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Volume 24 No. 157

Sports Media

          ABC Sports has "agreed to pay" $6M for rights to next
     season's debut Winston Cup event at the Las Vegas Speedway,
     according to industry sources of Richard Huff of the N.Y.
     DAILY NEWS.  Besides the Daytona 500, which costs CBS
     "about" $8M a year, the Las Vegas event "is the most
     expensive race on the schedule."  Huff reports that the deal
     "is said to include the title sponsorship rights, which the
     network will in turn sell" (N.Y. DAILY NEWS, 10/15).  
          AT THE NEWSSTANDS: Petersen Publishing Co. will launch
     two new publications titled NASCAR Garage Magazine and
     NASCAR Trucks through a joint licensing agreement with
     NASCAR.  The publications are the first in a series of
     projects that will be explored between Petersen and NASCAR
     and the NASCAR Garage Magazine and NASCAR Trucks will debut
     in January '98 with its March '98 issues (NASCAR)....NASCAR
     and Babcox Publishing will launch Professional NASCAR Garage
     magazine, set to debut in February '98 (NASCAR).
          

          NETWORK SPORTS: In N.Y., Josef Adalian wrote that ABC's
     "TimeCop," which airs before "MNF," has "finished dead last
     in its time slot every week."  Adalian added that "since ABC
     owns ESPN, some insiders think the network should air a
     special edition of ESPN's 'SportsCenter' before 'Monday
     Night Football'" (N.Y. POST, 10/13)....MEDIAWEEK's Langdon
     Brockinton reports that NBC has acquired broadcast rights to
     the World Skiing Championships (Nordic and alpine) from '99-
     2005. Both events, previously held by ABC, take place in
     '99, 2001, 2003 and 2005 (MEDIAWEEK, 10/13 issue).
          OTHER: The NFL has approved a three-year renewal of
     DirecTV's NFL Season Ticket package, "at more than double
     the previous price, which was undisclosed" (Rudy Martzke,
     USA TODAY, 10/15)....In N.Y., Michael Katz reports that the
     Lennox Lewis-Andrew Golota fight received 250,000-275,000
     PPV buys (N.Y. DAILY NEWS, 10/15)....ESPN's "NBA Today" on
     Tuesday showed highlights of Sunday's ABL Glory-Blizzard
     game.  ESPN is a broadcast partner of the WNBA (THE DAILY).

          Fox earned a 9.4/14 national rating for its coverage of
     Game Five of the ALCS, marking a 34% improvement on Fox's
     Game Five coverage of the '96 NLCS during a similar time
     slot of a Monday night.  The rating also beat Fox's Monday
     night season-to-date 7.1 primetime average by 32%.  Through
     four primetime telecasts, Fox's ALCS coverage has averaged
     9.1, up 7% over its coverage of the '96 NLCS which earned an
     8.5 average (Fox Sports).  The AP's David Bauder reports
     that "[h]elped by the [MLB] playoffs, Fox continued to be
     the only major television network to see an increase in
     viewers" during the fall season.  Last week, Fox's four top-
     rated shows were baseball playoff games (AP, 10/15).
          SKINNING THE O'S: In the Washington area, the Redskins
     won the "local battle of the airwaves" on Monday, with ABC's
     Cowboys-Redskins "Monday Night Football" game receiving a
     31.6/49 local rating, while Fox's ALCS Game Five received an
     18.4/28 (WASHINGTON POST, 10/15)....In Northeast Ohio, Game
     Five of the ALCS on WJW-TV earned a 50.0/68, which was
     "slightly lower" than Game Four, 51.1, but higher than the
     first three games.  Through five games, the series is
     averaging a 42.5 (AKRON BEACON JOURNAL, 10/15).

          Molson Breweries "is giving up its sponsorship" of
     CBC's Saturday night "Hockey Night in Canada" (HNIC), a show
     it has been associated with for 40 years, according to David
     Shoalts of the Toronto GLOBE & MAIL.  Another sponsor,
     "thought to be rival brewery" Labatt Brewing Co., "will take
     over next season" as sponsor of HNIC.  The new sponsor
     "landed the show by offering to pay" the NHL C$75M over five
     years for French and English language rights to the Saturday
     night games for the six Canadian teams.  Molson "had
     offered" C$40M for the same package, "which was rejected by
     the NHL, and the brewery declined to pay more."  Molson
     VP/Media & Sports Properties Brent Scrimshaw "could not
     confirm" Labatt had inked the package, but said that Molson
     "will still be involved with NHL hockey through continuing
     sponsorship agreements with the six Canadian NHL teams for
     their mid-week broadcasts."  Scrimshaw added that Saturday
     ratings in the among males 18-34, "have been declining for
     several years."  Molson is paying the NHL "about" C$62M in
     its final season for Canadian broadcast and promotional
     rights (Toronto GLOBE & MAIL, 10/15).  
          LOCAL DEALS: Molson has local deals with the six
     Canadian teams, and two seasons remain on existing
     agreements with the Canadiens, Leafs, Flames and Canucks,
     while contracts with the Senators and Oilers expire this
     year.  Scrimshaw said that Molson "plans to renew all of
     those agreements" (Al Strachan, TORONTO SUN, 10/15).  
          CHANGES? In Toronto, David Shoalts writes the change in
     sponsorship "doesn't mean" any changes to on-air personnel. 
     CBC Exec Producer John Shannon: "From a product standpoint,
     there'll be no noticeable change" (GLOBE & MAIL, 10/15).