• ESPN Acquires Rights to Every MAC Football Game and Men’s Basketball Game
• Significant Increase in Basketball and Olympic Sports Coverage on ESPN3
ESPN and the Mid-American Conference (MAC) have announced an extension of their exclusive rights agreement that will deliver record coverage of the conference across multiple ESPN platforms through 2026-27. Highlights of the 13-year pact:
- ESPN, the MAC and its 12 member institutions working jointly to develop in-house production capabilities that will provide significant national coverage for MAC sports on ESPN3. As a result, ESPN3 will showcase a minimum of 420 events a year (a minimum of 120 men’s basketball) once all 12 institutions have launched a production program.
- Every MAC-controlled football matchup will be available on one of ESPN’s national networks or via an ESPN sublicense agreement with additional outlets. The football schedule will continue to feature regular Thursday, Friday and Saturday games, select Tuesday and Wednesday prime time matchups, and an annual “MACsgiving” contest on the Friday after Thanksgiving.
- ESPN will continue to provide multi-platform coverage of regular-season men’s basketball and the conference championship.
“This extension, and expansion, of our agreement significantly increases the live event coverage for fans while providing tremendous value to ESPN, the MAC and its member institutions,” said Burke Magnus, ESPN senior vice president, programming & acquisitions.
MAC Commissioner Dr. Jon Steinbrecher added, “This is a historic day for the Mid-American Conference. ESPN and the MAC have a long history together and were visionary in embracing mid-week football which continues to be a significant presence on the ESPN college football calendar. The length of this partnership brings long term stability for the Conference well into the next decade.”
With the comprehensive deal, ESPN will receive rights to distribute MAC content across multiple entities, including: ESPN, ESPN on ABC, ESPN2, ESPNU, ESPNEWS, ESPN3, WatchESPN, ESPN Mobile TV, ESPN GamePlan, ESPN FULL COURT, ESPN Goal Line, ESPN Buzzer Beater, ESPN International, ESPN Deportes, ESPN Classic and ESPN.com.
ESPN, Inc., is the world’s leading multinational, multimedia sports entertainment company featuring a portfolio of more than 50 multimedia sports assets. The company is comprised of seven U.S. 24-hour television networks (ESPN, ESPN2, ESPNEWS, ESPNU, ESPN Classic, ESPN Deportes and Longhorn Network (with the SEC Network launching August 2014) and five HD simulcast services (ESPN, ESPN2, ESPNU, ESPNEWS and ESPN Deportes). Other businesses include ESPN Regional Television, ESPN International (24 networks, syndication, radio, digital), ESPN Radio (broadcast, satellite, digital, a growing category led by ScoreCenter), digital services (ESPN.com plus a variety of sport-, college-, and market-specific sites; multi-screen WatchESPN and ESPN3; plus mobile TV and video, apps, alerts and messaging), ESPN The Magazine, consumer products and espnW. Based in Bristol, Conn., ESPN is 80 percent owned by ABC, Inc., which is an indirect subsidiary of The Walt Disney Company. The Hearst Corporation holds a 20 percent interest in ESPN.
The Mid-American Conference office is based in Cleveland, Ohio as the Conference office serves 12 full-time members and offer championships in 23 sports.
Founded in 1946, the Mid-American Conference is an NCAA Division I, 12-member conference that sponsors 23 championships and is one of ten members of the Football Bowl Subdivison (FBS). With total enrollment of nearly 300,000 students, the league represents institutions of higher learning in five (5) states – Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, New York, and Ohio.
Current MAC schools that hold full membership and the year they joined are — East Division: University of Akron (1992), Bowling Green State University (1952), University at Buffalo (1998), Kent State University (1951), Miami University (1947), Ohio University (1946). West Division: Ball State University (1973), Central Michigan University (1971), Eastern Michigan University (1971), Northern Illinois University (1975-86, rejoined in 1997), University of Toledo (1950), Western Michigan University (1947).