SBD/29/Sports Media

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  • ESPN MAGAZINE LAUNCH DELAYED AGAIN

              ESPN's magazine "that was supposed to begin competing
         with Sports Illustrated prior to the start of the football
         season is having its opening day pushed back," according to
         a New York Observer report cited in MEDIA CENTRAL.  The
         Observer noted that Hearst Corp.'s "renewed interest" in the
         magazine is "causing the holdup."  Hearst, which owns 20% of
         ESPN and published eight issues of ESPN Total Sports in '95
         and '96, "had second thoughts about backing the magazine"
         after a "start up price" of roughly $75M.  But, Disney
         approved the launch, "subsequently prompting reconsideration
         at Hearst" (MEDIA CENTRAL, 4/28).
    
    

    Print | Tags: ESPN, Sports Illustrated, Media, Time Warner, Walt Disney
  • FOX SPORTS LOOKS TO BRAND OUT INTO APPAREL AND NEW MAGAZINES

              Fox Sports "soon will approach major retailers" about
         establishing branded areas in stores to sell sports
         merchandise and apparel, according to Chuck Ross of AD AGE. 
         Fox is also "considering" a quarterly magazine covering the
         sports for which it holds broadcast rights.  According to a
         Fox source, both ideas are part of an "overall strategy" to
         "cement in the consumer's mind Fox Sports as an independent
         entity," and added, "It wouldn't be an exaggeration to say
         we want to compete with merchandise and apparel from the
         likes of Nike."  Fox Sports will pitch the store-within-a-
         store concept to retailers such as JCPenney.  Fox's plan is
         for merchandise to center on the Fox Sports logo, but also
         carry marks of leagues and teams covered by Fox.  The
         network hopes to announce store partnerships by the NFL
         season opener (AD AGE, 4/28 issue). 
    
    
    

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

              In N.Y., Bob Raissman calls NBC's technical coverage of
         Michael Jordan's 55-point game on Sunday "mesmerizing," but
         adds, "Can't say the same for the time wasted shooting David
         Falk during the game" (N.Y. DAILY NEWS, 4/29)....In Akron,
         Terry Pluto writes on Sports Illustrated/Women Sport under
         the header "Magazine Goes Beyond Edge Of Good Taste." 
         Pluto: "Now that Sports Illustrated Women Sport has hit
         every sexual hot button, maybe it can settle down and give
         us a magazine that everyone can be proud of" (AKRON BEACON
         JOURNAL, 4/29)....NY-based Think Inc. expects to launch a
         new MLBPA World Wide Web site around MLB's All-Star Game in
         July (BRANDWEEK, 4/28 issue)....Game Seven of the Coyotes-
         Mighty Ducks game will be simulcast on Fox Sports West and
         Fox Sports West 2 (Mighty Ducks)....The Marlins are likely
         to switch their entire cable package to SportsChannel FL
         next season as the team confirmed they are close to
         completing a multiyear deal with SportsChannel, which is
         managed by Marlins Owner Wayne Huizenga's Front Row
         Communications (MIAMI HERALD, 4/29).
    
    
    

    Print | Tags: Anaheim Ducks, Anaheim Sports, Miami Marlins, MLB, NBC, News Corp./Fox, Arizona Coyotes, Sports Illustrated, Media, Time Warner, Walt Disney
  • NBC OVERNIGHTS FROM NBA ACTION SHOW RATINGS STEADY FROM '96

              The following lists ratings from last weekend's NBA
         Playoff games on NBC, compared to the first round of the '96
         NBA Playoffs.  All times are eastern.  The numbers were
         gathered from NBC.  For a complete listing of the "NHL on
         Fox" ratings over the weekend, see #29 (THE DAILY).
    
    
    SAT. APRIL 26, 1997
    SAT. APRIL 27, 1996
    GAME
    TIME
    RAT/SHR
    GAME
    TIME
    RAT/SHR
    MIN-HOU
    1:00-3:45
    5.2/15
    NY-CLE
    1:00-3:30
    4.7/15
    CHA-NY
    3:45-6:15
    6.3/16
    HOU-LAL
    3:30-6:15
    6.5/18
       
    SUN. APRIL 27, 1997
    SUN. APRIL 28, 1996
    GAME
    TIME
    RAT/SHR
    GAME
    TIME
    RAT/SHR
    ORL-MIA
    12:30-3:00
    5.7/15
    DET-ORL
    12:30-3:00
    6.0/17
    POR-LAL
    3:00-5:30
    7.3/17
    PHX-SA
    3:00-5:45
    7.4/18
    WAS-CHI
    5:30-8:15
    10.6/20
    MIA-CHI
    5:45-8:15
    9.7/19

    Print | Tags: NBA, NBC, News Corp./Fox, NHL, Media
  • NETWORK NEWS & NOTES: CABLEVISION FILES RESPONSE TO CSN

