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Volume 24 No. 117
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          ESPN and MLS have reached a six-year TV deal through
     the 2003 season.  As part of the deal, ABC Sports will air a
     minimum of 12 telecasts a season, including the league
     opener, the All-Star Game and the MLS Cup.  ESPN will begin
     with 10 telecasts per year, with an eventual increase to 15.
     ESPN2 will show 25 matches in '98, with an eventual increase
     to 35 per year.  ESPN and MLS will continue to produce the
     league's pay subscription package (ESPN).
          DETAILS: The deal will pay the league $5M in '98 and
     the fee "could increase in subsequent years based on
     advertising revenue," according to Stephen Battaglio of the
     HOLLYWOOD REPORTER.  MLS Commissioner Logan called the deal
     "a huge step forward" for the league  (HOLLYWOOD REPORTER,
     10/17).  Joshua Prager of the WALL STREET JOURNAL writes
     that the deal "is the most extensive broadcasting package
     ever for professional soccer in the U.S."  The networks
     "won't pay broadcast-rights fees" to MLS, instead sharing
     costs and revenue generated from ad sales (WALL STREET
     JOURNAL, 10/17).  The league's first two seasons on ABC and
     ESPN have consisted of a time-buy (N.Y. TIMES, 10/17).