The Chargers and XTRA-AM radio have ended their
relationship after 11 seasons, according to Fritz Quindt of
the SAN DIEGO UNION-TRIBUNE, who wrote that XTRA "merely
pulled its final contract renewal offer off the table."
XTRA GM Kevin McCarthy: "We just agreed to disagree on the
value of rights fees. ... and we had an amicable parting of
the ways." Quindt's sources put XTRA's "final" offer at
"about" $3M per year plus "performance incentives," which
would have been "an increase over the present rights fee."
McCarthy: "We've lost substantial money the last two years
on football. We were willing to lose money on the next
contract, too, just not as much." McCarthy, on losing the
Chargers: "I'm not inconsolable; if we had the Padres and
lost them, I'd be inconsolable. NFL teams are the worst
bang for the buck. You're buying only 56 hours a year"
(Fritz Quindt, SAN DIEGO UNION-TRIBUNE, 10/28).
NBC's coverage of Game Seven of the World Series earned a final rating of a 24.5/39, bringing the final cumulative Series rating to a 16.7, just ahead of the World Series all- time low rating of 16.4 in '89 (Barry Jackson, MIAMI HERALD, 10/29). The World Series led NBC to its largest weekly win in primetime since the second week of the Atlanta Olympics in '96. NBC Sports programs placed as the top six rated shows in primetime for the week ending October 26 (NBC). Game Seven was the highest-rated sporting event on TV since the 43.3 for January's Super Bowl (Lisa de Moraes, HOLLYWOOD REPORTER, 10/29). In N.Y. Richard Huff writes that while the "ratings weren't very good at all compared to past Series, the Nielsen numbers were very good compared to NBC's usual series results," except for its top-rated Thursday night lineup (N.Y. DAILY NEWS, 10/29). Also in N.Y., Richard Sandomir adds that Marlins-Indians ratings "continued" the Fall Classic's TV "slide," finishing down 3.5% from last year, 14.3% from '95 and 32% from '91 (N.Y. TIMES, 10/29). OTHER RATINGS: ABC's "MNF" earned a 16.8/32 for Packers-Patriots and Bears-Dolphins, its second-highest "MNF" rating for the season (BOSTON GLOBE, 10/29). ..."Powered by pro football," TNT was the most-watched cable network in primetime during October with an average of 1.627 million homes per show during the month. TNT's Saints-Bears game on October 5 was the most-watched primetime cable program during the month, followed by its Ravens-Steelers on October 12 (N.Y. DAILY NEWS, 10/29)....In Denver, up against the Broncos-Bills game, Sunday's MLS Cup '97 between the Rapids and D.C. United earned a 3.5/6 preliminary overnight on KMGH in Denver. The telecast was seen in roughly 42,000 households in the Denver area and by about 100,000 viewers (Rapids)....Raycom Sports' weekly syndicated show "More Than A Game" earned a 2.3 rating for the week ending October 20, its highest to date and a 64% increase over the previous week's 1.4 rating (Raycom Sports).
Associates of Marv Albert said that he will discuss
"his side of the assault case that led to his dismissal by
NBC and the MSG Network in televised interviews with Barbara
Walters and Larry King," according to Richard Sandomir of
the N.Y. TIMES. Albert will appear November 7 on ABC's
"20/20" and November 11 on CNN's "Larry King Live." Reps
for Walters and King would not comment, nor would Albert's
spokesperson, Howard Rubenstein (N.Y. TIMES, 10/29).
NETWORKS: NBC Sports President Dick Ebersol, on the
altercation between the Colts' Jim Harbaugh and NBC Sports'
Jim Kelly: "Usually, we're criticizing ex-athletes who
become announcers for either saying nothing or being too
timid to stand behind what they do say. This certainly has
not been the case with Jim Kelly" (USA TODAY, 10/29).
Kelly, in a statement, on the incident with Harbaugh: "I
don't know how he hurt himself, since I never saw a punch
and certainly did not get hit" (N.Y. DAILY NEWS, 10/29).
...The AP's Ron Sirak profiled The Golf Channel and notes
that the network expects to finish this year with nearly 14
million homes. TGC CEO Joe Gibbs said the net gets 60% of
its revenue from advertising and 40% from subscribers.
Gibbs: "We've found that our average viewer plays more than
100 rounds of golf a year and watches over 7 1/2 hours of
The Golf Channel a week" (AP, 10/28).
PUBLICATIONS: Having invested $500,000 in brand
research, The Sporting News (TSN) will unveil its "new look"
December 8. Cost of the redesign and a supporting ad
campaign will be $30M over three years. AD AGE's Ann Marie
Kerwin reports that a prototype "looks and feels closer to
the New York Times Sunday Magazine than the current
newsprint tabloid" (AD AGE, 10/27 issue)....Miller
Publishing Group President Robert Miller, on two of his new
magazine acquisitions: "Tennis and Snow Country are both
easily conceived as having active television presence,
probably in the cable arena" (MEDIAWEEK, 10/27 issue).
CBS SportsLine launched Michael Jordan's official Web
site yesterday at jordan.sportsline.com. The site launched
with seven charter sponsors, including Microsoft, Gatorade,
Oakley, Wilson, Hanes, Ballpark Franks and WorldCom.
Jordan's site is divided into nine areas, including: career
stats, game summaries and previews, daily polls, interactive
contests and a feature of the week; Jordan's bio; a Bulls
section; a pro basketball section; off-court news about
Jordan; a Jordan chat room; audio and video highlights; the
Gatorade Slam Dunk Challenge; and a gift shop featuring
Jordan merchandise. Jordan will be "an active participant"
in the site, providing columns and audio each month,
answering select fan e-mails each week and participating in
scheduled chat sessions (CBS SportsLine).
A LITTLE HELP FROM HIS FRIENDS: As of yesterday, the
following sponsors are presenting various sections on
Jordan's site: the Jordan chat room presented by Hanes; the
gift shop by Wilson; the career/bio section by Oakley; and
Off The Court news by Microsoft. Wilson, Gatorade and
Oakley each had banner ads on the site (THE DAILY).
JORDAN GETS INTO THE GAME: CBS SportsLine VP/Marketing
Mark Mariani said to "look for commercials to pop up" on the
site. The SUN-TIMES Phil Rosenthal reports that Jordan's
video highlights section features two of his commercials for
downloading (CHICAGO SUN-TIMES, 10/29).