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Volume 24 No. 157

Sports Media

          The Dodgers-Giants game on Wednesday gave SportsChannel
     Pacific (SCP) its "highest rating in the Bay Area,"
     according to Scott Hettrick of the HOLLYWOOD REPORTER. 
     Then, the extra-inning game yesterday "drew near-record
     numbers of online chat room participants" to KTLA-TV's Web
     site.  KTLA broadcast its first live online broadcast of the
     game through a chat room, feeding play-by-play notes to
     users.  Online producer Eric Lipton said that "as many as
     300 people were using the chat room at any one time, with an
     estimated 1,200 or more different users per hour."  On
     Wednesday, the 316,000 households that watched the game on
     SCP were "more than were watching any other broadcast or
     cable network in that market."  SCP's 11.5 Wednesday rating,
     with a peak of 13.9, broke the "previous ratings record" of
     5.5, with a peak of 6.9, during a July 6 Giants-Rockies game

          MLB and ESPN Radio reached a five-year agreement giving
     ESPN Radio exclusive domestic regular- and post-season
     broadcast rights.  ESPN Radio is broadcast across the U.S.
     by ABC Radio Networks.  The deal includes coverage of all
     post-season games; the World Series; the All-Star Game and
     All-Star events; a full schedule of regular-season games
     each year; Sunday Night MLB game of the week; one game every
     Saturday in September; at least two games every holiday and
     Opening Day; two additional "Pennant Race" games each week
     in September; as well as major award announcements and the
     Winter Meetings (ESPN).  In N.Y., Richard Sandomir puts the
     five-year deal at $40M (N.Y. TIMES, 9/19).  
          OFF CBS: The deal ends MLB's 21-year relationship with
     CBS Radio, and the HOLLYWOOD REPORTER'S Stephen Battaglio
     reports that CBS did not want to renew its MLB package,
     "which had been unprofitable in recent years."  MLB's radio
     network broadcasts "lost several major sponsors after the
     players' strike" and "made others skittish about signing
     on."  Battaglio adds while CBS affils "liked having the
     crown jewel events ... [they] griped about having to carry
     so many regular-season games."  ESPN will develop a radio
     version of "Baseball Tonight" (HOLLYWOOD REPORTER, 9/19).  

          TV NETWORK NEWS: In N.Y., Phil Mushnick, on NBC's
     coverage of the Ryder Cup.  Mushnick: "Already, NBC has
     assumed its low-brow Olympic posture in banging the drums
     for its Ryder Cup coverage.  Promos literally have included
     shouts of 'USA, USA!' and Tiger Woods has been pre-emptively
     cast in the role of Kerri Strug" (N.Y. POST, 9/19)....In St.
     Pete, Phil Gulick wrote that CBS Sports President Sean
     McManus "revealed the possibility of more bowling coverage"
     on CBS.  McManus: "If we can't break even on boxing, or make
     a small profit, we'll probably replace it next year (1999)
     with a lot of bowling hours" (ST. PETERSBURG TIMES, 9/18). 
          RSN NEWS: Dei Lynam has signed on as a reporter/anchor
     for Comcast SportsNet in Philadelphia which debuts October 1
     (PHILA. DAILY NEWS, 9/19).  Comcast Sports Net also signed a
     one-year deal with the Eagles for programming on Sundays and
     Mondays.  Comcast will air 3 1/2 hours of Eagles programming
     each week (PHILA. INQUIRER, 9/19)....Fox Sports News named
     Van Earl Wright to its prime-time anchor team.  Wright will
     begin at Fox next week (Fox Sports Net)....In N.Y., Richard
     Sandomir: "Between 110 and 120 layoffs have occurred at
     Rainbow Sports because of the merger of SportsChannel and
     MSG Network, the shutdown of NewSport, the delayed start of
     American Sports Classics and cuts in sports advertising
     sales.  About 25 percent have landed jobs at Rainbow's
     nonsports networks and at Cablevision" (N.Y. TIMES, 9/19).
          GENERAL: Last Saturday's Oscar De La Hoya-Hector
     Camacho PPV fight was bought in 650,000 TV households,
     making it the third best non-heavyweight fight ever.  It
     will be replayed tonight on HBO (CHICAGO TRIBUNE, 9/19).
     ...Matt Guokas will be an analyst for SportsChannel Ohio's
     42 Cavs games this season (SportsChannel).

          The following lists ratings from last weekend's network     sporting events.  All times are EDT.  "MLB on Fox" games     were SF-FL; CIN-PHI; NYY-BAL; KC-ANA.  ABC's NCAA Football     was ND-PUR; UCLA-TEX; and MD-FSU.  CBS' NCAA Football was     ASU-MIA; SC-GA; and IL-LOU.  NBC "Sports World" was the '97     Beach Volleyball World Championships.  The numbers were     gathered from the networks (THE DAILY).
NCAA Football: Colorado-Michigan
NCAA Football (regional)
NCAA Football (regional)
"MLB On Fox" (regional)
"NFL On Fox" (regional)
"NFL On Fox" (regional)
"NFL On NBC" (regional)
NBC "Sports World"
RATINGS NOTES: In N.Y., Richard Sandomir reports that Fox's 4.4 rating for the 1:00pm ET regional games was "the lowest in league history" (Richard Sandomir, N.Y. TIMES, 9/19)....In Philadelphia, Bill Fleischman, writing on the early NFL returns: "It's too early for the network suits to panic, but there is cause for concern about the decline in NFL television ratings" (PHILA. DAILY NEWS, 9/19)....In Milwaukee, Bob Wolfley writes that with two games left in the 68-game package, Brewers ratings are likely to end up at 5.3, just below the 5.5 over the same period last season and "exactly the same as the average for all of '95." Wolfley notes the pre-strike ratings were a 7.5 (MILWAUKEE JOURNAL SENTINEL, 9/19)....In Toronto, TSN VP/Programming Keith Pelley says its CFL telecasts are down between 7-10%. TSN is averaging about 170,000 viewers in '97, down from 180,000-190,000 in '96 (GLOBE & MAIL, 9/19).