SBD/16/Sports Industrialists

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  • EXECUTIVE TRANSACTIONS

              Sports Illustrated TV President TED SHAKER is leaving
         to "create his own production company."  Shaker was formerly
         the Exec Producer of CBS Sports (Richard Sandomir, N.Y.
         TIMES, 12/16)....ROBERT GARRY has resigned, effective
         December 31, as Dir of Administration and CFO at the USTA. 
         He has been at the USTA since '70 and intends to pursue
         other business interests and opportunities.  A national
         search will commence to find a replacement (USTA).
    
    

    Print | Tags: CBS, Sports Illustrated, People and Pop Culture, Time Warner, USTA, Viacom
  • MICHAEL JACKSON AND THE FIGHTER CURRENTLY KNOWN AS PRINCE

              Time Warner Sports President SETH ABRAHAM, who feels
         that boxing promoters must "appeal to the younger set to
         compete with the NBA and the extreme sports," said that HBO
         will promote PRINCE NASEEM HAMED "a little differently than
         most fighters."  HBO has "hired a photographer who had never
         worked with athletes" to shoot Hamed, and Abraham called the
         final product "larger than life, more MTVish."  Abraham, on
         Hamed: "He's got sass.  He's got attitude.  He's got mouth. 
         He's not a shrinking violet.  Even in his heyday, MUHAMMAD
         ALI was never this outrageous" (BOSTON GLOBE, 12/14). 
              WACKO OVER JACKO: MICHAEL JACKSON "dropped in" on Hamed
         yesterday "to admire a possible future dance partner." 
         Jackson: "We've been talking about doing a video together." 
         Jackson said Hamed moves "better than any boxer he's seen
         since" Ali (N.Y. DAILY NEWS, 12/16)....As of yesterday, more
         than 6,000 tickets had been sold for MSG's Friday night
         Hamed-Kevin Kelley championship bout.  MSG has set up a 200-
         foot runway for Hamed's "elaborate ring entrance," which has
         taken up to 20 minutes in London.  HBO "is hoping to trim
         Hamed's entrance to 10 minutes" (N.Y. TIMES, 12/16).
    
    

    Print | Tags: Cablevision, HBO, Madison Square Garden, NBA, People and Pop Culture, Time Warner
  • NAMES IN THE NEWS

              MONTANA RETIREMENT CEREMONY: 49ers co-Owner EDDIE
         DEBARTOLO JR., was warmly greeted before his introduction of
         JOE MONTANA at last night's ceremony retiring No. 16 in San
         Francisco: "Joe Montana came on the scene as Sir Lancelot
         came into Camelot.  In behalf of the greatest fans in the
         NFL, in behalf of the greatest city in the world, this man
         has etched his place in NFL history as the greatest
         quarterback that has ever played the game."  Montana singled
         out DeBartolo, saying: "We love you, Eddie" ("MNF," 12/15). 
              OTHER NAMES: DEAN SMITH will be honored today as Sports
         Illustrated's "Sportsman of the Year" for '97 (NEWS &
         OBSERVER, 12/16)....CHARLES BARKLEY, on receiving acting
         opportunities: "They keep sending me scripts to read.  I've
         got plenty of movie offers" (HOUSTON CHRONICLE, 12/16).
         ...TROY AIKMAN and DARYL JOHNSTON signed a partnership with
         TX-businessmen JACK & JOEY MILNER for three Blockbuster
         Video stores in Irving and Coppell.  The company set up to
         operate the stores will be called Aikman/Milner
         Entertainment Partners (DALLAS MORNING NEWS, 12/16).  
    
    

    Print | Tags: NFL, San Francisco 49ers, People and Pop Culture
  • TELLEM HOW IT IS, ARN: COMBUSTIBLE CLIENTS KEEP AGENT BUSY

              Agent ARN TELLEM is profiled by Richard Weiner in the
         cover story of USA TODAY's sports section.  Weiner: "Fairly
         or not, Tellem has become known as a top representative for
         today's disgruntled star athletes."  With a client list that
         includes LATRELL SPREWELL, ISAIAH RIDER and ALBERT BELLE,
         among others, Tellem "has been thrust into high-profile,
         problem-solving mode."  Tellem: "I think that's something I
         have done effectively for a lot of my clients."  Weiner
         writes that Tellem "is basically a baseball nerd who became
         a lawyer, then an agent. ... The book on Tellem is mixed, as
         one would expect.  His clients swear by him, just as he does
         for them.  His competitors are weary of speaking one way or
         the other.  Executives tolerate Tellem as they would any
         other well-connected agent" (USA TODAY, 12/16).
              
