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Volume 26 No. 47
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ABC REPORTEDLY SEEKING SPONSORS FOR '99-2002 BOWL GAMES

          ABC has begun "seeking major sponsors for what it is
     billing as the College Football Championship Series," to
     begin airing following the fall '98 season, according to
     Langdon Brockinton of MEDIAWEEK.  Initial asking prices for
     some sponsorships "are said to exceed" $10M a year.  A new
     Bowl Alliance system will go into effect following the '98
     season, and ABC has exclusive rights to the top four bowl
     games, including the national championship game, from '99-
     2002.  ABC's packages include ad time on ESPN's bowl
     telecasts and on ESPN and ABC radio, and sources told
     Brockinton that ABC "also is likely to team up with USA
     Today for a print component."  ABC Sports officials could
     not be reached for comment.  Brockinton's sources added that
     the network has had talks with GM, Ford and Chrysler.  ABC,
     "which would like to strike four-year deals, also has begun
     to approach the current title sponsors of the Sugar, Fiesta
     and Orange Bowls ... giving the incumbents first crack at
     returning."  Those title sponsorships, reportedly $12M
     annually, expire after the January '98 games, along with the
     end of the current Bowl Alliance (MEDIAWEEK, 7/21 issue).