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Volume 24 No. 159

Sports Media

          The following lists rating trends for the Daytona 500.      The '96 Dayton 500 received a 9.2 national household rating,     representing an 18% increase over the '95 rain-delayed race.      ^ = excludes rain delay coverage (Nielsen Sports Marketing).     
YEAR
RATING
YEAR
RATING
YEAR
RATING
'80
8
'86
8.4
'92
9.3
'81
8.4
'87
9.8
'93
8.4
'82
9.4
'88
7.4
'94
9.6
'83
8.7
'89
8.1
'95
7.8^
'84
8.7
'90
7.3
'96
9.2
'85
8.3
'91
7.6
'97
DAYTONA CAMERAS: CBS will have 31 main cameras for its coverage of the Daytona 500 on Sunday, but a "whopping total of 87 cameras potentially can be used" (Bernard Fernandez, PHILADELPHIA DAILY NEWS, 2/14). CBS will also feature the "Akela Plus," the "largest crane camera in the world" at 85 feet, to get shots from above the track. It will be in the infield between turns one and two. CBS Sports' Daytona Dir Bob Fishman said the 87 cameras "sounds like we've lost our minds" (L.A. DAILY NEWS, 2/14). CBS ADDS MORE DRIVE: CBS Sports and Gateway Int'l Raceway have reached a multi-year deal to broadcast the inaugural Gateway 300, the newly created NASCAR Busch Series race, from Madison, IL, on Saturday, July 26 (CBS).

          The following lists TV ratings from last weekend's     network sporting events.  The numbers were gathered from the     networks and all times are eastern (THE DAILY).
EVENT
DATE NET TIME RAT/SHR
Marquette/Cincinnati
8-Feb
CBS
12:00-2:00pm
1.3/4
Georgetown/Syracuse
8-Feb
CBS
2:00-4:00pm
1.7/5
Millrose Games
8-Feb
NBC
2:30-3:30pm
1.8/5
Buick Invitational
8-Feb
NBC
3:30-6:00pm
2.6/7
NHL Hockey (regional)
8-Feb
FOX
3:00-6:00pm
2.1/6
Olympic Winterfest
8-Feb
CBS
4:00-6:00pm
1.7/4
NCAA Basketball (reg)
8-Feb
ABC
2:00-4:30pm
1.8/5
Wide World of Sports
8-Feb
ABC
4:30-6:00pm
2.7/7
NASCAR Busch Clash
9-Feb
CBS
12:00-1:00pm
3.7/12
Iowa/Illinois
9-Feb
CBS
1:00-3:00pm
2.2/6
NCAA Basketball (reg)
9-Feb
CBS
3:00-5:00pm
3.7/9
Olympic Winterfest
9-Feb
CBS
5:00-6:00pm
2.2/5
Buick Invitational
9-Feb
NBC
3:00-5:00pm
4.1/10
NCAA Basketball (reg)
9-Feb
ABC
3:30-6:00pm
2.1/5
NBC All-Star Game
9-Feb
NBC
6:00-9:00pm
11.2/19

          NBC has sold out "virtually all" commercial time for
     the U.S. Open four months beforehand, according to Langdon
     Brockinton in INSIDE MEDIA.  Advertisers include Xerox,
     United Air Lines, Nike, MasterCard and "several companies"
     in the financial services field.  "Many" 30-second spots on
     Saturday's coverage went for $110-115,000 apiece, while some
     of the Sunday units went for "about" $135,000-150,000.  
          EASY RYDER: NBC has also signed a Ryder Cup sponsorship
     deal with Ping that gives the golf club manufacturer a
     presence on the network's broadcasts of the '99 and 2001
     Cups. As the exclusive golf club advertiser, Ping has
     secured half the ad time allotted to the golf equipment
     category on those broadcasts. NBC "is close" to finalizing a
     deal with Coopers & Lybrand for the '99 and 2001 Ryder Cups. 
          GLOBAL GAME: The PGA Tour will help create three new
     internationally based events for '99, but it has "yet to be
     determined" how or when the TV rights negotiations for those
     tournaments will be handled (INSIDE MEDIA, 2/13).   

          The opening night of the Westminster Kennel Club Dog
     Show on USA Network received a 3.7 cable rating, which
     topped ESPN's ESPY Awards, which earned a 2.9 (NEWSDAY,
     2/14)....Magic Johnson is "finalizing an overall deal" to
     produce films at Fox.  Although the deal is "considered a
     slam dunk," Fox will not comment until the paperwork is
     finished.  Johnson expects to be based at Fox Family Films
     (DAILY VARIETY, 2/13)....In N.Y., Benza & Lewittes report
     that SI's new swimsuit editor, Elanie Farley, was looking to
     do something different for her first issue and "nearly" put
     Steffi Graf on the cover instead of model Eve Herzigova
     (N.Y. DAILY NEWS, 2/14)....ABC will increase its boxing
     programming "as one method of rejuvenating" its "Wide World
     of Sports."  ABC will televise the first female pro fight on
     broadcast TV next month (USA TODAY, 2/14)....NBC's Bob
     Costas, who is about to take a six month break from TV work,
     said he and Don Ohlmeyer at NBC "had some serious talks
     about the viability of a sports-themed '60 Minutes'-type
     show in prime-time.  The conclusion seemed to be that it
     could only work ratings-wise on a network if that network
     had exceptionally strong lead-in sports programming.  The
     idea's not dead" (CHICAGO SUN-TIMES, 2/14)....Anaheim Sports
     Enterprises President Tony Tavares, on a CA judge allowing
     Fox Sports to continue showing Mighty Ducks games on Fox
     Sports West 2: "Temporary restraining orders are seldom
     granted.  It's not a big surprise.  It was a legal shot in
     the dark" (L.A. TIMES, 2/14).  


          Walt Disney has signed a letter of intent to acquire a
     minority share in Starwave Corp., which produces such web
     sites as ESPNet SportsZone, NBA.com, NFL.com, and NASCAR
     Online, an executive "knowledgeable about the deal," tells
     Leslie Helm of the L.A. TIMES.  Disney and representatives
     of Paul Allen, who owns Starwave, "declined to comment." 
     The executive told Helm that "in an unusual twist," the
     preliminary agreement calls for  Disney to "acquire roughly
     one-third of Starwave but to take over management control." 
     The two sides are "close to signing a final agreement," and
     sources tell Helm "the final deal could involve a bigger
     stake by Disney" (L.A. TIMES, 2/14).  The HOLLYWOOD REPORTER
     notes "an executive close to the negotiations" says that the
     talks "hinge on the size of Disney's stake and could
     conclude within two weeks" (HOLLYWOOD REPORTER, 2/14).