RAMS MOVE, DAY TWO: IS FOX A WINNER OR A LOSER?
The day after the agreement between the Rams and the NFL
allowing the team's move to St. Louis, the national reaction
centers around the ramifications for Fox. In New York, Richard
Sandomir reports on some of the reasons L.A.-based Fox Sports
wanted the team to stay. Sandomir: "Now Fox lacks a National
Football Conference home team for entertaining clients. ... And
KTTV, the Fox-owned Los Angeles station, will lose the local
Rams-oriented advertising revenues that flowed directly to the
Fox bottom line." Sandomir reports that the league will argue
against a Fox rebate, noting the doubleheader possibilities in
L.A. and the added Rams home games Fox can now air in sold-out
St. Louis. But Sandomir calls the Raiders "the clearest
beneficiary" (N.Y. TIMES, 4/14). In Washington, Leonard Shapiro
writes that Fox, despite its well-publicized objections to losing
the No. 2 media market, "could also be a big winner in this move.
Fox can now ask for a rebate on its initial four-year $1.58
billion contract after losing about 4 percent of its potential
audience." Estimates on Fox's compensation range anywhere from
$47M to $250M. However, Shapiro notes, "It's not as if the Rams
had been a hot TV property in recent years," and now Fox can air
games of "the far more popular" 49ers and Cowboys in L.A.
Shapiro also points out that the move will help Fox "jump-start"
one of its newest affils, St. Louis' KTVI, which switches to Fox
for the start of the '95 season (WASHINGTON POST, 4/14).