Group Created with Sketch.
Volume 24 No. 136

Sports Media

     KRON-TV's launch of "A's Interactive" during last Saturday
night's A's telecast was a great success, according to KRON Exec
Producer Mark Wolfson.  The station gave an e-mail address once
during the bottom of the first inning with the hopes of garnering
30 or 40 "game specific" questions for announcers Dick Stockton
and Ray Fosse.  Instead, they got 39 in the first two minutes and
a total of over 200 for the game.  Wolfson said any questions not
answered on the air received personal responses from him later,
meaning everyone who participated got some answer.  In an
interview with THE SPORTS BUSINESS DAILY, Wolfson gave credit for
the success to the fact that allowing in-program questions "gives
a stage to the fans."  Wolfson:  "It is a chance for them to ask
questions and get answers whereas on talk radio you are often on
hold for long periods of time or never get through."  Wolfson
said baseball broadcasts offer "a perfect marriage" with this
type of interactivity since there are often "dead" times that
could easily be filled with audience cyber-participation.
Wolfson said "A's Interactive" will continue through the season
and KRON's sales department has had discussions with Sprint about
promotions (THE DAILY).

     In this morning's WALL STREET JOURNAL, Fara Warner reports
that the "upfront" ad market for the networks' '95-96 prime-time
schedule is expected to hit $5B, despite a smaller audience.
Share ratings for the three major nets was down to 57%, compared
to 61% in '93-94 (WALL STREET JOURNAL, 5/18)....UPN plans to add
a third night of programming to its '96 schedule, one year ahead
of their business plan.  Wednesday UPN shows will join those on
Monday and Tuesday (BLOOMBERG/N.Y. TIMES, 5/18)....National and
local TV spot revenues climbed 7% and 9% respectively in the 1stQ
of '95, according to a Television Bureau of Advertising analysis
cited in AD AGE ONLINE.  National spot revenue rose from $1.344B
to $1.444B, while local was up from $1.353B to $1.477B (AD AGE
ONLINE, 5/18)....MLB Home Video is reducing the prices on several
of its top titles, effective May 21.  Orion Home Video is the
exclusive sales agent for MLB Home Video (Orion)....Wayne
Huizenga's portfolio of Viacom B and Viacom A stock has increased
roughly $60M in value since the Blockbuster-Viacom merger.
Huizenga's Viacom holdings are now estimated to be worth $401M
(Ft. Lauderdale SUN-SENTINEL, 5/18)....OH-based Koenig Sporting
Goods has hired ESPN's Chris Berman to star in a series of TV
spots (NSGA RETAIL FOCUS, 5/95 issue)....On this morning's
"Bloomberg Business News," Bob Goldsholl reported on sports
information available on the internet and the Web.  Geoff Reiss,
Publisher of ESPNet Sports Zone: "Just like sports news it is
constantly being updated, there are constantly new things to be
said."  Goldsholl reports, "As exciting and new as it all may be,
cyberspace is far from being the primary source of sports
information, newspapers, TV and radio still carry the ball,
especially for fans of local teams.  But the amount of
information online is dizzying" (PBS, 5/18).

     Joe Montana's deal to join NBC's NFL team was made official
yesterday.  Montana will be paid $400,000 to be a studio analyst
for six regular-season weekends and four in the post-season.
Posed with the question facing all former coaches or athletes who
head to booth or studio ("Can they be candidly critical?"),
Montana said, "I think there's a way of being critical and
analytical at the same time."  Montana stressed that he wants to
avoid the media's focus on the "negative," and admitted that the
constant criticism necessary for game analysis would have been
difficult.  USA TODAY's Mike Heistand reports that NBC Sports
President Dick Ebsersol "suggests there's a happy medium between
Montana trying somehow to huff or just giving viewers puff" (USA
TODAY, 5/18).  In San Francisco, C.W. Nevius writes, "As a
conference call yesterday proved, when you've won four Super
Bowls, you don't have to say much to make news."  One reporter to
Montana:  "Are you going to save your best stuff for the last two
minutes of the broadcast?" (SAN FRANCISCO CHRONICLE, 5/18).  In
Baltimore, Milton Kent writes Montana "will work from the safety
and security of the pre-game studio, where there's more time to
form an opinion and fewer opinions are needed" (Baltimore SUN,
5/18).  Montana debuts on "NFL Live" on September 3 (WASHINGTON
POST, 5/18).

