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NBC HOPES TO LURE YOUNG FANS WITH GRAVITY GAMES COVERAGE
Published October 1, 1999
NBC Sports will broadcast its first installment of Gravity Games coverage on Sunday at 4:00pm ET, and USA TODAY's Sal Ruibal writes that it "might appear that pitting extreme sports against the mighty NFL on sacred Sunday ... is crazier than jumping a motorcycle into San Francisco Bay. But NBC could be the one dancing in the end zone." With the programming, NBC is "attacking the soft underbelly of the NFL: boys ages 10 to 17. Some of them don't care about the NFL -- yet." NBC Sports Senior VP/Programming Jon Miller: "We're not in this to try to steal viewers from the NFL. We are trying to attract the young people who have no interest in football." Ruibal writes that the Games may draw a 3 rating, and adds that they "are considered enough of a threat" among extreme sports broadcasters that ESPN and MTV "have had informal discussions about joining forces for a sports event" (USA TODAY, 10/1). In L.A., Tom Hoffarth writes that NBC's Gravity Games Producer David Michaels had little interest in the event at first, but said afterward, "I'm as fired up about this as anything else I've ever done because, even though ESPN tried to do this, it's really unchartered territory. Yes, it's been ESPN's franchise for a while, but what they've done is old school. ... I think we've brought some dignity to the sports (DAILY NEWS, 10/1).