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This past weekend's NFL action saw Fox's doubleheader coverage earn an overall 14.5/30 overnight rating and NBC earn an overall 14.6/30 overnight (THE DAILY). LOCAL NUMBERS: In DC, coverage of the Redskins- Cardinals on WTTG-Fox averaged a 32.1/54 overnight (WASHINGTON POST, 12/9)....In Boston, the Patriots-Jaguars on WHDH-NBC earned a 31.2/62, bringing the season average to 29.3, which would beat a franchise ratings record of 24.4 set last year (Howard Manley, BOSTON GLOBE, 12/9). ON CAMPUS: ABC's championship tripleheader Saturday "got mixed numbers," according to USA TODAY's Rudy Martzke. Overnights ranged from a 10% increase for the SEC game to a 50% decline for the WAC matchup. The Big 12 matchup earned a 6.1 overnight, down from a 6.2 in '96 (USA TODAY, 12/9).
Featuring Tiger Woods on its cover next to the headline "Let Tiger Teach You" was "[p]retty bold posturing" by Golf Magazine, "given that competitor" Golf Digest has signed Woods to contribute "exclusive instructional articles," according to GOLFWEEK's "The Forecaddie." Golf Magazine "apparently dodged a legal bullet by adding a second, smaller headline on the cover: 'Jim McLean points out what you can really learn from Tiger's game.'" IMG's Hughes Norton, Woods' agent, declined to comment, as did Golf Magazine Editor-in-Chief George Peper. But Golf Digest Editor Jerry Tarde said, "I think they certainly went to the edge. It's in the eye of the beholder whether or not they went over the edge" (GOLFWEEK, 12/6 issue).
AT&T is selling its stake in DirecTV for $161.8M "and is getting out of the business of marketing the home" satellite TV service, the company said. AT&T invested $137.5M for its 2.5% stake in '96 (WASHINGTON POST, 12/9). In N.Y., Stephanie Mehta notes company execs "have been telling people privately that AT&T may seek to invest in one of DirecTV's cable competitors to beef up its Internet and local-phone efforts" (WALL STREET JOURNAL, 12/9). NOTES: In N.Y., Richard Sandomir reports that after January 1, SportsChannel NY will be renamed Fox Sports NY or Fox SportsChannel NY, as a result of Fox Sports Net's investment in Cablevision (N.Y. TIMES, 12/9)....In DC, columnist Tony Kornheiser, on Fox assigning Jerry Glanville to Sunday's Redskins-Cardinals telecast: "There is national coverage and regional coverage -- then there's Glanville coverage. If Glanville's doing a game, Fox is broadcasting to an area so small that your neighbors across the street may not get it" (WASHINGTON POST, 12/9)....In San Diego, columnist Fritz Quindt on The Sporting News' redesign: "Stapled, printed on improved but still inferior stock, it resembles Sports Illustrated on steroids. ... The content is substantive with a dose of fun, a dead ringer for the late, great The National" (SAN DIEGO UNION-TRIBUNE, 12/8).