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Volume 24 No. 115

Sports Media

     The so-called "Dream Team" -- Jeffrey Katzenberg, Steven
Spielberg and David Geffen -- formed a partnership with ABC/Cap
Cities to produce prime-time and syndicated TV shows.  CNN's
Steve Young said the deal, reportedly $200M over seven years,
"sheds more light on ABC than the trio."  Smith Barney Media
Analyst John Reidy:  "The theory or rumor or myth that all the
networks were going to acquire a movie studio is pretty much --
at least in the case of Capital Cities/ABC -- put to rest by this
deal."  CNN's Young noted the timing, with Paramount and Warner
Brothers launching their own networks in '95 ("Moneyline,"
11/28).  ABC Television Network Group President David Westin said
he hoped the new studio will eventually produce all of ABC's
programming, while Cap Cities/ABC President Robert Iger said the
net considers the deal its "big bet" (John Carmody, WASHINGTON
POST, 11/29).  The deal represents "a dramatic departure from the
traditional financial relationship" between studios and networks.
"The venture will be a 50/50 split between the two sides, both in
financing and in reaping the profits from syndication sales and
other sources" (Jane Hall, L.A. TIMES, 11/29).  Wertheim Schroder
& Co. analyst David Londoner:  "It is the first time, to my
knowledge, that a network has shared revenues with a production
entity" (Geraldine Fabrikant, N.Y. TIMES, 11/29).  The deal is
seen as a "coup" for Iger, and "it goes a long way toward easing
concerns about his longer-term vision for ABC's future" (W.S.
JOURNAL, 11/29).

     NBC's FTC petition challenging the sale of several TV
stations to SF Broadcasting -- a Fox partner -- will hold up the
sale of the Boston Celtics-owned WFXT to Fox for "two to three
months" (BOSTON GLOBE, 11/29)....While WFXT claimed a $325,000
profit off buying the local rights to the Patriots-Colts on ESPN,
one Boston ad exec noted the station might want a "rebate" (Jim
Baker, BOSTON HERALD, 11/29).  Of the 25.9 total rating for the
game, WFXT received a 15.7 and ESPN got a 10.2.  The conclusion
by Jack Craig of the BOSTON GLOBE:  "Given a major event, ESPN is
a powerful threat to conventional television" (BOSTON GLOBE,
11/29)....Turner Sports claims its NASCAR ratings topped ESPN and
The Nashville Network for the first time.  TBS averaged a 3.3 (5
races), ESPN 3.2 (14 races), and TNN 3.0 (7 races)  (Michael
Hiestand, USA TODAY, 11/29).  Also, NASCAR announced its
Craftsman Supertruck series debut on Sunday, November 20, was
TNN's top rated show that day (NASCAR).... Viacom Chair Sumner
Redstone is profiled in the latest issue of FINANCIAL WORLD.
"Redstone believes that the secret for a media company in this
fast-changing environment is not to bet on any single delivery
system, but rather to be the provider of the entertainment" (FW,
12/6 issue).