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U.S. SOCCER SIGNS DEAL WITH ABC, ESPN AND PRIME
Published March 15, 1995
Four TV networks will broadcast 84 games to be played by the U.S. men's and women's national soccer teams through '97. ABC will show 10 games, ESPN 28, ESPN2 24, and the Prime Network 22. Univision will broadcast at least 40 Spanish-language games. Coverage of the games begins March 25 on ESPN with the U.S. men's team playing Uruguay. From June 6-18, five women's World Cup games from Sweden will be broadcast on ESPN2 with the final appearing on ESPN. Each network entity has separate financial arrangements with the U.S. Soccer Federation. ABC has guaranteed a rights fee of about $1M, with a possibility of sharing of sponsorship revenues with the federation. ESPN has a joint venture relationship with USSF (N.Y. TIMES, 3/15). ABC will televise two men's games this June, U.S.-Mexico and U.S.-Colombia (DETROIT FREE PRESS, 3/15). ABC will not run commercials during the two non-stop 45-minute halves. Ads will air during the pre- game, half-time and post-game segments. Sponsors will receive additional exposure when their logos are superimposed on the screen during the games, as done during ABC's World Cup coverage (GOULD MEDIA).