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Future of Wrestling Telecasts Unclear as Iowa Public Television Seeks Financial Help To Sustain Cove



JOHNSTON, Iowa - When it comes to wrestling in the state of Iowa, there always seems to be certain things on which you can rely: the Parade of Champions at the State High School Wrestling Tournament; a fall by Cael Sanderson of Iowa State or Jesse Sundell of Ogden; or the continued great coverage provided the sport by Iowa Public Television. But even the most certain of things can face the shadows of doubt. Saddled with escalating production costs and reduced funding sources, the future of television coverage for wrestling in Iowa is unclear. IPTV officials say the level of coverage that this year marked the network's 30th anniversary at the Iowa High School Wrestling Tournament and its 25th year of providing the best in COLLEGE WRESTLING competition cannot be maintained without financial support from the wrestling community. "We need all wrestling fans, both high school and college, to help us financially," said IPTV Executive Producer Doug Brooker. "There are a number of ways to help, but mostly we need the fans to become 'Wrestling Supporters' through their financial donations." Easy Ways To Invest Brooker said the network has tried to make that process easy. Supporters can invest in IPTV's television and Web coverage by pledging online at www.collegewrestling.iptv.org. They also can help by calling Friends of Iowa Public Television at (800) 728-2828. There are three levels of investment-$35, $100 or $500. "The donations will earn investors some wonderful wrestling-related thank you gifts-such as autographed posters, videotapes and name recognition on our Web site-as well as all the other benefits that come with being a member of Friends, like the Advance program guide," Brooker said, "Best of all, the money will be earmarked specifically for our wrestling coverage." Contributions from companies and individuals are tax deductible. In addition, Brooker said businesses and groups can receive on-air recognition for their support during IPTV wrestling telecasts. Word-Of-Mouth Help Brooker adds that he hopes Iowa's tightly-knit wrestling community could help spread the word regarding IPTV's financial needs to continue its wrestling coverage. "We'd like to encourage people to create school-, club-, or community-based fundraisers that will generate financial support," he said. "This can be a fun and unique way to create community awareness for both your wrestling programs and for IPTV's wrestling coverage." Brooker said the thank-you gifts received from IPTV could be auctioned off to raise money for wrestling-related endeavors for the local team. For more information on investing in IPTV's wrestling coverage, call Doug Brooker or Shellee Bailey at (800) 532-1290.
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