ESPN Secures Major Broadcast Deal with NCAA

December 16, 2011

ESPN, Inc. and the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) have announced a multiyear agreement through 2023-24 for worldwide, multi-media rights to 24 NCAA championships.

The deal, which supercedes the three remaining years of the current contract, is valued at some $500 million over 14 school years, according to the NCAA.

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.

Under the new pact, ESPN and its networks retain exclusive coverage of the Division I Women’s Basketball Championship and broad rights covering the NCAA Division I Football Championship, plus the men’s and women’s baseball and softball World Series, swimming and diving, lacrosse and soccer championship action.

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

This totals around 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, and WatchESPN, with many of the 24 championships produced in high definition on ESPN HD, ESPN2 HD and ESPNU HD.

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

NCAA President Mark Emmert, added: “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. 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.”