DirecTV, the CA company that sells programming for the 18-
inch home satellite dishes, "is close to a deal" that will offer
subscribers 200 NHL games for $59. Company spokesperson Linda
Brill said the company has upgraded its software to improve the
ability to transmit "fast-moving sports." Brill: "Some technical
experts are much more supportive than they were initially."
Meanwhile, Brill said the number of subscribers has grown to
350,000, up from 220,000 before Christmas. Brill: "We're hooking
up about 3,000 a day" (Steve Zipay, N.Y. NEWSDAY, 1/24).
The return of "Hockey Night in Canada" to the CBC brought
big ratings -- including 1.646M viewers on Friday. Three of the
four games shown last weekend topped last year's average audience
(TORONTO SUN, 1/25)....DAILY VARIETY reported yesterday that
Viacom might pull "Melrose Place" off Fox Broadcasting and switch
it to Viacom's United Paramount Network. Insiders yesterday at
Viacom "played down the report" (N.Y. POST, 1/25)....New World
Communications shares rose $.75 cents over news that investor
George Soros had acquired a 5.43% stake in the "fast growing
media-company" (WALL STREET JOURNAL, 1/25).
NBC Sports and Streetball Partners have created The Golf
Skills Challenge National Tour, an amateur golf skills
competition patterned after Golf's professional Skills Challenge.
The competitions will consist of nine separate events using
golfing skills from driving to putting. The '95 tour will stop
in 7 cities, with up to 31 cities expected to be on the tour by
OTHER PEACOCK NEWS: NBC is paying $50M to buy "Jurassic
Park" and could charge advertisers up to $650,000 per half minute
of commerical time when the movie runs in May. Ford has already
confirmed its sponsorship of the show, purchasing seven :30 spots
for $4.5M. NBC's purchase, along with "Schindler's List," is an
attempt for broadcast networks to "regain a portion of the movie
franchise" (Kevin Goldman, WALL STREET JOURNAL, 1/25).
TCI and Viacom reached a "prelimary agreement to settle
ongoing litigation" between the two companies. The possible
settlement hinges on a "new affliation agreement that covers"
TCI's long term carriage of two Viacom cable channels -- Showtime
and The Movie Channel. Viacom had filed suit against TCI in
September, claiming TCI "engaged in anti-competitive behavior" in
trying to force the networks into a pay television service
controlled by TCI. The specifics of the agreement were not
announced (BLOOMBERG NEWS SERVICE/N.Y. POST, 1/25).