SBD/9/Sports Media

PIRATES GET BOOST AS FOX SPORTS EXTENDS TV DEAL THROUGH 2000

          The Pirates and Fox Sports Pittsburgh signed a multi-
     year extension of their TV deal.  Fox Sports Pittsburgh will
     now produce and distribute games on local broadcast TV along
     with showing the team exclusively on cable (Fox Sports
     Pittsburgh).  In Pittsburgh, Chuck Finder wrote, "with 85
     televised games and roughly $3.8 million in pocket this
     season, the Pirates' benefits seem obvious."  That
     "constitutes an increase" of nearly 10 games and $1M from
     last season.  The contract extension, which runs through
     2000, will see the number of games increase to 100, and the
     rights fee increase roughly to $4.5M, by 2000.  On the
     cable/broadcast split, 70 games "minimum" will be on Fox
     Sports Pittsburgh, with 15 on an over-the-air station to be
     announced.  Fox Sports Pittsburgh will also do a "minimum"
     of 21 homes games (PITTSBURGH POST-GAZETTE, 1/8).

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