SPORTSCHANNEL TO SWITCH TO STANDARD BASIC CABLE IN NEW YORK
When SportsChannel New York switches from a pay service to a
standard basic service on March 1, it will be "a victory for the
Mets, Nets, Devils and Islander viewers," according to Richard
Sandomir in this morning's N.Y. TIMES. SportsChannel's $12-14
fee will be gone in favor of a $1.24 monthly fee for adding
SportsChannel and the Sci-Fi Channel. Time Warner NYC Cable
General Counsel Robert Jacobs said the move is to "meet demand,"
adding that the price "has been more than" many viewers could
afford. Rainbow Programming, an affiliate of Cablevision, which
splits ownership of SportsChannel with NBC, had "pressed Time
Warner to make the shift." Rainbow President Josh Sapan: "We're
happy that the number of people who will see SportsChannel will
go from just 100,000 to 1 million" (N.Y. TIMES, 1/31).
OTHER TIME WARNER NEWS: Time Warner and its CEO, Gerald
Levin, are profiled in this week's NEWSWEEK and this morning's
N.Y. POST. As Levin begins his third year at Time Warner, "the
picture isn't as cheery as it seems." Although Levin has been
trying to focus attention on a new network and interactive TV,
"Wall Street is more interested -- and concerned about -- his
continuing appetite for cable systems." Time Warner's stock is
"about $10 lower than its peak over the past year" (Jonathan
Roberts, NEWSWEEK, 2/6 issue). John Durie reports Wall Street is
"giving the thumbs down to Levin's long-term telephony plans,"
but writes, "The market is wrong to do so" (N.Y. POST, 1/31).