SBD/1/Sports Media


          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).

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