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Volume 24 No. 181

Sports Media

          ESPNEWS will name the "ESPNEWSmaker of the Week" as
     selected by ESPN SportsZone users starting tomorrow.  The
     weekly segment will be aired during the 5:00-6:00pm ET
     ESPNEWS simulcast on ESPN2.  Three candidates for the top
     newsmaker will be named by ESPN personnel and voted on by
     Web users from Thursday at 3:00pm to Friday at 8:30am.  The
     selection will be announced later that day (ESPN).

          CBS Sports will broadcast NASCAR's Winston Cup Pepsi
     400 live from Daytona Int'l Speedway in primetime beginning
     in '98.  The '98 Pepsi 400, to air from 8:00-11:00pm ET on
     July 4, marks the first time a network will broadcast an
     auto race live in primetime (CBS Sports).  CBS Sports
     President Sean McManus: "The popularity of NASCAR racing has
     really blown us out of the water in the television industry. 
     It gets bigger and better every year" (Juliet Macur, ORLANDO
     SENTINEL, 11/20).  McManus: "The only racing that would be
     successful in prime-time on the network would be Winston
     Cup.  What goes in prime-time has a direct relationship
     between ratings and ad sales.  No other sport demonstrated
     that like Winston Cup" (Milton Kent, Baltimore SUN, 11/20).
     

          In N.Y., Richard Wilner previews the NFL TV rights
     negotiations.  Westinghouse CEO Michael Jordan said that
     despite the record bidding expected for the rights, CBS
     would "play in the NFL.  We can afford to play" (N.Y. POST,
     11/20)....The CBC's coverage of the CFL Grey Cup drew 2.8
     million viewers, falling below the average of three million
     recorded over the previous seven years (Toronto GLOBE &
     MAIL, 11/20).  In comparison, the audience for Game One of
     the Red Wings-Flyers '96-97 Stanley Cup Finals drew 2.1
     million last season (CP/EDMONTON JOURNAL, 11/20)....CBS
     Sports will broadcast the Nike Cup, an exhibition featuring
     Pete Sampras, John McEnroe, Jim Courier and Marcelo Rios, on
     December 21 from 2:00-3:00pm ET.  The event, a benefit for
     the Tim and Tom Gullikson Foundation, takes place December
     12 at the Rose Garden in Portland, OR (CBS Sports)....Since
     its debut November 1, Fox Sports World has averaged a 1.0
     rating for weekend afternoons on N.Y.'s WPXN, the second-
     highest rated programming block in all dayparts on WPXN (Fox
     Sports Net).  In related news, Bud Paxson launched the
     U.S.'s seventh TV network yesterday, calling his collection
     of over 70 stations, PAX NET.  Paxson execs said that WPXN's
     contract to broadcast Fox/Liberty Sports will expire in
     August '98 and "probably won't be renewed" (N.Y. POST,
     11/20)...Sports Marketing & Television Int'l (SMTI), a
     division of NY-based The Marquee Group, has been retained by
     the National Thoroughbred Racing Assoc. (NTRA) as its
     exclusive TV agency (The Marquee Group).

          The PPV industry has surpassed the $1B mark this year
     for the first time, according to Scott Hettrick of the
     HOLLYWOOD REPORTER.  Showtime Event Television's Mark
     Greenberg said that SET estimates gross revenues for the PPV
     industry will reach $1.27B this year and will cross the $1B
     barrier "even by excluding" the adult PPV market.  Boxing
     PPV revenues generated $256M in '97.  Hettrick reports that
     SET's second Mike Tyson-Evander Holyfield fight "accounted
     for 25% of all revenue from PPV events in 1997, nearly 40%
     of revenue from PPV boxing and about 10% of all PPV movie
     and event revenue excluding adult entertainment."  Tyson-
     Holyfield II earned $100M in PPV revenues.   Revenues from
     PPV events "hovered around" the $200M mark "for about five
     years" until '96 (HOLLYWOOD REPORTER, 11/20).