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FOX THROWS MLB TALKS A CURVE

9/17/2000 08:00:00 PM Eastern

FOX and Major League Baseball are mulling a new deal that would give FOX the entire national-broadcast package for the next rights cycle. Currently, FOX and NBC have separate packages.

Sources said the talks heated up earlier this week. FOX and MLB declined comment. NBC is still in the hunt, although one source said its enthusiasm is tempered both by baseball's asking price and its acquisition of rights to NASCAR auto racing.

Separately, the NBC affiliate board urged NBC executives at a recent meeting "not to overreach in their negotiations" for baseball, said Jack Sander, head of Belo's broadcast division and chairman of the NBC affiliate board. The economics, based on reported numbers, aren't very good, he added.

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