ESPN and Conference USA Announce Media Rights Deal

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Conference USA today announced a new media rights agreement, emphasizing accessibility, timely programming models, national linear and digital exposure, and increased revenue. This multi-year deal between C-USA and its strong longtime partners CBS Sports and ESPN begins in the 2023-24 season.

“This is a major step forward for Conference USA in terms of media rights in terms of streamlining exposure, accessibility for our fans, and greater financial resources for our members,” said the commissioner. Judy MacLeod. “Building on our strong relationships with CBS and ESPN has allowed us to provide increased exposure and consistent broadcast homes to our members and fans as we continue to see the landscape of Conference USA and the college athletics evolve.”

Multi-year deal positions CBS Sports Network with Tier 1 All-Star status for C-USA Football (18 games per year) and Men’s Basketball (18 games per year) over the term of the partnership, while also televising the Championship football, the men’s basketball semi-final and championship games, the women’s basketball championship game and the baseball and softball championship games.

C-USA members have approved a television-friendly linear programming format for football that sees all October league games played on midweek evenings. Broadcast partners will share C-USA’s October football games of the week on linear television on CBS Sports Network, ESPN, ESPN2 or ESPNU.

“Conference USA has been a key partner for nearly two decades and we are excited to extend our longstanding relationship,” said Dan Weinberg, executive vice president, Programming, CBS Sports. “As Conference USA’s premier television house, we are excited to showcase the best of the conference in all sports throughout the year. This new agreement adds even more live games and events to our CBS Sports Network lineup and we look forward to crowning champions in football, men’s and women’s basketball, baseball and softball for years to come.

ESPN Linear Networks will air eight midweek football games per season through October’s midweek programming. Additionally, ESPN+ or ESPN3 will broadcast any additional regular season football games, while serving as the exclusive digital home for all Conference USA Olympic sports (soccer, volleyball, baseball, softball, etc.), including including all matches in the C-USA tournament. aside from the title games for baseball and softball, which will air on CBS Sports Network. Consolidating all digital inventory with ESPN provides a much more streamlined process for C-USA fans under one banner. Over 450 live sporting events will be available and streamed on ESPN+/ESPN3.

ESPN Linear Networks will also broadcast a minimum of five regular season men’s basketball games and one regular season women’s basketball game on its linear networks, while owning the digital rights to all additional regular season women’s basketball games and all men’s basketball regular season games beyond CBS Sports Network. selections.

“ESPN is thrilled to continue its association with Conference USA and enhance its lineups to deliver better and more games than ever before,” said Nick Dawson, vice president of programming and acquisitions, ESPN. “Our combination of linear networks and industry-leading digital platforms will deliver hundreds of events across multiple sports each year, providing C-USA, its member institutions, student-athletes, and fans with unparalleled simplicity and access to their favorite C-USA teams and games. ”

Conference USA retained Octagon to help negotiate its deals with CBS and ESPN. The full schedule of games and their corresponding distribution points will be announced later.

ABOUT CBS SPORTS
CBS Sports, a leader in year-round multiplatform sports coverage, airs a portfolio of events on the CBS Television Network, including THE NFL ON CBS; college football, including SEC ON CBS; college basketball, including the NCAA Division I Men’s Basketball Championship; golf, including The Masters®, PGA Championship and PGA TOUR; football, including the UEFA Champions League and NWSL; and CBS SPORTS SPECTACULAR. In addition, the division includes CBS SPORTS NETWORK, the 24-hour cable home of CBS Sports that broadcasts live sports programming throughout the year, including college football and basketball games, the UEFA Champions League and Europa League action, Italian Serie A matches, Concacaf’s domestic team competitions, plus a full range of original programming and studio coverage. CBS Sports also offers an extensive range of global football coverage on Paramount+, including every UEFA club competition game, every Serie A game as well as Concacaf national team competitions, and produces INSIDE THE NFL for Paramount+. CBS Sports Digital’s cross-platform offerings include CBSSports.com and the CBS Sports apps for mobile and connected TV devices; the 24/7 streaming sports news network CBS Sports HQ; 247 Sports; MaxPreps; CBS Sports Fantasy Games; and SportsLine.

ABOUT ESPN AND ESPN+
ESPN, Inc. is the leading multinational multimedia sports entertainment brand with the broadest portfolio of multimedia sports assets. Based in Bristol, Connecticut, ESPN was launched on September 7, 1979 and is 80% owned by ABC, Inc., an indirect subsidiary of The Walt Disney Company. Hearst holds a 20% interest.

ESPN+ is the industry’s leading sports streaming service bringing thousands of live sporting events to fans in the United States, original programming not available on linear TV or ESPN’s digital networks, and editorial content. exclusive from dozens of ESPN writers and reporters. Launched in April 2018, ESPN+ now has over 24.3 million subscribers. Fans sign up for ESPN+ for just $9.99 per month (or $99.99 per year) on ESPN.com, ESPNplus.com, or the ESPN app (mobile and connected devices).

ABOUT OCTAGON
Octagon is the leading integrated sports and entertainment marketing, media and talent management agency. The agency creates distinctive marketing campaigns for some of the biggest brands and Fortune 500 companies around the world, advises sports properties around the world on their media rights negotiations and represents more than 900 athletes, talents and properties the largest and most influential in the world. . With over 1,000 employees worldwide, based in 50 offices, in 20 countries, Octagon is positioned in virtually every area of ​​sports and entertainment.

ABOUT CONFERENCE USA
Conference USA is an NCAA Division I athletic conference based in Dallas, Texas. Now in its third decade, Conference USA has adapted to the ever-changing landscape of collegiate athletics with an unwavering commitment to excellence, integrity, and leadership in competition, academics, and community.

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