SBD/12/Sports Media

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              The Colts will replace WIBC-AM as its radio flagship
         for WFBQ and WNDE, according to Robin Miller of the
         INDIANAPOLIS STAR-NEWS.  Colts Exec Dir of Business
         Development Ray Compton said the deal was not signed "yet,"
         but that the team had "verbally accepted another offer." 
         Compton added the new deal enables the team to market their
         own advertising and programming.  WIBC was the original
         flagship of the Colts in '84, but lost the rights to WFBQ
         and WNDE in '92, before "regaining them" in '95.  WIBC Owner
         Jeff Smulyan, who has "lobbied long and hard to keep" the
         Colts in Indianapolis, was "seething" after the decision. 
         Smulyan: "My understanding is that the offers were
         identical, and it's incomprehensible they could have offered
         more than we did. ... Where's the loyalty?"  Compton said it
         was "as tough a decision as he's ever made."  Although terms
         were not disclosed, Miller reported that WIBC paid $1M for
         rights fees in '97, and that Compton is "hopeful" that
         figure "can double by selling in-house advertising" (STAR-
         NEWS, 1/9).  Miller writes today under the header, "Colts
         And Irsay Hit All-Time Low With Radio Deal."  He calls the
         move "an appalling breach of trust, friendship and community
         relations" from team Owner Jim Irsay to Smulyan after
         Smulyan "gave Irsay invaluable support in reworking his
         stadium lease with the city" (INDIANAPOLIS STAR-NEWS, 1/12).

    Print | Tags: Indianapolis Colts, Media

              Fox Sports will air "Oscar De La Hoya's Big Fight
         Night" on March 23 -- the same night as ABC's broadcast of
         the Academy Awards.  The telecast is being dubbed "Oscar
         versus 'The Oscars.'"  The card, which will air live from
         8:00-10:00pm ET, will take place at the Foxwoods Resort
         Casino in Mashantucket, CT and feature four fights.  Fox's
         James Brown will call the action, and De La Hoya will serve
         as an analyst.  Top Rank will also promote the bouts (Fox). 
              THE ICE MELTS: USA TODAY's Rudy Martzke reports that
         Fox's James Brown has the "first joint interview" with Nancy
         Kerrigan and Tonya Harding which will air on Fox on February
         5 (USA TODAY, 1/12).  The show will be titled "Lillehammer
         Revisited" and be seen in prime-time (THE DAILY).

    Print | Tags: ABC, Media, Walt Disney

              In N.Y., TV critic Eric Mink gives tonight's "Real
         Sports with Bryant Gumbel" three-and-a-half stars.  Mink:
         "This program needs to appear more often" (N.Y. DAILY NEWS,
         1/12)....Sunday's N.Y. TIMES' "Money & Business" section
         featured a cover story by Mark Landler titled, "From Gurus
         To Sitting Ducks: Media Executives Lose Their Edge." 
         Landler writes that today's top media execs are "spooked" by
         the Internet because they "did nothing to develop it and
         little to popularize it."  Landler: "And even now, though
         they all maintain sites on the World Wide Web -- some of
         them, like the Disney-owned [ESPN SportsZone], are extremely
         popular -- it is not clear how genuinely the media chiefs
         embrace the net" (N.Y. TIMES, 1/11)....After signing its
         over-the-air rights to Silver King Broadcasting for next
         season, the Heat "has lost its halftime show and its
         postgame coverage for the balance of the season" on current
         over-the-air carrier WBFS-UPN (SUN-SENTINEL, 1/12). 

    Print | Tags: ESPN, Miami Heat, Media, Walt Disney
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