SBD/23/Franchises

STEINBRENNER WEIGHS OPTIONS FOR YANKEES BROADCAST RIGHTS

          ESPN could "emerge as a key competitor" to Cablevision
     for Yankees TV rights if Yankees Owner George Steinbrenner
     "keeps the Yankees and is forced to negotiate a new deal"
     when his MSG cable package expires in 2000, according to
     Steve Zipay of NEWSDAY.  Among Steinbrenner's "strongest"
     possibilities would be to sell the Yankees' TV rights to
     ESPN, which could create an ESPN New York, patterned after
     ESPN West.  ESPN spokesperson Mike Soltys confirmed that the
     net is "exploring several markets at this time, but we're
     not going to identify any particular one."  Other options 
     for Steinbrenner include creating his own "so-called 'Yankee
     Network'" or selling Yankees TV rights to Time Warner, which
     could put the games on its cable systems (NEWSDAY, 3/21).
          REVENUE: New York City received $2.4M in rent from the
     Yankees for the '97 season, double the $1.2M rent payment in
     '96.  The city also received $900,000 in TV revenue, up from
     $700,000 in '96, and $1.4M from parking, up from $918,000 in
     '96 (Frank Lombardi, N.Y. DAILY NEWS, 3/21).

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