SBD/11/Sports Media

AFFILS CONTINUE TO BALK AT ABC/CBS REQUEST FOR NFL SUPPORT

          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). 

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