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Volume 24 No. 112

Sports Media

     CBS TV "effectively waved the green flag to restart the
Daytona 500 after a rain delay, ... threatening to pull the plug
and switch to basketball if the cars weren't running" by 3:45pm
EST, according to Frank Murray of the WASHINGTON TIMES.  Trucks
equipped with jet-engine blowers had been drying the track for a
restart before the CBS ultimatum (WASHINGTON TIMES, 2/20).  In
Baltimore, Milton Kent writes on CBS' FlyCam, a small camera
mounted on a radio-controlled helicopter.  Kent said it "made an
interesting enough debut that it may actually command more time
in a number of CBS racing telecasts" (Baltimore SUN, 2/20).  In
New York, Richard Sandomir praised CBS for its coverage during
the rain delay but said the FlyCam "made me a little dizzy" (N.Y.
TIMES, 2/21).  Michael Hiestand on the FlyCam:  "Credit CBS with
a willingness to experiment on its Daytona 500 coverage" (USA
TODAY, 2/20).  In Tampa, columnist Tom Ford notes the success of
Sunday's Daytona 500:  "Although Sterling Marlin's second
consecutive 500 victory did not rank among the Daytona classics,
200,000 people at the track and millions more watching CBS's
television coverage gained insight into a sport that is expanding
far beyond the Mason-Dixon line" (TAMPA TRIBUNE, 2/20).

     While the Expos this week announced a 52-game TV package on
two free French-language stations, team President Claude Brochu
says the team "struck out again in its bid to get some games" on
English-language TV.  Brochu: "I don't know what we have to do
attract some attention.  Last year we had the best team in
Canada, the best team in baseball, but we couldn't put a TV deal
together."  The Blue Jays have effectively tied up Canada's two
major networks.  The CBC carries Blue Jays games nationally on
Friday nights while a group of CTV stations owned by or
affiliated with Toronto-based Baton Broadcasting offers extensive
regional coverage of Jays games.  The Expos have received
interest from independent English stations, but the major
stumbling block for the team is that CFCF, the CTV affiliate in
Montreal, has shown none (Pat Hickey, Montreal GAZETTE, 2/18).

     Liberty Sports and the Pac 10 have reached an agreement
providing Liberty with network and national cable TV rights to
Pac 10 men's basketball games beginning in '95-96 and running
through the '98-99 season.  The agreement includes up to 16
network appearances and 32-36 annual cable games.  These rights
are in addition to Liberty Sports' agreement reached last June
with the Pac 10 giving Liberty Sports cable TV rights to 18
annual football games (Liberty).

     NBC announced Friday that it has withdrawn a request for a
government ruling on the legality of Fox Broadcasting's
ownership.  The decision to drop the request came after News
Corp. agreed to carry NBC programming on its Asian satellite
broadcasting system.  "Dropping the request allowed NBC to resume
a 'normal business relationship' with Fox" (Paul Farhi,
WASHINGTON POST, 2/18).  The FCC will proceed with a decision on
the complaints brought by NBC, but several execs close to the
dispute said News Corp. Chair Rupert Murdoch was "gambling that
removal of NBC [from the complaint] ... would make it easier" for
the FCC to find a way to resolve the foreign ownership issues "on
a basis favorable to Fox" (Bill Carter, N.Y. TIMES, 2/18).