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WOMEN'S COLLEGE SPORTS GET MORE NATIONAL AIRTIME
Published September 13, 1995
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).