SBD/6/Sports Media

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              NBC President & CEO Bob Wright is featured in a Q&A
         with Saylor & Eller of the L.A. TIMES.  Wright said that NBC
         gave up its rights to the NFL because the economics of the
         deal "were so negative that it would foreclose us from doing
         other things that we thought were more meaningful.  We
         thought it would basically put us in a hammerlock."  Wright,
         on reports of a new football league involving GE and Time
         Warner: "We're still trying to do it.  We've got to balance
         the issues of anger over not having football with creating
         something that is attractive to us in a network sense, which
         means we have to be able to generate large enough audiences
         to make it worthwhile for our own television stations and
         our affiliates.  It can't be a hobby."  Wright said that the
         NFL deal will make it "impossible" for other networks "to
         make money. ... When Fox put football on, they guaranteed
         themselves they wouldn't make money" (L.A. TIMES, 5/6).
              SINGING FROM THE SAME HYMN SHEET: NBC Sports President
         Dick Ebersol, on a Hollywood Reporter report that ABC, Fox,
         CBS and ESPN could lose $150M-$200M per year on their NFL
         deals: "I would not be surprised to see those losses become
         much larger by the fall" (USA TODAY, 5/6).

    Print | Tags: ABC, CBS, ESPN, NBC, NFL, Media, Viacom, Walt Disney

              NCTA President Decker Anstrom urged cable companies "to
         hold prices down to keep the government from changing its
         mind about deregulation," according to the AP's Jeanine
         Aversa.  Anstrom made his remarks at the NCTA Show in
         Atlanta.  Most recent figures show that cable TV prices rose
         7.9% for the 12-month period ending March 31, a period
         during which overall inflation rose "just" 1.4%.  Anstrom:
         "There is not a speech I give or a meeting I have in which I
         don't say to the industry: 'Look, you need to be really,
         really careful about price increases.  We know there is a
         sensitivity there both with our customers as well as policy-
         makers."  Also in Atlanta, FCC Chair Bill Kennard "reminded"
         cable companies that his agency "has an obligation to
         protect consumers," and "urged" them to "show restraint"
         when considering rate increases (AP/PHIL. INQUIRER, 5/6).
              CONVENTION NOTES: TCI CEO John Malone told reporters
         yesterday that he "will refuse" to pass through the HDTV
         formats that CBS and NBC have selected.  Malone: "I'm not
         saying I can't technically carry it, but I'm not going to
         voluntarily do it.  It's not the wave of the future, it's a
         spectrum hog" (HOLLYWOOD REPORTER, 5/6).  TCI "tried to
         soften" Malone's words later in the day, issuing a statement
         that its next "generation" of cable decoder boxes will be
         "capable of passing through" all HDTV formats.  But TCI
         "stopped short of guaranteeing it would pick up those
         signals" (USA TODAY, 5/6)....USA TODAY's David Lieberman
         examines Ted Turner's future in the cable TV industry:
         "Turner still has his passions, of course.  Yet it's hard to
         see them reflected in Time-Warner's business plans.  It's
         too risky to indulge in maverick ideas in a world of huge
         conglomerates where companies that compete in one business
         must co-exist as partners in another. ... Meanwhile,
         Turner's life-long dream of owning one of the broadcast
         networks is slipping away unfulfilled" (USA TODAY, 5/6)

    Print | Tags: CBS, NBC, Media, Viacom

              Lifetime TV has assembled an all-female team of sports
         TV talent to produce its '98 WNBA telecasts.  Lisa Seltzer,
         who has directed ABL games for Fox Sports Net and NHL games
         for ESPN, was named the broadcast Director.  Amy Rosenfield,
         a veteran of ESPN/ABC MLS coverage, was named Line Producer. 
         Denise Cavanaugh, who has overseen Lifetime's "Breaking
         Through" series, will serve as Sideline Producer.  Maureen
         Hassett, who came to Lifetime from NBA Entertainment, will
         serve as Halftime Producer.  The on-air team includes CBS's
         Michele Tafoya handling play-by-play, former UConn player
         Meghan Pattyson as analyst, Summer Sanders as sideline
         reporter and Maura Driscoll as halftime host.  Pacers G
         Reggie Miller is the only male on the broadcast team. 
         Lifetime's first of 10 regular-season games will air on June
         11 at 8:00pm ET with Rockers-Liberty (Lifetime Television).
              WNBA MEDIA NOTES: The Shock will have seven games on
         Fox Sports Detroit and one on WDWB-TV.  Pistons F Rick
         Mahorn will serve as a commentator (DETROIT NEWS, 5/5).
         ...MSG Network will team up with One-On-One Sports' WJWR-AM
         to broadcast 31 Liberty games this season (Liberty).

