SBD/14/Sports Media

THE WORD FROM THE U.S. OPEN: JOHNNY MILLER MAKES NEWS

     News from NBC's U.S. Open coverage is focused on comments
made by analyst Johnny Miller.  In a teleconference before the
play began, Miller addressed his commentary style: "Some of the
players view me as a bit of a traitor.  I try to look at
everything I do as what's good for the game and what's
entertaining to the public.  We at NBC treat everybody the same.
We treat them as the top pros they are, but we don't try to build
them up any more than they deserve."  Miller responded to
criticism from Greg Norman, who has claimed Miller is too hard in
his analysis of Tour players.  Miller on Norman: "I feel I've
been fair to Greg Norman.  I say he's the best player in the
world, but I've also said he's had a lot of miscues down the
stretch in majors.  He's been treated really, really specially by
CBS" (Bill Fleischman, PHILA. DAILY NEWS, 6/14).  But the N.Y.
TIMES' Richard Sandomir notes, "Miller may not have seen how NBC
promotes its sports properties.  Everything it broadcasts
resonates with the star treatment" (N.Y. TIMES, 6/14).  USA
TODAY's Rudy Martzke also claimed NBC treated Tiger Woods'
"blowup on the final holes as softly as CBS did Greg Norman's
Masters collapse" (USA TODAY, 6/14).  Phil Mushnick writes that
"CBS is thrilled with Miller.  Word had been out that NBC had a
chance to carry The Masters.  Miller's words could end that.  The
big TV winner from NBC's U.S. Open, this week, could be CBS"
(N.Y. POST, 6/14).  But in Ft. Lauderdale, Rachel Alexander backs
Miller, adding to "expect, finally, some honest coverage, at
least by golf's kid-glove standards" (FT. LAUDERDALE SUN-
SENTINEL, 6/14).
     MARR SIGNS: Dave Marr, who joined NBC Sports golf coverage
last year, agreed to a new multi-year deal (NBC).
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