A Sunday without NBA?
NEW YORK (Bloomberg) -- Any fans expecting to watch Game 3 of the
National Basketball Association finals in its traditional Sunday
night time slot better make other plans. For the first time that
anybody can remember, the best-of-seven championship series will
an entire weekend. Instead, NBC will show Game 2 of the series on a
Friday and Game 3 the following Monday.
In doing so, NBC won't have to compete with CBS's highly rated
Sunday night lineup 60 Minutes, Touched by an Angel and a weekly
movie. There's no guarantee, though, that NBC will get higher
ratings on Monday, analysts said. "Sunday night is usually perceived
as a great slot," said John Mansell, a sports media analyst with
Kagan & Associates. "The move might very well diminish the
The best-of-seven championship series between the San Antonio
Spurs and either the New York Knicks or Indiana Pacers will begin on
Wednesday in San Antonio. Game 3 of the series -- which is played
under a 2-3-2 format -- historically is played on Sunday. This year
the NBA and NBC agreed to a two-year trial of putting the game on
Monday. The network, a unit of General Electric, is in the middle of
a four-year $1.75 billion contract with the NBA. NBC spokesman Ed
Markey said the switch was made to give players more time to rest.
Waiting for wierdness
NEW YORK (NYT) -- The runaway success of Star Wars: Episode I --
The Phantom Menace has been particularly good news for Rob Burman.
He and Sticks and Stones, the company he runs with his wife,
specialize in unusual makeup design, and they are struggling with a
recession in movie production. "Let's just say that we're coming up
on the second worst year in our history, and we've been doing this
for more than 20 years" Burman said. "It can't last forever, I'm
sure, but I would say out of 35 competitors in Los Angeles, three
have jobs right now."
He added that his own company had ballooned to about 22 employees
at its peak several years ago and that it is now down to just him
his wife. The American economy may be booming, but Hollywood is
To get inflated costs under control, most studios are cutting back
on the number of movies they produce and on the overall budgets.
This is having a pronounced impact, particularly on the thousands of
little companies that provide services from catering to makeup. Jack
Kyser, an economist with the Los Angeles Economic Development Corp.,
said that California state figures show employment in the movie
industry in Los Angeles has declined from a peak of 142,500 in
February 1998 to 127,200 as of April 1999, the latest period for
which figures are available, and that the decline is continuing.
"It's been a very pronounced slowdown and it just goes on," Kyser
said. He added that there were 637 feature movies initiated in Los
Angeles County in 1997 and 510 last year. This year he estimates
there will be about 480 based on current trends.
Burman said he hoped that the success of Star Wars will encourage
more big budget pictures with creatures and the like, requiring
elaborate makeup. "No more of these romantic comedy clones, please,"
Cable for women
NEW YORK (AP) -- Turner Broadcasting System is teaming up with two
major magazine publishers to launch a cable television channel aimed
at women, going up against Lifetime Television. The new channel,
which has yet to be named, will be launched together with an
accompanying Web site early next year.
TBS' partners in the venture are Time Inc., which like TBS is part
of the Time Warner media conglomerate, and Conde Nast, which is
by the privately held company Advance Publications. The new service
will be headed by Pat Mitchell, who heads the production division at
CNN that won a Peabody award for its series on the Cold War.
"Women represent the fastest-growing Internet population and a
television audience that remains underserved," Mitchell said. …