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Volume 24 No. 117
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     Reaction to the deal was mixed, as most praised the IOC
while holding out judgement on the purchase by NBC.  Some
"skeptics question whether NBC could make money on such a high
rights fees, given the uncertainties of where video technology
and the advertising marketplace will be more than a decade from
now" (WALL STREET JOURNAL, 12/13).  NEWSDAY's Steve Zipay calls
it "a gamble," citing the uncertain economic future.  One TV
exec:  "I'd hate to be the forecasters trying to estimate the
marketplace:  What will the ratings be with more and more
channels?  What's the impact of computers and interactive media?"
Zipay writes without a U.S. site, ratings "are a risk" (NEWSDAY,
12/13).  Analyst Dennis McAlpine, of Josephthal Lyon & Ross, said
there is "cache" to NBC being called the "Olympic network,"
adding,. "There is also obviously a very strong benefit to
attracting NBC's advertisers, because it's a venue that they can
show them" ("Moneyline," CNN, 12/12).  In Baltimore, Milton Kent
calls it a "significant commitment of cash and time" at a time
when there are rumors a possible stake in the network is for
sale.  Kent notes the announcement makes NBC and its stations
"more attractive to potential buyers" (Baltimore SUN, 12/13).
Richard Sandomir writes NBC's "wager is that the power of Olympic
programming outweighs the risk of its future payments" (N.Y.
TIMES, 12/13).
     HAPPY AFFILS:  Others say the deal should help NBC "lock in
the remaining 10% or so of its 215 affiliates that haven't yet
signed long-term deals."  NBC is likely to buy more TV stations
pending approval of telecommunications legislation (Elizabeth
Jensen, WALL STREET JOURNAL, 12/13).