SBD/13/Sports Media

WOMEN'S COLLEGE SPORTS GET MORE NATIONAL AIRTIME

     Women's college basketball "took another step forward in
broadcasting" when Prime Sports announced Tuesday that it will
begin a national Game of the Week package, starting with Georgia-
Alabama on December 17, according to this morning's ATLANTA
CONSTITUTION.  The 13-game schedule, which runs through February
25, will be carried each Sunday at 7pm ET and be available to 45
million homes if cleared on all Prime's affiliates.  Prime
announcer Leandra Reilly:  "This is a stand-alone package.  It is
not tacked on to a football conference package, and it is not
part of a deal with other minor sports.  It's not riding
anybody's coattails.  This is women basketball's own national
television contract."  Exec Producer Mike Lardner said Prime is
paying a rights fee of $5,000 per game.  The games will feature
match-ups from the SEC, ACC, Big Ten, Pac-10 and SWC, with an
all-female team of Reilly, Tracy Warren and Nancy Liebermann
Kline announcing (Prentis Rogers, ATLANTA CONSTITUTION, 9/13).
     OVERVIEW:  In Orlando, Gene Yasuda examines the "multi-
million dollar question" that is intriguing TV execs -- Can TV
sports tap into the women's market?  Yasuda notes the expanded
coverage of other women's sports on cable nets and CBS'
increasing focus on figure skating.  In addition, Liberty Sports
still plans to expand Prime's coverage to start the Women's
Sports and Entertainment Network, with sponsors such as GM
already committing to advertise on the channel (ORLANDO SENTINEL,
9/13).
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