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Volume 24 No. 157

Sports Media

     Susan O'Malley, president of the Bullets and Capitol Region
Sports Marketing, announced an agreement yesterday for WFTY-TV to
broadcast Bullets and Capitals games beginning in '95-96.  WFTY
will replace WDCA-TV as the teams' broadcast outlet.  In the
initial year, WFTY will carry a minimum of 30 Bullets games and
20 Capitals games.  Home Team Sports, the teams' cable carrier,
will produce the games for cable and broadcast.  WFTY VP & GM
Michael Nurse:  "WFTY feels that the strong addition of Bullets
and Capitals, along with our existing line-up of Baltimore
Orioles and ACC basketball games, will truly position WFTY as
Washington's sports station" (Capitol Sports).  No Baltimore
affiliate was announced, but Milton Kent urges local cable
operators to pick up WFTY (Baltimore SUN, 6/14).  WFTY-TV is
Washington's WB Network affiliate (THE DAILY).

     ESPN has said that "it plans to tackle more Asian markets
with customized programming in native languages," according to
today's DAILY VARIETY.  Yesterday, the cable network launched a
programming and production center in Singapore that will produce
three separate language and program feeds for India, greater
China and southeast Asia.  According to a release, the new
service will carry U.S.-based programming as well as
international events "relevant to each region."  ESPN currently
provides Cantonese, Mandarin and English commentary, with Hindi
and Bahasa Indonesia to be added later (REUTERS/VARIETY, 6/14).
          BETTER RED THAN IN THE RED?  Rupert Murdoch's News
     Corp. yesterday announced the formation of a joint venture
     with Beijing's People's Daily newspaper, long known as the
     "throat and tongue" of the Chinese Communist Party.  Among
     the potential projects of the new partnership, called
     Beijing PDN Xinren Information Technology Co., are
     electronic publishing and online information (N.Y. POST,
     6/14).  The deal "represents an important breakthrough for
     News Corp.," in Asia and could lead to joint ventures in
     newspapers and TV (Tony Walker, FINANCIAL TIMES, 6/14).
          TOP LABATT BIDDERS:  Jerry Rosenfeld, Managing Partner
     at Lazard Freres & Co., financial adviser to Intrebew SA,
     which has bid C$2.7B for Labatt, profiled the likely bidders
     for Labatt's broadcast holdings.  A group including
     management of sports channel TSN, as well as ESPN, "doesn't
     have its financing 'absolutely certain yet,'" according to
     Rosenfeld.  Baton Broadcasting "has yet to raise the money."
     And CanWest Global Communications "probably has the money
     but hasn't yet gotten to a price level that is acceptable to
     us" (Marina Strauss, Toronto GLOBE & MAIL, 6/14).
          MULTIMEDIA AUCTION:  Bidders for diversified media
     concern, Multimedia Inc., have been given a June 21 deadline
     to submit offers.  Top bidders include a consortium that
     includes NBC, TCI's Intermedia and Media General, and a
     group led by Ellis Communications, parent company of Raycom.
     Multimedia's holdings include TV stations, daily newspapers,
     syndicated talks shows such as "Donahue" and "Sally Jessy
     Raphael," and cable systems (Bill Carter, N.Y. TIMES, 6/14).
          DREAM DEAL:  The Spielberg-Geffen-Katzenberg DreamWorks
     studio granted exclusive distribution rights to Seagram's
     newly-acquired MCA.  In addition to international
     distribution of films, videos and music, MCA theme parks
     will have exclusive rights to "characters and concepts" from
     DreamWorks productions (John Durie, N.Y. POST, 6/14).

     Time Warner Cable has acquired the exclusive local TV rights
to the home games of the Memphis Pharaohs of the Arena Football
League.  In addition, the deal calls for a home shopping show for
next season.  Pharaohs GM Eric Leins noted that Time Warner's
interactive network, TV Memphis, opens in '96 and said "the
options are limitless" in terms of team-fan interaction (Arena
Football)....Previewing NBC's coverage of the U.S. Open on NBC
this weekend, Phil Mushnick writes that NBC analyst Roger Maltbie
"is on the verge of a major breakthrough."  Maltbie "has just
enough flair and frankness to become the reasonable alternative
to the self-serving and rehearsed excesses of [CBS golf analyst
Gary] McCord" (N.Y. POST, 6/14)....Time Warner's Pathfinder World
Wide Web site was rated one of the top three by INTERACTIVE AGE
magazine.  Pathfinder offers content from many of the company's
divisions, including Sports Illustrated (Time Warner)....In a
profile of Internet-focused ad agencies, Harry Berkowitz notes
that Reebok chose On Ramp, headed by former MTV VJ Adam Curry,
instead of a large agency to establish its Net presence.  Reebok
VP for Event Marketing Brenda Goodell:  "Adam is really of the
MTV culture, and he is extremely of the Internet culture"
(NEWSDAY/Minneapolis STAR TRIBUNE, 6/14)....Jeff Beauchamp, GM of
WBAL-AM, flagship station of the Orioles' radio network, called
MLB's decision to limit the breaks between innings "another
classic example of the owners failing to understand what they're
doing" (Baltimore SUN, 6/14)....In Dallas, Barry Horn notes that
Sunday's Devils-Flyers got a 14.1 local rating in Philadelphia,
but only a 2.8 in New York.  The 2.8 mirrored the game's national
overnight rating.  Horn:  "Now you know why the Devils ... are
thinking of relocating to Nashville" (DALLAS MORNING NEWS,
6/14)....In promoting its application to get a license for a
Canadian regional all-sports cable Channel (which would be called
"S3"), CTV notes that the following teams did not have 50% of the
games on English-language TV -- Nordiques (11%), Canadiens (43%),
Jets (39%), Oilers (44%), Canucks (42%), and Expos (17%) (William
Houston, Toronto GLOBE & MAIL, 6/14).