SBD/1/Sports Media

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              Although ESPN was the "most-watched" cable network
         during primetime in November, its audience "was down 10%
         from the same period a year ago," according to Richard Huff
         of the N.Y. DAILY NEWS.  Overall, an average of 1.725
         million homes tuned in to ESPN during primetime, down from
         1.912 million last November.  ESPN was followed by TNT
         (1.572 million average); USA (1.502 million); Nickelodeon
         (1.330 million) and TBS (1.119 million).  ESPN did present
         the top six most-watched programs of the month -- led by the
         Lions-Packers NFL Sunday Night game on November 2 which
         averaged 7.179M homes (N.Y. DAILY NEWS, 11/28).
              CBS SWEEPS UP: Preliminary estimates for the November
         sweeps "show CBS poised to upset NBC in overall prime-time
         ratings nationwide, while the Fox network has cut into NBC's
         lead in the key demographic groups," according to Brian
         Lowry of the L.A. TIMES.  With Wednesday night's results
         still to be calculated, Nielsen Media Research shows CBS
         with an average of 15.2 million viewers per night, followed
         by NBC at 14.7 million, 13.9 million for ABC and 12.4
         million for Fox.  Lowry: "Fox ... made headway among teens
         and young adults ... [and] ranked first in November ... with
         viewers between the ages of 12 and 34" (L.A. TIMES, 11/27).

    Print | Tags: ABC, CBS, Detroit Lions, ESPN, Green Bay Packers, NBC, NFL, Media, Turner Sports, Viacom, Walt Disney

              Fox Sports has secured the exclusive broadcast rights
         for the $750,000 Santa Anita Derby, the network's first
         horse racing event, set for Saturday April 4 (Fox).  In Las
         Vegas, Jay Richards reported that Fox signed a three-year
         deal to broadcast the Derby, with renewal options after the
         first year.  ABC had covered the race for the past 16 years
         Matt Hegarty: "For racetrack operators, no degree of
         hyperbole can overstate the significance of Fox Sports ...
         entrance to thoroughbred racing" (DAILY RACING FORM, 11/23).

    Print | Tags: ABC, Media, Walt Disney

              Jantonio Turner, an L.A. producer, is raising $10M "in
         start-up costs" to launch The Football Network in 10-12
         million homes by September '98 (Rudy Martzke, USA TODAY,
         11/28)....As reported Wednesday, the Blue Jays announced a
         three-year deal with Shaw Communications' Headline Sports
         Network for the team's radio rights, leaving Telemedia after
         21 years (Blue Jays).  Headline Sports will produce the
         broadcasts for CHUM radio, and in exchange, will receive a
         share of commercial time for its own sale.  In Toronto, Ken
         McKee reported that Headline Sports "won the bidding with an
         offer that will net the Jays between" C$3-4M, a "drop" from
         the C$5M a year of its previous deal (TORONTO STAR, 11/27). 
              NFL TV DEAL: The pending NFL TV negotiations were
         examined by David Barron of the HOUSTON CHRONICLE and
         KNIGHT-RIDDER's Bob Keisser.  In Houston, Barron examined
         the deal in a three-part series and looked at the impact of
         the deal on Fox's local affils.  Sources told him that NFL
         ad time on Houston's Fox affil "runs from $4,000 to $10,000
         per 30-second spot, depending on whether" the Cowboys are
         playing and who their opponent might be (HOUSTON CHRONICLE,
         11/29).  Pilson Communications President Neal Pilson, on the
         upcoming TV negotiations: "If [the NFL] had a preference, it
         would be that CBS or ABC took Monday night and one or the
         other chased NBC for Sunday afternoon."  Pilson, on the
         cable package: "ESPN would love to have the whole package,
         but I think it's worked having the split as far as the NFL
         is concerned.  ... Of course, Fox [Sports Net] could come
         and blow out ESPN and Turner.  It's possible.  It's a very
         volatile situation" (HOUSTON CHRONICLE, 11/29).  In Chicago,
         Westinghouse CEO Michael Jordan said that CBS "will not bid
         on the NBA or NHL TV packages in the future" because "it
         conflicts with our golf schedule."  He did say that CBS
         "will bid on NFL coverage" (CHICAGO TRIBUNE, 12/1).

    Print | Tags: ABC, CBS, Dallas Cowboys, ESPN, NBA, NBC, NFL, NHL, Media, Toronto Blue Jays, Viacom, Walt Disney

              The Sporting News (TSN) unveils a "radical" facelift
         with its December 8 issue which goes on sale on Wednesday,
         according to Repps Hudson of the ST. LOUIS POST-DISPATCH. 
         TSN President Jim Nuckols says it has the support from its
         CA-based parent Times Mirror in making the weekly "dominant"
         among national sports publications.  TSN Editor John
         Rawlings said the changes in content and reporting are based
         on market surveys and focus groups, and are designed to give
         "deeply dedicated fans ... the inside-the-locker-room gossip
         and insights that no others can provide."  Rawlings: "Our
         research shows that 70 percent of the readers want
         information on their favorite team, which is outside the
         readers' area and isn't covered in the local newspaper." 
         Rawlings also added that survey respondents wanted more
         coverage of the NFL, followed by Olympics coverage, college
         football, MLB, the NBA, college basketball and hockey. 
         Soccer coverage was near the bottom (POST-DISPATCH, 11/30).

    Print | Tags: MLB, NBA, NFL, Media, Vulcan Ventures
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