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Volume 24 No. 112

Sports Media

     As reported by THE DAILY last Friday, the Giants are the
first MLB club to adopt Princeton Video Image's L-VIS live
electronic insertion technology -- on KTVU-TV and SportsChannel
Pacific broadcasts from 3Com Park.  While only promos and logos
have been displayed during telecasts thus far, Glen Dickson of
BROADCASTING & CABLE writes the team has sold ad space to the
Raley's supermarket chain and are "close" to a deal with a beer
company.  Giants Corporate Sponsorship Manager Jason Pearl says
the club is "aggressively going after people," but while
advertisers are "extremely excited" about the technology, few
have budget room to purchase time this late in the season.  PVI
is supplying and operating the system free in return for a
percentage of ad revenue, which will also be shared by the team
and the TV rightsholder.  PVI VP Sam McCleery, who says the
company is in discussions with other MLB clubs, says the
technology can be used for geographically targeted ads within
national telecasts and "branding" events market-by-market for
international distribution (BROADCASTING & CABLE, 6/10 issue).
The Giants' Pearl places the costs of the ads at $4,000-6,000 on
KTVU and $400-600 on SportsChannel Pacific (Reynolds &
Brockinton, INSIDE MEDIA, 6/11 issue).

     Michael Jordan is on the cover of Sports Illustrated for a
record 37th time (CHICAGO TRIBUNE, 6/12)....USA Network, which
debuts its new look and logo at midnight Monday, will introduce a
new opening to its sportscasts beginning August 26 with the U.S.
Open coverage (N.Y. POST, 6/12)....In DC, Leonard Shapiro writes
of ESPNEWS getting the jump on CNN/SI:  "Timing often is critical
in forming viewer habits, and ESPN wanted to launch first"
(WASHINGTON POST, 6/12)....The Sports Network, the PA-based
online service, and AOL Productions have discontinued their Web
relationship and will develop separate sites.  AOL's new sports
info service can be found at http://www.SportNation. com (Sports
Network)....National Media Group and CBS have teamed to produce a
special one-hour feature for the CBS Sports Show on June 15 on
"Ultrateam Drag Racing," featuring several categories of drag
racing (NMG)....ESPN and Cox Communications have joined on a
promotional campaign for the X Games in RI and CT areas served by
Cox Cable (ESPN)....The TV networks and Nielsen Media research
said they will team up to explore how to make the ratings system
more accurate (WASHINGTON POST, 6/12)....As they conclude the
upfront selling season, the networks' total primetime sales
(including UPN and WB) are expected to near $6B, a 2-3% hike over
last season, despite an overall audience decline (L.A. TIMES,
6/12)....ESPN has extended its deal with the season-ending NASCAR
Winston Cup race at Atlanta Motor Speedway "into the next
century" (ATLANTA CONSTITUTION, 6/12).

     The NBA Finals' Games 1, 2 and 3 propelled NBC to an overall
11.3 rating and a 21 share for last week.  The games held three
of the top five positions, joined by NBC's "Seinfeld" and "ER,"
with Game 1 ranking as the week's top-rated show (Josef Adalian,
N.Y. POST, 6/12).  In Atlanta, Prentis Rogers writes, while a
sweep is not the "preferred outcome," NBC "has reaped big-time
benefits from the Bulls' run to a title" (ATLANTA CONSTITUTION,
6/12).
     ALL-INTERVIEW TEAM:  The NBA's Public Relations Directors
have named their all-interview team.  Charles Barkley is joined
by Jayson Williams, Michael Jordan, Karl Malone, Magic Johnson
and Sonics coach George Karl.  The second team features Derek
Harper, Doc Rivers, David Robinson, Grant Hill, Brian Williams,
Pacers coach Larry Brown and Kings coach Garry St. Jean.  Barkley
has made the team nine of its ten years of existence (NBA).
     NHL RATINGS:  The Panthers' final game drew "what is
believed to be the one of the largest cable audiences in South
Florida history," according to Barry Jackson of the MIAMI HERALD.
The game drew a 19.8 on ESPN.  Noting that 69% of Miami-Ft.
Lauderdale homes have ESPN, Jackson figures if everyone in the
area had ESPN the local rating would have projected to a 28.6 --
higher than every '95 Dolphins game  except for a Monday night
against the Steelers.  Nationally, ESPN's rating was a 4.4.  For
the series, ESPN averaged a 3.6 for its two finals telecasts
(MIAMI HERALD, 6/12).  It was ESPN's third-highest rated NHL game
(N.Y. TIMES, 6/12).  For perspective, USA TODAY's Michael
Hiestand notes that NASCAR averages a 4.8 rating on ESPN and that
Fox's 3.6 NHL playoff average was about one-third the rating for
Fox's primetime entertainment shows last June (USA TODAY, 6/12).

     The Sunshine Network and Lightning, entering the final year
of their inaugural five-year deal, have extended their deal
through 2001-02.  Sunshine will carry a minimum of 50 games
annually -- including no less than 35 road games -- and has
committed to support the team promotionally via ads and PSA's.
The network retains rights to Lightning playoff games not
otherwise aired by networks and plans to designate a broadcast
flagship station to air a select number of games.  The Lightning
retain responsibility for all marketing, signage and radio
rights.  Sunshine/Lightning merchandise will also be developed.
Actual programming will include:  a 30-minute pre-game show; a
new kids-oriented series on youth and street hockey; a pre-season
special; weekly highlight shows; and off-season replays of select
Lightning telecasts (Sunshine Network).  Lightning Governor David
LeFevre:  "This will put us among the elite among NHL teams."
The deal puts to rest speculation the team would sign with
SportsChannel Florida, recently acquired by Panthers Owner Wayne
Huizenga.  WTOG and WTTA are the leading candidates for a
broadcast deal with a decision later this summer (Carter Gaddis,
TAMPA TRIBUNE, 6/12).

     Pro golfers aren't the only ones who get to display their
talents during the U.S. Open as several Web sites provide
extensive background and coverage of the event.   Hit the links
(literally) with iGolf's site at http://www. igolf.com and not
only brush up on the latest U.S. Open news, but take a historic
look at Oakland Hills CC or read a week by week journal of Jay
Don Blake's preparation for the Open.  Or swing away with the
Golf Web at http://www. golfweb.com which provides an extensive
assessment and forecast of the players, as well as a prediction
of the '96 winner.  The site also offers a course map of Oakland
Hills and a "how-to guide" to the course from the last golfer to
win a U.S. Open there -- Andy North.  Surfers can also check out
current odds, fill out a poll on whether the Open should change
its playoff format, and listen to real audio from players like
Corey Pavin, Greg Norman and John Daly.  NBC Sports' golf site
(http://www.golf.com) will supply round-by-round reports and also
gives final standings from the '95 Open won by Pavin, the '94
Open won by Ernie Els and the '93 Open won by Lee Janzen.  The
USGA's own Web site at http://www.usga.org features real-time
scoring data and information on ticket packages (THE DAILY).