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Published March 12, 1999
CBS Radio Sports/Westwood One and the NFL have agreed to a 3-year extension for the exclusive national radio rights to the NFL. The deal allows CBS/Westwood to provide live coverage of the NFL and related NFL programming to radio stations across the country (NFL)....Jacor Communications, owners of WEAE-AM in Pittsburgh, have agreed to allow new owner ABC to bring on ESPN programming for the station starting Monday (PITTSBURGH POST-GAZETTE, 3/12). POLITICAL POINTS: In Baltimore, Gerard Sheilds writes that U.S. Senator Jesse Helms (R-NC) is worried that ESPN "might pay" the Cuban government "for the right to televise" the Orioles-Cuba exhibition game, which would "violate the spirit of earlier agreements that revenue" would go to Cuban and U.S. youth sports groups and charities. ESPN and MLB execs said that "such fears were groundless" (Baltimore SUN, 3/12)....The HOLLYWOOD REPORTER's Brooks Boliek reports that a U.S. House panel approved legislation requiring satellite TV companies to "buy over-the-air antennas for many of their customers whose network signals are cut off by a federal court order." A satellite TV exec said afterward, "It's a Republican Congress imposing a tax on satellite companies" (HOLLYWOOD REPORTER, 3/12). CRITIC'S CORNER: In Chicago, Phil Rosenthal wrote that he was "baffled" that Fox Sports Net "ignored" Joe DiMaggio's death on Monday morning, "even as" ESPN and other networks "broke in with special coverage." Rosenthal: "For all the money Fox tosses around for talent, rights fees, and those really annoying sound effects and graphics, it apparently is determined never to be taken seriously as a reliable source for sports news" (SUN-TIMES, 3/11)...In Miami, Barry Jackson: "Look for Fox and NBC to pursue NASCAR races vigorously in the next year" (MIAMI HERALD, 3/12).