SBD/5/Sports Media

HOOTIE AND THE BLOWFISH TO SING INTRO TO MONDAY NIGHT HOOPS?

     Fox and CBS are both interested in broadcasting an NBA game
of the week, possibly on Monday nights, starting in the '98-99
season, according to Steve Zipay of NEWSDAY.  The current four-
year, $1.1B NBA national TV deal, shared by NBC and TBS, expires
after '97-98.  CBS Sports Senior VP /Production Rick Gentile:
"We've been in discussions with the NBA and we will continue to
have conversations with them."  Fox Sports President David Hill
has also met with NBA Commissioner David Stern regarding a
package.  Zipay notes the NBA "could tip off the first of up to
15 weekly prime-time games once ABC's Monday Night Football
telecasts end in late December."  Sources indicate if the league
"is worried about overexposure ... Stern could reduce the number
of cable games and retain the same overall number" (NEWSDAY,
11/5).  But USA TODAY's Rudy Martzke notes interest by other
networks "might be geared to forcing NBC to pay a premium to
retain network exclusivity" (USA TODAY, 11/5).
     THE PROFIT: Despite claims by Fox that the network made a
profit in its inaugural season of MLB coverage, ad buyers "find
the profit claim for the whole season suspect," according to
Dupree & Freeman of ADWEEK.  One broadcast negotiator: "Even at
$250,000 a unit, which they didn't get from everyone, they'll
only clear $80 million.  That's a long ways from the $120 million
just in rights fees they paid."  World Series sales at the
affiliates and other O&O's were "apparently good" (ADWEEK, 11/4
issue).
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