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Volume 24 No. 158

Sports Media

          PROGRAMMING: On CBS' "60 Minutes" Sunday, national
     basketball scout Bob Gibbons "contends that big-name
     athletic footwear makers are corrupting high schoolers --
     even preteens, in some cases -- by giving them free
     equipment that holds out 'a false dream of a pro career'"
     (Michael Hirsley, CHICAGO TRIBUNE, 10/24)....Penny Hardaway
     will appear on the Home Shopping Network (HSN) next Tuesday
     at 10:00pm ET.  Hardaway will take fans' calls while selling
     dolls of his commercial counterpart, Li'l Penny (HSN).
          CABLE TV: MLS player Carlos Valderrama will announce
     the MLS Cup '97 in Spanish for ESPN Int'l this Sunday (ESPN
     Int'l)....In Toronto, William Houston writes that three
     weeks into the NHL season, "Hockey Night in Canada's" (HNIC)
     prime-time numbers "are in the cellar."  HNIC, which
     averaged "about" 1.2 million viewers in primetime last
     season, has pulled in 917,000; 807,000; and 779,000 for its
     three game so far (GLOBE & MAIL, 10/24)....ESPN ran a full-
     page ad in USA TODAY touting its "Classic Sports From ESPN,"
     which it acquired on October 9 (USA TODAY, 10/24).
          TEAM: In Toronto, Josh Rubin notes an industry source
     who says the Blue Jays "could see" a drop in radio rights
     from C$4M per season to C$1.5M in its new deal.  Jays
     President Sam Pollock said that "there hasn't been any
     official bid" for the rights (TORONTO STAR, 10/24)....The
     Warriors "made their final offer" to SportsChannel Bay Area
     in an effort to work out a dispute over the right of first
     refusal in carrying the team's telecasts.  Warriors Legal
     Counsel Robin Baggett said that if the offer is rejected,
     the team "will open negotiations with other outlets" (S.F.
     CHRONICLE, 10/24). 
          NAMES: Washington Post columnist Tony Kornheiser "is
     expected to sign a deal" with ESPN Radio and the new ESPN
     Magazine (Rudy Martzke, USA TODAY, 10/24)....SI Presents
     will publish a special collector's issue in tribute to
     former UNC coach Dean Smith that will hit NC retail outlets
     today, and begin selling nationwide on Monday (SI). 
          

          The following lists final ratings from last weekend's     network sporting events.  All times are EDT.  The numbers     were gathered from the networks (THE DAILY).
EVENT DATE NET TIME RAT/SHR
NCAA Football: (regional)
10/18
ABC
3:30-7:00pm
3.0/8
NCAA Football: Miami-BC
10/18
CBS
12:00-3:30pm
1.2/4
NCAA Football: Florida-Auburn
10/18
CBS
3:30-7:00pm
4.5/12
McDonald's Championship Finals
10/18
NBC
1:00-3:30pm
2.1/7
NCAA Football: USC-Notre Dame
10/18
NBC
3:30-7:00pm
3.2/9
MLB World Series: Game One
10/18
NBC
7:30-10:30pm
11.3/22
"Fox NFL Sunday"
10/19
FOX
12:00-1:00pm
3.1/10
"NFL on Fox" (regional)
10/19
FOX
1:00-7:00pm
8.3/22
NFL on NBC Pregame
10/19
NBC
12:00-1:00pm
3.8/12
"NFL on NBC" Game One
10/19
NBC
1:00-4:00pm
11.2/30
"NFL on NBC" Game Two
10/19
NBC
4:00-7:00pm
13.3/30
MLB World Series: Game Two
10/19
NBC
7:30-11:00pm
15.0/24

          Thursday's Game Five of the World Series earned a
     preliminary overnight rating of 18.5/30 (THE DAILY).
          AFTER FOUR: In N.Y., Michael Starr reports that Game
     Four earned a final national rating of 15.5/26, making the
     four game average a 14.3/24, the "lowest" in Series history.
     But Starr notes that "despite its low World Series numbers,"
     NBC won Wednesday's primetime slot (N.Y. POST, 10/24).  
          FREE SPACE: An NBC source told Starr that there's
     "[w]orse news for NBC," as the network "will be forced" to
     provide World Series advertisers with make-goods if the
     Series "fails to meet" NBC guaranteed rating to advertisers,
     which was a 16 for the Series.  BJK&E Media ad buyer Steve
     Sternberg: "The fact that (this year's) series numbers are
     down means that advertisers are going to start to look at
     (the World Series) differently.  It doesn't bode well" (N.Y.
     POST, 10/24).  Jon Mandel of Grey Advertising, noting that
     Game One (11.3 rating) finished as the 20th most watched
     program last week: "As an advertiser, the World Series has
     just become another program" (USA TODAY, 10/24). In L.A.,
     Larry Stewart writes that low ratings "aren't the only thing
     plaguing the World Series," as a source told him that 32% of
     the commercial spots for Games Five, Six and Seven "remained
     unsold Thursday morning" (L.A. TIMES, 10/24). 
          OH, CANADA! In Toronto, Rob Longley writes that TSN's
     coverage of the World Series has been stronger than
     expected.  TSN "had a viewership" of 490,000 for Game One,
     with 100,000 additional viewers for Game Two.  TSN Program
     Dir Phil King: "It's been all doom and gloom in the U.S.,
     but not here" (Rob Longley, TORONTO SUN, 10/24).