Group Created with Sketch.
Volume 24 No. 157

Leagues Governing Bodies

     With House hearings on baseball's anti-trust exemption set
for Thursday, more editorialists are using the issue as a way to
sound their disapproval over the cancellation of the season,
playoff and World Series.
     TAKING EXEMPTION TO THE RULE:  BUSINESS WEEK:  "With
million-dolar salaries and billion-dollar television deals, the
idea that baseball is not a business is simply ludicrous. ...
With the 1994 season called on account of greed, the message is
clear:  Yank the antitrust exemption and let baseball get back to
its business -- entertaining the fans" (BUSINESS WEEK, 9/26).
The PHILADELPHIA INQUIRER:  "Baseball deserves no special
protection from the consequences of its stupidity arrogance and
greed" (INQUIRER, 9/18).  The ATLANTA CONSTITUTION:  "The
American public is not helpless in this mess.  Through their
elected representatives, they have the ability to withdraw the
anti-trust exemption that allows the baseball owners to act as
they have" (CONSTITUTION, 9/18).  USA TODAY:  "Without the
antitrust exemption, there would be no baseball strike.  If
Congress repeals the exemption, the strike will end. ... No
logical or legal reason exists why 28 businesses should enjoy
antitrust immunity" (USA TODAY, 9/19).
     WHAT TO EXPECT THIS WEEK:  Rep. Jim Bunning (R-KY), a former
player, has intorduced a bill co-sponsored by Reps. Major Owens
(D-NY) and Mike Synar (D-OK) that would give the players "the
right to seek an injunction under anti-trust laws if owners were
to unilaterally impose working conditions."  The hearings, to be
held before the House Judiciary Commitee, will include testimony
from Acting Commissioner Bud Selig, MLBPA Exec Dir Don Fehr,
Royals Player Rep David Cone, and possibly others.  While House
Judiciary Committee Chair Jack Brooks (D-TX) hasn't taken a
position, he is considered an exemption foe (Colin Miner, N.Y.
POST, 9/17).  Fehr: "There had been a belief in Washington that
things will work out, that the owners can't be that arrogant.
Now that they know they were wrong, maybe there will be action"
(N.Y. POST, 9/19).  David Rosenbuam writes, "Chances are slight
that generations of inertia can be overcome in the month
remaining in this session of Congress" (N.Y. TIMES, 9/18).  In
BUSINESS WEEK, Aaron Bernstein: "Although the owners have won
this battle in the past, public anger over another lost season
could stiffen congressional attitudes" (BUSINESS WEEK, 9/26
issue).

     When Acting MLB Commissioner Bud Selig "waves his magic wand
today, tomorrow or Wednesday," he will "cast the future of the
game -- short- and long-term -- into a sea of doubt" (Joel
Sherman, N.Y. POST, 9/12).  "Baseball has had seven previous work
stoppages but never has known the kind of chaos that will ensue
if it enters the off-season" without an agreement (Phil Rogers,
DALLAS MORNING NEWS, 9/10).
     POINT OF NO RETURN:  Weekend reports in the CHICAGO TRIBUNE
had Selig set to make the "formal announcement" today that he was
calling off the rest of the season, the playoffs and the World
Series (Jerome Holtzman, CHICAGO TRIBUNE, 9/10).  But MLB denies
that any decision has been made (USA TODAY, 9/12).  Bob Costas
said, while the strike "may not be fatal" to the game, there is
already "long-term damage":  "I don't think that baseball will
ever be, in our lifetimes, what it once was" ("Meet the Press,"
NBC, 9/11).
     CENTER OF THE STORM:  ESPN's Peter Gammons:  "The [MLBPA]
now believes that Bud is far more powerful than they ever
thought. ... Now the question is, is Bud going to be the hero and
just close this down and resume the season or is he going to let
it go?" ("SportsCenter", 9/10).  In Dallas, Phil Rogers writes,
"Here he sits, for all intents and purposes willing to become the
Man Who Killed the World Series" (DALLAS MORNING NEWS, 9/11).
Selig:  "A lot of people have been taking shots at baseball and
me ... but they haven't seen the numbers, they don't understand
the problems" ("SportsCenter", 9/11).  NBC made a point of
showing Selig in attendance at the Green Bay-Miami game in
Milwaukee.  Selig was interviewed briefly during the 3rd Quarter:
"I hope there will be talks tomorrow, but there is nothing
planned" (NBC, 9/11).
     ON THE SAME PAGE?  Orioles owner Peter Angelos said he was
not in the loop on the decision to reject the players offer,
despite Selig's claims that all owners were apprised of the
players' position.  Orioles Vice Chair Joe Foss said he talked to
two other teams who were not contacted either (Peter Schmuck,
Baltimore SUN, 9/10).
     NOT TOO TORN UP:  Smith Barney media analyst John Reidy
called the strike a mere "distraction" for ABC and NBC:  "You are
much better off to be doing your regular season programming.
Sure, baseball gets some great ratings, but it doesn't build a
schedule" ("Nightly Business Report," PBS, 9/9).  In Boston, Jack
Craig concurs:  "The entertainment divisions of the networks will
take over the time periods, allowing them to keep all the revenue
in what is currently a booming advertising market" (BOSTON GLOBE,
9/11).

