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DOES ISL HAVE ITS EYE ON ACQUIRING RIGHTS TO NCAA TOURNEY?
Published March 2, 1999
Swiss-based sports marketing group ISL "has its sights on the NCAA Tournament," according to Wendell Barnhouse of the FT. WORTH STAR-TELEGRAM. CBS Sports' $1.725B rights deal expires in 2002 and ISL is "developing a plan where it would take over" TV rights and sell them to a network. ISL would also oversee the marketing and promotion of the entire tournament. ISL has "not presented the plan to the NCAA yet." ISL is currently "pitching" a proposal for a Div. I-A college football playoff (see THE DAILY, 12/15) and ISL VP/Collegiate Athletics Jim Wheeler said, "We are very interested in the NCAA Tournament. But right now, it's not even in the infancy stages." NCAA Deputy Exec Dir Tom Jernstedt: "We didn't know they had an interest. We're curious to learn precisely what they have in mind." Sources said that ISL's plan would allow the NCAA to "remain in charge of game management and administration, including selecting and seeding the teams." CBS pays around $246M per year for tourney rights, and talks on a new deal are expected to begin within the next year (STAR-TELEGRAM, 3/2).