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  • BULLS AND JAZZ GIVE NBC HIGHEST RATED GAME ONE IN HISTORY

              Game One of the NBA Finals earned an 18.0/32 national
         rating, making it the highest-rated Game One in NBA Finals
         history.  The previous high was a 16.8, which was reached
         twice before, in '93 and '96 -- both Bulls series.  NBC
         estimates that 53.3 million viewers saw all or part of the
         game, topping the '96 Bulls-Sonics (48 million) as the most
         watched Game One in history.  In the home markets, Salt Lake
         City got a 56.1/75 and Chicago earned a 47.2/67 (THE DAILY). 
         
    

    Print | Tags: Chicago Bulls, NBA, NBC, Media
  • CHERNIN TO AFFILS: THERE COULD BE HELL TO PAY IF NO DEAL

              News Corp. President Peter Chernin told Fox affils that
         they "must show greater willingness to share programming
         costs with the network if they want to stay competitive,"
         during Fox's affils conference in L.A., according to Davies
         & Rice of the HOLLYWOOD REPORTER.  Chernin: "(The) next time
         event programming becomes available, if Fox hesitates
         because of a worry about the financial consequences, I would
         contend that this would be potentially disastrous for us
         all."  The comments came as Fox "was trying to hammer out an
         arrangement" with its affils regarding its $4.4B NFL deal
         (HOLLYWOOD REPORTER, 6/5).  DAILY VARIETY's Jenny Hontz
         reports that Fox Sports Exec Producer Ed Goren told affils
         that Fox will be in a "war" with CBS next year for viewers. 
         But Hontz writes that "the war was going on between Fox and
         its affils."  Sources say that "heated words were exchanged
         in two closed-door meetings" between Fox and its affiliate
         board (Jenny Hontz, DAILY VARIETY, 6/5).
    
    

    Print | Tags: CBS, News Corp./Fox, NFL, Media, Viacom
  • CUP CRAZY: ABC, ESPN AND ESPN2 GEAR UP FOR WORLD CUP ACTION

              Four years "after scoring surprisingly high" ratings
         with the World Cup, ESPN and ABC "are hoping for a repeat
         performance this summer," according to Breznick & Reynolds
         of CABLE WORLD.  Along with ESPN2, the networks will show
         all 64 World Cup '98 games live in the U.S. for the first
         time.  Tournament coverage begins June 10 with two games on
         ESPN.  Both ESPN and ESPN2 will run 30-minute pre-game shows
         before each match, and ESPN2 will also present a 30-minute
         wrapup program each night.  ESPN, which averaged a 1.8
         rating for 41 telecasts in '94, "is shooting for at least a
         1.1 to 1.3 average."  ABC, which will show 14 games,
         including all three scheduled Team USA games, declined to
         project a rating.  In '94, ABC averaged a 5.3 for 11
         telecasts.  ESPN is also "already pitching" next year's
         Women's World Cup to advertisers.  ESPN "is seeking six
         prime sponsors" for its coverage (CABLE WORLD, 6/1).
    
    

    Print | Tags: ABC, ESPN, Media, Walt Disney
  • INSIDE SPORTS ON THE OUTSIDE FOLLOWING PETERSEN PURCHASE

              The July issue of Inside Sports "will be its last,"
         according to Keith Kelly of the N.Y. DAILY NEWS.  IL-based
         Century Publishing is selling the book to CA-based Petersen
         Publishing, which "will shut down the title and offer paid
         subscribers its own" Sport magazine.   Kelly's industry
         sources estimate the deal at $8M.  A "last-minute effort" by
         Inside Sports Publisher Jerry Croft "to lead a management
         buyout" was unsuccessful.  Kelly reports that about 20
         people "are out of work" as a result of the shutdown. 
         Inside Sports' circulation was up 2% in the second half of
         '97, at 751,151, while Sport's circulation was down 4.1% to
         751,968.  Century Chair Norman Jacobs, on the reason for the
         sale: "I heard that Disney/Hearst were willing to spend $50
         to $100 million on ESPN [Magazine] to go up against Sports
         Illustrated. ... Petersen had a very nice offer on the table
         -- and I decided it was time to let the big boys slug it
         out" (Keith Kelly, N.Y. DAILY NEWS, 6/5).  In Chicago, Tim
         Jones writes that the sale "marks the first bloodshed in a
         sports magazine war redefined in March" with the launch of
         ESPN Magazine (CHICAGO TRIBUNE, 6/5). 
    
