SBD/19/Sports Media

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  • ESPN TABS A KENNEDY: EX-BOSOX SKIPPER ADDED AS MLB ANALYST

              Former Red Sox manager Kevin Kennedy has been hired as
         a color analyst by ESPN (Sean McAdam, Providence JOURNAL-
         BULLETIN, 3/18).  Kennedy, who is still being paid by the
         Red Sox, will work west coast games for ESPN "as well as
         some radio."  He will make his debut on the Phillies-Dodgers
         game on April 1, and will work the Red Sox-Angels opener on
         April 2 (Gordon Edes, BOSTON GLOBE, 3/19).  Former MLB
         pitcher Joe Magrane has also been added to ESPN's "Wednesday
         Night Baseball" telecasts.  He will make his debut on April
         1 for the Twins-Tigers (ESPN).
    
    

    Print | Tags: LA Angels, Anaheim Sports, Boston Red Sox, Detroit Tigers, ESPN, Los Angeles Dodgers, Minnesota Twins, MLB, News Corp./Fox, Philadelphia Phillies, Media, Walt Disney
  • FOX ADDS RODEO & SKIING TO ITS NEVER-ENDING HUNT FOR SPORTS

              Fox Sports is adding rodeo and skiing to its weekend
         sports line-up for the first time.  Fox will air the
         "Wrangler Bull Riders Only World Championship" on Saturday,
         April 5, and the "Sprint Bumps & Jumps Championships" skiing
         competition on Sunday, April 20 (Fox Sports).
              SADDLE UP:  Bull Riders Only CEO Shaw Sullivan, who
         predicts a 4.2 rating for the event: "Only the boys at Fox
         are crazy enough to do this."  Fox Sports Exec VP Tracy
         Dolgin: "For the Fox generation, there are other things than
         music videos.  You have a guy trying to hang onto a wild,
         multithousand-pound animal, and the bull's trying to throw
         him off and stomp him to death" (MEDIAWEEK, 3/17).
              MORE DISTRIBUTION: Fox Sports Americas and the Int'l
         Channel reached a deal to broadcast an int'l sports block to
         Int'l Channel viewers.  The Int'l Channel offers multiple
         language basic programming to more than seven million
         subscribers in the U.S. and Latin America. Each int'l
         sporting event will air in its native language in a block
         that is branded under the Fox Sports Americas banner (FSA).
    
    

    Print | Tags: News Corp./Fox, Media, Sprint
  • MEDIA NOTES

              SI's Steve Lopez writes on the Flyers libel suit
         against Philadelphia WIP-AM under the header, "Put Up Or
         Shut Up."  Lopez: "Some observers think this could do for
         talk radio what Carol Burnett did for supermarket tabloids. 
         When the comedian won a $1.6 million libel judgement against
         the National Enquirer, it prompted a flood of other suits by
         celebrities.  ... And if the Flyers lose in court?  Sports
         could end up making professional wrestling look like a high
         art form" (SI, 3/24 issue)....Detroit Free Press sports
         columnist Mitch Albom has won first place in sports writing
         in the National Headliner Awards.  The L.A. Times' Bill
         Plaschke finished second and the Wall Street Journal's Roger
         Thurow was third (DETROIT FREE PRESS, 3/19)....USA TODAY's
         Rudy Martzke writes that PGA Tour officials, "opposed to
         Fox's proposal to incorporate FoxTrax hockey puck technology
         into golf balls, will remain with ABC, NBC and CBS in new
         deals that likely will increase from $45 million annually
         over four years to about $70 million" (USA TODAY,
         3/19)....IL-based One-on-One Sports Network has bought WXLX-
         AM in the New York area, part of a $45M deal that includes
         AM stations in Miami and Los Angeles.  All three stations
         will be converted to sports.  In the New York market, WXLX
         will go up against WFAN (N.Y. DAILY NEWS, 3/19)....The
         Broncos' Shannon Sharpe is a spokesperson for Cyberforce, an
         Internet access provider that rivals AOL.  Sharpe joins
         "several NFL players," including the Packers' Sean Jones,
         the Bills' Andre Reed, and the Raiders' Tim Brown, as
         members of the NV-based service (ROCKY MOUNTAIN NEWS, 3/19).
    
