SBD/8/Sports Media

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  • HOW WILL NBC/FOX DEAL WITH CROWDED INTERNET SPORTS FIELD?

              The "wars between cable and broadcast sports operations
         have spread beyond TV to the Web," according to Alan Breznick
         of CABLE WORLD.  NBC Sports and Fox Sports "have made noise
         recently about joining the sports megasite wars."  NBC
         reportedly has considered a joint sports site with Microsoft,
         and before CBS invested $100M into SportsLine, Fox reportedly
         was in "serious talks" with SportsLine USA.  One "veteran"
         Web sports observer said, "The corporate branding imperative
         and corporate ego will drive NBC and Fox to do something. 
         [The market's] probably going to be big enough for four or
         five [players], because they're going to force their way in." 
         NBC and Fox "aren't publicly saying much about their Web
         sports strategies.  But each has sought to make a splash with
         short-term sites built around big sporting events" (Alan
         Breznick, CABLE WORLD, 12/8 issue).  
              ONE-STOP SHOP: Sportscape.com "aims to be to the sports-
         equipment market what Amazon.com is to the publishing
         business."  The site offers more than 2,500 products ranging
         from baseball gloves to hockey sticks at prices 10-30% below
         retail.  Sportscape is affiliated directly with distributors
         and offers equipment from brand-name companies, including
         Wilson and Spalding.  It plans to add shoes and apparel
         within the next year.  The goal is "100,000 products sold
         online within the next 18 months" (BUSINESS WEEK, 12/15). 
    
    

    Print | Tags: CBS, Microsoft, NBC, News Corp./Fox, Russell Athletic, Media, Viacom, Wilson Sporting Goods
  • MEDIA NOTES

              In Dallas, Barry Horn wrote after averaging a 43.1
         rating through 14 weeks on KDSW-TV last year, Cowboys ratings
         have fallen to 37.9 in '97 -- a dropoff of 15%, which means
         about 96,000 homes in the Dallas-Fort Worth market. 
         Nationally, the Cowboys are down 14% on Fox, which translates
         into almost four million homes a game (DALLAS MORNING NEWS,
         12/6)....Comcast Corp. acquired Marcus Cable Company's DE and
         MD cable TV assets for $65.5M in cash to expand its coverage
         in the two states (N.Y. TIMES, 12/6).
              PEOPLE: On Saturday, Comedy Central's Craig Kilborn
         filled in for Kevin Harlan, who handles T-Wolves radio play-
         by-play, for the Wizards-T-Wolves game.  Harlan missed the
         game due to his Fox NFL duties (Minneapolis STAR TRIBUNE,
         12/6)....ABC's Keith Jackson reaffirmed that he will retire
         following the '98 college football season.  Jackson, on why
         he plans to retire: "It's my time.  It's time to go.  It's
         time for us to find out if the next generation is as smart as
         they keep telling us" ("Up Close," ESPN, 12/5).
    
    

    Print | Tags: ABC, Comcast-Spectacor, Dallas Cowboys, ESPN, Minnesota Timberwolves, News Corp./Fox, NFL, Media, Walt Disney
  • PUBLISHING WAR HEATS UP WITH REDESIGN OF THE SPORTING NEWS

              The Sporting News (TSN) has launched its initial issue
         as part of its five-year, $30M redesign.  The relaunch will
         run with the tag, "See A Different Game."  TSN's redesign
         comes after a comprehensive fan study conducted by
         Simmons/Monitor, which surveyed 1,438 men and found that pro
         football was their favorite sport, with an 8.77 rating on a
         scale of 1-10.  Rounding out the top five were the Olympics
         with an 8.01, followed by college football (7.23); MLB
         (7.06), and men's pro basketball (6.96).  The "See A
         Different Game" marketing campaign will kick-off with new
         print, TV and radio ads breaking this month.  The spots were
         created by Christy MacDougall Mitchell, NY (TSN).
              BRING 'EM ON: In N.Y., Mary Huhn examines TSN's
         relaunch.  TSN Publisher Fran Farrell, on competition with
         other sports magazines: "We'll beat the heck out of ESPN
         Sports and Sports Illustrated for these guys who want stats,
         team information and season previews" (N.Y. POST, 12/8). TSN
         will look to increase circulation, which "has hovered" at
         about 515,000 for three years (Michael Hiestand, USA TODAY,
         12/8)....Time Inc. Editor-in-Chief Norman Pearlstine, on
         competition for SI, including ESPN Magazine and TSN: "I don't
         think there is anything they are doing with that magazine
         [ESPN] that we can't and won't do better and I can think of a
         myriad of things we will do that they won't be able to touch. 
         That said, I take them seriously, but I also take Sporting
         News' redesign, Sports' redesign and ESPN on television
         seriously" (Keith Kelly, N.Y. DAILY NEWS, 12/8).  
    
    

    Print | Tags: ESPN, MLB, Sports Illustrated, Media, Time Warner, Vulcan Ventures, Walt Disney
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