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Volume 24 No. 115

Sports Media

     By the end of '96, Bell Atlantic hopes to compete with local
cable operators in the DC area by offering more than 100 channels
of video via wireless cable.  Bell Atlantic officials say the
move to wireless is an "interim" strategy (WASHINGTON POST,
5/17)....John McEnroe may sign on with CBS to do commentary for
the U.S. Open.  Jim Baker of the BOSTON HERALD notes that his NBC
contract would allow such a move.  It is not known whether or not
he will team up with Mary Carillo (BOSTON HERALD,
5/16)....Nielsen Media Research, Yankelovich Partners and ASI
Market Research have formed "ANYwhere Online" -- a partnership to
develop research services to measure online media (AD AGE ONLINE,
5/17).... ESPN will televise an "Outside the Lines" special on
religion and sports on May 19 (ESPN)....PRIME will carry the
Football Association Cup from Wembley Stadium in London on May
20.  It is the first over-the-air live showing of the F.A. Cup in
the U.S. in over a decade (Prime).

     Vikings QB Warren Moon will pull double-duty this coming NFL
season, working both on the field and as a member of the media.
Moon, who also has worked this season on several TNT and TBS NBA
broadcasts, will appear on TNT's NFL coverage in '95.  The SPORTS
BUSINESS DAILY spoke with Steve Rosner at Integrated Sports
International -- Moon's marketing representatives -- about the
QB's moonlighting.  Rosner said Moon's involvement with TNT will
include taped features and live spots during the network's
coverage of the NFL, with other coverage based on Moon's
availability.  Rosner notes that Moon and other players have
worked on local TV in their markets, "but to do something on a
national level, but more importantly and more interestingly, with
another sport -- I don't think that's been done before."  Rosner
reports that there have been "a lot of inquiries" about Moon's
availability when he retires, and says, "There is no question
that when Warren Moon retires from football, the broadcast
industry is one he's going to take a shot at."  As for the
future, Rosner says that while Moon does not have a long term
deal with TNT, the cable network "will be right in the mix for
his services" when Moon moves on to his next full-time career
(THE DAILY).

     "Playing hardball as it prepares to enter the on-line
computer services business, Microsoft Corp. has wooed NBC away
from rivals America Online and Prodigy with a lucrative deal
under which the software giant will pick up the broadcaster's
expenses for developing computerized versions of its programs for
the Microsoft Network," according to Julie Pitta in today's L.A.
TIMES.  NBC Multimedia Senior VP Marty Yudkovitz:  "We're
spending Microsoft's money to create content that we will own"
(L.A. TIMES, 5/17).  NBC will use all of its segments for the
area, including NBC Sports and CNBC (N.Y. POST, 5/17).  Microsoft
Chair Bill Gates cited coverage of the '96 Olympics in outlining
the content possibilities (N.Y. TIMES, 5/17).  While NBC will
pull its content from AOL and Prodigy, the deal will allow
Microsoft to sign on other networks.  According to Pascal Zachary
of the WALL STREET JOURNAL, Gates "made it plain that he hopes to
rely on the entertainment and news expertise of NBC and others to
build the biggest on-line network in the world" (WALL STREET
JOURNAL, 517).
     REACTION:  In Washington, Kara Swisher calls it "yet another
sign that TV and computing are becoming more alike" (WASHINGTON
POST, 5/17).  In New York, Mark Landler writes that the details
were so "fuzzy" that some analysts saw it as "the digital-age
equivalent of agreeing to be friends."  But the news did have a
"measurable impact" on America Online and Prodigy.  AOL stock
fell $3.125 to $38.625 on Nasdaq, while stock of Prodigy's
parents, IBM and Sears, also suffered slight losses (N.Y. TIMES,
5/17).  In San Francisco, Michelle Quinn writes, "On the surface,
the deal appears to favor Microsoft, at least as a public
relations coup."  Some analysts also speculate that the spread of
Microsoft Network content deals "could mean it's game over for
America Online and the other online services such as Prodigy"
(SAN FRANCISCO CHRONICLE, 5/17).  Several reports note the deal
is also a bad sign for GE's own struggling commercial online
service -- Genie (Mult., 5/17).
     MERGER IN THE MAKING?  AT&T's intentions with Time Warner
are examined in USA TODAY and the L.A. TIMES.  USA TODAY's Kevin
Maney reports that it is "unlikely" AT&T will buy a stake in Time
Warner, with a joint venture more likely (USA TODAY, 5/17).  In
L.A., Sallie Hofmeister reports that industry execs said allying
with AT&T "would give Time Warner the best brand name in the
phone business, a clear advantage in its effort to sell phone
service to cable subscribers" (L.A. TIMES, 5/17).  Time Warner's
annual shareholders meeting starts tomorrow (Mult., 5/17).  In
other news, AT&T filed with the SEC to sell 25% of its stake in
video game maker, 3DO.  AT&T plans to sell the rest of its
investment -- 1 million shares or 2.5% of the company --during
the next year (SAN FRANCISCO CHRONICLE, 5/17).

     Commentary continues on the alleged comments of CBS golf
analyst Ben Wright that lesbianism has hurt the image of the
LPGA, with several female columnists entering the fray.  In San
Francisco, Joan Ryan writes, "For all the uproar about his
remarks, they weren't as disturbing as the response to them. ...
In the real world, the perception of rampant lesbianism in the
golf tour has absolutely affected its popularity with corporate
America" (SAN FRANCISCO CHRONICLE, 5/17).  In Miami, Linda
Robertson writes, "Unfortunately, the devaluation of women makes
headlines instead of the accomplishments of women" (MIAMI HERALD,
5/16).  In Boston, Jack Craig writes, "The subject will not go
away quickly.  The ingredients are the stuff of tabloids.
Someone's lying, there is gay-bashing and sex, and goliath CBS is
plunk in the middle" (BOSTON GLOBE, 5/16).  In New York, Steve
Zipay notes that the controversy did little to boost CBS's
ratings for the LPGA McDonald's Championship.  The event drew a
1.7 both Saturday and Sunday -- down 6% and 17% respectively from
'94.  Zipay writes, "No Tonya vs. Nancy curiosity here" (NEWSDAY,
5/16).  Bob Costas was asked about the controversy on Tom
Snyder's "Late, Late Show" last night.  Costas:  "One bit of
circumstantial evidence that weighs in Wright's favor is this.
He is 62 or 63 years old.  He has had a very long career in
broadcasting and he has never appeared to be this sort of
reckless person who would make crass comments like this" (CBS,
5/17).
     WHO SAID WHAT, WHEN?  Wilmington NEWS JOURNAL Exec Editor
John Walston told USA TODAY that reporter Valerie Helmbreck "has
very clear notes" from her conversation with Wright.  Walston:
"These are not chicken-scratch notes.  They conducted the
interview in a back office.  There was no one leaning over his or
her shoulder. ... He was the first to raise the lesbian issue."
Rudy Martzke asks, "If there were no others present during the
Helmbreck-Wright interview, as told by Helmbreck to Walston, then
who are the staffers CBS said confirmed Wright's denial."  CBS
Sports spokesperson Robin Brendle said "nothing has changed" to
alter the statements made Friday by Wright or CBS Sports
President David Kenin (USA TODAY, 5/17).  Jack Craig notes that
ABC's "Good Morning America" tried to arrange a Wright-Helmbreck
meeting for yesterday's show (BOSTON GLOBE, 5/17).