    

    Print | Tags: People and Pop Culture
  • THE DAILY PRESENTS THE 3RD SPORTS INDUSTRIALIST OF THE YEAR

              When we look back on '97, one story in the sports
         industry clearly is the most interesting and consequential:
         the emergence of Fox Sports Net (FSN).  In just 12 months,
         FSN -- now with access to 58 million homes and the local
         cable rights to more than 65 NBA, MLB and NHL teams -- has
         created a new world order for sports on cable; helped
         advertisers better understand regional sports; changed the
         economics of local rights fees; and, begun to give chase to
         ESPN, the gold standard for cable sports programming.  
              But this quick ascent should be no surprise considering
         the vision, creativity and determination that News Corp. has
         shown when it comes to sports, entertainment and television.
    
         There are many people responsible for FSN and the entire Fox
         Sports portfolio, and ultimately, it all comes back to
         Rupert Murdoch.  But, we think that there is one executive
         aside from Murdoch who has driven the entire Fox Sports
         brand to its position of legitimacy and influence.  That
         executive and our choice to receive the 1997 SPORTS
         INDUSTRIALIST OF THE YEAR award is DAVID HILL.
              KING OF THE HILL: David Hill embodies every aspect of
         THE DAILY's vision for the sports industry and recognizes
         that sports is a global entertainment business.  His career
         in entertainment is based on his success in sports and, for
         that matter, the success of Fox Television is rooted in
         sports as well.
              Hill joined Fox Broadcasting in 1993 to create and run
         Fox Sports.  Under his direction, Fox Sports jumped off the
         drawing boards to become a full-fledged network sports
         division with rights to the NFL, NHL and MLB.  In '96, Hill
         was promoted to President & COO of Fox Television, and this
         September he was named Chair & CEO of Fox Broadcasting Co.,
         responsible for all distribution, programming, advertising
         sales, marketing and business affairs.  
              Still, Hill continues to serve as President of Fox
         Sports, Chair of FSN and co-Executive Producer of all Fox
         Sports productions.  This year he ranked No. 30 on
         ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY's list of the "101 Most Powerful People
         in Entertainment," and he has been on THE SPORTING NEWS "100
         Most Powerful" list for the last three years.  Hill, Fox
         Sports and -- as a result -- Fox TV are all players.
              FOX ATTITUDE: Most would agree that Fox Sports knows
         how to "produce the big event" and has helped innovate
         television sports coverage.  While some criticize its "in
         your face" attitude as too over the top, Fox -- under Hill's
         leadership -- has positioned itself as an organization with
         a hip, edgy and forward-thinking sensibility.
              The Fox Box, FoxTrax, FoxBots, in-base microphones and
         the Catcher-Cam have all helped change prevailing notions
         about graphic and production values for sports on TV; Fox
         broadcast teams have depth and talent; Fox pre-game
         programming knows how to deliver key demos; Fox advertising
         campaigns -- ranging from Spike Lee's NHL spots to "Fox
         House '97" -- get attention; and Fox is smart about
         leveraging promotional relationships with corporate partners
         such as 7-Eleven, MasterCard, Anheuser-Busch, Miller and 
         Visa.  With an eye on the future, Fox is looking hard at
         virtual ads, as well as a branded retail merchandise effort.
    