     As the NFL's expansion teams prepare for their first seasons
on the field, both front offices find themselves forced to
protect their trademarks against local radio stations looking to
take advantage of the teams' strong name I.D. in their respective
     CAT FIGHT:  The Panthers are contemplating suing radio
station WXRC if the station doesn't stop referring to itself as
"The Panther," according to the CHARLOTTE OBSERVER.  The Panthers
and their flagship station, WBT-AM, claim to own the rights to
use the animal's name and likeness, which the team has
trademarked.  WXRC President Dave Lingafelt said the station
never meant to infringe on any trademarks and is following the
team's wishes, for the moment, by eliminating references to the
station as "The Panther."  Lingafelt: "We are going to eliminate
the word 'panther' just on a temporary basis to give them the
opportunity to show us if we have violated any specific clauses."
Panthers General Counsel Dick Thigpen:  "These things you've got
to stop early" (AP/CHARLOTTE OBSERVER, 5/17).
     JAGS LOOK TO SETTLE: The Jaguars and Jacksonville radio
station WJGR expect to reach an agreement in a few days over a
lawsuit filed by the Jaguars ordering the station to stop using
the moniker "Jaguar 1320," according to the FLORIDA TIMES-UNION.
Station officials said Friday they would stop using "Jaguar
1320," but they may keep using WJGR as their call letters.  The
settlement may also require the station to change all signs and
advertisements that contain Jaguars' slogans.  Station officials
say they are already in the process of doing this.  Jaguars Dir
of Marketing Dan Connell:  "We are very pleased with their
response to the lawsuit and anticipate releasing details of an
agreement in the near future" (Earl Daniels, FLORIDA TIMES-UNION,

     Time Warner opens its annual shareholders meeting today with
the dual announcements that the company will chip away at its
debt by selling off 15 small cable systems for $260M and that
they plan to launch their own commercial online service featuring
news and entertainment from Time Inc.'s magazines and Warner
Brothers' TV, film and music groups.  While most online services
are delivered on commercial phone lines, Time Warner's yet-to-be-
named service will come over coaxial cable lines in the company's
cable network and through other cable operators.  Time Inc. New
Media Senior VP Paul Sagan:  "People are gravitating to online
services.  We think that marrying it to the high-speed delivery
of cable is even better" (Mark Landler, N.Y. NEWSDAY, 5/18).
     PERELMAN AT THE GATE:  Time Warner's stock jumped $1.50 upon
reports that financier Ronald Perelman was considering a purchase
of Seagram Co.'s almost 15% stake in the company.  However, one
exec familiar with Time Warner said that Perelman called Time
Warner CEO Gerald Levin to refute the rumors (WALL STREET
JOURNAL, 5/18).  VARIETY cites insiders who say that Seagram "has
not even begun to work on selling the shares and no deal is
imminent" (DAILY VARIETY, 5/18).

     In the current issue of SI, "Scorecard" offers its take on
the comments attributed to CBS golf analyst Ben Wright concerning
lesbianism hurting the LPGA Tour.  "Scorecard":  "Once again,
five years after Shoal Creek and several weeks before the
publication of 'The Unplayable Lie," Marcia Chambers' book
documenting sexism in the world of golf, the specter of an alien
presence has impinged on a sport in which power rests
overwhelmingly with straight, white males.  And every time the
alien tees up, it's fascinating to watch golf squirm. ...
Meanwhile, no one on the tour used the incident to step forward
and say what should have been said:  There are gays among us.
Deal with it."  SI does credit the CBS broadcast for avoiding the
"usual patronizing comments" regarding women golfers (SI, 5/22
     LPGA STAR CHIMES IN:  LPGA Hall of Famer Patty Sheehan
denies that lesbianism is an issue.  In an interview with the
BOSTON HERALD:  "We don't get the respect and TV exposure because
we are women athletes, and it has nothing to do with lesbianism.
It's because we are women, and there are some segments who don't
want us to get the same exposure or make the same money as men"
     WHAT TO DO ABOUT IT:  Denouncing homophobia in women's
sports, Women's Sports Foundation Exec Dir Donna Lopiano has
announced that the group will launch an educational program
focusing on the issue at its Annual Summit in Dallas this
weekend.  A panel discussion, "Homophobia:  The Red Scare in
Women's Sports," will explore the ways women are discouraged from
participating in sports.  The Foundation has also prepared a list
of "Words to Watch" for treating men and women alike in sports
reporting (Women's Sports Foundation).