U.S. Fans Abound For WWC Final LeBron Praised For Role In Apatow's "Trainwreck" MLS Eyeing St. Paul For Expansion Club Angels Bad PR Continues With Dipoto Exit NBA Free Agency Begins With Money Flying Expectations High For NASCAR On NBC NBC Lands New Advertisers For Race Coverage Going Off The Grid Steelers Exploring '23 Super Bowl Bid GT To Benefit Financially From Ireland Game
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MADDEN TO MNF? USA TODAY's Rudy Martzke reports that Fox NFL analyst John Madden, whose contract expires after Sunday's NFC Championship game, "appears headed" to ABC's Monday Night Football. Martzke writes that Madden "probably would accept a decrease" in his $8M annual salary, down to "about" $5M, to move to ABC. If Madden goes to ABC, Martzke notes that Dan Dierdorf and Frank Gifford "figure to be out" as ABC "likely would go with a two-man booth" of Madden and Al Michaels. Madden, on speculation of a move: "Anyone who says he knows what's going to happen is wrong." Gifford, when asked to comment: "This (Monday night issue) is so incredibly small compared to what I'm dealing with for my daughter, Vicky, and our grandchildren. I don't have a clue, and frankly, I'm not interested" (USA TODAY, 1/7). WEB: The A's have selected CA-based Silicon Graphics to enhance their Web site. The site, www.oaklandathletics. com, now includes a Push Channel, where customers can be sent trivia, information, merchandise and tickets specials among other things (A's)....The Angels relaunched their site at www.angelsbaseball.com. In L.A., Bill Shaikin reviewed the site and noted that the team "couldn't call their site angels.com because that name was already reserved for a network of disaster response volunteers" (L.A. TIMES, 1/6).
CNN/SI will become part of an expanded basic package on Paragon Cable in Minneapolis, adding 87,000 homes (Minneapolis STAR TRIBUNE, 12/30)....Classic Sports Network will soon be available as part of MediaOne's expanded basic cable package in all of the MSO's nearly one million homes in MA and NH (Classic Sports Network)....SportsChannel OH announced a deal with TCI Cable in Warren, OH, where the RSN will be converted to basic cable, making it available to about 45,000 more homes (SportsChannel Ohio)....TCI Brookhaven, NY, repositioned SportsChannel NY from a premium service to expanded basic, joining two other affils in the NY area that moved MSG Network and SportsChannel NY in recent months. In total, over 540,000 subscribers will now see both networks on basic cable (SCNY).
NBC "has begun approaching automakers and athletic shoe companies," seeking four-year NBA ad packages that would extend from '98-99 through 2001-02, according to Langdon Brockinton of MEDIAWEEK. The "asking price" for a one- eighth automotive sponsorship consisting of four 30-second spots every other telecast "is likely to reach almost" $90M. Currently, the same sponsorship costs $55-60M over four years. As for the athletic shoe category, Brockinton's sources say NBC "will try to expand the inventory load from the current four :30s per telecast to six or seven spots." Nike and Reebok currently share the category, bringing in "about" $110-120M. Sources say that if NBC "has its way," a third company could be brought in and NBC could earn "about" $270M over the next four years (MEDIAWEEK, 1/5 issue). LIGHT ON FIGHTS: Brockinton adds that ABC is the only broadcast network that plans to televise boxing in '98, and the net is reducing its programming from nine cards in '97 to three in '98. CBS was the only other broadcast network to televise boxing in '97, and it announced a few weeks ago that the sport "is not likely to be part of its programming plans this year" (Langdon Brockinton, MEDIAWEEK, 1/5 issue).