Sports Take Back Seat to War

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CBS scheduled a 3 p.m. conference call Tuesday to announce contingency plans
for the NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament March 19 and 20 in case the network
pre-empts it to cover the impending U.S. war with Iraq.

But instead of hearing comments from CBS Sports president Sean McManus,
spokeswoman Leslie Ann Wade told the assembled reporters McManus was in
"round-the-clock contingency meetings" and that "Black Rock" would not have any
further comment regarding the situation.

Sources said CBS is negotiating to move its first two days of NCAA Tournament
coverage to ESPN, which has the rights to the NCAA Women's Basketball
Tournament, tipping March 22.

Viacom Inc. sister network The New TNN could pick up its weekend tournament
coverage.

Meanwhile, NBC said it would shift its March 22 and 23 live coverage of the
PGA Tour's Bay Hill Invitational golf tournament to CNBC if there is conflict
coverage in Iraq.

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