ESPN has reached a new multiyear agreement for media rights to the early-season Battle 4 Atlantis men’s college basketball tournament starting in 2014. The tournament – played at Atlantis, Paradise Island resort on Paradise Island, in the Bahamas – will be held in late November on the Wednesday, Thursday and Friday of Thanksgiving week each year. The new rights pact will begin with the fourth annual event in 2014 and conclude with the 2016 tournament.
As part of the deal, ESPN, ESPN2 and ESPNU will combine to offer exclusive telecasts of six Battle 4 Atlantis matchups annually, including two quarterfinals, the semifinals, the third place game and championship. Battle for Atlantis features eight teams playing in a 12-game tournament format in a temporary stadium with state-of-the-art regulation facilities.
The field for past events is highlighted by UConn (2011), Duke (2012), Florida State (2011), Louisville (2012), Memphis (2012), Minnesota (2012), Missouri (2012), Stanford (2012) and Virginia Commonwealth (2012). The 2013 tournament includes Iowa, Kansas, Tennessee, USC, UTEP, Villanova, Wake Forest and Xavier. The field for the 2014 Battle 4 Atlantis will be announced in the coming months.
“Battle 4 Atlantis has quickly become one of the premier early-season tournaments in college basketball,” said Nick Dawson, senior director, ESPN programming and acquisitions. “We’re thrilled to bring it to the ESPN networks and know it will be a must watch for fans.”
George Markantonis, president & managing director, Atlantis, Paradise Island, added, “We are excited about our new relationship with ESPN to televise the 2014-2016 Battle 4 Atlantis tournaments, allowing us to share this sports experience with millions of fans.”
Battle 4 Atlantis joins and strengthens an already unmatched schedule of elite non-conference events on ESPN networks including the State Farm Champions Classic, Armed Forces Classic, Big Ten/ACC Challenge, Big 12/SEC Challenge, Jimmy V Classic, EA SPORTS Maui Invitational, CBE Hall of Fame Classic, Puerto Rico Tip-Off, NIT Season Tip-Off, Charleston Classic, Old Spice Classic, Wooden Legacy, Hawaiian Airlines Diamond Head Classic, 2K Sports Classic, Legends Classic, Basketball Hall of Fame Tip-Off, MGM Grand Showcase, Barclays Center Classic and Las Vegas Invitational.