FOX SPORTS ADDS NFL EUROPE GAMES TO SUMMER SCHEDULE
During halftime of Sunday's NFC Championship Game, Fox
Sports and the NFL announced a partnership to broadcast NFL
Europe League regular-season games beginning this season.
The deal, which is in place for the '99 and 2000 seasons,
includes the national broadcast on Fox of one NFLEL game on
each of the league's final three Sundays, June 6, 13 and 20,
and the broadcast of the '99 World Bowl on June 27. FSN
will also air one game-of-the-week beginning April 17 (NFL).
BUT ARE AFFILS HAPPY? News of the additional weekend
sports programming comes as MEDIAWEEK's Freeman & Consoli
write that Fox's reclaiming of weekend time "has raised
concerns" among some affils over loss of spot inventory and
contractual conflicts with syndicators. Fox's recent pickup
of some NTRA races and two women's pro tennis events, along
with the NFLEL, has "several" Fox station execs saying "the
network's ever-expanding sports slate may be a source of
contention" at next week's affils meeting in New Orleans.
Fox Sports Senior VP/Media Relations Vince Wladika: "Our
affiliates have to realize that they are part of a network,
and that live network sports programming has [increased] the
value of their stations immensely" (MEDIAWEEK, 1/18 issue).