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Volume 24 No. 112

Sports Media

     The possibility that the start of the NHL regular season
"could be put on ice" would be a "severe blow" to CBC-TV,
according to the network's head of sports, Alan Clark.  Clark
said that so far there is not "contingency plan" if a lockout
occurs: "We must have hockey.  Hockey wasn't broken so there was
no need to fix it."  Molstar Communications VP Ron Harrison,
whose company produces "Hockey Night In Canada": "We are worried,
but we are also helpless."  Both Clark and Harrison mentioned the
"added frustration that the current unrest creates, coming just
when hockey fever is at an all-time high."  CBC, which would have
televised baseball's World Series, would not comment on what
viewers would see if the hockey season is put on hold.  TSN
Public Relations officer Steve Rayment noted that unlike
mainstream TV stations, TSN has "fewer fallback options in the
case of a lockout": "For the NHL to go out in the wake of the
baseball situation would be another blow to TSN"
(MacLeod/Campbell/McKee, Toronto GLOBE & MAIL, 9/23).  In the
U.S., the Fox deal starts with the January, 1995 All-Star game.
But if October 21's telecasts are not played on ESPN or ESPN2,
the NHL will loose $2.7M in rights fees from ESPN (Rudy Martzke,
USA TODAY, 9/23).

     ABC Sports reached a new multi-year agreement with the
Triple Crown.  ABC President Dennis Swanson: "The agreement also
includes marketing and promotional rights."  Swanson added: "We
think it positions us better with the people we do business with
to satisfy not just media buying, but the full range of
opportunities being sought by our clients."  In addition to the
Triple Crown races, ABC has acquired the rights to package the
Triple Crown for television.  The network will provide marketing
and promotional opportunities for sponsors, including
hospitality, event tickets, and on-site exposure for its
television sponsors (THE DAILY).
     FIGHT FOR YOUR RIGHTS:  In this morning's USA TODAY, Rudy
Martzke writes that the $8M deal "signifies the new reality in TV
sports rights fees," since ABC is willing to pay $1M more than
last year for a property that has experienced a 23% ratings
decline over the past six years.  According to Martzke, the
reason is the "prospect of hungry competitors CBS and Fox waiting
to bid on the latest available property 'jewel'" (USA TODAY,
9/23).  In New York, Steve Zipay also notes CBS and FOX's
interest.  ABC "exercised its negotiating exclusivity clause,
effectively boxing them out from bidding."  Using exculsivity
clauses to protect programming rights "before they become a jump
ball   -- with CBS and Fox leaping in with big bucks -- might
become a pattern" (NEWSDAY, 9/23).

     CBS has announced the launch of "Eye on Skating," a series
of six figure skating championships to run from November 24
through December 25.  The schedule includes:  The U.S. Ladies
Outdoor Skating Challenge at Sun Valley (11/24 & 27); The Nikon
Skating Championships (12/3-4); The Northwestern Mutual Life
Insurance World Team Skating Championships (12/10-11); The Vicks
44 North American Open Skating Championships (12/18; and the
Canadian Professional Skating Championships (12/24-25).  Skaters
slated to compete include:  Oksana Bayul, Kristi Yamaguchi, Brian
Boitano, Vicktor Petrenko, Paul Wylie, and the team of Yekaterina
Gordeyeva and Sergei Grinkov.  David Winner will produce, Bob
Fishman and Bob Matina will direct, and Verne Lundquist and Scott
Hamilton will provide commentary (THE DAILY).

     In this week's INSIDE MEDIA, Mike Reynolds reports that ESPN
is looking for six $2M sponsors for its inaugural "Extreme Games"
to run on ESPN and The Deuce between June 24 and July 2 in '95.
ESPN VP of Business Development Tom Hagel:  "We're looking for
six 'gold' sponsors.  We went out with proposals to our incumbent
advertisers just after Labor Day, beginning with fast-food and
soft drink clients because they had expressed the most interest
since we announced the Extreme Games back in April."  Reynolds
says the "umbrella sponsorship" packages will control
approximately 70% of the program inventory and include commercial
time during 22 live hours on ESPN, 19 live hours on ESPN2, as
well as seven hours to be re-aired in West Coast primetime.  The
"gold sponsors" will also "benefit from the association with 24
hours of programming on the networks leading up to the
competition," promotional vignettes, on-site hospitality, and
event signage.  The Extreme Games is a first step by ESPN "to
expand its reach beyond that of rights holder to event marketer,
controlling everything from hospitality and course design to
promotion and integrated marketing packages" (Mike Reynolds,
INSIDE MEDIA, 9/21 issue).
     BRING ON THE 18-34 CONSUMERS:  The Extreme Games, to be held
in Newport, RI, will feature events in 9 "alternative sports":
bungy jumping, mountain biking, sky surfing, windsurfing, kite-
skiing, and barefoot jumping.  "ESPN is estimating a 1.6
household rating for its universe, and a 0.9 rating within
ESPN2's world" (INSIDE MEDIA, 9/21 issue).
     HAPPY ANNIVERSARY, ESPN:  In a column this morning, Leonard
Shapiro notes ESPN "has changed the viewing habits of most of
America's sports fans is celebrating its [15th] anniversary this
month."  In addition to supplying "four times the 1,288 hours of
[sports] coverage provided in 1979 by ABC, CBS, and NBC," Shapiro
says that "ESPN has also made a significant impact in TV sports
journalism, taking it into enterprise reporting where few major
networks have dared to go" (WASHINGTON POST, 9/23).
     ALSO FROM INSIDE MEDIA -- HOLA, SENOR:  Marty O'Loughlin
reports that JSA Publishing in Santa Monica, CA, will deliver
"Mundo Deportivo" [Sports World] "door-to-door in plastic bags in
census tracts with a minimum of 70 percent Hispanics."  The bi-
monthly publication will begin February and reach 1.2M Hispanic
men in LA, NY, Miami, Chicago, San Antonio, El Paso, Houston, San
Francisco, San Diego, and Dallas.  "Editorially, the magazine
will focus on sports that appeal most to Hispanic men, notably
boxing, baseball, auto racing, and domestic and international
soccer" (Marty O'Louglin, INSIDE MEDIA, 9/21 issue).

