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Volume 24 No. 114

Sports Media

     The Mighty Ducks announced they have reached a one year
broadcast agreement with KGME 1360 AM in Phoenix, KVNA 690 AM in
Flagstaff, and KHJ 1380 in Lancester, CA for the '94-'95 season.
The Ducks now have eight affliated radio stations for the
upcoming season in CA, AZ and NC (THE DAILY, 9/14)....TNT will
air four encore presentations of "75 Seasons: The History of the
NFL."  The show, which aired for the first time last night, will
be broadcast on 9/14, 9/18, 9/25, and 10/3 (THE DAILY,
9/14)....The Patriots continue to be a hot draw in Boston, as
over 606,000 homes watched WBZ's fourth quarter on Sunday.  For
two games, they have averaged 465,000 homes, or a 22.1 rating
(Jim Baker, BOSTON HERALD, 9/13)....Entertainment Tonight
profiled Ken Burns' "Baseball."  ET's Mary Hart: "PBS is
expecting big numbers. Baseball goes on sale in video stores a
week from Friday, while the series is still running" ("ET,"
9/13)....SI's 40th Anniversary show airs tonight on NBC.  The
show will be hosted by Bob Costas, but it is being produced by
SI's new TV division.  ESPN reported the Top 5 of SI's 40 "Most
Influential Sports Figures" to be unveiled tonight:  1)
Muhammad Ali;  2)  Michael Jordan; 3) Roone Arledge;  4)
Jim Brown;  5) Billie Jean King ("SportsCenter," 9/13).

     GE and Time Warner resume talks this week as Time Warner
tries to secure NBC as a programming outlet and GE considers
selling all or part of its share in the network.  This morning's
WALL STREET JOURNAL reports other suitors are considering bids
for NBC, including Harcourt General and Turner Broadcasting.
Harcourt is completing a sale of its insurance unit to GE for
$400M; TBS is considered "unlikely" to purchase NBC because Time
Warner is one of its major shareholders (Roberts & Jensen, WALL
STREET JOURNAL, 9/12).

     GE is considering buying Time Warner for the potential price
of $19B.  The sale may revolve around whether GE CEO Jack Welch
wants to "ease out of the media business by selling all or part
of his TV network NBC -- or get in deeper by buying Time Warner."
Welch apparently is being advised to hold onto NBC and buy into
other media properties.  Even though Time Warner is $16B in debt,
"it would fit Welch's desire to own companies that are leaders in
their field" (Dorfman & Lieberman, USA TODAY, 9/19).
     ITT TO HEAR OFFERS FOR FINANCIAL CORP:  ITT confirmed that
it is hearing offers for its ITT Financial Corp. subsidiary and
has hired Goldman Sachs to handle the sale. Analysts say the
profitable financial services operations could go for close to
$3B.  The proceeds "would be used to finance ITT's sudden new
push into entertainment business."  ITT is reportedly interested
in purchasing either NBC or CBS (Molly Baker, WALL STREET
JOURNAL, 9/19).

      While Fox received a lot of publicity for its high NFL
ratings in large markets, the returns from smaller markets, which
make up 45% of the nation, "were a leveler."  Fox's overall
rating fell 25% and trailed last year on CBS.  "This proves that
Fox has holes in its reach, with small UHF stations as
affiliates" (Jack Craig, BOSTON GLOBE, 9/11). ...TNT has sold
nearly 65% of the ad time for the upcoming NBA season, but
virtually all of its ad time for the NFL.  TNT is not alone with
its "rapid NFL sales pace.  It's a sellers' market, and
commercial inventory is moving faster than it has in years."  All
1st Half Super Bowl 30-second spots have been sold, with the
going price at $1.025M (INSIDE MEDIA, 9/7-20 issue).

     Disney is rumored to be "weighing a bid" of $5B for General
Electric's NBC unit, according to several executives familiar
with the negotiations.  "Disney executives have been saying
privately for the past few months that they were more interested"
in purchasing NBC than the other networks, because NBC is the
"most troubled network and therefore might be relatively less
expensive to acquire."  But some close to Disney "cautioned" that
the issue of price "still remained a significant obstacle" in the
talks (Jensen & Turner, WALL STREET JOURNAL, 9/14).  Due to the
price issue, Disney reportedly has also begun discussions with
CBS.  Although Disney has shown previous interest in acquiring a
network, several analysts yesterday said that they "felt it
unlikely" that Disney would actually make a deal at this time
(Geraldine Fabrikant, N.Y. TIMES, 9/14).
     DISNEY VS. TIME WARNER:  Disney's offer, which is for all of
NBC, could present a "much more attractive option" for GE, which
is also negotiating with Time Warner.  Unlike Disney's offer for
the entire network, Time Warner's bid is for 49% of NBC's
programming operations for a reported price of $2.5B.  While GE
originally found Time Warner's offer appealing, they "may find it
more attractive to unload the network business altogether" rather
than hang on to stations as envisioned in the Time Warner plan.
Disney also has a "much stronger balance sheet and a better
reputation" for marketing than Time Warner (WALL STREET JOURNAL,
9/14).