UNITED BASEBALL LEAGUE SEARCHES FOR TV OUTLETS
Published November 8, 1994
While the proposed United Baseball League (UBL) is looking for broadcast networks interested in carrying its games, UBL Co- Founder Robert Mrazek says local TV "is more important to our financial base than national." The UBL has "not projected how much broadcast revenue it would need to be viable." Mrazek says TV contracts for the UBL will be performance-based, making them "largely risk-free" to the networks. If ad sales exceed a set level, the UBL and net will share the revenue, and the UBL will partially reimburse the net if sales fall short. Mrazek said by the time the UBL starts, six broadcast nets could be "potential entities looking for programming," as well as telephone companies. The league will also explore cable contracts and broadcasting rights in countries outside the U.S. However, "the networks are not showing great interest" in the league at this point. CBS Sports President David Kenin says he has talked to people "informally" but noted: "I don't really know if there is a real league." A Fox spokesperson said no one has talked to the UBL. Local stations are also "wary." Jacksonville ABC affiliate WJKS-TV's GM Jim Matthews says "most affiliates can't afford the pre-emptions and can't afford the strains on the network relationship" (Jon LaFayette, ELECTRONIC MEDIA, 11/7 issue).