SBD/31/Leagues Governing Bodies

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              The upcoming AVP season is examined by Brockinton &
         Reynolds of INSIDE MEDIA, and it touts "new sponsors, more
         live TV coverage, increased national/local promotional
         activities, enhanced on-site amenities and adjusted on-court
         rules."  American Honda and Volleyball magazine have become
         official sponsors and NJ-based ISI has been retained to land
         sponsorship and media packages. ISI is looking to find a
         soft drink, water and isotonic beverage sponsor after Coca-
         Cola/PowerAde dropped its AVP package (INSIDE MEDIA, 1/29).
              SIDE OUT W/PEACOCK?  Brockinton & Reynolds note that
         the "big question" for the AVP is whether '97 "will mark the
         final year of the AVP on NBC."  NBC's schedule, featuring
         "more golf" and a commitment to the WNBA "in late-afternoon
         time slots ... is a lot more crowded" than when the network
         first signed the AVP.  AVP CEO Jerry Solomon: "NBC has been
         and continues to be a great supporter of the AVP.  We feel
         there should be six to ten AVP telecasts on broadcast per
         year ... So we're right in the ballpark."  NBC Sports Senior
         VP/Programming Jon Miller: "The AVP is a good property that
         helped us fill a niche six years ago when we lost Major
         League Baseball and before we had Notre Dame football, more
         golf and now the WNBA.  Jerry understands the network sports
         business and the need to be flexible.  We have every
         intention that the AVP will be back in some format" (INSIDE
         MEDIA, 1/29 issue).

    Print | Tags: Coca-Cola, Leagues and Governing Bodies, NBC, WNBA

              A federal appeals court ruled that Motorola and Stats,
         Inc. can transmit real-time NBA game scores and statistics
         taken from radio and TV broadcasts, according to Michael
         Rapoport of the WALL STREET JOURNAL.  The 3-0 ruling
         reversed a lower court ruling "which had enjoined" Motorola
         and Stats, Inc. from disseminating information over pager
         systems called Sportstrax and other online services.  NBA
         Legal Counsel Jeffrey Mishkin said the league plans to
         appeal the ruling (WALL STREET JOURNAL, 1/31).
              HOT TEST: The appeals court ruled that the NBA had not
         met "a narrowly tailored 'hot news' test for prevailing on
         such a misappropriation claim."  The court ruled that
         neither Motorola nor Stats were "free-riding" on the NBA's
         information.  The court also ruled that while "broadcasts of
         athletic events are protected by copyright, the events
         themselves aren't because they aren't 'original works of
         authorship' under the law."  The outcome isn't know in
         advance and "wholly unexpected events may influence it." 
         The court said the ruling "applies equally" to an AOL site
         featuring information provided by Stats.  Stats attorney
         Andrew Deutsch said he expects a separate NBA suit against
         AOL and Stats to be dropped (WALL STREET JOURNAL, 1/31).  In
         N.Y., Lawrie Mifflin writes that the ruling "reiterated that
         the facts and scores of a basketball game were facts, and
         that under Federal copyright law, facts could not be
         copyrighted."  In her ruling for the NBA, lower court Judge
         Loretta Preska noted the league's commercial property rights
         were being taken without compensation.  But the appeals
         court ruled that the NBA claim "confuses three different
         products:" the games, radio and TV broadcasts of those
         games, and retransmission of "strictly factual information"
         about those games.  The opinion said: "The first and second
         products are the N.B.A.'s primary business ... [but] there
         is no evidence that anyone regards Sportstrax or the AOL
         site as a substitute for attending N.B.A. games or watching
         them on television" (N.Y. TIMES, 1/31).
              REAX: On "Moneyline," CNN's Lou Dobbs called the ruling
         a "big legal victory" for Motorola.  Dobbs noted the court
         "said the NBA failed to prove that it was harmed by the
         transmission of those scores."  Dobbs added that the ruling
         could also be a "boon" to AOL ("Moneyline," CNN, 1/30). 
         Motorola Attorney Herbert Schwartz: "It's also an important
         result for online providers and for the Internet because it
         also allows people like America Online to give updated
         scores in real time as the game goes on. ... It's important
         for the new media in terms of their ability to transmit
         facts promptly once those facts have been made public over
         TV or radio" ("Market Wrap," CNBC, 1/30).  ESPN's Bob Ley
         noted the ruling was a "loss" for the NBA ("SportsCenter,"
         ESPN, 1/30).  In Chicago, Howard Wolinsky notes Stats and
         Motorola "scored big" with the ruling.  As for Sportstrax,
         Motorola attorney Roger Dusberger said, "Sportstrax is a
         great product with a lot of pent-up demand.  But Motorola
         management will need to re-evaluate whether and how to move
         forward with the product" (CHICAGO SUN-TIMES, 1/31).

    Print | Tags: ESPN, Leagues and Governing Bodies, Motorola, NBA, Walt Disney

              Dennis Rodman will meet with NBA Commissioner David
         Stern today in New York, according to Lacy Banks of the
         CHICAGO SUN-TIMES.  Rodman and agent, Dwight Manley, will
         meet with Stern to discuss the league's 11-game suspension
         and directive to undergo counseling.  Sources tell Banks
         that Atlanta psychiatrist Dr. Lloyd Baccus will be present
         at today's meeting, but Manley said Rodman "will undergo no
         treatment or counseling by any psychiatrist."  Neither Rev.
         Jesse Jackson nor NBPA Exec Dir Billy Hunter will attend,
         but sources say Jackson "served as a catalyst" for today's
         talks through conversations with NBA Deputy Commissioner
         Russ Granik (CHICAGO SUN-TIMES, 1/31).
              YAZ: In N.Y., POST's gossip columnist Neal Travis notes
         Rodman "is about to become a major motion picture star" with
         his upcoming performance in the Jean-Claude Van Damme movie,
         "Double Team."  Sources say Rodman's "screen presence" is
         "already causing an industry buzz" (N.Y. POST, 1/31). 
              MOVING ON UP: The NBPA will stay in New York City after
         Exec Dir Billy Hunter was "seriously weighing" a move to
         Washington, DC, according to Dan Wasserman on SportsTicker. 
         The NBPA's lease on its midtown Manhattan office ended last
         month, and Hunter has signed a five-year lease that will
         move the NBPA's office to an upgraded facility just four
         blocks from the current location (SportsTicker, 1/30).

    Print | Tags: Leagues and Governing Bodies, NBA

              NFL Commissioner Paul Tagliabue was a guest on ESPN's
         "Up Close" last night.  Excerpts from his interview:  On
         Super Bowl XXXII in San Diego: "The timetable is up in the
         air because of the court case. ... Hopefully we can play the
         game there ... but it's at risk now. ... We'll have to look
         at contingency plans and we're doing that.  The Rose Bowl
         ... would love to host the game, I'm sure there would be
         other cities."  On the league's substance abuse policy: "You
         want to have standards, we have them.  You want stiff
         discipline, we have it.  In most cases, tougher than people
         would run into in the courts."  On the next TV deal: "CBS
         has made it clear that they want to be part of the
         conversations, and I would expect eventually they would be." 
         On an 18-game schedule: "The 16 games over the 17 weeks
         works extremely well ... I think we'll be with the same
         schedule for the regular season, we might look at a
         different approach for the preseason" (ESPN, 1/30).

    Print | Tags: CBS, ESPN, Leagues and Governing Bodies, NFL, Viacom, Walt Disney
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