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ESPN to Replace Canceled WPBA Events

ESPN will have to replace five Professional Women’s Bowling Association live
telecasts this fall after the organization canceled its upcoming tour schedule
Monday.

The association announced the cancellation of its fall tour schedule -- set
to begin next month -- due to a "lack of operating funds."

ESPN averaged a 0.6 rating for 11 Sunday-afternoon WPBA winter tour telecasts
in 2003, even with last year’s 0.62 rating.

An ESPN spokesman said the network had not determined replacement programming
for the canceled events. It was also unclear whether ESPN would seek
compensation from the organization, although sources said the network was not
paying a programming-rights fee to the PWBA.

R. Thomas Umstead serves as senior content producer, programming for Multichannel News, Broadcasting + Cable and Next TV. During his more than 30-year career as a print and online journalist, Umstead has written articles on a variety of subjects ranging from TV technology, marketing and sports production to content distribution and development. He has provided expert commentary on television issues and trends for such TV, print, radio and streaming outlets as Fox News, CNBC, the Today show, USA Today, The New York Times and National Public Radio. Umstead has also filmed, produced and edited more than 100 original video interviews, profiles and news reports featuring key cable television executives as well as entertainers and celebrity personalities.