SBD/22/Sports Media

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              IBM, which is sponsoring for a second
         year, paid "an estimated" $1M to host the official game
         site, according to Mary Huhn of the N.Y. POST.  Last year, drew over 2 million page views on game day
         alone.  Huhn adds that this year, there are 21 million
         households with Internet access, compared to 15 million a
         year ago, so companies "are expecting a dramatic increase in
         traffic." will sell official game merchandise
         using IBM Net.commerce software for the first time.  Huhn
         also previewed Super Bowl Internet plans for ESPN SportsZone
         and CBS.SportsLine (N.Y. POST, 1/22).  USA TODAY noted that will also allow fans to choose their own
         camera angles to receive updated photos of the game,
         including the one from the blimp (USA TODAY, 1/21).

    Print | Tags: CBS, ESPN, IBM, Media, Viacom, Walt Disney

              WEB: NHL ICE announced averaged nearly five
         million daily hits over All-Star Weekend (NHL ICE)....The
         Flyers' John LeClair has launched his own Web site at  Proceeds from the site, which will be
         maintained and operated by PA-based, will
         benefit the John LeClair Foundation in VT (aYs Sports
         Marketing)....Speedway Motorsports launched its Web site
         last week at  The site was
         designed by Atlanta-based iXL (Speedway Motorsports).
              NOTE: The Phillies will name former P Larry Andersen to
         their TV-radio broadcast team today.  He will replace the
         late Richie Ashburn (PHILADELPHIA INQUIRER, 1/22).  

    Print | Tags: Comcast-Spectacor, NHL, Philadelphia Flyers, Philadelphia Phillies, Media

              Cable companies are "outraged" over last week's $17.6B
         NFL TV rights deal, according to Susan Slusser of the S.F.
         CHRONICLE.  And there "have been suggestions among cable
         operators that ABC underpaid ($550 million a year) for
         'Monday Night Football' while sister Disney company ESPN
         overpaid for Sunday-night rights ($600 million) -- so that
         the costs could be dumped onto cable customers."  TCI CEO &
         President Leo Hindery: "I have it on pretty good evidence
         that they moved things from the left pocket to the right
         pocket.  And nobody has proved to me that the Sunday-night
         package should be more expensive than the Monday-night
         package."  A recent trade publication reported "an unnamed
         Disney executive, overheard at a party" as saying, "I called
         the NFL and said, 'Go easy on ABC and sock it to ESPN,
         because we can pass it on.'"  ESPN VP/Sales & Marketing
         George Bodenheimer: "I read that, and it's inaccurate, to
         say the least. ... I don't think anyone puts stock in
         unattributed comments" (S.F. CHRONICLE, 1/22).
              RAISE RATES/DROP SERVICE? Hindery said cable operators
         feel "more and more entitled" to ask questions about the NFL
         deal, "because all we can do about it is drop the service or
         raise the rates."  Slusser: "But what cable operator is
         going to drop ESPN?  It is considered a must have outlet." 
         ESPN's Bodenheimer: "Everyone would like to pay less for
         everything.  But this is a good long-term investment for
         ESPN and for cable operators."  He added ESPN will have more
         NFL programming to create ad opportunities for operators. 
         Slusser adds that operators "might get a bit of a break from
         TNT, which reportedly is considering lowering its cable fees
         now that it no longer has the NFL" (S.F. CHRONICLE, 1/22).

    Print | Tags: ABC, ESPN, NFL, Media, Turner Sports, Walt Disney

              NBC's Greg Gumbel, who will serve Sunday as the host of
         the Super Bowl, agreed to a five-year deal averaging $1.75M
         a year with CBS, according to USA TODAY.  Gumbel will serve
         as CBS' No. 1 play-by-play man for AFC football, and will
         "probably" work with Phil Simms.  NBC's Cris Collinsworth
         has agreed to a five-year deal with Fox "for about" $1M a
         year and will join its NFL pre-game show (USA TODAY, 1/22). 
              UP CLOSE & PERSONAL: NBC "is promising an 'inside-the-
         helmet'" view on Sunday, as the net will utilize the latest
         in real-time 3D graphics, putting the viewer "behind the
         quarterback's face mask."  Assisting NBC is CA-based Silicon
         Graphics Inc. (Glenn Lovell, SAN JOSE MERCURY NEWS, 1/21). 
              SAVE THE LAST DANCE FOR....: NBC will hold a "final
         fiesta" after its Sunday Super Bowl telecast, which will
         feature Donna Summer.  In N.Y., Neal Travis reports that the
         post-game celebration is "appropriately" called "The 'Last
         Dance' Party" (Neal Travis, N.Y. POST, 1/22).

    Print | Tags: CBS, NBC, NFL, Media, Viacom
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