SBD/28/Events Attractions

ISU FIGURE SKATING COMPETITION PLANS TRIPPED UP BY ABC?

          Due to "pressure" from ABC, the Int'l Skating
     Federation (ISF) "once again has suspended sanctions for
     some open events that were to include Olympic-eligible and
     ineligible skaters," according to Philip Hersh of the
     CHICAGO TRIBUNE.  The Challenge of Champions on November 6
     will be the first event affected, meaning that eligible
     skaters such as Nicole Bobek, who is scheduled to compete,
     "would lose eligibility by skating in the event."  Michelle
     Kwan, who is scheduled to skate in the World Professional
     Championships on December 11, would also be affected by the
     ISF's latest ruling.  ABC recently signed a 10-year, $100M
     deal with the USFSA and a five-year, $60M deal with the
     Int'l Skating Union (ISU) and the network "expected those
     deals would include exclusivity for competitions involving
     eligible skaters" such as Bobek and Kwan.  It "felt it no
     longer was getting its money's worth" when those skaters
     were allowed to compete in open events on Fox, NBC and
     Turner Sports.  Hersh added that though the ISU "endorsed
     the opens to provide stars enough moneymaking opportunities
     so they would stay eligible," it "failed to consider the
     impact" of the opens on its Grand Prix series for eligible-
     only skaters and on ABC (CHICAGO TRIBUNE, 10/27).

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