     KTVU-TV and the S.F. Giants are expected to extend their 36-
year relationship for another five years, a deal which was
threatened by Rupert Murdoch's "now-dormant bid" to buy NBC-
affliiate KRON-TV.  If KRON had gone to Fox, KTVU would have been
NBC's "only realistic alternative" -- and "networks and baseball
don't mix these days. ... NBC doesn't like KRON's pre-emptions
for A's games, and the KRON-A's deal reportedly was an impediment
to Murdoch."  While both the A's and KRON claim to be happy with
the deal, which was done at a timne when the Giants seemed headed
to St. Petersburg.  But the A's "aren't doing KRON much good.
There won't be many places for the A's to go if KRON doesn't re-
enlist."  The A's deal with KRON is up in five years. With the
team for sale, "problems with the next TV contract  contract
could discourage proespective buyers" (Colin Seymour, SAN JOSE
MERCURY NEWS, 9/23)....Buddy Ryan is reportedly looking to go
after ESPN analyst Phil Simms as Cardinals QB and inquired about
his availiability.  Simms: "I can't say waht I'll do until I hear
what it's about" ("SportsCenter," ESPN, 9/22).

     GE and NBC have 45 days to buy into Madison Square Garden
for $250M, according to this morning's NEW YORK POST.
Cablevision, which just joined with ITT to pay over $1B for MSG,
"have offered half its stake -- in other words a quarter of MSG -
- to NBC to help bankroll that deal."  About $180M would be
required in cash, the rest in stock or debt, according to terms
of the deal contained in a filing with the SEC.  Under the terms
of a 1989 agreement between NBC and Cablevision's Rainbow
Programming Holdings Corp., NBC is entitled to participate in new
Cablevision programming ventures.  Cablevision's Norm Fein:
"They are partners in most of our programming ventures.  In the
course of normal business where we got into a new venture, they
would have the option to participate" (Paul Tharp, N.Y. POST,
9/23).
      UNCERTAINTY FOR DISNEY?  One possible suitor for NBC is
Walt Disney, and this morning's NEW YORK TIMES reports that
Disney "is suffering the consequences" of Jeffrey Katzenberg's
departure -- and that even the company's "interest in acquiring
the NBC television network from General Electric ... has been
shadowed by the departure."  Industry observers are reportedly
"watching Disney as if passing a car wreck," and a wide range of
the company's arms -- including the studio and theater divisions,
interactive games, and marketing -- are troubled.  One Disney
producer: "It's an incredibly distressed organization.  When
someone as powerful as Jeffrey leaves, insecurity in the ranks
takes a tremendous toll" (Weinraub & Fabrikant, N.Y. TIMES,
9/23).

     This year's Enterprise Rent-A-Car "Skills Challenge,"
produced by NBC Sports and SNI Sports Network, will originate
October 15-16 from the Pointe-Hilton Resort in Phoenix, and
feature three new sponsors:  Motorola, NASDAQ, and Toyota.
Returning sponsors include Enterprise, Buick, and MCI.  Don
Roennigke, SNI VP and General Sales Mngr:  "Overall sales for the
Skills Challenge have been excellent.  Sponsors recognize this as
an established event with growth ratings.  They also appreciate
that both NBC Sports and SNI are willing to work with our
advertisers to design a completely integrated sponsorship
package."  The Skills Challenge features PGA pros Hale Irwin, Chi
Chi Rodriguez, Phil Mickelson, Gary Player, Ben Crenshaw, Tom
Weiskopf, and Peter Jacobsen testing their golf skills.  In '92
and '93 the program originated from Orlando (THE DAILY).