Sunoco Debuts "Essence Of Racing" Campaign Executive Transactions Isiah Thomas Expected Backlash Over Hiring FanDuel Brings On Most Of Zynga Sports Team Georgia Approves Increased Athletic Budget Kentucky Adding Ribbon Boards At Rupp IndyCar Ponders How To Attract Fans Long Term Jeff Gordon Hired As Full-Time Analyst For Fox Danica's Sponsorship Status To Be Telling For NASCAR Classified Advertisements
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Snow Summit Mountain Resort in Big Bear Lake, CA, will host the inaugural Winter X Games, to be held January 30-February 2, '97. ESPN and ESPN2 will each televise eight hours from the Games. ESPN2 will re-air all telecasts and ESPN International will distribute the Games worldwide. Jack Wienert will serve as Exec Dir of the Games -- the same post he holds for the summer event (ESPN).
Westinghouse has purchased Miami-based news company, TeleNoticias, and will launch a 24-hour Spanish-language new channel in the U.S. later this year (NEWSDAY, 6/28)....In Tampa, Doug Carlson comments on Peter Vecsey's analysis during TNT's NBA Draft coverage. Carlson notes Vecsey "was wrong nearly every time he opened his mouth," and finally refers to him as "Peter Guessy" (TAMPA TRIBUNE, 6/28). ...Prime Sports and the Jazz agreed to a multi-year deal allowing the RSN to carry 25 live Jazz games beginning next season (Prime Sports)....Professional Sports Publications will publish a college football conference magazine for both the Big 12 and the WAC this fall. PSP is also selling ad packages for both magazines (PSP).....INTERACTIVE WEEK notes Management Plus, the agency for Shaquille O'Neal, "shut down" his site on the Microsoft Network two months ago in part due to MSN's decision to move its online service to the World Wide Web. Management Plus's Bruce Binkow: "We just decided that, if we were moving to the Web anyway, the SportsLine would be a better fit for us" (INTERACTIVE WEEK, 6/24 issue). Leonard Armato, Chair & CEO Management Plus Enterprises, on O'Neal's SportsLine site: "Shaq has now embraced the global culture of the internet, which is something that has exploded and the great people in America are doing it and Shaq has joined them. Bill Gates is doing it. All the people, I think, with foresight in this world are now saying that the internet is the place to be" ("Bloomberg Business News," 6/28)....NBC's coverage of the U.S. Diving and Track and Field Trials last weekend had a 4.7 rating/15 share, up 24% from the two-day average in '92 (NBC)...THE SPORTING NEWS' "Fly" notes rumors of NFL Commissioner Paul Tagliabue bringing CBS Sports back to the NFL TV package by giving them a Sunday night schedule and having TNT and ESPN split Thursday night games (TSN, 7/1 issue)....Spurs TV broadcaster Dave Barnett joins ESPN (SAN ANTONIO EXPRESS-NEWS, 6/28). CORRECTION: CBS has not signed on with PPG, Inc. to telecast Senior skiing's, "MCI's Downhill Challenge," as was reported Wednesday. PPG is in negotiations with all networks regarding the event. THE DAILY regrets the error.
NASCAR and "Winston Cup Scene" a publication on the Winston Cup division, announced a licensing alliance that includes new names for both weekly and monthly publications, and editorial and promotional contributions to NASCAR Online and CD-ROM projects. Effective this week, the weekly "Winston Cup Scene" magazine will be renamed "NASCAR Winston Cup Scene," and the monthly "Winston Cup Illustrated" will be called "NASCAR Winston Cup Illustrated." NASCAR and "NASCAR WInston Cup Scene" will team with Starwave and ESPN to develop a "NASCAR Winston Cup Scene" section on NASCAR Online. NASCAR and "NASCAR Winston Cup Scene" will develop a "NASCAR Winston Cup Scene" year in review CD-ROM (NASCAR).
In Houston, Mike McDaniel compliments HBO's Wimbledon coverage, adding Billie Jean King, Martina Navratilova and Mary Carillo "have proved to be a terrific broadcasting trio" (HOUSTON CHRONICLE, 6/28). NBC begins 34-hours of Wimbledon coverage tomorrow. In Philadelphia, Bernard Fernandez writes the upset- ridden tournament is NBC's "nightmare." If Pete Sampras and Steffi Graf don't advance to the finals, "NBC might have to use a magnifying glass to spot its Nielsen ratings" (PHILA. DAILY NEWS, 6/28).