SBD/17/Sports Media

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  • COMCAST-SPECTACOR'S NEW SPORTS NETWORK TAKING SHAPE

              A "preliminary" plan for content on Comcast-Spectacor's
         new sports network that launches in October includes
         broadcasts of Flyers and Phillies games, according to Deni
         Kasrel of the PHILADELPHIA BUSINESS JOURNAL.  Additional
         plans for the network, a joint venture with the Phillies,
         call for "extensive" news coverage, profile shows focusing
         on local athletes, team highlights and background magazine-
         type shows, as well as minor league games, college games and
         "extreme" sports.  Network VP/Programming & Production Sam
         Schroeder said the network will also "pay attention" to
         lifestyle issues related to sports, such as nutrition and
         exercise.  Women's sports will also "receive a fair amount
         of attention."  Schroeder: "We're seeing more interest in
         sports by women in general, so we'll have shows catering to
         that audience" (PHILADELPHIA BUSINESS JOURNAL, 4/14 issue).
    
    

    Print | Tags: Comcast-Spectacor, Philadelphia Flyers, Philadelphia Phillies, Media
  • DISNEY LOVES ITS ICE SPORTS: ABC TO AIR SKATING THROUGH 2007

              The U.S. Figure Skating Association (USFSA) has
         extended its contract with ABC Sports through the 2006-7
         season.  ABC Sports will continue to televise five USFSA
         events including the U.S. Figure Skating Championships for
         the next ten years (USFSA).  ABC's current deal with the
         USFSA ran through '99, but the network "anticipated a heated
         bidding war," according to Stephen Battaglio of the
         HOLLYWOOD REPORTER.  ABC Sports VP/Programming Lydia
         Stephans says the network paid a "substantial" increase in
         rights fees for the property.  The deal gives ABC worldwide
         TV rights and allows USFSA events to be aired on ESPN and
         ESPN2.  Stephans adds ABC will be able to sell marketing and
         sponsorship opportunities to advertisers "wherever the
         broadcasts air."  Battaglio notes the USFSA will "also get
         the marketing clout" of Disney to "cross-promote and
         distribute the association's events.  One possibility is
         Disney staging USFSA events at its theme parks if they
         provide skating facilities (HOLLYWOOD REPORTER, 4/17).  
    
    

    Print | Tags: ABC, ESPN, Media, Walt Disney
  • MEDIA NOTES

              The N.Y. POST's Mara Mornell reviews the launch of
         Sports Illustrated Women/Sport, writing that "SI's glossy
         new sister" has articles that "are anything but cliche"
         (N.Y. POST, 4/16).  In Denver, Donna Carter reviews the
         launch, noting the first issue "covers tough issues" (DENVER
         POST, 4/15)....TVKO boxing analyst Larry Merchant apologized
         yesterday for remarks he made Saturday night that a mariachi
         band playing before a fight involving Oscar De La Hoya, who
         is Mexican-American, was a "marketing ploy."  Merchant: "I
         made a mistake ... some remarks could've been, and were,
         misunderstood.  It was not my intent to offend anyone" (USA
         TODAY, 4/17)....Time Warner posted a $35M profit in the
         first quarter, compared to a $119M loss a year ago.  CNN's
         Lou Dobbs noted that "the purchase of Turner Broadcasting
         and higher profits from its cable systems" helped boost
         earnings.  Time Warner finished trading yesterday up 3 1/8
         at 43 7/8 ("Moneyline," 4/16)....USA TODAY's Michael
         Hiestand noted that Fox in the future "hopes" to add a
         camera moving along ice rinks for its NHL coverage.  ESPN
         "says it will eventually" use an overhead, moveable skycam,
         "like ones NBC uses" on NBA telecasts (USA TODAY, 4/16).
                        
    

    Print | Tags: ESPN, NBA, NBC, News Corp./Fox, NHL, Sports Illustrated, Media, Time Warner, Walt Disney
  • MLB HALTS INTERNET BROADCASTS UNTIL IT "SORTS OUT" A POLICY

              MLB has issued "a ban" of live audio broadcasts via the
         Internet while it "sorts out policies governing the matter,"
         according to Peter Lewis of the SEATTLE TIMES.  The ban,
         which is "generally believed to be a temporary prohibition,"
         went into effect Tuesday -- "though not universally" --
         after MLBP asked all teams to refrain from broadcasting over
         the Internet until MLB owners "consider a proposal to set
         guidelines for such broadcasts."  The decree prompted
         Seattle's KIRO-AM to "pull the plug" on Tuesday's Mariners-
         Indians cybercast, "which was met with virtually instant
         online agitation."  An MLB spokesperson could not be reached
         for comment, but Mariners Dir of PR Dave Aust said draft
         guidelines proposed to MLB owners "would enable clubs to
         broadcast games over the Internet either at the club's own
         Web site or through a radio-station site."  Aust noted those
         rules "haven't been approved yet" (SEATTLE TIMES, 4/16).
    
    

    Print | Tags: Cleveland Indians, MLB, Seattle Mariners, Media
  • SPORTSLINE USA LOOKS TO SELL $40M IN STOCK VIA IPO

              SportsLine USA filed with the SEC for an IPO yesterday,
         and will try to sell $40M of stock, according to David Poppe
         of the MIAMI HERALD.  While SportsLine USA didn't reveal how
         many shares it would sell, or provide a price for the stock,
         Poppe notes SportsLine USA "almost certainly envisions"
         selling a minority of its 25.3 million outstanding shares. 
         The company has issued warrants to business partner CBS to
         buy stock over the next five years at prices ranging from
         $4-12, and at the $8 mid-range of that price SportsLine USA
         could raise $40M by selling five million shares to the
         public, giving new investors less than 17% ownership and
         giving the company a stock market valuation in excess of
         $240M (MIAMI HERALD, 4/17).  Shares will trade on the NASDAQ
         market under the symbol SPLN (Bloomberg/N.Y. POST, 4/17). 
              J.D. SIGNS UP: Hockey analyst John Davidson signed a
         three-year deal with SportsLine USA's site on the World Wide
         Web, CBS SportsLine, which includes Davidson answering e-
         mail and contributing to SportsLine radio (SportsLine USA). 
    
    

    Print | Tags: CBS, Media, SportsLine.com, Viacom
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