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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Don Mitzner, President of Group W Satellite Communications, was interviewed in BROADCASTING & CABLE. Mitzner was asked during the Q&A about Fox/Liberty's bid for team rights to the Bullets, Caps, and Orioles, now held by Westinghouse-owned HTS. Mitzner said they "had a number of opportunities and capabilities," with the situation, adding, "That issue is not over, and we have a number of things that we are evaluating right now." On Group W's commitment to RSNs, Mitzner said with HTS and the Midwest Sports Channel, "we've tried to put together a little broader sports presence because of the tremendous skill that we have with Group W sports marketing and our ability to sell advertising time. ... We're stepping back and saying: What makes sense? What do we do with those businesses? How do we leverage them within CBS sports organization?" (B&C, 8/26).
In Washington, all-sports WTEM-AM was bought by Dallas-based Chancellor Broadcasting. Chancellor owns all-sports stations in Cincinnati and Minneapolis and paid $375M for Colfax Communications, WTEM's previous parent (WASHINGTON TIMES, 8/27)....Bantam Doubleday Dell Publishing Group will publish "The Magnificent Seven," an authorized look at the U.S. Women's gymnastics team by Nancy Kleinbaum. It will be in stores next month (RICHMOND TIMES-DISPATCH, 8/27)....The N.Y. TIMES' Richard Sandomir reviews, "The Brooklyn Dodgers: America's Original America's Team," to be aired on ESPN starting tonight. Sandomir calls the series "elegant, intelligent, evocative film" (N.Y. TIMES, 8/27)....Former goaltender Chico Resch was named an analyst for Devils telecasts on SportsChannel (SportsChannel)....The new publication, Conde Nast Sports for Women, was delayed until the fall of '97 (AD AGE, 8/26 issue).
TNT's new $20M-plus promo for its NFL coverage "revs up this week" and will include a "mix of image and tune-in sports linked by splashy, Hollywood-like production values," according to Jeff Jensen of AD AGE. The first of 17 spots began on TNT and other TBS networks last week. Other facets of the in-house campaign include an outdoor transit campaign, radio spots in top 25 markets, and national and local print ads. The spots are a "departure from last year's campaign, which focused on football's ... physical elements." TNT Senior VP/Marketing Scot Safon: "What we're trying to do is create mini-movies with our NFL promos" (AD AGE, 8/26 issue). TNT will team with NFL Films for two fall specials: "Football America" and "NFL Head Coach: The Man Behind the Men" (CABLE WORLD, 8/26 issue).
College football opened over the weekend and Saturday's ABC's coverage of the Pigskin Classic featuring BYU and Texas A&M earned a Nielsen preliminary overnight rating of a 4.0 and 12 share. Top markets: 9.8/23 in Houston; 7.8/19 in San Antonio; 7.6/20 in Dallas. Saturday's MLB telecast on Fox drew a 3.5/10 share, with a 11.2/28 in Atlanta; 7.0/17 in Houston; 8.9/32 in Seattle. On Sunday, ABC's Kickoff Classic featuring Penn State- USC gained a 5.2 rating/14 share. Top markets: 7.8/20 in L.A., 8.4/21 in Philadelphia; 8.1/21 in Pittsburgh (Nielsen Sports Marketing).