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              The reputation rehabilitation of former CBS golf
         broadcaster Ben Wright "is moving along nicely," according
         to "The Forecaddie" in GOLFWEEK.  Wright signed a book deal
         with Sleeping Bear Press to write his autobiography, and
         "word is circulating that Wright," who was suspended by CBS
         in December '95 after "insensitive remarks about women
         golfers were attributed to him, is drawing interest from
         other TV entities."  Wright's CBS contract is up at the end
         of the year, but no deals are "imminent" (GOLFWEEK, 5/9).

    Print | Tags: CBS, Media, Viacom

              ESPN is "ready to try to get cable systems that don't
         carry ESPN2 to carry" three "disputed" MLB Sunday night
         games that conflict with its NFL coverage, according to
         sources of DAILY VARIETY's John Dempsey.  ESPN would target
         "local-origination channels" to bring Sunday's MLB audience
         total "closer" to ESPN's 74 million subscribers.  Currently,
         ESPN2 has 57 million subscribers and MLB has reportedly
         objected to games being aired on the Deuce due to lower
         viewership numbers.  But an ESPN spokesperson said, "That's
         a misconception about the strength of ESPN2.  We expect the
         network to be in 60-million homes by September, and ESPN2
         has delivered a sizeable audience for big games."  Dempsey
         writes that MLB "is holding out the possibility" of taking
         the three games to another cable network, with TNT a
         possibility (DAILY VARIETY, 5/12).  ESPN VP/Communications
         Chris LaPlaca said ESPN "would frown on that concept, but we
         are open to discussions regarding additional distribution of
         our production of those three games," including being
         televised by home market stations (USA TODAY, 5/12).  
              WHAT TO DO? NEWSDAY's Steve Zipay: "ESPN is in a bind. 
         It can't afford to lose baseball, the only major live sport
         in June, July and August.  There's nothing else but soccer
         and the WNBA."  The "likeliest" scenario is that ESPN sub-
         leases the three MLB games to Turner Sports (NEWSDAY, 5/12).

    Print | Tags: ESPN, MLB, NFL, Media, Turner Sports, Walt Disney, WNBA

              ANALYSTS REVIEWS: In N.Y., Richard Sandomir writes that
         NBC's NBA analyst Isiah Thomas "believes his rookie problems
         are mostly in the past, and that being paired with [Doug]
         Collins has accelerated his progress."  Sandomir also writes
         that it took until Saturday's Pacers-Knicks Game Three for
         Collins and Thomas "to sound effective as a team" (N.Y.
         TIMES, 5/12).  Also in N.Y., Bob Raissman writes that NBC's
         Matt Guokas, who teamed with Mike Breen for Sunday's Pacers-
         Knicks Game Four, "excelled in a frenetic game in which his
         analytical skills were put to the test" (N.Y. DAILY NEWS,
         5/12).  In Baltimore, Milton Kent writes that Turner's Kenny
         Smith "has emerged in just a few weeks as the best NBA
         studio analyst working" (Baltimore SUN, 5/12).  
              OTHER NOTES: With an October launch approaching, CTV
         Sports Net is profiled by Robert Macleod of the Toronto
         GLOBE & MAIL.  CTV VP/Sports Doug Beeforth said that there's
         "still plenty of programming holes to be filled" (GLOBE &
         MAIL, 5/12)....Home Team Sports' decision to air both the
         Orioles' game and the Capitals' playoff game last night
         "created confusion among area viewers who could not locate
         one of the two events on their cable system."  Wednesday's
         Capitals and Orioles games are also scheduled to be aired by
         HTS, and the net will provide an updated list of the proper
         channels for each game (WASHINGTON POST, 5/12)....Hornets F
         Anthony Mason "took off his microphone and left" just before
         the scheduled taping of ESPN's "Up Close" on Monday.  Mason,
         who had been asked by host Chris Myers about pending
         statutory rape charges: "People keep asking about stuff I've
         told them I can't talk about." Sources "familiar with ground
         rules" for the interview said that ESPN had "agreed not to
         bring up the issue" (CHARLOTTE OBSERVER, 5/12)....Times
         Mirror Magazines "has green-lighted" a new men's magazine
         called Outdoor Explorer and has hired SI Senior Editor Steve
         Madden to serve as Editor of the title.  In N.Y., Keith
         Kelly writes, "Insiders said the company ultimately plans to
         bring the magazine out eight times a year with a circulation
         of a half-million" (Keith Kelly, N.Y. DAILY NEWS, 5/12).

    Print | Tags: Baltimore Orioles, Cablevision, Comcast-Spectacor, ESPN, Indiana Pacers, NBA, NBC, New Orleans Pelicans, New York Knicks, Sports Illustrated, Media, Walt Disney, Washington Capitals
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