THE TV SPORTS WEEKEND THAT WAS
CHASING DEION: Fox's Pam Oliver is getting credit from
media writers for being the only reporter to push Deion Sanders
on the extent of his ankle injury, thus providing the only hard
news on Sanders' signing last weekend. NEWSDAY's Steve Zipay
also notes that, despite a mention by Will McDonough of potential
side deals between Sanders and Pepsi and Nike, "no one had a
follow-up or a demand that the NFL investigate the money trail"
(NEWSDAY, 9/12). In Boston, Jack Craig writes, "In an age when
TV interviewers are patronizing, Oliver stands out" (BOSTON
RATINGS WATCH: The U.S. Open on CBS was up 50% on Saturday
and 33% on Sunday over last year. Overnights show CBS with a 5.0
overall on Saturday (including 6.7 for Becker-Agassi) and with a
6.9 for Sunday's men's final (USA TODAY, 9/12). Leaders in local
NFL ratings, in order: Dallas, Kansas City, Pittsburgh,
Washington and Denver. New England (with a local 23.3) was in
the middle of the pack, and for the second consecutive week,
Charlotte was in the "mid-teens" (Jack Craig, BOSTON GLOBE,
OPEN SEASON: In Houston, Dale Robertson bashes CBS for its
"Super Saturday" format at the Open. Robertson: "It's not a
case of coddling spoiled millionaires. It's a matter of common
sense, of recognizing human limitations in order to enhance
performance." Robertson sees the women's final treated in a
"more shamefully disrespectful way ... almost like a marching
band at halftime" (HOUSTON CHRONICLE, 9/12). In Baltimore,
Milton Kent criticizes "SportsCenter" for reporting the results
of Agassi-Sampras 15 minutes into the broadcast, after the NFL
and baseball (Baltimore SUN, 9/12).
SMASHES, WINNERS & HITS: IBM reports over 7 million "hits"
to its U.S. Open Web page, which was developed jointly with the
USTA. The page opened August 28 (IBM).
SEE YOU NEXT YEAR? No word yet on whether this was CBS'
last year carrying the Open, according to Richard Sandomir of the
N.Y. TIMES. CBS and Fox were expected to submit offers last
night or today. Fox Sports President David Hill: "We're
crunching our numbers" (N.Y. TIMES, 9/12). CBS had rejected the
USTA's asking price, which has been estimated at $35-38M/year.
Rudy Martzke reports that CBS rejected the USTA offer "figuring
no Fox offer was forthcoming." CBS would pay $30M a year (USA