SBD/27/Sports Media

NFL AND ESPN INTERNET DEAL SEEN AS "MATURATION OF INTERNET"

          The NFL "is expected to announce an agreement" today
     with Walt Disney Co.'s ESPN Internet Group to produce the
     NFL.com, according to Stefan Fatsis of the WALL STREET
     JOURNAL.  Sources "familiar" with the deal said that ESPN
     will pay "close to" $10M over three years, extending a two-
     year-old relationship with the league.  Fatsis writes that
     while the deal "is a fraction" of the NFL's TV deal, it is
     "revenue from a medium that one day could yield big money"
     and "far exceeds" the approximately $1M the NFL received
     over the last two years for its Web site deal (WALL STREET
     JOURNAL, 5/27).  Jay Sherman of the HOLLYWOOD REPORTER
     writes that the deal "could mark a pivotal point in the
     maturation of the Internet" as it "involved a bidding war
     between at least two Web shops and carried with it a fairly
     high price tag."  Sherman puts the deal at $10-12M, and
     writes that SportsLine USA and Fox's News America "bowed
     out" of talks, "believing contract terms made it difficult
     to make money on the deal" (HOLLYWOOD REPORTER, 5/27).

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ESPN, News Corp./Fox, NFL, Media, Walt Disney

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