SBD/22/Sports Media

MURDOCH EYES RIGHTS FOR WORLD CUP, BRITISH OPEN

     Rupert Murdoch's News Corp. "is about to make a multi-
billion dollar bid for the world broadcasting rights for the
World Cup finals in 2002 and 2006," according to FINANCIAL TIMES.
The move is seen as the latest challenge to the European
Broadcasting Union, which has the rights to the '98 World Cup and
has been in exclusive negotiations on 2002 and 2006.  But FIFA
has called for other proposals, with a May 15 deadline.  Other
likely bidders are IMG, UFA (the TV subsidiary of Germany's
Bertelsmann), and TEAM, the marketing arm of the European
Football Union.  Murdoch will seek to put the games on digital
TV, offering non-stop coverage of all games and charging PPV for
the top matches.  FIFA has also abandoned its plan of selling
marketing and broadcast rights under one deal.  The broadcast
partner now "will be required to cooperate with FIFA and its
marketing partner" (Burns & Snoddy, FINANCIAL TIMES, 4/20-21
issue).
     FOX IN THE CLUBHOUSE:  Murdoch's Sky Sports, which already
has the Ryder Cup contract, is trying to secure broadcast rights
to the British Open, according to GOLFWORLD.  The British Open
has been with the BBC since '56, but the contract expires this
year.  Sky Sports reaches one-eighth the audience the BBC does
(GOLFWORLD, 4/19).
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IMG, News Corp./Fox, Media

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