SBD/May 2, 2011/Media

Media Notes

The WALL STREET JOURNAL's Vascellaro & Schuker reported as Steve Burke "eases into the role" of President & CEO of NBCUniversal, he is "doubling down on an idea that's fallen out of favor in the media business: synergy." Burke is "fixated on strengthening ties between assets as diverse as theme parks and cable channels like CNBC to pump up interest in NBCU's franchises." He calls the strategy "Project Symphony." Vascellaro & Schuker noted Burke "set the tone early" when he selected former Golf Channel President Page Thompson "as integration chief" before the Comcast-NBCU merger closed (WALL STREET JOURNAL, 4/30).

DISHING IT OUT: CABLEFAX DAILY notes a U.S. District Court last month "filed a sealed opinion and order denying ESPN's motion for summary judgement in Dish's '09 most-favored nation lawsuit," and the ruling "opens the door for a possible trial." Dish sued ESPN, claiming that the network "violated a MFN clause by giving Comcast and DirecTV better deals for ESPN Classic and ESPNU." Dish claimed that it has incurred more than $1M in damages. One of the alleged breaches cited by Dish in the filing is that ESPN "granted another MVPD the right to distribute ESPN telecasts via the Internet without imposing a subscription fee specifically for such distribution" (CABLEFAX DAILY, 5/2).

GOOD TALK: In St. Petersburg, Tom Jones writes Fox' interview with Rays P David Price during the team's game against the Angels on Saturday was the "best interview" of the weekend. Because Price was not pitching in Saturday's game, "he was able to talk during the action with no time constraints." Fox announcers Josh Lewin and Eric Karros "didn't have great questions, but Price's answers were thoughtful, insightful and, occasionally, funny, making the interview one of the highlights of Saturday's broadcasts" (ST. PETERSBURG TIMES, 5/2).

BETTER LATE THAN NEVER: In N.Y., Klein & Hackel wrote the U.S. "finally joined the rest of the hockey world this year, as the annual men's world championship tournament is being carried on general-access television for the first time." Versus will air "at least 11 tournament games" from Slovakia, including all games involving the U.S., the semifinals and the Finals on May 15. The tournament "is a staple in Northern Europe and in Canada, where it is carried on TSN" (N.Y. TIMES, 5/1).
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