SBD/Issue 111/Sports Media

Media Notes

ESPN signed a three-year deal to secure the U.S. English-language rights to FIBA games through '11. The deal enables ESPN and ESPN2 to telecast all U.S. men's national team games, plus championship round coverage, for int'l basketball tournaments including the '10 World Championships, the '09 and '11 Americas Championships and the '09 and '11 EuroBasket Championships. ESPN will be allowed to stream 268 games on ESPN360 (John Ourand, THE DAILY).

Payton Receives Mixed
Reviews For TV Work
TOUGH CRITIC: In Seattle, Gary Washburn writes NBA TV analyst Gary Payton "has received mixed reaction" to his work for the network this season. Payton has "spread the criticism this season, ripping [Bucks G] Luke Ridnour, rookies and younger players for their uneven performances and also the All-Star Game balloting system." Payton has "received his share of text messages from players after his dressings down," and the Bucks have "called the league to complain about Payton's assessment of Ridnour." But Payton's on-air chemistry with analyst Chris Webber and host Ahmad Rashad is "improving." Payton: "I think I'd give myself an 'A'" (SEATTLE POST-INTELLIGENCER, 2/24).

BIG SCORE: Canwest Global Communications Corp. has "raised a little cash by selling part of its stake in sports broadcaster The Score" for C$6.62M. Canwest will sell "about 16.6 million shares in Score back to its parent company, Score Media Inc." Canwest has retained Genuity Capital Markets to "steer the sale of its remaining nine million shares, which could bring in another" C$3.6M (TORONTO STAR, 2/26).

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