     According to all reports this morning, Acting MLB
Commissioner Bud Selig will cancel the season, including the
World Series, sometime this afternoon.  ESPN's Jimmy Roberts:
"Many of those who have been here in New York to participate in
meetings over the last few days packed their bags and headed
home."  ESPN's Dan Patrick:  "Barring a unlikely appearance from
a voice of reason, you will hear the voice of doom ... when the
Acting Commissioner says, 'thanks for the memories'"
("SportsCenter," 9/13).  The season will end "with a news release
and a telephone call" (Jayson Stark, PHILADELPHIA INQUIRER,
9/14).
     CONFIRMATION:  Baseball's owners received a resolution from
Selig via fax calling for them to support the decision to cancel
the World Series.  Selig's resolution blames the MLBPA for
"creating a negotiating stalemate," saying the union "has
consistently refused to bargain with the clubs concerning a
division of industry revenues with the players."  The resolution
asks for the signatures of the other owners.  As of last night,
there were questions as to whether Selig would be able to get the
"consent" of the Orioles's Peter Angelos, the Dodgers' Peter
O'Malley and the Blue Jays' Paul Beeston.  But no formal vote is
necessary to cancel the season (Mark Maske, WASHINGTON POST,
9/14).
     FEHR PLAY?  Selig phoned MLBPA Exec Dir Donald Fehr last
night to discuss today's announcement.  Fehr: "He wanted me to
sanction and agree with him that it was OK and pull down the
season.  I told him that if he wanted to pull down the World
Series, that was Bud Selig's responsibility, not mine"
(PHILADELPHIA INQUIRER, 9/14).
     WHAT ABOUT NEXT SEASON?  Braves Player Rep Tom Glavine
believes if the World Series is gone, then '95 spring training
and Opening Day "are in a lot of trouble, too":  "If the
postseason wasn't enough incentive to get something done, there's
no incentive in the off season" (Tim Tucker, ATLANTA
CONSTITUTION, 9/14).  Red Sox CEO John Harrington said
negotiations must continue or the '95 season will be threatened
as well:  "We really have to reach an agreement by mid- to late-
October, because player contract transactions (for 1995) go into
full swing in early November.  We don't have any time to spend
sitting around" (Tom Massarotti, BOSTON HERALD, 9/14).
     PUBLIC RELATIONS MOVES:  Both Fehr and Richard Ravitch
appeared on NBC's "Today" show.  But the union was "irate" that
Selig apparently "shut them out" of an appearance on ABC's
"Nightline."  Selig was on the show with NBC's Bob Costas and
baseball historian David Halberstam.  Steve Fehr, Donald's
brother and a union official: "We certainly talked to [ABC] and
complained about it.  At first, we heard they made a deal with
Bud that he would come on if that was a condition.  They deny
that, but in effect it is the same" (Mike Fish, ATLANTA
CONSTITUTION, 9/14).
     TUBE TALK:  Bob Costas:  "The biggest issue is trust.  The
owners come into these negations with a lot of baggage.  The
owners had a couple of years to present a coherent plan, but they
didn't do it until the 11th hour."  Author David Halberstam:
"[The owners] sensed that the players had the bad odor of young
millionaires, and that they weren't handling it very well and the
fans were somewhat holding back, and they used that and they
found a resonance there ("Nightline," ABC, 9/13).  Royals Player
Rep David Cone: "The emotion is building toward anger as we
really feel there are a few owners who want to bust the union"
("Sports Tonight," CNN, 9/13).

     At a league meeting in Toronto, CFL commissioner Larry Smith
told owners that he had "solicited TV contract offers from two US
carriers."  Although they were not identified, Baltimore owner
Jim Speros confirmed that neither was CBS.  Any TV deal would
mean adding up to four more franchises in the U.S. Among the
cities mentioned for possible expansion: Memphis, St. Louis,
Oakland, Orlando, San Antonio, New York and Los Angeles.  New
York and L.A. are seen as the big draw for the TV executives (Ken
Murray, Baltimore SUN, 9/18).

     One owner, speaking on the condition of anonymity:  "I guess
I was naive, but it wasn't until the last few days that I began
to suspect strongly that this really is an effort to break the
union."  A different owner from a different league:  "One of the
scariest things is old hard-line owners think they're smelling
blood.  It's bizarre.  It's been so long since ownership stayed
intact and stood up, this is an unusual position for them to be
in at this stage of a strike.  When you think about it
unraveling, there's a group thinking that we have them where we
want them" (Claire Smith, N.Y. TIMES, 9/11).
     BLUNT TALK:  On the "Sports Reporters," Mike Lupica:  "They
were out to bust his union. This was not a good faith
negotiating.  I believe it and I mean it when I compare Selig to
the Black Sox.  This is the greatest scandal in baseball since
1919" (ESPN, 9/11).
     WHAT'S IT WORTH?  Bill Madden writes, "As empty-headed as
the owners have shown themselves to be over the years, it is hard
to believe they could be so bull-headed as to destroy their own
businesses in hopes of bringing the union to its knees" (N.Y.
DAILY NEWS, 9/11).  Peter Gammons notes all sides, even some
MLBPA officials, admit it will be hard to keep some players from
crossing picket lines next spring, estimates are that franchise
and player worth will be devalued 50%:  "That means if Tom Werner
and Jackie Autry want to burn at the stake rather than sell their
teams for the $85 million and $150 million they're asking, they'd
be chucking $40 million and $75 million, respectively, just to
see Fehr on his knees" (BOSTON GLOBE, 9/11).

     The NBA competition committee voted yesterday to shorten the
distance of the three pointer.  The change will become final with
a 2/3 from the NBA Board of Governors in October (Richard
Justice, WASHINGTON POST, 9/14).  Other suggestions are aimed at
curbing game fights and improving scoring opportunities.  Raptors
GM Isiah Thomas said new foul rules give "the freedom and
creativity to play basketball" (Frank Lawlor, PHILADELPHIA
INQUIRER, 9/14). Bryan Burwell notes the players' role in
bringing the game "back to its jazzy, aesthetic roots":
"Basketball is not supposed to be about rage" (USA TODAY, 9/14).
ESPN's Bob Ley:  "The rule of baseball seems to be tradition.
But this game seems ready to implode, as the NFL and the NBA
change the rules of their game to maximize their fan appeal."
ESPN's Chris Mortenson noted the positive effect the NFL is
experiencing thus far this season after off-season ruile changes:
"They juiced up the offense, and there is no question it has had
an impact in the first couple of weeks" ("SportsCenter," 9/13).

