ESPN and USA's Southern Conference in six-year extension
ESPN, the US sports broadcasting giant, has entered into a six-year media rights extension agreement with the Southern Conference, one of US college sport's major conferences.
The renewal agreement runs until the end of the 2025-26 academic year, and continues on a relationship between the Southern Conference, which features schools located across the Deep South and the Carolina states, and ESPN that has already lasted nearly two decades.
With the new agreement comes an increase in the number of men’s basketball regular season games that will be covered by ESPN across the season, as well as an expanded post season broadcast schedule for the same competition, including both semi finals and the finale championship game.
Across the six years, close to 4,200 Southern Conference events will also be available on the ESPN+ and ESPN3 digital platforms.
The conference used Collegiate Sports Management Group to “evaluate the broadcast landscape and potential partners as it worked toward the broadcast contract”, according to ESPN.
Dan Margulis, ESPN senior director of programming and acquisitions, said: “We look forward to showcasing even more SoCon events across our ESPN networks and digital platforms over the next six years.”
Jim Schaus, commissioner of the Southern Conference, added: “This agreement represents the most national television exposure with ESPN in conference history, which is critical as we continue to grow our successful brand… The Southern Conference is truly on the rise and this new agreement will further propel the league to even greater heights in the future.”