SBD/8/Sports Media


     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).
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