Olympic sign plan barred

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U.S. District Judge William O'Kelley ruled that Atlanta's Olympic sign ordinance, which would have allowed as many as 25 giant (90 feet x 40 feet) outdoor boards for the 1996 Games, was unconstitutional since it violates the First and Fourteenth Amendments guaranteeing free speech and equal protection. The ruling is the result of a lawsuit filed in November 1994 by Outdoor Systems, an Atlanta-based board owner, and is seen as a marketing setback for Olympic sponsors. The ordinance required that 80% of each sign have an Olympic-related message and that the city create a five-member committee to review sign applications.

A Court TV analysis of Nielsen data, released at the National Cable Television Association conference in Dallas, contradicts CNN claims that it is the dominant purveyor of live O.J. Simpson trial coverage. The analysis, covering ratings from Jan. 23 to April 18 for the noon to 8 p.m. [ET] slot, found Court TV has a greater share of viewing than CNN in homes that receive both channels and that the disparity is growing. CNN did not refute the Court claim, but noted that for the period CNN, (which is in more than 62 million homes), has averaged an audience of 3.1 million TV homes for its O.J. Simpson coverage vs. an average of 640,000 homes for Court TV, which is available in only 21 million homes.

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