SBD/6/Sports Media

FOX SPORTS NET EYES NESN, WANTS LEGAL ISSUES SETTLED FIRST

          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).

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