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Original Issue

Under Review Unseen Dream Team -- Funny Business

Why can't we watch Tim Duncan, Tracy McGrady and the rest of the
Dream Team make their Olympic qualifying run? The Tournament of
the Americas in Puerto Rico isn't being broadcast on network or
cable TV--but it's hard to figure who's to blame. Last January,
Hector Figueroa, owner of a small San Juan production company,
purchased the rights from FIBA, the sports' international
governing body, for $2 million. Last month he said FIBA wanted
him to show the games only on pay-per-view; now he insists he
tried to resell the rights to cable or network, but no one
offered him enough; ESPN, says Figueroa, only wanted this
Sunday's final. But ESPN's executive VP of programming and
production, Mark Shapiro, denies that's so, adding, "This would
have been a huge ratings winner if we could have gotten our hands
on it." The bottom line: The tournament is airing only on
pay-per-view at $59.95 for 12 games or $9.95 for each U.S. game.
Figueroa is optimistic he'll make a profit, but for most viewers
the tournament is a total loss.

The No Fun League is becoming a veritable comedy club. First HBO
hired sitcom star George Lopez as a rotating entertainment
reporter with Wanda Sykes on Inside the NFL. Now Fox Sports has
announced that Frank Caliendo, a MAD TV cast member with a
dead-on John Madden impersonation, will take over for Jimmy
Kimmel as Fox NFL Sunday's game prognosticator and resident
funnyman. "I don't do John Madden impressions to be mean," said
Caliendo. "I do John Madden impressions to make money."... Clip
and save: Tennis analysts John McEnroe and Mary Carillo pick Andy
Roddick to win his first Grand Slam title at the U.S. Open.
--John O'Keefe