SBD/23/Collegiate Sports

NEW NCAA FOOTBALL BOWL ALLIANCE SETS UP CHAMPIONSHIP GAME

          NCAA football's Bowl Alliance "has reached agreement to
     continue its relationships" with the Fiesta, Orange and
     Sugar Bowls when the Rose Bowl joins the Alliance after the
     '98 season, setting up a guaranteed annual championship game
     between the nation's two highest-ranked teams, according to
     Mark Asher of the WASHINGTON POST.  Sources say the three
     bowls will pay about $2M each to the Alliance in revenues
     from ticket sales and local sponsorships, bringing the
     payout per team to $11.5M annually, up "slightly more than"
     35% above the current payout.  The Alliance is handling
     talks with title sponsors and TV networks, with the bowls
     responsible for ticket sales and local sponsorships.  ABC
     Sports holds TV rights for the four Alliance bowls for the
     '98-2001 seasons.  Asher adds that the Alliance "never
     opened the process to bidding -- as it did for the initial
     Alliance --  after extending the exclusive negotiating
     periods" for the three bowls (WASHINGTON POST, 7/23).  USA
     TODAY's Steve Wieberg, who puts ABC rights fees at over
     $500M, reports that each bowl offered $3-4M a year for seven
     years, the last three under an option (USA TODAY, 7/23).  

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