SBD/3/Sports Media

FOX'S OPENER: GENERALLY POSITIVE REVIEWS FOR DIAMOND DEBUT

     Fox Sports received a 3.8 overnight rating for Fox
Baseball's first broadcast Saturday.  CBS averaged a 3.6 for its
Saturday games in '93 -- the last season that a "Game of the
Week" was aired (THE DAILY).
     REVIEWS:  NEWSDAY's Steve Zipay writes the pre-game show was
a "marshmallow" for avoiding mention of the latest Albert Belle
incident.  Fox said clips of Belle's forearm were seen in the
early broadcast aired in most of the U.S.  Zipay added, "For the
concerned traditionalists, it looked like regular baseball"
(NEWSDAY, 6/3).  Noting black-and-white newsreel footage, the
piece on scientific study of the baseball and early mentions of
the Belle incident, Phil Mushnick writes, "That's journalism,
whether Fox likes it or not" (N.Y. POST, 6/3).  Also in New York,
Richard Sandomir writes, "Fundamentally, Fox baseball looked
remarkably like baseball" (N.Y. TIMES, 6/3).  In Atlanta, Prentis
Rogers writes, "For the most part, Fox did not look like a rookie
covering baseball" (ATLANTA CONSTITUTION, 6/3).  In Chicago,
Michael Hirsley notes, "Aside from the clever 'diamond' graphic,
using dots to show how many and where runners were on base, Fox's
initial live game telecast was competent but uninspired" (CHICAGO
TRIBUNE, 6/3).  USA TODAY's Rudy Martzke writes that the
broadcasts did not match the "hype," with game coverage at "the
norm" (USA TODAY, 6/3).
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