SBD/Issue 57/Sports Media

Madison, Wisconsin To Host ESPN Great Outdoor Games V

ESPN, Charter Communications, the Wisconsin Sports Development Corp. and the state of Wisconsin announced that the ESPN Great Outdoor Games will be held July 8-11, 2004, in Madison. Wisconsin sent 20 athletes to the Games in '03, the largest delegation of competitors from any state. Next year will be the first time the event will be held in the Midwest, after stops in Lake Placid and Reno. ABC, ESPN and ESPN2 will air more than 20 hours of programming around the Games (ESPN). Charter President & CEO Carl Vogel noted that the MSO "will devote significant cross-channel avails to tout the Outdoor Games, and it will use bill-stuffers and other materials to help generate awareness and tune-in nationally." Charter will "also be involved in a number of promotional programs in Wisconsin to help build attendance there." ESPN Outdoors VP & GM Christine Godleski noted while ratings were up 16% on ABC's coverage last summer, viewership was "down slightly" on ESPN and ESPN2, but "still captured some 28 million watchers" (MULTICHANNELNEWS.com, 12/3).

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