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Saturday night lights: ABC scores big with college football

StanbasketballSaturday night television has become a wasteland of reruns...except at ABC, where college football games have proven a big winner. The average audience for this season's 13 games was 8 million, up 24 percent from 6.4 million in 2007. That's head and shoulders above what any other network was doing on Saturdays this fall and raises the obvious question: Why not try the same thing with college basketball? The common wisdom among network programmers is that it's more difficult to arrange marquee matchups when it comes to basketball. But it's hard to believe that even non-marquee games wouldn't outdraw the sorry, unwatchable mess that the networks have made of Saturday nights. That's especially true for ABC, which has the rights to tons of college games through its ESPN contracts.

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