TSN and the Expos have finally agreed to a new, one-year
contract calling for at least 25 games to be telecast by the
cable network. According to TSN President Jim Thompson, there
will be more games telecast if they can fit them into the
schedule and if the Blue Jays agree to increase the limit on the
number of Expos games permitted into the Toronto market. The
limit now is 25. The Expos will also appear 25 times on French
TV (TORONTO STAR, 4/19). NO BULL: The Bulls will switch
radio stations, signing a 5-year deal with WMVP Radio beginning
in '96-97. After five years on WMAQ, the Bulls join the White
Sox and Blackhawks on the 24-hour sports station (USA TODAY,
ABC's "Monday Night Football" was the fifth rated TV show
for '94-'95, watched by an average 16.9 million households (24.4
million people) per game. Fox Entertainment Group President John
Matoian said their "biggest challenge" is to make their NFL lead-
ins pay off for Sunday prime time. Among the candidates to
follow the NFL is an all-star sports "challenge" produced by
Twentieth Television. Fox saw their overall rating for the
season jump from 7.2 to 7.7. CBS fell from 14.0 to 11.1, NBC is
up from 11.0 to 11.5, and ABC, while winning the year, fell from
12.4 to 12.0 (N.Y. POST, 4/19)....Primestar will launch a $100M
marketing campaign next week to "build brand awareness" against
its DBS competitors, such as DirecTV. The campaign, created by
Adler Boschetto Peebles & Partners, will "play up the service's
affordability" (WALL STREET JOURNAL, 4/19)....NBC got a 7.9 for
Sunday's Bulls-Knicks game, a 44% increase from last year at this
time. Overall, NBC's NBA ratings are up 15%. Monday's Bulls-
Heat gave TBS its season-high with a cable rating of a 3.2,
double the season average for TBS' NBA cablecasts (Prentis
Rogers, ATLANTA CONSTITUTION, 4/19)....ABC's "Day One" will
feature America3 head Bill Koch on Thursday, a report "not
expected to reflect positively on Koch" (MIAMI HERALD, 4/18).
Rumors of Joe Montana moving from the sideline to the press
box or studio continue on the day after his retirement ceremony.
In Atlanta, Prentis Rogers reports that of the three broadcast
networks, NBC "has shown the most interest in Montana," with
rumors of a $750,000 offer which the network has denied. Rogers
notes that TNT has an opening due to the departure of Lawrence
Taylor. However, Turner Sports Exec Producer Mike Pearl "sounded
reluctant" to put the studio role "in the hands of a rookie."
Pearl also said TNT's partial coverage could be a factor: "I'm
not sure how appealing a half-season will be to him." ESPN
spokesperson Dave Nagle, on the spot vacated by Phil Simms: "If
Joe wants to talk, we'll talk" (ATLANTA CONSTITUTION, 4/19).
Montana says he is not interested in becoming an analyst, but "is
looking into a television job." Montana: "They say 'never say
never,' but I don't expect that [taking an analyst job] to take
place." The SAN JOSE MERCURY NEWS reports Montana could sign
with NBC "as early as next week, probably in a part-time regular
season 'NFL Live' role like Joe Gibbs'" (SAN JOSE MERCURY NEWS,
4/19). Al Michaels: "Television can be very, very frustrating.
There's no scoreboard at the end of the game. This is not going
to satisfy Joe Montana -- trust me" ("Up Close," ESPN, 4/18).
Appearing with Lynn Swann on "Good Morning America," Montana
called TV a possibility as well as working with the NFL, but said
his only immediate plans are to become part of an IndyCar team,
with details coming next week (ABC, 4/19).