VANCOUVER'S GRIFFITHS LOOKS REGIONAL; NO DECISION ON TSN
Arthur Griffiths, Chair of Northwest Entertainment Group --
owner of the Canucks, Grizzlies and GM Place, failed in his bid
to get involved in the purchase of The Sports Network from Labatt
buyer Intrebrew. But, according to Jim Taylor of the Vancouver
PROVINCE, that "doesn't mean NEG is out of the cable picture."
At the media event to introduce Brian Winters as new Grizzlies
coach, Griffiths reiterated his desire to start a regional sports
network built around his Vancouver teams. Griffiths: "Regional
sports. That's the future in terms of cable. And we (NEG) are
positioned very well to be the leaders in Western Canada"
(Vancouver PROVINCE, 6/20).
NO WORD ON LABATT'S SALE: There was no decision by
Intrebrew yesterday on the C$630M bid for Labatt
Communications Inc. by a consortium led by top LCI execs.
LCI's holdings include TSN, The Discovery Channel, and the
French-language sports channel, RDI. The LCI group includes
ESPN, Claridge Inc., the Seagram-owned holding company run
by former Expos Owner Charles Bronfman, and Jeremy Reitman.
One source, noting a rival bid by Alliance Communications
and TCI's Liberty Media, said the LCI group has "the inside
track," but added: "I don't think the race is over quite
yet" (FINANCIAL POST, 6/20). This morning's GLOBE & MAIL
reports that Intrebrew, which is forced by law to divest
itself of Labatt's broadcast holdings by July 27, may split
the assets and sell Discovery, LCI's 25% in Viewer's Choice
pay-per-view and Dome Productions to the Alliance-Liberty
group (Harvey Enchin, Toronto GLOBE & MAIL, 6/20).