     OAKLAND:  The A's, one of the few teams that has not laid
off any front-office personnel during the strike, "probably will
not drop any employees -- even if the rest of the season is
erased."  The A's are currently for sale, with an asking price of
$85M (SAN JOSE MERCURY NEWS, 9/14).
     ST. LOUIS:  The strike has "inflicted some economic miseries
downtown, but riverboat gambling and special events have softened
the hit."  One restaurant manager, noting the Cardinals poor
season: "If there has to be a strike, make it this year" (ST.
LOUIS POST-DISPATCH, 9/14).
     PHILADELPHIA:  Phillies owner Bill Giles, who stands solidly
behind the salary cap, was asked to think of the consequences had
the strike been in '93 when the Phillies were in the World
Series:  "I think I would shoot myself.  If this was 1993, I
might have a different feeling about things" (PHILADELPHIA
INQUIRER, 9/14).

     CNN, Fox, and NBC's NFL  pre-game shows all reported that a
strike by NFL officials should be avoided this week via the
league's proposal presented this past weekend.  The deal offers a
50% pay increase, tripled pensions, and addresses the pension
concerns of some retired officials.  CNN's Len Pasquarelli says
agent Tom Condon, who represents the officials, thinks the offer
is a "viable starting point" to take to the official's executive
board.  Pasquarelli called Condon "guardedly optimistic" ("NFL
Preview," CNN, 9/18).  Fox's James Brown said "representatives
for NFL officials will recommend that they accept the offer on
the table" ("NFL Sunday," Fox, 9/18).  On "NFL Live," NBC's Will
McDonough:  "Both sides feel that a deal could be agreed on by
mid-week" ("NFL Live," NBC, 9/18).
     THE NUMBERS:  Under the proposal, a 20-year official would
receive $36,000 in pension benefits, $5,000 a game in '95 and
$80,000 in severance pay (USA TODAY, 9/19).

     In Philadelphia, Dave Caldwell reports on the latest re-
alignment plan submitted by Steelers president Dan Rooney (PHILA.
INQUIRER, 9/11).  Teams in CAPS change divisions.  The Seahawks
and Buccaneers would change conferences.
NFC EAST  NFC CENT  NFC WEST      AFC EAST   AFC CENT   AFC WEST
Eagles    Bears     CARDINALS     Colts      BILLS      Broncos
FALCONS   Lions     Rams          Dolphins   Panthers   OILERS
Cowboys   Packers   VIKINGS       Patriots   Bengals    Chiefs
Giants    Jaguars   49ers         Jets       Browns     Raiders
Redskins  SAINTS    SEAHAWKS      BUCS       Steelers   Chargers
     WILL IT HAPPEN?  Caldwell notes that the league has come up
with a $65M revenue pool to compensate those teams that stand to
lose money due to realignment.  The league will study more plans
at a meeting scheduled for September 28-29.  If at least 21
owners can agree on two or three plans, realignment could be
approved at the NFL fall meeting in Chicago, November 1-2
(PHILADELPHIA INQUIRER, 9/11).  In Chicago, Richard Rothschild
notes, the Cowboys "moved to the East when they needed help in
making a name for themselves.  Now that the NFL can use some
assistance with realignment, football's most publicized franchise
should graciously move to its rightful place in the West"
(CHICAGO TRIBUNE, 9/11).
     WHAT WOULD FOX THINK OF TAMPA IN THE AFC?  Tampa's WTVT-TV,
Channel 13, was one of the 12 CBS affiliates purchased by Fox and
New World Communications in May, 1994.

     The 1st Circuit Court of Appeals threw out the $51M
antitrust judgment won by former Patriots owner William Sullivan
against the NFL in '91 and ordered a new trial.  The decision,
written by Chief Justice Juan Torruella, found that U.S. District
Court Judge Edward Harrington "erred by not instructing the jury
to consider several key aspects of the case."  Sullivan, on
having to go back to trial: "I can't wait to get back into the
arena again.  Of course I'll do it.  I've been in this thing for
30 years and I've had my block knocked off by people of little
consequence."  Sullivan had brought suit against 21 of the NFL's
27 teams for its policy prohibiting public ownership.  Sullivan
said the policy had stopped him in '87 from selling 49% of the
Patriots in a public offering.  He ended up selling the team to
Victor Kiam for about $83.7M.  Sullivan sued the NFL in '91 for
$116M in damages, charging that the policy against public
ownership forced him to sell the team at a lower price (May &
Grunwald, BOSTON GLOBE, 9/17).  The NFL said the court's ruling
undid a "travesty" against the league (Joseph Rebello, WALL
STREET JOURNAL, 9/19).  Will McDonough calls Sullivan's suit
"contrived," and adds, "Justice has been served" (BOSTON GLOBE,
9/17).

     Many NHL beat writers focused on the labor situation, in
particular at the players' anger that their training camp
expenses are not being covered by the teams.
     LOS ANGELES:  King defenseman Marty McSorley said that the
NHL "created the specter of a training-camp lockout to mask its
real intention -- to stage a lockout before the season begins and
players draw their first paychecks."  Helene Elliott notes that
no formal talks are scheduled, although NHL Commissioner Gary
Bettman and NHLPA Exec Dir Bob Goodenow "talk often, as do the
groups' respective lawyers" (L.A. TIMES, 9/11).
     DALLAS: Dan Noxon, noting that there are no collective
bargaining sessions scheduled:  "This is ridiculous, particularly
in light of the league's pending agreement with Fox" (DALLAS
MORNING NEWS, 9/11).
     PHILADELPHIA:  Gary Miles notes that veterans "are extending
helping hands to teammates who need a little financial boost"
(PHILADELPHIA INQUIRER, 9/11).
     NEW YORK:  Rangers' Mike Hudson on Bettman's "approach" to
the situation: "We're not happy about it.  It's almost like a
dictatorship now.  He's not going to force us into a settlement"
Joe LaPointe notes that "there has been little talk among the
hockey players of selective wildcat strikes."  Hockey players, as
a group, "are far less confrontational than their baseball
brethren" (N.Y. TIMES, 9/11).
     BUFFALO:  Sabres owner Seymour Knox said he expects the two
sides to "avert a lockout" before the October 1 deadline and
"resume normal and friendly relations."  Knox said hockey is
nothing like baseball (PHILA. INQUIRER, 9/11).
     BOSTON: Kevin Paul DuPont notes, "Believe it when the
players say they're prepared for a lockout.  Their union has
issued all 26 player representatives a credit card with a $50,000
limit -- enough to buy one-way tickets home for everyone on or
about Oct. 1" (BOSTON GLOBE, 9/11).

