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Comcast Corp. yesterday "defended its refusal to put its new" RSN, Comcast SportsNet, on satellite TV, according to Michael Rozansky of the PHILADELPHIA INQUIRER. Comcast spokesperson Joe Waz said the move is "about competition," and added that SportsNet could help cable TV "distinguish itself from satellite rivals." Waz said that while DirecTV "has invested zero in improving the quality of programming available to greater Philadelphia," it wants to "profit" from a channel that Comcast has invested a great deal in, which "isn't fair." DirecTV's Bob Marsocci said Comcast is trying "to deflect attention from their own anticompetitive behavior." DirecTV filed a complaint Tuesday with the FCC accusing SportsNet of unfair competition because SportsNet will not be available on DBS systems. Meanwhile, yesterday, Wade Cable in Philadelphia, Lower Bucks Cablevision and Warner Cable in Avalon, NJ, said they would run SportsNet as a basic-level channel (PHILADELPHIA INQUIRER, 9/26).
PERSONALITIES: SI's Sonja Steptoe has joined CNN/SI full-time as the network's National Correspondent. Steptoe will be based in New York (CNN/SI)....Keith Olbermann's "The Big Show" on MSNBC debuts at 8:00pm ET Wednesday and will be replayed each night at 11:00pm ET, opposite "SportsCenter." In Philadelphia, Bill Fleischman writes, "Don't expect a sports program" (PHILADELPHIA DAILY NEWS, 9/26). GENERAL: NJ-based Genesis Direct Inc., a mail order company that fills orders for the NBA and NHL, was profiled in the Bergen RECORD. Genesis has expanded from managing three catalogs last year to 20 now, including new title Competitive Edge Golf (Bergen RECORD, 9/25).
Some Nuggets games this season "still could be broadcast on KWGN," because talks between the station and Fox Sports Rocky Mountain (FSRM) have reopened, sources tell Vicki Michaelis of the DENVER POST. KWGN, the Nuggets' home for all but two of the past 20 years, "might carry up to 15 games, alleviating some concern that the Nuggets would be aired only on cable this season." FSRM's talks with KWGN "initially broke off because KWGN has asked for significantly higher air-time fees" for Nuggets broadcasts this season. Michaelis adds that while "it's unlikely KWGN is lowering its demands," FSRM "is believed to be willing now to pay the higher price" (DENVER POST, 9/26).
The following lists ratings from last weekend's network sporting events. All times are EDT. "MLB on Fox" games were NYM-FL; DET-BAL; COL-LA; and SF-SD. ABC's NCAA Football was NEB-WA; AZ-OSU; FSU-CLEM; and IA-ISU. The numbers were gathered from the networks (THE DAILY).EVENTDATENETTIMERAT/SHR
"MLB on Fox" (regional games)9/20FOX1:00-4:00pm1.9/6 NCAA Football (regional games)9/20ABC3:30-7:00pm3.7/10 NCAA Football: Penn St-Louisville9/20CBS12:10-3:40pm2.4/8 NCAA Football: Tennessee-Florida9/20CBS3:40-7:00pm6.1/16 NCAA Football: Mich St-Notre Dame9/20NBC2:30-6:00pm2.7/8 Senior PGA Tour: Comfort Classic9/20ABC3:00-6:00pm1.3/3 "NFL on NBC" Game 1 (regional)9/21NBC1:00-4:00pm6.3/17 "NFL on NBC" Game 2 (regional)9/21NBC4:00-7:00pm11.3/25 "NFL on Fox" (regional)9/21FOX1:00-7:00pm11.6/30 Senior PGA Tour Comfort Classic9/21ABC3:00-6:00pm1.3/3
The 32nd Ryder Cup gets underway today at Valderrama in Sotogrande, Spain. USA Network covers today's action from 8:00am to 6:00pm ET, with NBC providing weekend coverage. NBC's coverage, on Saturday from 12:00-6:00pm ET, and on Sunday from 8:30am-12:30pm ET, will be produced by Tom Roy and directed by Bucky Gunts, with Dick Enberg and Johnny Miller in the 18th tower. The network, which has covered the Ryder Cup since '91, currently holds the exclusive U.S. TV rights through 2005 (NBC). NBC's coverage Saturday will be tape-delayed, while Sunday's matches will be joined live in progress (THE DAILY). A GROWING COMMODITY: The following lists ratings since NBC began covering the Ryder Cup in '91, broken down by day, total average, and hours of coverage in parenthesis:'91 COVERAGE'93 COVERAGE'95 COVERAGE
SAT2.2/7 2:00-6:00pm3.6/10 2:00-6:00pm2.5/10 8:00-12:30pm4.6/12 4:28-7:00pm SUN2.8/8 11:00-3:38pm3.9/14 8:00-12:30pm3.9/12 9:00-3:32pm TOTAL2.5/8 (8:38)3.8/12 (8:30)4.1/12 (13:35)