SBD/19/Olympics

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  • KWAN YOU SAY MARKETING POTENTIAL? C'MON, YES YOU KWAN

              While the Americans' "generally disappointing" skating
         performances in Nagano may have put a halt to the usual
         post-Olympics "gravy train," Michelle Kwan and Tara Lipinski
         are the "exception," according to Alexandra Peers of the
         WALL STREET JOURNAL.  Kwan has deals in the works, including
         a TV contract, "but some hinge on her taking the gold." 
         Peers writes that while it looked as if skater Michael Weiss
         would be another "big winner in the endorsement race," with
         varying deals with AT&T, Coca-Cola, UPS and McDonald's, his
         seventh-place finish hasn't earned him "any more offers"
         (WALL STREET JOURNAL, 2/19).  Kwan's agent Shep Goldberg
         speculated that Kwan could earn $15-$20M, over a five to ten
         year period after the Games (NEWSDAY, 2/19).  Skating agent
         Michael Rosenberg said Kwan "should make somewhere between"
         $5-10 million dollars "whether she is amateur or
         professional."  Rosenberg: "Tara Lipinski has tremendous
         potential.  Nicole Bobek has tremendous potential.  Tara
         because she is the phenomenon, and Nicole because she is the
         blond sexbomb" ("The Cutting Edge," TNT, 2/18).
              SPONSOR NOTES: The WALL STREET JOURNAL awarded TV
         advertising medals, giving Coca-Cola an "Individual Gold"
         for its "Ice Hockey" spot, while awarding IBM the "Team
         Theme Gold" for its "Look for Me" ad (WALL STREET JOURNAL,
         2/19)....USOC sponsor United Airlines is allowing any member
         of the U.S. delegation to stop over in Hawaii for as long as
         they want, then reboard for the mainland at no extra charge
         (USA TODAY, 2/19)....USA TODAY's Melanie Wells reports on
         first-time Olympic sponsor Amway's Nagano presence, as Amway
         "has stepped into the spotlight," and has gotten its
         "typically low-profile, direct sales company and its copious
         products noticed" through billboards, product placement, TV
         ads and a sponsorship tent (USA TODAY, 2/19)....As of
         yesterday, Molson had received 42,000 requests for wakeup
         calls for the Canadian men's hockey games (WALL STREET
         JOURNAL, 2/19)....Paula Greenfield, who runs CA-based
         Celebrity Source, on Ross Rebagliati's endorsement
         potential: "I think if it was heroine or something, nobody
         would want to touch him.  I think marijuana has a totally
         different stigma attached to it" (CP/EDM. JOURNAL, 2/19).
    
    

    Print | Tags: ATT, Coca-Cola, IBM, McDonalds, Olympics, TBS/TNT, UPS, USOC
  • WHAT A WONDERFUL WEEK FOR CBS; TUESDAY RATINGS SLIP, THOUGH

              CBS received a 13.5 rating for Tuesday's primetime
         Olympic coverage, bringing the 12-night average to 16.2 --
         down 37% from Lillehammer in '94 and 14% from Albertville in
         '92, according to Richard Sandomir of the N.Y. TIMES.  The
         U.S. Women's gold medal game against Canada drew a 3.4
         rating on Tuesday morning from 7:00-9:00am ET, a "shade
         higher" than the "CBS This Morning" average of 3.1 for its
         weekday Olympic programming (N.Y. TIMES, 2/19).  Wednesday
         morning's live coverage of the U.S.-Czech Republic men's
         hockey game from 12:45am-3:00am drew a 2.4/15 (Mult., 2/19).
              OUT-FOXED: USA TODAY's Rudy Martzke writes that
         Tuesday's numbers could indicate that "even the Olympics'
         traditional viewers, women, have lost interest" in the
         Games.  He adds that CBS "now would have to be pleased" if
         last night's ladies figure skating short program reaches a
         20-21 rating, and predicts that the final rating for the
         Games will "be about" a 16.5, which would be the second-
         lowest Winter Olympics in history to the '68 Grenoble Games
         (USA TODAY, 2/19).  DAILY VARIETY's Tom Bierbaum writes that
         Tuesday was "[p]erhaps the roughest night to date" for CBS,
         as Fox's "Scariest Police Chases" and "Moment of Impact!"
         beat primetime Olympic coverage in the adult 18-49 demo,
         marking the first 18-49 loss for a night of Olympics
         coverage, summer or winter, since the '92 Albertville Games. 
         The Games "have won every prime-time half hour to date in
         households," and before Tuesday, CBS had lost only five
         half-hours in the 18-49 category (DAILY VARIETY, 2/19).
              GIVE BACKS: CBS "is acknowledging what the rest of
         America has been saying from the start: The Winter Olympics
         are a dud," according to Kyle Pope of the WALL STREET
         JOURNAL. "Die-hard fans are tuning out," and the low ratings
         are "raising even bigger questions about the value of
         marquee sports programming."  CBS may have to offer free ad
         time elsewhere in its schedule if it cannot "provide enough
         time to make up for the lousy ratings" during the Games
         (WALL STREET JOURNAL, 2/19).  Some advertisers said that if
         CBS doesn't meet its rating guarantee of a 19.6, "they'll
         just factor the Olympic shortfall into future negotiations"
         (HOLLYWOOD REPORTER, 2/19).  AD AGE reported that CBS "could
         owe" its Olympic advertisers 400 30-second spots as make-
         goods, and that "only about half their shortfall" will be
         made up during the Olympics itself (AD AGE, 2/18).
              BRIGHT SPOT: CBS had the top eight primetime programs
         for the week ending February 15, including all seven
         primetime Olympic broadcasts, giving the net its first
         weekly win in adults 18-49 in four years.  CBS's earned a
         16.7/27 for the week, followed by NBC's 8.2/13 rating, ABC's
         7.4/12 and Fox's 7.2/11 (HOLLYWOOD REPORTER, 2/19).  
    
