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NEW NCAA FOOTBALL BOWL ALLIANCE SETS UP CHAMPIONSHIP GAME
Published July 23, 1997
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).