ESPN and Sun Belt Conference Reach Agreement on Extension for Multiplatform Rights Through 2011-12
ESPN, Inc. and the Sun Belt Conference have reached a multi-year agreement to extend their current contract for rights across multiple platforms for football, men’s and women’s basketball and Olympic sports through the 2011-12 academic year. The new pact will begin with the 2009-10 academic year and provide ESPN outlets with a 60 percent increase in Sun Belt Conference games, including the addition of telecasts on ESPNU.
As a result of the comprehensive deal, ESPN will receive national exclusive rights to distribute Sun Belt Conference games across ESPN, ESPN2, ESPNU, ESPN Regional Television, ESPN360.com, ESPN Mobile TV, ESPN GamePlan, ESPN FULL COURT, ESPN International, ESPN Deportes and ESPN Classic.
“We are thrilled to remain the exclusive national television home for the Sun Belt Conference,” said Burke Magnus, ESPN senior vice president, college sports programming. “Through this extensive agreement, ESPN’s long relationship with the Conference will continue to grow with additional coverage across our multiple platforms, including ESPNU.”
Sun Belt Commissioner Wright Waters added, “The Sun Belt Conference’s negotiation with ESPN, Inc. is one of the most significant events in the conference’s 33 year history. There have been many great steps taken in the history of this league including the Sun Belt becoming a member of the NCAA Football Bowl Subdivision and the Bowl Championship Series. I firmly believe that this new deal and our partnership with ESPN, Inc. is another important step for the success of the Sun Belt Conference.”
As part of the agreement, ESPN will potentially televise more than 40 Sun Belt Conference team appearances each academic year. Details include:
- A minimum of two nationally televised football games a year on ESPN, ESPN2 or ESPNU with an opportunity to add games as the season progresses. In addition, ESPN Regional Television receives the rights to syndicate up to five matchups.
- A minimum of four men’s regular-season basketball appearances a year on ESPN or ESPN2 including the men’s Sun Belt Conference Championship. In addition, ESPN Regional Television receives the rights to syndicate up to eight matchups.
- National coverage of Sun Belt Conference women’s basketball for the first time with either the Conference Championship or two regular-season games on ESPNU.
- Right to select Olympic sports for coverage across ESPN platforms.