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Volume 24 No. 158
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     Citing the return of Monica Seles and the Andre Agassi- Pete
Sampras rivalry, USA Network has announced that its ratings for
the U.S. Open were up 15% over last year.  USA's live prime time
coverage averaged a 1.5 Nielsen rating, up over last year's 1.3.
The total rating for USA's 90 live hours of coverage was a 1.1,
with daytime coverage garnering a .7 average (USA Network)....ABC
won the coin toss over NBC for the rights to cover a possible
Game 7 of the World Series.  ABC will also carry Games 1, 4 and
5, with NBC covering the rest (N.Y. TIMES, 9/13)....Sports
Illustrated's Sportsman of the Year award will be revealed for
the first time on network TV in a one-hour prime time special to
air in December on Fox.  In addition to the award, the SITV
holiday special will include profiles of the candidates from SI
writers, a review of the events and statements of the  year, and
revisit past winners (SITV)....HBO Sports will present "Fields of
Fire:  Sports in the '60s" -- a look at the "evolution and
revolution" of sports in that decade -- on November 14 (HBO
Sports)....Fox is serious about making a bid for the U.S. Open,
according to Fox Sports President David Hill.  Rudy Martzke
writes that a Fox bid "might be looked at seriously" by the USTA,
because of Fox's open late-night schedule (USA TODAY,
9/13)....Citing poor ratings, Chicago all-sports station WMVP has
dropped ESPN Radio's "Fabulous Sports Babe" from its lineup.  Ron
Gleason, Dir of Programming at rival all-sports station WSCR,
which was doubling the Babe in the ratings:  "She's very good and
she's talented, but most nationally syndicated shows don't do
well in Chicago" (BOSTON GLOBE, 9/13)....The International
Channel, owned by TCI and available to over 7 million U.S. homes,
and GlobalSport Communication have announced a deal to air a two-
hour weekly program on Rugby, called "Rugby Magazine"
(GlobalSport Communication).... INSIDE MEDIA looks at the format
changes in TENNIS magazine, which debuted with the September
issue.  For the issue, TENNIS used two different cover shots of
Andre Agassi and conducted "a regional newsstand sales test."
VP/Circulation Diana O'Donnell said the results could induce them
to run more feature-style covers (INSIDE MEDIA, 9/19 issue).