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NETWORK: NBC Sports and their pan-European and pan- Asian sports arm, NBC Super Sports (NBCSS), have formed a new venture to distribute NBC Sports and NBCSS programs worldwide. NBCSS will be the int'l distributor for NBC Sports programming and VP/Int'l Sales & Distribution Mark Jeffers will oversee the venture. Jeffers, who will be based in N.Y., will work with Thierry Pascal, who is in NBCSS' London office. Jeffers comes from NBC Enterprises, where he was the Dir of Sports Sales & Ops (NBCSS).....In N.Y., Steve Zipay examined the upcoming TV contract negotiations for both the NFL and NBA. Zipay, on the NFL: "[T]he gut feeling is that the current networks and cable partners will ink new deals. Having seen CBS lose not only status but affiliates and ad revenue to Fox, the NFL partners can't afford to bow out." Zipay, on the NBA: "The early line: NBC ... and TNT each will pay more, but not twice as much, to keep shooting hoops" (NEWSDAY, 10/10). PUBLISHING: USA TODAY's Rudy Martzke reports that Rick Reilly "turned down" an ESPN/Disney offer and will remain at SI for "more than" $500,000 annually. Reilly will "add duties" at HBO, CNN and Warner Bros (USA TODAY, 10/10)....In N.Y., Keith Kelly reports that with SI Publisher David Long moving to become President-Media Sales & Marketing at Time Inc., "there is an intense intramural competition going on to land his old job." Kelly: "Insiders say the two leading candidates are Time publisher Jack Haire and Life publisher Ed McCarrick" (N.Y. DAILY NEWS, 10/10).
WFAN "has been seriously negotiating" with Marv Albert "in hopes of landing" him to join the station in January, according to sources of Bob Raissman in a front-page feature in today's N.Y. DAILY NEWS. A source said: "There have been numerous discussions, including phone conversations and a meeting." Albert would reportedly "join a lineup" anchored by Don Imus in the morning and Mike Francesa and Chris Russo -- "Mike and the Mad Dog" -- in the afternoon. WFAN GM Joel Hollander said "no offer" had been made to Albert but would not confirm or deny negotiations with him. Sources said that Hollander has "approached MSG Network executives about moving Albert into the Knicks radio both sometime in the first quarter of 1998, but MSG brass would not agree to the move." But Raissman writes there are "a variety of assignments WFAN could offer Albert," including a talk show format, Mets baseball or Jets and Giants football (N.Y. DAILY NEWS, 10/10). Also in N.Y., Ian O'Connor reports the offer from WFAN consists of a one-hour, five-nights-a-week show. But O'Connor calls Hollander's interest in Albert a "tawdry move, inspired by the bottom line." One industry source told O'Connor that Albert "'might very well reject' the offer because he realizes it will be perceived as too much, too soon." But O'Connor adds that Albert "is said to be in dire need of cash" to pay off his legal bills, leaving himself "vulnerable. Perhaps vulnerable enough to accept an offer he should refuse" (N.Y. DAILY NEWS, 10/10). MORE MARV FALLOUT: WFAN's Mike Breen will replace Albert as lead play-by-play announcer for Knicks telecasts on MSG Network (N.Y. TIMES, 10/10)....In Chicago, Michael Hirsley reports that NBC "is not rushing to name a replacement" for Albert, since its first NBA telecast isn't until Christmas. Greg Gumbel, Tom Hammond, Dick Enberg, Bob Costas and Mike Breen are all mentioned as possibilities. Hirsley: "If NBC seeks talent elsewhere, it will get a good look at TNT's Bob Neal" (CHICAGO TRIBUNE, 10/10). Also in Chicago, Jim O'Donnell reports that NBC "insiders" say the network is "finalizing a plan to use an expanded five-man play-by-play staff on NBA games this season," and not filling the top spot until next spring. Sources also said that Bob Costas asked NBC Sports President Dick Ebersol "not to be considered for the first chair" (SUN-TIMES, 10/10).
