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  • BLACKOUT CRACKDOWN MEANS SYRACUSE WON'T SEE BILLS HOME GAMES

              Thousands of Bills fans who were able to see blacked
         out Bills home games via a Syracuse TV station last year
         "will be shut out" this fall, after the NFL informed CBS's
         Syracuse affil, WTVH, that its blackout rule "prevents the
         station from showing any Bills games that do not sell out 72
         hours before kickoff," according to Batzold & Roth of the
         Rochester DEMOCRAT & CHRONICLE.  The NFL's new
         interpretation of the rule will affect "at least" 48,000
         customers in upstate NY, and will "also hurt bars and
         restaurants" that previously showed the games.  Following
         the NFL's new TV deals, league lawyers "looked closer" at
         the 75-mile blackout radius and "found two markets" --
         Syracuse and Biloxi, MS -- where the TV signal "was received
         within 75 miles of an NFL stadium."  Batzold & Roth reported
         that although the situation "may aid the Bills' effort to
         regionalize its market," team Treasurer Jeffrey Littmann
         said that "it was the NFL that alerted the Bills to the
         blackout rule infringement from Syracuse, not the other way
         around."  Littmann said the league found 10 Rochester bars
         "picking up the Syracuse signal" (DEMOCRAT & CHRONICLE, 8/6)
    
    

    Print | Tags: Buffalo Bills, CBS, NFL, Media, Viacom
  • DESPITE BOFFO AD $$, SPORTS WEB SITES STILL FACE HURDLES

              Ad revenue for CBS SportsLine last year "soared well
         beyond the industry average of 157%, climbing 475%," while
         Disney's ESPN SportsZone's jumped 36% to $9M in '97,
         according to David Sweet of the WALL STREET JOURNAL, who
         cites InterWatch, a publication of InterMedia Advertising
         Solutions.  The two sites "are drawing increased revenue
         from subscribers to premium areas and electronic-commerce,
         but they are heavily dependent on ad money," and in an
         economic downturn, advertisers "are likely to slash Internet
         advertising first because the young medium is less
         entrenched."  Times Mirror Interzines President Mike
         Dubester estimates that advertising "contributes 75% of the
         division's Web site revenue."  Shelley Morrison, VP/
         Advertising for Buena Vista Internet Group, which runs
         ESPN's site, along with the NBA, NFL and NASCAR sites,
         estimates that 40% of the sites' revenue comes from
         sponsorships.  PricewaterhouseCoopers Dir of New Media Peter
         Petrusky said that sports sites captured 5% of a Internet
         advertising in '97's fourth quarter.  In the first quarter
         of '98, they brought in 8% of the $351M spent on ads.  But
         Sweet adds that "next year could be challenging for sports
         sites," as there no events such as the Olympics "that
         capture attention world-wide" (WALL STREET JOURNAL, 8/7). 
    
    

    Print | Tags: ESPN, NASCAR, NBA, NFL, PricewaterhouseCoopers, Media, SportsLine.com, Walt Disney
  • HAS FOX HAD ENOUGH HOCKEY? DISPUTES REPORT OF RHI OBLIGATION

              Fox Sports Senior VP/Media Relations Vince Wladika
         denied a report (THE DAILY, 8/4) that Fox Sports Net may be
         required to show RHI games due to a three-year-old contract
         between Fox partner Liberty Media and the McMullen Group,
         which has aligned with Beachport Entertainment, a new
         partner of RHI.  Wladika said Liberty's deal with the
         McMullen Group in '95 was to televise a league "developed,
         formed, owned and operated" by McMullen Group.  Wladika: "We
         believe that we have no obligation to televise games of RHI,
         a league which was already in existence when the agreement
         [with McMullen Group] was executed, and who has already
         approached us in the past about televising games of its
         teams.  Without knowing the details of the transaction that
         took place between McMullen Group, Beachport and RHI, we
         feel we're under no obligation" (THE DAILY).  
    
    

    Print | Tags: Cablevision, New York Liberty, News Corp./Fox, Media
  • MEDIA NOTES

              After "weeks of speculation," Toronto's "The Fan,"
         CJCL-AM, "finally has decided to pull the plug on the
         syndicated Fabulous Sports Babe" (TORONTO SUN, 8/7).  The
         station canceled The Babe "because of poor ratings" (TORONTO
         STAR, 8/7)....The Golf Channel (TGC) is profiled by Jerry
         Greene in the ORLANDO SENTINEL.  TGC, in its fourth year, is 
         approaching availability in 21 million households.  TGC VP/
         Business Affairs Chris Murvin: "We're absolutely past the
         point of wondering if we're going to make it" (ORLANDO
         SENTINEL, 8/7)....Outdoor Life Network began its coverage of
         the '98 Mercury Tour, an event sponsored by the Int'l
         Cycling Union, with a preview last night.  Outdoor Life will
         feature nine hours of original programming (Outdoor Life).
     
