Spirit and HTS close to agreement

September 11, 1992|By Sandra McKee

Baltimore Spirit indoor soccer team and Home Team Sports are close to an agreement that will put the city's newest professional sports team on television for eight live telecasts.

"We're trying to work something out," said HTS communications manager Scott Broyles. "We're interested in soccer as a programming element and we know there is an audience out there. You hear from the fans, and so do we."

Sources indicate the deal will include six home and two away games, including the Spirit's National Professional Soccer League season opener Nov. 6 in Milwaukee.

Spirit vice president Drew Forrester also confirmed an agreement is in the works.

"We're committed to putting this package together, but it's not signed yet," Forrester said. "We have to wait until we get the final schedule from the league office and that won't be out before [today or tomorrow]."

If the the deal is finalized, it will bring indoor soccer back to local television for the first time since HTS televised the Baltimore Blast four times during the 1990-91 season.

"We're thrilled by the possibility," Forrester said. "We want to expose our product. HTS reaches 2.3 million homes. We want people sitting in their living rooms to say, 'Man, I should have been there! I'll be there next time.'

"We don't believe people stay home to watch just because they've got HTS. We think people watch when they're home, but when they have the opportunity, they head out the door to the games. We've seen that with Caps hockey, and to some degree with the Orioles. I think HTS has had a lot to do with those teams' successes, with the exposure they've given them."

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