SBD/20/Sports Media

CBC/TSN ACQUIRE CANADIAN OLYMPIC RIGHTS IN JOINT BID

          CBC "joined forces" with TSN yesterday to sign a
     "record" US$160M deal for Canadian broadcast rights to the
     next five Olympic Games, according to Longley & Buffery of
     the TORONTO SUN.  The deal was "a huge win" for the two nets
     in what "has become a bitter battlefield" for sports rights
     in Canada.  CTV and its planned all-sports network, CTV
     Sports, "were the losers" in the battle, since the Games
     "would have provided a solid foothold in the TV sports
     arena."  CBC and TSN paid an average of US$32M per Games,
     which "eclipses" the previous Canadian high of US$20M, which
     CBC paid for the '96 Games.  CBC Sports President Alan Clark
     said it would be "terrific if Toronto got" the 2008 Games,
     "but we didn't bid on that basis."  Longley & Buffery add
     that the partnership means that Canadians "could see as much
     as" 800 hours of Games coverage through a combination of
     CBC, TSN, Newsworld, CBC French, and RDS networks (TORONTO
     SUN, 3/20).  Longley adds that the partnership between CBC
     and TSN "has been in the works for some time," and working
     together "will help both networks" against CTV's "growing
     sports threat."  With the "ratings success" of the Nagano
     Games, CBC's Clark is "convinced" that the future Games will
     be "an easy and profitable sell" (TORONTO SUN, 3/20).

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