         Simply put, David Hill has built a great sports division. 
              YEAR IN REVIEW: But our SPORTS INDUSTRIALIST OF THE
         YEAR award is not just about historical achievement.  Recent
         success is a necessity and -- by any measure -- '97 was a
         staggering year for David Hill and Fox Sports.
              In JANUARY, Fox began its third season of NHL coverage
         with the 47th NHL All-Star Game; broadcast Super Bowl XXXI,
         the fourth-most watched TV program in history, earning a
         43.3 rating/65 share with 128.9 million viewers; and, joined
         with Globosat to launch a 24-hour sports channel in Brazil.
         In APRIL, Fox Sports televised the first live, primetime
         rodeo event on a national broadcast network.  In MAY, Fox   
         Sports opened its second season of MLB coverage and 
         broadcast Game One of the '97 Stanley Cup Finals, posting a
         4.0 rating/8 share, reaching 17.8 million viewers and
         yielding the most-watched game in NHL history.  
              In JUNE, Fox Sports and TCI's Liberty Media invested
         $850M to join forces with Cablevision's Rainbow Media
         Holdings to create a new national, regional and local
         supplier of sports programming.  The deal put FSN into 55
         million homes through 17 combined RSNs, with a stake in
         Madison Square Garden and holdings in Chicago, Florida, New
         England, San Francisco, Philadelphia and Ohio.  
              In JULY, Fox Sports broadcast its first MLB All-Star
         Game, winning the night with an 11.4 rating/21 share, while
         FSN acquired rights to the Red Wings and Pistons and formed
         Fox Sports Detroit.  In AUGUST, Fox Sports West and Anaheim
         Sports dismissed their legal actions against one another;
         Fox Sports Rocky Mountain agreed to pay $100M over seven
         years for rights to the Avalanche and Nuggets; Fox Sports
         broadcast its first tennis event; and, began its fourth
         season of NFL coverage.
              In SEPTEMBER, News Corp. reached an agreement with
         Dodgers Owner Peter O'Malley to purchase the team for over
         $300M, while FSN inked a three-year deal with the ABL for up
         to 24 games a season and a Sunday night game of the week. 
         In OCTOBER, at the annual News Corp. meeting, Rupert Murdoch
         declared Fox Sports Net "the absolute key to our future";
         Fox Sports and The Marment Group launched a new national
         sports tracking poll; Fox and New Regency Productions signed
         a 15-year, $200M deal; and Fox/Liberty reached a deal to
         acquire a majority stake in FiT TV.
              In NOVEMBER, Fox Sports World made its debut as a 24-
         hour English-language int'l sports channel for basic cable
         and digital platforms; Fox Sports Net Online, with a zip
         code-based search capability, was added to foxsports.com;
         FSN aired The Tiger Woods Invitational; and, Fox Sports
         gained rights to the Southwestern Bell Cotton Bowl, enabling
         Fox to broadcast its first college football game in '99. 
              And, finally, in DECEMBER it was announced that
         SportsChannel Pacific, Chicago, New England, Ohio and New
         York will all be branded under the FSN name in early '98. 
         All in all, not bad for a network sports division that did
         not exist four years ago. 
              THE BIG PICTURE: When it launched in 1986, Fox
         Broadcasting had one show on 96 stations.  Today, Fox has
         more than 200 affiliates and programs every night in
         primetime, late night on Saturday, weekdays and Saturday and
         Sunday mornings.  Fox has also become a network with an eye
         for breakthrough shows, bringing to TV "The Simpsons,"
         "Married ... With Children," "Beverly Hills 90210,"
         "America's Most Wanted," "Cops," "In Living Color," "The X-
         Files" and "Ally McBeal."  And, during this year's November
         sweeps, Fox -- under Hill's leadership -- finished second
         among adults 18-49 years-old, which VARIETY called "a
         stunning achievement that signals to a once-skeptical
         industry that the upstart 'fourth network' is now more than
         just a legitimate primetime player."
              So, what does sports have to do with all this? 
         Everything.  David Hill has been the key to success for Fox
         Sports, and Fox Sports has been a critical component of the
         network's success in entertainment programming.  Even
         Murdoch himself has made it clear that "sports is the
         gatekeeper" and a central part of his own strategy for
         becoming the top global media company.
              While some News Corp. and Fox deals might not make
         sense on a quarter-to-quarter or short-term cash flow basis,
         Murdoch and his lieutenants run their business with a
         strategic vision and an eye on the entire planet.  News
         Corp. may rank fourth among the media giants, and Fox may be
         the fourth network in the U.S., but both these positions
         have been attained largely because of sports -- which means
         they have been attained because of David Hill.  We could not
         think of a more fitting recipient to receive our SPORTS
         INDUSTRIALIST OF THE YEAR award for 1997.  
              THANK YOU: THE DAILY would like to thank our many
         clients who took the time to nominate their peers and
         colleagues for this year's award.  We encourage you, and all
         of our subscribers, to participate again in '98 (THE DAILY).
    
    

    Print | Tags: Anheuser Busch, Cablevision, Colorado Avalanche, Denver Nuggets, Detroit Pistons, Detroit Red Wings, ESPN, Los Angeles Dodgers, Madison Square Garden, MasterCard, MLB, NBA, New York Liberty, News Corp./Fox, NFL, NHL, Palace Sports & Entertainment, People and Pop Culture, Visa, Vulcan Ventures, Walt Disney
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