    

    Print | Tags: ESPN, Media, Walt Disney
  • MEDIA NOTES

              ESPN: Responding to a Hollywood Reporter story that
         showed a decline in ratings for ESPN and "SportsCenter,"
         while noting an increase in ratings for "Fox Sports News,"
         ESPN's Mike Soltys said, "Nielsen research for the February
         sweeps in 39 major markets shows that Fox's rating went
         down, not up. SportsCenter delivers eight times the audience
         of Fox Sports News" (USA TODAY, 6/5).  As for ESPN's ratings
         dip, Soltys pointed to fragmentation throughout the TV
         sports audience, adding that "a lot of our fragmentation is
         partially internal," with viewers shifting to ESPN2, ESPNews
         or Classic Sports Network (THE DAILY)....ESPN's Stuart Scott
         signed a multi-year contract extension (HARTFORD COURANT,
         6/5)....Excite Inc. said it has reached a deal with Disney
         to provide access to some Disney Web sites, including ESPN
         SportsZone and ABC.com (WALL STREET JOURNAL, 6/5).
              THE THREE AMIGOS ON NBC: In Boston, Howard Manly writes
         that NBC's NBA crew "is not perfect," but Bob Costas, Isiah
         Thomas and Doug Collins "are right just a little more than
         they are wrong" (BOSTON GLOBE, 6/5). In L.A., Larry Stewart
         writes that without Doug Collins, NBC "would be saddled with
         the possibly the worst announcing team on an NBA finals
         since the CBS days of Brent Musburger and Tommy Heinsohn." 
         He says Collins "might be the best basketball commentator
         since Rick Barry" (L.A. TIMES, 6/5)....The distant
         relationship between N.Y. Post columnist/NBC analyst Peter
         Vecsey and his brother, N.Y. Times columnist George Vecsey,
         is profiled by SI's S.L. Price.  Jazz President Frank
         Layden, on Peter's influence in NBA circles: "I see it in
         our people: They're afraid of him.  Even people in the
         league -- higher up -- are afraid of him."  NBC's Bob Costas
         says Peter "carries grudges, he exacts his revenge.  Get on
         his s---list, and you stay there for a long time" (SI, 6/8).
              NOTES: In N.Y., Richard Sandomir reports that
         Saturday's Evander Holyfield-Henry Akinwande SET PPV fight
         will use a camera mounted 25 to 35 feet above the ring.  The
         camera will follow fighters in their ring walks and to "peer
         at them" between rounds (N.Y. TIMES, 6/5)....In N.Y., Allen
         Barra reviewed "The Commissioners," the new book by Chicago
         Tribune columnist Jerome Holtzman and published by Total
         Sports.  Barra writes that the book about MLB's leaders "is
         a mostly sad and comic chronicle about men who were hired
         under personal services contracts by the owners and almost
         immediately fell under the delusion that they represented
         the fans and the players as well" (N.Y. TIMES, 5/31).
                    
    

    Print | Tags: ABC, CBS, ESPN, MLB, NBA, NBC, News Corp./Fox, Nielsen, Sports Illustrated, Media, Utah Jazz, Viacom, Walt Disney
  • MOST REQUESTED TICKET? NOT BULLS-JAZZ, BUT "ARLI$$" CAMEOS