The following lists ratings from last weekend's network sporting events. All times are EDT. NOTE: NBC had the NFL doubleheader. Numbers are from the networks (THE DAILY).EVENT
DATE NET TIME RAT/SHR AL Division Series: SEA-BAL10/04FOX4:30-7:00pm5.0/13 AL Division Series: NYY-CLE10/04NBC7:30-11:00pm5.6/11 NCAA Football: MIAMI-FL ST.10/04ABC12:00-3:30pm2.4/9 NCAA Football: OSU-IA/TX A&M-COL10/04ABC3:30-7:00pm4.7/13 "College Football Today"10/04CBS3:00-3:30pm0.9/3 NCAA Football: GT-BC/MISS-TENN10/04CBS3:30-7:00pm2.3/6 AL Division Series: NYY-CLE10/05FOX7:30-12:00am8.2/14 "Fox NFL Sunday"10/05FOX12:00-1:00pm4.1/13 "NFL on Fox" (Regional)10/05FOX1:00-7:00pm12.5/32 "NFL on NBC Pre-game"10/05NBC12:00-1:00pm2.8/9 "NFL on NBC" Game One10/05NBC1:00-4:00pm5.8/15 "NFL on NBC" Game Two10/05NBC1:00-4:00pm9.5/22
The National Academy of Cable Programming has announced the nominations for the CableACE Awards to be presented November 14-15 in L.A. In sports categories, ESPN leads the field with 22 nominations; HBO has five, including "Real Sports'" Bryant Gumbel for Best Magazine Host; MSG Network has four; TNT, Showtime and CNN/SI have three, while CNN, TBS, The Golf Channel, Lifetime Network and SportsChannel NY each received one nomination. HBO's "Arli$$" garnered seven nominations, including Best Comedy Series. The following lists the sports-related nominations: SPORTS EVENTS COVERAGE SPECIAL: "Stanley Cup Finals," ESPN; "Jackie Robinson Game," ESPN; "NCAA Women's Tournament Final Four," ESPN; "Holyfield-Tyson II," Showtime. SPORTS EVENTS COVERAGE SERIES: "Braves Baseball," TBS; "SpeedWorld," ESPN; "Sunday Night Baseball," ESPN; "Sunday Night NFL," ESPN; "Tour de France," ESPN. SPORTS NEWS SERIES: "College GameDay," ESPN; "Golf Central," The Golf Channel; "NFL Prime Monday," ESPN; "SportsCenter," ESPN; "SportsWeekly," ESPN. SPORTS INFORMATION SERIES: "Inside the NFL," HBO; "Outside the Lines," ESPN; "Real Sports With Bryant Gumbel," HBO; "The Sporting Life W/Jim Huber," CNN; "The Sports Reporters," ESPN. SPORTS INFORMATION SPECIAL: "Breaking Through: Our Turn To Play," Lifetime; "Football America," TNT; "Long Shots: The Life and Times of the ABA," HBO; "NBA At 50," TNT; "Sports On The Silver Screen," HBO. SPORTS HOST: Chris Berman, ESPN; Vince Cellini, CNN/SI; Fred Hickman, CNN/SI; Bob Page, MSG; Dan Patrick, ESPN. PLAY-BY-PLAY ANNOUNCER: Marv Albert, Knicks Basketball, MSG; Mike Emrick, Devils Hockey, SportsChannel NY; Jon Miller, ESPN Baseball, ESPN; Mike Patrick, Sunday Night NFL/College Basketball, ESPN; Dick Stockton, NBA/TNT, TNT. SPORTS COMMENTATOR/ANALYST: Bobby Czyz, Steve Albert, Ferdie Pacheco, Showtime; Tom Jackson, ESPN; Leigh Montville, CNN/SI; Joe Morgan, ESPN; Dick Vitale, ESPN. DIRECTING LIVE SPORTS SPECIAL OR SERIES: Bob Dunphy, "Holyfield-Tyson II," Showtime; Douglas Holmes, "Stanley Cup Playoffs," ESPN; Bobby Lewis, "Rangers Hockey," MSG; Marc Payton, "Major League Baseball," ESPN; Bill Webb, "Yankees Baseball," MSG.