The Southland Conference and ESPN have reached a five-year rights agreement that will be the largest and most extensive media agreement in the 52-year history of the Conference. The deal, beginning in 2015-16 and continuing through the 2019-20 academic year, was announced jointly by Tom Burnett, Southland Conference Commissioner, and Brent Colborne, ESPN’s Director of Programming and Acquisitions. The Southland was assisted in its negotiations by Wasserman Media Group.
As a result of the agreement, a minimum of 120 Southland Conference sports events will be carried live on an ESPN platform over five years, including an annual telecast of the men’s basketball championship on ESPN or ESPN2. The new pact marks the Southland’s third consecutive five-year contract with ESPN and gives the network the first selection rights to home athletic contests in the league.
“The Southland Conference is very pleased to announce another new agreement with ESPN,” Burnett said. “The network has provided an opportunity for the league to increase its television exposure into the national mainstream, and we are appreciative of ESPN seeing value in partnering with the Southland and its member institutions.”
In addition to an ESPN3 game-of-the-week football package each season, the agreement will include an expansive schedule of regular-season and tournament men’s basketball games, and continue coverage of soccer, volleyball, softball and baseball championships. Special programming, such as coverage from the Southland’s annual Football Media Day event on July 29, will also be included.
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