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Volume 24 No. 156

Sports Media

     The Golf Channel has signed a distribution agreement with
Telesynergy, Inc, a consortium of cable companies serving 3.8M
subscribers throughout the country via its 12 member Multi-System
Operators (MSO).  The deal was announced by Joseph Gibbs,
President and CEO of The Golf Channel.  Gibbs: "Reaching this
agreement with Telesynergy further enhances our stature as a
truly national service."  Gibbs said Telesynergy's "diverse group
of MSO's" would help in bringing the new network into more homes
across the U.S.   (The Golf Channel).

     The Empire Sports Network is launching a new weekly show
featuring the Sabres.  "Sabres Breakaway" will feature different
Buffalo players and be taped from different sites around Western
New York (Empire Sports)....USA Network's Dan Schoenberg notes
that USA's Westminster Dog Show got a 3.0 rating on Monday, to a
2.7 for the ESPY's (Rudy Martzke, USA TODAY, 2/15)....Bell
Atlantic is expected to announce today that it is dropping AT&T
as its "systems integrator" supervising the design and
construction of Bell Atlantic's interactive video network (N.Y.
TIMES, 2/16).

     The NBA expansion draft, scheduled to be held on June 24 or
26, should get the same live TV treatment as yesterday's NFL
expansion draft, according to Neil Campbell of the Toronto GLOBE
& MAIL.  As planned now, the Grizzlies and Raptors will make
their choices over the phone to the league office in New York.
Writes Campbell, "That's too bad.  In fact, it's downright silly.
The NBA is supposed to be a step or two ahead of the other
leagues in terms of marketing and public relations.  Fans in
Vancouver and Toronto, who have shelled out millions for season
tickets, deserve to see their new players picked one by one.
They deserve to know who are these guys, what can they do and why
were they made available.  They deserve to have issues explained
to them such as why the expansion teams will play with a smaller
salary cap.  Only live television can act as this type of
conduit" (Toronto GLOBE & MAIL, 2/16).  USA TODAY's Rudy Martzke
writes that ESPN made yesterday's NFL draft "an interesting
telecast, with graphics and remote reports from a taxi squad of
reporters" (USA TODAY, 2/16).