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CNBC's first game show pits biz whiz kids

July 23, 2007|From the Associated Press

NEW YORK — Who wants to be a millionaire? Hard-charging business-school students, who will be pitted against each other in CNBC's first-ever game show.

"Fast Money MBA Challenge," which premieres Aug. 1 and runs for four hourlong episodes once a week, is both a summertime diversion and an attempt to attract young viewers to a network more accustomed to boardrooms than surfboards.

CNBC also hopes it works out better than its recent off-air contest, Million Dollar Portfolio Challenge. Won by a waitress from Ohio, it attracted 377,000 participants but was plagued by disqualifications for cheating.

The MBA challenge pits 32 students in teams from eight colleges testing their business acumen. Modeled after the 1960s-era "GE College Bowl" game, the winning team splits $200,000, to be used for college costs.

"It's a way to get a new audience interested in our core content," said Mark Hoffman, CNBC's chief executive.

If the show proves successful, it could become a regular series for CNBC, which is testing new ideas in anticipation of a new competitor, Fox Business Network, which has announced plans to launch Oct. 15.

The teams are from UCLA, Yale, New York University, Columbia, Dartmouth, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and the universities of Texas and Chicago.

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