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WHAT DO RIVALS FLORIDA AND FSU HAVE IN COMMON? SUNSHINE
Published March 22, 1996
The Univ. of Florida has signed a multi-year TV rights deal with Sunshine Network beginning with the upcoming school year. The network will televise over 100 Gator events annually, including tape-delay broadcasts of football games, 10 live men's basketball games, 10 baseball games and feature programming (Sunshine). Sunshine GM Jim Liberatore said the network is "real excited," and anticipates cross-promotions with Florida State, another Sunshine property. Florida AD Jeremy Foley, who said the agreement was for five years, said Sunshine's wider distribution and national potential through Liberty/Prime were key factors in the decision to abandon incumbent rightsholder SportsChannel. In Orlando, Jerry Greene notes Wayne Huizenga's purchase of Sunshine-rival SportsChannel means "it will become primarily a source for south Florida programming." Greene predicts Central FL cable operators will drop SportsChannel once it loses the Gators (ORLANDO SENTINEL, 3/22).