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PPV Will Get World Cup Qualifying Game

Innovative Sports Marketing in March will distribute a World Cup soccer qualifying game involving the U.S. men's team on pay-per-view.

The U.S.-Honduras contest is the second game in the U.S. team's yearlong qualifying process for the 2001 World Cup. The game will air at 8:30 p.m. (ET) at a suggested retail price of $19.95, Innovative co-partner Dan Jacobs said.

In Demand, EchoStar Communications, TVN Entertainment and DirecTV Inc. will distribute the event.

The company obtained rights to the game after ESPN and broadcast network ABC-which share the television rights to World Cup qualifying games-weren't able to televise the match due to scheduling conflicts, Jacobs said. The game would have gone untelevised had Innovative not secured the PPV rights.

"To have that game not brought to television in English would have been ridiculous," he said. "Soccer fans will now be able to see this important qualifying game."

Innovative will support the event with 30-second spots and ad slicks for operators to use on barker channels and in guide publications.

The company will also distribute a Feb. 28 soccer game featuring Italy and Argentina from Rome. The "international friendly" matchup will retail at a suggested price of $19.95, Jacobs said. DirecTV Inc. and EchoStar Communications Corp. will distribute the game; cable operators can carry the event on a stand-alone basis.

In other PPV event news, The Women of Wrestling (WOW) will produce its first PPV event Feb. 4, the company said. Billed as the first all-women's PPV wrestling event, the show will feature several world champion-ship matches, including a "hair match" in which the losing wrestler's head will be completely shaved.

The show will also feature a WOW swimsuit competition in which viewers choose the winner online. The event, distributed by In Demand, will retail at a suggested $19.95.