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Volume 24 No. 115

Sports Media

     Canada's YTV premieres "NBA Dunk Street" on April 5.  The
half-hour program will feature NBA players, history and
terminology with a Canadian spin (YTV)....Golfweek magazine will
expand its business coverage with a pull-out section called
"Strictly Business," beginning in the June 1 issue
(Golfweek)....News Corp. Chair Rupert Murdoch's latest quest is
launching digital TV in Europe (BUSINESS WEEK, 3/25).... TCI
"strengthened its position" as the top U.S. cable operator
yesterday when it bought Knight-Ridder's 50% stake in TKR Cable
for $420M.  TKR has almost 500,000 subscribers in NY and NJ
("Moneyline," CNN, 3/18)....SportsTicker is expanding its sports
news coverage to include all of Business Wire's SportsWire news
releases (SportsTicker).... SportsChannel Regional Network
launches a Web site this week.  The string of networks plans to
include scheduling, programming highlights, interviews with team
players, news, stats, information, trivia and contests on the
site.  The address:  http://www.sportschannel.com
(SportsChannel). ....GOLFWEEK's Dave Shedloski reports CBS'
transition from longtime golf producer Frank Chirkinian to Lance
Barrow "will not stray from the Chirkinian philosophy."  Barrow,
who admits he will add his own identity: "If someone tells me our
show looks like a Frank Chirkinian show, it would be an honor"
(GOLFWEEK, 3/16 issue)....The IAAF will produce three shows in
connection with the World Cross Country Championships from Cape
Town, South Africa (USAT&F)....NBC's NBA games Sunday averaged a
3.6 overnight -- down 73% from last year -- Michael Jordan's
return which earned a 13.4 rating (USA TODAY, 3/19)....Richard
Sandomir criticizes SET's Tyson-Bruno announcing team for not
noticing the gash over Bruno's eye -- which occurred during Round
1 -- until 10 seconds before Round 2.  On Tommy Morrison as an
analyst, Sandomir asks, "Was no knowledgeable analyst available,
rather than someone hired mainly because of his renown for
contracting the H.I.V. virus?" (N.Y. TIMES, 3/19).

     NBC has announced a new on-line site to supplement and
publicize its on-air coverage of the '96 Games.  "NBC Presents
the Games of the XXVI Olympiad" is accessible on the network's
Web site at http://www.olympic.nbc.com and through NBC SuperNet
Sports on the Microsoft Network (go word: NBC).  Feature areas
include:  Athlete Profile of the Week; Golden Moments; Day-in-
the-Life of an Olympic Hopeful; Sport-by-Sport previews; and a
nightly "Golden Chat" with notable personalities (NBC).  NBC's Ed
Markey said the network has yet to sell advertising on the site
and, "for now," will use the site it to promote Games coverage.
The site will be managed by a staff on-site in Atlanta during the
Games (Jeffrey Scott, ATLANTA CONSTITUTION, 3/19).

     STATS Inc. responded to the March 5 lawsuit filed against it
and Motorola by the NBA over the alleged transmission of NBA
highlights through the SportsTrax pager. STATS President & CEO
John Dewan, from a release:  "STATS is a news-gathering company
just like a wire service, radio station, television network or
newspaper.  The difference between STATS and these other entities
is that we report sports news in numbers rather than in words or
pictures."  Dewan continues, "STATS strongly believes that it has
the legal right to disseminate factual statistical information,
since such content is news.  The statistics of sports have always
been and must remain freely available to the public."  Dewan
notes that "a ruling in favor of the NBA would mean unprecedented
restrictions on how statistics and other game information could
be made available to the public in the future.  The NBA could
then claim ownership not just of news updates, but also of box
scores, books about basketball that contain statistical analysis
and even fantasy league information.  This lawsuit challenges the
very nature of media reporting in sports" (STATS Inc.).