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Volume 25 No. 50
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Morning Buzz, August 27, 2003

The Daily Insider
Morning News & Headlines
Wednesday, August 27, 2003
9:00am ET

LeBron James’ Official Web Site To Be Re-Launched Today With Sponsorship

Officials From Big Ten Schools Delay Decision On Gophers’ Scheduling Conflict

Hurlbert Requests No Expanded Media Coverage For Bryant’s Pretrial Hearing

Inability To Sell Teams And Sponsorships Leads To Discontinuation Of TRAC

Mets P Al Leiter To Join One Of Fox’ MLB Broadcast Teams For LCS

Morning Briefs/In Other News/Laugh Track/TV Monitor/Final Jeopardy!


PARENT COMPANY OF THE CLUB TO SPONSOR LEBRON’S WEB SITE

LeBron James’ official Web site, www.lebronjames.com, will re-launchtoday at 5:00pm ET, and ESPN.com reported that the site “will boast a multimillion-dollarsponsorship [as] Winner International, parent company of The Club steeringwheel lock, has entered a three-year deal to promote its new brand ofrechargeable batteries” on the site.  Aspart of the deal, Juice Batteries “will be available online on the Web siteexclusively for the next three years and limited edition packaging will havethe Web site’s logo on it.”  James, whowill receive “a healthy check and a portion of battery sales,” will be featuredin a TV spot promoting the brand during tomorrow night’s Video Music Awards onMTV (ESPN.com,8/26).


GOPHERS TO WAIT AND SEE HOW TWINS FARE BEFORE DECIDING

The Minneapolis STAR TRIBUNE reports that officials fromthe universities of Minnesota, Michigan and Michigan State yesterday decided “to let the processplay out a little longer before deciding how to fix” the potential schedulingconflict with the Twins for use of the Metrodome.  Following a conference call with Big Ten Commissioner JimDelany, Minnesota AD Joel Maturi said, “We came to the conclusionthat the Twins have a 33[%] chance of making the playoffs.  Why don’t we wait a little longer before wemake a decision?” (Minneapolis STARTRIBUNE, 8/27).  The Twins arecurrently in third place in the AL Central, 1.5 games behind the White Sox (THEDAILY).


HURLBERT REQUESTS NO EXPANDED MEDIA COVERAGE FOR PRETRIAL

The ORANGE COUNTYREGISTER reports that Eagle County DA Mark Hurlbert yesterday filed amotion requesting that no “expanded media coverage … be allowed for [KobeBryant’s] pretrial hearing because the ‘word for word reporting of thosefacts [of the case] would greatly prejudice the victim and the defendant’sright to a fair trial.”  The pretrialhearing is scheduled for October 9 (ORANGECOUNTY REGISTER, 8/27).

The AP reported that Bryant “is almost certain to risk atrial” as he probably will not “like any plea bargain prosecutors offer.”  Former CO Criminal Defense Bar President DanRecht: “I think the overwhelming odds are you’re going to see one of threethings: a trial where he gets convicted, a trial where he gets acquitted orunder some scenario the district attorney decides to dismiss the case” (AP, 8/26).


MORNING BRIEFS

Team SportsEntertainment discontinued its efforts to develop the Team RacingAuto Circuit (TRAC) racing league.  The inability to sell teams andsponsorships led to the decision (Team Sports Entertainment).

The NewarkSTAR-LEDGER reports that NJ Gov. James McGreeveyyesterday “broke off negotiations with a New Jersey-based investor group,”which includes U.S. Sen. Jon Corzine (D-NJ) and real estate magnate CharlesKushner, and is seeking “at least $100[M] in public money to help buy theNets."  McGreevey: “The state of New Jersey is out of the subsidybusiness” (NewarkSTAR-LEDGER, 8/27).

The N.Y. TIMES reportsthat Mets P Al Leiter will join one of Fox’ MLB playoff broadcast teams,becoming the “third broadcaster in the booth for one of the League ChampionshipSeries” (N.Y.TIMES, 8/27).

The L.A. TIMES reports that U.S. 400-meter runner JeromeYoung “took home a gold medal in the 1,600-meter relay at the 2000 SydneyOlympic Games, one year after testing positive for a banned steroid.”  Although it had been known for more than twoyears that a U.S. athlete tested positive for a banned drug, “until now theidentity of that athlete has been a secret closely guarded by American trackand field officials” (L.A.TIMES, 8/27).

Cleveland will host USA Boxing’s final selection event forthe ‘04 Olympics in Athens.  The dateand venue have yet to be determined (Greater Cleveland Sports Commission).

CBS Sports yesterday announced that it will team up with RCAto simulcast the net’s coverage of the U.S. Open August 30-September 7 in highdefinition, marking the second consecutive year its coverage will be offered inHD (CBS).

Michael Chang ended his 16-year career on the ATPTour yesterday with a four-set loss to No. 15 seed Fernando Gonzalez atthe U.S. Open (THE DAILY).


A LIGHTER BUZZ

Winston Cup driver Jeff Gordon appeared on SpeedChannel’s “Wind Tunnel” with Dave Despain last night.  Despain asked Gordon, “Are you going to do‘Kelly & Regis’ every month for the rest of your life?”  Gordon: “It’s a great show and they make melook like I actually know what I’m doing. … Kelly is really hot, so Idon’t mind sitting next to her.  Nooffense, Dave, I’d be on this show if you looked like her” ("WindTunnel," Speed Channel, 8/26).


