SBD/14/Sports Media

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              Despite reported talks with WFAN in New York, Marv
         Albert "is in counseling and won't take any of the job
         offers he's getting until he repairs his shattered personal
         life," according to Hinckley, O'Connor & Schwartzman of the
         N.Y. DAILY NEWS.  Albert's spokesperson Howard Rubenstein:
         "He is undergoing counseling now in an effort to straighten
         out his life and career."  Rubenstein didn't reveal any job
         offers or Albert's "timetable to return to work."  But he
         said Albert "certainly wants to resume his career at some
         time."  On Friday, the N.Y. Daily News reported that Albert
         and WFAN had been negotiating for him to join the station in
         January.  Industry sources said the station made Albert a
         "firm offer," but WFAN GM Joel Hollander called the talks
         preliminary.  MSG President Dave Checketts criticized the
         station's move: "This was a cheap, two-bit grandstanding
         move, preying on Marv at a time in his professional life
         when he is most vulnerable" (N.Y. DAILY NEWS, 10/11).

    Print | Tags: Cablevision, Madison Square Garden, Media

              Fox's coverage of last night's ALCS Orioles-Indians
         Game Five earned an 11.1/17 overnight rating.  Fox earned a
         10.8/17 for Sunday's Game Four and a 8.4/18 for Saturday's
         Game Three.  On NBC, Saturday's NLCS Braves-Marlins Game
         Four earned a 6.1/11, while NBC's Friday night coverage of
         Game Three "took a rare Friday night win in the national
         ratings with" a 9.9/19 (WASHINGTON POST, 10/14).  NBC's Game
         Five Sunday earned a 9.7 overnight (USA TODAY, 10/14).
              FOOTBALL: ABC reports a 16.2/25 preliminary overnight
         for its Cowboys-Redskins "MNF" game (THE DAILY).
              LOCAL NUMBERS: In Baltimore, Orioles coverage on WBFF
         drew a 23.3/43 on Saturday, and a 27.8/38 on Sunday (Milton
         Kent, Baltimore SUN, 10/14).  In Cleveland, WJW reported a
         34.9 rating in Northeast Ohio for Saturday's Game Three and
         a 51.1 for Game Four (AKRON BEACON JOURNAL, 10/14).
              NETWORK REVIEWS: A sampling of reviews of NBC's and
         Fox's LCS coverage: In Toronto, Rob Longely: "As it has done
         with the NFL, Fox Sports has brought [MLB] to life with its
         pictures, enhanced sound and graphics and refreshing
         commentary."  Longley adds that Fox's play-by-play man Joe
         Buck "may be one of the brightest young talents on the tube"
         (TORONTO SUN, 10/13).  In Baltimore, Milton Kent wrote that
         "in general," Fox analysts Tim McCarver and Bob Brenly "were
         up to the level of the drama that unfolded" at Jacobs Field
         on Saturday.  Kent added that "while director Bill Webb is
         doing a generally good job, his tendency to stay with tight
         shots of hitters and pitchers or split-screens ... is
         becoming a little irritating" (Baltimore SUN, 10/12).  In
         DC, Leonard Shapiro wrote that viewers are "frequently
         bombarded by the hippest technology money can buy," while
         some of it is "incomprehensible, hard to read and often an
         unnecessary intrusion."  Shapiro added that NBC's Bob Costas
         "remains fabulous," but asked, "Why do both networks insist
         on three men in the booth?" (WASHINGTON POST, 10/11).  
              NO MUST SEE MLB: In Boston, Peter Gammons reported that
         NBC has the NLCS "because the network could not televise
         baseball on Thursday nights" (BOSTON GLOBE, 10/13).

    Print | Tags: ABC, Atlanta Braves, Baltimore Orioles, Cleveland Indians, Dallas Cowboys, Miami Marlins, MLB, NBC, NFL, Media, Walt Disney, Washington Redskins

              ESPN has "become the latest bidder" for Rockets home TV
         rights, joining Houston's KHTV and Fox Sports Southwest for
         the rights to 37 games, according to David Barron of the
         HOUSTON CHRONICLE.  Rockets Exec VP John Thomas said that
         ESPN's interest "did not come as a shock" as there has been
         "industry speculation" that it is looking to create a local
         sports network.  Thomas: "ESPN is participating in this
         business now and building a brand-new business, and you can
         imagine with the size of the entity the value they could
         potentially bring.  We need to carefully consider the
         possibility."  Barron added that ESPN would have "to come to
         an agreement with the Rockets and then negotiate with local
         cable carriers for a spot to broadcast the games."  ESPN's
         interest may "play out as incentive" for Fox Sports
         Southwest to increase its bid for the team, as the Rockets
         have the best rating of the 11 NBA teams that are broadcast
         on Fox Sports Net (HOUSTON CHRONICLE, 10/10). 

    Print | Tags: ESPN, Houston Rockets, NBA, Media, Walt Disney

              CABLE DEAL: In MI, MSO Media One reached a deal with
         Fox Sports Net, allowing its 400,000+ Detroit-area customers
         to receive the network.  Media One was among the only cable
         systems in MI without a deal with Fox (DETROIT NEWS, 10/11).
              BOOKS: In Sunday's N.Y. TIMES Book Review, Bruce McCall
         reviewed "The Franchise: A History of Sports Illustrated
         Magazine."  McCall: "'The Franchise' has a little something
         for almost everybody. ... The aspiring journalist will get
         fair early warning on the value of growing a thick skin. 
         The S.I. fan will learn everything that he or she ever
         wanted to know about the magazine" (N.Y. TIMES, 10/12).
              RIDERS ON THE STORM: MSNBC's Keith Olbermann will co-
         host NBC's World Series pregame shows starting this weekend
         and will join Hannah Storm in the studio (Mult., 10/13).

    Print | Tags: NBC, Seattle Storm, Sports Illustrated, Media

              Larry Bird "is selling the story of his first season as
         a head coach," according to Michael Shain of the N.Y. POST. 
         Bird began "quietly circulating a proposal for the book, to
         be called 'Full Court Press,' late last week."  Bird's
         agent, Frank Weimann of the Literary Group, said Bird could
         get a $750,000 advance.  The book is to be co-written by
         Mark Shaw and golf observer Pete Dye.  The book will be
         written over the course of the upcoming season and likely
         hit stores in the fall of '98 (N.Y. POST, 10/12).

    Print | Tags: Media
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