              The season premiere of HBO's "Arli$$," a Tollin/Roberts
         Production, airs this Sunday at 9:30pm.  In the initial
         episode, titled "My Job Is To Get Jobs," AMM client Theo
         Holt is a reliable backup QB capable of winning games.  But
         when Theo's team releases him, and no other team signs him, 
         Arliss begins to wonder.  When he learns of a league-wide
         rumor that Theo is gay, he resurrects Theo's career as only
         Arliss can.  Cameos include Oscar De La Hoya, Bob Kraft, Al
         Michaels, Ken Norton Jr. and Craig Sager (THE DAILY).  
              REAX: In N.Y., David Bianculli gives the episode two-
         and-a-half stars and calls Robert Wuhl "fun to watch" (N.Y.
         DAILY NEWS, 6/5).  In Baltimore, Milton Kent writes that "if
         the first episode is any marker, 'Arli$$' will provide a
         hilarious way to pass the long, hot summer" (Baltimore SUN,
         6/4).  In L.A., Larry Stewart writes that the series "might
         be the funniest show" on TV (L.A. TIMES, 6/4).
    
    

    Print | Tags: HBO, Media, Time Warner
  • RATINGS FOR LAST WEEKEND'S SPORTING EVENTS

              The following lists ratings from last weekend's
         sporting events.  All times are ET.  The numbers are
         gathered from the networks (THE DAILY): 
    
    
    EVENT DATE NET TIME RAT/SHR
    "NBA on NBC": Bulls-Pacers Game 6
    5/29
    NBC
    9:15-Midnte
    13.8/26
    USA-Scotland soccer match
    5/29
    ABC
    1:30-4:00pm
    1.2/4
    PGA Tour: The Memorial
    5/30
    ABC
    4:00-6:00pm
    2.6/8
    College World Series: USC-LSU
    5/30
    CBS
    1:30-5:00pm
    1.5/5
    CBS Sports Spectacular: PBA Tour
    5/30
    CBS
    5:00-6:00pm
    1.8/5
    Fox MLB Saturday: Regional Games
    5/30
    FOX
    1:00-4:00pm
    3.1/11
    French Open
    5/30
    NBC
    3:00-6:00pm
    1.6/5
    PGA Tour: The Memorial
    5/31
    ABC
    3:00-6:00pm
    3.0/8
    Track & Field: Prefontaine Classic
    5/31
    CBS
    4:00-6:00pm
    1.8/5
    "NHL on Fox": Stars-Red Wings
    5/31
    FOX
    2:00-5:00pm
    2.2/6
    French Open
    5/31
    NBC
    3:00-6:00pm
    1.9/5
    "NBA on NBC": Bulls-Pacers Game 7
    5/31
    NBC
    7:30-10:00pm
    19.1/33

    NOTES: ABC's ratings for The Memorial were up 30% on Saturday and 3% on Sunday, compared to '97....The NHL playoffs on Fox are averaging a 1.8 through Sunday, down 14% from last season....ESPN's NHL playoff numbers are down 23% through Wednesday, from a 1.3 last year to a 1.0 this year. ESPN2's 24 NHL playoff telecasts averaged an 0.5....Through 22 games, NBC's NBA playoff coverage is averaging a 7.7/20, up 4% from last year's 7.4/19....Fox's MLB season debut was up 3% over the '97 opener, and 15% over the '97 average (THE DAILY)....The MLB debut of Yankees P Orlando Hernandez received a 5.4 rating on MSG Network -- MSG's second-highest Yankees rating this year (N.Y. POST, 6/5). NUMBERS FROM CANADA: In Toronto, David Shoalts writes that the NHL playoff ratings "have been a disaster" (GLOBE & MAIL, 6/5)....CTV drew 780,000 viewers for Game Seven of Bulls-Pacers -- the third-highest basketball rating in the net's history, and 570,000 over its '98 playoff average (TORONTO STAR, 6/5)....In Toronto, William Houston reports that Blue Jays ratings are up 19% from last year, averaging 525,000 viewers, up 101,000 from '97 (GLOBE & MAIL, 6/5).

    Print | Tags: ABC, Cablevision, CBS, Chicago Bulls, Dallas Stars, Detroit Red Wings, ESPN, Indiana Pacers, Madison Square Garden, MLB, NBA, NBC, New York Yankees, News Corp./Fox, NHL, PBA, PGA Tour, Southwest Sports Group, Media, Toronto Blue Jays, Viacom, Walt Disney, YankeeNets
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