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Volume 24 No. 155

Sports Media

          ESPN's "Up Close" with O.J. Simpson on January 15 drew
     a 2.1 rating and was seen by 1.5 million households, a
     "record audience" for the program (HOUSTON CHRONICLE, 1/23). 
     ...The '98 PBA Tour will debut on ESPN with the Brentwood
     Classic this Sunday from 1:30-3:00pm EST.  Among the new
     additions on ESPN telecasts of the six-event Tour are a new
     broadcast team of Mike Bush and Marshall Holman; a "mini-
     arena" set up for telecasts; and microphones on the players
     and coaches.  Bleachers will also be placed down-lane on
     both sides of the bowlers and closer to the bowlers (The
     Marquee Group)....The ATP Tour announced that Hamburg-based
     Kabel New Media will re-develop and market the Tour's Web
     site, www.atptour.com., set to relaunch on March 1 (ATP). 

          The Phillies restructured their broadcasting package,
     reducing its TV carriers from three to two, and adding a
     pre- and post-game show to its radio network.  WPHL-TV, a WB
     affil, retains its Phillies rights, signing a one-year deal
     to broadcast 70 games.  Comcast SportsNet is the new cable
     carrier for the team, and will carry 77 games.  WPHT-AM, the
     flagship for the 18 Phillies Radio Network affils, will
     broadcast all 162 regular-season games, adding a 30-minute
     pre-game show.  All regular-season games will also be
     broadcast at www.phillies.com (Phillies). 
          COVERAGE: In Philadelphia, Jim Salisbury writes that 15
     Phillies games will not be televised and of those 15, three
     will be on Fox and two will be on TBS, leaving 10 games
     unavailable to local fans, unless ESPN decides to take any. 
     Phillies VP/Marketing Dennis Mannion said that conflicts
     with the Flyers and 76ers, and contractual stipulations,
     "made it impossible to televise every game." Salisbury adds
     that in the new deals, the Phillies "have spurned
     traditional rights fees in exchange for the right to control
     all advertising," which is a "more risky proposition," but
     "keeps the door open for a bigger pot of gold if the Phils
     suddenly become a hot commodity."  Team President David
     Montgomery: "We can control our own destiny.  But it puts
     the pressure on us to have a good sales year."  The Phillies
     will get "approximately" $7-8M from Comcast, but "insiders"
     say that it is "not a rights fee, per se, and it doesn't
     affect the control of advertising" (PHILA. INQUIRER, 1/23).

          The following lists ratings from last weekend's network     events.  Regional NCAA basketball was as follows: No. 1 =     CLEM-DUKE; TX TECH-TX; and USC-CAL. No. 2 = G'TOWN-UCONN or     KSU-KU. No. 3 = ARK-KY or UCLA-STAN.  No. 4 = WVU-NOVA or     CIN-L'VILLE. No. 5 = SC-GA; IA-MN; and NM-AZ.  All times are     EST.  Numbers are from the networks (THE DAILY).
EVENT DATE NET TIME RAT/SHR
NCAA Basketball: regional No. 1
1/17
ABC
1:00-3:30pm
1.7/5
Winter X Games
1/17
ABC
3:30-4:30pm
1.7/5
European Figure Skating Champ.
1/17
ABC
4:30-6:00pm
3.6/9
NCAA Basketball: regional No. 2
1/17
CBS
2:00-4:00pm
1.9/6
NCAA Basketball: regional No. 3
1/17
CBS
4:00-6:00pm
3.0/8
Sprint World Ski Challenge
1/17
NBC
2:30-3:00pm
1.6/5
PGA Tour: Bob Hope Classic 4th Rd
1/17
NBC
3:00-6:00pm
2.8/8
NCAA Basketball: Purdue-Indiana
1/18
CBS
noon-2:00pm
1.9/5
NCAA Basketball: regional No. 4
1/18
CBS
2:00-4:00pm
1.5/4
NCAA Basketball: regional No. 5
1/18
CBS
4:00-6:00pm
2.3/5
NHL All-Star Game
1/18
FOX
4:00-7:00pm
3.0/7
NBA on NBC: Pacers-Celtics
1/18
NBC
noon-2:30pm
4.4/12
NBA on NBC: Rockets-Bulls
1/18
NBC
2:30-5:00pm
6.5/16
PGA Tour: Bob Hope Classic Final
1/18
NBC
5:00-7:00pm
5.5/11

