SBD/26/Sports Media

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).
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