SBD/8/Sports Media

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  • MEDIA NOTES

              NFL: CNN/SI's Peter King reported that in its new NFL TV
         deal, CBS "needs to sell its 30-second spots for an average
         of about $300,000 to break even" this year.  King reported it
         just sold a package of four spots per game to Honda for
         $125,000 per spot.  King: "Bottom line -- the networks are
         going to get killed financially on this deal" ("Sports
         Tonight," 5/7)....Mark May will join CBS Sports as a game
         analyst for the net's NFL coverage (CBS).  WTGO-TV (FL)
         Sports Dir Beasley Reece has also been hired by CBS as an NFL
         analyst for this season (FLORIDA TIMES-UNION, 5/8).
              NOTES: In Miami, Barry Jackson wrote, "The more I listen
         to NBC's No. 1 team -- Bob Costas, Doug Collins and Isiah
         Thomas -- the more I'm convinced this combination will never
         truly mesh."  Jackson adds that TNT "wisely dropped painfully
         bland Bob Hill" and discovered "a promising studio analyst"
         in Kenny Smith, "who speaks with conviction."  Jackson also
         reported that seeking to eliminate the five to ten instances
         when TNT and TBS carry games simultaneously, the NBA is
         planning to end next season on a Wednesday (rather than
         Sunday) and start the playoffs on a Saturday (rather than
         Thursday) (MIAMI HERALD, 5/8)....NBA.com said visits to the
         Web site increased 111% during the month of April compared to
         last year.  The site set new traffic records on Monday, May
         4, by generating 408,000 visits from 328,000 users
         (NBA)....PC Magazine's Don Willmott profiles ESPN SportsZone,
         calling it "remarkable," as it is "one of only a handful of
         nonpornographic sites that actually get people to pay for
         content" (PC MAGAZINE, 5/6 issue). 
    
    

    Print | Tags: CBS, ESPN, NBA, NBC, NFL, Sports Illustrated, Media, TBS/TNT, Time Warner, Viacom, Walt Disney
  • NBC SAYS IT RENEWS GATOR BOWL, BUT DOES THE BOWL KNOW THAT?

              NBC said yesterday that it has reached a new four-year
         contract "to continue televising the Toyota Gator Bowl,
         outbidding CBS," according to Bob McClellan of the FLORIDA
         TIMES-UNION.  But Gator Bowl Exec Dir Rick Catlett said he
         had faxed a reworded contract to NBC on Monday, asking for
         additional commercial spots and a couple of billboards for
         title sponsor Toyota and for two commercials for the Tourist
         Development Council, which the network hadn't gotten back to
         him on.  Catlett: "On principle, they have come up with
         enough money, but getting commercial spots for our title
         sponsor and the Tourist Development Council is important.  If
         they have that, we'll be fine."  NBC said that "the deal was
         done."  NBC has had the rights to the Gator Bowl since
         January '96.  It is the only bowl game televised by the
         network.  CBS declined to comment (FL TIMES-UNION, 5/8).  
    
    

    Print | Tags: CBS, NBC, Media, Toyota, Viacom
  • NHL RATINGS CONTINUE SLOW BURN, BUT FOX REMAINS COMMITTED

              While Fox's NHL playoff ratings have dropped this
         season, ESPN's NHL playoff numbers are down 30% on the main
         network and off 29% on ESPN2, "as hockey continues to fight a
         losing battle" against the NBA "and other sports it must
         compete against on weekends," according to Leonard Shapiro of
         the WASHINGTON POST.  Shapiro writes that hockey "remains a
         tough sport to televise," and that the "influx of European
         stars hasn't made selling the game any easier to potential
         fans." In DC, the Capitals averaged a 0.4 rating this season
         on HTS, and have so far averaged a 1.3 for three playoff
         games aired on HTS.  Meanwhile, the Wizards averaged a 1.6 on
         HTS during their regular season, while the Orioles are
         currently averaging a 2.2 (WASHINGTON POST, 5/8).  
              FOX PLANS TO BE BACK: In Hartford, Dom Amore notes the
         sluggish ratings on Fox and writes that "not even the hippest
         of networks has been able to get people grooving to hockey"
         (HARTFORD COURANT, 5/8).  In Baltimore, Milton Kent writes
         that Fox is battling the notion that "hockey, for all its
         speed and power, is a doomed sport, with little interest
         beyond the core of devoted fans in each NHL city" (SUN, 5/8). 
         In Toronto, Rob Longley reports that the NHL will be back on
         Fox next season, but that the network "will tinker" with its
         production.  Fox "is looking at producing fewer games each
         week -- down to three from six -- and possibly switching back
         to Sunday from its current home on Saturday" (TORONTO
         SUN,5/8).  In a conference call, Fox Sports Exec Producer Ed
         Goren said he was not concerned about a possible all Canadian
         Ottawa-Edmonton Stanley Cup final.  He said such a matchup
         "would only be awful if it went four games and out. ...
         Christmas in June would be a seven-game series that ends with
         an overtime" (Steve Zipay, NEWSDAY, 5/8).
    