     The NHL and the NHLPA are scheduled to meet Friday in either
Toronto or New York to resume negotiations on a collective
bargaining agreement (Dave Fuller, TORONTO SUN 9/14).  Player
Agent Rob Ingraham told the SPORTS BUSINESS DAILY yesterday that
despite the talks, a lockout is still likely: "I think these
discussions have started too late to allow for the give-and-take
that is required for progress in these type of negotiations" (THE
DAILY, 9/14).
     OWNERS PLANNING SHORTENED SEASON?  Speculation continued
yesterday that the league plans to begin the season October 1,
and then lock out the players a few days later so that owners
don't have to give entire refunds to season ticket holders.  In
fact, one source within the NHLPA alleged that the league owners
had already drawn up a 50-game schedule for the coming season in
anticipation of a long work stoppage (Dave Fuller, TORONTO SUN,
9/14).
     BREAK IN UNION?  There are "rumblings of dissension within
the players ranks -- chiefly over the issue of a rookie salary
cap."  According to one source, the NHL has proposed setting a
$500,000 limit on entry level salaries in lieu of team-wide
controls.  Fuller adds, "Some players would agree to that kind of
trade-off" (TORONTO SUN, 9/14).
     THE GREAT ONES WILL GET THE CASH:  In Vancouver, Kent
Gilchrist writes, "No matter what the next collective bargaining
agreement brings, the reality of hockey in the '90s means there
are going to be a few core players and then everyone else"
(VANCOUVER PROVINCE, 9/14).
     LINKAGE WITH THE NEW TV DEAL?  NHL Commissioner Gary
Bettman, after announcing the new Fox/ESPN TV arrangement (See
story num. 5):  "I have a theory that everything is linked to
everything else.  I wish it was, so I could hold a news
conference tomorrow and announce an agreement on our other
negotiations."  In St. Louis, Jeff Gordon writes one aspect of
the new TV deals -- "the willingness  of local clubs to waive
some blackout rights over Fox and ESPN -- is a small step in the
revenue-sharing direction.  Individual clubs will actually make a
sacrifice to increase the revenue pool all clubs draw from" (ST.
LOUIS POST-DISPATCH, 9/14).

     The NHLPA on Friday presented Commissioner Gary Bettman with
what the union believes is a "last best hope" for a Collective
Bargaining Agreement before the start of the season, October 1st
(Mark Everson, N.Y. POST, 9/17).  The NHLPA proposal involves a
complex 5% tax on salaries and gate receipts which the players
contend would raise $35M in added revenue for small-market teams.
But leagues officials said they are skeptical, "fearing" that it
does not provide enough revenue sharing for small-market teams
such as Winnipeg and Quebec (CANADIAN PRESS/TORONTO SUN, 9/19).
NHLPA president Mike Gartner labeled the proposal as a "very
novel idea": "We've looked at their concerns, such as the
difference in revenue between big and small market teams, and
tried to address them" (CP/WINNIPEG FREE PRESS, 9/17).
     STILL LOOKS LIKE A LOCKOUT:  Despite the recent talks,
speculation remains "rife that a lockout would likely last into
December" (N.Y. POST, 9/17).  Lightning GM Phil Esposito: "If we
don't get an agreement, there will be a stoppage. ... We refuse
to get into a baseball scenario" (TAMPA TRIBUNE, 9/18).  In
Boston, Kevin Dupont writes: "They aren't going to find a cash-
flow formula in less than two weeks" (BOSTON GLOBE, 9/18).  Talks
are expected to resume in New York tomorrow, at which time
Bettman will respond to the NHLPA proposal (GLOBE & MAIL, 9/19).
     PRE-EMPTIVE STRIKE?  NHL management was "shaken" Friday by a
rumor that the NHLPA plans to strike before the season begins
October 1.  An "upset" NHL official explained that the players
were considering a strike because of the rollbacks that Bettman
had imposed early this month.  But the NHLPA denied any strike
rumors (N.Y. POST, 9/17).
     SMOKE SCREEN?  "There are many players who feel the salary-
cap issue is a smokescreen for the owners' real target" of salary
arbitration.  Speculation has arisen that the owners plan to
offer concessions on the NHL's restrictive free agency system in
hopes of eliminating arbitration permanently.  But Gartner
indicated that the players will be unwilling to bend on the issue
of salary arbitration (GLOBE & MAIL, 9/17).
     WILL PLAYERS CRACK ON ROOKIE CAP?  Oilers Player Rep Kelly
Buchberger on Friday suggested that the players would be willing
to agree to a cap on rookie salaries to resolve the dispute
(CP/WINNIPEG FREE PRESS, 9/17).

