College Sports Television will lend a hand to elementary- and high-school kids displaced by Hurricane Katrina via ad dollars and relief contributions received during its coverage of the rescheduled Tulane-Southern Mississippi football game this Saturday.
CSTV will contribute its advertising revenues from the Sept. 17 telecast of “Big Game for the Big Easy,” which is being billed as the first telethon around a live sporting event.
Throughout the four-hour telecast, from 6 p.m.-10 p.m. (EST) -- which will integrate features and entertainment elements designed to share stories of hope and rebirth for the region -- the network will run a toll-free-number and direct people to its Web site (www.cstv.com) for more information about the relief effort and how to make contributions.
Proceeds will be directed to CSTV’s Fields & Dreams Foundation, which has been established in partnerships with the Boys and Girls Clubs of America. In turn, the funds will be used to help establish programs for some of the school kids who have been displaced by this nation’s worst natural disaster. CSTV’s new foundation will also share monies raised with Conference USA’s relief fund.
With more details to come later in the week, CSTV said it will make the feed widely available to its distribution partners and other carriers in order to expand its reach to as many viewers as possible. Paxson Communications Corp.’s i network (the former PaxTV) will pick up the game, according to CSTV officials.
Speaking on a conference call detailing the company’s efforts, CSTV CEO Brian Bedol, citing statistics from the Department of Education, said an estimated 300,000 elementary- and high-school students have been displaced by the devastating storm.
He added that the hope is that with the proceeds, the Boys and Girls Clubs will create “sports programs that will be available to the kids, many of whom don’t know anyone or have no place to go, so that they may be able to restore some sense of normalcy to their lives.”
Former U.S. Sen. and Basketball Hall of Famer Bill Bradley, who will serve as chairman of the CSTV Fields & Dreams Foundation, said during the conference call, “Sports can serve as a metaphor for overcoming adversity and the odds.”
He also noted that the decision by the Tulane football team to play its full schedule should help and inspire Americans to participate in the relief effort and reconstruction of New Orleans and other storm-wrecked areas.
The Tulane-Southern Miss game was originally slated for Sept. 4.