• Mon. Jul 22nd, 2024

NCAA, ESPN extend broadcast deal 8 more years


Jan 4, 2024 #Sports


The NCAA and ESPN announced Thursday that 40 NCAA championships, including women’s basketball, volleyball, baseball and softball, will be on ESPN networks for the next eight years.

The agreement includes rights to 21 women’s championships and 19 men’s. Division I women’s basketball, women’s volleyball, women’s gymnastics and the Football Championship Subdivision title game will all be on network television (ABC). More than 800 hours of NCAA championships will appear on ESPN linear networks throughout the year, with more than 2,300 combined on linear and digital platforms.

It extends a relationship between the NCAA and ESPN that, like ESPN, began in 1979. ESPN began televising every game of the NCAA women’s basketball tournament in 2003 and has carried events such as the men’s College World Series since 1980.

“ESPN and the NCAA have enjoyed a strong and collaborative relationship for more than four decades, and we are thrilled that it will continue as part of this new, long-term agreement,” said ESPN chairman Jimmy Pitaro.

The agreement includes all 24 sports covered in ESPN’s previous agreement and adds coverage of the NCAA Division I tennis championships (men’s and women’s) and men’s gymnastics, among others. It also extends international rights to the Division I men’s basketball championship.

The NCAA hired Endeavor’s IMG and WME Sports as a media adviser for the negotiations, which were the first since ESPN and the NCAA agreed to a 12-year, $500 million deal in 2011. NCAA president Charlie Baker told the Sports Business Journal that the new deal is worth $115 million annually; an NCAA spokesperson told SBJ that 25% of that cost includes production and marketing.

“Over the past several years, ESPN has demonstrated increased investment in NCAA championships coverage, and the Association is pleased to continue to provide a platform for student-athletes to shine,” Baker said. “Having one, multi-platform home to showcase our championships provides additional growth potential along with a greater experience for the viewer and our student-athletes.”

Men’s championships included in the agreement include soccer, football (non-Football Bowl Subdivision), cross country, water polo, indoor and outdoor track and field, swimming and diving, wrestling, ice hockey, gymnastics, fencing, volleyball, lacrosse, tennis baseball and Division II and III basketball (other than the Division II title game).

Women’s championships included are soccer, field hockey, all divisions of volleyball, cross country, indoor and outdoor track and field, swimming and diving, all divisions of basketball, ice hockey, bowling, gymnastics, fencing, beach volleyball, lacrosse, tennis, softball and water polo.

The National Invitation Tournament for men’s basketball and the Women’s Basketball Invitation Tournament are also included.

The deal begins in September 2024.


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