Kroenke to control teams' media rights

DENVER -- Kroenke Sports Enterprises LLC, owner of the
Colorado Avalanche and Denver Nuggets, is starting its own regional
cable TV network, officials said Monday.

The company's television contract with Fox Sports Net expires
after the current NBA and NHL seasons. Kroenke Sports co-owner Stan
Kroenke last week rejected an offer to broadcast Nuggets and
Avalanche games that Fox Sports Net officials termed final and

Officials of the new network, which has not yet been named, are
negotiating with cable and satellite television providers to carry
the network's programming, said Jim Martin, CEO of the new KSE
Media Ventures LLC, which will operate the network.

He said Kroenke Sports is looking to have the network carried on
basic or expanded-basic channel lists to ensure wide availability.
The network will air its first games in September, he said.

By taking control of its teams' media rights, Kroenke Sports can
generate more revenue that can be poured into the teams for player
contracts and other expenses, Martin said.

Kroenke Sports president Don Elliman said the decision to start
a network does not reflect any dissatisfaction with Fox Sports Net.
He said Kroenke Sports officials believe they can generate more
revenue and exposure for the company's teams by taking control of
the media rights.

Fox Sports Net officials did not immediately return a call for

Martin said the network would carry Nuggets and Avalanche games
as well as games from the Kroenke-owned Colorado Mammoth of the
National Lacrosse League and various college and high school games
around the region. It also will carry live entertainment events and
cultural programming, he said.

"Sports is the core, but we will also make this an
entertainment and even a community-service network," he said.

Fox Sports Net has aired Nuggets games for more than 15 years
and Avalanche games since 1995. It still has contracts with the
Colorado Rockies through the 2007 season and with the Utah Jazz,
University of Denver, the Big 12 and Pac-10 conferences for
football, and the Atlantic Coast Conference for basketball.

It serves about 2.2 million cable subscribers in Colorado, Utah, Wyoming and parts of Montana, Idaho, Nebraska, Kansas and Nevada.

Kroenke Sports also owns the Pepsi Center, where the Nuggets and
Avalanche play, as well as pro soccer's Colorado Rapids. It plans
to build the Major League Soccer franchise its own stadium by 2006.

The company also owns the Paramount Theater and Universal
Lending Pavilion in Denver, which could provide additional venues
for programming.

Along with former Denver Broncos quarterback John Elway and
Denver Broncos owner Pat Bowlen, Kroenke is part owner of the Arena
Football League's Colorado Crush, which also plays at the Pepsi