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MAJOR LEAGUE BASEBALL STRIKES UNIQUE DEAL WITH NBC, ABC

Published: Sunday, May 9 1993 12:00 a.m. MDT

Major league baseball has reached an agreement with NBC and ABC on a unique joint venture that will create a prime-time game of the week and another round of playoffs in 1994.

The agreement, if approved by owners, also would end CBS' four-year, $1 billion foray into baseball."We just last night finished some of the discussions with NBC and ABC," San Diego Padres owner Tom Werner, one of three members of baseball's TV committee, said Saturday. "The TV committee recommended what we consider to be a very innovative arrangement to our owners this morning."

Owners meet in Chicago next week, at which time they are expected to vote on the new TV contract.

"This is a true joint venture," ABC Sports president Dennis Swanson said. "We share the cost from dollar one."

Under the agreement, which reportedly would be for six years, baseball and its two network partners will form a separate venture that "will be responsible for administering the product, and for the marketing and sales of major league baseball," Werner said.

"It's a real partnership, and it will be a framework for baseball to grow in," Werner said.

For the regular season, Werner said, there will be six ABC telecasts followed by six NBC telecasts once a week in prime time after the All-Star break. A day of the week has not been decided.

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