SBD/10/Sports Media

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  • BATTLE LINES BEING DRAWN IN WAR BETWEEN SI AND ESPN MAGAZINE

              The launch of ESPN Magazine was examined by CNN's
         Donald Van de Mark on "Moneyline."  In her introduction,
         CNN's Jan Hopkins called ESPN's bi-weekly "a direct attack
         on Sports Illustrated, pitting two of the best brand names
         of sports journalism against each other."  Van de Mark said
         SI "still dominates the business of sports journalism,"
         pulling in $500M a year "in ad revenue alone," but starting
         Wednesday when ESPN Magazine debuts, SI "faces its greatest
         challenge yet."  Newsday publishing columnist Paul Colford
         said that by advertising ESPN Magazine on ESPN "they've
         already entered the launch faze with something in the
         neighborhood of 300,000 subscribers."  ESPN Magazine "is
         targeting younger customers," and ESPN Magazine Publisher
         Michael Rooney said, "Sports has changed.  And it's not that
         the 18-34-year-old reader wants us to be irreverent, but he
         wants us to be a little more with it.  He wants us to have a
         little more fun.  It's just sports" ("Moneyline," CNN, 3/9).
              AD DETAILS: ESPN Magazine's debut issue will carry 107
         ad pages, which industry observer/Univ. of MS professor
         Samir Husni said ranks sixth in all-time magazine launches
         and first among sports title launches.  Among advertisers:
         Pontiac, Nike, Polo/Ralph Lauren, Nautica, adidas, AT&T,
         Columbia Sportswear, Ford and Nintendo (ESPN Magazine).
    
    

    Print | Tags: ATT, ESPN, General Motors, Nike, Sports Illustrated, Media, Time Warner, Walt Disney, Washington Nationals
  • FSWO GETS THE AFL? IT'S AUSSIE FOOTBALL ON FOX SPORTS WORLD

              Fox Sports World (FSWo) has reached a three-year deal 
         with the Australian Football League (AFL) under which FSWo
         gains exclusive rights to broadcast the AFL's Australian
         Rules Football games to North American audiences.  The
         agreement, which runs from '98 through the year 2000, gives
         FSWo exclusive TV rights to the AFL in all languages
         throughout the U.S. and Canada.  FSWo kicks off its '98 AFL
         coverage the week of March 23, and will feature weekly
         matches and highlight shows during the season, culminating
         with September's Grand Final (Fox Sports World).
    
    

    Print | Tags: AFL, News Corp./Fox, Media
  • HE'S GOT MORE STORIES: "ARLI$$" PREPARES FOR THIRD SEASON

              HBO's "Arli$$" recently completed shooting its first
         episode for the '98 season, one of 13 new telecasts which
         debut this June.  Guest appearances include U.S. women's
         hockey player Cammi Granato, the Patriots' Willie McGinest
         and NBC West Coast President Don Ohlmeyer (THE DAILY). 
         
    

    Print | Tags: HBO, NBC, New England Patriots, Media, Time Warner
  • MEDIA NOTES

              SELECTION SHOW: CBS's NCAA men's tournament selection
         show on Sunday earned a 6.5 overnight rating, up 14% over
         last year's 5.7.  USA TODAY's Rudy Martzke attributes the
         ratings increase to the format change in which CBS "spaced
         out the announcement of each bracket," and host Greg Gumbel
         led a discussion of each "before moving on."  The fourth
         bracket "wasn't disclosed until 17 minutes into the show"
         (USA TODAY, 3/10).  In Denver, Todd Phiphers writes that
         CBS's new format "amounted to playing games with ESPN,"
         which ran a concurrent selection show but was "restricted
         from showing" brackets until they had been shown on CBS,
         which holds the announcement rights (DENVER POST, 3/10). 
         But on Long Island, Steve Zipay writes that CBS "could take
         some pointers from ESPN" regarding the telecast, and points
         out that CBS did not display teams' won-lost records, and
         did not run a "crawl" across the bottom of the screen for
         viewers tuning in late: "ESPN did both" (NEWSDAY, 3/10).
              OTHER NOTES: In N.Y., Richard Sandomir praises Jim
         Gray's interview of Don King on Showtime's PPV broadcast on
         Saturday.  Grey was "relentless" in asking King about the
         lawsuit Mike Tyson filed against him last week.  Sandomir:
         "Compare his tough style with the ingratiating questioning
         of Latrell Sprewell by Lesley Stahl on '60 Minutes'" (N.Y.
         TIMES, 3/10)....Fox Sports Net will air the '98 John R.
         Wooden Award, which honors the Men's college basketball
         player of the year, live from the L.A. Athletic Club on
         April 3 at 7:00pm ET (L.A. Athletic Club).
    
