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Volume 24 No. 155

Sports Media

     In New York, Richard Sandomir comments on NBC's prime time
figure skating telecast last Saturday.  The IMG-produced event
"operated in its own little vacuum" and made  no mention of the
facts that "five of the six skaters had competed on CBS' two-
night 'Ice Wars' the week before, or that Kristi Yamaguchi and
several other skaters repeated some CBS routines on NBC."  IMG VP
Yuki Saegusa defended Yamaguchi, an IMG client: "It's impossible
for skaters to come up with new programs every week.  She wasn't
going to repeat that routine, but she got such great feedback
from it is 'Ice Wars' that she added it at the last minute."  But
Sandomir points out that "these shows are not one-night stands in
arenas in different cities; they are seen by much of the same
viewer pool, which deserves something new in so short a time
span."  NBC lost the 8-9pm time slot to CBS' "Dr. Quinn, Medicine
Woman" -- but won 10-11pm.  Overall, the show posted a 10.5
overnight (N.Y. TIMES, 11/22).

     "In a move likely to further shake up the television network
landscape and befuddle TV viewers," CBS and NBC agreed to swap
broadcast stations and other assets in Philadelphia, Denver,
Miami and Salt Lake City.  For NBC, the "linchpin of the deal" is
the acquisition of CBS's O&O WCAU-TV in Philadelphia.  CBS had
taken affiliate in Philly, the nation's 4th largest media market.
To get back a VHF station in Philadelphia -- "albeit one that is
one of the weaker stations in the market" -- NBC was willing to
make some concessions:  swapping signals and channel positions
with CBS in Miami and selling CBS and Group W its news station in
Salt Lake City, as well as its O&O in Denver (Robin Schatz, N.Y.
NEWSDAY, 11/22).  In Denver, NBC O&O KCNC switches to CBS, and
Gannett's KUSA-TV switches from ABC to NBC.  KUSA now becomes
home to the Broncos (Gannett).  ....Ad agency sources say that
CBS is getting price increases of 10-15% for its college hoops
schedule.  One buyer says CBS has already moved 80% of its
inventory.  CBS also was reportedly in talks with the NCAA about
extending the network's college basketball contract.  The current
pact runs through '98 (INSIDE MEDIA, 11/16-29 issue)....ESPN2's
household count is up to 16.1M through more than 2,200 affiliates
(ESPN2)....Gaylord Entertainment, the parent company of The
Nashville Network, is on the block for $3B, according to USA
TODAY.  Disney, TCI, Tribune Co. and TBS are among those
reportedly "hankering" for Gaylord.  Gaylord owns 10% of the
Texas Rangers (USA TODAY, 11/22)....Rudy Martzke reports a
decision on Wimbledon TV rights has been delayed until late
November at the earliest, with Fox/fX vying against NBC/HBO (USA
TODAY, 11/22).