SBD/9/Franchises

HICKS TALKS UP PLANS FOR RANGERS AND A REGIONAL SPORTS NET

          New MLB Rangers Owner Tom Hicks plans to "eventually"
     sell the naming rights to The Ballpark, according to a Q&A
     interview with Mitchell Schnurman of the FT. WORTH STAR-
     TELEGRAM.  Hicks said he "hopes to develop the real estate
     surrounding the stadium within five to 10 years, adding
     hotels, office buildings and restaurants."  In addition,
     Hicks said that he would offer stock in his sports teams and
     a planned broadcasting network.  Last fall, Hicks said he
     "made an offer" to buy the Mavericks that was rejected by
     Owner Ross Perot Jr.  Since then, Hicks "has made no
     additional overtures" (FT. WORTH STAR-TELEGRAM, 1/9).
          FSN, ESPN OR NBC TO JOIN HICKS' RSN? In Dallas, Richard
     Alm reports Hicks "made it clear that he's making plans to
     combine his sports and broadcast interests."  And he may
     "possibly" include the Mavs in an RSN featuring the Rangers
     and Stars.  Hicks: "Out at some future point, we will
     endeavor to create a regional sports network that will have
     as many sports programming assets as we can put together."  
     The Rangers are under contract through 2000 and the Stars'
     TV contract ends after the '98-99 season.  Hicks "identified
     potential partners" as Fox Sports Net, ESPN and NBC: "We
     will choose one of them and create a partnership for the
     [RSN] as it develops."  But Hicks "disavowed any interest"
     in forming a superstation: "We have no intention of ever
     creating a superstation" (DALLAS MORNING NEWS, 1/9).
 
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