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Published May 1, 1998
In N.Y., Bill Carter writes that NBC has taken the "first steps" toward becoming the first broadcast net to establish a "regular business in direct marketing to viewers through toll-free phone numbers." Last week, NBC withheld two 30-second spots during its miniseries "Merlin" and "used them to market the sale of videocassettes of the film." The experiment was "so successful" that the net plans to "begin aggressively seeking similar opportunities in other programs" (N.Y. TIMES, 5/1)....Fox Sports West 2 and Century Communications confirmed their deal putting FSW2 on Century systems throughout L.A. Century said that it "has no plans as yet" to add other Fox channels such as Fox Sports World or Fox Sports Americas (HOLLYWOOD REPORTER, 5/1)....Although official numbers were not released, Houston's Warner Cable said that PPV orders for Wednesday's Rockets-Jazz Game Three were "significantly higher" than a year ago. Suggested retail price for the telecasts is $19.95 (HOUSTON CHRONICLE, 5/1)....The Football Network, "a basic cable channel that will show nothing but football," is planning a late August or early September launch (AP/S.F. EXAMINER, 4/29). ...Jefferson Bank will sponsor a new sports business report to begin airing on Philadelphia's Comcast SportsNet (CSN) today. The weekly news feature, called "Sport$ense," will air during CSN's Friday "SportsNITE" telecast, and again on Monday morning's SportsRISE show (CSN)....NBA Video's new "NBA Hardwood Heroes" hit stores Tuesday. The tape focuses on 11 of the game's top players and carries a suggested retail price of $14.98. NBA Video also released "NBA Wired For Sound," which documents conversations between coaches and players on and off the court. SRP is $14.98 (NBAE).