SBD/25/Sports Media

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         The NHL's partnership with IBM led CBC's "Hockey Night in
    Canada" to scuttle plans for a playoff-based Web site.  The
    problem, according to CBC's Tom Curzon, was not the NHL, but
    rather CBC partner Microsoft, which withdrew upon learning of the
    NHL's IBM ties (GLOBE & MAIL, 4/25).... ESPN and ESPN2 begin
    their coverage of the U.S. Olympic trials this Saturday
    (ESPN)....In Atlanta, Charles Haddad examines the transition of
    TNT to a channel aimed at younger viewers.  Haddad notes live
    sports programming has become TNT's "most popular offering"
    (ATLANTA CONSTITUTION, 4/25). ....The Dodgers launch their
    official Web site, "Dodgers On-Line," at Dodger Stadium today.
    The site was designed by the team in conjunction with Only
    Multimedia Network.  In addition to standard team Web site fare
    (info, press releases, scoreboard, etc.), the Dodgers mirror the
    international feel of their ballclub with areas in five
    languages:  Japanese, Korean, Spanish, Mandarin Chinese and
    English.  Address: (Dodgers)....
    Indianapolis station WNDY-TV, owned by the same people who run
    the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, namely IMS and IRL President
    Tony George, will only report on the Indy 500 over the next
    month, ignoring CART's rival U.S. 500 to be held in MI on the
    same day.  WNDY Sports Dir Vince Welch:  "To us, that's the only
    race going on that day.  That was not an edict, it was just a
    choice we made."  Other local stations will cover both
    (INDIANAPOLIS NEWS-STAR, 4/25).... Westinghouse Chair & CEO
    Michael Jordan said he expects CBS to be "solidly on track"
    financially by the time of the '98 Nagano Winter Games (HOLLYWOOD
    REPORTER, 4/25).

    Print | Tags: CBC, CBS, ESPN, IBM, Indianapolis Motor Speedway, IndyCar, Los Angeles Dodgers, Microsoft, NHL, Media, Turner Sports, Viacom, Walt Disney

         The NBA's national cable outlets, TNT and TBS, head into the
    playoffs with average season ratings up 22% (2.0, the highest
    average since '89-90), and NBC says when it releases its ratings
    today, it will "equal or better" last year's 5.2 average (Tim
    Tyers, ARIZONA REPUBLIC, 4/25).  NBC will carry at least 22 NBA
    playoff games, and as many as 35 (NBC Sports).  In Atlanta,
    Prentis Rogers writes that, despite the recent "rash" of referee-
    baiting incidents in the NBA, both Turner and NBC "seemed assured
    of having another great playoff run" (ATLANTA CONSTITUTION,
         JAZZ-OUT:   In Salt Lake, Scott Pierce notes the Jazz will
    not be on national TV:  "It's all about ratings.  And it's the
    reason the Jazz made no regular-season appearances on NBC at all"
    (DESERET NEWS, 4/24).
         MICHAEL'S DAY OFF:  In Baltimore, Milton Kent notes that
    Michael Jordan was excused from a scheduled pre-playoff telephone
    news conference, "citing an unspecified emergency."  Kent notes
    past Jordan snubs and Bulls Coach Phil Jackson's observation --
    "The emergency is the sun is shining and it's a beautiful day in
    Chicago."  He writes, "Jordan has repeatedly shown disdain for
    any media-related function that doesn't directly lead to
    feathering his already bloated financial nest" (Baltimore SUN,

    Print | Tags: Chicago Bulls, NBA, NBC, Media, Turner Sports, Utah Jazz

         The NFL released its '96 schedule yesterday, typically of
    more interest to network execs than fans at this time of the
    year.  Fox immediately began hyping its October 27 match-up
    between Jimmy Johnson's Dolphins and the Cowboys.  Also, for the
    third straight year, Fox will have a Cowboys-49ers matchup in
    November (Fox Sports).  USA TODAY's Rudy Martzke notes Fox "won
    out" over ABC's "Monday Night Football" in getting the Jimmy-
    Jerry rematch.  The only "frowns and shrugs" came from Turner,
    where they will show a nine-game Sunday night schedule.  TNT's
    teams combined for a .472 winning percentage last year, compared
    to ESPN's teams, which averaged a .503.  Turner Exec Producer
    Mike Pearl, on their draw:  "It's not pleasant to look at."
    ESPN's Chris LaPlaca accused TNT execs of having "too much time
    on their hands."  NFL broadcast head/schedule-maker Val Pinchbeck
    said of the networks' overall reactions:  "You'd like to go 5-0.
    I'll take 4-1" (USA TODAY, 4/25).

    Print | Tags: ABC, Dallas Cowboys, ESPN, Miami Dolphins, NFL, San Francisco 49ers, Media, Turner Sports, Walt Disney
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