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Volume 24 No. 158

Sports Media

          TV: USA TODAY's Gordon Forbes reports that the NFL's TV
     negotiations "will run slower this year."  The October 1
     exclusivity deadline for talking to current broadcast
     carriers "will be pushed back" to November 1.  Forbes: "The
     new deal won't be firmed up until after the Super Bowl" (USA
     TODAY, 9/18)....Mike Keenan "has had talks with ESPN and Fox
     Sports about becoming a hockey commentator this season"
     (DETROIT FREE PRESS, 9/17)....Ed Pinckney will serve as an
     in-studio host for UPN-33's Heat road TV broadcasts, as well
     as a radio analyst on WIOD for home games (Heat).
          PRINT: SI will publish "The Boston Collection: The Best
     Boston Sports Stories from The Pages of Sports Illustrated,"
     the first in a series of city-specific special issues.  The
     164-page issue will hit Boston newsstands on October 6, and
     will have a cover price of $5.95.  Ford Division/New England
     is the exclusive advertiser of the issue which features Ted
     Williams on the cover.  Chicago will be the next issue (SI).

          "Steel Chariots," a film on NASCAR racing, premieres
     Tuesday, September 23, at 8:00pm ET/PT.  "Steel Chariots"
     features cameos by NASCAR drivers Jeff Gordon, Rusty Wallace
     and Mark Martin.  NASCAR announcers Ned Jarrett and Benny
     Parsons play themselves in the film (NASCAR).  
          MORE THAN A MOVIE?  The production was profiled by John
     Nagy of the Greensboro NEWS & RECORD.  Nagy: "These days,
     everyone seems to want a piece of NASCAR, and Hollywood is
     no different.  But the relationship NASCAR and Hollywood had
     on 'Steel Chariots' illustrates just how greatly NASCAR's
     power has grown over the last few years."  NASCAR
     VP/Marketing and Development Ken Clapp, on the pilot episode
     of "Steel Chariots:" "We left the ending so we could carry
     on."  Clapp represented NASCAR and "was in on every aspect
     of the movie's production," as producers "agreed to his
     script changes and reshot scenes he didn't like."  Nagy:
     "The final cut of 'Steel Chariots,' while no great cinematic
     achievement, might just be the best representative film work
     ever done on NASCAR. ... Lest you think this film too
     'inside racin',' it also includes numerous 'Baywatch'
     touches like beautiful women."  Nagy adds that the idea of a
     TV series "excites NASCAR like few other things."  Clapp:
     "We're ready to go with 13 episodes if we get the ratings." 
     Nagy: "But while NASCAR had control with the pilot, a series
     might find NASCAR losing out to ratings-hungry studio
     executives" (Greensboro NEWS & RECORD, 9/17).

          The Rockies asked a Denver District Court judge "to
     temporarily stop" local Web publisher Robert Lewis from
     producing his baseball Web page, arguing that it "infringes"
     on the team's trademarks and "confuses Internet users,"
     according to Leyla Kokmen of the DENVER POST.  Lewis
     publishes a CO Tourism & Sport site at,
     which links to, his "Colorado Baseball
     Daily" page.  Rockies attorney Tom Kelley: "We want to
     prevent Mr. Lewis and his company from using the Rockies'
     trademark -- Rockies and Colorado Rockies -- to identify
     himself and his product."  Lewis' attorneys argue that he
     "has made changes" to his online site, including "adding
     disclaimers, dropping use of the Rockies' logo and colors,
     changing the name from The Daily Rockies' Web to Colorado
     Baseball Daily, and removing the newsletter from, although the sites are still linked."  But
     Kelley said that Internet users "still associate
     with Lewis' baseball site."  The team does not currently
     have a Web site, but it "expect[s] to launch one by the end
     of October."  A December trial is set (DENVER POST, 9/18).
          NEW TENNIS NET: The Corel WTA Tour unveiled its
     redesigned site at  The site, rebuilt
     with MD-based American Cities Studios, features new player
     audio and video interviews and features, up-to-date
     tournament results, press conference transcripts, player
     action photos, an educational section geared towards
     youngsters, interactive games and a ticker with up-to-date
     Tour news, among other features.  Future plans include a
     shopping mall area, full motion video, real-time scores and
     multilingual sections (Corel WTA Tour).
          ON ICE: NHL ICE celebrates its one-year anniversary on
     October 4, and for the coming season, following every game, will produce a 90-second video highlight of that
     game.  NHL ICE also plans to introduce the NHL/IBM Real Time
     Scoring System -- the NHL's first program for electronically
     tabulating on-ice activity during a hockey game (NHL ICE).
          DEVIL OF A SITE? The Devil Rays launched www.devilray.
     com, developed by FL-based WebLink Communications.  The team
     is using "" because "" was
     claimed by FL businessman Joe Rossetto for $100.  Rossetto
     "offered to sell the address for what [team general counsel
     John] Higgins said was $50,000."  The team declined and
     Higgins said, "Basically, we weren't going to pay 50 grand
     for an s" (Marc Topkin, ST. PETE TIMES, 9/16).