SBD/Issue 177/Sports Media

Media Notes

IRL CEO Randy Bernard said Versus has "great potential" and Comcast's pending acquisition of NBC "will be a big plus for us." However, he said "It's going to take time, and we have to grow that." Bernard: "Seventy-five million homes is not enough. We need to be in 120 million homes, and that's what sponsors and advertisers want to see" (Fox Business, 5/25). Bernard said "everybody loves that production value" that Versus provides, but the league "just need more homes" ("Indianapolis 500 Qualifying," Versus, 5/23). The IRL is currently in the second year of a 10-year deal with Versus that was signed in '08 (THE DAILY).

GRIDIRON SERIES: In Dallas, Laken Litman reported the Big 12 and Pac-10 have "talked about forming a football scheduling alliance for TV, similar to the conferences' basketball Hardwood Series." Pac-10 Commissioner Larry Scott said that he and Big 12 Commissioner Dan Beebe "like the idea of creating a football TV package of non-conference games between the two leagues because it would create national exposure and provide the financial growth both conferences are looking for in their next TV deal" (, 5/25).

KICK-STARTING COVERAGE: ESPN2 on June 10 will broadcast complete live coverage of the FIFA World Cup Kick-Off Celebration Concert beginning at 2:00pm ET. The concert, celebrating the arrival of the World Cup in Africa, will take place at Orlando Stadium in Johannesburg, and Alicia Keys, the Black Eyed Peas, John Legend, Shakira and Juanes will perform live during the broadcast. ABC will air a highlight presentation of the concert on June 11 at 8:00pm (ESPN).

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