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Volume 24 No. 158
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     MLB can now open negotiations with Fox and CBS after ABC and
NBC let Monday's deadline pass without exercising their exclusive
negotiating rights on a new TV rights deal, according to Richard
Sandomir of the N.Y. TIMES.  Giants Exec VP Larry Baer, a member
of MLB's TV committee:  "This will be an active week."  Baer said
that the owners' goal is a new deal by month's end (N.Y. TIMES,
10/10).  ESPN is still in its exclusive negotiating period for
cable channels (Rudy Martzke, USA TODAY, 10/10).  In Sunday's
N.Y. TIMES, Phillies President Bill Giles outlines the likely
post-season package under the new deal:  National prime-time
coverage of the divisional series Tuesday-Monday, with no
Thursday off and staggered starts; 13 other games in the
afternoon or late night on cable or the nets; Wednesday, Saturday
and Sunday starts at 1pm, 4 pm, 7pm, and 9 or 10pm.  The LCS
would also have full coverage, but Giles was not sure whether
there would be some cable involved.  Giles, on afternoon games:
"We're willing to take less to market the game.  Exposing more
quality players is of equal importance to money" (Richard
Sandomir, N.Y. TIMES, 10/9).  In Boston, Jack Craig reports, "It
was anticipation of the furor over dividing LCS coverage that
prompted baseball to announce last Wednesday that all post-season
games will be on television for everyone next season" (BOSTON
GLOBE, 10/8).
     M'S-YANKEES BOOSTS RATINGS:  Sunday's Mariners-Yankees Game
5 did a 13.4 for ABC in Nielsen overnights, after a 10.4 on
Saturday and a 12.4 on Friday.  Jack Craig notes, "It may signify
nothing, but the largest audience of the five nights of
baseball's divisional coverage was on Sunday, when Yankees-
Mariners became a national game" (BOSTON GLOBE, 10/10).  Sunday's
game drew a local 23.2 rating and 36 share in New York, with more
than half of NYC TV sets tuned into the final 15 minutes (Josef
Adallan, N.Y. POST, 10/10).