CNBC's Jerry Cobb reported live yesterday from the
grand opening of the first ESPN - The Store in Glendale, CA.
Cobb: "Disney calls it a possible prototype, but judging
from the fanfare of Tuesday's opening, there's nothing
tentative about ESPN - The Store." Disney Stores President
Tom Heymann: "We're looking to get everybody of all ages;
sports fans from the youngest to the oldest, both men and
women, and we have products that really appeal to everybody"
("Business Tonight," 9/16). In L.A., George White wrote
that the store is the "latest player in an increasingly
crowded 'retail-tainment' arena," that includes other chain
stores from Disney, Warner Bros., Viacom and the Discovery
Channel. Disney CEO Michael Eisner: "[T]he entertainment
store is a risky concept. This (venture) is not a shoo-in."
White wrote that "the continuing spread" of such stores
"could lead to problems," such as price-cutting. White also
added that "the novelty may wear off." ESPN's store will
offer company logoed merchandised, clothing/collectibles,
and sporting equipment, such as mountain bikes and
skateboards with the X-Games brand name (L.A. TIMES, 9/16).
ESPN and ESPN2 will broadcast the new Pro Beach Hockey
series beginning June 1, 1998, and will broadcast 26 one-
hour original telecasts during the first year of a three
year commitment. The initial Pro Beach Hockey season will
feature 35 game tournament taped weekends from Huntington
Beach, CA, May 2-24, and the broadcast schedule includes re-
airs on ESPN2 bringing exposure to a total of 81 telecasts
during the first season (ESPN).
X MARKS THE SPOT: ESPN has selected Crested Butte
Mountain Resort in Colorado as the host site for the 1998
ESPN Winter X Games, January 15-18. Last year's Games were
held at Snow Summit Resort in Big Bear Lake, Calif (ESPN).