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Women's soccer in deals
April 10, 2000: 4:19 p.m. ET

New women's soccer league announces eight cities with teams, a major TV deal
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NEW YORK (CNNfn) - The new professional women's soccer league, the Women's United Soccer Association, revealed the eight cities granted franchises Monday and also announced a major television broadcast deal with two networks.
    Pending completion of stadium contracts, teams will start up in New York, Atlanta, Boston, Philadelphia, Washington, San Francisco, San Diego, and Orlando/Tampa. Each franchise required a $5 million investment. Most of the teams are owned by major media companies.
    Time Warner Cable, owned by Time Warner (TWX: Research, Estimates), which is also the parent company of CNNfn, will own the New York and Tampa/Orlando teams, Cox Communications (COX: Research, Estimates) will control the San Diego team, while Cox Enterprises will have the helm in Atlanta, and Comcast Corp. (CMCSA: Research, Estimates) will operate Philadelphia's team.
    Former Continental Cablevision chairman and CEO, Amos Hostetter, will control the Boston team and have half-stakes in the Washington and San Francisco teams along with Discovery Communications CEO John Hendricks.
    "We are putting all the elements together for a hugely successful league, and we are very optimistic and confident we will not be disadvantaged in any way," Hendricks said. "Our investment group is fully capable of getting this league going and running it."
    Investors are hoping to capitalize on the huge popularity of the 1999 Women's World Cup held in the United States. However, the men's league, Major League Soccer, started on the heels of the 1994 World Cup and has yet to make a profit.
    graphicIf any of the cities are unable to secure a venue, the franchise will be given to an alternative city - either Chicago, Columbus, Detroit, Los Angeles, Miami, Portland, Raleigh-Durham or St. Louis.
    WUSA also announced a major television deal to show 22 games a year for four years with Time Warner's Turner Network Television (TNT) and CNN/Sports Illustrated starting in 2001.
    Fifteen games will be shown on TNT and seven games on CNN/Sport Illustrated. The deal includes broadcast of playoffs and a championship game.
    In addition, the league announced that it now has over 100 agreements, or letters of intent, from U.S. women soccer stars and international players. Back to top
    --From staff and wire reports


Three media giants to invest in women's soccer - Feb. 15, 2000