SBD/14/Sports Media

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              Fox will prepare for its "unprecedented" five hours of
         Super Bowl pre-game coverage by putting crews "not only in
         New Orleans," but in Green Bay and Foxboro, MA, for the next
         twelve days," according to Joanne Weintraub of the MILWAUKEE
         JOURNAL SENTINEL.  The crews will follow Packers, Patriots
         and their families, "compiling video diaries of both teams." 
         Asked if a five-hour pre-game was too much, Fox Exec
         Producer Ed Goren said, "No, as long as Madison Avenue keeps
         buying, we'll keep doing it" (MILWAUKEE JOURNAL SENTINEL,
         1/14). IMG's Barry Frank, on the Super Bowl matchup: "Green
         Bay is going to be every bit as attractive as Dallas in the
         Super Bowl for Fox.  The Packers have Brett Favre, Reggie
         White and tradition. And Bill Parcells leads the Patriots"
         (USA TODAY, 1/14).  In Tampa, Pat Yasinskas notes "for the
         first time in recent memory, this one is going to be fun, in
         a refreshing sort of way ... [the teams] bring a youthful
         enthusiasm to Bourbon Street" (TAMPA TRIBUNE, 1/14).
              NFL NEWS: The Packers' Santana Dotson will write a
         playoff journal for (Tony Rome). ....CABLE
         WORLD's Alan Breznick reviews the NFL's regular-season
         ratings, "as national TV carriers are scratching their heads
         over a surprisingly disappointing pro football season." 
         Breznick: "Back-to-back annual ratings declines may mean
         that the league's popularity has finally peaked after nearly
         four decades of steady growth" (CABLE WORLD, 1/13).

    Print | Tags: Green Bay Packers, IMG, New England Patriots, NFL, Media

              The Phoenix Gazette afternoon newspaper will print its
         final edition on Saturday.  Phoenix Newspapers will continue
         to publish the morning Arizona Republic (ARIZONA REPUBLIC,
         1/14)....Former ESPN exec Roger Werner is featured in
         FORBES.  Werner has started two CT-based sports channels,
         "Outdoor Life" and "Speedvision."  Werner "believes the
         appetite for sports viewing is as insatiable as his own for
         participation."  Werner: "Our rollout is constrained [only]
         by the industry's ability to add capacity" (FORBES, 1/27).
         ...The Orlando Sentinel and Time Warner Cable will launch a
         24-hour local news channel on cable TV this fall.  The
         station will offer local sports, news and weather to about
         400,000 Time Warner subscribers in Central Florida (ORLANDO
         SENTINEL, 1/14). 

    Print | Tags: ESPN, Media, Walt Disney

              Top Rank, Inc. plans a monthly series of live boxing
         events on DirecTV beginning February 12, according to Carl
         DiOrio of the HOLLYWOOD REPORTER.  It would mark the first
         time fights are "exclusively transmitted via a satellite TV
         service."  The monthly boxing series, called DirecTV
         Ringside, "marks the first original programming effort for
         DirecTV," and it will offer the series to subscribers on a
         PPV basis.  Top Rank will produce DirecTV Ringside and will
         "use some of its video library for related boxing specials
         and promotions."  Top Rank President Bob Arum said the deal
         won't affect his current relationship with HBO.  In a
         separate deal, DirecTV agreed to carry the next three fights
         of Oscar De La Hoya (HOLLYWOOD REPORTER, 1/14).

    Print | Tags: DirecTV, HBO, Media
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