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WNBC nabs Gotham run

Web inks five-year deal

WNBC’s nightly news anchors, Chuck Scarborough and Sue Simmons, and its sports anchor Len Berman, will preside over the live coverage of the 1999 New York City Marathon on Sunday.

It’s the first year of a five-year deal WNBC signed with TWI, which will produce the coverage, and the New York Road Runners Club. WNBC outbid WPIX, which had carried the Marathon for the previous five years.

The parties declined to comment on the license fee, but one source says WNBC will pay more than $400,000 a year for the rights.

Previous tally

The Sunday event, which WNBC will carry from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., averaged a solid 6.1 rating on WPIX in 1998. For the previous four years, WPIX averaged an 8.2 rating with the Marathon, according to Nielsen Media Research.

More than 30,000 runners will participate in this year’s event. WNBC will deploy 32 cameras, seven helicopters and four motorcycles to capture the action.