    
    

    Print | Tags: ABC, Buffalo Bills, CBS, Comcast-Spectacor, Denver Broncos, Green Bay Packers, NBC, News Corp./Fox, NFL, Oakland Raiders, PGA Tour, Philadelphia Flyers, Sports Illustrated, Media, Time Warner, Viacom, Walt Disney
  • NIELSEN NUMBERS INDICATE CBS HITTING TARGET DEMO WITH HOOPS

              Although CBS' ratings of the NCAA Men's Basketball
         Tournament first and second rounds are up over the
         tournament's last few years, it "has interrupted momentum
         built by CBS Entertainment," according to USA TODAY's Rudy
         Martzke.  CBS had won the previous two weeks in primetime
         ratings, but was second last week when ratings dropped 6%. 
         During the first three nights of the tournament -- Thursday,
         Friday and Saturday -- CBS' ratings were down 12% from the
         previous week.  CBS Sports President Sean McManus says he is
         "concerned," adding, "We'll figure out a way for the
         tournament to work financially so it won't be a financial
         albatross in the future."  But Grey Advertising's Jon Mandel
         says the tournament "is more than a couple of games in
         primetime.  You're bringing an audience to the set you might
         not have" (USA TODAY, 3/19).  
              MACHO MEN: Numbers from Nielsen Media showed CBS' NCAA
         coverage "more than doubled" the net's regularly scheduled
         Thursday average among men 25-54 and men 18-49.  CBS won
         Friday night among men 25-54, and was No. 2 among men 18-49. 
         On Saturday, CBS won the night among homes and total
         viewers.  It "also took the night in adults 25-54 and all
         key male demos" (HOLLYWOOD REPORTER, 3/19).
              PPV PLUG: In Orlando, Alan Schmadtke: "If you looked
         closely at the first- and second-round NCAA Tournament
         games, you noticed plenty of fans disguised as empty seats. 
         Sadly, welcome to the era of television.  Suggestion for the
         NCAA: pay-per-view.  Unlike the one-time event like boxing,
         nobody's going to get ripped off paying for the NCAA
         Tournament, particularly when you are guaranteed of seeing
         the game(s) you want" (ORLANDO SENTINEL, 3/19).
    
    

    Print | Tags: CBS, NCAA, Nielsen, Media, Viacom
  • TRADES EYE NEW CHANNELS: WHERE THEY STAND AND WHAT'S AHEAD

              In the current MEDIAWEEK, Senior Editors Burghi & Katz
         handicap 25 "emerging networks to see which ones stand the
         best chance to break out of the pack and become
         moneymakers."  Burgi & Katz:  "Some eternal verities:  those
         networks with corporate pull will make it to market more
         easily.  But a good idea, such as Classic Sports Network,
         can still make it past the media giants that control the
         service at the top of the list."  The following lists the
         rankings for sports related channels: 
              CLASSIC SPORTS NET (Tied for No. 4): "Its independent
         status could hurt the network's distribution in a world
         dominated by mediaconglomerates."  ESPNEWS (Tied for No. 4): 
         "Of the two all-sports news services, this one is more
         likely to thrive.  The question is, does anyone want an all-
         sports news service?  Good ownership and decent promotional
         muscle."  CNN/fn (No. 8): "The niche is already well served
         by CNBC."  CNN/SI (No. 10): "Widely considered to be less
         compelling to agencies and operators than its competitor.
         Deep pockets and Sports Illustrated's loyal readership could
         help."  SPEEDVISION (Tied for No. 11):  "Definitely has sex
         appeal (fast cars, boats and planes).  It's a very narrow
         niche and one that's found in bits and pieces on other
         nets."  GOLF CHANNEL (Tied for No. 18):  "Subscribers have
         been hard to come by. The net corrected a flawed
         distribution strategy which marketed it as a mini-pay.  Now
         as a basic channel with $50 million in Fox money, the future
         looks a bit brighter" (MEDIAWEEK, 3/17). 
              CLASS OF '95: BROADCASTING & CABLE's Joe Schlosser
         reviews "Cable's Class Of 1995: A Look At How The Major
         Cable Launches Of That Year Have Fared," which includes The
         Golf Channel, CSN and Speedvision.  Projections for year-end
         '97 subscribers: CSN with 15-20 million; TCG with 14.5
         million; Speedvision with 14 million (B&C, 3/17 issue).
    
    

    Print | Tags: ESPN, News Corp./Fox, Sports Illustrated, Media, Time Warner, Walt Disney
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