SBD/19/Sports Media

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              Leo Kirch, who holds the German rights to broadcast the
         2002 and 2006 World Cups and "has stakes in" German pay TV
         nets DF1 and Premiere, "will be required" to broadcast the
         World Cup matches on free TV, according to Miriam Hils of
         DAILY VARIETY.  The leaders of Germany's 16 states have
         approved a list of "protected" sporting events which must be
         shown "live on free TV," which include the international
         soccer championships.  Kirch paid $1.87M for rights to the
         World Cup (Miriam Hils, DAILY VARIETY, 3/19).
              SPORTEL IN MIAMI: In only its second year, TV market
         Sportel America "can already lay claim to being an essential
         port of call on the itinerary of global sports rights
         traders," according to Andrew Paxman of DAILY VARIETY.  The
         three-day Miami event, a "baby sister" to Sportel Monaco,
         saw attendance rise 40% over last year's debut, drawing 700
         participants and 57 exhibitors.  Last year, Sportel America
         had 34 exhibitors.  Co-organizer William Vitale said
         "[w]ithin two or three years" the event would be "as big as
         the one in Monaco."  Paxman writes that with this summer's
         World Cup approaching, "business was brisk for programmers
         hawking formats to complement" World Cup games, with Prisma
         striking "big" with its "Champions of the World" docu-series
         on soccer-playing nations.  Soccer also gave the event its
         "one major announcement: the Torneo Copa Merconorte."  That
         event, which features top clubs from the Americas, including
         two U.S. squads, and consists of 54 games between September
         and December of this year, is a coproduction between the
         South American Soccer Confederation and Teledeportes, a
         branch of Argentina's media group Clarin (VARIETY, 3/19).

    Print | Tags: Media

              ESPN MAGAZINE REVIEWS: In L.A., Larry Stewart reviewed
         ESPN Magazine, writing that the photography and writing "are
         good," but that the magazine "is too big" and "too thick,"
         with "far too many ads," some of which "are hard to tell
         from the articles."  Stewart adds, "Sometimes you wonder who
         is publishing this magazine, ESPN or Nike.  The cover
         definitely has that Nike look, which isn't good."  More
         Stewart: "Maybe it's too early to be critical, but we're not
         canceling our [SI] subscription just yet" (L.A. TIMES,
         3/18).  But in Philadelphia, Stan Hochman gives the magazine
         a "7 on a harsh scale of ten."  Hochman: "Good stories spark
         questions, discussion, debate.  There are enough good
         stories in the first issue ... to make you think it will
         prosper" (Stan Hochman, PHILADELPHIA DAILY NEWS, 3/19).
              TV/VIDEO: Although Red Sox GM Dan Duquette's agent John
         Flynn said his client was "very upset" over the team's
         decision to cancel his proposed TV show, Duquette said he
         understands the reasons behind the move.  The show was to
         air on WBZ-TV, which does not hold the team's broadcast
         rights.  Duquette: "The over-the-air rights are critical for
         our long-term success, and there may be other opportunities
         [for me] in the future" (BOSTON GLOBE, 3/19)....In DC, CBS
         affil WUSA-TV "relied on a viewers' poll" to pick Game One
         of tonight's NCAA doubleheader, and 76% of respondents voted
         to watch the North Carolina-Michigan St. game over the West
         Virginia-Utah game.  The second game will be Maryland-
         Arizona (WASHINGTON POST, 3/19)....Ozzie Smith will return
         for his second year as host of "This Week In Baseball" this
         season (TWIB).  Smith will also work 30 Cardinals home game 
         broadcasts on KPLR-TV (ST. LOUIS POST-DISPATCH, 3/19)....The
         Bengals reached a deal with CBS affil WKRC-TV to broadcast
         the team's four preseason games (Bengals)....ESPN Video has
         released "We Got Next: The Story Of The WNBA's Inaugural
         Season."  The video, with narration by Robin Roberts,
         retails for $14.99 (ESPN Video).
              HOLLYWOOD: Wayne Gretzky will be the first athlete to
         guest star on the new ABC drama, "The Game," which stars
         Luke Perry as a sports agent.  While the show is "certain to
         get sports star visits," Perry says it "will not be Love
         Boat with professional athletes" (DAILY VARIETY, 3/19).
         ....Ving Rhames, who recently portrayed Don King in HBO's
         "Only In America," will play former heavyweight boxer Sonny
         Liston in a Paramount-produced biopic to be directed by
         William Friedkin (Michael Fleming, DAILY VARIETY, 3/19).
              ONLINE: Web simulcasts of sports events are examined by
         Matt Richtel of the N.Y. TIMES.  CBS SportsLine President
         Ross Levinsohn said that Webcasts, which are now updated
         through audio and/or text only, will "eventually"
         incorporate video streaming and still shots "to make for a
         much richer experience."  Levinsohn: "We've just built the
         Edsel.  This is the forebear to the Rolls-Royce, which is
         still three to six years away" (N.Y. TIMES, 3/19).

    Print | Tags: ABC, Boston Red Sox, CBS, Cincinnati Bengals, ESPN, HBO, NCAA, Nike, Sports Illustrated, Media, Viacom, Walt Disney, WNBA
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