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Volume 24 No. 158

Sports Media

     "Major League Baseball at Bat" -- an MLB-sponsored baseball
info-site on the World Wide Web is now open.  The site offers
fans the latest MLB news and is part of MCI's Internet site.  It
may be reached through MCI at www.internetMCI.com and soon at
www.majorleaguebaseball.com.  For Opening Day, MLB at Bat will
have complete AL and NL schedules, and has plans to soon offer
previous-night game results and box scores, MLB news and notes,
stats, player news, game text and the photo of the day.  Later in
the season, the site will offer team schedules, rosters, team and
league history, and ticket info.  MCI is the Official Long
Distance Carrier of MLB and has a marketing relationship with The
Baseball Network through the '98 season (MLB).  MLB joins the NFL
as the second major leagues to launch a site on the Web.
According to Tom Worcester, Dir of Sponsorship Sales & Marketing
at The Baseball Network, the league anticipates having balloting
for the All-Star Game on both the Internet and on a combo of
commercial online services (Terry Lefton, BRANDWEEK, 4/24).
     MORE ON TBN:  Noting that MLB is likely to exercise its
right to re-evaluate its deal with The Baseball Network after
this season, N.Y. NEWSDAY's Steve Zipay suggests that MLB extend
the deal by one year.  It would give TBN "a real shot at a
complete season and postseason," and give the league more
leverage should it decide to abandon TBN after '96 and sell TV
rights to a network bidder. As for which TBN partner will
televise the World Series, Zipay notes that if ABC does it this
year, NBC (provided TBN still exists) would have a "potential
blockbuster sports year in 1996," with the Super Bowl, World
Series and Olympics (NEWSDAY, 4/25).    OTHER MLB NEWS:  Pinnacle
has signed to replace Upper Deck as a TBN sponsor and will also
assume title sponsorship of the All-Star Fan Fest (BRANDWEEK,
4/24)....To further develop its interactive technology category,
MLBP announced the addition of two new licensees, Accolade, Inc.
and Tiger Electronics.  Accolade is licensed to produce All-Star
Baseball, a CD-ROM simulation game.  Tiger will produce Super
Data Blaster, a hand-held stat organizer (MLBP).

     CBS is changing the name of "Eye on Sports" to "The CBS
Sports Show" (N.Y. TIMES, 4/25)....HBO Sports President Seth
Abraham said despite George Foreman's controversial decision over
Axel Schulz, they have experienced "no drop-off in our interest
in George."  In fact, expect Foreman to fight again July 22 from
Germany with Schulz featured in a separate bout (Richard
Sandomir, N.Y. TIMES, 4/25).  Tonight's USA Network boxing
coverage will feature a 900 number for opinions on Foreman-Schulz
(USA TODAY, 4/25)....In Philadelphia, Mike Bruton notes that the
"NHL on Fox" is getting a "tremendous response" in St. Louis,
Detroit and Philadelphia (PHILADELPHIA INQUIRER, 4/25)....Wayne
Huizenga and Liberty Sports have invested in the Classic Sports
Network, the cable service debuts on May 6 (N.Y. TIMES, 4/25).

     The Nuggets and Prime Sports will combine for the second
consecutive year to broadcast the team's home playoff games on a
pay-per-view basis.  Last year, the operation's sign-up rate was
"considerable," as 55,000 households enrolled for games against
Seattle and Utah.  Prime Sports spokesperson Craig Kuhl noted
that 13% of homes with access bought the last Utah game.  Local
bars can purchase games starting at $100, with the fee based on
the size of the establishment.  Team officials say there has been
no negative reaction.  Nuggets VP Shawn Hunter: "It wasn't a
matter of free TV or pay TV.  It's a matter of no TV or pay TV.
Up until last year, the Nuggets never televised their home
playoff games."  For the first series, the team's away games will
be on KWGN (Chance Conner, DENVER POST, 4/25).

     Cox Communications and Times Mirror are expected to announce
today that they will invest more than $100M to launch two new
cable sports networks.  One network will be devoted to outdoor
sports and the other to motor sports.  Both will be advertiser-
supported basic cable services.  The channels will be run by
Roger Werner, former President and CEO of ESPN.  In February,
Times Mirror merged its cable systems with Cox as part of a
complex $2.3B cash-and-stock transaction agreed to last June
(WALL STREET JOURNAL, 4/25).