SBD/8/Sports Media

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         Despite "mid-summer" speculation on the future TV home of
    the Masters, CBS and USA Network are "close to wrapping up
    contracts to return as domestic carriers of the '97 Masters,
    according to Dave Shedloski of GOLFWEEK.  Sources at both
    networks said an agreement with Augusta National was "imminent."
    With NBC "making overtures" towards the club and ESPN presenting
    what sources called "an impressive case" for the U.S. cable
    rights, there "did appear to be a window of opportunity -- albeit
    small -- for the outsiders."  The later date for finishing the
    deals "suggests that Masters officials gave extra consideration
    to the [TV] question and a source close to the club confirmed
    many new issues were carefully weighed."  Shedloski reports the
    pending rights deal "will probably include a stipulation by the
    club that CBS produce a host feed more user-friendly" to
    international partners.  In the past, CBS has produced coverage
    for U.S. viewers, which was also used as the world feed.  CBS
    would now have to produce "a truer world feed, then sub-produce a
    program for domestic use."  U.S. viewers "aren't likely" to
    notice any coverage change (GOLFWEEK, 10/5).

    Print | Tags: CBS, ESPN, NBC, Media, Viacom, Walt Disney

         New York City cable operator Liberty Cable began carrying
    the Fox News Channel yesterday afternoon.  Liberty also plans to
    add ESPNEWS to its lineup (INSIDE MEDIA ONLINE, 10/7). Liberty
    will pick up the Classic Sports Network full-time starting
    October 15 (N.Y. POST, 10/8). ..Beginning October 20,
    SportsChannel will air a weekly, one hour program called
    SportsFair Television, in which viewers can purchase authentic
    and licensed apparel and merchandise (SportsChannel)....NBA
    Commissioner David Stern will be the Keynote Speaker at the
    Worldwide Television Summit Conference, to be held November 25 in
    NY (NATAS)... Asked by Diane Mermigas of ELECTRONIC MEDIA on his
    investment in Fox Sports Net domestically, "even with TCI as a
    partner," News Corp.'s Rupert Murdoch said:  "About $300 million,
    but with all the areas of sports we're getting into, it's more
    like $400 million" (ELECTRONIC MEDIA, 10/7 issue)....Disney's
    "D3: The Mighty Ducks" debuted in fourth place in box office
    sales with $6,170,358  ("Showbiz," CNN, 10/7).

    Print | Tags: Anaheim Ducks, Cablevision, ESPN, NBA, New York Liberty, Media, Walt Disney

         NBC Sports covers the ALCS tonight in New York with the
    Orioles-Yankees beginning at 8:00pm ET.  Bob Costas handles the
    play-by-play and is joined in the booth by Joe Morgan and Bob
    Uecker.  Jim Gray will report on the scene and the telecast will
    be produced by David Neal and directed by Andy Rosenberg (NBC).
    MLB Int'l will produce a worldwide TV feed live of the LCS and
    World Series to 200 countries (MLB).
         IT'S RAINING HERE: If tonight's opener is rained out, the
    teams "probably will play" 4pm ET games Wednesday and Thursday.
    NBC would still televise both games.  A Thursday game would not
    be played at night due to the Cardinals-Braves on Fox that night
    and NBC "prefers not to pre-empt its prime-time schedule" (Lennon
    & Zipay, NEWSDAY, 10/8).
         WOUNDED PEACOCK: NBC Sports is still upset they were unable
    to switch the Yankees-Rangers Game Four to their network for
    Saturday night coverage.  MLB kept the game on ESPN and NBC
    received Cardinals-Padres.  Cards-Padres rating of a 6.9 was at
    least 30% less what NBC estimated for the Yankees-Rangers.  NBC
    Sports President Dick Ebersol: "We were shocked and saddened and
    extremely disappointed by the actions that were taken.
    Obviously, the (Cardinals-Padres) game unperformed by about 35
    percent in the ratings.  More importantly, the fans were denied
    the game of greater interest."  MLB Exec Dir/PR Rich Levin:
    "They've got the Yankees this week, so they should be happy with
    that" (Rudy Martzke, USA TODAY, 10/8).  In New York, Steve Zipay
    writes, "If NBC wanted the game so badly, why didn't they secure
    it when the schedule was announced?"  Zipay: "In recent years,
    ESPN has been more loyal to baseball" (NEWSDAY, 10/8).
         NEWS & NOTES: Ratings after the first four days on NBC and
    Fox are down 28% from last year's regional coverage of The
    Baseball Network (USA TODAY, 10/8).  In Philadelphia, Mike Bruton
    calls TV coverage of the MLB playoffs a "good week for viewers,"
    adding "Regionalization is dead, thank goodness!" (PHILADELPHIA
    INQUIRER, 10/8)....In New York, Richard Sandomir gives his MLB
    post-season TV awards for the divisional series.  Best announcing
    team went to NBC's Costas, Morgan and Uecker.  Best production:
    ESPN (N.Y. TIMES, 10/8)....NBC's Costas, on what kind of reaction
    Roberto Alomar can expect in Yankee Stadium: "My guess is they
    will be very tough.  Maybe the word is brutal" (Bill Fleischman,
    PHILA. DAILY NEWS, 10/8).  David Letterman previewing the ALCS:
    "Yankee fans are tough.  A pick-off play at first base usually
    involves a high powered rifle. ... There better not be any
    trouble with Roberto Alomar because New Yorkers spit back" ("Late
    Show," CBS, 10/7).

    Print | Tags: Atlanta Braves, Baltimore Orioles, CBS, ESPN, MLB, NBC, New York Yankees, San Diego Padres, Media, Viacom, Walt Disney

         The new Gridiron Record label signed a five-year license
    with the NFL to produce recordings combining NFL players and
    music stars and "uses the NFL marks in its marketing," according
    to BRANDWEEK.  Two records will hit stores in November: NFL Jams
    is a "rap/hip hop/R&B session including duets with Ricky Watters
    and Method Man, Robert Brooks and Donell Jones and Rocket Ismail
    and Pharside."  NFL Country has Troy Aikman with Toby Keith, and
    Brett Favre and Herschel Walker joining country stars (BRANDWEEK,

    Print | Tags: NFL, Media
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