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Volume 24 No. 116

Sports Media

     A computer program called "Coach's Edge" will be used by CBS
Sports in its coverage of the NCAA Men's Basketball tournament.
"Coach's Edge" has been used by CBS analyst Billy Packer to
explain key plays on-screen.  The program was designed by Chris
Davis, who sells it out of his house in Lawrence, KS.  Davis has
sold more than 250 copies at $200 each.  Davis approached Packer
and CBS Coordinating Producer Bob Dekas last December and showed
them the program, and two week's later it made its CBS debut on
the KU-Indiana game.  Other clients include Duke University and
the Univ. of North Carolina.  The Milwaukee Bucks also use the
system and hope to have it on sidelines during games next year on
laptop computers (Mark Davis, K.C. STAR, 3/13).

     Phil Rizzuto announced he will return to WPIX-New York to
call 31 of the station's 50 Yankee games.  Rizzuto had announced
his retirement last August (NEWSDAY, 3/13)....ESPN received a 2.4
rating for their NCAA "Selection Show," down 29% from last year
(USA TODAY, 3/13)....Fox officially announced Dave Winfield as
their MLB studio analyst.  Winfield:  "When I was a rookie in
baseball, I made a million errors.  I hope I don't do that now"
(N.Y. DAILY NEWS, 3/13)....Jay Larkin, Exec Producer of SET,
Showtime's PPV arm, is upset that neither Frank Bruno nor Mike
Tyson have made themselves more available to the media in advance
of Saturday's fight.  Larkin: "The success of this promotion
rests on a very few shoulders and if they are nowhere to be
found" (N.Y. DAILY NEWS, 3/13)....Time Warner and U.S. West will
meet in court today to hear U.S. West's suit to stop the proposed
TBS-Time Warner merger (N.Y. POST, 3/13).... Raybin
Communications has been named one of the media partners of
Pinnacle All-Star FanFest.  As part of the deal, Raybin Sports
Collectors Show will offer daily FanFest information on its Web
site.  Address:  http://www. sportscollectors.com (Pinnacle).

     The "NFL on NBC" pre-game show will be expanded to a one-
hour weekly format next year.  The show will air at 12:00 noon
each Sunday, marking the first time NBC Sports will present a
weekly hour-long studio pre-game show for an entire season.  NBC
Sports President Dick Ebersol said the move could not have "been
accomplished without the extensive cooperation we received from
our affiliates across the country and our own news division" (NBC
Sports).  Ebersol told USA TODAY's Michael Hiestand the move is
"something I've clearly stated for the last two years that we'd
never do."  But he said affiliates have been offered a five-
minute window in the show's first half-hour for their own program
inserts.  Ebersol also said NBC will never use the running on-
screen score like Fox, adding that 90% of viewers say the only
reason they liked it was it allowed them to catch the score and
turn the game off.  Ebersol:  "My No. 1 responsibility is
building big audiences" (USA TODAY, 3/13). NBC has promised five
minutes of commercial time to local stations to sell as their own
to make up revenue (Baltimore SUN, 3/13).  NBC Sports Exec
Producer Tom Roy is expected to be named NBC's new No. 1 game
producer (USA TODAY, 3/13).

     The most successful sports-related ventures on the World
Wide Web have been related to big-ticket events -- and the NCAA
basketball tournament is one of the biggest.  The intense
interest and fast pace of the early rounds is a perfect match for
the real-time nature of the medium, with the interactive draw of
filling out a tournament pool also a natural.  The top sports
online services seem to have figured this out, as all have major
tournament sites.  1)  ESPNET's SportsZone has the "Tournament
Challenge," presented by Pizza Hut.  The winner gets a trip to
next year's Final Four.  The Zone's site -- found at http://
ESPNET.sportszone.com -- also has in-depth reports on each of the
64 teams.  2)  SportsLine USA has its "March Medley" contest with
a $1,000 cash prize to the winner.  There are also team reports
for subscribers.  Address:  http://www. sportsline.com.  3)  The
Sports Network will unveil its live Java Sportswire during the
tournament bringing constantly updated scores ticker-style.
Address:  http://www. sportsnetwork.com.  4) CBS has a March
Madness site with its own pool -- "The Final Four Challenge,"
sponsored by Microsoft.  Other features at
http://www.CBS.com/sports/ marchmadness are a trivia quiz, the
"virtual pressroom" with news releases and background info, and a
fan poll.  5)  CNN's sports site --
http://www.cnn.com/sports/index.html --leads with the final NCAA
poll and has a front-page button for its tourney site.  Inside
are stories and the brackets.  6) USA Today has a special section
-- "The Big Dance" -- found at
http://www.usatoday.com/sports/basketba/sktfront.  The main
feature is a coaches forum -- including Rick Pitino and Roy
Williams -- with answers posted tonight.  7)  For "personalized"
e-mail updates on the games and your favorite teams, head to
Mercury Mail Inc.'s "It's Madness" site at
http://www.merc.com/madness.html (THE DAILY).