NBA TO TAKE A SHOT AT HOME SHOPPING; FORD ADS COMING TO THE INTERNET; TIME WARNER SIGNS SOFTWARE COMPANY; COX INVESTS IN INTERACTIVE CATALOGS; MULTIMEDIA INC. PLEDGES $150M UPGRADE

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NBA to take a shot

at home shopping

The National Basketball Association this summer plans to launch its first home shopping program, selling licensed apparel and merchandise. The NBA is talking with TV partners NBC and Turner Network Television about the show and has also approached Home Shopping Network and QVC Network. Marketing executives at the National Football League say they are developing a similar concept and are also in talks with leading home shopping channels.

Ford ads coming to the Internet

Ford Motor Co.'s Lincoln-Mercury division has agreed to participate in Electronic Car Showroom, an online service that will supply consumers with leasing, pricing and product information as well as reprints of brochures. The showroom will be offered over the Internet through the Electronic Newsstand, an online subscription service. Lincoln-Mercury hopes to reach prospects who don't normally use traditional media, said Gerry Donnelly, advertising manager for Lincoln-Mercury.

Time Warner signs software company

Time Warner Interactive Group and software producer Wharfside Productions signed a multiyear agreement to develop interactive entertainment products for CD-ROM and for Time Warner's Full Service Network cable TV project. The first product will be a family-oriented, educational role-playing adventure for CD-ROM due out this fall. Suggested retail prices and actual release dates have yet to be set.

Cox invests in interactive catalogs

Contentware, a developer of interactive catalogs, said Cox Enterprises and Applied Technology signed on as "principal investors." New York-based Contentware, run by former Ziff Communications President Kenneth Koppel, is developing multimedia interactive catalogs in CD-ROM and online versions. Several mail-order merchants have signed on in categories including children's clothing, computers and outdoor recreational products.

Multimedia Inc. pledges $150M upgrade

Multimedia Inc., Greenville, S.C., said it will invest $150 million over the next five years to upgrade its cable TV operations as part of a plan "to provide us access to the information superhighway," Chairman-CEO Walter Bartlett said in a statement. Over the next two years, the company plans to offer cable customers as many as 110 channels, up from a current average of 40. New services will include additional home shopping and video game channels.

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