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USA Networks, NFL plan new TV program

Barry Diller's USA Networks strikes a marketing pact with the National Football League that will incorporate the network's e-commerce and broadcast media holdings.

Barry Diller's USA Networks has struck a marketing pact with the National Football League that will incorporate the network's e-commerce and broadcast media holdings.

The company's Home Shopping Network will broadcast a new program devoted to selling NFL merchandise. The show, dubbed "NFL Shop," will be broadcast before Monday night football games. The program will sell exclusive, officially licensed NFL merchandise and will feature NFL player appearances.

USA Networks' Electronic Commerce and Services division will provide customer service and support. The unit will also develop a marketing database for future e-commerce initiatives.

This is not the first time USA Networks has inked a marketing tie-in with a professional sports league. In February, the company signed a pact to sell merchandise and develop programming for the National Basketball League. The deal also allowed direct selling of tickets to NBA games through Ticketmaster Online-CitySearch.

Today's partnership expands USA Networks' effort to beef up its online retail assets. The company has recently acquired several businesses including Styleclick.com, which helps manufacturers set up Web storefronts, and Precision Response, which it bought for about $657.8 million in stock to boost customer service to its e-commerce companies.