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Volume 24 No. 160

Sports Media

     NEWSDAY's Mary Voboril reports the O.J. trial has not
boosted profits for Court TV.  Court TV Chair Steve Brill:
"People say to us, 'This must be like what the gulf war was to
CNN.' ... If anything, Simpson could have put us a little behind,
because production costs are higher.  We have to have more live

     The planned $2B deal by Viacom to sell cable operations that
serve 1.1M homes to Intermedia Partners could be halted because
of a House probe into tax exemptions granted to minority
controlled media companies.  Intermedia Partners, a company
connected to TCI, is in a partnership with African-American media
executive Frank Washington.  Under the current exemption, Viacom
would be able to defer as much as $280M in capital-gains taxes on
the sale (N.Y. POST, 1/19).
     TCI/QVC DEAL HITS FTC SNAG:  TCI's agreement to buy QVC in
partnership with Comcast Corp. is "running into significant
antitrust problems with U.S. regulators."  FTC attorneys have
told TCI that they will seek not only to block the acquisition,
but also to "try to force TCI to shed the 23% stake in QVC it
already holds."  The warning "suggests that the QVC deal faces
serious obstacles."  TCI and Comcast had agreed to acquire around
65% of QVC, but the FTC' concern is that the deal would result in
TCI "having too much control over the cable-TV home shopping
business (Novak & Robichaux, WALL STREET JOURNAL, 1/19).