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Skating union is on edge over TV

The Baltimore Sun

TOKYO -- The man whose voice has been the soundtrack of figure skating for decades stood in a dank hallway beneath the stands at the U.S. championships two months ago and acknowledged that his long broadcasting career was on thin ice.

Dick Button, a two-time Olympic gold medalist and television analyst, said his network contract was nearing an end, with no renewal in sight. ESPN, which is in the final year of a four-year contract, has not been in any hurry to fork over millions for a new deal, and therefore in no rush to re-sign Button, 77, or his broadcast partner Peggy Fleming, 58.

Figure Skating worlds Through Sunday, Tokyo TV today: Men's short program, 7:30 p.m., ESPN (tape)

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