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TMCNet:  New CBS Sports Network signs deal with Arena Football League

[November 15, 2012]

New CBS Sports Network signs deal with Arena Football League

Nov 14, 2012 (The Philadelphia Inquirer - McClatchy-Tribune Information Services via COMTEX) -- Looking for new live sports for its 24-hour national sports channel, CBS Sports Network has reached a two-year rights deal with the Arena Football League.

Terms were not disclosed, and the contract is much shorter than those for the NFL, Major League Baseball, and major college sports.

The deal "satisfies the nation's hunger for football, especially in the spring," said Dan Weinberg, senior vice president of CBS Sports Network. Arena games, including those of the Philadelphia Soul, are played between March and July.

The cable channel agreed to be the "exclusive national window" for Arena Football League games on Saturday nights and will broadcast the championship game on the CBS over-the-air TV network, Weinberg said.

The CBS broadcast could give the fast-paced indoor game unprecedented exposure. Weinberg declined to estimate the viewership for the games on the CBS cable channel.

CBS Sports Network -- formerly the CBS College Sports Network -- has been diversifying sports beyond college games and adding live programs to compete with the Comcast Corp.-owned NBC Sports Network and ESPN. Arena Football League games have aired on the NFL Network.

Fox Sports also is considering a national sports channel. NBC recently signed Premier League soccer matches and Formula One races for its 24-hour sports channel.

------ Contact Bob Fernandez at 215-854-5897 or bob.fernandez@phillynews.com.

___ (c)2012 The Philadelphia Inquirer Visit The Philadelphia Inquirer at www.philly.com Distributed by MCT Information Services

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