          The following lists a Super Bowl ratings trend for the     previous 31 games (Nielsen Sports Marketing):          
SB YR NET TEAMS RAT/SHR
SB
YR NET TEAMS RAT/SHR
I:
'67
CBS GB/KC
22.6/43
XVI:
'82
CBS SF/CIN
49.1/73
NBC
18.5/36
XVII:
'83
NBC WAS/MIA
48.6/69
II:
'68
CBS GB/OAK
36.8/68
XVIII:
'84
CBS LA/WAS
46.4/71
III:
'69
NBC NYJ/BAL
36.0/70
XIX:
'85
ABC SF/MIA
46.4/63
IV:
'70
CBS KC/MIN
39.4/69
XX:
'86
NBC CHI/NE
48.3/70
V:
'71
NBC BAL/DAL
39.9/75
XXI:
'87
CBS NYG/DEN
45.8/66
VI:
'72
CBS DAL/MIA
44.2/74
XXII:
'88
ABC WAS/DEN
41.9/62
VII:
'73
NBC MIA/WAS
42.7/72
XXIII:
'89
NBC SF/CIN
43.5/68
VIII:
'74
CBS MIA/MIN
41.6/73
XXIV:
'90
CBS SF/DEN
39.0/63
IX:
'75
NBC PIT/MIN
42.4/72
XXV:
'91
ABC NYG/BUF
41.9/63
X:
'76
CBS PIT/DAL
42.3/78
XXVI:
'92
CBS WAS/BUF
40.3/61
XI:
'77
NBC OAK/MIN
44.4/73
XXVII:
'93
NBC DAL/BUF
45.1/66
XII:
'78
CBS DAL/DEN
47.2/67
XXVIII:
'94
NBC DAL/BUF
45.5/66
XIII:
'79
NBC PIT/DAL
47.1/74
XXIX:
'95
ABC SF/SD
41.3/62
XIV:
'80
CBS PIT/LA
46.3/67
XXX:
'96
NBC DAL/PIT
46.0/68
XV:
'81
NBC OAK/PHI
44.4/63
XXXI:
'97
Fox GB/NE
43.3/65

SUPER BOWL NOTES: NBC research estimates that "more than" 130 million will watch all or part of the game -- "slightly higher" than the U.S. audience of 129 million that watched last year's game on Fox (Steve Zipay, NEWSDAY, 1/23) ....NBC said covering John Elway "is a big part" of its game plan. NBC Exec Producer Tom Roy: "We'll have cameras on him every single play whether it's on the field or on the sidelines. We think his emotions will be running high, even when the defense is out there. We'll be watching him very closely" (ORLANDO SENTINEL, 1/23)....Play-by-play man Dick Enberg "does not plan any long goodbyes" for NBC's final NFL game. Enberg: "It's self-indulgent. The end should be: 'Thank you for watching, the final score is ... goodbye.'" NBC's Roy: "I don't think anybody cares. So the goodbyes are mainly for us. Our job is to deliver an audience to 'Third Rock From The Sun'" (HARTFORD COURANT, 1/23).

          TNT "will seek to maintain its cable-operator carriage
     fees that include a surcharge for NFL games and will not
     reduce the planned percentage increase in fees during its
     contract-renewal negotiations at year's end despite the
     recent loss of its NFL package," according to Scott Hettrick
     of the HOLLYWOOD REPORTER.  Industry observers "believe TNT
     will have a hard time extracting a significant increase in
     carriage fees from cable operators when most affiliation
     agreements expire at the end of the year."  Hettrick writes
     that TNT "built what some sources say was a 12-cent
     surcharge into its current per-subscriber fee of 54 cents to
     compensate for eight games of the NFL."  TNT spokesperson
     Jim Weiss said that it "has no plans to offer operators a
     kickback on the surcharge," and that TNT "still has
     additional programming costs to offset," including renewal
     of its NBA deal (HOLLYWOOD REPORTER, 1/23).