     The NHL Board of Governors is expected to ratify today a
$155M, five-year TV deal with Fox, marking the first time the
league will have regular season, playoff, and Stanley Cup finals
games broadcast on a regular basis since the '74-'75 season.  A
joint NHL/Fox news conference in New York is scheduled for
tomorrow (mult., 9/10-12).  Smith Barney media analyst Bill
Meyers told THE SPORTS BUSINESS DAILY this morning:  "The NHL
hasn't had a significant presence on broadcast television.  So,
this is as important for the league as it is for Fox" (DAILY
sources, 9/12).
     HERE'S HOW IT WORKS:  Final details have not been made
public, but Fox, which reaches 90M homes, will reportedly kick-
off its hockey schedule with the January 21 All-Star Game; air at
least 12 games of the week on Sunday afternoons through April 9;
cover a playoff game weekly; and air a number of Stanley Cup
Finals games in prime time.  Coverage may be regionalized (mult.,
9/10-12). "Fox will also...be guaranteed exclusive national
rights to a Stanley Cup Game 7, should one be played" (Phil
Mushnick, N.Y. POST, 9/12).
     REVENUE SHARING:  The deal "reportedly assures $31M annually
to the NHL under a unique financing plan in which the league will
sell and keep advertising revenue until it reaches its guarantee.
If it falls short, Fox would make up the difference.  If it
exceeds the total, the league and Fox will share that revenue"
(Jack Craig, BOSTON GLOBE, 9/10).
     THE YOUNG AND THE RESTLESS:  18-34 year olds are the name of
the game and "Fox also has pledged an extensive promotional
campaign for a sport whose demographic of younger viewers also
fits nicely with the network's audience" (Leonard Shapiro,
WASHINGTON POST, 9/10).
     SUDS AND DUDS:  Anheuser-Busch and Nike are major backers,
according to Stars President Jim Lites:  "They were already in
and said if you do network television, we will make this level of
commitment.  [Commissioner Gary Bettman] was then able to go into
the networks with those commitments and make it happen" (Barry
Horn, DALLAS MORNING NEWS, 9/10).
     FOX HUNT:  The NHL deal "is further evidence that Murdoch is
determined to be a player in the bidding war for every major
sports franchise" (Jim Benson, VARIETY, 9/9). "As it did in
December when it won the rights to broadcast NFL games for four
seasons, Fox again outbid CBS," which made a final offer of
$150M.  NBC and ABC did not bid at all, and Fox Chair Rupert
Murdoch "personally negotiated the NHL deal" (Barry Horn, DALLAS
MORNING NEWS, 9/10).  Smith Barney's Bill Meyers, in an interview
this morning:  "It adds the 'S' to Fox Sports" (DAILY sources,
9/12).
     ESPN REAX:  The NHL has reportedly extended its deal with
ESPN for two years and will allow the cable network to "televise
late-round playoff games in home markets" (Rudy Martzke, USA
TODAY, 9/12).  In a statement released Friday, ESPN -- which has
completed two years of its five-year, $80M cable deal with the
NHL -- expressed approval of the Fox contract:  "We have been
saying all along we have been working closely with the NHL in its
continuous efforts to obtain a broadcast network agreement in
return for certain contract modifications, including greater
exclusivity.  We agree that greater broadcast network exposure
will benefit all involved" (Barry Horn, DALLAS MORNING NEWS,
9/10).
     LIGHTNING GOVERNOR DAVID LEFEVRE:  "If the product goes well
and picks up more viewers than expected, the package could
increase even further" (DALLAS MORNING NEWS, 9/10).
     CAPITALS PRESIDENT DICK PATRICK:  "This adds to our exposure
and gives the perception in this country that hockey is becoming
a national sport as opposed to a regional one as it has been in
the past.  If we're hard to find on TV, we're not major league,
and that's more important than the finances of the deal"
(WASHINGTON POST, 9/10).
     TIMING IS EVERYTHING:  The Fox deal comes amid reports of a
threatened work stoppage, so "the question now becomes whether
revenue from the Fox deal would be enough to help avert a player
walkout" (Jim Benson, VARIETY, 9/9).
     HELSINKI ACCORD:  According to a source of THE SPORTS
BUSINESS DAILY, an agreement reached in Finland over the weekend
between the NHL and the International Ice Hockey Federation
provides a framework for NHL players to go to the Olympics, as
well as a possible joint NHL/IIHF Pan-European "Super-League"
(DAILY sources, 9/12).

     "The owners have shown their resolve. ... The owners, who
have dutifully followed small-market leader Bud Selig, can
celebrate their unprecedented solidarity.  Then they can spend
the off season trying to keep baseball from exploding.  Or
imploding" (Any Niedzielka, MIAMI HERALD, 9/14).
     CURIOUS ABOUT GEORGE:  Many reports in New York note that
George Steinbrenner has been surprisingly quiet in his solidarity
with fellow owners.  Jack Curry writes, "Bud, the acting
commissioner, has apparently tamed the boss" (N.Y. TIMES, 9/14).
In Baltimore, Peter Schmuck notes that Steinbrenner even came to
Selig's defense in comments earlier this week to the MILWAUKEE
JOURNAL (Baltimore SUN, 9/14).  In a report that has Steinbrenner
saying some small market teams should be able to move rather than
big-market teams support them, Joel Sherman makes a point to
note, "Steinbrenner has surprisingly remained a low-key figure
and has not broken ranks" (N.Y. POST, 9/14).
     YESTERDAY'S BUSINESS:  The MLBPA began to distribute more
than $10M in checks for players on strike.  The initial payments
come primarily from licensing money the MLBPA withheld last year
(N.Y. TIMES, 9/14).  In Washington, Sen. Howard Metzenbaum's (D-
OH) bill to temporarily lift baseball's anti-trust exemption was
blocked on the floor of the Senate by NE Sen. James Exon (mult.,
9/14).

     Despite the success of this weekend's President's Cup, there
is no guarantee that the PGA Tour event will return to the Robert
Trent Jones Golf Club in Lake Manassas, VA, in '96.  RTJ
President Bobby Russell said the club and the PGA Tour "have a
handshake agreement on holding the event here again in two
years," although there is no guarantee on its return.  PGA Tour
Commissioner Tom Finchem is concerned about the limited viewing
area for the spectators, which reduces the amount of tickets that
can be sold.  There is a "desire to expand the event, which might
mean bigger ticket sales now that the Tour will have two years to
sell the event" (John Hawkins, WASHINGTON TIMES, 9/19).

