Sovereign Hikes Up Its Sox

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Sovereign Bank said Thursday that it will become the official bank of New England Sports Network for the next five years.

The agreement includes full bank-advertising exclusivity in NESN's preseason and regular-season coverage of Major League Baseball’s Boston Red Sox, as well as all team-related programming, including Red Sox Inside Out and Red Sox Rewind.

NESN will air five spring-training contests and 125 regular-season games in 2004.