SBD/23/Sports Media

ABC REACHES NEW AGREEMENT WITH TRIPLE CROWN

     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).
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Related Topics:

ABC, CBS, News Corp./Fox, Media, Viacom, Walt Disney

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