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FRANCHISES: The Eagles TV Network, the team's in-house production and programming arm, will be seen on stations throughout PA, inculding flagship WPHL-WB in Philadelphia; WPMT-Fox in Harrisburg, York and Lancaster and on WOLF-Fox in Wilkes-Scranton. In addition, Philadelphia's WTXF-Fox has also partnered with ETN for one program. The Eagles also named Rob Alberino, formerly of NFL Films, to serve as ETN's Exec Producer and named Rich Gentile as Associate Producer (Eagles)....CABLE WORLD's Mike Reynolds writes that "conversation about local TV carriage" for the Washington, DC, and Detroit WNBA teams has "already been tossed out." Team execs say that they've already "begun informal ... conversations" with MD-based Home Team Sports and Fox Sports Detroit, respectively (CABLE WORLD, 10/20 issue). GENERAL: Golf commentator Mark Rolfing, with ABC the last five years, will return to NBC to replace Dave Marr, who died last month. ABC has replaced Rolfing with Roger Twibell (USA TODAY, 10/23)...In N.Y., Mary Huhn reports that Variety will launch a N.Y. edition of its Daily Variety (N.Y. POST, 10/23)....Inside Sports Editor Ken Leiker, on MLB's popularity: "We did a baseball cover this summer and it might be the lowest-selling issue in the 18-year history of the magazine" (Minneapolis STAR TRIBUNE, 10/23).
AudioNet will provide live radio play-by-play coverage of 1,000-plus NHL games annually, as well as original pre- and post-game programming on NHL ICE. AudioNet's game address: http://drew.audionet.com/sports/nhl/ (AudioNet). DO YOU KNOW THE WAY? The San Jose Arena Management Corp. launched its www.sj-arena.com. The site, which is also accessible through the Sharks Web site, features eight segments: What's Coming; To Get Here; Inside Experience; Operations; FAQs; Group Tickets; Catering Orders; Shout! -- an e-mail feedback area (S.J. Arena). FOR THE YOUNGSTERS: L.A.-based Athlete Network has launched www.athletenetwork.com, to provide information for high school and college athletes, along with resources for parents, coaches and advisors. Athlete Network contributors include former LSU basketball coach Dale Brown, Fox Sports' Ronnie Lott and WNBA commentator Ann Meyers Drysdale. Areas of the site include: High School Network, Recruit Network and Parents Network (Athlete Network). GIRL TALK: Nike has introduced its "Play Like a Girl" area on nike.com. Five girls, ages 11 to 17, will act as correspondents who share their view of sports. Areas include "Sports Report," which is a weekly feature by one of the reporters, and "You're Up," an interactive feature where other girls can sign on and share their own stories (Nike).
NBC's coverage of Game Four of the World Series between the Marlins and Indians earned a preliminary overnight rating of 15.9/25 (THE DAILY). The national rating for Game Three was a 15.6/23, which "makes it the second-lowest rating" for a primetime Game Three World Series broadcast in MLB history, according to Josef Adalian of the N.Y. POST. But Game Three did help NBC "easily win every" half-hour in primetime Tuesday (N.Y. POST, 10/23). Only Game Three of the Blue Jays-Phillies '93 Series, with a 15.2/28, ranked lower than Tuesday's matchup (WASHINGTON POST, 10/23). LOCALLY: In Ft. Lauderdale, David Beard writes that Game Three "was one of the most watched programs in the history" of South FL TV, earning a 41.5/63 (SUN-SENTINEL, 10/23). In NE Ohio, WKYC-NBC earned a 49.6 rating for Game Three (R.D. Heldenfels, AKRON BEACON JOURNAL, 10/23). NOTES: With Cuban-born Livan Hernandez starting tonight for the Marlins, the game will be broadcast to Cuba via U.S. Government-run Radio and TV Marti (SUN-SENTINEL, 10/23). ...Total Sports said its www.totalworldseries.com received over 2 million hits during Game Three (Total Sports). FINAL NUMBERS: CABLE WORLD's Alan Breznick reviewed MLB's '97 season with its national cable TV partners. For the season, ESPN, FX and Fox Sports Net (FSN) "all reported more younger male viewers than expected." ESPN, with 84 games, averaged a 1.5 final rating, down 6% from its 1.6 in '96. In its first year of MLB coverage, FX and FSN "averaged a combined 0.6 for their twice-weekly prime-time games." FX ran games on Mondays, while FSN televised Thursday night games (CABLE WORLD, 10/20 issue).