Comcast nabs TV rights th NHL for $70 million
Comcast secured National Hockey League TV-broadcast rights for $70 million a year last week, fueling speculation the Philadelphia-based cable giant is building up its own sports net, OLN, or Outdoor Life Network, to rival ESPN. ESPN, which let its $60 million annual NHL carriage extension lapse last spring, turned down its right to match the offer. Under the deal, OLN will broadcast 58 regular-season games on Monday and Tuesday nights, the Stanley Cup playoffs and the first two games of the Stanley Cup Final. Comcast will also create video-on-demand and HDTV broadcasts, products cable operators are aggressively marketing. OLN will offer online streaming of two live games a night as well as broadband highlights, commentary and library footage. The first game, between the New York Rangers and Philadelphia Flyers, airs Oct. 5.
Motorola hires former Apple exec for marketing post
Motorola, about to launch its iTunes-compatible phone, has hired George Neill, a former top Apple Computer executive, as corporate VP-global marketing communications. He reports to Geoffrey Frost, senior VP-chief marketing officer. Mr. Neill, formerly senior director of worldwide marketing for Apple during the launch of iPod, left the company in February. Neither Mr. Neill, who was recruited for the post by Spencer Stuart Chicago, nor Motorola executives returned calls by deadline.
ICANN delays designation for porn Web sites
Citing the massive opposition to the designation .XXX for pornography sites, the Internet Corp. for Assigned Names and Numbers has put off until September the designation of that suffix to identify such sites. Opposition came from the Bush administration, which sent a letter saying the Department of Commerce had received 6,000 letters decrying the effect of pornography on children. The American Civil Liberties Union also came out against the suffix for a different reason, saying the creation of the domain would encourage governments to restrict adult sites to the .XXX designation. ICANN had approved the .XXX domain in June.
Celeb mags racked up circ gains in first half
Despite the continued influx into the weekly celebrity magazine market, star-crazed glossies gained circulation during the first half of the year, according to the Audit Bureau of Circulations Fas-Fax report issued last week. At Bauer Publishing's In Touch Weekly, newsstand sales grew 49.4% compared with the first half of 2004. Subscriptions rose 59.6% and total paid circulation increased 49.7% to 1.1 million. Spanish-language and Hispanic titles also kept growing, although their relative youth and smaller circulations made high-percentage increases easier to achieve than they were at magazines introduced decades ago. More than a dozen well-known titles failed to meet their rate bases, the paid circulation they guaranteed to advertisers, including Johnson Publishing's Ebony, Kiplinger's Personal Finance and Hachette Filipacchi Media U.S.'s Metropolitan Home and Road & Track. AdAge.com QwikFIND aaq83v
Drug office shifts focus from pot to meth
The White House drug office, which has been using its paid advertising for anti-marijuana messages, will begin using some regional ads to fight methamphetamine use. The Partnership for a Drug-Free America is preparing spots that will run starting in November in regions with heavy meth use. To speed the development and distribution of messages the drug office agreed to pay the Partnership nearly $1 million. The meth ad campaign was announced last week as part of a multi-pronged effort by the Bush administration that also will include increased enforcement and treatment
Apprise Media, the niche-media-investment company controlled by Charles G. McCurdy, a co-founder a former president of Primedia, acquired CFW Enterprises, a publisher of paintball and martial-arts enthusiast publications such as Action Pursuit Games and Inside Kung Fu. Terms were not disclosed.