SBD/2/Sports Media

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              ESPN Magazine said that it exceeded 400,000 in paid
         circulation for its first two issues, after guaranteeing a
         rate base of 350,000.  Paid subscriptions for the two issues
         totaled more than 225,000, with newsstand sales averaging
         175,000.  ESPN Magazine said its guaranteed rate base will
         increase to 500,000 in September, with another hike to
         700,000 scheduled for January '99 (ESPN Magazine).  
              AS ADS GO...: AD AGE's Anne Marie Kerwin reported that
         ESPN Magazine had a "whopping" 107 ad pages in its inaugural
         issue, and since then has been averaging 54 ad pages an
         issue.  Publisher Michael Rooney said that he "was pleased
         with the breadth of advertisers," which include American
         Honda, Tommy Hilfiger, IBM, Microsoft and Nike among others. 
         But Kerwin noted that ESPN "still faces rivals that are
         delivering many more eyeballs to advertisers," including SI,
         Sport and The Sporting News, which have circulations of 3.2
         million, 750,000 and 500,000, respectively (AD AGE, 6/1).

    Print | Tags: ESPN, IBM, Microsoft, Nike, Sports Illustrated, Media, Vulcan Ventures, Walt Disney

              TCI Chair John Malone said that "he's heard some cable
         operators -- not TCI -- may sue" if Disney tries to shift
         some of the costs of its $550M ABC Monday night package to
         ESPN's Sunday night telecasts, according to Bradley Johnson
         of AD AGE.  ESPN is "hiking" its charges to cable operators
         to cover its $600M NFL deal, but a spokesperson for the net
         said "there will be no transfer of costs" (AD AGE, 6/1).  
              ESPN WEST CARRIAGE IN JEOPARDY? In CA, Barbara Kingsley
         writes that with ESPN West set to launch in September, some
         cable companies "aren't sure they'll carry the new station"
         due to cost.   Kingsley: "[I]t's fair to say that [the] new
         channel will cost big money ... as sports programming rights
         fees spiral ever-upward" (ORANGE COUNTY REGISTER, 6/1).
              ALL EARS: AD AGE's Chuck Ross reports that Disney is
         "in talks" to acquire "up to a" 40% stake in Excite Inc. 
         The talks are part of Disney's Web strategy that would make
         all its Web sites, which include ESPN SportsZone, NFL.Com
         and NBA.Com, available through an "umbrella site," to be
         called "D Guide or Go Online" (AD AGE, 6/1).  ESPN Internet
         Ventures VP/Marketing & Business Development Steve Kalin is
         profiled by Jeff Jensen of AD AGE.  While the structure at
         Disney's new Buena Vista Internet Group has "yet to be
         finalized," Jensen wrote that Kalin "likely will focus" on
         new business development in the new setup (AD AGE, 6/1).

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

              Turner Sports and the PGA of America announced a seven-
         year extension, through 2005, for exclusive cable rights to
         The PGA Championship and The PGA Grand Slam of Golf
         annually.  The deal calls for 18 hours of PGA Championship
         coverage and eight hours of PGA Grand Slam coverage
         annually.  Beginning in '99, TBS's PGA Championship coverage
         will also feature a Wednesday preview show (Turner)....Red
         Wings coach Scotty Bowman, who complained Sunday about Fox's
         electronically enhanced pucks, "backed off" yesterday and
         said he "wasn't coming down on the puck," but that, on
         Sunday, the ice "was the problem" (USA TODAY, 6/2)....NBC
         MLB analyst Bob Uecker is leaving the net due to a back
         problem.  Uecker will continue his radio play-by-play duties
         with the Brewers (USA TODAY, 6/2)....Boston Globe Assistant
         Managing Sports Editor Don Skwar said reader reaction to the
         paper's Spanish game stories of Red Sox P Pedro Martinez's
         home starts are running "about" 60-40 in favor, but said
         that "no spike in circulation has been detected" (MEDIAWEEK,
         6/1)....In S.F., C.W. Nevius writes under the header, "Some
         Tinkering Could Let NHL Translate To TV."  Nevius suggest
         that carriers covering hockey should install "cameras above
         the ice" (S.F. CHRONICLE, 6/2)....In Boston, Jim Baker wrote
         that Fox's Catcher-Cam should be used only on replays and
         said that when it's used live, "you can't tell whether a
         pitch is a ball or strike" and when it's hit, it is
         difficult to "follow it" (BOSTON HERALD, 6/1).

    Print | Tags: Boston Red Sox, Milwaukee Brewers, MLB, NBC, NHL, PGA Tour, Media, Turner Sports

              NBC's coverage of the Bulls-Pacers Eastern Conference
         Finals Game Seven earned a final national rating of 19.1/33,
         making it the highest non-NBA Finals rated basketball
         broadcast ever, and the seventh-highest NBA game in history. 
         NBC estimates that 61 million people saw all or part of the
         game, making it the most watched NBA game in history,
         topping the 60 million for last year's Game Five of the
         Bulls-Jazz Finals.  Through 21 telecasts, NBC's NBA Playoffs
         average is 7.6/20, up 4% from last year's 7.3/19 (THE
         DAILY).  USA TODAY's Rudy Martzke reports that NBC, which
         took in $10M more in ad sales due to the seven-game series,
         will receive "more than" $20M per game for the Bulls-Jazz
         Finals (USA TODAY, 6/2).  Sunday's game drew a 50.2/69 in
         Indianapolis and a 43.8/65 in Chicago.  The game drew a
         35.0/57 in Salt Lake City (HOLLYWOOD REPORTER, 6/2).  In
         Chicago, Phil Rosenthal writes that the final 15 minutes of
         the game was seen by 78% of Chicago households watching TV
         at the time (SUN-TIMES, 6/2).  Only three NBA games have
         topped a 20.0 national final rating, and all were part of a
         Finals series: '88 Pistons-Lakers Game 7; '93 Bulls-Suns
         Game 6; and '97 Bulls-Suns Game 5 (AP/ESPN SportsZone, 6/2).
              FINALS NOTES: The United Center will provide live TV
         feeds for games played in Salt Lake.  The events, called
         "Bulls Bashes," are open to the public and cost $10 (CHICAGO
         TRIBUNE, 6/2)....CNBC will feature a 30 minute post-game
         wrap-up show of all Finals games starting tomorrow.  Hannah
         Storm will anchor, with Ahmad Rashad and Jim Gray conducting
         interviews (NBC).  In N.Y., Richard Huff reports that NBC
         affils "are okay" with the CNBC post-game show, as NBC will
         promote the affils' local news as well as the post-game in-
         game before signing off the air (DAILY NEWS, 6/2)....Also in
         N.Y., Richard Sandomir asks, "When will NBC realize that no
         matter how close [Ahmad] Rashad is to [Michael] Jordan, he
         is doing a disservice to viewers by not asking pertinent
         questions of Jordan (or anyone else) in the short time
         available in the post-game frenzy?" (N.Y. TIMES, 6/2).
         ...CBS's David Letterman: "Did you see Bob Costas on the
         game [Sunday night]?  Let me ask you something in all
         seriousness.  Is he getting shorter?" ("Late Show," 6/1).

    Print | Tags: CBS, Chicago Bulls, Detroit Pistons, ESPN, Indiana Pacers, Los Angeles Lakers, NBA, NBC, Phoenix Suns, Seattle Storm, Media, Utah Jazz, Viacom, Walt Disney
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