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Volume 24 No. 154

Sports Media

     CBS has now sold 75-80% of ad time for their Fiesta Bowl
telecast January 2, as 30-second spots have "tumbled from the
astronomical rate" of $550,000 to around $400,000, according to
INSIDE MEDIA.  To "help accelerate" Fiesta sales, CBS offered
advertisers package deals including time during NCAA college
basketball coverage or on PGA telecasts.  The game is also being
sold together with the Orange Bowl.  CBS is banking on "huge
ratings" for the game and has guaranteed advertisers a 24 rating
for the contest, which "likely will be college football's so-
called national championship."  But "because of the uncertainty
of the bowl matchups," some advertisers may be delaying their
decision to purchase.  Adding to the slow sales is a "tight" ad
marketplace with "little money" and the abundance of TV sports at
the end of the year -- including NFL playoffs which give
advertisers several "alternatives."  Also, CBS' original
"exorbitant" price may have "scared" off some advertisers
(Langdon Brockinton, INSIDE MEDIA, 11/15 issue).

      ESPN2 is launching in more than 2 million households
throughout the fourth quarter of '95, bringing their total to
more than 27 million by the end of the year (ESPN)....The Sports
Network site on the World Wide Web now includes the Sportsbook
area targeted to the gaming enthusiast and casual fan.  It is
informational only and does not provide any access to actual
wagering (The Sports Network)....Ratings from the weekend:  NBC's
primary game, Steelers-Bengals, drew a 13.4 overnight, down 20%
from last year.  Cowboys-Raiders led Fox to a 16.6 doubleheader
average, up 16% (Rudy Martzke, USA TODAY, 11/21)....Nobuyuki
Idei, President and COO of Sony Corp., said they have no interest
in acquiring an American network even if foreign-ownership rules
are modified by deregulation (WALL STREET JOURNAL, 11/21)....
Microsoft Corp. announced it has signed 525,000 subscribers to
the Microsoft Network since it was introduced with the Windows
'95 operating system (SAN JOSE MERCURY NEWS, 11/21). ....Raycom,
Inc. has reached a deal with Lin Television to represent the
national ad sales and station distribution for Lin's package of
Rangers baseball.  Raycom will distribute the Rangers package
regionally to markets throughout the Southwest and will represent
national advertising sales for the regional telecasts.  The
package is 150 games (Raycom).

     Rupert Murdoch and TCI officials officially announced
yesterday they have joined with two of Latin America's largest
broadcasters to launch a 150-channel satellite TV service.
Murdoch and TCI Chair John Malone join with Globo, the leading
media company in Brazil, and Grupo Televisa, the vast Mexican
broadcaster.  They plan an initial investment of $500M in the
service, which is scheduled to begin in May.  The service will
transmit entertainment, news and sports programming to homes with
satellite dishes and digital receivers (Mark Landler, N.Y. TIMES,
11/21).  Murdoch said the market consists of 400 million
households  and that the deal is "one of the most far-reaching
moves in global broadcasting."  Murdoch said the recent venture
between News Corp. and TCI's Liberty Media to build a global
sports franchise would be "a key programming supplier to the
partnership."  Financial details are still being discussed, but
the venture will be handled by News Corp., and co-owned News
Corp., Globo, and Televisa (30% each) and TCI (10%) (Durie &
Yelland, N.Y. POST, 11/21).  Profits will be divided among the
partners according to the regions they inhabit
(BLOOMBERG/Minneapolis STAR TRIBUNE, 11/21).

     A Burbank, CA, company announced plans yesterday to "become
the first provider of a system that will allow TV viewers to get
digital satellite TV without the dish."  A TV-top box will allow
consumers of TVN Entertainment's new system "to receive digitally
compressed programming through existing cable wires," according
to USA TODAY.  TVN will begin by providing 40 channels of movies
and PPV in addition to the usual cable channels.  Marketing plans
and cost will be unveiled next week (Bruce Haring, USA TODAY,
11/21).

     The "techno-wizards" at Fox Sports are experimenting with a
computer chip to be installed in pucks used for Fox's telecast of
the NHL All-Star Game on January 20, according to NEWSDAY's Steve
Zipay.  The technology would make it easier for fans to follow a
puck.  Fox cameras around Boston's FleetCenter -- "fitted with
similar communications chips -- would be able to track the pucks,
which to viewers would appear to leave an electronic 'vapor
trail.'"  Fox execs confirmed the technological development is
going on and hope to unveil the puck January 18 at a news
conference.  Zipay writes that "one glitch" in the process could
be that "when the pucks are frozen, which is done before every
NHL game, the chip ices up as well" (NEWSDAY, 11/21).

     Rodale Press will publish alt.Sport, a "Generation X and
older skewing magazine," featuring such sports as roller blading,
snowboarding, and mountain biking.  alt.Sports is scheduled to
appear on newsstands next summer with a circulation of 200-
300,000 copies.  The "open rate" for a four-color page is $8,000,
and Publisher David Madden said he "already has verbal
commitments from footwear and electronics advertisers" (Wayne
Friedman, INSIDE MEDIA, 11/15 issue)....Snowboard Life, a new
title from TransWorld Publishing and Times Mirror Magazines, is
"looking to take advantage of the category's current ad boom," by
reaching out to "a growing class of more conservative snowboard
enthusiasts."  Snowboard Life's 180 page premiere issue has 90 ad
pages (Valerie Stivers, INSIDE MEDIA, 11/15 issue).

     Phil Hendrie, talk host on show Miami's WIOD-radio, has
"been doing lame impersonations" of Dolphins LB Bryan Cox for
more than a year, according to Brian Schmitz of the ORLANDO
SENTINEL.  But a recent impersonation had Hendrie-as-Cox
admitting over the air that he was gay, "touching off taunts" by
schoolmates aimed at Cox's 12-year old daughter.  In response,
Cox said he will file a $15M lawsuit against the station forcing
them to stop the impersonations.  Cox:  "If people want to
criticize me, that's fine.  But when it starts to affect my
family ... that's when I go to war."  WIOD is the Dolphins'
flagship and is owned by Cox (no relation) Communications.  Bryan
Cox's attorney, Mike Baird: "By the time we're done with them it
would be fitting if we could turn 'Cox' in Cox Communications
into Bryan Cox Communications" (ORLANDO SENTINEL, 11/21).