Good news. The Big Ten and Fox Cable Networks announced last week they are setting up a new national sports network -- The Big Ten Channel -- and the Big Ten has specifically prohibited beer ads from the channel. Commissioner Jim Delany is quoted as saying alcohol ads are not consistent with the Big Ten brand or the brand of the member universities and indicated that the ban on beer ads was the first issue the presidents in the conference put on the table.

This is important news from one of the premier athletic and academic conferences in the country and a real boost to our efforts. This will help create leverage for us with other conferences and the NCAA. The first signer of our College Commitment, Ohio State -- particularly former AD Andy Geiger and President Karen Holbrook -- have given terrific and sustained leadership to this effort and Northwestern and Minnesota made early commitments as well. Additional conversations we had with officials at Illinois, Purdue, Michigan, and Michigan State -- as well as others -- showed the concern about mixing alcohol with college sports is real within the Big Ten. Notre Dame also specifically excludes alcohol ads in its football contract with NBC.

Attached is the press release CSPI and the Campaign for Alcohol-Free Sports TV issued praising the Big Ten and Fox Cable Networks for this important breakthrough. More information is available at the Big Ten website or at

On another front, the Campaign organized a global resolution -- signed by 264 non-governmental organizations from 43 countries -- calling on FIFA, the organizer of the World Cup, to examine its beer sponsorship and advertising and to work toward a policy of no alcohol advertising, signage, and sponsorships in future World Cup events. We were joined by health, youth, sports, alcohol control, and religious organizations on the resolution which was sent to FIFA on June 22, along with cover letter, and list of signing organizations. Included among the signers are the World Medical Association, the American Medical Association, the Irish Medical Organization, the Commonwealth Medical Association of India, and scores of others. Those documents are also attached along with a news report detailing the German drug commissioner's criticism of alcohol ads on the World Cup. More information is also available at our website.

We asked the signing organizations to send a copy of the resolution to the health and sports ministers in their countries. The World Health Organization is currently developing material on worldwide alcohol policies to be debated and acted upon at the 60th World Health Assembly next spring. It is our view that developing a worldwide network of concerned organizations to influence the consideration by the WHA and to raise the issue of alcohol advertising in the World Cup, Olympics, and other high-profile international sporting events helps us make the case internationally as well as in the US that alcohol marketing is fundamentally inconsistent with the values of sport.

Read the Cover Letter
Check-out the News Releases
Read the Resolution
Read the Press Release
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