SBD/2/Sports Media


     News Corp. completed a deal Thursday to buy a 33% stake in
The Golf Channel.  An internal memo from TGC CEO Joseph Gibbs to
his employees said the deal "gives us the capital to get our
channel to break even under the current business plan and launch
our channel overseas" (Scott Hettrick, HOLLYWOOD REPORTER, 8/2).
Arnold Palmer, part-owner of TGC, said "we are all delighted with
this turn of events."  The deal is key to TGC since it gives
access to foreign markets as it plans to expand in Japan in
October.  In addition to Japan, TGC hopes to send its signal to
Taiwan and Australia soon.  TGC currently has around 3.5 million
subscribers.  Chris Murvin, TGC Senior VP/Business Affairs, said
no programming changes are expected and the channel's operations
will remain in Orlando.  Murvin said TGC did have talks with
other networks, including NBC, which broke off a month ago (Rene
Stutzman, ORLANDO SENTINEL, 8/2).
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NBC, News Corp./Fox, Media

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