    Print | Tags: ABC, Cablevision, CBS, Detroit Pistons, ESPN, Indiana Pacers, Madison Square Garden, MLS, NBA, New York Liberty, NHL, Media, Viacom, Walt Disney, WNBA

              The WALL STREET JOURNAL's Pope & Cauley examine the
         efforts of broadcast networks to convince advertisers to buy
         time on the networks, rather than on cable.  CBS has sent
         out a study which shows statistics "suggesting that cable
         viewership is higher than the national average in households
         earning less than $30,000 a year" (WALL STREET JOURNAL,
         5/6)....In Toronto, William Houston reports that the "most
         important" regional cable package in Canada is the Maple
         Leafs' rights, and that rights to the Leafs and Raptors
         could be sold as a package.   Houston: "Insiders predict TSN
         will outbid CTVSN for the Leafs and perhaps also the
         Raptors" (Toronto GLOBE & MAIL, 5/6)....In his final column
         for the HOCKEY NEWS, Al Morganti thanks Editor-in-Chief
         Steve Dryden for "giving me a forum to express my views over
         the years."  Morganti: "As a conflict due to my expanded
         role with ESPN has arisen, I reflect back on how my decade-
         long association with THN has always enhanced my ability to
         gather news" (HOCKEY NEWS, 5/8 issue)....N.Y. media buyer
         Paul Schulman on ABC rebranding "Monday Night Football" to
         include the name ESPN: "[A]s a buyer, I don't think it will
         help in the NFL marketplace.  It takes away from it.  ESPN's
         name means a lot, but ABC's 'Monday Night Football' has
         already got a great name" (Rudy Martzke, USA TODAY, 5/6).

    Print | Tags: ABC, CBS, ESPN, Maple Leaf Sports and Entertainment, NFL, Media, Toronto Raptors, Viacom, Walt Disney

              With the '97-98 Whitbread Round The World Race nearing
         its conclusion, a "little Internet company named Quokka
         Sports has covered the race like never before," according to
         Michael Meyer of NEWSWEEK.  Meyer calls S.F.-based Quokka "a
         company to watch," as they implement plans to "digitize" a
         variety of sporting events "so they can be broadcast on the
         Internet in a new way to far larger audiences than ever
         before."  For the Whitbread, the competing boats "have
         essentially been turned into floating media labs," complete
         with laptops, digital video cameras, microphones and
         satellite telecommunications.  Boat crews are constantly
         submitting "whole libraries of data about themselves" which
         Quokka then posts at its Whitbread site, 
         The site receives nearly a million visits a day, from 177
         countries.  Quokka President Alan Ramadan said the company
         will next launch an Internet Sailing Channel and that it
         "hopes to cover" the Tour de France as well as Formula One
         auto races next year.  A "fully wired" Everest ascent is
         "also in the works" (NEWSWEEK, 5/6 issue).

    Print | Tags: Formula One, Media

              ESPN Int'l and the NBA have reached a deal to air NBA
         basketball live on ESPN's international networks through
         2002.  Each year, ESPN Int'l will air 52 regular season
         games, the All-Star game, expanded first- and second-round
         playoff coverage and complete coverage of the Conference
         Finals and NBA Finals.  ESPN Int'l will also carry "NBA
         Action," the weekly 30-minute highlights program, the NBA
         Draft, NBA specials and other programs (ESPN International).

    Print | Tags: ESPN, NBA, Media, Walt Disney
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