ESPN/ABC Plans `Fall Upfront'

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With all of the ad community's focus going to the major broadcast networks'
upfront presentations, ESPN/ABC Sports plans to make its sales force available
to time buyers "into the wee hours," too.

ESPN/ABC Sports president of customer sales and marketing Ed Erhardt said
that just like the TV networks, "We'll have a crew available into the wee hours
to talk about our packages, too."

His operation doesn't have its own formal springtime upfront, but its product
was plugged during ABC's primetime upfront.

However, this fall, Erhardt said, ESPN/ABC Sports will again stage an
upfront-like sales pitch to advertisers. "We like being out there on our own [in
the fall], rather than competing against all the noise [now]," he added.

Apart from the upfront activity, Erhardt disclosed that there's "a
significant number of integrated sales deals already in play."

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