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Volume 24 No. 155

Sports Media

          Veteran producer Mark Wolff has rejoined CBS as Lead
     Game Producer for "The NFL on CBS."  Wolff will be teamed
     with Larry Cavolina, who will serve as the Lead Game
     Director/Coordinating Director (CBS Sports)....The Whitbred
     sailing race, a nine-month event, will have a "live
     television finish" for the first time.  Whitbred execs "may
     order" the fleets to sail "extra miles to accommodate" the
     TV schedule "if the finish is ahead of schedule" (Ellen
     Gamerman, Baltimore SUN, 5/22).

          The following lists ratings for select sporting events
     from last weekend.  All times are EDT.  The numbers are from
     the networks (THE DAILY).

EVENT                             DATE  NET  TIME         RAT/SHR
Indianapolis 500 Time Trials      5/16  ABC  1:00-2:00pm  1.4/5
PGA Tour: Byron Nelson Classic    5/16  ABC  2:00-4:30pm  2.3/8
Horse Racing: Preakness Stakes    5/16  ABC  4:30-6:00pm  3.6/11
CBS Sports Spect: Gymnastics      5/16  CBS  1:00-3:00pm  1.8/7
CBS Sports Spectacular: PBA Tour  5/16  CBS  3:00-4:00pm  1.6/6
LPGA Championship                 5/16  CBS  4:00-6:00pm  1.2/4
"NBA on NBC": Lakers-Jazz         5/16  NBC  3:30-6:00pm  5.3/17
Indianapolis 500 Time Trials      5/17  ABC  1:30-3:00pm  1.5/5
PGA Tour: Byron Nelson Classic    5/17  ABC  3:00-6:00pm  2.8/8
CBS Sports Spect: Gymnastics      5/17  CBS  3:00-4:00pm  2.5/8
LPGA Championship                 5/17  CBS  4:00-6:00pm  1.3/3
"NHL on Fox": Blues-Red Wings     5/17  FOX  2:00-5:00pm  1.5/5
"NBA on NBC": Pacers-Bulls        5/17  NBC  3:30-6:00pm  8.9/24

          NHL RATINGS NOTES: Fox's 1.7/5 average rating through
     four weeks of its NHL playoff coverage is down 15% from last
     year's average for the same period of 2.0/5 (THE DAILY).  In
     N.Y., George Vecsey notes the decline of NHL ratings under
     the header "Whatever Happened To Hockey?" (N.Y. TIMES,
     5/22).  The Caps-Senators series, which featured four games
     on HTS, had a 2.0 rating, "pushing the team's playoff
     ratings to a cumulative 1.73."  For comparison, the Orioles
     are averaging a 2.2 for the season (WASHINGTON POST, 5/22).
     ....The final Caps-Senators game last Friday night on CBC
     drew "a disappointing" 928,000 viewers in primetime.  On
     Saturday night, the Oilers-Stars drew 1.14 million, also a
     "below-average playoff number" (GLOBE & MAIL, 5/22).  In
     S.F., Susan Slusser examines NHL ratings, writing,
     "Nationally, hockey is an ice-cold television proposition. 
     Locally, hockey is a hit" (S.F. CHRONICLE, 5/22).
          NBA RATINGS NOTES: Through 16 telecasts, NBC's NBA
     playoff coverage is averaging a 6.1/18, down 3% from last
     year's 6.3/18 (THE DAILY)....Tuesday's Pacers-Bulls game
     gave Fox Sports Chicago its season-high rating with a 20.7. 
     The rating also topped the time period encompassing pregame,
     game and postgame shows -- a period that included the season
     finale of ABC's "NYPD Blue" (CHICAGO TRIBUNE, 5/22).

          SI For Kids Publisher Cleary Simpson and Research Dir
     Donna Sabino are the subject of the "SGB Interview" by Chris
     McEvoy.  Sabino, on which leagues kids favor: "[W]hen I
     started at SI for Kids in 1991 the NBA was not one of kids'
     favorite leagues.  Then the NBA made this deliberate,
     concerted effort to reach out to kids and say, 'Here's this
     guy Michael Jordan.'  Then kids responded by thinking that
     well, this is kind of cool.  The NFL then took the
     initiative and started telling kids 'We want you to keep
     track of your team. ... Pay attention every Sunday.'  The
     leagues can't take for granted anymore that kids are
     inherently going to know about their sport."  Simpson noted
     that kids "were very effected by the [MLB] strike," and
     added that MLB has "to find a way to get the players more
     involved with some of these programs for kids" to boost
     popularity.  Simpson, on the ages of SI For Kids readers:
     "[W]e're getting them earlier.  We have a lot of seven-year-
     old readers.  That's really when you're beginning to learn
     to read, and they're keeping it longer.  We're graduating
     most of them by 14 or 15. ... Right now, our total
     readership is about 70/30 boys/girls" (SGB, 4/15 issue).

          The first-ever live, interactive, video and audio
     telecast of a pro baseball game will be broadcast over the
     Internet on Monday at 1:30pm PT, when the AAA PCL Fresno
     Grizzlies host the Albuquerque Dukes.  CA-based Computer
     Aided Technologies (CAT) and the Grizzlies are partners in
     the Intercast, which will be available to anyone with
     Netscape, AOL or Microsoft Web Browser software, and can be
     found at (CAT).  CAT CEO Ed DeReyes said
     that he expects 15,000-20,000 people to watch the game
     online.  Four cameras have been set up for the game, as well
     as chat areas for fans to interact with the announcers and
     other fans (Jon Swartz, S.F. CHRONICLE, 5/21).