SBJ/December 20 - 26, 1999/No Topic Name

IMG hungers for more TV projects with SI

Trans World International wants to talk to Sports Illustrated about trying to duplicate the success of the "Sports Illustrated's 20th Century Sports Awards" show, which aired Dec. 2 in prime time on CBS.

"We know that we can work together," said Bob Horowitz, a senior vice president at Trans World, the television arm of IMG. "I think we have a successful model. Now it just comes down to ... are there things that we can do together in the future?"

Sports Illustrated wouldn't talk about the venture. Art Berke, vice president of communications, issued a statement calling the show a creative success and saying Sports Illustrated would welcome the chance to talk with Trans World and other companies about future programs.

Conceivably, a television venture might be tied to a Sports Illustrated special issue or project.

"Maybe it's the Olympics, maybe it's the NFL," Horowitz said. "Is it a Super Bowl show? Is it an annual Sportsman of the Year show. I think we're open to anything."

Any project would have to pass muster editorially as well as financially, Horowitz said.

"Their brand is so important to them that whether they would agree to do a [television venture], I think, has a lot to do with the editorial side," he said.

For the Dec. 2 show, which originated from Madison Square Garden, Sports Illustrated and Trans World bought programming time (9 to 11 p.m.) from CBS. In turn, the two partners handled ad sales.

Sports Illustrated sold multimedia sponsorship packages — priced at $1.6 million apiece — to four advertisers — Chrysler, American General Financial Group, Motorola Inc. and Compaq Computer Corp. — who accounted for nearly 75 percent of the ad time.

Trans World, which produced the show, moved the remaining inventory, selling 30-second spots for $150,000 to $175,000 each, Horowitz said. He wouldn't say how much money the partners made on the venture, though sources put the profit in the "low seven figures."

The show delivered a 6.1 household ratings average. Trans World had estimated a household average between 5.0 and 7.0.

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Chrysler, IMG, MSG Network, NFL

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