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Volume 24 No. 113

Sports Media

          Two years after the CFL's "failed expansion" into the
     U.S., it "appears no games will be televised south of the
     border," as there is no U.S. TV contract in place and
     "nothing imminent," according to Perry Lefko of the TORONTO
     SUN.  The CFL had been talking to Fox, but CFL Chair John
     Tory said that the league is "finding it difficult to agree
     on acceptable terms with (a) U.S. network."  Tory: "I'm not
     going to do a bad deal just to get coverage in the United
     States because frankly it's more important that we get good
     coverage in Canada."  CFL games aired in the U.S. were seen
     mostly on a tape-delay basis on ESPN2 (TORONTO SUN, 5/19).  

          David Falk's FAME "hopes to launch a new cable channel
     and fill it with programs featuring the agency's 40 or so
     non-[Michael] Jordan clients," according to Terry Lefton of
     BRANDWEEK.  Four or five shows "are already in development,
     from the newly formed New Urban Entertainment."  One is a
     talk show featuring Wizards F Juwan Howard called, "Where
     Juwanna Go Today," which "may appear" on the DC Fox affil
     first.  FAME VP Rob Urbach said that Howard's show is "kind
     of loosely based on [ABC's] Politically Incorrect."  Urbach:
     "We've got the production part of this thing down and really
     the shows we're developing could air anywhere, but we're 
     close to a deal on the distribution part that we'd probably
     own with partners.  The idea is that we're involving our
     players for content and our player's corporate sponsors as
     possible sponsors" (Terry Lefton, BRANDWEEK, 5/18 issue).

          In L.A., Sallie Hofmeister reports that NBC will
     "unveil a landmark proposal this week" to affils in L.A. "to
     phase out nearly" $200M paid to TV stations annually "to
     carry its programs" in favor of a new system, which "would
     be the most radical restructuring of the economic model
     governing broadcasting and affiliates."  NBC is trying to
     make up for the loss of "Seinfeld," the cost to renew "ER"
     and its Olympic and NBA deals (L.A. TIMES, 5/19)....NFL
     Sunday Ticket expanded its distribution into the Bahamas via
     Cable Bahamas Ltd. (NFL)....Raycom Sports and The Sporting
     News will jointly produce, distribute and market TV
     programming in '98 and '99.  The programming will include
     eight one-hour specials branded with TSN's name and hosted
     by Pat O'Brien (Raycom Sports)....Speedvision will provide
     more than 11 hours of live coverage of the 24 Hours of Le
     Mans (Speedvision)....Rosie O'Donnell will narrate
     Lifetime's "Intimate Portrait: Rebecca Lobo" before the WNBA
     season-opener on June 11 (Lifetime).....In Minneapolis, Jim
     Souhan profiles the sports book industry: "Few sports books
     are printed in mass quantities or make big profits. 
     National publishers find few sports subjects worthy of
     books. ... Yet sports books fill stores in seemingly
     increasing numbers, because sports figures increasingly
     crave control over their stories" (STAR TRIBUNE, 5/19).