     Weekend talk again turned to the idea of the players
creating their own league.  Braves player rep Tom Glavine:  "It's
been talked about, absolutely.  Some might think it's far-
fetched, but it is not.  Hopefully, we won't get to that point"
(Mike Fish, ATLANTA CONSTITUTION, 9/12).  While former MLBPA
general counsel Richard Moss, who tried  unsuccessfully to start
a rival league in '89, sees "another window of opportunity
approaching" (Murray Chass, N.Y. TIMES, 9/11) -- others are
doubtful.  Peter Schmuck writes, "The logistics of starting a new
league would be so daunting that it seems unlikely that it would
be considered seriously" (Baltimore SUN, 9/11).
     WILL THEY HOLD?  In Chicago, Jerome Holtzman writes, "Many
[players] are eager to return to the field, even with a salary
cap.  Eventually, they will surrender.  And the longer they hold
out, the more they will lose" (CHICAGO TRIBUNE, 9/11).  John
Helyar writes the MLBPA is "potentially the far bigger loser" if
the season shuts down (WALL STREET JOURNAL, 9/12).  On ESPN's
"Sports Reporters," Bill Conlin predicted that the owners will
open the camps next year and "Barry Bonds and a lot of other
players making $2 million a year will come into camp.  If the
union is not broken, it is bankrupt" (ESPN, 9/11).

     Officials from the NHL, Fox Broadcasting, ESPN, Anheuser-
Busch and Nike gathered yesterday to officially announce the
league's new broadcast TV deal with Fox and an extension of its
cable deal with ESPN.  NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman cited
demographics as a key factor, declaring that hockey "is a perfect
match for Fox's younger, hipper audience":  "Fox is strong in the
18-34 age group and that's where we are strongest as well.  That
is where the future of our game lies" (Rob Longley, TORONTO SUN,
9/14).
     DETAILS:  Fox's premier telecast will the All-Star Game in
San Jose on January 21.  Fox will have exclusive rights to the
final two Sundays of the regular season and playoff games,
including a minimum of two Stanley Cup finals games and any Game
7 finals match-up.  In addition to about 100 regular season games
on ESPN and ESPN2, the cable net will have exclusive rights to
Games 2, 3, 5, and 6 of the finals and up to 12 games of the
conference finals.  Fox will reportedly pay $155M; ESPN's deal is
said to be worth $65M.   KEEPING THE REGIONALS HAPPY:  "Less
pleased" with the deal will be regional cable networks and local
outlets that carry the NHL.  With Fox aboard and ESPN's new
exclusivities, "they will have fewer games to produce and sell."
MSG Network President Doug Moss:  "It's disappointing.  But I
understand that Bettman is taking the league where everyone else
is going. ... It's great for hockey.  Great for the Rangers.  Not
so great for MSG" (Richard Sandomir, N.Y. TIMES, 9/14).  Bettman:
"If we increase the fan base for NHL hockey, more people are
going to become interested in the vast bulk of games carried on
the regional networks" (N.Y. DAILY NEWS, 9/14).
     FOX SAYS "TOUGH" TO OTHER NETS:  Fox Sports President David
Hill, asked about concerns from other nets that Fox "doesn't
share their concern about making sure a sports deal is
profitable":  "What do I say to them?  I say that's tough" (Bob
Raissman, N.Y. DAILY NEWS, 9/14).  Rudy Martzke asks about Fox:
"Can Wimbledon and baseball be far behind?"  (USA TODAY, 9/14).
In Baltimore, Milton Kent also sees Wimbledon and the 2000
Olympics in Sydney as potential properties Fox could bid for
(Baltimore SUN, 9/14).
     MARKETING PARTNERS:  NHL Senior VP & COO Stephen Solomon
credited Anheuser-Busch and Nike for signing on as marketing
partners before they knew what network the NHL would be on or
what the schedule would be.  Anheuser-Busch VP for Corporate
Media & Sports Marketing Tony Ponturo noted that A-B saw the NHL
as a great way to prevent new product "Ice Draft" from
experiencing a "sophomore jinx" (THE DAILY, 9/14).  Ponturo:
"Hockey, with access to customers aged 21-34, is where we want to
be" (N.Y. TIMES, 9/14).  Nike Dir of League Relations Doug Stamm
cited the "breadth of the sponsorship package" and the "perfect
fit" between his company and Fox.  Stamm noted opportunities at
home -- to spread the Nike/NHL street hockey program to each of
the NHL cities -- and internationally, through the NHL's new
agreement with the Int'l Ice Hockey Federation.  Asked if other
companies would have access to the same packages as A-B and Nike,
the NHL's Solomon said:  "We have every belief that they're just
the start of companies that are going to be part of this hockey
package.  And in fact, there's a tremendous amount of interest
out there from a variety of companies at this very moment" (THE
DAILY, 9/14).
     AD SALES:  Bettman said the sale of ad time on Fox will be a
"joint venture" between the league and Fox.  He noted that the
first two sales -- A-B and Nike -- came from the NHL:  "It's a
partnership, and ultimately we have control.  But it is a
partnership in terms of how we're going to try to execute it"
(THE DAILY, 9/14).
     PAY-PER-VIEW:  ESPN was also given the opportunity to launch
a pay-per-view plan that would allow cable viewers to watch games
from outside their market (N.Y. TIMES, 9/14).     REVIEWS:  "The
deal may be a sign of the NHL's increasing popularity" (Tom Ford,
TAMPA TRIBUNE, 9/14).  "Don't look now, but the [NHL] is moving
into the mainstream of professional sports" (Jeff Gordon, ST.
LOUIS POST-DISPATCH, 9/14).  In New York, Jay Greenberg called it
"fortuitous timing" for the NHL:  "We'd like to see some improved
overnights before becoming convinced that Fox has bought into
something big" (N.Y. POST, 9/14). "Can Bart Simpson's pocket
change save the [NHL's] smaller markets?" (Dave Fay, WASHINGTON
TIMES, 9/14).  Paul Kangas said Fox "is at it again" ("Nightly
Business Report," PBS, 9/13).  ESPN's Robin Roberts: "Apparently
Fox had a little money left over from acquiring NFL games"
("SportsCenter", 9/13).

