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Volume 24 No. 112

Franchises

          Media companies' ownership of sports teams is examined     by Grover, Barrett et al. in BUSINESS WEEK.  While 52 public     companies have interest in the 130-odd major sports teams in     North America, "at least a third" are media companies.      BUSINESS WEEK adds that media companies buy sports teams and     "programming for one simple, hugely compelling reason: In     the fragmenting American TV audience, sports is the only     surefire way to land a substantial and predictable     audience."  News Corp. Co-COO Chase Carey: "Sports     programming sells anywhere, anytime" (BUSINESS WEEK, 9/22).          THREE IS ENOUGH: In Atlanta, Time Warner Vice Chair Ted     Turner spoke at the Commerce Club yesterday.  Asked if he     wanted to buy the Falcons, Turner said, "We've got enough     teams already."  To which Braves/Hawks President Stan Kasten     chimed in, "Amen" (ATLANTA CONSTITUTION, 9/16).  

          A crowd of 63,149 at Sunday's Chargers game "wasn't
     large enough" to meet the city's "controversial general
     admission-seat guarantee," according to Barry Bloom of the
     SAN DIEGO UNION-TRIBUNE.  If the city "must refund" Sunday's
     "full 5,000-seat commitment," it would fall $200,000 in
     arrears, which comes in the form of a rent rebate 30 days
     after each game.  The city can get money back when the total
     general admission ticket sales are tabulated at the end of
     the season.  On Sunday, Chargers Owner Alex Spanos "angrily
     declared the guarantee a modest fee" to keep the team in San
     Diego.  Spanos: "At least it shows they want us here. 
     Baltimore gave Art Modell $75 million.  And a 15-year lease
     at a new stadium, rent free."  He added that he "shunned
     several more lucrative offers" to move the team.  Spanos: "I
     love San Diego.  I intend to stay here and I don't want to
     move.  And I can't stand what everyone is doing knocking us
     and knocking the city.  Especially when you look at what
     other cities have done."  The club has "actively marketed"
     its premium seats, having sold about 90%, and Spanos said
     that for the first time the team will turn a "healthy
     profit" this season (SAN DIEGO UNION-TRIBUNE, 9/15).  

          The future of the NHL Oilers "remained uncertain" as     two "separate local consortiums put the final touches to     deals they hope will keep the team" in Edmonton, according     to Dolphin & MacDonald of the EDMONTON JOURNAL.  The group     considered the "front-runner" is led by Cathy Roozen, heir     to the Charles Allard fortune, and "software tycoon" Bruce     Saville.  A second consortium is led by Robert Proznik, a     property manager and restauranteur.  Dolphin & MacDonald     report that "none of those interviewed ... thought Proznik     and his consortium -- believed to include another     restauranteur and a financial consultant -- had deep enough     pockets to compete against Roozen and Saville."  Proznik     could not be reached for comment (EDMONTON JOURNAL, 9/16).