SBD/Issue 88/Sports Media

Media Notes

The Magic have inked a multiyear extension of their regional cable TV rights deal with Fox-owned Sun Sports. The new agreement, which begins with the ’05-06 season, calls for Sun Sports to telecast at least 42 regular-season games each year, as well as select playoff games and shoulder programming. Sun Sports began televising Magic games in the team's inaugural season of ’89-90 (Magic).

HD: The WALL STREET JOURNAL notes thousands of HDTV owners will not be able to watch the February 6 Super Bowl in HD because their cable or satellite company does not have a deal with Fox. EchoStar’s Dish Network does not have any HD deal with Fox. DirecTV, which like Fox is owned by News Corp., offers Fox’ HD programming only in the 25 TV markets where Fox owns stations. Comcast will carry the game in HD in 44 of its 62 markets that have the service available (WALL STREET JOURNAL, 1/27)....CABLE FAX DAILY cited a study as showing that ESPN HD and HBO HD are the “most-carried hi-def nets,” as both are in 100% of the top 25 U.S. DMAs (CABLE FAX DAILY, 1/26).

PEOPLE: ESPN beginning February 14 will air “Jim Rome is Burning” five days a week at 4:30pm ET (ESPN)....Sky Sports commentator Rodney Marsh was fired “for making a joke about the tsunami disaster.” Marsh on Monday said that Real Madrid MF David Beckham “turned down a transfer to English club Newcastle after hearing of the ‘Toon Army in Asia.’” Newcastle’s fans are called the “Toon Army,” which sounds like “tsunami” (ST. PETERSBURG TIMES, 1/26).

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