     The major decision facing the owners is whether to declare
an impasse and implement their salary cap system, and
"implementation seems to be the most critical step."  One source
on the players' side said management "might be having second
thoughts because the strike has drastically changed the clubs'
economic position and the change could affect the proposed
payroll cap."  The source said if the owners do implement, "they
might first alter their proposal to account for the change and
offer it to the union" (Murray Chass, N.Y. TIMES, 9/17).  Bill
Madden writes, "Judging by what has happened so far, you have to
believe the owners are intent on implementing their system (N.Y.
DAILY NEWS, 9/18).
     NO WAY, NO HOW:  Former MLBPA Exec Dir Marvin Miller: "I can
think of no terms, no conditions of employment that would produce
a settlement that would be ratified by a majority of the players
and by 21 or more of the 28 owners. (Frank Fitzpatrick,
PHILADELPHIA INQUIRER, 9/17).
     IN THE LINE OF FIRE:  One attorney "familiar with such
matters" said Bud Selig's dual role as small-market owner and
acting commissioner "has its perils": "What would really get him
in trouble is if some franchise goes broke and then a trustee or
somebody who comes in to run the club brings a lawsuit because of
his conflict of interest.  And, clearly he has a serious conflict
of interest" (Frank Fitzpatrick, PHILA. INQUIRER, 9/18).  Selig
is pictured on the cover of Sunday's NEW YORK TIMES MAGAZINE --
sitting at a table with a bat in front of him (N.Y. TIMES, 9/18).
     DEATH TO TBN?  The fact that a work stoppage ensures the
owners will revisit The Baeball Network provides "one possible
explanation" why Yankees owner George Steinbrenner "has gone
along so easily with the small-market owners while losing several
million dollars more than them."  Steinbrenner:  "I think we'll
have the right to walk.  I'm not hopeful for that [TBN] deal
working.  You've got Fox, and CBS has to be hungry" (Jon Heyman,
N.Y. NEWSDAY, 9/16).
     THE PLAYERS' LEAGUE:  Don Fehr "cautions against
overexuberance" about a players' league:  "Venues are a major
problem."  One agent:  "Are players willing to go from making $5
million to losing $2 million?  I think not" (Peter Gammons,
BOSTON GLOBE, 9/18).
     BRING IN THE POLITICIANS:  Representatives of the owners and
players met with a committee of the U.S. Conference of Mayors,
which is expected to take up the issue of the strike at its
meeting this week in Knoxville, TN.  Cities with MLB franchises
are considering a lawsuit that would focus on violations of
stadium leases as well as lost jobs and tax revenue due to the
strike (AP/mult., 9/17).
     CUTBACKS:  In a meeting with about 110 Cardinal and Civic
Center employees, Cardinals President Mark Lamping said that no
front-office employees would be laid off (Rick Hummel, ST. LOUIS
POST-DISPATCH, 9/17).  However, the Padres and A's could not
afford to maintain their full staff.  On Friday, Padres President
Dick Freeman announced the firing of half the team's
administrative staff, including the team's publicity head (AP,
9/17).  The A's also announced a layoff of 17 out of 71 front
office workers.  A's President & GM Sandy Alderson:  "We held the
line as long as we could" (AP, 9/16).  Thirteen teams have
decided not to participate in the Arizona Instructional League
this fall (TAMPA TRIBUNE, 9/18).  A vote on the fate of the
Arizona League will be held this week (Peter Gammons, BOSTON
GLOBE, 9/18).
     OPEN HOUSE:  The Cardinals will open Busch Stadium to the
fans next Sunday.  Admission and parking will be free.  Fans will
be able to tour the clubhouses, press box and play on the field
(ST. LOUIS POST-DISPATCH, 9/17).

