For Immediate Release,
May 15, 2006

ABC SATURDAY NIGHT COLLEGE FOOTBALL TO LAUNCH SEPTEMBER 2
FIRST-EVER COLLEGE FOOTBALL PRIMETIME SERIES ON BROADCAST TELEVISION; MUSBURGER, DAVIE, HERBSTREIT AND SALTERS TO CALL GAMES; ESPN’S COLLEGE GAMEDAY TO ORIGINATE FROM FIRST TWO SITES


In a broadcast television first, ABC will launch a weekly college football primetime series.  ABC Saturday Night College Football, featuring showdowns between top programs, will highlight the network's 41st season of extensive college football coverage.  Every telecast will begin at 8 p.m. ET and be offered in high definition on ABC HD.  Coverage will kick off September 2 with Notre Dame at Georgia Tech and be followed September 9 by Ohio State at defending National Champion Texas.  The 12-week series is an expansion from last year's schedule of four Saturday primetime games.

ABC Saturday Night College Football will be hosted by veteran college football and basketball commentator Brent Musburger and analyst Bob Davie, who worked last year's ESPN College Football Saturday Primetime telecasts.  They will be joined by ESPN College GameDay analyst Kirk Herbstreit on certain weeks.  Lisa Salters will report from the sidelines.  Herbstreit's presence in the ABC Saturday Night College Football booth will depend on the College GameDay site, which will continue to originate from the day's best game and be selected on a week-to-week basis.

"This primetime series will be terrific for fans as more top-quality sports product comes to the ABC Television Network," said George Bodenheimer, president, ESPN, Inc. and ABC Sports.  "These games join a strong lineup of sports on ABC, including the NBA Finals, NASCAR's playoffs -- Chase for the Nextel Cup -- in 2007, Belmont Stakes and Indianapolis 500."

Marquee matchups from the ACC, Big Ten, Big 12, BIG EAST and Pac-10 as well as Notre Dame will be offered each week.  Similar to ABC Sports' Saturday afternoon coverage, select ABC Saturday Night College Football broadcasts will feature split-national coverage with multiple games in one window.  Much of the schedule has been determined (see below) and additional games from the Big 12, ACC or BIG EAST - where a 12-day selection is permitted for primetime games - will be chosen during the season.  This year's primetime schedule does not include games on October 21 and 28.
 

COLLEGE GAMEDAY TO ORIGINATE FROM GEORGIA TECH AND TEXAS
College GameDay will kick off its 20th season by originating from the site of the first two ABC primetime telecasts: Notre Dame at Georgia Tech September 2 and Ohio State at Texas September 9. 

This year will mark the 13th consecutive season College GameDay will originate from the site of the day's best game (generally announced the Monday before the game).  Chris Fowler hosts the popular Saturday morning news and analysis show with analysts Lee Corso and Herbstreit and contributor Desmond Howard.

"The combined resources of ABC and ESPN offer unparalleled coverage of the sporting world and we're thrilled to have the opportunity to add unprecedented coverage of college football to our primetime schedule," said Stephen McPherson, President of ABC Entertainment. "College football has extremely devoted fans and we look forward to bringing the excitement of the game to them on Saturday nights this fall."

John Skipper, executive vice president, content, ESPN added, "ESPN and ABC are leaders in serving the college football fan through extensive in-depth coverage and innovative scheduling.  Based on the success of primetime games on ABC in past years, creating ABC Saturday Night College Football was the next logical step.  Thanks to the cooperation of the conferences and their member institutions, the primetime game will complement ESPN and ESPN2's existing Saturday night games while providing marquee matchups from this great sport." 

Schedule highlights of announced games include:
 

·  Defending National Champion Texas against Ohio State, 2005 Big Ten Conference co-champion and winners of last year's Fiesta Bowl, September 9;

·  Appearances by Fiesta Bowl participant Notre Dame, including at Georgia Tech to kick off the series September 2 and the 78th meeting against USC, a participant in last year's Rose Bowl, November 25;

·  USC, the National Championship winner two of the last three years, at home against Alamo Bowl champion Nebraska September 16;

·  Traditional power Michigan at Big Ten Conference co-champion Penn State, coming off an Orange Bowl win, October 14;

Rose Bowl, Weekly Action Highlight 2006 Season On ABC
ABC, the broadcast leader in college football, will once again offer an extensive weekly schedule of top college football in 2006 capped off by the Capital One Bowl and Rose Bowl Game doubleheader January 1, 2007.  Similar to last year, this year's lineup will feature 31 windows and include the day's best action from the ACC, Big 12, Big Ten, BIG EAST and Pac-10.   ABC Sports' coverage of the 2006 National Championship Rose Bowl game was the highest-rated college football game since 1987 with a 21.7 average rating.  Last year's regular-season coverage averaged 4,527,000 impressions and a 4.1 rating, marking increases of 6% (vs. 4,258,000) and 5% (vs. 3.9) over 2004.

2006 ABC SATURDAY NIGHT COLLEGE FOOTBALL SCHEDULE 

Date            Time (ET)         Game                                                                                    

Sept. 2         8 p.m.                Notre Dame at Georgia Tech
Sept. 9         8 p.m.                Ohio State at Texas
Sept. 16      8 p.m.                 Nebraska at USC
Sept. 23      8 p.m.                 Notre Dame at Michigan State
                                            USC at Arizona
Sept. 30      8 p.m.                Ohio State at Iowa or Michigan at Minnesota*
Oct. 7           8 p.m.               Oregon at California
                                            ACC, Big 12 or BIG EAST (12-day selection)
Oct. 14         8 p.m.               Michigan at Penn State
                                            Arizona State at USC
Nov. 4          8 p.m.                UCLA at California
                                            ACC, Big 12 or BIG EAST (12-day selection)
Nov. 11        8 p.m.                ACC, Big 12 or BIG EAST (12-day selection)
Nov. 18        8 p.m.                California at USC
                                            ACC, Big 12 or BIG EAST (12-day selection)
Nov. 25        8 p.m.                Notre Dame at USC
Dec. 2          8 p.m.               Dr Pepper Big 12 Championship Game
 

TBD windows will be selected on a six or 12-day basis
Windows with multiple games will be split national telecasts
* One game will be on ABC and the other in primetime on ESPN or ESPN2

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