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Volume 24 No. 159

Sports Media

     The Celtics will move their radio broadcasts to WRKO-AM from
all-sports WEEI.  The switch assures the team will have all
preseason, regular season games, and any post-season games on one
outlet.  Spencer Ross and Cedric Maxwell will be the broadcast
team (Celtics)....TBS's coverage of the UAW-GM 500 Sunday from
Charlotte received a 3.4 rating, "Turner's highest rating in
seven years of covering the race" (Michael Hiestand, USA TODAY,
10/12)...NESN will cover 18 AHL games this season in a Friday
Night game of the week package (NESN)....ESPN's Extreme Games
will return to Rhode Island in June '96 (ESPN)....Procter &
Gamble Co. and Gatorade have signed on as charter sponsors of the
NewSport TV network in multi-year deals.  Both sponsors will
receive multiple 30-second spots, logo placement on NewSport's
Scorebox, program billboards, and other areas (NewSport)....CBS
Inc. reported a 43% drop in third-quarter net income on "slightly
higher profits."  Lower ratings were cited as a reason (WALL
STREET JOURNAL, 10/12).  NEWSDAY reports CBS' poor start to the
fall season (prime time ratings are off 19% from last year) could
cause millions in make-goods to advertisers (NEWSDAY, 10/12).

     Tuesday Night's LCS opener got a ABC 14.6 Nielsen rating,
the highest LCS rating since the Mets and Dodgers generated a
16.4 in '88.  The rating is also 29% higher than LCS numbers from
'93.  In Seattle, the Mariners-Indians drew a 47.9 rating, while
getting a 45.8 in Cleveland.  Cincinnati drew a 31.6 for the
Braves-Reds, while Atlanta drew a 30.2 (Prentis Rogers, ATLANTA
CONSTITUTION, 10/12).
     ABC BURNED BY SPORTS:  NBC placed first in prime-time
Nielson ratings for the first time in nine weeks, pushing ABC to
second place.  Tom Bierbaum reports in this morning's VARIETY
that ABC's loss can be partially blamed on "its weakest Monday
Night Football telecast of the season," and three nights of
baseball coverage.  However, Bierbaum notes "the new and
controversial baseball playoff format managed generally
competitive prime time numbers. ... Though the week's five game
average -- a 10.5 rating, 20 share -- equals the previous lowest
rating for a single playoff baseball telecast since" October '91.
Then again, Bierbaum writes that "baseball's sagging popularity
relative to football's is demonstrated by the fact that there's
only been one 'Monday Night Football' telecast in 15 years (and
probably ever) lower-rated than any of last week's five playoff
baseball games" (DAILY VARIETY, 10/12).
     OTHER NOTES:  ABC yesterday took the heat for the decision
to sign off from Tuesday's Mariners-Indians game and not carry
extra innings of Reds-Braves.  ABC Sports spokesperson Mark
Mandel said covering sports "is a great burden on our affiliates
and we do everything to get them back to their local programming"
(WASHINGTON POST, 10/12). ....In USA TODAY, Michael Hiestand
writes MLB should accept the criticism for problems with The
Baseball Network, not the networks.  Hiestand notes it is "MLB's
responsibility, not TV's to protect its fans" (USA TODAY, 10/12).