SBD/7/Sports Media

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). 

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