Group Created with Sketch.
Volume 24 No. 112

Sports Media

     Continuing its restructuring, ITT Corp. said that it would
sell three buisnesses from its ITT Financial Corp. subsidiary to
GE Capital Corp. for $1.8B.  The deal is the third sale of
portions of ITT's financial subsidiary, as the company is seeking
to expand its entertainment segment and raise a net of around $3B
in the process.  Analysts estimate ITT Corp. would net about
$400M from the sale to GE Capital.  ITT management has said it is
considering breaking ITT Corp. into three separate companies:
ITT Hartford (insurance), ITT Industries (manufacturing) and ITT
Sheraton/Caesars World (hotels, gaming and entertainment).  ITT's
shares rose by $1.50 to 96 3/4 on NYSE upon news of the deal
(Kenneth Gilpin, N.Y. TIMES, 2/15).  Some Wall Street "insiders"
speculate ITT's added cash could go toward a bid for CBS, which
some analysts see as a "good strategic fit for the emerging
entertainment group."  This week, ITT is finishing its deals for
MSG (with partner Cablevision) and Caesar's World (Paul Tharp,
N.Y. POST, 2/15).

     As expected, James Brown was named as Fox's studio host for
its NHL coverage, which begins April 2.  In Baltimore, Milton
Kent writes that Brown's star "took a tremendous rise" on Fox's
"NFL Sunday" where he was a "calm, clear presence" (Baltimore
SUN, 2/15).  Brown, on severing ties with CBS:  "That life has
been completed -- this is where the opportunities are" (Michael
Hiestand, USA TODAY, 2/15). ....ABC, CBS and Fox-owned TV
stations all reported stronger than expected quarterly operating
earnings, with Fox estimating a jump at its stations of more than
50% (ELECTRONIC MEDIA, 2/13 issue)....ESPN2 has expanded its
distribution to more than 7.7M households, now hitting over 18M
homes through 2,600 affiliates, according to A.C. Nielsen
(ESPN2)....Norm Van Lier, former Chicago Bulls guard, is now
hosting "The CBA Today," on SportsChannel Chicago (CBA
News)....Liberty Sports will unveil Prime Deportiva, the first
national Spanish-Language sports network, on February 23 at the
Texas Cable Show (Liberty).

     NBC Sports' telecast of the NBA All-Star Game on Sunday
earned a 10.7 rating (a 17 share) making it the fourth-highest-
rated NBA All-Star Game over the past 20 years.  NBC estimates
that between 35-40M people watched all or part of the telecast.
The 10.7 rating is an increase of 18% over last year's game
(NBC).

     SPORTS ILLUSTRATED announced a deal to create an on-line
presence on CompuServe.  "SI Online" will bring SI's extensive
sports content to users of CompuServe, the largest online service
with more than 2.6M subscribers.  In addition to full text and
select photos from current issues, SI Online also will provide a
forum where members can partake in discussions with the
magazine's editorial staff, an SI library of special collector
editions, and a sports clipping service.  The service will also
have up-to-the minute scores of pro and college games, and an SI
Online store with authentic, league-licensed merchandise (SPORTS
ILLUSTRATED).
     INTEGRATED MARKETING PAYS OFF:  SI's "gamble" in refocusing
its advertising around integrated marketing and multimedia
"appears to be a solid hit, if not a grand slam," writes Keith
Kelly in the latest ADVERTISING AGE.  In '94, SI "reversed a
three-year ad page slide to finish up 19.4%, with 2,415.9 pages.
And this year with an increased TV presence through its own
production arm, ad pages appear to be rising even more."  One
example of multimedia selling is the annual swimsuit issue --
$297,000 got an advertiser a 30-second spot on NBC's special last
night, an ad page in the swimsuit issue (5.1M circ.), and an ad
page in a regular SI issue (3.1M circ.).  Other opportunities
range from spots on SITV on ABC's "Wide World of Sports" to
monthly poster giveaways at Foot Locker stores.  Sports
Illustrated President Donald Elliman:  "With a mature title, you
always have to reinvent yourself" (ADVERTISING AGE, 2/13 issue).

     The Southwest Conference and Raycom, Inc., have agreed to
extend their syndicated TV agreement for the 1995 football
season.  The 10-game package will be offered by Liberty Sports
and Prime Network to regional cable systems throughout the
country to expand the viewership areas outside the traditional
SWC markets.  The agreement, in addition to the SWC's package
with ABC and ESPN, will assure the conference of a four-year
record of at least 79 telecasts (SWC).  After the '95 season, the
SWC will disband with its teams splitting between the Big 12 and
the WAC.