Concerned about going head-to-head with other bowl games, Sugar Bowl officials will consider awarding a contract to one of the other television networks when its current arrangement with ABC-TV expires after the 1987 game.
ABC has televised the Sugar Bowl since 1970. "That's a long time not to test the waters," Sugar Bowl executive director Mickey Holmes told the New Orleans Times-Picayne and States-Item.
The game was moved from the afternoon to prime time in 1983. Last year's contest between Louisiana State and Nebraska was drubbed in the national TV ratings, not only by NBC's Orange Bowl telecast, but by re-runs of regular programming on CBS. Holmes indicated he would talk to the other networks about bidding for the game.
The New Orleans newspaper quoted ABC director of college sports Donn Bernstein as saying: "With five bowl games on New Year's Day, you're going to end up with four of them going head-to-head. When the fan at home is faced with two games head-to-head, it all comes down to what's the better menu."