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ESPN TO CONTINUE EXTREME GAMES IN '96
Published July 5, 1995
ESPN will "stage and televise" the second Extreme Games in '96, according to an announcement by ESPN Senior VP/Event Management Jeff Ruhe. Ruhe: "Our plan was to stage the Extreme Games every two years, but as a result of the tremendous success of the inaugural event, it will return in 1996. ESPN has received an extremely positive reaction from athletes, viewers, advertisers and affiliates which has led us to this decision" (ESPN). In Monday's USA TODAY, Michael Hiestand called for an end to the "tiresome debate" of whether the Games were made up of "real" sports. Hiestand: "Something is a real sport if people in it compete hard and somebody wants to watch." ESPN's Ruhe said the Games might be shortened to five or six days next year, and that several cities are interested. Ruhe admitted that the Games, with a $10M price tag, would lose money, but said they were worth the investment (USA TODAY, 7/3). In Minneapolis, Rachel Blount writes, "Hollywood types have long believed that it doesn't matter what people say about you -- as long as they're saying something. That adage also applies to ESPN's Extreme Games, which drew better-than-expected ratings" (Minneapolis STAR TRIBUNE, 7/3).