ABC REACHES NEW AGREEMENT WITH TRIPLE CROWN
Published September 23, 1994
ABC Sports reached a new multi-year agreement with the Triple Crown. ABC President Dennis Swanson: "The agreement also includes marketing and promotional rights." Swanson added: "We think it positions us better with the people we do business with to satisfy not just media buying, but the full range of opportunities being sought by our clients." In addition to the Triple Crown races, ABC has acquired the rights to package the Triple Crown for television. The network will provide marketing and promotional opportunities for sponsors, including hospitality, event tickets, and on-site exposure for its television sponsors (THE DAILY). FIGHT FOR YOUR RIGHTS: In this morning's USA TODAY, Rudy Martzke writes that the $8M deal "signifies the new reality in TV sports rights fees," since ABC is willing to pay $1M more than last year for a property that has experienced a 23% ratings decline over the past six years. According to Martzke, the reason is the "prospect of hungry competitors CBS and Fox waiting to bid on the latest available property 'jewel'" (USA TODAY, 9/23). In New York, Steve Zipay also notes CBS and FOX's interest. ABC "exercised its negotiating exclusivity clause, effectively boxing them out from bidding." Using exculsivity clauses to protect programming rights "before they become a jump ball -- with CBS and Fox leaping in with big bucks -- might become a pattern" (NEWSDAY, 9/23).