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Pac-10, ABC Unveil Football Extension

TIMES STAFF WRITER

ABC and the Pacific 10 Conference announced a $169-million, 10-year football contract extension Tuesday that will run through 2006 and provide Pac-10 schools with $21 million over the next four years they would not have had otherwise.

Network and conference officials said a nine-year contract extension was signed in 1992 to carry through 2000. Over the next four seasons, it would have called for a rights fee averaging about $10 million per season. The new extension will bring in $13.75 million this season and escalate to $19 million its final year.

The deal was jointly announced by ABC Senior Vice President David Downs and UCLA Athletic Director Peter Dalis, chairman of the Pac-10’s television committee.

“Pete Dalis deserves a lot of the credit for making this happen,” said Pac-10 assistant commissioner Duane Lindberg.

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The Pac-10 and Big Ten have negotiated regular-season and Rose Bowl television deals together, but now negotiate separately since the two conferences’ Rose Bowl agreement expires after this season. The Pac-10 was able to get more money by offering to extend the contract beyond the current deal. The Big Ten is expected soon to announce a similar extension with ABC.

ABC also announced that Dan Fouts, as expected, will replace Dick Vermeil as Brent Musburger’s broadcast partner on college football. Vermeil left ABC to become coach of the St. Louis Rams.

Another new broadcast team will be Brad Nessler and Gary Danielson, coming over from ESPN, ABC’s cable sister. Both networks are owned by Disney.

Nessler and Danielson will make their ABC debut on the Kickoff Classic on Aug. 24 between Wisconsin and Syracuse at Giants Stadium in East Rutherford, N.J. ABC opens its college football season the day before with the Pigskin Classic between Oklahoma and Northwestern at Chicago’s Soldier Field. Keith Jackson and Bob Griese, together for 16 years, will work that game.

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UCLA’s first three games--at Washington State on Aug. 30, against Tennessee at the Rose Bowl on Sept. 6 and at Texas on Sept. 13--will be regionally televised by ABC. USC’s season opener against Florida State on Sept. 6 at 5 p.m. at the Coliseum will be nationally televised by ABC.

Steve Anderson, ABC senior vice president in charge of production, also said the network will begin using the score-and-time graphic that Fox started using on NFL football and that ESPN has been using on college football. He said it will also be used on ABC’s “Monday Night Football.”

“It’s a service for the viewers, a service we owe the viewers,” Anderson said.


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