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Volume 24 No. 117

Sports Media

          Comcast Corp. yesterday "defended its refusal to put
     its new" RSN, Comcast SportsNet, on satellite TV, according
     to Michael Rozansky of the PHILADELPHIA INQUIRER.  Comcast
     spokesperson Joe Waz said the move is "about competition,"
     and added that SportsNet could help cable TV "distinguish
     itself from satellite rivals."  Waz said that while DirecTV
     "has invested zero in improving the quality of programming
     available to greater Philadelphia," it wants to "profit"
     from a channel that Comcast has invested a great deal in,
     which "isn't fair."  DirecTV's Bob Marsocci said Comcast is
     trying "to deflect attention from their own anticompetitive
     behavior."  DirecTV filed a complaint Tuesday with the FCC
     accusing SportsNet of unfair competition because SportsNet
     will not be available on DBS systems.  Meanwhile, yesterday,
     Wade Cable in Philadelphia, Lower Bucks Cablevision and
     Warner Cable in Avalon, NJ, said they would run SportsNet as
     a basic-level channel (PHILADELPHIA INQUIRER, 9/26).

          PERSONALITIES: SI's Sonja Steptoe has joined CNN/SI
     full-time as the network's National Correspondent.  Steptoe
     will be based in New York (CNN/SI)....Keith Olbermann's "The
     Big Show" on MSNBC debuts at 8:00pm ET Wednesday and will be
     replayed each night at 11:00pm ET, opposite "SportsCenter." 
     In Philadelphia, Bill Fleischman writes, "Don't expect a
     sports program" (PHILADELPHIA DAILY NEWS, 9/26).
          GENERAL: NJ-based Genesis Direct Inc., a mail order
     company that fills orders for the NBA and NHL, was profiled
     in the Bergen RECORD.  Genesis has expanded from managing
     three catalogs last year to 20 now, including new title
     Competitive Edge Golf (Bergen RECORD, 9/25).

          Some Nuggets games this season "still could be
     broadcast on KWGN," because talks between the station and
     Fox Sports Rocky Mountain (FSRM) have reopened, sources tell
     Vicki Michaelis of the DENVER POST.  KWGN, the Nuggets' home
     for all but two of the past 20 years, "might carry up to 15
     games, alleviating some concern that the Nuggets would be
     aired only on cable this season."  FSRM's talks with KWGN
     "initially broke off because KWGN has asked for
     significantly higher air-time fees" for Nuggets broadcasts
     this season.  Michaelis adds that while "it's unlikely KWGN
     is lowering its demands," FSRM "is believed to be willing
     now to pay the higher price" (DENVER POST, 9/26).  

          The following lists ratings from last weekend's network     sporting events.  All times are EDT.  "MLB on Fox" games     were NYM-FL; DET-BAL; COL-LA; and SF-SD.  ABC's NCAA     Football was NEB-WA; AZ-OSU; FSU-CLEM; and IA-ISU.  The     numbers were gathered from the networks (THE DAILY).
EVENT
DATE
NET
TIME
RAT/SHR
"MLB on Fox" (regional games)
9/20
FOX
1:00-4:00pm
1.9/6
NCAA Football (regional games)
9/20
ABC
3:30-7:00pm
3.7/10
NCAA Football: Penn St-Louisville
9/20
CBS
12:10-3:40pm
2.4/8
NCAA Football: Tennessee-Florida
9/20
CBS
3:40-7:00pm
6.1/16
NCAA Football: Mich St-Notre Dame
9/20
NBC
2:30-6:00pm
2.7/8
Senior PGA Tour: Comfort Classic
9/20
ABC
3:00-6:00pm
1.3/3
"NFL on NBC" Game 1 (regional)
9/21
NBC
1:00-4:00pm
6.3/17
"NFL on NBC" Game 2 (regional)
9/21
NBC
4:00-7:00pm
11.3/25
"NFL on Fox" (regional)
9/21
FOX
1:00-7:00pm
11.6/30
Senior PGA Tour Comfort Classic
9/21
ABC
3:00-6:00pm
1.3/3
OTHER RATINGS NEWS: In a release, CBS touts its TN-FL game as being the highest rated broadcast on Saturday and up 7% from '96's national rating of a 5.7/15 (CBS Sports). ...Through four weeks, Fox's "NFL Sunday" pregame show is averaging a 3.6 rating, up 3% from last year's 3.5 (Fox). ...Fox Sports Northwest's coverage of the Angels-Mariners game on Tuesday, when the M's clinched the division title, recorded a 25.3 rating, the highest rated regionally televised MLB game on cable this year. The rating peaked at 10:00pm with a 32.3 rating with a 50 share (FSN).

          The 32nd Ryder Cup gets underway today at Valderrama in     Sotogrande, Spain.  USA Network covers today's action from     8:00am to 6:00pm ET, with NBC providing weekend coverage.      NBC's coverage, on Saturday from 12:00-6:00pm ET, and on     Sunday from 8:30am-12:30pm ET, will be produced by Tom Roy     and directed by Bucky Gunts, with Dick Enberg and Johnny     Miller in the 18th tower.  The network, which has covered     the Ryder Cup since '91, currently holds the exclusive U.S.     TV rights through 2005 (NBC).  NBC's coverage Saturday will     be tape-delayed, while Sunday's matches will be joined live     in progress (THE DAILY).          A GROWING COMMODITY: The following lists ratings since     NBC began covering the Ryder Cup in '91, broken down by day,     total average, and hours of coverage in parenthesis:         
'91 COVERAGE
'93 COVERAGE
'95 COVERAGE
SAT
2.2/7 2:00-6:00pm
3.6/10 2:00-6:00pm
2.5/10 8:00-12:30pm
4.6/12 4:28-7:00pm
SUN
2.8/8 11:00-3:38pm
3.9/14 8:00-12:30pm
3.9/12 9:00-3:32pm
TOTAL
2.5/8 (8:38)
3.8/12 (8:30)
4.1/12 (13:35)
ONLINE: Most of the major golf web sites are offering extensive coverage of the event, featuring Ryder Cup history as well as hole-by-hole guides to Valderrama and profiles of competing players. iGOLF, at igolf.com, has three reporters on site at Valderrama and will feature daily diaries from U.S. Ryder Cup players and iGOLF-TourGolfClub members Davis Love, Justin Leonard, Brad Faxon, and Captain Tom Kite, as well as European Team members Lee Westwood and Darren Clarke. iGOLF is also offering users the opportunity to receive e-mail updates after each round with the latest news from Spain....At golfweb.com, GolfWeb Contributing Editor Lorne Rubenstein will be filing daily reports from Valderrama and users can also sign up for the GolfTicker feature, which runs as a separate window on their desktop and is updated throughout the day....Golf.com, the NBC/Golf Digest site, offers a "virtual tour" of Valderrama and the "Golf.com Virtual Online Ryder Cup" where participants get to play an online version of the Links LS version of Valderrama....IBM's two sites, rydercup. com and 97rydercup. com, are the official sites (THE DAILY).