SBD/11/Sports Media

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              While ABC and CBS want their affils to help pay for the
         new NFL deals, "some of those affiliates want to know what
         they will get in return -- beyond the rights to the games,"
         according to Stephen McClellan of BROADCASTING & CABLE.
         McClellan: "The answer is far from clear."  Some ABC affils
         say that "network program exclusivity, a contentious issue
         ... is among the issues tied to the NFL negotiations." 
         While ABC wants to "cross-pollinate their broadcast and
         cable outlets with resources, programs and talent," the
         affils "fear that such cross-pollination will lead to
         further network audience erosion."  Meanwhile, CBS sent a
         letter to its affils saying the net "expects them to make a
         'voluntary' contribution" of $40-50M, "preferably in cash,"
         to help defray the annual $500M NFL pact.  CBS said
         individual station contributions "are intended to be an
         equal percentage of every station's net revenue from the
         NFL, regardless of market size or AFC affiliation."  That
         percentage "could be" 30% or more of each station's NFL-
         derived net revenue.  CBS has even hired a "major" N.Y.-
         based media buyer to calculate revenue estimates for each of
         its affils.  But some affils "virtually rule out cash
         payments."  A "head of one major" group owner: "The real
         question is: If we start paying for network programming,
         what do we get in return?" (BROADCASTING & CABLE, 3/9). 

    Print | Tags: ABC, CBS, NFL, Media, Viacom, Walt Disney

              Following record site traffic levels set during the
         Winter Games, the next three weeks of NCAA basketball
         "promise to eclipse all previous totals on the Net,
         including the Super Bowl and World Series," according to
         BRANDWEEK's Steve Ditlea.  Total Sports is the producer and
         partner of the official NCAA Web site,,
         and company President George Schlukbier called the NCAA
         tournament "the strongest affinity-based national sports
         event."  In '97, Total Sports generated "nearly 10 million
         page views and 2.5 million ad impressions" from its Final
         Four site.  This year, it "expects to triple the traffic
         with cybercasts of 63 men's games and 15 women's games in
         streaming audio and still pictures" (BRANDWEEK, 3/9 issue).
              TARGET DEMO: BRANDWEEK's Ditlea writes that "widespread
         office pools" and regional-only TV coverage in the
         tournament's early stages "makes the Web the medium of
         choice for the largely male, college-educated demographic
         attracted by this event (and the advertisers who seek
         them)."  The "busiest" times will be on Thursday and Friday
         for first-round games.  ESPN Assistant Managing Editor Jim
         Jenks called the "biggest usage time" from noon to 1:00pm
         ET, on weekdays, as Ditlea notes that "fans apparently feel
         little guilt in using workplace computers to access sports
         sites during lunch time" (BRANDWEEK, 3/9 issue).
              HIGHER LEARNING: The FANSonly Network said its '97
         royalty payments to its member university ADs totalled more
         than $200,000.  FANSonly also announced that Georgetown,
         Alabama, Ole Miss, UCLA and Washington are the newest
         members of the its group of college Web sites (FANSonly).
              ESPN'S CHALLENGE: ESPN SportsZone had 177,000 entrants
         in its tournament prediction contest last year, as well as
         "thousands more who used it for information and statistics." 
         This year, the site "expects more entries," and has "made
         preparations to deal with the traffic."  Its home page has
         "fewer graphics and other data this week so it will load
         faster for visitors" (AKRON BEACON JOURNAL, 3/11).
              LISTEN UP: AudioNet, www.audionet, will have live play-
         by-play action of men's and women's NCAA tournament games,
         sponsored by Microsoft Corp. and CBS SportsLine (AudioNet).

    Print | Tags: ESPN, Microsoft, NCAA, Media, Walt Disney

              NEW KID ON THE BLOCK: ESPN Magazine was profiled in the
         "In Focus" section of today's USA TODAY.  ESPN Magazine Exec
         Editor John Walsh: "We have the mandate to be the print
         version of ESPN.  How do we translate that sensibility to a
         magazine?  By being the alternative, being exciting and fun
         to look at" (USA TODAY, 3/11).  In Chicago, Tim Jones on the
         launch: "ESPN will begin to find out if it can transfer that
         television popularity to a magazine" (CHICAGO TRIBUNE,3/11).
              NOTES: USA TODAY's Rudy Martzke calls NBC's NBA analyst
         Isiah Thomas "a work in progress."  Thomas: "I don't mind
         the criticism, but give me a chance to show I can improve
         and do the job."  Martzke also reports that ESPN has renewed
         studio host Chris Fowler's contract "for about $500,000 a
         year" (USA TODAY, 3/11)....Sunshine Network and Orlando
         Predators Entertainment have reached a three-year marketing/
         promotional pact that grants the net exclusive telecast
         rights to AFL Predators games (Sunshine Network)....The NHL
         Panthers "received an angry reaction" when they "abruptly
         removed" hosts Joe Rose and Jeff DeForrest from coach Bryan
         Murray's weekly radio show on WQAM.  The team owns the show,
         and replaced the pair with play-by-play announcer Chris
         Moore and analyst Randy Moller, both team employees (MIAMI
         HERALD, 3/11)....The Marquee Group will produce ESPN2's
         coverage of the Swatch King of the Beach Invitational by
         P.S./StarGames volleyball tournament.  It will be aired as
         two one-hour shows in April (The Marquee Group).

    Print | Tags: ESPN, Nashville Predators, NBA, NBC, NHL, Media, Walt Disney

              CBS Station Group Chair & CEO Mel Karmazin is profiled
         by Alan Deutschman of NEW YORK, who writes that while
         Michael Jordan holds the titles of CBS Chair & CEO, there is
         "no doubt that Karmazin is the de facto power at CBS."  Wall
         Street execs also "think it's only a matter of time before
         Karmazin is the de jure ruler as well."  Porter Bibb of
         Ladenburg, Thalmann: "Mel will not tolerate sharing the
         power.  Michael Jordan will be eaten alive by him."  While
         Karmazin "is known as an intimidating, imperious manager,
         widely feared by CBS employees, he seems to have the full
         support of the network's top talent" (NEW YORK, 3/16 issue). 

    Print | Tags: CBS, Media, Viacom

              Gillette has launched in conjunction
         with the company's sponsorship of the '98 World Cup.  The
         site, developed by Think New Ideas with Alta Vista and
         DoubleClick, will provide match results, team standings and
         other information.  Gillette banners are currently running
         on the Alta Vista search network (AD AGE DAILY, 3/11)....The
         NHL Blue Jackets' Web site has recorded nearly 560,000
         visits in its first month of operation.  While "more than
         half" the visitors are from Ohio, the site has logged hits
         from users in Russia, Japan, and the Czech Republic, among
         other countries (COLUMBUS DISPATCH, 3/10).

    Print | Tags: Columbus Blue Jackets, NHL, Media
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