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Volume 24 No. 114

Sports Media

          In addition to SI's Rick Reilly, ESPN Magazine is
     "trying to lure" the husband-and-wife team of Steve and Jane
     Wulf from Time Inc. titles, according to Keith Kelly of the
     N.Y. DAILY NEWS.  Steve Wulf covers sports as a Senior
     Writer at Time, while Jane Wulf is the Chief of Reporters
     for SI.  The Wulfs, reached separately, would not comment,
     nor would ESPN Magazine Editor-in-Chief John Papanek. 
     Reilly did not return calls either (N.Y. DAILY NEWS, 9/23).

          JUST SOME GOOD OL' BOYS: In Charlotte, Kay McFadden
     gives Fox's NASCAR film, "Steel Chariots," which debuts
     tonight at 8:00pm ET, a "B," and calls it "a well-produced
     family movie that makes the most of NASCAR as a backdrop." 
     McFadden: "As for the racing itself, the filmmakers take a
     pass on big crashes in favor of dialogue-intensive pit
     stops. ... [M]ost of the action is off-track and focuses on
     the week leading up to Talladega" (CHARL. OBSERVER, 9/23).  
          FOX PROGRAMMING: Fox Sports Americas (FSA) has acquired
     the Latin American rights to the Ryder Cup (FSA)....Fox
     Sports Southwest (FSS) reached agreement with Community
     Communications Company to expand into 16 AK communities
     reaching over 8,000 subscribers (FSS)....The '97 John R.
     Wooden Classic will be televised nationally by Fox Sports
     Net.  The doubleheader features Georgia-Stanford and UCLA-
     New Mexico (John R. Wooden Classic). 
          GENERAL: More than 20% of MSNBC's Internet operation
     will be "laid off as Microsoft presses to cut costs at all
     of its Web-publishing businesses."  Sources said about 50 of
     the operation's 230 employees could be laid off (SEATTLE
     TIMES, 9/22)....The Elias Sports Bureau will serve as the
     official statistical consultant to the NHL.  Elias will
     develop, maintain and update a historical database dating
     back to 1917, the year the NHL was formed (NHL).  

          For NBA games in Canada this season on TSN, NBA Canada
     "has opted to sell all the commercial time itself -- a rare
     undertaking by a major pro sports league," according to
     Langdon Brockinton of MEDIAWEEK.  Among the first companies
     to "cut deals" with NBA Canada are Gatorade, Champion,
     Warner-Lambert and Labatt Breweries of Canada.  NBA Canada's
     Managing Dir Ken Derrett said "agreements with several
     automakers and athletic shoe marketers are imminent." 
     Derrett, on the NBA selling all the inventory itself: "We
     want to provide a one-stop shopping service.  We think that,
     long-term, we can build stronger partnerships this way.  We
     can get all of an advertiser's marketing needs met." 
     Brockinton: "Whether NBA Canada will move its entire
     inventory load remains to be seen.  The deals just signed
     are season-long commitments.  A season-long buy consisting
     of one 30-second spot per game carries an [C]$80,000-$95,000
     price tag."  TSN "plans" to televise 26 Friday night
     regular-season games and "a minimum" of 12 playoff matchups.
     The network will produce eight of the 26 regular season
     games, with the remainder being TNT feeds (MEDIAWEEK, 9/22)

          The following lists preliminary overnight ratings from     last weekend's network sporting events.  All times are EDT.      NBC had the NFL doubleheader, with Fox showing one regional     game either at 1:00pm or 4:00pm ET.  Since these numbers are     preliminary, they may change from later reports (THE DAILY).
EVENT
DATE
NET
TIME
RAT/SHR
NCAA FOOTBALL:(regional)
9/20
CBS
12:15-3:45pm
3.0/9
NCAA FOOTBALL:(Tenn-Fla)
9/20
CBS
3:45-7:15pm
5.6/13
NCAA FOOTBALL:(regional)
9/20
ABC
3:30-7:00pm
4.1/10
"MLB on Fox"(regional)
9/20
Fox
1:00-4:00pm
2.6/7
"NFL On NBC"(regional)
9/21
NBC
1:00-4:00pm
8.5/20
"NFL On NBC"(regional)
9/21
NBC
4:00-7:00pm
13.0/27
"NFL On Fox"(regional)
9/21
Fox
1:00-7:00pm
13.2/30

          Film producers Frank Marshall and Kathleen Kennedy --
     "best known for their involvement in" such films as "Who
     Framed Roger Rabbit?" and "Jurassic Park" -- have signed a
     deal to make "the first large-format films about the Olympic
     Games," according to Kirk Honeycutt of the HOLLYWOOD
     REPORTER.  The Kennedy/Marshall Co. announced it will
     partner with PA-based EMC Films Inc. to make two Imax films,
     one on the '98 Winter Games in Nagano and another focusing
     on the 2000 Olympics in Sydney.  "Olympic Glory," the film
     based on the Winter Games will be shot at the Games in
     February and released in November '98.  It will be directed
     by Oscar-winning documentarian Kieth Merrill and will run 40
     minutes, with a budget estimated at $6.5M.  Six Imax camera
     crews will cover the Nagano Games.  Marshall, a member of
     the USOC's Executive Board, said that he "hopes" to direct
     the Sydney 2000 film.  EMC Films CEO Hilary Grinker said
     that EMC has also secured "the right of first refusal on all
     subsequent" Olympic Games (HOLLYWOOD REPORTER, 9/23).  

          Viacom Inc. has agreed to sell its 50% stake in USA
     Networks to partner Seagram Co.'s Universal Studios for
     $1.7B, according to Eben Shapiro of the WALL STREET JOURNAL. 
     The deal gives Universal "complete control" of cable
     networks USA and the Sci-Fi Channel.  Seagram Vice Chair
     Robert Matschullat: "USA is not the endgame.  We could buy
     another cable network to go with this.  We have the ability
     to do more."  Universal Studios Chair & CEO Frank Biondi 
     Jr. said USA's schedule, which includes sports coverage such
     as the U.S. Tennis Open, requires only "fine-tuning.  You
     won't see massive programming changes" (WALL STREET JOURNAL,
     9/23). The HOLLYWOOD REPORTER's Andrew Collier reports that
     Universal "expects to retain current management," including
     USA Chair & CEO Kay Koplovitz (HOLLYWOOD REPORTER, 9/23).