SBD/Issue 84/Sports Media

Media Notes

News Corp. formally announced the restructuring of the company’s sports and entertainment operations. Fox Sports Chair & CEO David Hill will oversee all of the company’s sports operations, including Fox Sports, Fox Soccer Channel, Speed, Fox Sports en Espanol, Fuel TV and 19 RSNs. Hill also will supervise News Corp.’s joint venture sports businesses STATS, LLC and Big Ten Network. Fox Networks Entertainment Chair Peter Rice will oversee Fox and FX Networks. Both Rice and Hill will continue to report to Fox Networks Group Chair & CEO Tony Vinciquerra (News Corp.). CABLEFAX DAILY writes the restructuring "could signal that Fox is looking to return to the aggressive actions we saw from it in the mid '90s." Fox said that the changes are "to better align its creative executive leadership." But CABLEFAX DAILY asks, "Anyone wondering if Fox might try to make a serious run for Olympic rights?" (CABLEFAX DAILY, 1/14).

PASSING THE PUCK: In Philadelphia, Sam Carchidi reports the NHL yesterday said that it "does not have the power to fine or penalize" FSN Pittsburgh or the Penguins "for the withheld replay that cost" Flyers LW Simon Gagne a goal in last Thursday's Flyers-Penguins game. NHL Dir of Media Relations John Dellapina said FSN Pittsburgh is an "independent contractor who pays for the rights of the games." Dellapina: "They're not hired by the NHL. And the Penguins had nothing to do with what happened." Dellapina added that the NHL is "'at the mercy of the teams broadcasting the games' and that the NHL does not have the funds to supply more cameras other than the overhead shot it provides" (PHILADELPHIA INQUIRER, 1/14).

MARCH MADNESS: ESPN.com's Dan Rafael wrote one of the interesting elements of Manny Pacquiao and Floyd Mayweather Jr. having separate fights on March 13 is how HBO "will handle it." HBO PPV "for the past several years ... has handled Pacquiao and Mayweather fights," and it is now "faced with the cold reality of making a decision on which fighter and promoter it will support." Top Rank is "prepared to go it alone with Pacquiao-Clottey, but it would like HBO's support," while Golden Boy "has been dependent on and enabled by HBO since its birth." Rafael wrote he knows it is a "rough situation because HBO Sports president Ross Greenburg ain't talkin' and he's ordered his staff not to talk either (ESPN.com, 1/13).

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