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BOWLED OVER: BCS RATING FLAT; IS BCS DEAL IN WORKS?
Published January 5, 2000
A Superdome college football record attendance of 79,280 was on hand last night for FL State Univ.'s 46-29 victory over VA Tech in the second BCS Championship Game. The game earned a 16.7/25 preliminary overnight Nielsen rating on ABC, down 2% from last year's 17.1/25 overnight for the Univ. of TN-FSU Fiesta Bowl matchup. In Richmond, Jerry Lindquist reviews ABC's coverage and writes that although "there were glitches," ABC "deserved high marks. What helped, of course, was that the game surprisingly lived up to all the hype." Lindquist also praises announcers Brent Musburger and Gary Danielson for calling the game "straight down the line" (TIMES-DISPATCH, 1/5). USA TODAY's Rudy Martzke writes that Musburger and Danielson "passed another test of candidness," as Musburger "avoided the hype" (USA TODAY, 1/5). In L.A., Larry Stewart writes that ABC "didn't miss much," as the net used 28 cameras, seven more than usual. Stewart notes that Musburger and Danielson "could have done less talking, but Musburger wasn't as overbearing as he has been at times" (L.A. TIMES, 1/5). A DONE DEAL? Meanwhile, Martzke writes that the BCS "almost surely will decide by spring to accept" ABC's four- year, $400M offer to extend the current bowl format. ACC Commissioner John Swofford: "It's a good deal, although we'll have more discussions on it" (USA TODAY, 1/5). PHONING HOME IN THE BIG EASY: In St. Petersburg, Kyle Parks examines Nokia's "estimated" $2M per year title sponsorship of the Sugar Bowl and writes that Nokia was one name fans in New Orleans "couldn't miss." Nokia placed its logo on everything from visitor's guides, banners around the Superdome and bus stops and "brought in 2,500 execs, employees and corporate customers, lavishing them with game tickets, a brunch with a jazz band and a pregame tailgate party." Nokia Mobile Phone for the Americas President Kari- Pekka Wilska said that the company's plan was to "go national," and for months leading up to the game Nokia ran its "The Road to No. 1" TV spots. Company employees also visited both the FSU and VA Tech campuses to give away Sugar Bowl trips and hold pep rallies. Wilska: "The identity that we have established by sponsoring the Sugar Bowl is largely responsible for our success in the United States" (ST. PETERSBURG TIMES, 1/5). Retired educator Bob Moderhak, with help from Joe Theismann, won $500,000 at halftime from Nokia. Moderhak participated in Nokia's $2,000,000 Challenge, throwing a football 15 yards through a small opening to win the prize (ABC, 1/4). Moderhak appeared on "GMA" this morning wearing a Nokia shirt (ABC, 1/5).