    

    Print | Tags: ABC, CBS, NBC, News Corp./Fox, Olympics, Viacom, Walt Disney
  • WITH TEAM USA NIGHTMARE, NHL'S OLYMPIC ROLE IS RE-EXAMINED

              Thirty minutes into CBS's Olympic broadcast last night,
         Jim Nantz said, "Team USA and hockey came into Nagano a
         strong medal favorite.  They leave here as one of the all-
         time U.S. Olympic disappointments.  Forget about a dream,
         this was a nightmare for Team USA. ... If 1980 was the
         Miracle On Ice, then American fans and players will remember
         1998 as the Disaster On Ice."   Nantz: "Team USA's loss did
         more than just eliminate them from play.  It might have
         defeated the whole purpose of the NHL even coming here to
         Japan.  The National Hockey League clearly had a mission --
         with all the exposure it hoped to get with the United States
         in this tournament, it would help ignite the popularity of
         the sport in the United States and that is clearly not going
         to happen."  Nantz called the team's play "uninspired [and]
         forgettable," with a "sting that will last for four years
         until they get to Salt Lake City."  He noted while "there is
         plenty of excellent hockey to be played here ... [T]his has
         to be a tremendous blow to the well-laid plans of the
         National Hockey League" ("Olympic Primetime," CBS, 2/18).
              NEXT MOVE: USA TODAY's Kevin Allen called the early
         exit "the latest in a series of events that undercut the
         NHL's attempt to broaden exposure through Olympic
         participation."  NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman: "This was
         never intended to be a watershed event.  It is a building
         block no matter what happened.  How big a building block it
         would be was a function that no one had any control over." 
         While the league hasn't committed to Salt Lake, "many people
         in hockey predict the NHL will be there" (USA TODAY, 2/19). 
              OTHER REAX: ESPN's Al Morganti called the NHL's Nagano
         participation in light of the U.S. loss "an unmitigated
         disaster."  Morganti: "I still think they go ahead with Salt
         Lake City, better time difference and all, and maybe they
         get a U.S. team that looks like it's interested in actually
         playing a game or two."  But ESPN's Darren Pang said, "If
         anything, it's not a step backwards, this is a learning
         process for everybody" ("SportsCenter," 2/18).  NEWSDAY's
         Mark Herrmann: "This was not what the [NHL] had in mind when
         it shut down for more than two weeks" (NEWSDAY, 2/19).  In
         Toronto, Garth Woolsey: "Most Americans were dubious about
         hockey before Bettman, with the players' blessing, shut down
         operations for two weeks.  Now they've got to be doubly
         dubious" (TORONTO STAR, 2/19).  In Houston, John Lopez wrote
         the NHL experiment "blew up in the Americans' faces"
         (HOUSTON CHRONICLE, 2/19).  In Phoenix, David Casstevens:
         "Do You Believe In Debacles?! -- Yesssss!" (ARIZONA
         REPUBLIC, 2/19).  In N.Y., Lisa Olson: "What had started out
         as a grand idea suddenly seemed almost embarrassing" (N.Y.
         DAILY NEWS, 2/19).  In N.Y., Filip Bondy writes that with
         this outcome, "maybe the schedule break is less likely to be
         repeated for Salt Lake City in 2002" (N.Y. DAILY NEWS,
         2/19).  In DC, Thom Loverro calls the tournament a
         "disaster" as the "league won't realize the big payoff it
         had anticipated" (WASHINGTON TIMES, 2/19).  In N.Y., Harvey
         Araton writes that "apparently" nobody, not even the league,
         can "script a hockey competition" (N.Y. TIMES, 2/19).  
              PLAYERS GET RIPPED: In Chicago, Jay Mariotti: "Poor
         hockey.  It deserves so much better than the lame effort
         extended by Team USA" (CHICAGO SUN-TIMES, 2/19).  In K.C.,
         Jason Whitlock writes the U.S. players "let the league down"
