Press Release

Posted by Rachel Margolis on December 15, 2011

ESPN and NCAA® Extend Rights Agreement through 2023-24

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Expanded Rights Secured for ESPN3 and Other Multi-media Platforms for 24 NCAA Championships; Exclusive International Rights for NCAA Division I Men’s Basketball Championship;
NIT® Season Tip-Off and NIT Postseason Coverage

ESPN, Inc. and the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) today announced a multiyear agreement through 2023-24 for worldwide, multi-media rights to 24 NCAA championships and exclusive multi-media rights outside the United States, its territories and Bermuda for the NCAA Division I Men’s Basketball Championship. The new agreement, which takes effect immediately, also provides expanded coverage of each round of the NIT Season Tip-Off and all games from the NIT Postseason Tournament across the ESPN networks.

The new agreement includes 600-plus hours and 300 telecasts of live coverage annually across more platforms than ever before. It contains rights for ESPN, ESPN2, ESPNU, ESPN3, ESPN 3D, ESPN Mobile, ESPN FULL COURT, GamePlan, Buzzer Beater, Goal Line, ESPN International, ESPN Deportes, ESPN.com and WatchESPN, with many of the 24 championships produced in high definition on ESPN HD, ESPN2 HD and ESPNU HD.

Exclusive coverage of the Division I Women’s Basketball Championship and broad rights covering the NCAA Division I Football Championship, and the Men’s and Women’s College World Series, among others, will continue on the ESPN networks.

“We have enjoyed a great relationship with the NCAA that has spanned the history of ESPN,” said George Bodenheimer, President, ESPN and ABC Sports, and Co-Chairman, Disney Media Networks. “This is our most comprehensive agreement yet and ensures sports fans will have access to top-level NCAA athletics across ESPN networks and platforms.”

“Thousands of inspiring and compelling student-athletes make it to the championship level every year, and we at the NCAA are excited to be able to share their stories with a broader audience than ever,” said NCAA President Mark Emmert. “Across all sports and divisions, our primary goal is to support student-athlete success both on the field and in the classroom, and this new agreement provides us a greater ability to do so.”

ESPN expands its exclusive final round NCAA coverage with 24 NCAA championships:

  • Fall – Division I women’s soccer; Division I men’s soccer; Division I women’s volleyball; Division I football (FCS); Division II football and Division III football
  • Winter – Division I men’s and women’s indoor track & field; Division I men’s and women’s swimming & diving; Division I women’s basketball; Division I wrestling; Division I men’s ice hockey; National Collegiate women’s bowling; National Collegiate women’s gymnastics and National Collegiate men’s and women’s fencing.
  • Spring – National Collegiate men’s volleyball; Division I men’s and women’s lacrosse; Division I men’s and women’s outdoor track & field; Division I softball and Division I baseball

ESPN is adding coverage of seven NCAA championships: National Collegiate women’s gymnastics, National Collegiate men’s and women’s fencing, Division I women’s lacrosse, Division I men’s and women’s outdoor track & field and National Collegiate women’s bowling (previously sublicensed from CBS). ESPN will also air additional preliminary round coverage of selected NCAA championships including Division I football (FCS), Division I women’s volleyball, Division I softball and Division I baseball.

ESPNU

  • Additional coverage on ESPN’s 24-hour college sports network, including high-profile, preliminary-round NCAA championships exposure. ESPNU has featured original NCAA content since the network’s inception on March 4, 2005
  • During the 2011-12 season, 15 NCAA national champions will be crowned on ESPNU in the following events: National Collegiate women’s bowling; National collegiate men’s and women’s fencing; Division III football; National Collegiate women’s gymnastics; Division I men’s and women’s indoor track & field; Division I women’s lacrosse; Division I men’s and women’s outdoor track & field; Division I men’s and women’s soccer; Division I men’s and women’s swimming & diving, and National Collegiate men’s volleyball
  • More than 90 events and 220 hours of NCAA championship programming during the 2011-12 season

