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Volume 24 No. 116

Sports Media

     The Auto Racing Bulletin Board on Prodigy and the Auto
Racing Home page on the Internet made their debuts yesterday,
just in time for the Indy 500.  Both the Bulletin Board and the
Home Page will be hosted by Les Welch, a photographer for the
NHRA and a regular contributor to Prodigy Sports.  The Auto
Racing Bulletin Board (JUMP: auto racing bb) will have Indy
driver Jacques Villeneuve appearing online answering fans'
questions through Friday.  The Auto Racing Home Page
(http://antares.prodigy.com/ autorcoi.htm) organizes and links
web content related to racing in one easy-to-find location
(Prodigy).

     The IOC will entertain bids for the Canadian broadcast
rights to the '98 Nagano Games next week.  CTV paid C$12M for the
'94 Lillehammer Games, but was beaten out for Atlanta by CBC's
C$30M bid.  In Toronto, Ron Longley notes, "In Nagano bidding,
CTV may not have to go as high.  With massive layoffs pending at
[CBC], it's hard to imagine CBC being able to justify breaking
the bank for a property three years down the road.  But don't
count on it."  CTV VP of Sports Doug Beeforth:  "There is only so
much money out there in advertising dollars.  If CBC does what it
did in Atlanta, we don't have a chance" (TORONTO SUN, 5/26).

     THE SPORTS BUSINESS DAILY surveyed broadcast and cableoutlets that carry baseball in 22 MLB markets, and found that 19of those outlets are showing lower ratings for their baseballtelecasts.  In most cases, the '94 numbers are through the samenumber of games as last year, except where indicated with a dateor the symbol (^).  '94 NOTES:  White Sox/WGN is based on 12games.  Cubs/WGN is based on 33 games.  Padres is for the entiremonth of May.  Giants is for 10 games.  Mariners and Twins aretheir season average.  Figures for the Blue Jays, Expos, Indians,Tigers, Brewers and the Mets were not available (THE DAILY).                  
TEAM
STATION
NO.
GAMES
AVG
'95
RATING
'94
TEAM
STATION
NO.
GAMES
AVG
'95
RATING
'94
ATL
TBS (Natl)
9
1.7
2.1
LOS
KTLA
May 15
5.0
4.8
BAL
HTS
May 15
3.7
5.1
MIN
WCCO
4
9.8
10.5^
 
WJZ (Bal)
"
11.5
14.0
 
KLTG
2
3.9
6.1^
BOS
WSBK
"
6.3
6.9
NYY
MSG
15
1.9
1.6
 
NESN
"
2.3
2.6
 
WPIX
2
3.2
6.0
CAL
KTLA
"
2.6
3.9
OAK
KRON
2
6.3
6.1
CHCB
WGN
15
5.6
5.7
 
SPTSCH
3
1.4
.3
CHSX
WGN
4
3.8
4.4^
PHI
WPHL
12
7.0
10.9
 
SPTSCH
3
1.1
1.8
PIT
WPXI
1
7.4
13.0
CIN
WLWT
9
9.6
10.1
SD
KFMB
7
5.0
5.3^
COL
KWGN
9
10.2
12.0
SF
KTVU
4
7.5
5.9^
FLA
WQAM
6
5.0
4.7
SEA
KIRO
8
9.7
8.1^
HOU
KTXH
9
4.4
4.9
STL
KPLR
9
7.8
10.0
KC
KSMO
5
8.0
8.0
TEX
KTVT
13
5.0
9.0

     MLBP has teamed up with NTN Communications to create
"DiamondBall," a new interactive baseball game to be played
during live telecasts.  This agreement entitles NTN to produce
"DiamondBall" for broadcast in the U.S., as well as Canada,
Japan, Australia, Taiwan, South Africa and the United Kingdom.
The game allows viewers to predict at-bats and answer strategy
questions.  The Carlsbad, CA-based NTN is owner and operator of
the only interactive TV network in North America.  The game will
be played via on-line services and cable on the more than 2,000
hospitality outlets that subscribe to NTN's Entertainment Network
(MLBP).

     Times Mirror announced that it will stop publishing the
Baltimore Evening Sun on September 15 (AD AGE ONLINE,
5/26)....Prime Sports' "Press Box" will move to 10pm beginning
June 1 (Prime).... St. Louis' KTVI-Channel 2's deal for the Rams'
exhibition TV rights is said to be worth $500,000 (ST. LOUIS
POST-DISPATCH, 5/26)....The SAN JOSE MERCURY NEWS's Colin Seymour
says not to expect Steve Albert to be back as the Warriors' TV
play-by-play man, with A's voice Greg Papa having the inside
track to replace him.  Albert is said to be "entertaining offers"
to return to New York (SAN JOSE MERCURY NEWS, 5/26)....U.S. West
and Time Warner are "at loggerheads" over how to restructure U.S.
West's 25.5% ownership in Time Warner.  At stake are control of
Time Warner cabe systems, as well as HBO and the Warner studios
(WALL STREET JOURNAL, 5/26).

     The Game 7 showdowns between the Rockets and Suns and the
Knicks and Pacers last weekend pushed NBC's cumulative playoff
average to its highest mark in 18 years.  Through four weekends
and 16 telecasts, NBC has a national average of a 7.2/20 -- the
highest rating after the initial four weekends since CBS posted
an 8.1/29 in '77 (NBC Sports).  Despite the losses of the Knicks
(No. 1 media market), the Lakers (No. 2) and the Bulls (No. 3),
NBC's "research department believes the 13 percent increase so
far over last year's playoffs will be maintained, perhaps even
surpassed."  NBC Sports' Ed Markey:  "By now, everyone knows
these teams and who plays on them" (Leonard Shapiro, WASHINGTON
POST, 5/26).  The NBA playoffs have pushed TNT to No. 1 in the
prime-time basic cable ratings.  Last week, TNT had five of the
top ten highest rated cable shows -- all NBA broadcasts.  TNT has
averaged a 3.9 cable rating, up 30% from '94, while TBS has
averaged a 2.8, a 65% increase over '94 (Turner).
     FOR NHL -- FOX IS UP, ESPN IS DOWN:  In L.A., Larry Stewart
notes that while the "NBA is booming," the NHL on Fox only
received a 1.9 national rating last Sunday.  That included a 1.2
in L.A., which was topped by a Jimmy Connors-John McEnroe match
(L.A. TIMES, 5/26).  ESPN's NHL ratings are down 10% to a 0.9
average (USA TODAY, 5/26).