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  • DELAY OF GAMES: NBC/TURNER TO DECIDE ON LEAGUE IN DECEMBER

              NBC and Time Warner "are putting off a decision on
         whether or not to launch a new football league until at
         least mid-December," according to Josef Adalian of DAILY
         VARIETY.  NBC Sports Chair Dick Ebersol said that a decision
         on the new league "has been pushed back due to the
         unexpected complexities of assembling the potential league." 
         Ebersol "declined to say whether the companies were leaning
         toward or moving away from going forward" with the league
         (DAILY VARIETY, 11/6).  If the two nets go ahead with the
         league, it would start play in the summer of 2000.  Games
         would begin in the last week of May, with a championship
         game played on Labor Day weekend (WASHINGTON POST, 11/6).  
              NO BIG DEAL: Ebersol said Thursday "he has no regrets
         about not renewing" NBC's deal with the NFL.  Ebersol: "I
         don't think NBC not having the NFL had any impact on NBC
         this year."  Though NBC's primetime series ratings are down
         21% among men 18-49 this season, Ebersol "does not believe
         the two are related."  Ebersol said that "Seinfeld" was the
         only show that primarily appealed to men.  Ebersol: "We
         weren't getting any massive bang for our buck for having
         football on Sunday anyway."  He said he believes CBS is
         getting an average increase of 5% on ad rates for AFC games
         from NBC's numbers a year ago, "which won't come close to
         making up for the rights fee increase."  CBS Sports
         President Sean McManus responded to Ebersol's comments by
         saying, "To suggest that losing NFL football doesn't have a
         negative effect on primetime ratings is a little silly.  You
         can argue about the degree, but it's the first time I've
         ever heard anybody say that" (HOLLYWOOD REPORTER, 11/6).
              AT MID-SEASON: CBS's McManus, looking at NFL ratings:
         "I have no idea where we'll end up, but right now (the
         numbers) are right where we thought they'd be. ... I know
         people are tempted to look at (ratings) every week ... but
         it's an eight-year deal."  Ebersol: "You'll see the numbers
         will decline" (DAILY VARIETY, 11/6)....In DC, Paul Farhi
         reports that Disney's "once-formidable business momentum has
         slowed to limping," and that ABC's "biggest burden" is its
         $4B NFL deal (WASHINGTON POST, 11/6)....Al Michaels, noting
         the drop in "MNF" ratings: "It's a different universe, so
         the ratings are going to leak.  There was no such thing as
         The Food Network and CNBC and all of the other things that
         people can do and the Internet" ("Up Close," ESPN, 11/5).   
         
    

    Print | Tags: ABC, CBS, ESPN, NBC, NFL, Media, Viacom, Walt Disney
  • MANIC MONDAY? ESPN COURTS MWC FOR SLOT ON BIG MONDAY

              ESPN has made a proposal to the Mountain West
         Conference (MWC) for "approximately" $6M over nine years to
         "take over" the WAC's spot on its Big Monday college
         basketball broadcast, according to Steve Carp of the LAS
         VEGAS SUN.  The proposed deal would also include Saturday
         games on ESPN2.  The MWC "has also talked" to Fox Sports Net
         about a deal, but it "supposedly is offering fewer years and
         less money" than ESPN.  UNLV AD Charlie Cavagnaro said the
         proposal was "a nice first step," but that "more
         negotiating" would have to be done before a deal was struck. 
         Cavagnaro: "You don't see a whole lot of nine-year deals out
         there.  But the money, given the length they're talking
         about, is not acceptable.  Nine years doesn't even take into
         consideration things like inflation" (LAS VEGAS SUN, 11/4).
    
    

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

              ABC Dir of Media Relations Mark Mandel, on whether the
         dispute between the net and NABET will affect any weekend
         sports programming: "We're prepared and are doing six
         college games on Saturday.  That's a fairly large
         undertaking, under normal circumstances" (MILWAUKEE JOURNAL
         SENTINEL, 11/6).  Actress Whoopi Goldberg and talk show host
         Jerry Springer "refused to appear on ABC shows because they
         could have to cross picket lines" in the dispute (N.Y. POST,
         11/6)....In N.Y., Phil Mushnick calls it "amazing" but "not
         all that surprising" that no NFL network TV partner has done
         a story on the situation facing 49ers co-Owner Eddie
         DeBartolo.  Mushnick: "Not one feels obligated to its
         audience to detail the felony conviction of the owner of the
         NFL' most successful franchise over the last 20 years?"
         (N.Y. POST, 11/6)....Sunday's Bills-Jets game will be the
         first of four games CBS will televise in HDTV this season. 
         The game will go to a handful of homes in the NYC area. 
         Eleven CBS affils can broadcast in HDTV, with more to come
         in '99 (USA TODAY, 11/6)....In L.A., Helene Elliott reviews
         "Wayne Gretzky's All-Star Hockey Volume 2: Winning
         Techniques," an instructional video aimed at kids.  Elliott:
         "Except for players setting a bad example by not wearing
         helmets during their drills, this is a useful video for
         youngsters just starting to play" (L.A. TIMES, 11/6).
    
