NFL Reluctant On Long-Term "TNF" Deal Fox Execs Impressed With FS1 Progress Schilling Bumped From "Sunday Night Baseball" NESN Sees Backlash From Orsillo Decision USOC Launching Third Team USA App Jose Bautista Refuses Sportsnet Interviews O'Brien's Softer Side Highlighted In "Hard Knocks" Joe Buck Gets New DirecTV Q&A Show Media Notes Sources: Whitlock Could Leave ESPN
POSITIVE SYNERGY? ESPN BRAND MAY BECOME MORE VISIBLE ON ABC
Published March 3, 1998
Disney is "considering tying its successful ESPN sports channel more closely to ABC Sports - possibly replacing the ABC Sports moniker in some programming," according to Michael Stroud of BROADCASTING & CABLE. A more visible linkage could give ABC Sports programming "stronger brand recognition," while giving extra exposure to the ESPN brand as Disney launches ESPN restaurants and retail stores. Cowen & Co. analyst Harold Vogel called the possible scenario an "interesting example of the cable network tail wagging the broadcast network dog." Since ESPN's "strong" profit has "helped to counter" ABC's "lesser" contribution to Disney's earnings, Stroud wrote that bolstering ESPN's role "makes fiscal sense." Hearst Corp., which owns 20% of ESPN "would likely approve the plan," although support from ABC's union members "is less certain" (B&C, 3/2 issue).