         (K.C. STAR, 2/19).  In the CHRISTIAN SCIENCE MONITOR,
         Douglas Looney writes that Olympic participation could be a
         "bad idea" for NHL players.  Looney: "Maybe [the players]
         are so zeroed in on the NHL season that something like this
         was more a bother than an opportunity" (CSM, 2/19).  The 
         header over Dan Barreiro's column in Minneapolis: "The Most
         Humiliating U.S. Hockey Showing Ever" (STAR TRIBUNE, 2/19). 
         Header over Bob Wojnowksi's story in Detroit: "U.S. Men's
         Hockey Laughable" (DETROIT NEWS, 2/19).  In L.A., Mike
         Downey: "We could have sent the Mighty Ducks over and done
         better" (L.A. TIMES, 2/19).  In Tampa, David Whitley
         compares the men's and women's hockey performances: "[D]on't
         send a man to do a woman's job" (TAMPA TRIBUNE, 2/19).  In
         Orlando, George Diaz calls the team "frauds" (ORLANDO
         SENTINEL, 2/19).  In S.F., C.W. Nevius calls the performance
         an "embarrassment" (S.F. CHRONICLE, 2/19).  In L.A., Mike
         Penner: "Do you believe in national humiliation?" (L.A.
         TIMES, 2/19).  In DC, Michael Wilbon calls it the "most
         disappointing performance of any team from any country in
         these Winter Olympics" (WASHINGTON POST, 2/19).  In Seattle,
         Elliott Almond wrote U.S. hockey "took 10 steps backward"
         with the early exit (SEATTLE TIMES, 2/19).  In Atlanta,
         Steve Hummer: "Those guys ended up doing as much to advance
         hockey as global warming" (ATLANTA CONSTITUTION, 2/19).
              BE GONE WITH YOU? In N.Y., Wallace Matthews writes
         under the header, "Bring Back The Amateurs."  He calls the
         Dream Team concept a "terrible idea," adding "what happened
         in Nagano is something we should never see again" (N.Y.
         POST, 2/19). In St. Paul, Tom Powers: "It would be better to
         lose these games with amateurs who are realizing a lifelong
         dream, rather than pros who have no particular loyalty and
         no vested interest" (ST. PAUL PIONEER PRESS, 2/19).  In his
         column on CBS SportsLine, Bob Kravitz writes, "A bunch of
         American college kids could have made it to the final round
         of the medal play. ... And they could have done it with a
         lot more class and a lot more grace" (CBS SportsLine, 2/19). 
         But in Ft. Worth, Gil LeBreton writes that the NHL/Olympic
         participation "isn't the concept that needs to be changed
         for Team USA, it's the attitude" (STAR-TELEGRAM, 2/19).  
    
    

    Print | Tags: Anaheim Ducks, Anaheim Sports, CBS, Connecticut Sun, ESPN, NHL, Olympics, RDV Sports, SportsLine.com, Viacom, Walt Disney
  • WOMEN'S HOCKEY TEAM EARLY FAVORITE FOR THE WHEATIES COVER?

              General Mills officials said that the gold medal-
         winning U.S. women's hockey team "appears to be the leading
         candidate to adorn the commemorative post-Olympics Wheaties
         box," according to Jay Weiner of the Minneapolis STAR-
         TRIBUNE.  Weiner reports, however, that there could be a
         "hitch" involving Team USA's Jenny Schmidgall, a Univ. of MN
         recruit who "could lose her eligibility" if featured.  NCAA
         Dir of Member Services Steve Mallonee said that Schmidgall's
         name nor picture would not be allowed to appear on the
         cereal box.  One option for Wheaties would be to place just
         a few of the players on the box (STAR TRIBUNE,2/19).
              NOTES: TNT will replay the third period of the U.S.-
         Canada gold medal game today, at approximately 5:00pm ET
         (TNT)....NHL Ice, the official web site of the NHL,
         announced the online availability of merchandise celebrating
         the USA Women's gold medal, including locker room T-shirts
         and hats, replica jerseys, sweatshirts and photos (NHL).
    
    

    Print | Tags: NCAA, NHL, Olympics, TBS/TNT, Wheaties
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