SBD/16/Leagues Governing Bodies

LPGA JOINS WITH MERCURY FOR SEVEN EVENT GOLF SERIES ON TV

          The LPGA and Ford's Mercury division have created the
     '98 Mercury LPGA Series, which will provide live TV coverage
     of seven LPGA tournaments during the '98 season on ESPN and
     ESPN2.  The TV series is a first for the LPGA and expands
     Mercury's LPGA partnership.   Six of the seven events will
     appear on ESPN2 and one on ESPN.  Each tournament will have
     three days of coverage, Friday through Sunday.  The series
     begins with the HealthSouth Inaugural from January 16-18. 
     ESPN's OCC Sports will produce the series (LPGA).
          VISIBILITY: LPGA Commissioner Jim Ritts, at yesterday's
     '97 LPGA awards luncheon in NY: "We've got a depth of
     talent, and the money we're playing for is higher than ever.

     But visibility is the key to everything. ... Tiger [Woods]
     expanded the universe of potential fans.  Now we have to
     reel them in with our product.  Visibility and television
     are the most important things."  In N.Y., Clifton Brown said
     while the LPGA had a "remarkable year," it "remains in a
     fierce battle for attention in a sports market that is more
     competitive than ever" (N.Y. TIMES, 12/16).

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