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Volume 24 No. 179

Sports Media

     The Jaguars radio network has grown to 21 stations and will
"reach parts of the Panhandle, southern Georgia and Central
Florida," according to the FLORIDA TIMES-UNION.  In addition, the
team has "deals pending" with 34 stations with another 40
stations "being pursued to join."  Officials at WOKV-AM 690, the
Jaguars' flagship, say that by the "time all deals are final,
Jaguars football will likely be heard" in Pensacola, Melbourne,
Macon, GA, and Columbia, SC (Earl Daniels, FLORIDA TIMES-UNION,
2/8).

     CTV and TSN are posturing for broadcasts of the Raptors and
Grizzlies in the NBA teams' inaugural seasons, but may face
similar broadcast restrictions as U.S. networks.  NBA Television
Ventures' Matt Bostock says Canadian networks will "face a
similar restriction" as their U.S. counterparts of only eight
nat'l telecasts per broadcaster per team (Vancouver PROVINCE,
2/10)....In this morning's N.Y. POST, Phil Mushnick attacks the
proposed "Telecommunications Competition and Deregulation Act"
drafted by the Senate Republicans: "Instead of being furious
about how cable exploited the baseball and hockey stoppages to
steal millions of dollars from their constituents, the GOP's
preparing to hand these bullies a matching set of brass
knuckles."  The bill would eliminate all cable-TV deregulation
within a year (N.Y. POST, 2/10)....Richard Sandomir analyzes
Fox's losses on its NFL contract in this morning's N.Y. TIMES:
"By its measurements, the football strategy has worked, by roping
in new VHF stations ... improving the value of its existing
stations, enhancing its affiliate network, and expanding the
network's reach from 93 percent to 98 percent of TV homes" (N.Y.
TIMES, 2/10).... WJR, the radio home of the Lions from 1934-88,
is making a bid to regain the team's radio rights from WWJ, whose
contract expired after last season (DETROIT NEWS, 2/9). ...The
Eagles, who will help produce their TV package next season,
"won't rule out" the possibility of owner Jeffery Lurie having
his own show (PHILADELPHIA DAILY NEWS, 2/9). ...CNN's Nancy
Newman is the leading candidate to become the Raptors' TV host.
Newman worked at TSN before moving to CNN's "Sports Tonight."
Mark Jones, and John Saunders are on the team's short list for
play-by-play work (Rob Grant, TORONTO STAR, 2/10)....NASCAR's
newest racing series, "SuperTruck Series by Craftsman," on TNN
was the highest-rated sports program on cable last weekend
(NASCAR).

     TSN, Canada's cable sports network, has decided against
broadcasting Blue Jay replacement spring training games.  TSN
Programming Dir Rick Brace: "Spring training's supposed to be a
preview of the regular season, and this isn't truly
representative of real baseball.  We're not going to do spring
training games.  The network will give a decision on the
broadcasts of regular season replacement ball halfway through
spring training (Rob Grant, TORONTO STAR, 2/10).... In the Bay
Area, the A's radio network will broadcast replacement games.
The team sells its own radio ads, so flagship KFRC will not "take
the lumps if the games are hard to sell."  But Giants flagship
KNBR "may be developing cold feet" about broadcasting replacement
games.  Two KNBR execs gave conflicting statements regarding the
issue yesterday  KNBR sells advertising for Giants games (Colin
Seymour, SAN JOSE MERCURY NEWS, 2/10).

     NBC has recently "sent out some feelers" to see if talks
with Turner Broadcasting can be renewed, according to Robin
Schatz in this morning's N.Y. NEWSDAY.  Schatz reports that
"enthusiasm still runs high" among both parties regarding a
merger.  Schatz sites Time Warner Chair Gerald Levin's
announcement last week that his company would consider selling
its share in the company as "a factor in Turner's efforts to buy
a network" (N.Y. NEWSDAY, 2/10).  This morning's WALL STREET
JOURNAL puts NBC at the "top of the list" of likely buyers of
Time Warner's share of Turner. Turner, who has "rebuffed" NBC's
overtures for a partnership, "still would like to buy NBC" and
have majority control of that company (WALL STREET JOURNAL,
2/10).
     DILLER WATCH:  Reports continued that outgoing QVC Chair
Barry Diller might make a run at CBS.  Morgan Stanley media
analyst Alex Kassan:  "What CBS needs at some point is someone
who's going to lead them forward and develop the new hits.  This
is basically a hits-ridden business -- and if you have the hits,
you're a hero and if you don't, you have problems.  It's as
simple as that" ("NBR," PBS, 2/9).