WASHINGTON — The World Series, Super Bowl and professional and college basketball championships will remain on broadcast network television for the rest of this century, sports commissioners promised today.
"It's inconceivable to me that the World Series would not be on free television," Baseball Commissioner Fay Vincent said at a House subcommittee hearing when asked if the championship might shift to cable networks or pay-per-view television.
NFL Commissioner Paul Tagliabue, NBA Commissioner David Stern and NCAA Director Richard Schultz made similar comments about their championship events.
Tagliabue said he could guarantee the NFL Super Bowl championship game would stay on network TV through the year 2000 but could not make a commitment beyond that.
Stern and Schultz said they had long-term network contracts for their championships and wanted as wide viewing as possible.
"All sports fans are concerned about the looming specter of pay-per-view for sporting events," subcommittee Chairman Edward J. Markey (D-Mass.) said. Other members said they were concerned that a growing number of regular-season games were moving from broadcast to cable TV.