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HOOTIE AND THE BLOWFISH TO SING INTRO TO MONDAY NIGHT HOOPS?
Published November 5, 1996
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).