SBD/6/Sports Media

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              Fox Sports Net, which "has considered purchasing New
         England Sports Network [NESN] as part of its national plans
         to control regional sports coverage," has been "scared away"
         from NESN due to the "unresolved legal dispute" between NESN
         and its former partners, according to Howard Manly of the
         BOSTON GLOBE.  NESN is jointly owned by the Red Sox, Bruins
         and UPN affil WSBK-38.  The Red Sox hold majority interest
         with 48%.  Manly writes that the partnership "turned ugly
         two years ago," when WSBK's owner filed suit charging that
         that the Red Sox and Bruins "had reneged on a longstanding
         agreement over how much the teams receive in cable rights
         fees from NESN."  Manly writes that while FSN "would
         consider purchasing NESN when its legal issues are cleared,"
         another "problem" could be that the Red Sox "might not agree
         to sell."  Red Sox VP/Broadcasting & Technology Jim Healey
         said that NESN "is not for sale" (BOSTON GLOBE, 1/6).

    Print | Tags: Boston Bruins, Boston Red Sox, Media

              HOCKEY ON THE NET: "Hockey Night in Canada" has
         launched its Web site at  The site
         includes NHL summaries and highlights; a Hotstove Lounge;
         and old CBC radio broadcasts "from the Original Six days"
         (GLOBE & MAIL, 1/3)....The Canadiens launched their official
         Web site at  The site, designed by GE
         Capital's Technology Management Services Division, was
         launched on Christmas and "claims to have received 500,000
         page views in its first 90 minutes."  The site has separate
         English and French areas (GAZETTE, 12/28)....The Nashville
         Predators launched their Web site at  The site
         was designed by Nashville-based Athena Computer Learning
         Center, and can also be linked from (Predators).
              NOTES: In DC, Harry Jaffe writes that Washington Post
         columnist Michael Wilbon "may leave the Post for big bucks
         at his hometown daily, the Chicago Tribune" (WASHINGTONIAN,
         1/98)....In a letter to shareholders, Disney Chair Michael
         Eisner addressed ABC's declining TV ratings.  In the letter,
         Eisner noted that ABC TV represented "only" 8% of total
         profits at Disney's ABC Inc.  Industry sources "suggested"
         that ESPN and ABC Radio "all added more to the company's
         bottom line than ABC TV (HOLLYWOOD REPORTER, 1/6)....ESPN
         ran promos for "The Tony Kornheiser Show," which debuted
         yesterday on ESPN Radio, during the early "SportsCenter."
         ESPN also promoed "Gamenight," which moved yesterday from
         weekend nights to seven nights a week (THE DAILY, 1/5).

    Print | Tags: ABC, CBC, ESPN, Montreal Canadiens, Nashville Predators, NHL, Media, Walt Disney

              The Heat's recent TV deal with Silver King Broadcasting
         is examined by Steve McClellan in BROADCASTING & CABLE. 
         Silver King's WYHS-TV "will probably lose millions over the
         five-year deal, but station executives believe that the
         franchise will give them the huge promotional platform that
         will help the station gain a toehold in the market and will
         lead to success in the long term."  Sources say that the
         deal is worth $1.3M per, totalling $6.5M for preseason and
         regular season rights, but not playoff games, which the
         station will pay additional fees for.  The team will receive
         75% of the ad inventory, with WYHS retaining the rest.  The
         station will also produce all of the games it airs, at an
         additional cost of $800,000 per season.  One TV exec: "Look
         around the league; you will not see a rights deal with more
         favorable terms for an NBA franchise" (B&C, 1/5 issue). 

    Print | Tags: Miami Heat, NBA, Media

              NBC "plans to sell rights" to the first-day action of
         the 2000 and 2002 Presidents Cups to a cable net, according
         to sources of Langdon Brockinton of MEDIAWEEK.  Negotiations
         for day-one rights "will likely begin late this month or in
         early February."  NBC has rights to the 2000, 2002, 2004 and
         2006 Cups.  CBS, which will broadcast the '98 Cup this
         December, has "delivered sponsorship packages to the seven
         incumbent advertisers: GM, Callaway Golf, MasterCard,
         Acushnet, AT&T, Toyota and Mass Mutual."  Sources say that
         CBS' asking price for a one-fifth sponsorship is $1.15M. 
         Two of the five packages were split in '96 (MEDIAWEEK, 1/5).
              KEMPER'S TOP TEN: Brockinton adds that Chicago-based
         Kemper Funds signed with CBS and the Big Ten Conference to
         be the presenting sponsor of the first Big Ten men's
         basketball tournament this season.  Kemper's two-year deal
         gives it category-exclusivity for financial products on CBS'
         telecasts of the Big Ten Tournament.  CBS reps "declined to
         comment on the financial terms of the deal," but sources
         "estimated its value" in the $4-5M range (MEDIAWEEK, 1/5). 

    Print | Tags: ATT, Callaway Golf, CBS, Acushnet, MasterCard, NBC, Media, Toyota, Viacom

              There was a combined 10% drop for Fox and NBC in
         overnight ratings for its four NFL divisional playoff games
         last weekend, and USA TODAY's Rudy Martzke writes that it
         "reflected the absence of the popular Cowboys."  Sunday's
         Bucs-Packers posted a 21.4 overnight -- down 25% from last
         year's 28.6 for Panthers-Cowboys.  NBC's Broncos-Chiefs
         Sunday game saw an 11% rise, earning a 25.0 overnight, up
         from last year's 22.6 for Steelers-Patriots.  Both games on
         Saturday saw a drop, with NBC's Patriots-Steelers falling
         13% to 17.8 and Fox's Vikings-49ers falling 12% to 20.2 (USA
         TODAY, 1/6).  In Houston, David Barron notes that the
         Divisional Playoff ratings drop follows a 5% drop for the
         Wild Card games (HOUSTON CHRONICLE, 1/6).  
              CT LOVES ITS HOOPS: In N.Y., Harvey Araton notes in his
         column on women's college basketball that Saturday's
         Tennessee-UConn game outrated the Vikings-49ers game by 4%
         in the Hartford, CT, market (N.Y. TIMES, 1/6).
              THE BEST OF THE BEST: In N.Y., Richard Sandomir looks
         at the NFL broadcast teams for both Fox and NBC.  Sandomir:
         "Fox's John Madden still reigns supreme. ... NBC's threesome
         of Dick Enberg, Phil Simms and Paul Maguire, which will
         continue its act through the Super Bowl, is a rather smooth-
         running democracy.  Fox's team is more of a benevolent
         dictatorship, orchestrated by the hyperkinetic Madden, with
         help from the very low-key Pat Summerall" (N.Y. TIMES, 1/6).
              COMING HOME? Sources say that CBS "is expected to tell
         the NFL this week or next what it is willing to pay for
         various TV packages, most likely the AFC package ... and the
         Monday night package," according to BROADCASTING & CABLE.  A
         source adds that once CBS reveals its offer, "deals will get
         done 'within a day or two.'"  Another source says that the
         NFL "wants this done by mid-January, and it will likely get
         done by then" (BROADCASTING & CABLE, 1/5 issue).

    Print | Tags: CBS, Dallas Cowboys, Denver Broncos, Green Bay Packers, Kansas City Chiefs, Minnesota Vikings, Minnesota Wild, NBC, New England Patriots, NFL, Pittsburgh Steelers, San Francisco 49ers, Media, Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Viacom
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