COLLEGE FOOTBALL NOTES: SKINS GAME FORCES TOUGH CHOICE
Because ABC is required to televise golf's Skins Game on
Saturday of Thanksgiving weekend, college football fans will only
get to see one of the two premier matchups that day -- OSU-
Michigan and FSU-Florida. The games will share the noon EST time
period. OSU-Michigan will be seen in about 61% of the country,
while FSU-Florida gets 39%. Both games will be available on pay-
per-view for $9.95. ABC's Mark Mandel called the situation a
"fluke" that "won't occur the rest of this decade," but "by no
means is it an attempt for ABC Sports to gouge the public."
Mandel said they considered changing FSU-Florida to prime time
but "that didn't work" (Rudy Martzke, USA TODAY, 11/16).
BIG 10 BOOST: ABC, which has rights to the Comp USA Citrus
Bowl and the Rose Bowl, "stands to be the beneficiary of higher
ratings and increased interest among advertisers" if Ohio State
and Northwestern continue their successful seasons. The Citrus
Bowl airs in the afternoon on January 1, followed by the Rose.
One New York ad exec believe viewers will stay with ABC for both,
citing the excitement generated by Northwestern. ABC has sold
more than 80% of its commercial time for the Citrus Bowl and over
70% for the Rose (George Lazarus, CHICAGO TRIBUNE, 11/16).