SBD/21/Sports Media

FORCE OF HAB-IT: TSN GRABS CANADIENS RIGHTS TO STAY IN NHL

          The Canadiens and Canadian junior hockey each "wrapped
     up significant" TV deals yesterday, but the Maple Leafs'
     regional TV picture "isn't cleared up yet," according to
     Lance Hornby of the TORONTO SUN.  The Canadiens agreed to a
     four-year deal with TSN to carry a minimum of 20 games a
     season, marking the Habs' first appearance on an English
     language network in midweek since '75-76.  CTV Sports Net
     (CTVSN) and the Canadian Hockey League agreed to a four-year
     deal to show a minimum of 65 games per season.  Hornby
     reports that both TSN and CTVSN "continue their battle" to
     control the regional midweek Leafs package."  A decision "is
     said to be about 10 days away" (TORONTO SUN, 5/21).  In
     Montreal, Pat Hickey writes that the Canadiens deal allows
     TSN "to maintain a presence in the NHL," after being outbid
     for the national package by CTVSN (GAZETTE, 5/21).  CTVSN
     was expected to announce that it had added the Expos to its
     program lineup yesterday, but CTV VP Doug Beeforth said that
     the deal "hasn't been signed yet" (FINANCIAL POST, 5/21).

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