ESPN3

  • ESPN’s live multi-screen sports network will feature exclusive coverage from selected rounds and sites of 16 NCAA championships including: Division I baseball; National Collegiate men’s and women’s fencing; Division I football (FCS); National Collegiate women’s gymnastics; Division I men’s and women’s indoor track & field; Division I women’s lacrosse; Division I men’s and women’s outdoor track & field; Division I women’s soccer; Division I softball; Division I men’s and women’s swimming & diving; Division I women’s volleyball and Division I wrestling
  • Extensive early-round event coverage from Division I baseball, Division I football (FCS), Division I men’s ice hockey, Division I softball, Division I women’s volleyball and Division I wrestling
  • 80-plus live exclusive events from NCAA championships, the NIT Season Tip-Off and NIT Postseason Tournament during the 2011-12 season

Women’s Basketball

  • ESPN remains the exclusive home of the Division I Women’s Basketball Championship.  ESPN has carried the championship since 1996
  • 2012 marks the 10th consecutive year of airing the entire championship with all 63 games tipping-off live on ESPN networks
  • ESPN continues to feature the NCAA Women’s Basketball Selection Special with Selection Monday on ESPN

Men’s Basketball

  • International rights for the entire NCAA Division I Men’s Basketball Championship, including distribution in Latin America (Caribbean, Mexico, Central and South America), the Middle East and Africa, Australia, New Zealand and Pacific Islands, Europe, Japan and Canada (via TSN)
  • Selected highlight rights from the complete championship for distribution in the U.S. and international territories
  • Exclusive home of the men’s basketball NIT Season Tip-Off and NIT Postseason Tournament, including expanded coverage of the tip-off event and all rounds from the postseason tournament
  • Live studio coverage from inside the stadium at the Men’s Final Four®

Studio Shows

  • In addition to women’s basketball, ESPN maintains exclusive rights to selected NCAA championship selection shows. ESPNU will showcase Division I baseball, Division I football (FCS), Division I men’s ice hockey, Division I men’s lacrosse, Division I softball, and Division I women’s volleyball selection shows

ESPNU
The 24-hour college sports television network airs more than 650 live events annually and offers over 600 original studio shows. ESPNU has seen a steady increase since its inception on March 4, 2005 and is now in over 73 million households. The brand is also available in high definition on ESPNU HD, now in over 20 million homes. The network has long-term carriage agreements with all 10 of the top multichannel TV providers – Cablevision, Charter, Comcast, Cox, DirecTV (Channel 208), DISH Network (Channel 141), Mediacom, Time Warner Cable, Verizon FiOS TV and AT&T U-verse.

ESPN3
ESPN3 is ESPN’s live multi-screen sports network, a 24/7 destination that delivers thousands of global sports events annually and accessible online via WatchESPN.com. It is currently available to approximately 70 million homes at no additional cost to fans who receive their high-speed Internet connection or video subscription from an affiliated service provider. The network is also available at no cost to approximately 21 million U.S. college students and U.S.-based military personnel via computers connected to on-campus educational networks and on-base military networks. It is also accessible through ESPN on Xbox LIVE to Gold level members and on smartphones and tablets via the WatchESPN app through an affiliated provider.

About the NCAA
The NCAA is a membership-led nonprofit association of colleges and universities committed to supporting academic and athletic opportunities for more than 400,000 student-athletes at more than 1,000 member colleges and universities. Each year, more than 54,000 student-athletes compete in 89 NCAA championships in Divisions I, II and III sports. Visit www.ncaa.org and www.ncaa.com for more details about the Association, its goals and members and corporate partnerships that help support programs for student-athletes.  The NCAA is proud to have the following elite companies as official Corporate Champions—AT&T, Capital One and Coca-Cola—and the following elite companies as official Corporate Partners—Buick, Enterprise, Infiniti, LG, Lowe’s, Planters, Reese’s, Unilever and UPS.

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