimed at the Chinese market.
    Star TV is Murdoch's latest effort to break into the Chinese
    market since the mid-80s (FINANCIAL TIMES, 3/26)....Time Warner
    issued preferred stock linked to its Time Warner Entertainment
    venture Monday to help lower its debt by $1B ("Moneyline," CNN,
    3/25).  Analysts say the sale will help Time Warner raise cash
    for an investment it otherwise won't be allowed to touch for two
    more years (N.Y. TIMES, 3/26)....Rudy Martzke reports Ronnie Lott
    is likely to join "Fox NFL Sunday" (USA TODAY, 3/26)....In the
    wake of Michelle Tafoya's play-by-play work during Saturday's CBS
    coverage, Richard Sandomir notes that eight of the nine ESPN
    play-by-play announcers for the women's tournament are men (N.Y.
    TIMES, 3/26)....Flextech plc, the UK-based cable and satellite
    programming group 50.1% owned by TCI, acquired the remaining 61%
    of the Family Channel (TCI)....The NFL is considering adding a
    Thanksgiving night game during its next TV negotiations (USA
    TODAY, 3/26)....In Toronto, Craig Daniels reports the NBA will
    not take disciplinary action against Raptors forward Oliver
    Miller for saying to Bulls center Bill Wennington on Canadian TV:
    "I'll kick your white ass" (TORONTO SUN, 3/26)....In the Chicago
    area, Ameritech is scaling back plans to offer cable service to
    several suburbs.  The company said Continental Cablevision has
    exclusive rights to market several pay channels under an
    grandfathered '88 agreement since ruled illegal (CHICAGO TRIBUNE,
    3/26)....The NHL's playoff schedule will allow CBC to show
    playoff doubleheaders with Canadian teams each night and for Fox
    to show four American-based games on Sundays (GLOBE & MAIL,
    3/26)....Red Sox and new carrier WABU-TV have reached an
    agreement to enable viewers in Western MA to view all 75 games at
    no additional cost (BOSTON GLOBE, 3/26).
    

    Print | Tags: ATT, Boston Red Sox, Cablevision, Canadian Broadcasting Corp., CBS, Chicago Bulls, DirecTV, ESPN, Maple Leaf Sports and Entertainment, NBA, News Corp./Fox, NFL, NHL, Media, Time Warner, Toronto Raptors, Viacom, Walt Disney
  • MLB'S TV RIGHTS DEALS: TEAM-BY-TEAM ROUND-UP

         Today:  The National League.  The following list comes from
    the current issue of BROADCASTING & CABLE.  NOTE:  "YEAR" =
    Status and length of deal.  "RSN" = Regional sports network.
    "SC" = SportsChannel (B&C, 3/25 issue).
                 BROADCAST                            CABLE
    NL-E  STATION GAMES YEAR RIGHTS    RSN        GAMES YEAR RIGHTS
    ATL   WTBS    125   n/a   n/a      SportSouth   24   n/a  n/a
    FLA   WBFS     50   4/4  $6.7M     Sunshine     60   4/4  $3.7M
    MTL   SRC/Fr.  20   2/4   n/a      RDS          40   1/4  $1.1M
          TQS/Eng. 20   2/4   n/a      TSN          25   1/4
    NYM   WWOR     77   5/5   n/a      SC NY        75  10/30 $13M
    PHI   WPHL     84   4/5   n/a      PRISM        42   4/5  n/a
                                       SC PHI       25   4/5  n/a
    NL-C
    CHI   WGN     140   n/a   n/a      CHI/LAND     10   n/a  n/a
    CIN   WSTR     46   1/3   n/a      SC CINCI.    50   1/3  $4-5M
    HOU   KTXH    50+   9/10 <$5M      PRIME        75  11/15 $4M
    PIT   WPXI     15   1/1   n/a      PRIME        60   1/3  $3M
    STL   KPLR     60   2/3+1 n/a      PRIME        40   3/3  n/a
    NL-W
    COL   KWGN     96   4/5   n/a             -- NO CABLE --
    LA    KTLA     46   4/5   $15.5M          -- NO CABLE --
    SD    KFMB     55   2/3   $2M      PRIME        40   3/5   $1.2M
    SF    KTVU     57   2/6   $5.5M    SC PACIFIC   55   7/7   $4.2M
    

    Print | Tags: Media
  • TYSON-BRUNO A BIG HIT HERE ... AND OVER THERE

         The Tyson-Bruno bout was purchased by an estimated 1.4
    million homes, bringing in an estimated $55.9M in U.S. gross
    revenues.  Only the Tyson-McNeeley bout, with 1.5 million buys
    and $63M in gross revenues, was bigger (ELECTRONIC MEDIA, 3/26).
    In England, 500,000 subscribers tuned in to the fight, paying
    approximately $23 a piece.  The fight was Britain's first PPV
    experiment and was run through Rupert Murdoch's BSkyB network
    (L.A. TIMES, 3/26).
    

    Print | Tags: BSkyB, Media
  • VARIETY: ESPN'S BORNSTEIN WILL ADD ABC SPORTS TO DOMAIN

         Monday's VARIETY reported that ESPN President Steve
    Bornstein will add ABC Sports to his responsibilities.  In this
    morning's USA TODAY, ABC VP/Communications Patty Matson, ABC
    Sports Public Relations Dir Mark Mandel, ESPN's Chris LaPlaca and
    ABC Sports President Dennis Swanson all declined comment.
    Bornstein also refused comment, citing his friendship with
    Swanson (USA TODAY, 3/26).
    

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