    

    Print | Tags: ABC, Buffalo Bills, CBS, New York Jets, NFL, San Francisco 49ers, Media, Viacom, Walt Disney
  • RATINGS FOR LAST WEEKEND'S NETWORK SPORTING EVENTS

              The following lists final national ratings from the
         weekend's network sporting events.  All times are EST. 
         Numbers are from the networks (THE DAILY).
    
    
    
    EVENT DATE NET TIME RAT/SHR
    PGA Tour: The Tour Championship
    10/31
    ABC
    1:30-3:30pm
    1.5/5
    NCAA Football: Regional
    10/31
    ABC
    3:30-7:00pm
    4.4/12
    NCAA Football: Regional
    10/31
    CBS
    3:30-7:00pm
    2.8/7
    NCAA Football: Baylor-Notre Dame
    10/31
    NBC
    2:30-6:00pm
    2.1/6
    PGA Tour: The Tour Championship
    11/1
    ABC
    3:00-6:00pm
    1.9/4
    "NFL Today"
    11/1
    CBS
    noon-1:00pm
    2.5/7
    "NFL on CBS" (Regional)
    11/1
    CBS
    1:00-7:00pm
    10.9/26
    "Fox NFL Sunday"
    11/1
    Fox
    noon-1:00pm
    3.8/11
    "NFL on Fox" (Regional)
    11/1
    Fox
    1:00-4:15pm
    8.2/19
    "NFL on Fox" (National)
    11/1
    Fox
    4:15-7:00pm
    16.7/32

     

    NOTES: Fox's national game, headlined by 49ers-Packers, was the network's highest-rated NFL regular-season game since a 17.1/33 on December 8, 1996, when a Panthers-49ers game headlined the time slot. Fox's season-to-date NFL average is 10.1/24 up 1% from the same period in '97. ...CBS's season-to-date NFL average is 9.1/21, down 4% from NBC's average through the same period in '97 (THE DAILY).... In Houston, David Barron writes that "the real shock this fall is that college [football] ratings are either up slightly or holding steady despite an unbelievable glut of product." ABC's college games are averaging a 4.1 this season, up from a 4.0 last year (HOUSTON CHRONICLE, 11/6). ...In Canada, the "high-water mark" in ratings for the new CTV SportsNet has been a Leafs-Oilers NHL game which drew 417,000 viewers. But Chris Zelkovich writes that "hockey has been its only big winner," as no other programming has had an audience of over 145,000 (TORONTO STAR, 11/6).

    Print | Tags: ABC, CBS, Edmonton Oilers, Green Bay Packers, NBC, NCAA, NFL, NHL, PGA Tour, San Francisco 49ers, Media, Viacom, Walt Disney
  • YOUNG AND THE RESTLESS: LOCKOUT CAUSING $6M LOSS IN REVENUE

              Young Broadcasting, which owns KCAL-TV in L.A., "warned
         Wall Streeters Thursday that if the NBA lockout drags on,
         the lack of pro basketball action on KCAL will likely take
         its toll on the company's performance in the fourth
         quarter," according to Peers & Littleton of DAILY VARIETY. 
         KCAL owns the local broadcast rights to both the Lakers and
         Clippers, and Young said that the cancellation of games
         through December would cost KCAL $6M in broadcast flow
         (earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and
         amortization).  KCAL inked a seven-year renewal with the
         Lakers in June, paying out $30M of the deal in the third
         quarter.  Young stock was down $0.12 yesterday, closing at
         $33 on the NASDAQ (Peers & Littleton, DAILY VARIETY, 11/6). 
    
    

    Print | Tags: Los Angeles Clippers, Los Angeles Lakers, NBA, Media
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