SBD/2/Leagues Governing Bodies

DESPITE SKETCHY DETAILS, MEDIA CHIMES IN ON TURNER/NBC PLAN

          NBC and TBS' proposed new football league would "sell
     franchises to investors and attempt to attract national
     auto, airline, beverage and technology advertisers with the
     promise of high-profile, if low-rated, telecasts," according
     to Steve Zipay of NEWSDAY.  It "appeared likely" that
     Yankees Owner George Steinbrenner "would be approached" to
     invest in the league, although he could not be reached for
     comment.  Steinbrenner is close to TBS Sports President
     Harvey Schiller (NEWSDAY, 1/31).  Turner and NBC said it
     would be "at least" eight weeks before feasibility studies
     on a league would be complete.  In L.A., Scott Hettrick
     reports that talk of a new league comes as NFL Europe "has
     had trouble building an audience in the [U.S], with Fox even
     considering drastically scaling back coverage" from its 30
     games on FX last year (HOLLYWOOD REPORTER, 2/2).  In N.Y.,
     Richard Sandomir added that NBC would broadcast games on
     Sunday afternoons and Turner on Sunday nights.  Although
     details "are few," it appears the two networks are "aiming
     at creating a single-entity league that may sell investors
     some type of local operating agreements" (N.Y. TIMES, 1/31).
          REAX: In N.Y., Phil Mushnick wrote that a GE/Turner-
     backed league could be "launched, sustained and grow at
     maximum exposure, at minimum risk and on the relative
     cheap."  Mushnick: "[T]his isn't as crazy as it sounds at
     first blush" (N.Y. POST, 2/1).  Paul Kagan Senior Sports
     Analyst John Mansell added that with advertisers like Coca-
     Cola "already somewhat reticent about stepping up and paying
     what the NFL is now asking ... it's feasible, although it's
     obviously highly risky" that the league could succeed.
     Mansell: "[T]here are a lot more stadiums now, particularly
     in major markets" (N.Y. DAILY NEWS, 1/31).  But in N.Y.,
     Mike Lupica wrote that a new league would "dilute the talent
     level more, drive up salaries and put more football on
     television than you have talking lawyer-heads.  Sounds like
     a little slice of heaven, doesn't it?" (DAILY NEWS, 2/1). 
     In St. Pete, Hubert Mizell writes that the league "would
     infringe significantly on college football" and hopes "the
     idea will fade away rapidly" (ST. PETE TIMES, 2/2).  In
     Houston, Dale Robertson: "[T]here's hardly a crying need for
     a full league's worth of more crummy football" (HOUSTON
     CHRONICLE, 2/2).  Ryan Schinman, VP of NJ-based Worldwide
     Team Sports, on a new league: "It's a joke" (CNBC, 1/30).
 
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