SBD/18/Sports Media

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              Recently fired Pistons coach Doug Collins signed a deal
         with NBC Sports, and will join the network's No. 1 broadcast
         team of Bob Costas and Isiah Thomas beginning March 29,
         according to Richard Sandomir of the N.Y. TIMES.  NBC Sports
         President Dick Ebersol "denied" that Collins' deal, which is
         worth "about" $750,000 a year and runs through 2002, "was a
         way to compensate for Thomas's lack of experience."  Collins
         will also work basketball for NBC at the 2000 Olympics (N.Y.
         TIMES, 3/18).  Collins will work four regular-season games
         and the playoffs for NBC (Rudy Martzke, USA TODAY, 3/18). 
         Collins said that he asked his agent to contact Ebersol
         after his negotiations to return to TNT "hit a snag."  He
         had worked as a TNT analyst for six years (N.Y. DAILY NEWS,
         3/18).  Bill Walton, who has joined the No.1 team for the
         NBA Finals in recent years, "will instead work" on "NBA
         Showtime" during the Finals (L.A. TIMES, 3/18).   
              NAME GAME: WNBC-TV "officially confirmed" that WFAN-
         AM's Mike Francesa will team with Dave Jennings to host
         "GameDay New York," an NFL pregame show to air Sunday
         mornings next season (N.Y. POST, 3/18)....Lesley Visser is
         replacing Lynn Swann as sideline reporter on ABC's "Monday
         Night Football" (USA TODAY, 3/18)....49ers LB Gary Plummer
         will retire from the team and become the color analyst on
         KGO-AM broadcasts of 49ers games (S.J. MERCURY-NEWS, 3/18).

    Print | Tags: ABC, Detroit Pistons, NBA, NBC, NFL, San Francisco 49ers, Showtime, Media, Turner Sports, Walt Disney

              TV: ESPN Star Sports has signed an agreement with the
         Augusta National Country Club to broadcast the '98 Masters
         Tournament in Asia.  The deal gives ESPN Star Sports
         exclusive cable and satellite rights across the region for
         the tournament (AD AGE DAILY, 3/18)....Kobe Bryant will make
         his "acting debut" on an episode of UPN's "Moesha," airing
         later this month.  Bryant plays a high school basketball
         star "who's worried about taking his SAT" (Phil Rosenthal,
         CHICAGO SUN-TIMES, 3/18)....In Houston, a news conference
         has been scheduled for this afternoon, "apparently to
         announce" that KNWS-51 has acquired the rights to broadcast
         66 Astros road games this season (HOUSTON CHRONICLE, 3/18).
              PUBLISHING: In N.Y., Michael Shain reports that Mike
         Tyson is "quietly looking for a publisher for his tell-all
         biography," and is seeking a "big-money" deal.  One editor:
         "[T]hey made it pretty clear that they're looking for seven
         figures" (N.Y. POST, 3/18). ...Ballantine Publishing
         released John Feinstein's new book, "The First Coming --
         Tiger Woods: Master or Martyr?"  The book explores Woods'
         first year on the PGA Tour (THE DAILY).
              WEB NOTES: NHL Interactive CyberEnterprises (ICE), a
         joint venture between the NHL and IBM, launched, a new Web site designed and created for kids. 
         The site combines interactive and educational games with
         hockey features, contests and giveaways and access to the store (NHL ICE)...CBS Cable's generated
         2.3 million hits on February 22 for its coverage of the
         Goodwrench Service Plus 400 Winston Cup race (CABLE WORLD,
         3/9 issue) has launched the Bud Ice/Kelly Cup
         Challenge.  The contest, which allows fans to win prizes for
         choosing the winner of the ECHL championship, will run
         through the second game of the Kelly Cup finals (ECHL).     

    Print | Tags: Anheuser Busch, CBS, ECHL, ESPN, Houston Astros, IBM, NHL, PGA Tour, Media, Viacom, Walt Disney

              Among the top eight management positions at ESPN
         Magazine "there are no minorities," according to John
         Smallwood of the PHILADELPHIA DAILY NEWS.  In addition, of
         11 senior and associate editors, only one is African-
         American.  Smallwood writes that the magazine's "lack of
         minorities is probably no worse than most" national
         publications, "but that doesn't make it OK."  More
         Smallwood: "ESPN Magazine might take a new-age approach to
         sports coverage, but it still adheres to the same plantation
         mentality that has been the backbone of all sports-related
         industry: It's OK for minorities to make news, but when it
         comes to disseminating that information, it's back to the
         old-boys network" (PHILADELPHIA DAILY NEWS, 3/18).
              GENERATION NEXT? With nine hours of "SportsCenter,"
         ESPN's "most notable identity," shown daily, the show is
         "nearly impossible to avoid," according to Charles Pierce of
         ESQUIRE.  "SportsCenter" will air its 20,000th original
         broadcast in May, and Pierce writes that with the departure
         of personalities like Keith Olbermann, and the arrival of
         younger anchors such as Kenny Mayne and Stuart Scott, for
         the first time, ESPN is "hiring people who grew up on the
         network."  The challenge now is to "maintain [its] position
         in the field without sacrificing the renegade charm that
         made [it] popular in the first place."  Pierce notes that
         Scott is the first "SportsCenter" anchor "to use a
         distinctly African-American idiom," and as a result has been
         the target of "some criticism ... both within ESPN and
         without."  Scott, on his use of African-American slang: "I'm
         doing it purposefully to prove that you can be diverse and
         do this job."  Pierce: "If SportsCenter is to survive its
         own success, it cannot ossify itself the way the networks
         did.  It must survive its own children, and that means the
         sensibilities of Dave Letterman and of P-Funk must coexist"
         (Charles Pierce, ESQUIRE, 4/98 issue).

    Print | Tags: ESPN, Media, Walt Disney

              The Red Sox have "killed" GM Dan Duquette's new TV show
         on WBZ, "Boston Red Sox with Dan Duquette," which was
         supposed to begin airing in April on Sundays with WBZ sports
         anchor Bob Lobel as host, according to Joan Vennochi of the
         BOSTON GLOBE.  Duquette's publicist John Flynn had
         negotiated a three-year deal with WBZ that would have paid
         Duquette "a six-figure salary," but on Friday, Sox Exec VP
         John Buckley told WBZ GM Ed Goldman the deal was off. 
         Vennochi calls this "an intriguing turn of events," as the
         Sox "continue to display an odd resistance to even the most
         overtly friendly media contact."  Buckley could not be
         reached for comment, but Flynn and Goldman said he told them
         that the team was "concerned" about its contractual
         arrangement with Sox broadcast carrier WABU.  Flynn said
         Duquette was "very upset" and described the breakdown of
         talks with WBZ as a "control issue" with the team.  Flynn:
         "They get very paranoid.  It's ridiculous.  Their marketing
         and sales mentality is from somewhere in the 1940s."  Flynn
         said the team wants to pitch a Duquette show to WABU, but
         Duquette "doesn't want to do a show" on WABU.  Fallout from
         the nixed show "reveals a larger problem: a potential rift
         between Duquette ... and the top Sox brass, in the last
         season of Duquette's contract" (BOSTON GLOBE, 3/18).    

    Print | Tags: Boston Red Sox, Media
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