    

    Print | Tags: CBS, ESPN, NCAA, News Corp./Fox, Showtime, Media, Viacom, Walt Disney
  • NBC TO END ITS COLLEGE HOOPS COVERAGE AFTER THIS SEASON

              NBC "has decided to drop out of college basketball
         altogether" after this season to focus on the NBA, according
         to Langdon Brockinton of MEDIAWEEK.  An NBC Sports
         spokesperson: "Our commitments are concentrated on the NBA." 
         NBC has had a "limited" college basketball schedule since it
         acquired the rights to the NBA in '90, "primarily" involving
         Notre Dame games the past few years, and with the "glut" of
         college basketball games on the airwaves these days, its
         exit "should have negligible impact."  However, Brockinton
         writes that "the overabundance of telecasts is a primary
         reason for college b-ball's ratings lethargy on the
         broadcast networks."  NBC's four broadcasts this season, for
         example, averaged a 1.1 rating -- down 35% from a 1.7 for
         six broadcasts last season (MEDIAWEEK, 3/9 issue).
              NCAA TOURNAMENT: Brockinton also reports that CBS has
         sold "about" 95% of its commercial time for the NCAA
         Tournament.  Newcomers "said to be among" CBS's roster
         include IBM, Volvo, Taco Bell, MGM, NEC, Nextel, Walker
         Mufflers, BMW, Isuzu, Conseco and Uniden.  Another newcomer,
         Microsoft, will sponsor a new on-air enhancement called Data
         Bank, featuring stats and other game info.  Brockinton adds
         that "word is" the sold NCAA inventory "does not include any
         Olympics makegood spots resulting from CBS' Winter Games
         ratings underdelivery."  Media buyers said that "it remains
         to be seen" whether some of the remaining 5% of the
         inventory may be used for makegoods (MEDIAWEEK, 3/9).
    
    

    Print | Tags: CBS, IBM, Microsoft, NBA, NBC, NCAA, Media, Viacom
  • ONLINE NEWS & NOTES: SPORTSLINE SHARES UP; CYBER-JETER

              Several Internet stocks saw "record gains" Monday and
         SportsLine USA "did remarkable business," according to
         CNBC's Don Dahler.  SportsLine USA saw "its stock price
         increase recently over 220% from a year-low of seven to a
         close [on Monday] of 31 11/16."  Dahler added that sports
         "may be leading the charge to Internet advertising in the
         near future, with the 1998 World Cup expected to cause
         record Internet usage" ("The Edge," CNBC, 3/9).
              CAN U JETER? Yankees SS Derek Jeter will take questions
         at www.fila.com on Wednesday from 8:00 to 9:00am ET (Fila).
    
    

    Print | Tags: Fila USA, New York Yankees, Media, YankeeNets
  • STUFF HAPPENS: RASHAD ADDS EXEC PRODUCING TO MULTIPLE DUTIES

              Ahmad Rashad has extended his deal by four years to co-
         host "NBA Inside Stuff," and will add the additional title
         of Exec Producer.  Rashad will also serve as Exec Producer
         for NBA Entertainment-produced specials.  NBAE VP/
         Programming & Broadcasting Gregg Winik will also serve as an
         Exec Producer for "Inside Stuff" and NBAE specials (NBAE).
              SIMILAR "STUFF" FOR NFL? BRANWEEK's Terry Lefton
         reports that some "shoulder" programming which the NFL is
         requiring of its TV partners under their recent deals "has
         come to light."  During the season, ESPN2 will air "Football
         Tonight," a daily news/highlights show, and CBS is "working
         with the league" to develop a "year-round youth-oriented
         football show a la NBC's NBA Inside Stuff."  Lefton: "Expect
         the league to package this kind of programming with its
         corporate sponsorship deals" (BRANDWEEK, 3/9 issue).
              F-1 NOTES: SpeedVision will offer live coverage of the
         16 races in the '98 F-1 World Championship, which began last
         week with the Grand Prix of Australia.  The 16 broadcasts,
         which will each consist of a half-hour preview show followed
         by two hours of live coverage, concludes with the Japanese
         Grand Prix on October 31 (SpeedVision).  SpeedVision joins
         Fox Sports Net in taking over F-1 TV rights from ESPN, and
         on SPEEDNET, Bill Koenig writes that the deal "was so
         sudden" FSN "didn't even have announcers" at Saturday's
         Australian Grand Prix event, and used SpeedVision's audio
         feed.  The Australian event had been on ESPN2's schedule
         "until last week even though the two sides [ESPN/F-1] hadn't
         wrapped a deal" for '98.  ESPN spokesperson Dave Nagle: "We
         made an aggressive bid to retain the F-1 rights.  We are
         very disappointed" (Bill Koenig, SPEEDNET, 3/10).
    
    

    Print | Tags: CBS, ESPN, Formula One, NBA, NBC, News Corp./Fox, NFL, Media, Viacom, Walt Disney
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