Lingerie Bowl Takes Off


Looking to capitalize on the post-Janet Jackson climate of toned-down and buttoned-up televised entertainment at major sporting events, Horizon Productions is expanding its Lingerie Bowl counterprogramming franchise to include basketball and baseball events.

The Lingerie Bowl, preparing for its third contest, has been a cable and satellite pay-per-ogle ($19.95) alternative to the Super Bowl, featuring "supermodels" in their underwear playing football, with some celebrities and music thrown in.

Its debut in 2004 coincided with the Jackson reveal half-time that was anything but buttoned up, but bowl creator Mitch Mortaza now has a new hook, pitching the bowl and similar efforts planned for the NBA finals and World Series, as "an escape from overly produced conservative lip-synching shows." That's a reference to the NFL's swift move to regain control of the halftime show.

By contrast, the Lingerie Bowl, and now the Lingerie Sports Franchise, is all about wardrobe, the correct functioning of which leaves far less to the imagination than Jackson's fraction-of-a-second malfunction.