     With the latest round of talks between MLB owners and
players yielding no settlement, the MLBPA and its Washington
representatives will turn their attention to Congressional action
on baseball's antitrust exemption.  As early as today, Sen.
Howard Metzenbaum, the Antitrust Subcommittee Chair and a
longtime foe of baseball's special status, will re-introduce
legislation to have the exemption lifted.
     Metzenbaum has pushed twice before to change the game's
status, most recently in June '94 when his bill was defeated in
the Senate Judiciary Committee by a 10-7 vote.  Now, Metzenbaum
is back for one "last stand" before he retires.  He has scaled
back his previous legislation and found an influential co-sponsor
in Utah Republican Orrin Hatch.  The Metzenbaum/Hatch bill lifts
the ban for the duration of the strike and would allow players to
sue if the owners unilaterally impose a salary cap during the
off-season.
     But even with a new co-sponsor and a change in tactics, the
bill faces an uphill fight in a Senate  largely fearful of taking
a stand on this controversial issue.
     According to an exclusive straw poll of the U.S. Senate by
THE SPORTS BUSINESS DAILY, only 34 Senators were willing to take
even an anonymous stand on lifting the ban (all 100 Senate
offices were contacted over the Labor Day recess).  Among those
that responded, there was little consensus or any indication of
party-line uniformity:  20 favored revoking baseball's antitrust
exemption (12 Republican, 8 Democrat) and 14 opposed (6
Republican, 8 Democrat).
     While the numbers signal a considerable undecided vote up
for grabs by either side, there are discouraging signs for pro-
union forces.  Many of the "non-answers" came from traditionally
pro-labor senators torn between trust-busting and protecting
minor league interests in their home states.
     The Metzenbaum/Hatch bill could be taken up any time after
the Senate resumes business today, either as a free standing
piece of legislation or as an amendment to an existing bill.
That would force each senator to vote on the measure.  One high-
level Metzenbaum staffer said:  "I can't imagine any Senator
willing to block a bill that would bring baseball back on the
field.  If they want to do that, let them do it publicly on the
Senate floor.  We are confident that if we have an up and down
vote, with a promise from the players to play, that we will get
the majority of votes."
     Baseball's owners, however, are ready for a legislative
fight and confident of victory.  MLB Dir. of Government Relations
Gene Callahan:  "We will be prepared."  According to one staffer
on the Senate's Judiciary Committee:  "The baseball owners have
an unruly amount of power up here.  All they need is 24 hours to
beat this bill."  Another Judiciary Committee staffer predicts
Metzenbaum will "get hammered on the floor -- maybe 20 votes
maximum":  "It won't even end the strike, it will just bring
about more court action."
     MLB's financial support of the minor leagues is a powerful
stick for the owners.  In fact, many senators reluctant to take a
position cited fear of losing their minor league teams.  As
Callahan explains it, lifting the ban "would destroy Class A ball
and would wipe out the Carolina League."  Without players
beholden to their team for six years, the majors "are not going
to spend that kind of money on player development," said
Callahan, who puts the subsidy from MLB to the minor leagues at
$211M.
     John Fithian, an attorney with Patton, Boggs & Blow and
Washington counsel to the MLBPA, acknowledges the force behind
MLB's payment to the minors, noting that before the subsidy
agreement, the minors favored lifting the ban.  Despite the long
odds, Fithian said the MLBPA intends to press on:  "Eventually
this legislation will get passed.  Maybe not now, but the ground
work we are setting is important. ... If we don't get the
antitrust exemption lifted, another strike will happen again down
the road."

      REPLACEMENTS:  Red Sox owner John Harrington called use of
replacement players a "last resort," but added:  "We'd have to
make all kinds of adjustments with our radio and TV packages, our
ticket prices.  It would be different, but it's something we'd
have to consider if it got to that point" (Nick Cafardo, BOSTON
GLOBE, 9/14).  Braves President Stan Kasten does not rule out
using replacement players: "We have an awful lot of interest in
our sport because the Atlanta Braves play in Atlanta-Fulton
County Stadium and soon in an even grander stadium, and because
the Boston Red Sox play in Fenway Park, and because the New York
Yankees play in Yankee Stadium. ... And I think our teams will
still go on even if, God forbid, the names have to change" (Tim
Tucker, ATLANTA CONSTITUTION, 9/14).
     PLAYERS' LEAGUE:  Braves pitcher Tom Glavine: "I don't think
that's quite as far-fetched as some people think.  We're sure if
we get that far we can find other owners out there, or work out
details to have players running the show" (Tim Tucker, ATLANTA
CONSTITUTION, 9/14).  Dick Moss, who preceded Fehr as MLBPA Exec
Dir, has been the "key figure in efforts to start a new league."
Moss, in statements yesterday, made a point of saying that as
baseball begins to re-organize, it is unlikely that Milwaukee
"will ever see major league baseball again" (SAN JOSE MERCURY
NEWS, 9/14).  In New York, Joel Sherman recalls Moss' failed
attempt to start a new league in '91.  At present, the union is
"downplaying its desire to investigate a new league, saying it is
much more interested" in resolving the conflict.  Union
leadership also said a new league would not be used as a
"bargaining chip, but would only be approached with the idea of
revolutionizing the sport" (N.Y. POST, 9/14).

     In Chicago, Bernie Lincicome writes, "Well, tennis got what
it wanted, Andre Agassi."  USTA president Bumpy Frazier
announcing the champion of the U.S. Open: "Ladies and gentlemen,
the most popular tennis player in the entire world, Andre
Agassi."  Michael Stich, on the comment: "What a stupid thing to
say."  Lincicome: "Yes it was, but forgive tennis for getting
beside itself over Agassi finally filling another crack in his
potential, not to mention a huge hole in its appeal" (CHICAGO
TRIBUNE, 9/12).
     STATE OF THE GAME:  CBS's Mary Carillo: "The best thing that
could have happened to tennis was Andre Agassi winning the U.S.
Open."  CBS's Tim Ryan, referring to Sally Jenkins' 5/94 "Is
Tennis Dying?" piece in SPORTS ILLUSTRATED:  "There is a lot of
action in tennis in reaction to that piece" (CBS, 9/11).  Cliff
Drysdale, Bud Collins, Tracy Austin, and Tony Trabert appeared on
PBS' "Charlie Rose" to discuss the state of the game ("Charlie
Rose," 9/9).  Agassi appeared this morning on both CBS' and ABC's
news programs.
     TENDING HOUSE:  The Women's Tennis Council, "currently in
the midst of fending off a takeover threat" by IMG, took an
"internal step forward in strengthening its own position" by
naming Anne Person Worcester as the first CEO of the WTA Tour
(N.Y. TIMES, 9/10).  The Tennis Industry Association (TIA)
approved a plan at the U.S. Open to invest $15M over the next
three years in an effort to "revitalize the sport and attract new
players" (DAILY sources, 9/12).  Phillip Morris USA plans to
organize and promote a women's legends tour that will feature
Chris Evert and Martina Navratilova, among others.  The tour will
play in six unannounced cities and hold a final championship
event in early December at Delray Beach, FL (PHILADELPHIA DAILY
NEWS, 9/9).
     IMAGE MAY NOT BE EVERYTHING:  CBS cut to a shot of Brooke
Shields using a Minolta to take a picture of her beau, Agassi, a
Canon pitchman.