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Volume 24 No. 156

Sports Media

     Atlanta-based Bull Run Corp. announced that it has made an
investment in Host Communications, one of the nation's largest
collegiate sports marketing companies.  W. James Host, Chair and
CEO of Host Communications, confirmed that after the purchase,
Bull Run will own slightly more than 27% of Host's diluted common
stock.  Bull Run, headed by President/CEO Robert Prather, is the
largest shareholder of Gray Communications.  Gray Communications,
which recently purchased KY-based TV stations WKYT and WYMT, owns
three additional stations as well as three newspapers in the
southeastern U.S.  WKYT-TV is the flagship TV station for the
Univ. of Kentucky Sports TV Network.  Host has an official
marketing relationship with the Univ. of Kentucky as well
(Host/Bull Run).

     Beginning today, Sports Illustrated will provide Internet
users with highlights, facts and figures from the '95 Final Four
in Seattle.  The on-line feature will run through April 5, and
will be available on Pathfinder, Time Warner's home on the
Internet.  The address for the SI special feature will be
http://pathfinder.com/si (Sports Illustrated)....A live
demonstration of the Internet will be featured at the 4th Annual
Sports Int'l Forum '95, July 14-15 in conjunction with the NSGA
World Sports Expo in Chicago.  A prototype Web site will be
developed during the demo (NSGA)....ESPN issued a reminder that
the ESPN/Starwave Corp. debut their new online sports information
service on the World Wide Web during the Final Four (ESPN).

     Turner Sports has already sold about 80% of the ad time for
its NFL telecasts next season.  According to Mark Mariani, Exec
VP/Turner Sports Sales, they are getting "double-digit percentage
rate increases."  Mariani says that several advertisers new to
Turner's NFL coverage have signed up, but he declined to name
them.... Sources say that Quaker State is in talks with CBS about
becoming the title sponsor of ten upcoming boxing matches on the
network....Dow Jones & Co. is planning to launch its first
magazine, a weekly that will focus on int'l business (INSIDE
MEDIA, 3/15-3/28).... The Milwaukee Journal and Milwaukee
Sentinel officially combine operations this Sunday.  The new
paper will be called the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel (MILWAUKEE
JOURNAL, 3/28)....Showtime/SET Exec Producer Jay Larkin says he
plans to ask Mike Tyson to be an analyst for the April 8 bout
between Larry Holmes and Oliver McCall (DALLAS MORNING NEWS,
3/28)....Ken Burns' "Baseball" returns to PBS April 17 as a "GM
Mark of Excellence Presentation" (Gould Media).

     Dr Pepper has signed a 3-year deal with ABC to be the
presenting sponsor of the network's coverage of the SEC football
championship games through '98.  The company also holds a 2-year
option that could extend the association through 2000.  Since
'93, Dr Pepper has been the presenting sponsor of the game.  The
deal gives Dr Pepper "category exclusivity" in addition to ten
30-second spots and a minimum of three on-air billboards for each
game.  Category exclusivity includes not only soft drinks, but
isotonic beverages as well.  To supplement its media buy, Dr
Pepper plans to run a marketing/merchandising campaign tied to
the game that involve southern-based retail chains.  Also as part
of the ABC deal, Dr Pepper becomes the presenting sponsor of the
network's Thanksgiving Day college football games, which also
includes category exclusivity.  Dr Pepper would not disclose the
deal's total price tag (Brockington & Reynolds, INSIDE MEDIA,
3/15-3/28).
     NBC & SUPER BOWL XXX:  NBC, which will televise Super Bowl
XXX, has been negotiating with a couple of traditional Super Bowl
advertisers, PepsiCo and Anheuser-Busch, with discussions
reportedly focused on ad positioning.  It is unclear how much NBC
is seeking for a 30-second spot.  While the "sports marketplace
is quite healthy now, INSIDE MEDIA's Brockington & Reynolds note
that Super Bowl XXX "takes place in an Olympic year," and the '96
Games will "drain millions of dollars from the market" (INSIDE
MEDIA, 3/15-3/28).
     FOX & THE NHL:  Fox will use animated characters during its
coverage of the NHL, according to Michael Hiestand of USA TODAY.
The "Fox Bots" are animated robots who will appear after goals to
"do battle via steamroller or laser beams."  Also, Wayne Gretzky
will be an in-studio guest analyst during Fox's debut coverage
this Sunday.  Gretzky might even lace up his in-line skates in
Fox's in-studio the mini-rink in L.A. (USA TODAY, 3/29)....TSN's
Gary Green has been enlisted by Fox Sports to be a game analyst.
He will be teamed with Fox's Kenny Albert (TORONTO SUN, 3/29).

     The Rangers have come into an agreement with NBC affiliate
KXAS-Channel 5 and KXAS' sister station, KXTX- Channel 39, to
broadcast the team's potential replacement games.  One of the two
stations will broadcast all games that would have aired on KTVT.
KTVT announced March 13 it would not broadcast replacement games.
Rangers President Tom Schieffer: "I've always believed if people
could see these people (replacements) on television they would
see that they are professional players and would support them"
(Simon Gonzalez, FORT WORTH STAR TELEGRAM, 3/28).  KXAS and KXTX
"have a local marketing agreement," allowing KXAS to program
KXTX.  KXAS will broadcast the team's opener Monday.  According
to KXAS GM Doug Adams, "there are no rights fees involved."  The
station and the team will share revenues (Barry Horn, DALLAS
MORNING NEWS, 3/28).
     RED SOX:  WEEI formally announced yesterday that it has
become the new radio outlet of the Red Sox, replacing WRKO.  The
shift of the Sox broadcasts "has been linked" by WEEI Manager
John Maguire to the dismissal of morning sports reporter Dick
Lutsk (Jack Craig, BOSTON GLOBE, 3/29).  According to Maguire,
the move covers all Sox games the next two seasons, "though
replacement players would reduce value" of the $4M/year deal (Jim
Baker, BOSTON HERALD, 3/29).