ESPN and Sun Belt Conference Extend Multiplatform Rights Agreement Through 2011-12

ESPN and the Sun Belt Conference are extending their current contract for
rights across multiple platforms for football, men’s and women’s basketball,
and Olympic sports through the 2011-12 academic year.The new pact will
begin with the 2009-10 academic year and provide ESPN outlets with a 60 percent
increase in Sun Belt Conference games, including the addition of telecasts on
ESPNU.

As a result of the comprehensive deal, ESPN will receive national exclusive
rights to distribute Sun Belt Conference games across ESPN, ESPN2, ESPNU, ESPN
Regional Television, ESPN360.com, ESPN Mobile TV, ESPN GamePlan, ESPN FULL COURT,
ESPN International, ESPN Deportes and ESPN Classic.
“We are thrilled to remain the exclusive national television home for the
Sun Belt Conference,” says Burke Magnus, ESPN senior vice president,
college sports programming. “Through this extensive agreement, ESPN’s long
relationship with the Conference will continue to grow with additional coverage
across our multiple platforms, including ESPNU.”
Sun Belt Commissioner Wright Waters added, “The Sun Belt
Conference’s negotiation with ESPN, Inc. is one of the most significant events
in the conference’s 33 year history.There have been many great steps
taken in the history of this league including the Sun Belt becoming a member of
the NCAA Football Bowl Subdivision and the Bowl Championship Series.I
firmly believe that this new deal and our partnership with ESPN, Inc. is
another important step for the success of the Sun Belt Conference.”
As part of the agreement, ESPN will potentially televise more than 40 Sun Belt
Conference team appearances each academic year. Details include:
* A minimum of two nationally televised football games a
year on ESPN, ESPN2 or ESPNU with an opportunity to add games as the season
progresses. In addition, ESPN Regional Television receives the rights to syndicate
up to five matchups.
* A minimum of four men’s regular-season basketball
appearances a year on ESPN or ESPN2 including the men’s Sun Belt Conference
Championship. In addition, ESPN Regional Television receives the rights to
syndicate up to eight matchups.
* National coverage of Sun Belt Conference women’s
basketball for the first time with either the Conference Championship or two
regular-season games on ESPNU.
* Right to select Olympic sports for coverage across ESPN
platforms.