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Published September 18, 1998
NO RATINGS: Final network ratings for last weekend's sports events were not available at press time (THE DAILY). NAMES: In N.Y., Phil Mushnick writes that "there's still movement within Turner Sports to hire Marv Albert as an NBA play-by-play man" (N.Y. POST, 9/18)....PGA Tour golfer Tom Lehman and his wife, Melissa, are in the British Virgin Islands this week "being photographed" for SI's swimsuit issue. SI won't show Lehman "bare-chested," as he "insisted on wearing a loose-fitted shirt" (Charley Walters, ST. PAUL PIONEER PRESS, 9/18)....On the 25th anniversary of the Billie Jean King-Bobby Riggs tennis match, Destiny Productions' David Krieff "says he's arranged" for a Jimmy Connors-Steffi Graf match on December 12, which will air live on USA Network (Rudy Martzke, USA TODAY, 9/18). NFL: In Milwaukee, Bob Wolfley writes on ESPN's branding and ABC/ESPN's NFL cross-promos. Wolfley: "This branding idea was a bad one. It's kind of creepy, really. It takes away the independent personalities of these shows and forces them into lockstep. ... Cross-promotion, branding obsession, has not made ESPN's and ABC's pro football shows any better. In fact, there's evidence to suggest they have been made worse. Or at least, they feel worse" (MILWAUKEE JOURNAL SENTINEL, 9/18)....In S.F., Susan Slusser calls ABC's "Monday Night Blast" a "lame attempt to jump into the frenzied pregame fray." Slusser: "'MNF' has adopted Fox tactics. Loudness. Tackiness. Football for short attention spans. Hey, that works for Fox. On ABC, it's just dumb and annoying" (S.F. CHRONICLE, 9/18).