CBS Radio Sports/Westwood One and the NFL have agreed
to a 3-year extension for the exclusive national radio
rights to the NFL. The deal allows CBS/Westwood to provide
live coverage of the NFL and related NFL programming to
radio stations across the country (NFL)....Jacor
Communications, owners of WEAE-AM in Pittsburgh, have agreed
to allow new owner ABC to bring on ESPN programming for the
station starting Monday (PITTSBURGH POST-GAZETTE, 3/12).
POLITICAL POINTS: In Baltimore, Gerard Sheilds writes
that U.S. Senator Jesse Helms (R-NC) is worried that ESPN
"might pay" the Cuban government "for the right to televise"
the Orioles-Cuba exhibition game, which would "violate the
spirit of earlier agreements that revenue" would go to Cuban
and U.S. youth sports groups and charities. ESPN and MLB
execs said that "such fears were groundless" (Baltimore SUN,
3/12)....The HOLLYWOOD REPORTER's Brooks Boliek reports that
a U.S. House panel approved legislation requiring satellite
TV companies to "buy over-the-air antennas for many of their
customers whose network signals are cut off by a federal
court order." A satellite TV exec said afterward, "It's a
Republican Congress imposing a tax on satellite companies"
(HOLLYWOOD REPORTER, 3/12).
CRITIC'S CORNER: In Chicago, Phil Rosenthal wrote that
he was "baffled" that Fox Sports Net "ignored" Joe
DiMaggio's death on Monday morning, "even as" ESPN and other
networks "broke in with special coverage." Rosenthal: "For
all the money Fox tosses around for talent, rights fees, and
those really annoying sound effects and graphics, it
apparently is determined never to be taken seriously as a
reliable source for sports news" (SUN-TIMES, 3/11)...In
Miami, Barry Jackson: "Look for Fox and NBC to pursue NASCAR
races vigorously in the next year" (MIAMI HERALD, 3/12).