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Profile: Mark Lazarus

Apr 16, 2001  •  Post A Comment

Title: President of Turner Sports since November 1999. Mr. Lazarus oversees all sports acquisitions, programming, production, media plus promotions across the full range of TBS sports programming, Philips Arena and Turner Field.
Mr. Lazarus was instrumental in acquiring the cable and Internet rights to NASCAR racing as well as cable rights for Wimbledon and WUSA Soccer. He sees Major League Baseball’s online strategy as a good move for the teams involved.
MLB: “It’s very difficult to aggregate a large audience. Compiling all this content gives baseball the opportunity to amass an audience that will be more valuable as a whole than the sum of its parts. There has to be some compromise from the teams to the league. On the whole, the agreement will make things more valuable to the teams over time.
“We have plenty of time to get our message out there-162 times a year. AtlantaBraves.com doesn’t necessarily need to show games, because we televise throughout the country throughout the season, so we don’t have displaced fans. The situation may be different for the Baltimore Orioles.”
NASCAR.com: “NASCAR is like the NFL: a one-day-a-week event property. But fans are not just fans on the weekend. We can creatively feed them information about the sport they love all through the week and carry them back to TNT for the race coverage.
“We’re in the process of making some new portions of it subscription by this summer-for example, being able to follow a particular driver and his in-race communications, or fantasy and online racing, where you can become another car in the race. We’re still working on a pricing structure; we have a revenue model.
“Another part of our business model is syndicating rights to any platform-PCs, wireless devices, interactive TV. We have the exclusive video rights for anything that happens in a NASCAR race. We’re beginning to do those deals now.”
iTV: “We are working with NASCAR.com, TNT and NBC on an interactive TV model for the second half of the season. There is no deal yet; but potentially it could be done with AOL TV, although I wouldn’t rule out any other interactive partners.”
Archiving: “We’re in the process of doing some deals with the tracks as well as NASCAR to archive past footage to create packages and highlight reels. We’re also in discussions with a number of applications providers but have not chosen one yet.”