AT&T will initially concentrate marketing of its DirecTV
programming service in Tampa Bay, Dallas, L.A. and Hartford.
However, anyone may purchase the system. AT&T unveiled TV ads
for the service during last night's Oscars (ST. PETERSBURG TIMES,
3/26) The service was also advertised in a full-page ad in this
morning's N.Y. Times (N.Y. TIMES, 3/26)....New World Television
will produce a new comedy to air on Fox this fall, "Fenway."
Based on a second-rate sports agency, the show is from Greg and
Jeff Nathanson, producers of "Bakersfield P.D." (BROADCASTING &
CABLE, 3/25 issue)....News Corp. Chair Rupert Murdoch unveiled a
new broadcast network yesterday aimed at the Chinese market.
Star TV is Murdoch's latest effort to break into the Chinese
market since the mid-80s (FINANCIAL TIMES, 3/26)....Time Warner
issued preferred stock linked to its Time Warner Entertainment
venture Monday to help lower its debt by $1B ("Moneyline," CNN,
3/25). Analysts say the sale will help Time Warner raise cash
for an investment it otherwise won't be allowed to touch for two
more years (N.Y. TIMES, 3/26)....Rudy Martzke reports Ronnie Lott
is likely to join "Fox NFL Sunday" (USA TODAY, 3/26)....In the
wake of Michelle Tafoya's play-by-play work during Saturday's CBS
coverage, Richard Sandomir notes that eight of the nine ESPN
play-by-play announcers for the women's tournament are men (N.Y.
TIMES, 3/26)....Flextech plc, the UK-based cable and satellite
programming group 50.1% owned by TCI, acquired the remaining 61%
of the Family Channel (TCI)....The NFL is considering adding a
Thanksgiving night game during its next TV negotiations (USA
TODAY, 3/26)....In Toronto, Craig Daniels reports the NBA will
not take disciplinary action against Raptors forward Oliver
Miller for saying to Bulls center Bill Wennington on Canadian TV:
"I'll kick your white ass" (TORONTO SUN, 3/26)....In the Chicago
area, Ameritech is scaling back plans to offer cable service to
several suburbs. The company said Continental Cablevision has
exclusive rights to market several pay channels under an
grandfathered '88 agreement since ruled illegal (CHICAGO TRIBUNE,
3/26)....The NHL's playoff schedule will allow CBC to show
playoff doubleheaders with Canadian teams each night and for Fox
to show four American-based games on Sundays (GLOBE & MAIL,
3/26)....Red Sox and new carrier WABU-TV have reached an
agreement to enable viewers in Western MA to view all 75 games at
no additional cost (BOSTON GLOBE, 3/26).