    

    Print | Tags: Baltimore Orioles, Comcast-Spectacor, ESPN, NBA, News Corp./Fox, NHL, Media, Walt Disney, Washington Capitals
  • RATINGS FOR LAST WEEKEND'S NETWORK SPORTING EVENTS

              The following lists ratings from last weekend's network
         sporting events.  All times are ET.  The numbers are from the
         networks (THE DAILY).
    
    
    EVENT DATE NET TIME RAT/SHR
    PGA Tour: Shell Houston Open
    5/2
    ABC
    2:00-4:30pm
    1.7/6
    Kentucky Derby
    5/2
    ABC
    4:30-6:00pm
    6.1/18
    CBS Sports Spectacular: PBA Tour
    5/2
    CBS
    3:00-4:00pm
    1.3/4
    LPGA Tour: Titleholders Champ.
    5/2
    CBS
    4:00-6:00pm
    1.0/3
    "NBA on NBC": T-Wolves-Sonics
    5/2
    NBC
    3:30-6:00pm
    4.7/14
    PGA Tour: Shell Houston Open
    5/3
    ABC
    3:00-6:00pm
    2.3/6
    NCAA Women's Gymnastics Champ.
    5/3
    CBS
    2:00-4:00pm
    1.9/4
    LPGA Tour: Mercury Championship
    5/3
    CBS
    4:00-6:00pm
    1.5/4
    "NHL on Fox": WAS-BOS/DET-PHX
    5/3
    FOX
    2:00-5:00pm
    2.0/5
    "NBA on NBC": Knicks-Heat
    5/3
    NBC
    12:30-3:00pm
    5.9/19
    "NBA on NBC": Rockets-Jazz
    5/3
    NBC
    3:00-5:30pm
    6.6/18
    "NBA on NBC": Hornets-Bulls
    5/3
    NBC
    5:30-8:00pm
    8.8/19

    RATINGS NOTES: Through the first round of the NBA playoffs, NBC's nine telecasts have averaged a 5.9/16, up 2% from last year's 5.8/16....ABC's 6.1/18 for its Kentucky Derby broadcast was down 14% from the 7.1/19 it earned in '97 (THE DAILY)....The Hornets-Bulls Wednesday night game earned an 18.0 on Fox Sports Chicago, the net's highest Bulls rating of the season (CHICAGO TRIBUNE, 5/8).

    Print | Tags: ABC, Cablevision, CBS, Chicago Bulls, Houston Rockets, LPGA, Miami Heat, Minnesota Timberwolves, NBA, NBC, NCAA, New Orleans Pelicans, New York Knicks, News Corp./Fox, NHL, PBA, PGA Tour, Media, Utah Jazz, Viacom, Walt Disney
  • SI'S PATERNITY COVER-STORY CONTINUES TO CAUSE DEBATE

              Sports Illustrated's cover-story last week on
         professional athletes fathering out-of-wedlock children
         featured a young Khalid Minor, the son of Celtics G/F Greg
         Minor, on its cover.  In Orlando, Jerry Greene calls the
         cover shot "cruelly exploitative."  Greene: "What it
         illustrated was not the report but the fact that we
         sensationalize things today, even when we believe we're
         acting on this side of righteousness" (ORLANDO SENTINEL,
         5/8).  In K.C., Jason Whitlock, on the SI piece: "The
         complaints I've heard are that the issue was too personal and
         had nothing to do with sports, and many journalists thought
         SI exploited [Khalid Minor] by putting him on the cover with
         the headline, 'Where's Daddy?'  I agree with the second
         complaint, but not with the first" (K.C. STAR, 5/8).
              CELTS RESPOND: Celtics President/coach Rick Pitino, on
         Minor's well-documented paternity problems: "As an
         organization, it is our job to counsel these players.  In
         most of these situations, the organization has no say."  On
         releasing Minor: "Waive him for what?  For being a bad
         father?  That's not a choice" (BOSTON GLOBE, 5/8). 
              OSCAR CALLS STORY "OUT OF LINE": Boxer Oscar De La Hoya,
         who was also mentioned in the SI story, called the piece "out
         of line," but said that he won't take any action against the
         magazine (Ursula Reel, N.Y. POST, 5/8).
         
    

    Print | Tags: Boston Celtics, Sports Illustrated, Media, Time Warner
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