    

    Print | Tags: Media
  • RATINGS FOR LAST WEEKEND'S SELECT SPORTING EVENTS

              The following lists final national ratings from last
         weekend's select network sporting events.  All times are
         EDT.  The numbers are from the networks (THE DAILY).
    EVENT DATE NET TIME RAT/SHR
    NASCAR Brickyard 400
    8/1
    ABC
    1:00-4:30pm
    4.1/14
    IROC
    8/1
    ABC
    4:30-5:30pm
    2.9/9
    Tour de France
    8/1
    ABC
    5:30-6:00pm
    2.1/6
    NFL HOF Game: Bucs-Steelers
    8/1
    ABC
    7:00-10:00pm
    4.4/11
    Goodwill Games: Skating, Boxing
    8/1
    CBS
    2:00-4:00pm
    1.2/4
    PGA Tour: FedEx St. Jude Classic
    8/1
    CBS
    4:00-6:00pm
    2.0/6
    Fox MLB Saturday: Regional Games
    8/1
    FOX
    1:00-4:00pm
    3.0/10
    "WNBA on NBC": Rockers-Comets
    8/1
    NBC
    4:00-6:00pm
    1.3/4
    MLS All-Star Game
    8/2
    ABC
    2:30-5:00pm
    0.8/3
    Tour De France
    8/2
    ABC
    5:00-6:00pm
    1.2/3
    Goodwill Games: Various Events
    8/1
    CBS
    2:00-4:00pm
    1.5/5
    PGA Tour: FedEx St. Jude Classic
    8/1
    CBS
    4:00-6:30pm
    3.2/9

    NOTES: Fox's MLB coverage is averaging a 2.7/10, flat with the same period in '97....NBC's WNBA coverage is averaging a 1.6/5 through eight games, down 24% from the same time last year, when it was averaging a 2.1/7 through seven games....CBS's two-day average for the FedEx St. Jude Classic was a 2.7/8, up 13% from a 2.4/7 in '97 (THE DAILY).

    Print | Tags: ABC, CBS, FedEx, MLB, MLS, NASCAR, NBC, News Corp./Fox, NFL, PGA Tour, Pittsburgh Steelers, Media, Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Viacom, Walt Disney, WNBA
  • THIS WEEK ON "ARLI$$" -- BEHIND EVERY GREAT CLIENT ...

              On the next episode of HBO's "Arli$$" (Sunday,
         11:00pm), Arliss knows as well as any agent that helping a
         client to overcome obstacles in his personal life is part of
         the job.  So when All-Star shortstop Joe Lansing asks Arliss
         to tell Joe's wife Erica that Joe is leaving her, Arliss
         obliges.  But what happens between Arliss and Erica isn't
         necessarily part of the job, nor is it what Joe has in mind. 
         Cameos include Cobi Jones and Rick Majerus (THE DAILY).
    
    

    Print | Tags: HBO, Media, Time Warner
  • TNT CALLS ITS FIRST NIGHT AT THE FIGHTS AN "EXPERIMENT"

              TNT will televise three world title fights live from
         The Theater at MSG on "Title Night on TNT," a live boxing
         card on September 22.  The event marks TNT's first entry
         into boxing, which will be produced by Turner Sports, MSG
         and Cedric Kushner Productions (Turner Sports).  Kushner
         will receive "only $200,000" from TNT for the show.  Turner
         Sports Senior VP/Programming Kevin O'Malley said that TNT is
         "not looking at a regular weekly or even monthly boxing
         series," but rather "special events" four to six times a
         year (Michael Katz, N.Y. DAILY NEWS, 8/7).  O'Malley
         characterized the event as an "experiment."  DAILY VARIETY's
         Rich Katz writes that TNT's move to boxing "is a surprise"
         because Time Warner Vice Chair/TNT Founder Ted Turner "is an
         outspoken critic of boxing."  O'Malley said that Turner
         Sports decided to enter boxing "because the cable net's
         wrestling ratings are so strong and sister web HBO had
         encouraged either TNT or TBS to televise the sport" (DAILY
         VARIETY, 8/7).  The event "will be promoted heavily to TNT's
         pro wrestling audience" (Scott Hettrick, HOLLYWOOD REPORTER,
         8/7).  NEWSDAY's Steve Zipay reports, "Insiders say a second
         TNT event could be scheduled for December, and the chance of
         TNT Tuesday night telecasts replacing USA's boxing series
         next year are 'better than 50-50'" (NEWSDAY, 8/7). 
    
    

    Print | Tags: Cablevision, HBO, Madison Square Garden, Media, TBS/TNT, Time Warner
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