Media co. and producer prep 'full-contact' TV

IMG, the sports/media company, and producer Mike Tollin have formed a joint venture to make Slamball into a TV-friendly team sport.

IMG Academies has set up a two-month training camp in Bradenton, Fla., to come up with 64 Slamball players and 16 coaches for a season of contests this summer. Each game features two four-player teams in a 20-minute contest played on a basketball-sized court equipped with four springbeds around each basket and shock-absorbent floors “surrounded by 12-foot plexiglass walls, which keep the ball in play at all times,” according to IMG.

The “full-contact” competition draws on elements of football, hockey, soccer and gymnastics.

“This project” said Chris Albrecht, head of global media for IMG, “leverages our expertise in entertainment with our capabilities in athletic training and sports production and distribution to create a multi-platform Slamball league with the potential to attract a worldwide audience.”

The joint venture is negotiating with potential broadcast partners to carry some of the games. The Slamball league’s commissioner is Pat Croce, former president of the Philadelphia 76ers and host of his own short-lived syndicated TV show for Sony Pictures TV.

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