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Volume 24 No. 116
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     In this morning's CHICAGO TRIBUNE, Steve Nidetz writes that
while ABC and NBC "have all but written off their collaboration
with The Baseball Network after this season," ABC's Al Michaels
doesn't see the All-Star telecast "as any different from any
other year."  Michaels: "Those of us responsible for the telecast
will approach it as if it were the first year of a 100-year
contract.  If you go in thinking you're a lame duck, the only
ones who suffer are you.  Our reputations are at stake, too.  We
went through this in 1989.  Only it was worse in 1989 because we
knew CBS had made a deal for the next four years."  Michaels says
"the jury is still out" on elimination of Saturday afternoon
weekly telecasts and is "disturbed" by regional playoff coverage.
Michaels:  "I understand the reality of it.  So much of sports
today is dictated by economics.  The accountants have taken
control" (CHICAGO TRIBUNE, 7/10).
     FATE OF THE TROIKA:  Michaels, Tim McCarver, and Jim Palmer
"will get out of baseball broadcasting after this season," and it
is "a question" whether McCarver will "remain the most prominent
announcer in the sport" should Fox gets baseball and go for "a
fresh, new voice."  McCarver:  "If something happens with one of
the networks, that's fine.  I'm 53 and I have done this for a
long time and I still enjoy it" (Barry Jackson, MIAMI HERALD,
     MORE PUNDITRY:  The HERALD's Jackson also laid out "several
scenarios for the next [MLB] TV contract":  MLB sells rights to
one network, with Fox the front-runner; Fox and CBS "split up
postseason coverage on a rotating basis," with Fox placing first-
round games on cable arm fX; MLB sells LCS and Series rights to
Fox and/or CBS, but places first-round games on ESPN or Turner