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Published October 24, 1997
PROGRAMMING: On CBS' "60 Minutes" Sunday, national basketball scout Bob Gibbons "contends that big-name athletic footwear makers are corrupting high schoolers -- even preteens, in some cases -- by giving them free equipment that holds out 'a false dream of a pro career'" (Michael Hirsley, CHICAGO TRIBUNE, 10/24)....Penny Hardaway will appear on the Home Shopping Network (HSN) next Tuesday at 10:00pm ET. Hardaway will take fans' calls while selling dolls of his commercial counterpart, Li'l Penny (HSN). CABLE TV: MLS player Carlos Valderrama will announce the MLS Cup '97 in Spanish for ESPN Int'l this Sunday (ESPN Int'l)....In Toronto, William Houston writes that three weeks into the NHL season, "Hockey Night in Canada's" (HNIC) prime-time numbers "are in the cellar." HNIC, which averaged "about" 1.2 million viewers in primetime last season, has pulled in 917,000; 807,000; and 779,000 for its three game so far (GLOBE & MAIL, 10/24)....ESPN ran a full- page ad in USA TODAY touting its "Classic Sports From ESPN," which it acquired on October 9 (USA TODAY, 10/24). TEAM: In Toronto, Josh Rubin notes an industry source who says the Blue Jays "could see" a drop in radio rights from C$4M per season to C$1.5M in its new deal. Jays President Sam Pollock said that "there hasn't been any official bid" for the rights (TORONTO STAR, 10/24)....The Warriors "made their final offer" to SportsChannel Bay Area in an effort to work out a dispute over the right of first refusal in carrying the team's telecasts. Warriors Legal Counsel Robin Baggett said that if the offer is rejected, the team "will open negotiations with other outlets" (S.F. CHRONICLE, 10/24). NAMES: Washington Post columnist Tony Kornheiser "is expected to sign a deal" with ESPN Radio and the new ESPN Magazine (Rudy Martzke, USA TODAY, 10/24)....SI Presents will publish a special collector's issue in tribute to former UNC coach Dean Smith that will hit NC retail outlets today, and begin selling nationwide on Monday (SI).