SBD/30/Sports Media

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              The ABL "is close to a time-buy deal with UPN" that
         would bring the league "some needed national exposure,"
         according to Terry Lefton of BRANDWEEK.  UPN would put the
         games on Saturday afternoons.  ABL CEO Gary Cavalli "would
         neither confirm, nor comment on the negotiations."  In
         addition, the ABL "is seeking additional exposure for its
         upcoming season through an ad hoc network of PBS stations
         that would air ABL games for little or no charge."  The ABL
         was on BET and Fox Sports Net last year (BRANDWEEK, 6/29). 
         Cavalli is quoted in the HARTFORD COURANT as saying, "We're
         very close to a TV deal.  We'll hope to announce something
         in two to four weeks."  The league had "tried to induce Fox
         to buy a broadcast-partial ownership package, which the
         network turned down."  Fox Sports Senior VP/Media Relations
         Vince Wladika: "They've come to us three times with a
         prospectus and we've told them no" (HARTFORD COURANT, 6/30).

    Print | Tags: Media

              ESPN's decision to let reporter Bonnie Bernstein get
         out of her contract to sign with CBS has enabled the network
         to "obtain more access for its reporters on NFL games
         covered by CBS," according to Leonard Shapiro of the
         WASHINGTON POST.  Sources say that CBS has "agreed to allow
         ESPN to broadcast live from NFL stadiums for an additional
         30 minutes on game days" as part of the deal to land
         Bernstein.  Under NFL rules, no live broadcasts are allowed
         an hour before kickoff expect on the net that owns the
         rights to that game.  ESPN and CBS spokespeople "declined
         comment on Bernstein's contract" (WASHINGTON POST, 6/30).

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

              RATINGS: Not including last weekend's coverage, CBS's
         first-year ratings for its PBA telecasts were averaging a
         1.6, compared to the 1.9 earned last year by ABC.  CBS
         Sports President Sean McManus called the debut season a
         "tremendous success."  The net has extended its deal through
         2000 (AKRON BEACON JOURNAL, 6/30)....Friday night's Yankees-
         Mets game on WWOR-TV earned an 11.9/19 -- the highest-rated
         Mets game on the station since '89 (N.Y. POST, 6/30).
              OTHER NOTES: HBO extended its deal with Lennox Lewis
         for six fights, but Michael Katz of the N.Y. DAILY NEWS
         reports the deal would provide "no window" for Lewis to
         fight Evander Holyfield on Showtime (N.Y. DAILY NEWS,
         6/30)....The Bonham Group President & CEO Dean Bonham began
         writing a biweekly sports business column in the Rocky
         Mountain News (THE DAILY)....Young Broadcasting, which
         bought L.A.'s KCAL-TV in '96, "may turn around and sell it
         along with its stable of 11 other stations."  KCAL holds
         broadcast rights to the Lakers (HOLLYWOOD REPORTER, 6/30).

    Print | Tags: ABC, CBS, HBO, Los Angeles Lakers, New York Mets, New York Yankees, PBA, Showtime, Media, Viacom, Walt Disney
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