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    Ralph Lauren to sponsor Masterpiece on PBS

    Masterpiece, the PBS drama series known for such recent programs as Downton Abbey and Sherlock, announced that Ralph Lauren Corp., the tony apparel brand, is becoming a national corporate sponsor for the series.

    It is the first television sponsorship for Ralph Lauren, Masterpiece said.

    Lauren’s support will “help us maintain the standard of excellence that drew them to Masterpiece in the first place,’’ Masterpiece executive producer Rebecca Eaton at WGBH Boston said in a statement.

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    Ralph Lauren’s first on-air sponsorship messages will begin Sept. 30 with the broadcast of Upstairs Downstairs, Masterpiece said. The company is planning to create unique spots for the various titles in the Masterpiece series.