Despite losing money in its inaugural season last year, the Ivy League football Game of the Week will be broadcast over public television again this year.
The series, which was born in the make of a Supreme Court decision that now allows NCAA schools to negotiate their own television contracts, will lock off its second season of 10 Ivy broadcasts September 21, when Cornell visits Franklin Field to take on the Penn Quakers.
The Eastern Educational Network, the distributor of the games, has hired former CBS vice-president Barry Frank to produce the series. Frank served last year as the liaison between the Ivy League and Greg Harney Productions but had no hand in the production.
In addition, funding for the 10-installment series is much stronger than last year. Frank said that Paine Webber has already agreed to sponsor the broadcasts, while The Traveller's Insurance company, one of the original sponsors last year, is likely to return again this year.
The series lost nearly $50,000 last year over a nine-game schedule, a sum that Frank said represented "very little money, especially when you consider that it's split eight ways." Each of the Ivy schools was required to chip in to cover the production costs of the programs.
Additional sponsors are likely to join in underwriting the cost of the series, Frank said. He added that unlike last year, the series has enough money to do its own promotion by taking out newspaper ads in Ivy League markers.
Many more stations this year will carry the 10 games, Frank added. He said that the public stations in San Francisco, Los Angeles, Pittsburgh, Washington D.C., and several outlets in Florida would feature the Ivy Game of the Week each Saturday.
"The fact that it's coming into its second year will help the ratings," said Frank, who added that he felt many people didn't watch Ivy games on television because "they didn't believe it was really being televised."
Marty Glickman, the longtime voice of the New York football Giants, has been signed to do play-by-play for the season. No color-commentator has been signed yet.
Harvard Director of Athletics John P. Reardon Jr. '60 said he had mixed feelings about the Game of the Week. "I hear from people that it was not bad and not great," he said last week.
Reardon added that he would not be likely to support the series again if it lost money this year. "I don't know if it can make money, but if it doesn't pay for itself, it won't last very long."
As was the case last year, every Ivy school will appear at least once during the year, Reardon said. Frank said that all games will feature Ivy League opponents only, except for the second week of the season, when the University of Connecticut visits Yale.
Frank added, "it's a good bet" that the 102nd Harvard-Yale game will be televised on November 23, but "it hasn't been determined yet."