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Volume 24 No. 155

Sports Media

          TNT airs "Before They Were Pros" tonight at 8:00pm ET. 
     The 90-minute show from TNT & NFL Films features the careers
     of NFL players, Brett Favre, Marcus Allen, John Elway, Wayne
     Chrebet and Troy Aikman (TNT).  In N.Y., David Bianculli
     gives the program two stars, noting, "Some stories are every
     bit as inspirational as intended.  In particular, those of
     Allen ... and Chrebet" (N.Y. DAILY NEWS, 9/30).
          GENERAL: B&C reports that ESPN Internet Ventures will
     soon use its GameTracker technology to track NFL games on
     ESPN SportsZone.  No official word on when the service will
     kick off, but "expect to see it debut" when ESPN takes over
     the Sunday night NFL game next month (BROADCASTING & CABLE,
     9/29 issue)....The "Fabulous Sports Babe" has been dropped
     be all-sports WEEI-AM in Boston (BOSTON GLOBE, 9/30).

          ABC and Finland-based telecom company Nokia "are
     closing in on the first major sponsorship deal for the
     network's new College Football Championship Series," set to
     start in January '99, according to Langdon Brockinton of
     MEDIAWEEK.  The deal, "said to be worth" $40M over four
     years, would allow Nokia to retain its title sponsorship of
     the Sugar Bowl and would also get commercial time on ABC's
     three other major games in the series -- the Rose, Orange
     and Fiesta Bowls -- as well as spots on ABC and ESPN's other
     bowl game telecasts (MEDIAWEEK, 9/29 issue).

          MLB's postseason begins today at 1:00pm ET with the
     Astros-Braves on ESPN, which will be followed by the Giants-
     Marlins at 4:00pm ET.  ESPN will broadcast the same two
     games, at the same times, tomorrow.  Fox will telecast the
     Indians-Yankees tonight at 8:00pm ET, while NBC makes its
     postseason debut Wednesday night for Game One of the
     Orioles-Mariners series.  Fox will also telecast Game Two of
     the Indians-Yankees series on Thursday, while ESPN has Game
     Two of the Orioles-Mariners beginning at 4:00pm ET (MLB). 
     The most postseason games ESPN could show is 12 (ESPN).
          CLICK AND HIT: MLB, MSNBC and NBC Sports have joined to
     create the official Web site of the MLB postseason at www.
     mlbworldseries.com.  The site will provide daily postseason
     coverage, pre- and post-game audio coverage of all press
     conferences, video highlights after each game and chat
     sessions with MLB players and NBC Sports broadcasters.  In
     addition, a player, not yet announced, will host a live, in-
     game cybercast from each World Series game (MLB).
          MLB NOTES: In Miami, Barry Jackson writes the "only
     negative" of the postseason TV format is the "starting time
     of some games will put us to sleep."  He notes that Game
     Four of the Marlins-Giants series will start at 11:00pm ET
     on Saturday.  Jackson adds that "as usual," Fox and ESPN
     will superimpose the score, inning and count "most of the
     time," but that NBC won't "because of concerns it might hurt
     ratings" (MIAMI HERALD, 9/30)....A cable TV movie based on
     the life of Joe Torre, "Joe Torre: Curveballs Along The
     Way," will premiere on Showtime on October 17, on "the eve
     of the World Series" (USA TODAY, 9/30).