              Cablevision's response to Classic Sports Network's
         (CSN) complaint to the FCC last month, which charged
         Cablevision with making ownership-for-carriage demands, was
         made public yesterday, according to Richard Sandomir of the
         N.Y. TIMES.  Cablevision said CSN's charges "ignore the
         industrywide scarcity of capacity" to carry new services. 
         It also said CSN asked "too much" for carriage, then
         diminished the need for it by placing it on New York's WBIS+
         from last July through January (N.Y. TIMES, 4/29)..
              OTHER CSN NOTES: VARIETY's John Dempsey reports that
         CSN has told cable operators that if they put CSN on their
         cable systems, it will "cancel" its DirecTV contract when it
         comes up for renewal in two years. Such a proposal of
         exclusivity could give the network "a leg up" on its
         competitors (VARIETY, 4/28)....CSN is teaming with Polygram
         Video to promote the summer release of "When We Were Kings." 
         CSN gets a commercial on the tape and supports with a week
         of on-air promos and programming (BRANDWEEK, 4/28).
              BUD BIDS FOR WBIS+? In N.Y., Beth Piskora reports that
         sources say Paxson Communications Corp. has offered $250M in
         cash to buy WBIS+ from ITT Corp. and Dow Jones & Co.  The
         deal could be signed "as early as next week" (N.Y. POST,
         4/29).  But a Paxson spokesperson denied that the company
         was making a bid for WBIS+.  Dow Jones declined to comment. 
         A spokesperson for ITT said that the company was in talks
         with "a number of possible bidders" (N.Y. TIMES, 4/29).
    
    

    Print | Tags: Anheuser Busch, Cablevision, DirecTV, Media
  • NEWS CORP.-ECHOSTAR DEAL ON HOLD DUE TO DECODER DISPUTE

              Rupert Murdoch's $1B bid to purchase EchoStar
         Communications and turn ASkyB into a "satellite power" is
         running into "heavy weather," according to Brooks Boliek of
         the HOLLYWOOD REPORTER.  Murdoch's News Corp. and EchoStar
         delayed their applications for regulatory approval "because
         there are disagreements that remain to be worked out."  By
         combining EchoStar and ASkyB, News Corp.'s satellite TV
         business, Murdoch "hoped to create a deep-pocketed No. 3
         competitor to industry leaders DirecTV and Primestar." 
         EchoStar, in a release: "There can be no assurance that News
         Corp. will proceed with an investment in EchoStar."  News
         Corp. spokesperson Jim Platt: "There won't be any filings
         until we have certain business issues resolved" (HOLLYWOOD
         REPORTER, 4/29).  In N.Y., Mark Landler notes the "sticking
         point" is that EchoStar does not plan to equip its
         subscribers will a satellite decoder system made by News
         Corp.  EchoStar "was told" that unless it "dropped" its
         system in favor of News Corp.'s, the investment would be
         cancelled (N.Y. TIMES, 4/29).  In D.C., Paul Farhi notes
         speculation that Murdoch and EchoStar CEO Charlie Ergen
         "were fighting over control" or that Murdoch "was having
         second thoughts about the financial commitment," which could
         reach up to $5B over several years (WASHINGTON POST, 4/29).
              TC-BYE-BYE? The TIMES' Landler notes a source who said
         that Murdoch might be seeking to "swap partners" from
         EchoStar to TCI Inc., which has a 21% stake in Primestar. 
         But pulling out of the EchoStar deal "could prove costly,"
         since terms call for News Corp. to purchase $200M worth of
         EchoStar shares or to invest $200M in the company, "if the
         transaction does not close by May 1" (N.Y. TIMES, 4/29).
              PRIMED FOR BATTLE: Primestar is "putting the finishing
         touches on a major reorganization" designed to help cable
         companies challenge rivals such as DirecTV and EchoStar,
         according to USA TODAY's David Lieberman.  Under the new
         arrangement, Primestar, the No. 2 satellite provider, would
         be transformed into a unified company with a national
         pricing and marketing plan.  Primestar would be "folded
         into" TCI Satellite Entertainment.  TCI would own about 38%
         of the equity; Time Warner about 30% (USA TODAY, 4/29).
    
    

    Print | Tags: DirecTV, News Corp./Fox, Media, Time Warner
  • ONE-ON-ONE NOT LOOKING TO KNOCK OFF WFAN IN THE BIG APPLE

              Chicago-based One-on-One Sports radio network hopes to
         debut in the New York City market by "early fall" as it has
         purchased WXLX-AM, according to David Hinckley of the N.Y.
         DAILY NEWS.  Company CEO Chris Brennan said that he is "not
         crazy enough to think his new station will knock off the
         powerful WFAN."  Brennan: "We aren't coming in to challenge
         'FAN at what they do best.  We just feel there may be 'FAN
         listeners who at times would like an alternative." 
         Currently, there are no plans to feature local hosts on the
         network (N.Y. DAILY NEWS, 4/29). 
    
    

    Print | Tags: Media
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