THE BACK PAGES

The Morning Buzz offers today’s back page sportscovers from some of the nation’s major metropolitan tabloids:

N.Y. Post
N.Y. Daily News
Philadelphia Daily News

TODAY’S EVENTS

The San Diego City Centre Development Corporation’s BOD willconduct a special meeting to review the latest designs for the grassy parkplanned for outside Petco Park (SAN DIEGO UNION-TRIBUNE, 8/26).

Jets Owner Woody Johnson and coach Herman Edwardswill co-chair the Third Annual New York Jets Kickoff Luncheon at the WaldorfAstoria Hotel, which begins at noon ET. HOFer Joe Namath, Jets players, coaches and staff members willalso attend, with proceeds from the event benefiting the Alliance for LupusResearch.  NFL Network anchor RichEisen will emcee the event.

HBO Sports will hold a 1:00pm ET conference call to previewthe 27th season of “Inside the NFL.”  HBO Sports Exec Producer Rick Bernstein will moderate withBob Costas, Cris Carter and Cris Collinsworth alsoparticipating.

Reds 1B Sean Casey, LF Adam Dunn, CF KenGriffey, Jr., RF Austin Kearns and OF Reggie Taylor willattend photo shoots at the Cincinnati Zoo over the next two days.  The players will pose with different animalsfor a calendar that will be sold to benefit the Cincinnati Reds Community Fund.      


IN OTHER NEWS….

The N.Y. POST reports that BellSouth today will announcethat it has “inked a deal to resell DirecTV service to its customers.”  Beginning early next year, customers will beable to “bundle local and long distance calling, wireless service, high-speedor dial-up Internet access and DirecTV satellite service as part of onepackage” (N.Y. POST, 8/27).

The HOLLYWOOD REPORTER notes that in Q2 ’03, TiVo added a“record 90,000 net new subscribers, … twice the number added during the samequarter last year.”  Thomas WeiselPartners analyst Gordon Hodge said that the quarter’s net additions were“15,000 above our 75,000 estimate as a result of solid growth in DirecTV-TiVosubs,” which composed 62% of the period’s customer gains (HOLLYWOODREPORTER, 8/27).

The HOLLYWOODREPORTER notes that CBS Chair & CEO Les Moonves “had a front-rowseat at the U.S. Open” Monday night, but he was a “little preoccupied during [Pete]Sampras’ big moment because he was negotiating via cell phone withattorney Michael Gendler the final points of a deal that is set to bringBrad Garrett back to work on ‘Everybody Loves Raymond’” (HOLLYWOODREPORTER, 8/27).


FINAL JEOPARDY!

Last night’s “Final Jeopardy!” category was “2001 News.”

“In 2001 the zinc industry was up in arms over Rep. JimKolbe’s bill calling for the phasing out of these.”


LAUGH TRACK

THEMONOLOGUES:

CBS’ DavidLetterman: “I don’t think people around the country understand how bad itwas during the blackout.  It was so darkin Central Park the squirrels were actually feeling for their nuts. ... It’stax-free week here in New York.  Wereyou aware of that?  Anything under $110,no tax.  So by gosh tourists, why nottreat yourself to one of our lovely hookers. ... It’s that time of year.  Demi Moore was at Staples buyingschool supplies for her boyfriend. ... Do you know what the most stolen car inthe United States is?  It is theCadillac Escalade.  Do you know what theleast stolen car in the United States is? The Batmobile. ... Mike Tyson says he has some advice for KobeBryant.  But surprisingly enough,actually it turned out to be pretty good advice.  Tyson said to Kobe Bryant, ‘Whatever you do, don’t listen to me’”("Late Show," CBS, 8/26).

LATENIGHT LAUGHS:

Last night’s Top Ten list was “Top Ten Things Overheard At SchwarzeneggerCampaign Headquarters” ("Late Show," CBS, 8/26).

10) “It’s pronounced ‘Gu-ber-na-tor-ee-al.’”

9) “Your wife called to say there’s no way in hell she’s voting for you.”

8) “Kids don’t need subsidized school lunches – they need mass-building protein power supplements.”

7) “Remember, when you’re shaking hands, ease up if you hear cracking.”

6) “Good news!  Lou Ferrigno just endorsed us!”

5) “Don’t worry – Mars isn’t close enough to hurt you.”

4) “I’m not sure saying, ‘Hasta la vista, baby,’ constitutes an outreach to Hispanic voters.”

3) “Who’s the actor who plays Gray Davis?”

2) “Arnold got his head caught in the Soloflex again.”

1) “You’ve lived here for 35 years.  Why do you have an accent?”

Pete Sampras appeared on CBS’ “Late Show” last nightand talked about his retirement. Sampras told Letterman, “I’m cold turkey done.  It’s 100% finished.” Sampras, when asked what it was like playing on grass at Wimbledon,said, “I love playing on grass.  I neversmoked it, but I like playing on it” ("Late Show," CBS, 8/26).


TUESDAY NIGHT’S TV MONITOR

ESPN’s 11:00pm ET “SportsCenter” led with Phillies-Expos,followed by Marlins-Pirates and the Padres trading for Pirates LF BrianGiles.


FINAL JEOPARDY ANSWER

“What is the penny?”


If you haveany questions, comments or suggestions, please let us know at:
dailyinsider@sportsbusinessdaily.com

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