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Newcomers 3Com and AIG top CBS’ long list of U.S. Open advertisers

Newcomers 3Com and AIG top CBS’ long list of U.S. Open advertisers

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CBS has sold almost all the advertising time for its broadcasts of the 2000 U.S. Open Tennis Championships, set for Aug. 28 through Sept. 10.

Sources said the network recently cut U.S. Open ad deals with 3Com and AIG, neither of which advertised on CBS' coverage of the '99 Open. Financial terms were not disclosed.

Other recent U.S. Open signings, sources said, include ad deals with IBM and Agilent Technologies, both of which bought time last year. Returnees from a year ago also include MassMutual, Heineken, Tyco International, Lincoln Mercury, Morgan Stanley Dean Witter & Co., Johnson & Johnson, Charles Schwab & Co. and American Express.

EDS, another returning advertiser, is said to be spending much more this year than last.

 SPORTS BIOGRAPHIES: SFX Sports Group's Black Canyon Productions is producing several biographies this year for ESPN Classic's "SportsCentury" series. The shows will feature such sports personalities as Charles O. Finley (scheduled for an Aug. 18 premiere), Bob Feller, John Wooden, Bob Knight, Bob Beamon and Adolph Rupp.

 ESPN PROMOTIONS: Eight ESPN programming executives have been named directors of brand management at the network.

They are Susan Beddingfield (primary responsibilities are golf, Olympic programming, figure skating, gymnastics and track and field); Dave Brown (college football, including bowl games, and NCAA championships); Brian Carroll (NFL, tennis, rodeo, billiards and other sports); Burke Magnus (motorsports, college basketball, the National Spelling Bee and other properties); Gary Morgenstern (NHL, horse racing and outdoor programming, including the ESPN Great Outdoor Games); Mike Ryan (Major League Baseball, cycling, sailing and skiing); Will Staeger (X Games, Winter X Games and professional basketball programming); and Bob Yalen (boxing, bowling, soccer and fitness programming).

Additionally, ESPN promoted Kelly Laferriere to the newly created position of director, brand management interactive content. Laferriere will be in charge of acquiring new media rights.

 TV TENNIS: More hours of national television coverage will be devoted to the Sanex WTA Tour's 2000 Pilot Pen tournament than almost any other women-only tennis event in the United States this year. The only exception is the season-ending Chase Championships.

ESPN and ESPN2 will combine to program 101ΒΌ2 hours of coverage of the 2000 Pilot Pen, and CBS will provide a live broadcast of the singles finals Aug. 26 from 1 to 3 p.m. Eastern. Last year, the networks programmed 11 hours of coverage.

The 2000 Pilot Pen, presented by Michelob Light, will take place Aug. 18-26 at the Connecticut Tennis Center at Yale University in New Haven, Conn. Venus Williams, the '99 champion, will defend her title.

 CHART TOPPER: "The Official 2000 NBA Championship Home Video," released July 18, debuted at No. 1 on First Alert VideoScan's sports video sales chart (and No. 15 overall). The video, produced by NBA Entertainment and distributed exclusively by USA Home Entertainment, commemorates the Los Angeles Lakers' championship season.

 TO THE BOOTH: Mary Joe Fernandez will serve as an analyst for NBC's broadcast Sunday of the singles finals of the Sanex WTA Tour's estyle.com Classic. Fernandez, who still competes part time on the tour, will make her NBC debut, teaming with Tim Ryan and Bud Collins in the broadcast booth.

The estyle.com Classic, formerly the Acura Classic, is held in Manhattan Beach, Calif.

Langdon Brockinton can be reached at lbrockinton@amcity.com.

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