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Volume 24 No. 156

Sports Media

     Motorola's Wireless Sports Channel (WSC) announced its new
Contender sports information service.  Contender "rounds out" the
full line of Sports-To-Go update services for pocket receivers
that update sports action every five minutes while games are in
progress.  Sports-To-Go provides news and scores for MLB, NHL,
NFL, NBA and NCAA football and basketball.  Contender will
provide reports of scoring plays for all sports, as well as
situations for the NFL and MLB.  Pricing for Contender start at
$19.95 (Motorola).

     A traveling circus sponsored by ABC and ESPN will be hitting
the streets this fall.  The show features such things as sports
stars demonstrating their skills and interactive educational
games designed to encourage kids in sports.  The circus will go
from city to city, setting up a 100,000-sq ft sports
entertainment park at each site.  It will stay for six weeks in
each city and will cost under $20 to attend (Paul Tharp, N.Y.
POST, 12/13).

     TCI "is close to acquiring a stake in the new Microsoft
Network on-line computer service," according to a report in this
morning's N.Y. TIMES.  One exec familiar with the deal said TCI
is expected to buy about 20% of Microsoft Network.  The service
will be an option on the new Windows 95 operating system
(Geraldine Fabrikant, N.Y. TIMES, 12/14).

     As part of its year-long celebration of its 75th
anniversary, the NFL will host "its first network prime time
special" on ABC on January 26, according to INSIDE MEDIA's Mike
Reynolds.  The one-hour show, "The NFL at 75:  An All-Star
Celebration," will be produced by Radio City Music Hall
Productions and be taped on January 18.  ABC Sports will sell the
commercial time (COWLES BUSINESS MEDIA, 12/13).
     MORE PROGRAMMING NOTES:  In addition to the Pro Bowl
Selection show tomorrow, ESPN and ESPN2 will televise the NFL
expansion draft on February 15 (NFL).

     In its latest attempt to acquire a broadcast network, Turner
Broadcasting is "pressing forward" with a proposal to acquire NBC
from GE in a deal that would give GE 35% of a combined Turner-NBC
company.  In the proposed deal, Turner would get NBC "in a plan
valued at about $5 billion, including about $2 billion in Turner
stock."  GE has discussed a sale with Time Warner and Disney, but
"those talks haven't been fruitful."  Turner has the support of
TCI, which owns around 25% of Turner stock.  Time Warner, which
owns 20% of Turner stock, is said to have some "disagreements"
with the deal and would agree to the purchase "only if Turner is
willing to trade Time Warner's stake for an asset such as TNT or
the Cartoon Network.  In the past, Turner has been reluctant to
part with any broadcasting assets (Lippman & Sharpe, WALL STREET
JOURNAL, 12/14).  The deal is expected to be discussed at a GE
board meeting this Friday, however, it was stressed that it was
"highly unlikely any decision would be reached" (Robin Schatz,
N.Y. NEWSDAY, 12/13).  According to sources close to TCI, Time
Warner continues to be "cautious and unwilling to make a
commitment" (Frederic Biddle, BOSTON GLOBE, 12/13).
     MORE FROM THE WRIGHT?  Wright, asked why NBC waited until
now to challenge the foreign ownership of Fox: "We probably
wouldn't have challenged Fox had it not been for the formation of
a holding company called Fox Savoy ... to purchase affiliates
through the country."  Wright on what NBC hopes to gain from the
FCC complaint: "I hope we get a clear picture from the FCC of
what the foreign-ownership rules are."  Wright on the possible
sale of NBC: "GE is not panting to part with NBC" (NEWSWEEK,
12/19). Sources tell the WALL STREET JOURNAL that Wright "favors"
the Turner proposal (Lippman & Sharpe, WALL STREET JOURNAL,
12/14).