SBD/3/Sports Media


          TBS' season-opening NBA doubleheader on Tuesday,
     featuring 76ers-Knicks and Trail Blazers-Lakers, averaged a
     1.8 cable rating, up 28% from last year's regular season
     average of 1.3, but down 10% from '99's opening-night
     doubleheader on TNT, according to Prentis Rogers of the
     ATLANTA CONSTITUTION (11/3).  In Houston, David Barron
     reports that Tuesday's T'Wolves-Rockets opener earned a
     3.6/5 on new Rockets carrier KTBU-IND.  Barron calls the
     rating "not good, but understandable. ... Factor in reduced
     expectations, the fact the season opener took place on
     Halloween and the move to a new channel, and the result was
     a nine-point drop from last year's 12.6/18 for the opener." 
     Barron writes that as the season "progresses and fans become
     more acquainted with the Rockets' new home on [KTBU],
     ratings are likely to increase" (HOUSTON CHRONICLE, 11/3).
          NBA BEAT: In Chicago, John Jackson reviews "The NBA
     Beat," TV's new interactive call-in show held each
     afternoon at 4:00pm.  Jackson writes that the show "needs a
     little work," as it debuted Tuesday with a host "sitting
     behind a computer at a desk taking calls and e-mail from
     fans around the world.  It's a glorified version of sports-
     talk radio -- thankfully without the sexist slant -- and
     that's a bit dull for television" (CHICAGO SUN-TIMES, 11/3).
          SIR CHARLES STANDING OUT: In CA, Evan Tuchinsky calls
     Turner NBA studio analyst Charles Barkley "opinionated,
     funny, charismatic.  The only shame is he's buried on cable"
     (Riverside PRESS-ENTERPRISE, 11/3).  During last night's
     Mavs-Pacers game, Barkley noted Mavs C Shawn Bradley dunking
     on Pacers C Jermaine O'Neal: "You got to foul him.  You
     don't want to be on 'SportsCenter'."  TNT's Ernie Johnson:
     "Hey, you can't mention that here, can you?" (TNT, 11/2).

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