ESPN Secure Broadcast Deal with College Basketball’s America East Conference
November 30, 2011
The America East Conference and ESPN have announced a new five-year broadcast deal that will significantly increase the league’s number of national appearances on ESPN networks through the 2015-16 season.
The 2011-12 package will include a minimum of 47 national appearances on ESPN platforms, therapy the most in league history. The deal also includes flexibility that could increase that total in future years.
America East Commissioner Amy Huchthausen, buy said: “For the last 24 years, medicine America East’s collaboration with ESPN has been a key component of extending our reach and strengthening our national brand. We are excited to continue this relationship as we look ahead.”
As part of the agreement, the conference’s men’s basketball championship game will air on ESPN2, the 25th straight year the America East title game will air on ESPN or ESPN2. The women’s championship game will be distributed to regional sports networks via ESPN Regional Television and also carried on ESPN3, ESPN’s multi-screen sports network available through an affiliated internet or video provider online via WatchESPN.com, on smartphones and tablets via the WatchESPN app and through ESPN on Xbox LIVE.
For the fifth straight year, ESPNU will televise a men’s regular-season conference game when Stony Brook hosts Boston U. on Jan. 27 in a rematch of last year’s America East Championship game. Additionally 11 regular-season basketball games, four postseason contests and the men’s lacrosse championship game will be carried exclusively on ESPN3.
“With more appearances on the ESPN family of networks than ever before, America East fans from coast to coast will have more access to our games than any previous season,” said Huchthausen. “The availability of these games on several platforms, including ESPN3, WatchESPN apps and ESPN on Xbox LIVE will give fans several viewing options as well as help us reach and create a new generation of America East fans.”
America East’s exclusive ESPN3 package, which will consist of seven men’s games and four women’s games in the regular season, kicks off Jan. 14 with Stony Brook visiting Boston U. in a matchup of the top two preseason favorites on the men’s side. The first America East women’s game ever broadcast nationally will pair UMBC, the preseason favorite, and Boston U., which reached the league’s title game last season, on Jan. 25. Other marquee matchups include Vermont and Boston U. squaring off in a matchup of the last two men’s champions on Feb. 1. A rematch of last season’s women’s title game takes place Feb. 25 when Boston U. visits Hartford.
ESPN3 will carry the semifinals of the America East Men’s and Women’s Basketball Championship presented by Newman’s Own on March 4. The tournament, which will be held at University of Hartford’s Chase Arena at Reich Family Pavilion for the third straight year, takes place March 1-4 with the men’s title game being played on Saturday, March 10 at 11 a.m. The women’s championship game date and time are to be determined based on television clearance availability.
Damon Phillips, Vice President of ESPN3, said: “The America East Conference supports our best available screen philosophy and has recognized ESPN3 as a leading destination and key distribution outlet for reaching college sports fans. We are looking forward to delivering exclusive games through the 2015-16 season to our multi-screen viewing audience.”
ESPN3 is available in approximately 70 million homes at no cost to fans who receive a high-speed Internet connection or video subscription from an affiliated provider. Major cable providers within the America East footprint that provide ESPN3 access are Burlington Telecom, Comcast, Cox, RCN, Time Warner Cable andVerizon FiOS TV. 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.
Games on ESPN2, ESPN3 and ESPNU are also accessible through WatchESPN, ESPN’s authenticated networks service. The networks are currently available to Time Warner Cable, Verizon FiOS TV and Bright House Networks subscribers online at WatchESPN.com and on smartphones and tablets via the WatchESPN app. Once users visit WatchESPN, they will receive instructions to enter the appropriate cable subscriber credentials to begin accessing ESPN content from their PC, laptop, smartphone or tablet device.